waiting, waiting, waiting

I'm sitting here at home, waiting for a plumber.
I sat here at home all day yesterday, waiting for a plumber.

Last Wednesday, while I was out, the water supply must have been shut off for a while, because when I got home and tried to fill the kettle, (yes, Andrew, the new kettle),the pipes banged with air bubbles and the water was all spurty for a few seconds. And it was dirty. 

So I left the tap running, went into the bathroom and turned on the shower, the basin taps and flushed the toilet, to clear the air from the pipes. All of them made that awful banging thump as spurty water rushed through, but there was an added sound from the cistern as I flushed the toilet. 
Then the toilet wouldn't stop running. The tank filled up and when it was full, the overflow kept running into the toilet and I tried to turn off the water at the little tap on the pipe, but that didn't work.

I  went to the housing office first thing yesterday, was there before they opened, and went straight to their direct-to-maintenance-phone, explained the problem and asked for a plumber. Then I came straight home to wait.

So I've been listening to running water since Wednesday evening, trying to ignore it. I phoned Housing again this morning to remind them I was waiting for a plumber and the nice girl on the other end of the phone said someone will be out between 8am and 4pm, which made me laugh a bit, since it was already 10am when I phoned.

I also ran an empty cycle in the washing machine, to be sure the water would run clean the next time I needed to use it. I really didn't like the amount of thumping coming through those pipes, that kind of pressure has been known to damage washing  machines. 
I watched the water sloshing around in there for a few minutes and was surprised by the amount of suds it generated. I hadn't added any detergent, so this must have been built up residue from previous washes. I'm wondering now why the residue didn't wash out during the rinsing cycles. Whatever the reason, I'll be using less detergent in the future. 

The important thing about having the water turned off, is having at least one of your taps turned on and left on until the water begins to flow again. That way there is no air build up in the pipes. I'm not sure if the plumbers these days know about that, or if it is just too difficult to go to every affected flat and ask each person to leave a tap turned on. 
Probably the latter, since many people, like I was, may be out at the time. And of course a plumber can't wait until conditions are ideal before he fixes the problem he was called for. 

I'm guessing P's toilet got fixed last Wednesday, because I had let housing know that it was leaking.
Today there are painters there, so maybe next week I'll have a new neighbour.


  1. Ouch, that running thing can drive you nuts!

  2. Waiting around is such a pain in the proverbial. You can't really get started on anything, or go anywhere. Grrrrrr! I hate it when that happens...the having to wait around.

    I do hope the plumber arrives today, River...and that you don't have to wait through the weekend until next week. So very frustrating for you. I empathise.

  3. I think your management is not too responsive. Sad!

  4. Good luck. The waiting game is NO fun. None at all.

  5. First time I had the water turned off I freaked at the noise and banging when I turned the tap on but the nice and I must say nearly all S.E.Water employees are, told me that you must turn on the tap nearest the water mains which in my case was in the garden next to the water meter. No problems at all.

  6. Ohhh - you are waiting for building maintenance not a plumber you called yourself, Yikes. Yes, probably a long wait. Our building has maintenance people but they are for general property maintenance. If something goes wrong in our condo we have to call our own plumbers, electricians tho the building staff will try to do a fix in an emergency - and we have to pay extra for that.

  7. Oh goodness, don't they annoy you when they don't turn up!
    Suds in the washing machine, I clean my washing machine once in awhile with 'Vinegar'.

  8. Like MArgaret, I do a cycle with vinegar (when I have enough water to spare).
    Sorry you are having to wait so long for the plumber. Hope it is mended soon.

  9. joeh; all fixed now, plumber turned up a half hour after I posted this.

    Lee; waiting is very hard. I don't mind sitting doing nothing if I don't have anything else going on, but when I'm waiting for someone or something, sitting doing nothing is awful. I couldn't settle to anything at all.

    Joanne; they do their best, but SA Housing handles maintenance on hundreds of places and plumbers are available Thursdays and Fridays, so we wait at home on both days.

    Elephant's Child; the waiting is the hardest part, but the plumber turned up soon after I posted this.

    JahTeh; When I first heard it years ago, I thought I'd broken something. now I know better, but it's still an unsettling sound.

    Grace; for things like this we call maintenance, for an emergency we can call a plumber ourselves and if the problem wasn't our fault we can put in a claim for reimbursement. I live in Public Housing, there are over 100 flats in several buildings. There are garden maintenance people, but if anything needs doing in the flats, we contact the office in town and they send the appropriate someone as soon as they can. We have to stay home on the stated day(s) and wait.

    Margaret-whiteangel; I do the vinegar cycle too but should maybe do it more often. I only do it twice a year usually.

    Tracy; I do the vinegar thing in washing machine and electric kettle, but i may need to do it more often. Plumbing problems all fixed now.

  10. Glad to read that plumbing problems are all sorted now.

  11. Oh well new neighbours are an exciting prospect. Plumbing sucks I understand this:) Hug B

  12. Sorry you had to wait so long, but I'm glad to hear the plumber finally got there and ended your misery. It IS miserable being at the mercy of a repairman's time schedule. (I sure hope you aren't gonna have to pay for all that water you had to listen to running...)

    Have a super weekend!

  13. Sounds a bit of a nightmare. Hope everything's OK soon.

  14. I would not use any tap or water using appliance until the water was clear and the air had cleared, except for the bath tap, the lowest one in the apartment. Anyway, all fixed now. Do you think you should be a new kettle to have as a spare for when this new one expires? Ah yes, a question. How much vinegar and do you add to the water in the washing machine?

  15. .. Glad to hear your water problem has been fixed, River.. It's frustrating having to wait for repair people... Hugs;... Barb xxxx

  16. The Cranky; it was worth the wait. I have a nice shiny new cistern, a new kitchen tap and the garden tap got fixed too.

    Buttons Thoughts; I'm hoping the new neighbour is nice without being intrusive and he or she likes cats, because there are a lot of cats around here.

    Susan; the plumber was a nice young man who certainly knew what he was doing. In an hour he'd fixed everything on the list. We already get concessions on our water, so the extra I might have to pay won't be so bad. I'll just think of it as one or two extra showers.

    Molly; everything is fixed now :)

    Andrew; I ran all the taps to get all the pipes cleared before I used them. I am thinking of now buying another new kettle and stashing it on the high shelf, ready for when this new one breaks down. It could be years, but will most certainly break down between midnight and 5am one day.
    Vinegar? about a cupful. I have a front loader, so I pour it into the soap dispenser and close it quickly then start the water. For kettle cleaning the ratio is one part vinegar, two parts water,
    Step 1: boil, then let stand overnight.
    Step 2: empty the vinegar water.
    Step 3: fill and boil kettle, empty.
    Step 4: Fill and boil kettle, empty.
    Step 5: kettle is ready to use again.

    Barbara; I'm very happy to not hear running water anymore and I have a nice new cistern.

  17. So glad all is now OK. I remember our back toilet continuing to run but it didn't overflow than goodness cos the tap was fixed solid.
    Found our cistern in there was leaking underneath recently (had twice been mended with some sticky goo) so we also have a nice new cistern and seat. We use Tap Doctor who don't have a call out fee and come the same day but then of course we have to pay the bill. (*:*)

    1. Will try the kettle cleaning routine and perhaps the washer too. I have a top loader so perhaps put vinegar in fabric softener dispenser. I imagine you would only need to a small 'load' so as not to waste too much water.

  18. Mimsie; I'm glad my toilet didn't overflow either. I would put the vinegar in the soap dispenser part so it goes through as a wash cycle. In the softener dispenser it would only be dispensed in the final cycle, so not as much residue would be removed.
    I mostly do a half-wash, but use the full was when I'm doing sheets or towels.

  19. I am enjoying reading your blog, and glad all is ok again. Plumbers do seem to take a while to come but I guess they are very busy too. Hope next week is a good one.

  20. Rosemary B; welcome to drifting. The plumber was worth waiting for. a nice young man who knew what he was doing, everything was finished within an hour and he cleaned up any mess he'd made too.


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