Would you look at this round, round mama!
She looks ready to have a litter any day now! Way, way too early!
Looks like my tax return is not going to be used as planned.
We had some issues with the toilet being partially clogged yesterday, but I was going to fight with it after my older daughter had her “morning” shower (she works at night). I did decide to go into the old basement and check the well pump and pipes, just in case.
The first thing I saw was a bit of damp near the sump pump reservoir.
There shouldn’t be any moisture there, this time of year.
Then I heard the dripping.
We have water dripping from under the bathtub.
Pretty much since we’ve moved here, the hot water tap in the tub has leaked while in use. It has gotten worse over the years. When we had the plumber here to auger the drain pipe to the septic tank, he also took a look at it for us. He thought he could fix the taps, but I’d like to replace them, so we got an estimate of about $400 for that – and that’s with us buying the replacement faucet set. He mentioned replacing it with the kind that is one lever rather than two taps to control the temperature. None of us like those things, and I’d want to replace it with basically the same style that’s already there. I told him we’d likely buy the faucet set ourselves, so the estimate did not include that. This was a couple years ago, so I would expect it to be higher, now.
The problem is that he’d have to take off the tub surround to access it – it can’t be reached from the other side of the wall, and the last time they were replaced, it would have been done from the front. The tub surround is one of those inexpensive 5 pc surrounds, where there are three flat pieces, then the corner pieces with moulded shelves. With our incredibly hard and iron rich water, it all looks like crap. No amount of scrubbing can get these clean, just like we can’t get the iron stains from the leaking tap completely off. So I have no problem with replacing those completely.
But if water is getting through enough to leak into the basement, the problem is not just the tap. It is likely the degrading caulking, too.
Which leads us to another issue.
When we finally got an indoor bathroom, my dad choose to cover the walls with bathroom panelling that was made to look like tiles. This was in the early 70’s, and there are areas of it, like behind the sink, where the panelling has been water damaged. The tub surround is mounted on top of the old panelling, which means there is caulking behind the caulking around the tub.
Chances are, the old caulking is also degrading, and the paneling under it may be molding or rotting. We won’t know until we take the surround off.
If we do end up having to replace the panelling behind it, we have another question.
What’s behind it?
Two of the walls are the original log walls; one is still exterior, while the other now has the sun room on the other side of it. The third side is the interior wall between the bathroom and my husband’s bedroom.
What we don’t know is of the panelling has something behind it, or if it was nailed directly to the log walls and joists. I know in the “new” part of the house, the panelling was nailed directly to the one long wall, and I’m pretty sure they were nailed directly to the joists on the other walls, with nothing between them and the insulation. But I’m just guessing on that, based on what little I can see from the places where the panelling has started to warp.
Talking about it with my daughters, they are suggesting not going with another tub surround at all, but to tile it, instead. Which would indeed be preferable! But is that even an option?
So right now, we’re looking at, I’m guessing, $500 for the plumber. Inexpensive tub surrounds like what we have now cost from $250 – $275 – or we could get just the flat panels for about $67 each (we’d likely need three). I have no idea at all how much it would cost if we tiled, instead. Depending on the size, they can be a couple of bucks each, or are sold by the square foot. Plus the backing material that would replace the current wall panels, plus the grout…
Then there’s the cost of the taps and faucet set (even the faucet is so encrusted in minerals, it’s affecting the seal on the shower diverter). I’ve looked around and did find a set that’s like what we have, at only $100 – and that includes a shower head. We just got a new shower head for our hand held shower, but having a spare is never a bad thing.
I guess I’m not getting glasses again this year. We should, at least, still be able to get my younger daughter her glasses, since she can’t wear hers at all anymore, and her sister has offered to help with the costs as much as she can. She needs to do her taxes, too. Last year, she did them and ended up owing money – only to have it paid back, plus a return, a month or so later!
And no. We are NOT going into the funds being set aside for the replacement vehicle. That’s just not an option.
Well, at least this is happening at a time when we will have the funds to pay for it. The main thing is to get it fixed before water damage gets worse. The last thing we need is for the tub to fall through the floor into the basement! It would land right on the well and sump pumps.
Must. Not. Imagine. Worst. Case. Scenarios.