For the past 60 years our little bungalow has had galvanized pipes which meant, of course, that the corroding in them decreased the water pressure just a little more each year, until this year, when we suddenly were down to a mere trickle, if that.
Also the pipes were springing leaks at an alarming rate. When Hubby was hospitalized in April of 2006 the second night he was there I came home to a flooding basement. I had to sneak into the hospital at 1 a.m. to ask him just where the heck the shut-off valve was to the water (I was too stressed to remember -- and the hospital phones to patient rooms shut down at midnight).
This month Hubby found a another, newer leak in the basement. He's frustrated by his lack of strength to fix these things himself, but he's more than capable of supervising help. In came a little crew that he'd gathered (I don't ask myself where these men come from, I just accept them as they parade through and then camp out in the basement) and they spent the next four days fighting pipe leaks in the basement.
Each time one pipe was fixed, another one sprang a leak. Initially, they determined that three major leaks existed but as they removed one corroded pipe after another, they sort of lost count. I'd like to say we put in copper piping, but we didn't. We went plastic all the way -- so much cheaper.
For two days this week we had no water in the house. The first night we couldn't even flush the toilet, much less take a bath. The second night they saw to it that at least the toilet would semi-flush. Dishes piled up in the sink, everything under each sink was unloaded and strewn on the floors, and pipe joints appeared everywhere. Also, they drilled new holes in the floor to bring new piping into the bath and kitchen, creating mounds of nasty sawdust.
By putting on blinders and shutting down, I managed to exist through the chaos. Suddenly, Hubby claimed they were done. "You can take a bath tonight, Babe," hubby proudly announced. I trudged through the debris now littering my bathroom floor and cabinets, and dutifully turned on the water -- and -- AND -- a full stream of hot water poured -- NO GUSHED -- from the faucet. I hadn't seen that much water in . . .well . . . maybe fifteen years.
I'm still learning how to adjust the new faucets (hot water actually must now be mixed with cold - what a unique thought!) while I'm slowly cleaning up the messes (there's even plastic piping in the living -- I ask you, how did they get the pipe into the living room?). But it's wonderful to have fully functioning water streams in this house. This has been a great Christmas gift.