when noontime arrived i still hadn't received any calls. the appointment was for 12-3pm, but that was just a window. they could come as late as 3pm. fortunately by 12:40pm i finally got the call, the plumber said he'd be here in a few minutes.
pat was the plumber. i showed him my bathroom first, then we went in the basement to see the leak. from there we went upstairs to see steve's place. we only checked out the 2nd floor bathroom. i noticed they also had a protrusion in their bathroom wall like i do, except their bathroom was completely tiled. if we need to cut through the wall it's going to be a real mess.
we went back downstairs to my bathroom to start working. after turning off the water main (and warning david upstairs, he was actually running the dishwasher despite knowing that a plumber was in the house), pat climbing onto a stepladder and started knocking out a hole in my bathroom wall using a hammer, like it was just paper (the drywall was already soft from the water damage). crumbled pieces of drywall, wet pulp insulation, and pink fiberglass insulation started to come out, falling onto the tarp pat had draped on top of the toilet. he'd opened up a window into the wall before he spotted what was causing the leak: one of the hot water copper pipe had a small hole and a tiny spray of water was coming out. this could've been going on for a while, but the insulation acted as a sponge to absorb the water so we never noticed a leak. only when the insulation was completely saturated did it finally start leaking into the basement and bubbling the paint on my bathroom wall.
pat told me a told a lot of old houses didn't used to have indoor plumbing, so they simply updated old homes by bundling all the pipes together in one place for the multiple floors. inside the hole i saw the chimney stack, the cold water intake, the large cast-iron septic, the hot water intake, and the gas line. that's why there's a "box" in my bathroom and steve's bathroom, instead of having the plumbing inside the walls.
the problem was fairly routine, but how to fix it was a different story. the pipes were too close together and the space was too confined to attempt to solder. the only way was to crimp the pipes together after the leaking segment was removed. to do that, pat had to cut through a 2x4 support column on the corner to make more space. at one point the copper pipe got stuff and i had to run into the basement to wiggle it free. he'd already crimped it before i could ask him to move the pipe up by an inch.
after pat finished cleaning up, he went back to his van to write the invoice. i was imagining it'd cost $500-600, but the final price was $350 (for 2 hours of work), much less than i'd estimated, and much less had there been something wrong with the main cast-iron drain. i also got pat to help me loosen my shower/bath faucet.
pat suggested i run a fan in the basement, or if i could get my hands on a dehumidifier, that'd be even better, to dry out the residual water. it was still leaking in the basement, but pat assured me eventually it'd stop. i kept the fan running in the basement to dry up the space. the hole in the wall didn't look at that bad, and it looked like something i could repair. but i had no idea what was happening inside the rest of the box, at the very least stuffed with wet insulation, so at some point i'll need to break open the rest of the wall and clean out the inside.
i rode to my parents' place around 3pm. my mother was going to make something for me to eat but since it was just hours away from dinner, i told her not to bother. instead i was out in the backyard inspecting the plants. hailey was home, came outside to grown on the grass before going back inside the house.
the front garden squash that's growing onto the honeysuckle vines has managed to produce 3 squashes. we only saw 2 but one of them was surprisingly small, until we realized that's actually the 3rd squash and the 2nd squash got so heavy it sunk into the honeysuckles, hidden from view. i also found some vine borer eggs, seems kind of late in the season for them to be still flying around. as for the single squash growing in the western bed, it's managed to grow a large squash with a very flat top, and a second squash. it's also the plant that had borer damage in one of the vines. i treated it but the vine died anyway; fortunately it just a side vine with no squash fruit.
my parents counted the bitter melons, the official tally is 28 melons. i also fertilized one of the orchids my father brought back from the cafe. it seemed awfully neglected, with soft wrinkled leaves sticky with mealybug droppings. i brought out all the orchids and sprayed them with neem oil.
the squashes continue to flourish, the tops of the bamboo pole trellises thick with big squash leaves.
my father put some deck screws on the back of our wooden plant stand to use as hooks. we should've done this a long time ago, give our tools a place to live outside instead of just roaming around the backyard.
in the late afternoon i took out the drone for a flight. mondays are good flying days since most people aren't home so i can buzz around the neighborhood and not have to worry about disturbing people. using the iphone 7 i had zero problems, but at one point i hit some high winds that was tilting the drone while i flew. winds at higher elevation can be different from ground level winds.
i moved the pileas to my parents' bedroom because i didn't want the pileas in the sunroom sitting next to the mealybug infested orchids.
after dinner i returned home. i went down to the basement to gather my old paints to figure out what color and finish the bathroom is. it's been nearly 2 decades, i wonder if they're still good? anyway, safer to get new paints, and i don't need a lot of it, just enough double coat that bathroom corner. there wasn't too much water in the leak catch bin. i turned off the fan before i went upstairs.