The Woes of Home Ownership

After all the fun, exciting, creative things I’ve gotten to do in the past two months, here’s the reality check.  There’s no more landlord to call when something breaks.  It’s all you.  Since the home inspection we knew there was some kind of issue with the plumbing around the washing machine in the basement, and over the last few weeks it’s escalated.

Before recently, I had never considered the way a washing machine functions.  When we lived in Bay Ridge it was the little Chinese man’s problem at the laundromat, I just paid him all my quarters to handle it.  Clean water comes into the washer, and dirty water comes out of it when it spins, right?  And if the dirty water doesn’t come out, then the washer’s broken, right?  Not exactly.

Before our inspection, the previous owner had the washer draining into the sump pump well.  Like most sump pumps, it pumps the ground water away from your foundation and into the yard away from the house.  Thus, she was pumping dirty clothes water into the backyard.  This is called grey water, and it’s illegal here.  And if its illegal in Knoxville, it’s probably illegal in most every city in America.  But before we bought the house, we requested she fix it.  When we closed on the house, it was all hooked back up to the wastewater system as it should be.  Seemed easy, but the question remained of why the hell did she have it all half-assed in the first place?

It turned out that even in its “fixed” state, the waste water from the washer was not being pumped strongly enough to actually reach the wastewater line, about seven feet up at the base of the basement ceiling.  Turns out that even a brand new $1200 washing machine couldn’t pump water through these jacked up, poorly installed lines.  Even if the pipes were put in with more care, 12 feet is quite a distance for a washer, apparently.  The washer is doing its job, but the bad pipe scenario just lets the dirty water slowly drip back into the basin.  And its gross.

The plumber (that we found through friends) says that the most efficient way to fix the issue permanently was to install an external pump that takes the wastewater and pumps it up with some serious power to the main wastewater line.  So we’re taking his word for it, and hoping that after he finishes tomorrow the problem will be solved.

And to top it off, this is what we came home to last Tuesday:

Yep, that’s a massive tree limb balanced precariously on the back of our house after a storm blew through.  It was far too big to let Danny climb up there and try to saw it apart himself.  So to the tune of $400, we had to call a tree service and have it professionally removed.

With these (mostly) unexpected expenses…my new furniture dreams have to be put on hold for another month or two.  Along with my new camera dreams.  And the new TV dreams that have been pushed back in that corner for years now.

To make myself feel better (or worse, probably worse) I’m going to paint the kitchen blue this weekend.  Inspired by this borrowed Sherwin Williams deck from a kind co-worker, I’m feeling the “Icelandic” shade.  It’s the second page from the left, second lightest shade.  And for about $30, it’s an aesthetic home improvement I can afford.  Let’s see how this goes…


2 thoughts on “The Woes of Home Ownership

  1. Pingback: Tree Follies « escape from brooklyn

  2. Pingback: Backyard Tree Massacre « escape from brooklyn

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