This is a guest post by Mark Davis
I hate to admit it, but my plumbing is starting to fail.
No, not my personal plumbing – that would be another issue entirely, and one I’d be more likely to share with my physician than with an international audience.
The topic here is the plumbing in my house, which is nearing 40 years old. Nearly every faucet drips no matter how tightly you cinch down the knobs. I’m sure I’ve seen a handy gasket kit that would fix this, but, you know that would mean I’d have to go all the way to the hardware store, find the right item, pay for it, bring it home, read the instructions, install several sets of these, realize to my horror that I’ve forgotten to shut off the water supply, frantically clean up the mess I’ve caused, say some things I shouldn’t and pretty much ruin a Saturday afternoon.
As former President Bush (the elder) would say, “Not gonna do it; not gonna do it.”
The birth of the work around
What I am willing to do, though, is find a work around. And this I’ve done for our peskiest faucet, the one in our master bath shower.
Tired of hearing the constant drip, I placed a plastic pail in the floor of the shower. This doesn’t stop the drip, but it does cure the intense frustration I’ve had that with every drop, money and a precious resource are going down the drain.
The pail is just the perfect size, too; over a day’s time, it fills to about halfway, at which point we’re ready to use the shower again. But what should we do with the water we’ve “saved?”
I put my mind to work on this problem. Hmmm … I know, we could water the plants on the back porch. No, the coming winter will put a damper on that idea (so to speak). How about washing the dishes? Oooh, okay, bad idea. Certainly there’s a use for this perfectly good water. We certainly don’t want to waste it, do we?
A second work around
Being a “process” guy, I came up with the master plan – whenever we flush the toilet, we’ll lift the tank cover and pour the “saved” water into the tank, replace the pail and repeat again later … and pat ourselves on the back for being such wise stewards of money and resources.
Whew. Problem solved.
OK, not really. To solve one problem, I’ve really created another – a whole new process designed to catch the waste and defects from the first one. What about all the time and effort I’m wasting with this work around process? Sure, I feel good about myself, but wouldn’t it be easier to just fix the real problem? After all, as they say, “quality matters” … even at home.
A third and final work around?
I know one thing, I am getting a little tired of moving all the nice trinkets off the toilet cover just to transfer the water from the pail to the tank. Maybe I should just relocate the candles, decorative soaps, magazines and other articles to another area so we can keep our workaround going.
No way my wife is going to go for that.
Has anybody got any ideas how we could work around her?
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