Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Houses need water, but not too much

The Public Services Department in Salt Lake City is housed in one of the most interesting pieces of architecture in the city. This isn't saying much, since Salt Lake seems to be thoroughly uninterested in preserving the Old and regularly knocks down Old Things in order to put up much less interesting New ones. In any case, it was one building I knew how to reach, since Jason and I scoped it out one night after eating Nacho Mamas at the Vertical Diner, which is in the same neighborhood. The conversation went something like this:
Jason: What the heck IS that?
Me: I don't know.
Jason: Let's go find out.

And that's how I ended up learning where the Public Services Department is located, so I was feeling pretty good about myself when I set off to go there today, to sign up for garbage, recycling, water and sewer service.

The Public Utilities people inside told me that my water was already turned on, which was surprising, seeing as no water comes out the faucets. I somehow remarkably remembered where the water valve for the whole house is, probably because it is located in the worst possible spot, in the not-the-slightest-bit finished part of the basement where you have to scramble up the concrete embanked foundation, sucking in your stomach to get past the furnace and then trying not to get insulation in your hair when you crawl on hands and knees over the dirt to get to the Very Important Faucet. When I twisted it, it made gurgling noises, but nothing dramatic happened. I took this as a good sign.

Later on, as I was uninstalling and re-installing a doorknob and deadbolt combination for the 3rd time (turns out it doesn't work unless you put all the bits in the right places), I heard a dripping sound. I did the Hobbit basement limbo in record speed to get down there and to my horror, saw water dripping from the floor above. Luckily, it was not a pipe, but rather a Failure To Stop Filling situation in a toilet upstairs. Turning off the toilet seems to have stopped the water from flooding my bathroom floor and running into the basement. Gosh.

Neighbor update: There are young looking people across the street, who look like they own there own house and don't live in anybody's basement. This is promising.

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