Sunday, November 21, 2010

Apartment Repair Karma

Every apartment has its own unique quirks.  Our last apartment had a management quirk--that was fun.  Our current apartment seemed delightful and quirk-free until this weekend.  If it could go wrong, it did.

Saturday night, the toilet became plugged.  Never mind who did it--we both need to eat more fiber to be sure--it happened.  We both gave plunging a go, a go, and a go again, until we finally realized that our black rubber plunger was completely useless.  By that point, both of my hands were raw.  The water would drain, but slowly and never completely.  After a shower and some research online, we determined we should buy a new plunger, one that would actually flex and bend and work.  We hopped over to Home Depot and grabbed one of those little red plungers, the kind that flex really well and are super cheap.  Obviously the non-flex rubber kind didn't work, so maybe this kind would, right?  Well... it did end up creating much better suction and did help out a lot, but by the time we went to bed (three hours later), I had a blister and could hardly straighten back up after being hunched over the plunger.  We hoped a good long "soak" overnight would help things along.  This morning was no different than last night: partial flush, slow drain, no luck.  We could put liquid waste in the toilet, just nothing solid.  I finally had to go around 3pm and determined to give 'er one more good plunge session before we called in the apartment emergency line to have it fixed.  The toilet flushed just fine.  Best sound I've heard all weekend!

And then there was the wall heater.  Anyone familiar with modern apartments knows the joy of Cadet heaters.  They're these useless little holes in the wall that heat is supposed to blow out of, but my experience is something more like a useless little hole that just blows warmish air and costs me a lot of money.  Well it's finally getting cold outside, and our delightful apartment was a tropical 62 degrees inside when we got home from Salem last night.  I was so cold, I had to curl up with two blankets between plunging sessions.  I was worried the toilet was going to freeze before we got it unclogged.  So I turned on the wall heater in the living room.  The elements inside the heater starting glowing red-hot immediately, and there was a burning smell quickly thereafter.  I knew a fan was supposed to kick on to blow the hot air, and nothing happened.  It was pretty scary.  We turned the heater off and figured we'd just tell the maintenance guy on Monday (when we're supposed to get snow!).  But this afternoon, we were under 60 degrees inside.  We were cold.  I figured, what the heck, if it works it works, right?  So I turned the wall heater on again.  No red coils.  The fan kicked on right away.  All is well.

Holy freakin' crap.

So the toilet is fixed and the wall heater is fixed and our overall comfort has increased considerably since last night.  I pulled a muscle and wore a blister from plunging a toilet this weekend.  Yeah.

How was your weekend?

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