Thursday, November 7, 2013

Living Dangerously

What does one do with sharp, prickly, potentially dangerous small objects that have outlived their usefulness? Why, drop them into the nearest available wall cavity, of course!

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Innocent hole in the wall, right?

This is what I found after removing the old recessed medicine cabinet in the downstairs bathroom. A large pile of rusty old razor blades, bent sewing pins, and broken needles!

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There were probably more that went down between the bricks!

I think I was aware of the little slot in the back of a medicine cabinet being used for that purpose many years ago, but I guess I wasn't prepared to find decades worth of old sharps in my bathroom wall!

But that was only the first brush with danger. As Jeff was tearing out the tub surround later the same evening, he happened upon an electrical outlet in the wall. A live outlet with plugs in it buried right behind the flimsy fiberglass surround, just under all the plumbing. You don't have to be an experienced remodeler to know that water and electricity DO NOT mix! We still have no idea what it goes to, or which breaker it's on, so we have been gingerly working around it for the time being.

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See that orange outline around the electrical box? This is exactly where Jeff found the outlet, just inches from the tub spout and all that insulation!

So, you would think that would be our excitement for the week. But no. When you start messing with an old house, that's when problems pop up. In order for us to tear out the old wall-mounted sink (on which the shut off valve had broken), the plumbers came out and capped off the old galvanized pipes in the basement that run to the bathroom. All was well for about 24 hours, until I noticed a strange noise suddenly. It turns out that the cap on the cold water line split and water was pouring out in the basement. This was just as we were sitting down to dinner, so Jeff had to get in the car and drive down to the corner where our water main is located (on the cross street about 500-600 feet as the crow flies, but he wasn't about to walk the bumpy pasture in the dark) and shut off our water. The plumber can't make it until the morning, so I filled a few jugs and pails in the time it took Jeff to get the water off. Sponge bath it is tonight, then!

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The blue arrow is pointing to the broken cap on the end of a very rusty galvanized pipe. You don't need an arrow to point out the growing pool of water underneath!

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