Home Sweet Home

The joys of home ownership are as numerous as the headaches. For every touch of love you put in, there's an equal and opposite catastrophe that requires you to empty your savings and learn about electrical work, plumbing or masonry.

Case and point, we have just finished doing the preliminary work on refinancing our house. Turns out we will be getting a home loan, have to pay a higher rate for a year and next year get a lower rate than what we have now. Doesn't affect our monthly payment, plus we get cash. Win win. I'm still a little confused as to how it works, but I know that the couple things left on our credit must be rectified. In purchasing the house in the first place, I know how fun dealing with your credit is, and no matter how much we fix things, in two years time something else from our past will probably pop up in a perpetual goose chase with faxes, pay stubs and phone calls.

But that's not the reason for my call, Doc. I was going off on the yin and yang of home ownership. So we are now expecting a good sized chunk of money in the next couple weeks (and for you Kato Kaylin's out there, it's to pay the bills we're already behind on, so don't look to us for a free club membership to Chez Austin.) With perfect English thespian timing, the air conditioner starts leaking. When I say leaking, I'm referring to how Niagara Falls leaks more than how a tap might drip a few times during the course of a day. There hasn't been this much water in our garage since our 2nd night in the house when I ceremoniously pried the water valve off the wall.

Being the industrious squirrels we are, and with some advice from Mr. Austin Sr., we made the trek to Home Depot and purchased some tubing, PVC elbows and other needed items and created a fine Rube Goldberg contraption designed to ferry the leaking water out of the AC/Water Heater closet and into the washing machine drain. It was A-Team tight. What we didn't count on was one thing. Water usually drips down and not up. So our ad hoc plumbing, while attractive and time consuming, really didn't do much. Along with a big air pump designed to inflate children’s' pools, we were at best keeping the deluge at bay.

A call to our local HVAC professionals, and $70 later revealed the AC doesn't drain out to where it should, but into the waste water line. We thought that made sense, so we called the City. City guy comes out and gives us the 411 on how the HVAC people screwed up out of $70 because nothing runs into the waste water line, gave us a boat load of tips on how to take care of these problems ourselves, and then didn't charge us a dime. Say what you want about city employees, this guy was top shelf. So we exchanged water on the rocks for his "contract" number in case we have any more questions and he went merrily on his way. Yeah we lost a day waiting for both these chaps, but the AC works for the next couple weeks and we have learned a valuable lesson. "It's always the 2nd guy that has all the answers."

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