Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day 1 fiscal fast: I took care of it myself

Today is the official start of our fiscal fast. Every penny saved will make for a much easier time, financially speaking, when I am off work, on unpaid medical leave. I've stocked up on supplies, trying to anticipate needs. Luckily, bills are caught up, several are prepaid for the year. It's the day to day efforts that I have to focus on. 

Today was a $0.00 day. Car stayed in the garage, laundry done (2 super sized loads) with only one machine dried (towels), the rest hung up near the huge radiator and the wood stove of the living room. All is dried, folded. All meals eaten from home as well. Dish washer run, but used the air dry feature, to reduce electric use. 3 zones of home are on programmable thermostats, so we hunker down together in one room as the day progresses. In another hour, the heat will drop to 55 in the main living area, so it's off to bed. The wood stove will still throw off some residual heat in the meantime.



One issue of concern has been our stall shower. I felt that it was a big sluggish a few days ago, noting that there was some "bubbles" over the shower drain as I showered. I chalked that up to a heavier hair conditioner I am currently using. No one else reported any issues. As I showered today, I definitely noted that water was starting to pool near the drain. We are on a well and septic, I do not want to be using harsh drain cleaners. First step: try a plunger, which did the trick, released whatever hair (?) clog was there, the water now drains away quickly. Moving forward, I will try a once a month baking soda followed by white vinegar chaser to keep clogs at bay. Much cheaper than hiring a plumber, which would be my responsibility as a tenant. Been here 16 months, first shower clog issue we've had in that time. In years past, it would have been my X's job to use a snake to unclog a pipe; glad I was able to address this on my own, and at no cost.

12 comments:

Marcia in rural WNY said...

My DD lives in an apartment building that has sewer issues from time to time, and she is not the most "macho" woman, however she has learned to use the snake without any problems. Her husband works straight nights, and her landlord is about 81 and doesn't always get there at a moment's notice, so it's to her advantage to be able to use it herself.

Softie said...

I think it's great that you were able to clear that clog yourself. I don't understand why it would be your responsibility to hire a plumber. Shouldn't that type of repair be the responsibility of the landlord?

ND Chic said...

You are a wonderful tenant to be concerned about the septic. Harsh drain cleaners are terrible for the natural bacteria that septics need. If you have long hair, can you just get a little plastic strainer to put over the plug? I'm not sure what they're called but you can buy them at any hardware store for a couple bucks.

doo said...

We usually use a zip it tool to clean out our tub and sink drain. That clump of hair coming out looks a bit nasty but works quicker than the plunger.

So satisfying though to be able to fix something yourself isnt it! :-)

Happy New Year to you!

Nancy said...

Carol: Follow the baking soda/vinegar with a boiling water 'flush' of that drain. With the old plumbing in my old house we have to do that here to prevent shower drain clog ups. It doesn't always work (college age daughter has long hair & isn't always good about cleaning up any that gathers around the drain cover) but 9 times out of 10 it keeps issues at bay.

Belinda said...

We stayed home today too and spent no money. Hoping to do the same today especially since it is raining here. I need to get our laundry done and gear up for going back to work on Monday. When do you all go back to school?

Belinda said...

Also meant to comment. We had that same issue with the drain in our shower and a quick plunge with the plunger took care of it as well. So nice to have it fixed with a simple trick and not have to spend any money. :)

Miss Sandie said...

Hello! I just wanted to tell you that I just found your blog about a week ago and have been trying to catch up on all the old posts. I am truly enjoying your information and getting to know you. Thank you and please continue to help us all make better financial choices!

Lili said...

Hi Carol,
A no-spend day for us, too. We are saving for a new water heater. Every last penny will count!

My two daughters have super long and thick hair. Even with a drain cover for the shower, some hair inevitably goes down the drain. But, most of it will sit just below the drain cover. Our cover snaps off with a tool, like a screwdriver. And then as super yucky as it is, I can reach in there with a coat hanger and drag the "hair mouse" out.

I have to do this about once every 3 months, to keep our shower draining well. And of course, I follow this little nasty exercise with a cup of ginger tea, to settle my nauseated stomach.

CTMOM said...

Softie, the drain in the shower was working perfectly well when I moved in 16 months ago. Fast forward and if there is a clog,it's our fault/responsibility to address it. If my plunger trick didn't work, I was going to resort to a plumber. Glad I didn't have to.

CTMOM said...

BTW-the stall shower does have a screen "plate" over the drain pipe, and most of us are good about clearing it, before leaving the shower, out of courtesy for the next person. That said, of course, some hair is getting down there.

Evon Brow said...

I understand where you're coming from. A DIY solution would cost less indeed. However, if the clog becomes a recurring problem, it would cost you more in the long run due to repetitive application. Rather than spending more in the future, I hope you consider getting your drainage system checked by trusted plumbers to get your money's worth.

Evon Brow