Friday, February 4, 2011

Broken Pipes + Playboy of the Western World

This Friday provided quite a challenge to my organizational abilities and peace of mind. The only thing I planned on doing on Friday was attending a play, titled "Playboy of the Western World" put on by the Adobe Theater here in Albuquerque. One of my buddies caught a ride to Santa Fe with me in order to snow board. He was 25 minutes late to my house, making it so I did not get to work as early as I would like. While at work, one of my tenants called to inform me that my pipes had broken, and my garage was filling up with water (see the below picture.) As that instant, I remembered speaking with my mother, and agreeing that I should put a space heater in my garage to prevent this from happening, and then immediately forgetting. So, I called my buddy and he replied that he was leaving the mountain now, and would be there shortly. 1.75 hours later, he arrived at my work.

The Beautiful Fountain

Luckily, my friends David and Efrain were able to pick up supplies for me to make this project progress as quickly as possible and work in parallel while I was driving back from Santa Fe. We shut off water from the main, stopping the leak and leaving everyone in my three apartments (Greg, Ben + Franciska, Me + 3 house guests) without water for a short time. Luckily, my tenants are some of the most flexible people, and were much all right being without water for a few hours.

After shutting of the main, Dave and I went to see the amazing play! My friend Kristina Caffrey invited us to to attend the play she is in titled "Playboy for the Western World." The play was funny, well staged and generally a positive experience. For only $15, the play was an extremely good value compared to seeing one of the pieces of crap Hollywood puts out and Albuquerque consumes for $12 at Century {12/21}. After the play, Dave, Kristina and I went for appetizers and drinks at Zinc, an extremely pleasant place to drink a beer and listen to music.

Unfortunately, these shut offs were not effective for the leaks

There were three things that helped me maintain my piece of mind during this process. The first was that I could depend on my good friends Dave and Efrain to help me solve this problem. Efrain has skills at plumbing, and was able to reason through intelligent solutions and alternatives with me. Additionally, his plumbing skills allowed him to pickup all of the necessary supplies for actually fixing this project. Dave helped with the soldering, and other logistics associated with this project.

The second element was how flexible my tenants are. They were without water for a total of six hours. After Albuquerque had temperatures of -7F, which are twenty year records, they understood we might have some slight infrastructure problems. My tenant Greg tried to shut off water at the main, and was very understanding about any issues that would occur. Ben and Franciska were understanding and cool as well.

The third thing that helped me was the ability to improvise and the familiarity with tools and construction techniques my father taught me. If you mess up a project, come up with a way to make your error into a beautiful embellishment. As a result of his training, I am extremely familiar with numerous tools and construction techniques. If it were not for this training, being a landlord would not be a viable economic enterprise for me.

Combining these three things I am grateful for, with the fact that these pipes burst in an ideal position (unused washer hook-ups which could simple be disengaged through sweating caps on with a torch) made it so I was able to fulfill my duty as a landlord, and still have a fun time at the play.

The Final Solution - Cap The Pipes

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