Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cyprus plumbing and construction...part five

Nope, still not the final installment. Sigh.

So Tuesday morning my friend C and her husband T came over and had a look at everything. I kind of lost track of how many times T asked, "Why did they do it THIS way?" "Why did they use THIS connection?" etc. The plumber did NOT arrive at the agreed upon time of 10:00--normally, I'd never expect them to, and lack of punctuality is part of the culture and I'm not generally bothered by it...but after the past week, it wasn't taking much to annoy me, and seeing as C and T had come over TO meet with the plumber, not to mention that I was actually supposed to be leaving the house at 10:00, I was irritated. After yet another phone call to Mr. George (I don't have the phone numbers of my husband or children or any close friends memorized, but I do have Mr. George's telephone number memorized now...), the plumber finally arrived. He didn't even greet us, just walked through the house into the laundry/shower room. We followed him, and after glances and shrugs at each other, I was very glad when T stepped forward and started discussing things with him in Greek. We showed him all the leaks (after my post of the day before, I'd found a couple more--I think there were seven or eight altogether?), and when T asked him why he'd done such-and-such, he said that it was because he wasn't paid enough.

This was one of the leaks that I found while looking over everything with T, before the plumber arrived: according to T, that black connection is the wrong kind for the white pipe, and it was dripping quite a bit. This is the supply of the water for the whole house, from the tank on the roof. (Edited to add: this is actually only the HOT water supply.)

So the plumber asked if I would be home and said that he would fix everything. Marie and Jacob were here, with Katie, and Jörn was at his usual Tuesday morning art session and had taken both Lukas and Helen, so I headed to Sue's house as usual on Tuesday, although nearly an hour late and only with Elisabeth. I tried again and again to get a decent photo of Sue, Elisabeth, and Sophia (the cat), but this was the best I managed:

I had quite the text exchange with Mr. George while there:

"Did they come?"


"Please tell them all your trouble with the pipes. The rest I will handle them."

"I had a friend to explain things in Greek. The plumber said that they did things the way they did because they weren't paid enough."

"He is saying (explicative) you know. They were paid as you know even before they finished. They were paid as much as they asked. So Mrs sheilla you know the truth"

"I'm not blaming you. I think they did a bad job because they're bad plumbers. I suggest you don't hire them again!"

"Of course I will never give them a job or recommendation"

I'm not sure I was entirely honest about saying I didn't blame Mr. George...I do, partly, but he's only the mediator for his aunt, who owns the house, and who doesn't ever want to spend any money, so he told the plumbers to do it as cheaply as possible. However, I found out later that they were paid TWO THOUSAND EUROS for this job! So skimping on a correct connection which probably costs a couple of Euros is obviously absurd, and it WAS planning for Mr. George to pay them before they were finished.

After Elisabeth and I left Sue's, I finished cleaning their guest flat, which is where we had stayed for a week, and while we were walking home, Jörn phoned. He said that the plumbers were gone, Marie and Jacob didn't know anything, and the toilet wasn't attached. I of course took a photo as soon as I got home:

More phone calls...Mr. George said that a new toilet was going to be installed. Eventually, someone else showed up, carrying boxes with a toilet, a tank, and a new seat. He commented that he hadn't seen the house for 10 or 15 years, and I asked if he was also a relative of Mrs. Panaiota, and he said yes, he's Mr. George's brother. He's "in the renovating business", but had been very busy on another job, which was why he hadn't been able to oversee this one, and he was very sorry.

Anyway, the plumbers didn't show up again until about 5:00 p.m., and then the new toilet didn't fit. Lots of phone calls back and forth, and eventually another toilet was delivered. We heard banging, etc., while we were having dinner, they went in and out the front door multiple times, and then...we realized that they were gone. The toilet was installed and water was working, and they'd left quite a muddy mess all over the bathroom floor and down the hallway to the front door:

At this point, we discovered that the phone and internet weren't working, so I texted Mr. George yet again: "The plumbers left without saying anything! Is everything fixed? Can we use the toilet? Can we use the washing machine?" He texted back "I tried to find you but nobody answered the home phone. He suggest we wait for tonight for the toilet so the glue dries. Only this. He said everything is ok" I don't understand why he didn't phone one of our cell phones, since he obviously has the numbers!

In the meantime, Helen HAD already used the toilet. I didn't (still don't) know if "wait for tonight" meant wait some certain number of hours until the evening, or not use the toilet overnight, or what. I just told everyone to sit very carefully. We'd been using the toilet in the guest flat all afternoon, which is fine during the day, but not very practical for the middle of the night. (Not to mention that the light bulb in the guest flat bathroom is burned out AND the fluorescent tube in the guest flat kitchen is flickering horribly, neither of which I knew about before.)

So in the mess of the bathroom we have a shiny new toilet:

And, I noticed later, a shiny new tap:

Nothing in the bathroom is visibly leaking, nor is the shower anymore, and the other leaks in the laundry room and outside had only happened while using the washing machine, and I haven't used it again yet. All they did, as far as I can tell, is squirt on a whole lot more silicon. I didn't go outside last night to see if the pipe outside is still leaking, nor have I been up on the roof yet to check out everything up there.

And of course, all the painted concrete floors still need finishing of some kind, so no, the adventure isn't over...

1 comment:

  1. But your new tap is so shiny!!! Doesn't that make up for everything else?

    Going to go hide before you throw some piece of plumbing equipment hard enough that it actually reaches me here in Australia. :-P

    I hope the house holds together for a bit longer and no more water leaks from where it shouldn't.

    Best wishes
    Jen in Oz