And…poo. Again.

Justin and I were in the basement discussing how to reactivate the sole remaining Mouse Palace Motel bathroom in the universe.

Then Justin asked: “Is that water?”

And the day went to Hell.


Justin pointed to a corner of the basement under the parlor. And there was, indeed, a small pool of water in the corner.

We walked over. And stared, dumbly, at the water. We then instinctively looked up to the radiator pipes above. But…there were no drips. So we looked again at the small puddle on the floor. Then back up. Still…no drips.


Justin looked at the basement wall. Then he dragged his finger across the wall.

Oh. There was a thin stream of water trickling down the wall.

Well, poo. Triple poo!

(I want to write: Well, fuck. Triple fuck! But a reader recently complained about my bad language.)

We followed the stream up and up and up. And then it vanished into the stone of the thick foundation.

Oh dear.

We then looked at each other. Alarm was etched into our eyes.


Oh, sorry.


We raced upstairs.


In the parlor, we found that a radiator had a steady stream running from a connection. FU…POO! You can see the stream upper center. I placed a metal piece under to direct the stream


The water had gotten under the finished floor, which…buckled it. And, sorry, but this really was a FUCK moment. Poo just will not do.


All the flooring just under the radiator was buckled. So, I ruthlessly cut out a corner of the finished floor, and drilled drilled drilled through the underfloor so that the piss stream would flow into the basement where it would not cause any damage.

Gosh darn it!

Travis came right over, and tomorrow the radiator system will be shut down, the system drained, the evil radiator removed, and, hopefully, the problem corrected.

I need a lot of flooring repaired in the house so this will simply be added to the list. And the damage seems confined to the corner.  So, as bad things go, this was not so bad.

A greater concern is why the leak took three weeks to manifest. An eek thought.



  1. Sandra Lee on February 7, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Good thing it was noted while only a corner buckled & not a whole floor. This endeavor is kick ass restoration. This latest is a WTF moment– you are colorful & use colorful language. Sensibilities of tea party manners need to get over it. You are entertaining & I object to your restraint. I want you to remain unleashed w the dragon out of the cage.!!!

    Preposterous in 2018 folks object to a bit of colorful language just bunk😱

    • tiffaney jewel on February 7, 2018 at 10:53 pm

      I agree with this entire comment. Ross seems a lovely man, and if he needs to drop an f-bomb, it’s probably for a good reason! And I’d count this as a good reason. See how prim and proper you can be when your house is leaking water through a recently renovated section, and THEN complain about Ross’ language! (Not you, obviously. I know you’re not complaining!)

  2. Cindy Belanger on February 7, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    NO, oh no Ross. It’s Murphy’s Law at work. Will you replace the radiator or not? I see you had one on each side of the bay window.

  3. Randy C on February 7, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Sorry Sandra, but it’s truly preposterous that in 2018 many folks have lost just about every small bit of polite decorum. Vulgarity adds absolutely nothing to conversation.

    Sorry Ross, just couldn’t keep quiet any longer. I do enjoy your blog and just try to quietly overlook, but Sandra’s last sentence just set me off.

    • Ross on February 7, 2018 at 10:22 pm

      I am OK with Sandra’s opinion.

      And I am OK with yours.

      Diversity is good!

      • john feuchtenberger on February 9, 2018 at 7:23 am

        “When you’re lying awake with a dismal headache, and repose is taboo’d by anxiety, I conceive you may use any language you choose to indulge in, without impropriety.”

        Gilbert and Sullivan always have a word, what?

  4. Carla on February 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    The language? You are who you are, and change for no one but yourself. If one day the language no longer feels right, then you will change.

    My bigger concern is this, how long will it now take for you to feel you can trust those radiators? When a car lets me down, trust is broken and it takes a long time for that trust to be restored. I’m that way with people, too! So I come back to saying you are who you are. Your reactions are dependable….when you’re telling a story, we know the response that’s coming!

    • Ross on February 7, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      Yea, trust is a big thing.

      After a week, the huge radiator in the dining room began leaking. Luckily, no damage, and it was an easy fix.

      Today, after three weeks, another radiator.

      So, yea, trust! Scary!

      • Jenine on February 8, 2018 at 10:29 am

        The delayed leak could be caused by the heat/cooling cycle as the radiator operates. Hopefully you won’t find any more?

        Regarding the *F* bomb drops… sometimes it’s the only way to keep from crying in frustration.

  5. Marjie on February 7, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Ross, if the system is drained, is it possible to air test it before refilling and bringing it back online again?…. My boyfriend Tom and I visited with you last summer during our tour. He has an industrial plumbing background and suggests using an 60 pound air test, leave it on for 24 hours and see if it’s holding pressure, if it drops you have other leaks.

    • Ross on February 7, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      A pressure test will not tell us WHERE the leaks are.

      • Tracy on February 8, 2018 at 12:48 pm

        They can if you can hear the air hissing or do the bubble test on the joints you can get to. Our neighbors did that and found all the leaks. They ran the pressure up a bit more though.

  6. Stewart McLean on February 8, 2018 at 3:39 am

    If it is any help, years ago I had a radiator connection that was a dreaded copper iron pipe union that developed just such a leak. There is a stretchy tape at the big box store. One holds one end near where one want to begin sealing the gap and wrap and pull the tape around the pipe near the leaking area to secure it to itself. Continue wrapping to, over and past the leaking area. As you pulls wrap and stretch, it adheres to itself. One continues to unroll as one works so long lengths don’t twist and tangle. When the leak stops and it is water tight, one cuts the tape and pulls and wraps the end. At this point it looks like an oh F… moment, because it looks like the whole thing is going to unravel. The final end doesn’t adhere well. A bit of electric tape can be used to secure the end, but doing nothing just leaves one with an end with a tail. One can also wrap more on top of your first section if it still has a small leak. It has really worked for me on water supply and waste pipes and lasted for years in places in my former rental properties. Here is a link to the stuff on the big box site.

    It can save you draining your system during the heat season. The final drain and repair can be done when the heat isn’t needed.

  7. Stewart McLean on February 8, 2018 at 3:43 am

    Epoxy putty can work on wet surfaces too if the leak is somewhere that you can’t wrap the tape. If the leak is large, a combination of the two might work.

  8. glenn on February 8, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Let the floor dry thoroughly. You may be surprised at how much it self corrects.

  9. Derek Walvoord on February 8, 2018 at 11:55 am

    The floors will settle down once they dry out. Don’t fret. A system that has not been on for years will need a little love/work (and a few sacrifices) to get back into full service. I had a plumber tell me that these systems are “self healing”, meaning that there is enough schmutz in the system to plug the little holes on their own. So – takeaway – it will be fine, but irritating this winter.

  10. Tony johnson on February 9, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    This is definitely a Fuck moment! You can always use bollocks like the British do and bonus it also mean “the testicles”. You be you!

  11. Lynn on February 10, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    There are few things more cathartic than a well placed f-bomb when something’s really going sideways.

    Many moons ago, when working a public-facing job, I had a moment that really needed an f-bomb. As tends to happen in public-facing jobs, this moment happened just as the bus from the retirement home was dropping off (just as often, it happened when the young mom with 6 little kids happened by). I’ll never forget the zillion-year-old lady who looked at me struggling to keep my composure through a huge hot mess and said, “You can’t so I’ll say it for you… MotherF***er!”

    I think of her whenever propriety would demand that I stifle whatever it is that I’d really like to say. So thanks for this post… it made me think of her and how she gave a literal f*ck when it was most needed.

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