I would like to get through a week, just one week, without having to make the kind of decision about home improvement/auto repair that I am not smart enough to make and which when I do make it leaves me feeling like an incompetent boob and a born sucker.
Let me give you a tip nobody gave me when we were buying this house.
If the house you’re considering buying has a shiny and new looking bathroom and one of the things that makes it look so shiny and new is a bath tub liner, immediately demand that the sellers knock two or three grand off their asking price.
This is why. At some point after you’ve taken possession of the house that liner is going to pull away from the wall a tiny bit and develop a leak. Water will seep in between it and the side of the tub and become trapped underneath. Stepping on that trapped water will feel like stepping onto a water bed but more to the point it will cause the tub liner to deform and pull farther away from the wall so that more water gets trapped underneath while water also now starts getting on the other side of the old tub and onto the floor underneath---the puddles forming directly below in your basement will tell you when this has begun to happen.
This is a common problem with no common or easy fix.
You might---might---be able to remove the drain, slip the nozzle of your shop vac in there and vaccum the water out. But you risk cracking the drain shoe which you can’t replace without taking out the whole tub. Your only other option is to rip out the liner, and when you do that you will find that the reason the former owners installed the liner is that they didn’t want to pay to replace or reglaze the old scratched, rusted, cracked, or otherwise damaged bathtub.
And that old liner cannot be put back after you’ve drained the trapped water. Ripping it out requires ripping it up. You need to special order a new liner which takes over a week to arrive and install, at a cost of upwards of a grand.
If you’re lucky you’ll discover that the old tub only needs reglazing, which you can get done for around 500 bucks, but your tub will be out of commission for several days, and if you only have the one bathroom…
The quickest solution is to just assume the worse and call in the remodellers to put in a new tub. They can do that in a day but you’re probably looking at spending between two and three grand.
Which you’d feel better about spending if you knew you’d actually put that money aside when you talked the former owners down on their asking price.
I’m just relating what I’ve learned from some Googling and from spending the last couple of hours calling plumbers and local handymen to ask about getting the problem fix.
Now, I already feel like an incompetent boob because I did not catch the problem in time. But I expect to more incompetent and boobish in the days to come because no matter what decision I make it will seem like the wrong one, even if I decide to have the liner taken out to see what horror lies beneath and strike lucky and discover that all that needs to be done is to have the tub reglazed. I won’t feel competent or smart, because now we’ll have to go several days without a useable shower and bath, but I won’t feel quite as big an incompetent as I expect I will feel if I just take the easy route and call in the remodelers who will tell me after they’ve removed the old tub that it wasn’t really in all that bad a shape.
I’m praying that that the next phone call I make will be to a home repair genius who will say, “Oh that’s an easy fix. I know just how to do it. Take me a couple of hours. Boom boom done. Two hundred bucks.”
You’ll notice I’ve already ruled out putting in a new liner, a decision I’m already regretting.
At any rate, I have to go make my calls, after which I’ll collapse in a heap of despair and self-reproach, so that post you’re all waiting for me to write on the mythological inconsistencies in the portrayal of Athena’s daughter in Percy Jackson and the Olympians will have to wait till later. Sorry about that.