Last night I started to hear voices.

Umm no, make that noises. This weekend I replaced the main water valve to our building. The old valve was broken and could only be closed with lots of force with a big wrench, and even then it still leaked slightly. I was afraid that some time, the stem would just break off completely and I wouldn’t be able to turn off the water anymore. Not good.

So I put a new, better valve behind the first one. It’s scary to cut 1 inch thick pipe and then solder a new piece in it, but that part went well. So far so good. But because now the front garden tap was behind the main water valve, there would be no way to turn it off. So I re-routed the water pipes so they connected after the main valve.

But since there was a slight noise heard in the pipes, and it got worse an worse. Now, whenever I close a tap in our apartment, a moaning sound can be heard. It’s not very loud but loud enough to be annoying. I’m alone at home (Alison is in Toronto) so I can’t really pinpoint from where it emanates, because I can only be next to the tap when I turn it off. It appeared like it was coming from one of the apartments bathrooms, and after some googling, I found it it could well be caused by a malfunctioning toilet tank valve. So yesterday I finally got permission of the tenant to come and fix this.

Exchanging the old valve for a new one was not much work, but then I discovered that the toilet was not very stable anymore, and also that the toilet was continuously running. The running is easy, I’m going to get that part in a moment. The-instability however I can only cure by replacing the floor, and when I do that I might as well renovate the whole bathroom. The problem is that this particular tenant, um, is a heavy bather. At least 1 hour a day but often two or more hours a day he, and his girlfriend and daughter take a shower or bath. Their energy bill must be higher than their rent. So if I start renovating it, they can’t use the shower for a week, which is a big problem for them. There’s another point: If I renovate his bathroom, he certainly isn’t going to move out anymore. Plus, according Québec’s rental board laws, I can only augment the rent a little bit, just enough to recoup the renovation costs in 22 years. But I told him I want to do it anyway (if it’s going to leak it will leak in our bedroom) but only during his holiday. He wasn’t sure he was going anywhere though, they might just stay home…

Anyway, back to the noise. Changing the valve didn’t cure the problem. It is something else. Air in the pipes? I just drained all the pipes in the whole building (again, needed permission of all tenants to turn their taps on and off again to let the air out) and filled them again. No dice, the sound is still there. I’m out of ideas. Why can such a simple thing make me so depressed? It literally drains all my energy.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. Let’s see if the noise, while I was writing this, has magically disappeared.

No such luck…

I’ll wait for Alison to come back and see if, with her help, I can pinpoint the exact location of the noise. Maybe with the two of us it goes away. Until then I’ll sleep on the couch with earbuds, so I won’t hear the noise.