The Leaky Faucet Dilemma

Once upon a few Saturdays ago I awoke to a leaky sink.  I googled “leaky sink repair” and called the top search result.  He answered and agreed to come and assess my sink- he arrived within the hour.  He was tall, dark and charming and introduced himself as Sam.

I brought Sam to the leaky sink and he peered over the drip with childlike inquiry for several minutes.  He finished his assessment and walked out of the bathroom and proclaimed that it is an easy fix as he walked out the front door.  He returned with another person, who was in a uniform and carrying a bucket.  He walked straight to my bathroom with the bucket, while Sam stood in my dinning room filling out papers on a clipboard.  The bucket was placed in my sink, under the leak.  I proceeded to ask, “why did you place a bucket in my sink?”

“To collect all your leaks- you have a leak problem, right?”, Sam replies.

“And what happens when the bucket is full”, I ask, despondently.

“We will return and swap it out with a new one”

“I see.  So your plan, to remedy my leak problem, is to catch the water in a bucket and every time the bucket fills up with water you will replace it with another bucket.  Am I understanding you correctly?”

“Yes, absolutely.  That is how we remove leaks”

“I am perplexed by this solution, how does this makes the leaks stop?”

“Well, at some point in time the water will grow weary of being leaky and tired of landing in our bucket and when this happens, it will stop leaking.”

“Are you stating that the leakiness quality is that of the water and not that of the sink?”

“Well certainly, some water is destined to become problematic and leak, it is our job to remove it”

“Remove it?  Where does the ‘leaky water’ go?”

“It is all brought to a central location and it is stored and heavily secured, to ensure that it does not create future leaks.”

“Even if the water is destined to leak, isn’t possible to fix the faucet in a way that prevents leaks from occuring?

“A faucet is connected to an entire plumbing system that is interconnected between millions of homes, there is no way to make a system that large incapable of leaks.  Additionally, we do not have the knowledge or desire to repair it.”

“So far, of all the leaks you have worked on, have any of the leaks grown weary of leaking and stopped?”

“Not yet, but we’re confident they will stop soon”

“If the leaks don’t cease, won’t all the sinks eventually begin to leak?”

“Not all of them, there are a small percent of faucets that have Leak Guard– an after-market product that can prevent aggressive leaks from penetrating.”

“Oh really?  Can I buy one?  How much is it?”

“I can certainly order one for you, if you like.  The upfront cost is about $450k, about $10k to install  and the monthly maintenance fee is about $8k.  I know those costs seem high, but the cost to repair your home after a flood caused by a leak will be significantly more.”

“If you are going to catch my leak in a bucket and replace the bucket when it gets full, then how would I be at risk of flooding?”

“Well, it is possible, that on occasion we will miss a bucket swap, if there happens to be a more pressing swap or if the swap occurs during a shift change or late at night.  This does not happen often.”

“Define not often

“No more than 3-4 times per week, tops.”

“So you are saying that 3-4 times per week you will not replace my bucket and my bathroom may flood”

“Yes, that is the risk of owning a sink.  You are welcome to use your own bucket and remedy this problem on your own if you like”

“Ok, I will consider that option.  How will you know when the bucket is full anyway?”

“You can call and alert us and we will also monitor your Facebook and all other social media- so if we see a post about your leak, or any other leak, we will respond accordingly”

“uh huh.  How long will it take you to respond to a call or a, uh,Facebook post?”

“Anywhere between 20min and 2 days”

“So I have to predict when this bucket will become full and give you a call with a window of 47 hours and 40min to respond?”

“Yes, precisely.  You’re quite handy with numbers.  If you need anything else, please do not hesitate to call.”  He hands me a business card as he packs up his clipboard and heads for the door.  I peer down and read the card and it reads:

“Sam, San Jose mayoral candidate 2014

A vote for Sam is a vote to move forward”

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