The 23rd December and the damp patch on the bathroom floor is getting worse. Then I flush the toilet and a small deluge comes from behind the bowl. Oh dear, we have a leak and it’s Christmas. Surely no-one will come out until after Boxing Day. I’ll just have to mop it up, or stop flushing unless it is absolutely necessary! Does it smell? I don’t think so. Perhaps it is the water from the cistern. I hope so. I just can’t see.
Christmas Eve, I email the plumber to warn him and ask if he can come as soon as Christmas is over. The reply comes whizzing back.’I’m off work until the second of February.’We cannot wait that long. I email a request for a recommendation. Ten minutes later there is a knock on the door. It is the plumber ( he lives in the next road) ‘Let’s have a look.’ he says. ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t wait until February,’ I say. ‘What do you mean, February? I said I couldn’t come until the second of January.’ ‘But you wrote February.’
He bent down and looked at the floor behind the toilet. Then he flushed it. ‘There’s a crack in the concertina pipe. It’s coming out of the toilet bowl. We can’t leave it like that. I think I have something in the garage that might help. It will mean taking the toilet out. It could be a long job.’But it wasn’t. Less than an hour later he had moved the toilet, pulled up the floor, taken out the old piping, with a large split in the fold, replaced with a new one and put the toilet back. He flushed it and nothing leaked. ‘You could have had a build up of waste under the floor,’he said. ‘But I’m due out in half an hour.’It was a relief to have someone sort out such a nasty problem. Christmas saved.