Monday, February 16, 2009

The timing was perfect.

Because if it had happened at, oh, let's say 6:00 pm today, Eric probably would have arrived home to find me in a pile on a flooded kitchen floor crying. I've generally found that

Emily + pregnancy hormones + frustration ≠ a good time

Last night I was in the kitchen washing my hands at one of the two sinks in there. The second sink had my 8-quart stock pot and 5-quart dutch oven each full of water and soaking after making salsa and sweet pickles yesterday afternoon. Just as I was reaching for the towel to dry my hands off, I heard a loud crash behind me, followed by the sound of flowing water. I quickly turned around to see a large hole in the countertop where my sink used to be.

I went rushing over to see what happened. Halfway there, my bare feet were splashing through water. Lots and lots of water. I got to the sink area, reached through the hole in my countertop, and grabbed my two Calphalon pots from the fallen, sideways sink - they had maybe four cups of water left between the two of them.

In case you were wondering, 12 quarts of water covers A LOT of surface area.

Standing there in shock and disbelief in an expanding pool of water, my first instinct was to cry. Because that's such a logical reaction. But then I remembered my sweet, helpful, rational, (not pregnant) husband was at home. So I called out across the apartment, "Um, Sweetie . . . could you please come help me in the kitchen . . . quickly"

He had heard something fall. And then when I asked for his help, he quickly assumed I had dropped the 6 pints of salsa we had made while trying to put them in the freezer. You can imagine his relief when he came in the kitchen and just found water on the floor. (As opposed to salsa splashed on every surface within a 20' radius . . .)

What he wasn't so excited to see was this:

Of course, this wasn't exactly the first image he saw. These pictures were taken after we had everything cleaned up and the sink/garbage disposal moved into an upright position. They actually fell more sideways and were laying across everything stored under the kitchen sink.Trying to figure out how the heck a sink spontaneously falls, we did a little investigating and discovered that our under-mounted sink, with the biggest, heaviest garbage disposal you've ever seen (we're talking like, seriously, over 30 pounds . . . maybe over 40) attached to it, had absolutely no support holding it up. Whatever genius installed the sink just sort of plastered it to the bottom of the countertop. Seriously, I have no idea how it lasted as long as it did!

The one redeeming factor about the whole thing: a flexible drain pipe. A shattered pvc sewage line would create a whole new set of problems!

See how our other kitchen sink (below) has some braces under it? That seems like it might have been a good idea for the sink supporting the gigantic hunk of steel (aka the garbage disposal.)

So today's plans now include dealing with the apartment owner's representative and getting someone out here to fix my sink. I could end up curled up in a ball on the floor crying still . . . especially if they send me my same little plumber friend from last time. Oh, and have I mentioned we have company coming into town on Wednesday? Yeah, maybe the timing wasn't so perfect.


AcesHigh said...

no wonder hehehe

your sink is probably one in the entire country with a garbage disposal! Seriously, I didnt even know those existed in Brazil!

Corinne said...

What a mess!! And I can´t even send over my clever fix-man hubby to help, because he is out of town. At least you have another sink. Aces - my sinks have garbage disposals too. I had never seen it in Rio, but seems to be pretty common in BH.

Ray Adkins said...


Every apartament we lived in Sao Paulo had gargage disposals.
If you ever pay attention to Silvio Santos show on Sundays he has advertised a certain brand of "garbage disposals" for over 30 years now.
It is a very popular product in the big cities because it simplifies the garbage collection.
You probably live in a small town where the garbage system is not as complicated as in big cities such as BH and Sao Paulo.

Ray Adkins said...


Just in case you don't know, in Portuguese it is called "BIODIGESTOR".

lovelydharma said...

Oh man -- that's ACTUALLY happened to me! And we don't even have a garbage disposal! (And I agree with Aces.. I didn't know they existed here either nor had I seen them in apartments I"ve stayed in in Rio or São Paulo.)
The under the sink mounting system must certainly leave a lot to be desired. I thought I was the only one with that kind of bad luck. We got it fixed - glued/braced - but I"m always nervous if it gets too full of dishes. At least you didn't loose the salsa! (mmmm... salsa....;-)

Emily said...

Wow, and here I was thinking it was my bad luck. Let's just blame it on shoddy workmanship, shall we? :)

Must be one of the many regional language differences . . . here in BH they call it a "triturador" though it's also been referred to as a "tweeny". I personally prefer the latter because it's more fun to say.

Mrs. S said...

Oh my. Im glad it was the sink! i was getting worried when I read the "short version" in my reader!!

Hope you get that taken care of soon, not that I know too much--just from others blogs, but getting people to fix things in brazil seems to be quite the conundrum! well let's just be honest seems to be the biggest pain in the you know what EVER.

Ray Adkins said...


Thanks for sharing, that must certainly be a regional difference.
By the way, I think "triturador" really does make more sense than "Biodigestor".
Tweeny is funny...
Our town in Rhode Island only allows a tweeny if your house is connected to the city's sewer system. We just got connected last year, before that we only had septic tanks.
The house next to ours was built in 1739 and ours is super new for the neighborhood, had just being built in 1946.
We still don't have a tweeny but are planning to install one now that we have entered the 21st century ( sewage wise off course ).

AcesHigh said...

here in Rio Grande do Sul we also call it "triturador"... and we usually only see those in american movies. Terror movies in special love them. "oh, its not working... let me put my hand inside to see if it will work again".

I live in a small city (Novo Hamburgo, 260k) but its near Porto Alegre, where the metro area has 4 million people (almost the same as BH). And trituradores are almost unheard of here.

I should buy one of those dinoussaur "trituradores" from The Flintstones :)