The heating system in our house consists of radiators. And when said house is over 100 years old, that radiator system is bound to come wrapped up in some issues. Or perhaps I should say many issues.
Three winters ago, the first winter we spent in the house, had me turning on the heat one morning after Josh left to work. I was just so cold and even though it was only the beginning of November and not yet technically winter, I made an executive decision to turn on the heat when I saw cold air coming out of the baby's mouth - and we were in the kitchen. Wearing sweatshirts.
So I turned it on and I heard the boiler click on. That seemed like a good thing - until steam started pouring out of the radiator in the dining room. I called Josh at work, not having a clue what to do because steam was still coming out and I had already clicked the heat off. Hmm. Josh came home, posthaste, as he likes to say, and donning an oven mitt he reached his arm down into the darkness that lurks under the radiator cover and turned that boiling hot and yet tiny metal knob that controls the steam and other stuff that comes out of the radiator to the off position. Then he went back to work and I put a second layer of sweatshirts on the children. Kind of like we are wearing right now - three years later.
And that brings us to the present. Along the way there have been various plumbers parading through the house throwing fun facts at us, such as, "you really need to change all the valves on your radiators" and "it helps to bleed the radiators each year" and the one we liked the most, "I just have to run to the supply store, I'll be right back". We never saw him again. And thankfully, he never sent a bill because I believe Josh would have used that bill as a lovely way to start a fire in our non-working fireplace.
But I digress.
The current issue (problem seems like such a negative word, no?) with our radiator system is that the one in our upstairs bathroom leaks. The one in the attic leaks too, but that's an entirely different story. I will, however, take one more detour before I come back to the leaky bathroom radiator. We bought this house in the summer and we noted that wow, the air conditioning works pretty well. In fact, it does not, but if you are coming from a small apartment without any air conditioning in the bedrooms, you might think this house is pretty chilly in the summer too. Anyway, because we were so focused on the coolness of the house, we neglected to notice that there was no radiator in the bathroom. At all. I mean, there was a pipe and all, hidden under a radiator cover, but the actual radiator was missing.
And so when the cold weather set in and we had finally recovered from the initial steam-laden bout with the radiators and had the heat working pretty well, we finally realized that the bathroom was insanely cold - pretty much at the same time that we realized it was time to bathe the kids, "hey, it's freakin cold in here. Turn up the heat, please!", one of us yelled to other down the stairs. And that's when we noticed the lack of a radiator. So we bought a space heater and made do until Josh had time to go up to the attic and somehow lug an extremely heavy radiator down the steps to the bathroom. It's a wonder that the whole thing didn't fall through the steps and land in the basement.
Months later (because that's how long it takes us to complete home improvement projects) and after much drilling and hacking away at the lovely tiled bathroom floor, and after many calls to Josh's childhood friend who happens to be a plumber and after many many trips to Home Depot, the radiator was installed in the bathroom, and all was well and toasty.
And then this winter that radiator started to leak. We tried ignoring it but for some reason, it still leaked. We tried thinking about tightening various valves, but again, it leaked. We even put a small aluminum pan under the radiator to catch the water but it filled up too fast - and that's saying something because the leak really was very slow, like three drips a day or something. I feel the problem with the pan was that we just forgot it was there and so never emptied it. And then one day, Josh had a brilliant idea. I know what you're thinking. He called a plumber. But no, that would be too easy and way too costly. No, my love placed an open diaper under the radiator to catch the water and it lasted waaaay longer than the pan ever did. It lasted a good few weeks, maybe longer. I can't say for sure because I have no idea when he put it there. And then this morning we pulled that diaper out and I have to say, I have never seen such impressive soaking up of, well, anything.
This is a Luvs diaper. We love Luvs. We switched to Luvs when we had our second child and we realized that diapers were insanely expensive and that we would be having two in diapers. Pampers are only for coddled first children. There, that's a whole other psychological discussion in itself that we may or may not come back to at a later date.
Here is a picture of the diaper.
It's a little hard to tell how full of leaked water it is. I would have liked to weigh it, but I do not have a scale. My mom does though, and we are going there later so if I can muster up enough blase self confidence to not care what others think, I might just bring that baby over there and weigh it. I mean, I'm curious, aren't you?
The only remaining question I have is, if this diaper can hold all that water, why can't it stay dry overnight when a child of mine is wearing it? I mean, sure, most of the time it does, but on occasion a little one will wake up in nothing less than a lake. And that little kid is certainly not outputting overnight as much as a radiator does over the course of a few weeks.
I don't have an answer. But please, discuss amongst yourselves. I'm going to make sure Josh remembered to put a new diaper in bathroom.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)