I stepped onto the carpet of the bathroom floor and immediately felt a wet squish. Looking down I could see where water had puddled and the carpet was stained. Oh great, I thought, a water leak. Dollar signs started flashing in my mind.
I called my hubs up to look. He said, “Well, if it’s a pipe leaking, it normally doesn’t happen in the middle of the floor as pipes are often brought up directly through the floor.” We discussed if it could be the sink, shower or toilet leaking. We discussed pulling back the carpet and then pulling up the sub-floor. We decided the most obvious culprit was the shower. Later when I took a shower and came back to a super wet floor, we thought we had figured it out. Even more dollar signs sprang to mind as I thought of plumbers and carpenters and my husband talked about having to replace the shower pan. I went back into the bathroom and that’s when I discovered the leak.
It had been right there in front of me and I still hadn’t seen it. You see, I’m trying to be conscientious as well as a frugal person. Whenever I take a shower I fill up a basin with the water that is heating up. When it’s full I pull it out of the way and put it on the edge of my tub. I then use that water to flush my toilet or water my plants.
The basin had been full and now it had barely a half-inch of water in it. I picked it up and through a very small crack one drip appeared and then another. As it had dripped down by the tub, it had found a lower spot in the flooring and settled there. So for something that probably cost a couple of dollars we were talking about tearing up carpeting and sub-floors and shower pans…simply because I didn’t obey Permaculture Principle Number Uno–OBSERVE!
So here’s the lesson:
Keep it Simple Homesteader.
Sometimes the things you overlook are the very things where you will find your answer.
Here’s a great example. Christine Faith of Ivywild Aquaponics and Neighborhood Farm and blogger at Right to Thrive noted that the first winter she began doing Aquaponics she went out to her greenhouse and found the fish moving extremely slowly. She considered their food, the chemical ratio, she went down the list. And then she did the thing that was simple. She stuck her hand in the water. And guess what? The heater had tripped and the water was too cold.
So the next time you can’t figure something out on your homestead, go back to the basics.
2. Use your senses: Sight, touch, smell, hear, taste.
3. Take your time to make a judgment as to how to proceed.
Keep it Simple and it just might save you some aggravation and money!