Honesty is the Best {Renovation} Policy

The Gingerbread Diaries

During one of our many trips to Lowes, I remembered our Brita pitcher had been flashing “change soon” the last few pours. But I had a dilemma: did I buy the single filter or the 3-pack? I waited for Todd to catch up to where I’d wandered and asked him:

Will you have the water filter installed in one filter’s lifespan or should I get the 3?

We got the three-pack.

It wasn’t that Todd was putting off the filter decision and installation on purpose, it was more than we had so many other things going on that using the filtered pitcher for drinking water bumped the whole-house filter down the list quite a ways. Plus, I appreciated his honesty.

I think this is one of those examples of why Todd and I have never fought in the 7 years we’ve been together: we ask questions and respect the answers. I could have just picked up the single pitcher filter with the expectation of him completing the larger task in the 1-2 months it would last and been frustrated when it wasn’t, that disappointment leading to an argument. He could have assured me that he’d get it done despite knowing that he probably wouldn’t, setting up yet another opportunity for drama. No, instead he was honest about the likelihood of getting to that line item, we got what we needed, and avoided that whole sitcom-level miscommunication bit that the media conditions us to expect.

And, for the record, he installed an under-sink filter in the kitchen during the second filter’s tenure.

Which brings up another lesson we’ve learned in the last few months:

Just because it's the right thing to do, doesn't mean it's the thing to do right now!

Just because it’s the right thing to do, doesn’t mean it’s the thing to do right now!

That bit of wisdom was realized during a leak issue that I’m not ready to talk about just yet, but it applies to the water filter decision, too. Originally the plan was to install a whole-house filter for particles, etc. and then an under-sink filter in the kitchen for taste. Todd bought the whole-house filter but when the time came to install it, he realized it wasn’t quite that simple.

Because of the way the house was built and then later added onto, we have 3 different supply lines running into the house. Basically, one for each of the bathrooms and one for the kitchen that has an offshoot to the water heater. This meant that a single access point to place the filter was not feasible. It also means that when we start the room-by-room renovations (of which the kitchen and bathrooms are foremost in importance) we’re going to be doing some rerouting of the pipes.

With the recent drop in temperatures we also realized that these 3 supply lines meant that we’d need to leave a faucet in each wet room running to prevent burst pipes during the overnight freeze warnings. The right thing to do is obvious: repipe the house. But it sure as hell isn’t the thing to do right now!

So we punted. Todd bought an under-sink filter for the kitchen and got it installed a few weeks ago. Of course, we’re so used to the Brita pitcher after the past few months that we haven’t gone back to our old habit of refilling water bottles to keep in the fridge, but at least now we can drink from the kitchen tap or fill a pot without worrying about how the water will affect the flavor of the meal. I’m also happy to report that the filter does not appear to slow the flow from the faucet at all (a big concern of mine with the under-sink option) and the actual filter will only need to be changed twice a year.

Of course, the filter is sitting perched on a plastic container inverted into another, larger, plastic container to keep it level and to catch any drips (just in case) because there’s no clear space to actually mount it to the wall under the sink thanks to the aforementioned creative plumbing solutions of the previous owners.

Again. Right thing versus right for now.