Culligan came last week to install a water softening system. This is something we should have done years ago--hard water here. Over two grand to purchase the system--could have rented, free installation, salt included, for $30 per month. I don't know--do you really want to own the system? Anyway, we do. Sadly, Culligan now includes a system to improve drinking water in their sales pitch. Reverse osmosis, weird chemical tests, etc. Someone on TV said: if a person who comes to your door says your water has as much chlorine as a swimming pool, they are lying. I think a lot of people distrust their tap water now, some companies were exploiting this without bothering with water softening, so Culligan went into the business as well. A crazy world.
Also the Culligan guy quoted something like $2400, and when we hesitated, he knocked off $200. Great, the prices are really meaningful.
The weirdest part: the Culligan man cut some of our copper water pipe, in order to replace one length with his own plastic tubing. He pointed out to me that when the two copper ends touched, there were sparks. He could also make the lights flicker.
I called the electrician in kind of a panic. The good news was that this wasn't a big shock, like the main household current--instead a very small current. The electrician left a message back: probably a ground problem inside or (worse) outside, no big deal. It's fun to look it up on the internet.
So last night all the living room lights (plugged into non-grounded outlets) were flickering from time to time. This morning I taped together two pieces of copper pipe--one of which is no longer carrying water. Problem seems solved. Weird. Old houses.