Searches, Plumbing, Trash & More

This is a long post, but if you’ve bothered to subscribe to the Bulletin Board and like what it offers, it’s probably worth your while to at least skim through to the end.

Periodically, someone asks for suggestions regarding plumbing issues, and there are simple ways to find those previous discussions as noted below. But first, in case people have some new input, here’s the latest request:

We’ve been living with a slow drain situation in our shower for a long, long time. We’ve tried plunging, baking soda and vinegar, denture cleaning tablets, boiling water, and every conceivable combination of each, but nothing has worked for us. Trying to use a snake ourselves, we can’t seem to get very far before we can’t turn a corner somewhere in the plumbing behind the wall.

Has anyone hired a plumber to deal with anything like this and found success? We’re afraid/suspicious there’s a clog narrowing the pipe beyond our reach, and we’re curious if a plumber with one of those camera snake doohickies might find success getting to it. Or, we welcome any and all recommendations!!!

I’ll save my own latest input regarding de-cloggers and knowledgable plumbers for the comments so I can move on to other info here.

This website, or at least part of it, has a search feature that is wonderful for finding useful information. The Bulletin Board and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor sections are both searchable; just click on the white magnifying glass in the green box. This allows typing in a key word—”plumbing” or “meeting” or “drain” or “trash” or “remodeling” or whatever—to find all the comments and suggestions and advice that residents have offered via this site over the past 8 years. Take said advice with a grain of salt since it’s not official or coming from professionals, and some of it may be out of date, but it’s there and easy to find.

The rest of the website, however, uses different software and does not have a search function. But the Useful Links page available via the navigation bar (on a smart phone click on the menu icon to find it) is loaded with goodies. I’ve had a couple of people ask lately for info about approved disposal companies for large items; the link is on that page (although I probably should have put it under “Links for Residents” instead of “Government & Services”) There are various other links there about disposing of unwanted items, including one for the city recycling site. The city recycling site has its own set of links; I recommend folks check out the Waste Disposal Guide available there. Granted, as a large building, the curbside pickup info doesn’t apply to us, but there’s lots of other info.

Also available on this site is the Condo Living page, a reasonably complete, informal overview of Canal Place policies, although the page is currently in need of an update or two. One rule that isn’t mentioned there is that our common area electrical outlets are not for private use. This means a unit’s residents or contractors are expected to use only that unit’s electricity and not any common area outlets. This also means that running cords from the lobby outlets outside for any reason is unacceptable, especially since it prevents the doors from latching and allows just anyone to walk in, thus making it impossible to keep the building secure.

And, finally, if you’ve made it this far, for anyone who wants to have a voice at this year’s annual meeting but can’t attend and has misplaced their proxy, a downloadable version can be found here. Please note, the time shown on the proxy is wrong; the meeting will begin at 6:00.

Reminders and Questions

A reminder that the official switchover between management companies takes place on November first. October condo fees should still go to BRIGS. Payment transition information is not available yet but is expected in the coming weeks.

I got the query below (in italics) from a resident. Does anyone have any experience with this? Years ago one could send a paint chip to a state lab to have it tested for free but now the state recommends hiring a lead inspector. My own response would be not to mess with that paint or those pipes other than carefully throwing on another coat of paint, but I’m no expert. Please give any input in the comments.

I have a question about the sprinkler system pipes. Do they contain lead? 

“There are many layers of paint on the pipe in my bathroom and I want to scrape and paint, to put a rust inhibitor layer before I repaint. But I don’t want to be exposing my family to lead.

Who would know?”

Also, FYI, subscribing to this bulletin board means receiving notices of posts; the system does not, however, send out notices for each new comment. People particularly interested in a recent topic will frequently check back for comments and respond, but comments on old posts, or in the Neighbor-to-Neighbor section, are very unlikely to be noticed by anyone beyond the admin (who does get notified automatically). Therefore, specific questions for one’s neighbors are best sent to the web admin to be put up on the site as a post rather than added somewhere as a comment.

Line Painting at the Roy Garage

I’m told signage has appeared at the Leo Roy Garage that they’ll be repainting lines this week, Tuesday the 13th through Friday the 16th, beginning with the first floor (which has already been cordoned off). If you’re like me and don’t use your car daily, please make sure to move it as needed so that it doesn’t interfere with the work, and so you don’t risk getting towed.

Central Street Bridge

There will be intermittent total shutdowns—including sidewalks—of the Central Street bridge during the coming week, Friday the 9th through Friday the 16th, to allow for the safe removal of existing steel beams as part of the ongoing repair work. Expect delays and use caution. See below for more details.

Don’t Forget the Water Shut-off

Just a reminder that the water to the building will be turned off intermittently on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (noon).  Please plan accordingly.

Often, when the water is turned back on, it may appear dirty or rusty.  If this happens, please run the faucets until the water runs clear.  If it appears that the water is trickling out, please remove the aerator at the end of the faucet stem, clean it off, and replace it.  The water should then run fine.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to management.


And now for something a little different. Old mills having been dangerous places, I’m sure there were lives lost in this one, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a question like this. I can say up front that there has been no unexplained weirdness in my own unit (although some of my previous homes were another story), but if anyone has any haunted unit stories to share, please feel free to post in the comments.

From a resident: I have kind of an unconventional question that I feel a little silly asking. I’ve always joked that our unit is haunted, but we’ve had more and more unexplainable things happen that have been creeping us out. Doorknobs locking themselves, things falling off shelves unprovoked, sensations of being grabbed, vivid night terrors that only happen when we’re home, which our guests have experienced as well. Most recently on our security camera we saw a white orb-like thing fly across the screen. So we’re curious if anyone else has experienced weird things like this in their unit too. 

Poll Workers & Voting

If anyone is interested in making some extra spending money, Lowell has recently raised the pay for poll workers. My understanding is that there’s a pretty widespread shortage, although I’m not sure what the application deadlines are for spots working the September 6th or November 8th elections. For more information, check here.

As mentioned earlier, our polling location has changed. We are Ward 4, Precinct 2, and will be voting this year at the Rogers School gym, 43 Highland Street (near South Common). Hours for all polling locations are 7:00am to 8:00pm. There is more information about important deadlines here.

Early voting began yesterday and is running all week at the Lowell Senior Center on Broadway. The times are 8am–8pm today through Thursday and 8am–noon on Friday. More info can be found here.

Boxes & Site Updates

When leaving boxes in the cardboard dumpster in the basement, please, please break them down and flatten them. It only takes a minute and makes a huge difference in managing the dumpsters.

It’s probably worth noting here that, for cost and logistical reasons, this building does not have a recycling program. That said, a number of folks take their recyclables to the drop-off bin at the DPW on Middlesex Street. This needs to be done during DPW business hours so they can unlock the bin for you. Click here for more info. (Personally, I adore this bag for that purpose. Ours is still going strong 10 years after we bought it.)

Also, I’ve updated three of the Neighbor to Neighbor pages with additional info, (thank you, Bill, for supplying much of it) as well as adding a photo gallery to share remodeling ideas. Electrical & Energy Efficiency, Smoke & Odors, and Heating & Cooling all have new info. There’s a bit of redundancy but much of it is new and potentially very useful.

Right now the Remodeling Gallery is primarily photos of my own unit but more pics are welcome!