Monday, September 3

I Should Have Been a Plumber...

Old faucet, leaking even after turning it off.
You know what sucks? Unexpected problems like a leak in the water line or a drip in one of my faucets.

A couple weeks ago I finished watering my plants and turned off the outdoor faucet. When I went inside I could still hear the sound of water running, for some reason the spigot was still running even after I tightened the handle all the way.

The old spigot after removal.
Dad came over to take a look and we decided that we didn't need to hire a plumber. Dad bought a replacement spigot, turned off the water at the meter (super easy to do I discovered) and removed the old spigot. That's when we ran into some issues.

For starters, the spigot Dad bought initially turned out to be the wrong size. After a second trip to Lowe's we started trying to screw the second faucet in. This time it was the right size, but the pipe that the spigot attached into wasn't cooperating for us to screw in the new spigot. So luckily I have an amazing dad who actually crawled under my house the attach the new spigot.


My lovely new spigot.
Of course, the problems with the outdoor spigot haven't been the only issues I've had. I'm seriously unimpressed with the plumbing work done by the man who "flipped" my house before selling it to me.

Personal reminder not to run water in that side of the sink.
I've had previous problems with low water pressure (which might have been a result of a leak in the water main that the city was working on), gross brown water from the faucets, the tub faucet handles broke off when I had guests, the bathroom and kitchen sinks both began leaking from the drainage pipe and the most recent plumbing disaster: the replacement of the kitchen drain.

The kitchen sink had a slow leak that didn't worry me overmuch. I just set a container under the leak and emptied it as needed. The other night, however, I finished washing some dishes and suddenly noticed a flood coming from the cabinets under the sink. When I opened them to check I noticed that the connection from the drain to the pipes was unscrewed. How it became unscrewed is a mystery.

I tried to screw it back into place, but the threading wouldn't catch. Dad came to take a look and ended up removing the whole drain to take to buy replacement parts. So I covered that side of my sink with plastic wrap so I wouldn't accidentally splash water from the side that worked. And I made it work for about a week.

The next weekend Dad brought the new drain and other plumbing supplies over and we got to work.

Plumber's Putty
Before we were able to put in the new drain we had to make sure the hole in the sink had a proper seal so the water wouldn't seep out around the drain. For that you use plumber's putty (which just looks nasty). We created a ring with the putty and fit it into place around the hole in the sink. The next step was to put the drain in place, which caused the putty to squeeze out around the edges.

Once the drain was in place we started fitting it to the pipes underneath the sink. I held the drain in place while Dad worked on getting everything connected. Having someone hold the drain is definitely helpful (if not necessary), before I started holding it down the drain would lift up every time Dad began screwing it to the pipes. Makes the job much more frustrating.

After everything was screwed into place we wiped away the excess putty and let it sit overnight for the putty to dry. I tested it the next morning for leaks and everything seemed to work great!

I guess having three or four plumbing emergencies in three years isn't too bad. I'd rather not have any of course, but at least my dad knows enough about plumbing to be able to help me instead of me having to pay a plumber every time there's a problem.

Based on your experiences, what is a typical number of plumbing problems to have in a year?

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