Thursday, August 23, 2007

I hate plumbing

GeyserAs the keyboard floats by again on its circuit through the dining room on its way to the sink hole in the kitchen floor, I have just a few moments to record for you the fact that I hate... no despise... plumbing in all its forms.

That is not in any way to denigrate that portion of people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of professional pumbing, of course. I have grown in admiration of these folk. I am speaking only personally and from my very limited but, unfortunately, most recent DIY experience.

I have quite literally been baptised in the mysteries of tube cutting, compression joints, non-organic olives and faulty stop cocks over the last few days. I have found that I could not cut a piece of pipe straight if my life was to depend upon it. I have wrestled with brass fittings and adjustable wrenches, stubborn copper pipes and infuriating bends and angles. I have literally been thrown in at the deep end.

As the lapping around my ankles grows more insistent and I really should be thinking of carrying the television up the stairs, I should like to give you my few DIY tips and observations for home plumbing while I can still think of them. They are:
  1. You can never have too many lengths of copper pipe. The first time you bend one into a facsimile of a novelty drinking straw by accident you will know this fact is true.

  2. You will always attract helpful people while sawing copper pipe in the back of your car at the local DIY store. When I say "Helpful", I mean "trying to be helpful." The first man who grabbed the end of the pipe and held it as I was sawing it so that we might close the boot was indeed quite helpful. If he'd stuck around until I sawed the ends off the other two lengths of pipe, it would have been even more helpful. "Bend it," was the advice of the second helpful passerby. He proceeded to throw his purchases into the boot and bend the last foot of the second pipe I was sawing to demonstrate how useful his advice was. Quite apart from being left with a pipe whose last few inches were bent into uselessness, I was then unexpectedly involved in sifting through the purchases which were mine and the purchases which were his. He left, contentedly, with (I think) only his own goods. Herself stubbed out her ciggy and got out of the driver's seat to hold the final piece of pipe. I don't think I could have benefited from a third plumbing Samaratin. "Swallow it," he might have said. And by that stage I might have tried.

  3. Never trust a compression joint, nor written advice on how to make one. I took to heart the article which off-handedly advised one not to turn the nut too far as this might flatten the pipe and spent two days fixing leaks while awaiting disaster if the wrench actually tightened anything.

  4. Metric and Imperial measure aren't the same. Witness my fancy taps and the Frankenstein's laboratory in the cupboard beneath the sink.

  5. Cheap and cheerful waste kits are neither cheap nor do they lead to much cheer. You should find a big bag of O-rings and keep them handy. The ones which come with the kit are made of regurgitated winegums dipped in starch.

Tomorrow, if I can lasso it as it circles the paired animals on the slowly sinking chipboard ark, I shall install the dishwashing machine. I am so looking forward to it already.


Anonymous said...

Sure you are doing a grand job Willie. It is hard being a "Jack of all trades ". Think of the money you are saving LOL.

One night recently, 1am to be exact, I noticed the hot tap in the downstairs toilet running. Fast and furious very hot water was gushing out.The other half had been in there a while ago. First thing I thought of, was the stop cock still the same place as we had the builders in and new water pipes and new gas pipes were fitted and all in different places.
I called the hubbie, he looked in the now redundant boiler cupboard, the new boiler too big for that particular place now.
He looked puzzled. " Where is everything" he asked." Like a stop cock you mean " I asked. I assumed it was the one just behind the now open planned toilet. ( We had boxed it all in but had a pipe leak some weeks before ! ).Ahh I turned it off and the water stopped running. Hubbie asked for MY tools, he is not allowed to take MY tools out of the house. "Of course I have a tool to fit the tap" I assured him. I did too *S*. I watched as he unscrewed the tap. Ahhhh the washer was no more, split in two. After giving me instructions as to when to turn the water back on for the essentials, hubbie said he would get a washer the nest day and fix it after his work.
Now that was too long a time for me, after all, I wanted to put the washing macine on and do other stuff.
Eventually, having gone to B@Q and yer woman not being able to tell me what washer I needed, ( I had brought the half one with me ) I went to a plumbing place where I knew they knew what to give me.
I arrived home and to the amusement of my daughter, got to work on the tap. All done in ten minutes. The day progressed nicely *S*. Who needs a man I say LOL........Joan

Anonymous said...

On the last day of no rain, which was last week sometime, one of the two washing lines strung up decided to snap. Luckily, I had a few "smalls" pegged on the line at the time, ever had that happen and the whole tub of clothes needs re washing ? Hate that.
It has been raining ever since except for today. Quick ! I thought, get some things in the machine. Then I remembered the broken line. A fiddle in my box of tricks under the stairs and I came across another line ! Must have bought it long ago "just in case" *S*. A snip here and there and the old line was off. I tied the new line onto the embedded loops in the wall and Hey Presto my clothes are happily blowing in the wind. I love the smell of clothes fresh off the line.......... Joan

Fitz (gigging in Tallaght soon...) said...

I once blew up a mains transformer inside a record player. Myself and Paul Fortune were, uh, fixing it.

I steer clear of electricity, water and electricity + water.

reminds me of an old chestnut:

guy jumps out of a plane, pulls his parachute cord
nothing happens
he's getting a little worried plummeting at speed towards the ground
meets a bloke going in the opposite direction
"Hey head do you know anything about parachutes ?"
"No. Do you know anything about gas cookers ? "

boom tish

I'm here all week

Jo said...

Ha Ha Fitz.
I'm fed up today. Wonder if I should look for some house stuff to do ? Naw, not in the mood. MMM I may strip some wallpaper in prep for a paint job. Did I say that !!!

Jo said...

Thanks Willie for putting my blogger name up. I forgot how to do it *S*

Willie_W said...

Glad to be credited, but have no idea what you're talking about. If you resurrected "Jo", it was entirely your own doing. Or Blogger.

Anonymous said...

Really ! Dunno how it happened then *S*............... LOL it's not working now.

Willie_W said...

If you have a Gmail account, you log in at the time of posting a comment using your Gmail address plus your password.

If you already logged into Gmail in the previous hour or so and never logged out, then your identity stays logged in if you post in Blogger.

Jo said...

Will it work ?

Jo said...

Ok, it did work, thanks Willie.
Bank Hol here today. Just doing housework. A cooler day but still nice and sunny. No DIY for me today either *S*

Jo said...

MMMM testing *S*

Jo said...