Sunday, August 19, 2007

Plumb tuckered out

When I purchased my home in February of 2002 it did not dawn on me that I would end up learning plumbing. Yes, as with any homeowner I did consider that repairs would be necessary and that I'd learn on-the-fly. I have a book that my Mother gave me called "Complete Do-It-Yourself" from Time Life books. And it is pretty handy for getting an idea of what's going on with household appliances, plumbing and electric. But mostly you learn from doing hands-on.

So big deal, Gary. You've fixed a few valves and such. You're no master plumber. Perhaps not. But I have taken on the following projects in my house, which, having been built in 1987, is now 20 years old and has required nearly all it's valves and hoses replaced.
  1. Replaced nozzle on the gas line to the gas dryer (it was sticking 3 inches out of the wall when I moved in)
  2. Replaced the valves on both the hot and cold water lines to the washer/dryer
  3. Replaced refrigerator water line
  4. Installed new kitchen faucet with extension handle
  5. Installed two new low-flush toilets in 2 of the 3 bathrooms
  6. Replaced all 3 bathrooms' toilet water lines and all toilet valves
  7. Replaced the entire inside of the 3rd toilet (which in retrospect I should have just changed out!)
  8. Removed corrosion from master bath faucet
  9. Replaced soap dish in the wall of the shower (note to self: tiling & grout is a bitch but cement is worse)
  10. Installed new dishwasher (yes, this is a project that even plumbers cringe at doing and for some reason I decided I would try this one night in 2004.
In addition to that I had a plumber replace the main water line valve (not something you'd want to do-it-yourself). So at this point I'm pretty much ready to commit to a few hasty generalizations:
  • Plumbing made in the 80's was cheap as an Indian flea market
  • Having now replaced every other piece of plumbing in the house the next item to "go" will be either the water lines/valves to the bathroom sinks (which have the same valves I already replaced in the corresponding toilets, see #6 above) or a burst copper pipe which I shall not be repairing myself
  • Plumbing 'issues' come in groups (a valve upstairs, a hose in the garage, a tap in the backyard all within 3 weeks of each other)
  • Plumbing 'issues' should be tackled in groups -- I know it's a pain in the ass to replace ALL the valves if you have 4 toilets but otherwise you'll end up at Home Depot every weekend for a month. I'd rather spend the extra hour now and save the aggravation later.
The good is that I have learned a great deal about plumbing. The most important thing is that none of the above activities were overly difficult. Really they are quite simple if you have a few basic plumbing tools (a good wrench is key), a little time and a Home Depot within 5 minutes drive.

The bad is that I'm tired of plumbing. I'm a lover not a fighter says Paul McCartney.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Grandpa would be proud of you boychick!