Leaky Pipes

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22 Feb Leaky Pipes

Technically, our leak wasn’t as bad as this photo. Emotionally? I felt like I was the Dutch kid asked to stick his finger in the dike. One false move and lives would be lost, houses swept away and my name would forever be synonymous with “failure”.

Those of you who think I exaggerate forget the drama and injury incurred when Andrew and I replaced a leaky faucet. Once bitten, twice shy.

So, the second I realized the pool of guck under the kitchen sink was not coagulated household cleanser or bacon grease that had missed the garbage bin, I panicked.  Andrew was out having coffee with his plumbing-savvy brother and I maintain that if he didn’t want to be interrupted by an hysterical spouse he shouldn’t have brought his cell phone.

I’ll spare you the details, but no one had their coffee hot. After locating the leak, his brother removed the damaged section and sent us to the hardware store with grimy plumbing parts stuffed into a ziplock bag. He then wisely went home.

Upon tackling our go-to handyman, we shoved the plastic-wrapped corpse of a pipe into his hands and refused to leave until he not only located the right parts but pre-assembled them for us. Within minutes he handed us a complicated aggregation of pipe, flanged tailpiece washers, slip joint washers, rubber rings and various nuts. Moments like these make me wonder why they don’t make bumper stickers that say, “Have you hugged your handyman today?”

Andrew drove while I cradled the ready-to-install fixture like a newborn kitten.

We managed to attach the part to the drain, but the thread is so badly corroded this fix won’t last long. I am now on pool patrol, checking the little tupperware bin placed under the sink to catch drips. We’ll replace the sink when we get new counter tops. And we’ll get new counter tops when we replace the stove. And we’ll replace the stove when we remove a wall to make room. And we’ll remove the wall when the contractor gets back to us.

Upon reflection, maybe our leak was that bad after all.

Got any plumbing stories you care to share?

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Photo © Elsie. Published under a Creative Commons License.[/box]

14 Comments
  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 09:27h, 22 February Reply

    Oh no, what a way to spend the weekend. Blech! I’m impressed that you two have tackled any plumbing whatsoever, you’re brave! I hope the new part holds out until the reno … good luck!

    Makes me glad I live in an apt. … because fixing leaks is the Super’s department! That said, sometimes the Super isn’t around when you need him. Like the time one of the toilets 2 floors above me exploded and sent a torrent of (clean) water down through the walls … all of it ending up in my apartment. Gah, what a mess!

    Naturally, it was 6pm on a Friday evening … so neither my husband nor the Super was home. I had to battle the water on my own with the help of one crazy cat who thought it was a game. Which is kind of funny now, but I wasn’t laughing at the time.
    .-= The Diva on a Diet´s last blog ..Beef Tenderloin with Anise and Crushed Peppercorns =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 22:56h, 22 February Reply

      @The Diva on a Diet, I’m not brave. I’m desperate. At least my leak was small and didn’t involve several floors of damage.

      Thanks for putting this into perspective.

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 18:34h, 22 February Reply

    Hey, I have nothing but plumbing disaster stories. At least you found yours before it destroyed the wall and floors above the kitchen, creating a horrible break through!! I didn’t cook that night.
    Hang in.
    Love,
    Robin

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 22:56h, 22 February Reply

      @Robin Smart, you will do ANYTHING to get out of cooking dinner, won’t you :-)

  • Lori Desormeaux
    Posted at 19:59h, 22 February Reply

    plumbing horror stories-I’ll bet your mom has a few! I remember opening my kitchen cupboard in our first house and watching water stream out of them! The pipe in the ceiling above the cabinets had cracked and the water leaked through the ceiling and all through the cupboards!We had a “plumbing friend” as well who came to our rescue!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 22:57h, 22 February Reply

      @Lori Desormeaux, steam? Wow. Glad no one got scalded. I think you win Most Dangerous Plumbing Disaster category. If you can call it winning…

      • Lori Desormeaux
        Posted at 20:00h, 23 February Reply

        stReam not steam!but it was still bad!

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 21:16h, 23 February Reply

          @Lori Desormeaux, Man. I have GOT to start wearing my computer glasses. Glad it wasn’t as bad as I’d imagine. Any plumbing issue is awful. Physical injury just makes it worse.

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 21:55h, 22 February Reply

    Oh boy, you really do need a new kitchen. Now I feel bad for encouraging you to spend $90 on a new-to-you stove!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 22:59h, 22 February Reply

      @Cheryl Arkison, don’t feel bad at all. That $90 replacement has saved my sanity. I knew we were going to reno and am more than glad to have an affordable stove to carry me through. The sink? That one I didn’t see coming.

      Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound…

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 09:52h, 23 February Reply

    Thank goodness (knocking on wood, crossing my fingers, etc) I can’t compete with this story. Sorry you had such a mess to deal with.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:04h, 23 February Reply

      @Dana McCauley, it could have been worse! Thank heavens I noticed early in the process. But when you have a new kitchen installed 15 + years ago, you can’t complain too much when everything starts to go at once.

  • Maryke
    Posted at 15:40h, 23 February Reply

    Charmian,
    Got a real chuckle out of this one. By the way, said “go-to handyman” says you need not wait to do all the reno work to upgrade the piping…. but you better “go-to” see him for more info on that. And while said “go-to handyman” appreciates a good hug, he can also be bribed with sweet treats… just in case the need ever arises again.
    I hope you guys aren’t too damp! :0)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:11h, 23 February Reply

      @Maryke, OUTED! You can’t get away with anything in this town.

      I’ll be seeing our “go-to” guy sooner than expected. Our fix didn’t work so well. I’ll bribe him with sweets once I can clean the kitchen without causing a flood under the sink…

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