Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Maintenance: Plumbing...Ugh.

And, the reason I say "ugh" is that I have found if you are over six feet tall do not become a plumber.  The places you need to squeeze yourself into are unbelievable.  It took me 90 minutes to swap these out, and I believe 86 of those were spent trying to put myself into a position where I could turn a wrench.

Anyway, in everyone's life the broken must be fixed.  This past weekend it was a leaky shut off valve under the sink's upstairs.  Our house was built in 1994, which as far as houses go is not that old.  Unfortunately, we live in tract housing.  For those of you not familiar with tract housing it consists of large housing developments all built by the same builder, thus there are only a few models to choose from, and all of the houses look pretty much the same.  I believe, too, that the builders take 37 minutes to erect and finish each structure.  They also buy the cheapest fixtures money can find.  When you can save $1 each and are building 3,456,717 houses you can do the math to see how much money is being saved.  But, my builder's diatribe will be for another day.  Back to the task at hand.

Here is the culprit.  A small leak that was wetting my lovely wife's make up bags, q-tips and other required items.  Luckily, these items are relatively easy to fix.  If you're the size of a hobbit.  Or, at least, very limber.

Oldie on the left and newie on the right.  Yes, newie is a word.  Brass and copper replaced by stainless steel.  Hopefully, newie will last significantly longer.

Not too much to it.  Loosen the old and replace with the new.  The oldie was a single piece with the copper water line soldered to the fixture.  Newie is two different pieces.  Much easier.  No soldering.  Less setting things on fire.

One thing to realize, though, when you purchase replacement parts for things.  Many times the replacement part is meant for NEW construction.  Meaning, it comes with parts you don't need.  Thus, the compression fittings and some of the nuts need to be tossed.  Don't worry, here extra parts are ok.

After putting on the new and turning the water to the house back on (I did mention you need to turn that off, yes?) you get the lovely non-leaking version.

Maintenance, baby.  Learn it, live it, love it.


  1. There you go, I told you Kiki needed to learn plumbing!

    Fuck me, could you have left those hoses any longer?

    Now, I do hope that you made sure the hoses were rated for hot water supply?

    It must be a bond; I too am doing plumbing at present. Well, when I say "doing" ...

  2. Ah, the joys of being a home owner! Fortunately I'm rather short...maybe I missed my calling? I must admit though, of all the maintenance chores around here, plumbing is probably my least favorite. Bravo for tackling the leak, I just hope you didn't smash your head on the cabinet too many times to get it fixed!