Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pipe Dreams

I'm about to tackle one of those home improvement projects that I would ordinarily hire a professional for. I've never done much with plumbing, and yes, I've already hired a plumber to fix this problem. The last plumber simply put new washers into the shower's cold water tap, and charged me $160. That fix lasted for slightly less than 24 hours. The leak is now pouring out water at a rate of around 2 gallons an hour. Seriously. As I can't afford to hire another plumber, I now must do this work myself, or at least go buy the parts. In order to find out exactly which part I need, I have to dissasemble the stems and parts inside, turning off the water to the whole house. Once I've done that, I take the faulty part to the store, buy new part, return home, and put it all back together again. I do have a home improvement book to guide me, and my father's said he'll stay near a phone to talk me through anything. I really do need to learn how to do this, and it doesn't seem too terribly difficult.

Why not hire a plumber, apart from the fact that I do not have the money? Well, apparently they don't carry the right part, and the last one wanted me to run out and buy a brand new faucet (a decent one starts aroun $100), knock a large hole in the drywall in the kitchen to access the pipes to the bathtub, replace entire assembly... Can you imagine how long that would take and how much he'd charge me? Please understand, this house is only 8 years old, and the pipes do NOT need replacing, even though it's obvious we had a contractor building a cheap spec house, using the cheapest parts available. (house still has the original el cheapo range in the kitchen - should have been an island vented stove, nope, it's tiny, electric, no vent, and doesn't always work right), anyway, the signs are everywhere, now that I live here.

So wish me luck. If I can find the camera, I'll take pictures as I go. This way I can email them to Dad so he can see what I'm talking about.


  1. Yes, always take a picture of something before you tear it apart and anytime it gets complicated. For some reason, I always end up with spare parts when I put something back together again. Never fly on an airplane or a space shuttle that I have worked on. :)

  2. Thanks Shane! I did get it put back together, but dropped a part down into the wall that I needed to use to buy the new part with. Oops. Still, I was able to replace necessary parts and stop the drip.