uberrod (uberrod) wrote,
uberrod
uberrod

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The Great Plumbing Saga

My brother and I fixed the tub faucet yesterday. The drama started on Saturday when I started the simple job of changing the faucet. When you turned the shower on, the faucet still leaked pretty bad. I was thinking that the little washer inside was worn. I bought a new faucet and started trying to get the old one off. It was stuck. I ended up using a lot of force and it began to move, but it was at an angle. That was strange I thought. I kept turning and it came loose. To my horror, I saw that the copper pipe had twisted off.

The set up was a copper pipe that stuck out from the wall and screwed into the head of the faucet. When I had changed the faucet the last time, I had cut the pipe short, changed my mind and then soldered it back on. Being a man, when the pipe broke this time, I was pleased to see that my soldering job had held. While the pipe twisted and broke, my soldering held. But that didn't help matters.

So I called my brother, Bob. We had done a bunch of plumbing projects at my mom's house together, so we had a good bit of experience with this. He got there late, and we didn't really accomplish much, but developed a plan. We would have to move the refrigerator out of the way to get access to the back of the tub. So the next day, he came over and we went to Home Depot and rented a dolly to move the fridge. Once that was out of the way, we looked at our options. We decided to by-pass the damage, remove the elbow that it was connected to and start over. We went back to Home Depot and got a copper elbow, a 1/2'' to 1' male adapter. Bob already brought about 2 feet of copper pipe, so we didn't need to get any more. The new faucet had a plastic pipe that fit down the length. We would put in a new elbow and connect up the adapter. This would then screw into the plastic piece and voila, fixed pipe.

We got the thing soldered and put together and screwed together with teflon tape. We even got a decorative collar to go between the faucet and the wall so that it looked all nice. Yay, job done. It didn't even leak, not even a little bit.

Then it was noticed that there was a leak from one of the shut off valves for the tub. They were really old and heavily corroded. The leak wasn't bad, but it was still a leak. So back to Home Depot to get new valves. Go got a couple and went back home. From previous experienec we know to remove the guts of the valve before soldering or you will destroy the rubber gasket inside that is supposed to stop the water flow. We got the guts out of one valve, but the other was stuck tight. So we went back to Home Depot and got another one. After testing it at Home Depot, we went home and I soldered the new valves in. After they cooled down, we put the guts back in. We had just enough time to get the fridge back in place and take the dolly back to Home Depot with 15 minutes until closing.

I feel very accomplished. 4 trips to Home Depot as well as a trip to the local hardware store. Plus a lot of quality time with my twin. I guess 5 trips if you include the one to drop off the dolly at the end of the day.
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