Monday, July 21, 2008

Is it still plumbing if you do NOT show butt-crack??

Another fun Sunday spent playing at being a plumber. My tub/shower broke. Again. The faucet thingy that you pull up to switch from tub to shower, stuck a few weeks back. In the Shower position. I say it stuck a few weeks back, which is mostly true. Maybe a month. It actually broke about a year back, when I last had to change out the faucet. It leaked! But, I figured it was into the tub, so it would be OK and I'd get around to fixing it. Someday.

So a few weeks ago, I purchase a new diverter, which is the official name on the part. At least I think it is. Since it is written in Spanish and I don't read that very well (at all).

Sunday after church and lunch, I steel myself up for the task. I've been playing mind games with myself about what traps and pitfalls will befall this latest plumbing adventure. I'm ready to have to tear off the ceramic tile, getting back into the wall to remove and replace the copper pipe. I'm even ready in case my plumbers torch sets the house on fire. Gee, Like who hasn't had that one happen! (DING...we have a winner). So the first step, is to not even try and remove the diverter by unscrewing it. Nope, I get out the Sawzall and just start cutting it off. See, I had to do this the last time it broke. I found you can cut the fancy stuff out of the way, exposing the threads. Then, either with a crescent wrench of your ever-friendly plumbers wrench, grab that pipe and diverter and twist them free. Once I get the diverter out of the way, I then see why it had leaked this last year! Or years. I don't remember when I last changed it. I'd used that very same sawzall and had nicked the copper coupler! Caused my own leak! Except that also means a trip out to the shop to find a half inch, male-threaded coupler, the plumbers torch, sand paper, file, tape and other items needed for a bit of major plumbing surgery. I root around in all my plumbing boxes and can NOT find a new coupler! I go ahead and fire up the plumbers torch and get the old fitting off. That way, I can take it with me to the store.

So, I have to clean myself up and head up to the hardware store. I get there and stare at the wall of plumbing parts. Then I wake up to the fact that I'm looking at the brass couplers, and I need the copper ones. Over to the other side of the aisle. I stare at all the half inch parts. Then, work my way down to the 5/8 parts...wait, back up. Stare at the half inch parts. Notice the HOLE where my part should be!!! Yep, sold out of my 81 cent part!!! I do not want to drive 30 minutes across town in 101 degree heat (it's about 2 in the central summer), blow a gallon of diesel, for an 81 cent part! Then I notice that the "contractor pack" of 10 of my fittings, is only $7.50! That's worth it. So I'll have nine extra couplers.

I get home, file off the old solder, sand paper all the copper until it is shinny. I coat it with the NoKoRode stuff and solder on a new coupler. I wait a few minutes so I don't catch my hand on fire on the hot pipe, wrap on some sealing tape, put on the new diverter and PRESTO! I got a finely tuned bathroom shower!!!

By then, wife had been gone to Dallas a few hours. Eldest daughter had fled the house when the sawzall fired up. Youngest daughter had declared it "hot" and headed for a friends house, and swimming pool. No one was left for me to model my plumbers butt-crack fashion to.

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