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  • Plumbing

    My house is about 15 years old now and I've faced quite a few plumbing related repairs recently. While I've always tended to be a do-it-yourselfer, I've never considered myself to be a very good handyman. I do most jobs after quite a bit of research and a good bit of trembling and concern.

    A couple of days ago I replaced the pressure toilet components in one of our toilets that was leaking. Since that worked out I'm going to replace the other two, one of which has a small pressure problem, and the other which has a leak. The original components were discontinued a decade ago and about the hardest part of the job was finding a replacement that would work in our existing toilets.

    Not too long ago I replaced a cartridge in one of our showers. That's an easy job, normally, but the shower handle was stuck on and I was afraid I was going to do some serious damage just getting it off. It finally came off and then I used a cartridge puller to remove and replace the offending cartridge.

    I've repaired our sink faucet a couple of times and replaced it all together the last time. All of our other faucets haven't started leaking yet.

    I've replaced a pressure regulator in the garage twice now.

    I did manage to get a plumber out once to do a job that I just couldn't figure out how to do. It was simple, but I couldn't figure out how to remove the thingie that needed replacing. I'd already bought the part but finally chickened out. It took the plumber about 15 minutes and I paid him several hundred dollars for the job. Ouch. I decided then and there that I'd never use that plumbing company again.

    The problem is, it's next to impossible to get a plumber to come fix something unless you get one of these places that will come and take advantage of you to the greatest extent possible. I know a lot of contractors and I've got a list of good honest plumbers I can call, but so far none have ever been available... they're too busy for small jobs.

    One thing I can say, as I sit here typing and thinking about plumbing, is my knowledge and ability is growing. The day may come when I won't need a plumber except for the "big" jobs.
    Last edited by Tall Timbers; November 6th, 2017, 04:59 PM.
    Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

    3 trees

  • #2
    I admire your desire to learn and try to fix things . I have a toilet that leaks from the tank, have changed the flapper a couple times in 15 yrs but it only slows it down a little. Probably needs a seal or something. it is so difficult to even see what is wrong, that space is so small, even getting my hand in there is a task and then pretty much all feel, with my big mitt in there you can't see anything. When I was younger I could do anything on car/truck repairs, even did Clutches, but anymore with this bad arthritis,stenosis in neck/back and disc disease I just pay some one to do what needs to be done, just too painful and aggravating knowing how to do it but being physically unable,,,, ready for that new body and sure I'm not alone
    John 10:27-30 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Fatherís hand. I and the Father are one.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by chaser View Post
      I admire your desire to learn and try to fix things . I have a toilet that leaks from the tank, have changed the flapper a couple times in 15 yrs but it only slows it down a little. Probably needs a seal or something. it is so difficult to even see what is wrong, that space is so small, even getting my hand in there is a task and then pretty much all feel, with my big mitt in there you can't see anything. When I was younger I could do anything on car/truck repairs, even did Clutches, but anymore with this bad arthritis,stenosis in neck/back and disc disease I just pay some one to do what needs to be done, just too painful and aggravating knowing how to do it but being physically unable,,,, ready for that new body and sure I'm not alone
      Yeah, I used to do most of my car maintenance... I do less and less now. The aging body just can't do much without excruciating pain. A little over a year ago I seemed to lose most of my upper body strength and suddenly much of the stuff I used to do during the summer I've no longer been able to do. This summer I managed to strip and paint half of my deck. Oh, the pain that ensued and the long time it took before I healed... Next spring, no matter how much it hurts, I intend to get the rest of the deck and then give the whole thing a second coat. I'm using a paint I don't really like the looks of just because it is supposed to last 10 years, which means I'll hopefully never have to do the job again.
      Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

      3 trees

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      • #4
        I can fix computers and wire up sound systems and stuff like that, but plumbing, gas or leccy and I'm done.

        Back in the day I used to be able to service my car too, but now 40 years on, pop up the hood and your faced with a plastic cover with two holes cut in it, one for oil and one for water. They don't want anyone touching anything in there anymore as the service depts use a laptop and diagnostic software to sort and adjust things now.

        The old cars were just like large meccano sets couple of screwdrivers and spanners in hand and off you go.

        This year I had a dripping tap in the kitchen and I had to get a plumber in and replace the tap for a new one. I took one look under the sink with all the pipes, drains, and appliance hoses and taps and thought no, just switch on the PS4 and call the guy to come and fix it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TheRedeemed View Post
          I can fix computers and wire up sound systems and stuff like that, but plumbing, gas or leccy and I'm done.

          Back in the day I used to be able to service my car too, but now 40 years on, pop up the hood and your faced with a plastic cover with two holes cut in it, one for oil and one for water. They don't want anyone touching anything in there anymore as the service depts use a laptop and diagnostic software to sort and adjust things now.

          The old cars were just like large meccano sets couple of screwdrivers and spanners in hand and off you go.

          This year I had a dripping tap in the kitchen and I had to get a plumber in and replace the tap for a new one. I took one look under the sink with all the pipes, drains, and appliance hoses and taps and thought no, just switch on the PS4 and call the guy to come and fix it. and it has always
          Just had oil change on my 2012 F150 that has a 5.0 V8, on our 3rd year with it getting 14.6-15.3 mpg in town and close to 20mpg hwy. Since oil change it started getting better mpg, while driving home I actually watched it increase every mile all the way to my driveway! It is now getting 16.9 mpg in town and mid 20-21 mpg hwy depending on wind. Did the service guys do something on a laptop or something?
          John 10:27-30 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Fatherís hand. I and the Father are one.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by chaser View Post
            Just had oil change on my 2012 F150 that has a 5.0 V8, on our 3rd year with it getting 14.6-15.3 mpg in town and close to 20mpg hwy. Since oil change it started getting better mpg, while driving home I actually watched it increase every mile all the way to my driveway! It is now getting 16.9 mpg in town and mid 20-21 mpg hwy depending on wind. Did the service guys do something on a laptop or something?
            It wasn't the oil change. Hopefully you'll keep getting the higher fuel mileage. I've also heard of the opposite happening after a person takes their vehicle in for service... so you might want to do your own oil changes going forward, at least while you're getting the better mpg...
            Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

            3 trees

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            • #7
              Originally posted by chaser View Post
              Just had oil change on my 2012 F150 that has a 5.0 V8, on our 3rd year with it getting 14.6-15.3 mpg in town and close to 20mpg hwy. Since oil change it started getting better mpg, while driving home I actually watched it increase every mile all the way to my driveway! It is now getting 16.9 mpg in town and mid 20-21 mpg hwy depending on wind. Did the service guys do something on a laptop or something?
              Tire pressure is what came to my mind. Most reputable shops will check tire pressure and adjust as needed as part of most service checks. Just a couple of pounds of low pressure can increase rolling resistance and the result is poorer gas mileage and increased tire wear. I always check tire pressure at least once a month and more frequently when the weather bounces between mild and cold temps.
              sigpic
              Come soon Lord Jesus - Take us Safely Home

              John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

              Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.


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              • #8
                Well, since we're talking plumbing...

                I had to replace the faucet in the kitchen sink one day. DW had been down to the Lowes and bought a new one, I reckon, or someone gave us one and she wanted it in. Dutifully, I got my tools, and went and cleaned out the cabinet underneath, and made it habitable for work. That was the easy part... Once I squeezed in there backwards with the flashlight and channel locks in hand, I had to squeeze back out for a smaller wrench. There was only 4-5 inches or so between the sink and the back wall, but the nuts that held the faucet on were about 6-8 inches, however deep a sink is, up in that recess. I couldn't even crane my neck enough to really see them well, had to use a mirror, and still could just barely see them. Around the nuts was an even smaller clearance, and they were THIN nuts. I sat under there a minute looking at my crescent wrench, pliers, small locking pliers, needle nose fishing pliers, and tried my best to get a grip on the nuts somehow. Could not do it. Had no socket that would do it. I got a little huffy, and wanted to cuss, and maybe I did. Then I squeezed out again and tried to tell DW that the old faucet was not so bad, and maybe we could just keep on using it, but she was having none of that.

                I reckon I started for the computer to google things, but I saw our neighbor Tim coming home out of the kitchen window, getting out of his truck. He worked on the HVAC stuff and general maintenance over at the university, and I barely caught him before he went inside.

                I said I was putting in a faucet, but couldn't...

                And he cut me off right there, said hang on, went back to his truck, rummaged on the front seat a minute and came up with the craziest looking wrench I've ever seen. I can't even remember how it was, but I remember what it was called: a closet wrench.

                Took that bad boy back to the house, and finished the job like a pro, with no need to cuss. It was so EASY with the right tool.

                Except I didn't hook up the sprayer just right, there's a little leaking underneath if you use it, but we don't.

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                • #9
                  The joys of home ownership! I know them well. There's not a plumbing or electrical fixture in this house I haven't taken apart to or rebuild replace at some point.

                  Lately we've been redoing the rooms in this house one at a time as budget allows. I've learned to repair and refinish hardwood floors, do tile work, hang sheet rock, install cieling fans and other stuff I never imagined. But if I put it off, I probably will never get around to it. I'll be too old. One of the things that goes with hosting Christian gatherings in one's house is the need to keep things in good repair.

                  Marvin

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pixelpusher View Post
                    I said I was putting in a faucet, but couldn't...

                    And he cut me off right there, said hang on, went back to his truck, rummaged on the front seat a minute and came up with the craziest looking wrench I've ever seen. I can't even remember how it was, but I remember what it was called: a closet wrench.

                    Took that bad boy back to the house, and finished the job like a pro, with no need to cuss. It was so EASY with the right tool.

                    Except I didn't hook up the sprayer just right, there's a little leaking underneath if you use it, but we don't.
                    Great story. I had to look up closet wrench since I was clueless as to what that looked like. I know from experience that a person can get claustrophobic while trying to work under the sink and inside the cabinet. Kind of hard on the back too...

                    Today I replaced a leaky Brasscraft Multi-Turn Angle Valve that feeds the downstairs toilet. I only had a cup under that valve to catch water for about a month. I learned about compression or ferrule rings and had to purchase a tool to pull off the old ring and nut. I wasn't ready for the extra gallon or so of water that came out of the pipe after I removed the old valve . I ran to get a bigger bowl to catch the water. When I got back the emergency was over and the floor was pretty wet, but not too bad.

                    Yesterday I spent a few hours replacing the cabin air blower motor in my truck. Just about everything that could go wrong did but I eventually got the job done and everything is working, thank God.

                    I've actually got the urgent repairs behind me now... first time in a long while. It feels good and I've learned a lot doing these repairs.

                    When I was younger and more apt to do my own auto maintenance, I can count probably a half a dozen times that I'd reached a place where I could neither go back nor forward in the job. I'd pray and pray for God to help me know whatever it was I'd need to know to proceed. I'd eventually fall asleep exhausted and sometimes in the middle of the night I'd wake up with the solution I needed. The Lord is good.
                    Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

                    3 trees

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tall Timbers View Post
                      I wasn't ready for the extra gallon or so of water that came out of the pipe after I removed the old valve .
                      I'm never ready for the extra water either.

                      My eldest son shaved, and apparently, cut his hair over the bathroom sink for a few years. The P-trap became clogged. One day after he left for school, I went in that bathroom and found the sink full to the brim with soapy water, and other things floating around. I knew it had been getting slow to drain, and I decided it was time to fix it if I could.

                      Went to the closet, got a coat hanger, cut it and straightened it out and bent a hook on the end. Stuck that down the drain and began extracting clogs of hair, masses even. The water began to recede. Encouraged by the sign of success, I worked more vigorously. In a few moments, I felt the improvised "snake" clear the curve of the p-trap, and the water drained rapidly.

                      Good, that is done, I thought, and stood there mopping up the counter.

                      Then I felt the water flooding onto my shoes from the cabinet door under the sink.

                      Yep, I had poked a hole in the bottom of the p-trap where it was rusted. No wonder it drained so fast.

                      Soaked all the stuff under there, including a cache of toilet paper. D'oh!

                      Yeah, I replaced it with PVC pipes. At least they shouldn't rust!

                      eta: I wonder if we will need any of these Earth-skills in our Heavenly Homes... I'm thinking not... but just in case, I bet the closet wrenches are made out of platinum so pure light shines through them. Just trying to end on a positive note... : )

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pixelpusher View Post
                        Then I felt the water flooding onto my shoes from the cabinet door under the sink.

                        Yep, I had poked a hole in the bottom of the p-trap where it was rusted. No wonder it drained so fast.

                        Soaked all the stuff under there, including a cache of toilet paper. D'oh!
                        We probly won't need these skills in the next life, but our experiences while gaining the skills will help mold us into the unique persons each of us will be.

                        Another great story, BTW
                        Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

                        3 trees

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