More adventures in Plumbing

I decided I would give the Drain King water pressure unclogging tool another shot, but this time I would put the drain king in the pipe under the kitchen sink rather than use the drain adapter. This worked out great for clearing the clog! One small problem one of the pipe fittings cracked and began leaking. Back to the hardware store to get a replacement… and it would not fit. So I finally had to cut off the old fitting and replace it by using some of the ABS cement and a brand new fitting.  Some lessons learned from this task:

  1. The reciprocating saw is good for rough cutting but sucks for detail work.
  2. My hack saw did a very good job cutting the 1 1/2 inch ABS pipe.
  3. I need a bench vice to hold things I need to cut securely. I have enough health problems without lopping off appendages I might want to use later.
  4. Don’t psych yourself out about doing certain steps needed for the job simply because you have not done it before.  Take your time and follow the instructions.
  5. Always dry fit or screw all pipe fittings before sealing the pipe with glue/cement.
  6. Have a backup plan just in case you screw up and need to call in a professional during regular business hours as well as the funds to pay for it.
  7. You might screw up a few things while learning a new skill and trial and error seems to be my “Learning Method” so expect that you might have to make a few trips to the hardware store if some of your DYI repairs don’t go as planned.
  8. In my experience most leaks tend to show up quickly but you should have a bucket or bowl you can put under the repaired section for a few days to make sure the leak is fixed.

It has been about 3 hours since I installed the new pipe with no leaks. I have run several full sinks of water though the drain pipes since the repair so I think both pipe and the clog are fixed.  I have a small bowl I will keep under the sink for couple days,  just in case a leak develops. I learned that cutting ABS pipe with a hacksaw isn’t as hard as I thought it would be and using pipe cement to make connections is pretty simple and straight forward.  A little steel wool and coarse sand paper will clean as well as get rid of any plastic burrs from your cuts.

I still have to replace the valves and water supply hoses for the bathroom faucet replacement but I can turn off the water from the hot water heater and make sure all off the pipe fittings work before I turn off the main water line to replace the cold water valve under the bathroom sink. I’m learning as I try out new plumbing jobs. A professional probably would be much faster on these jobs. But I don’t think I can depend on a Professional in the future so the more things I fix for the long term the better off I will be and the house hold will be somewhat solid for all those basic maintenance issues for a few years.

It has been somewhat warm for December in SW Idaho though quite damp. The MDF above the wood pile is starting to rot and I doubt I can save that wood. I think I can throw a tarp over the frame and save what is left of the MDF and keep fire wood dry this winter.  Mom has either caught a cold or is having a Fybro-flare now. It was amazing how much work she got done moving but all that effort is  catching up with the both of us.  So we will have a nice quiet Xmas with a good Prime rib and the fixings. I talked to Dad and things are still a bit unsettled with his side of the family. I can understand that, so I don’t want to add to that drama and I hope they all have a great Holiday in spite of what is going on.

I have added quite a few jobs around the house this month and my timing as well as a “maintenance fund”. I should have created has me a bit stressed.  I’m a bit “cash poor” for the moment because I paid a few utilities ahead and bought silver while it is cheap. While it is tempting to put off basic home maintenance,  I think it is best to invest in your shelter and do the best job you can afford on repair jobs.  If I want to work on plumbing in my house I will need shut off valves.  So I can’t lose out on this repair done properly and I’m getting a great education about plumbing as well as adding tools needed for those job.

Last but not least the critters are doing okay. Diana the peke is doing much better since I trimmed back that nail and is not so gimpy on her front leg.  I think that nail was sort of like a hang nail for us humans and quite painful to her.  Diana will go to the groomer this week and get a wash and cut of her stray hairs and she will feel great.


3 Responses to More adventures in Plumbing

  1. S.Lynn says:

    I agree experience is the best teacher. You can watch youtube videos or watch someone else but nothing like getting your hands dirty. Every mistake is another step toward more knowledge. Kudos to you!

  2. Jamie says:

    S.Lynn: I’m a bit scared to do the job as I’m a little short of cash if I screw up and the holidays is a crappy time to call in a profesional plummer.

    It’s a lack of confidence in myself as I have done a good job on several plumbing projects. I’m a little “cash poor” at the moment and it scares me a bit doing somthing new when I don’t have a cash backup to call in a plumber if I screw up!

    Honestly, I should feel confident as I cleared a clog as well as replaced old ABS black pipe fittings.

    I think a bit of my hesitation is becuse I don’t want to screw up in front of Mom. I’m sure she would understand but I want things to work and not just for me.

    I’m sure I’m just building up a lot of stress and a bit angst wanting everyting to work perfectly. I know ithings seldom works that way and I’m sort of throwing out a sheet anchor or excuses if things don’t work as I planned.

  3. S.Lynn says:

    My life-long dilemma is I have to do everything twice so if I’m working with, say, wood, I try out a small project first with scrape wood. Then after seeing what I screwed up I can do it again with better wood. And, yup, always dry fit plumbing.

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