(Wow, magically, I can post my blogs here again.)
Back in the 1970’s when we bought our house in the Robson Valley, I was impressed at how much our friends knew about setting up and repairing household necessities like plumbing, electricity, water systems, and mechanics. This was due to two things: lack of money, and lack of building trade professionals in our far away and isolated location, so you had to do repairs yourself.
It wasn’t long after buying our house that I was forced to become a jack of all trades. I have learned a lot over the decades, but I am still filled with unease whenever I am confronted with a plumbing problem. Plumbing is such a fickle thing, and I have run into so many unexpected complications when I do it, I just don’t have any faith that the problem can be solved easily without creating further problems.
The other day, we got an error message on our washing machine. The message indicated that there was a problem with our water intake. This was not surprising since in the spring the creek where we get our water is running fast and carrying a lot of sediment. I needed to undo the hose that connected to the washing machine and pull our the small screen inside and clean it off.
So I crawled under the house to switch off the house water, then I turned off the faucet, undid the hose, took out the screen, cleaned it off with an old tooth brush, and put everything back in its place. Easy, job done!
Well, not exactly.
When I turned the faucet back on to allow water back into the hose, I noticed that there was now a leak in the faucet itself. How do these things happen? All I did was turn it off, then turn it back on.
When I realized that I would have to replace the faucet, the distress inside me began to build. I started considering all the additional problems that that plumbing procedure might create. I was afraid that in unscrewing the faucet, I might loosen the solder between the unit that held the faucet and the copper pipe that carried the water.
I put off this plumbing problem for a couple of days so I could buy the new faucet, and build up my nerve to fix it.
Yesterday I felt sufficiently brave to begin, and was gratified when I was able to unscrew the old faucet without breaking the holding unit.
I find one of my biggest problems when plumbing is knowing just how tight to screw things on. They have to be tight enough to prevent water from leaking out, but not so tight that you can never get the thing back off if you need to, some day. When I turned the house water back on, I had a leak where the new faucet was screwed in, so had to crawl back under the house to turn the house water back off, tighten the faucet one more turn, and then I turned the house water back on.
With an amazing amount of weight lifted from my shoulders, I noticed that this time the faucet didn’t leak, and I had completed this plumbing job. What a relief.
You can view my paintings at: davidmarchant.ca