Posted by: Dan Sprague | February 21, 2014

No…I Will Not Do Your Plumbing!

Oh I Hate Plumbing

I can see why plumbers charge so much. They must have a high rate of stress ulcers and suicide. I do not like to have to call a plumber because they cost so much and most plumbing jobs SHOULD NOT BE THAT HARD TO DO.

When I have to do a plumbing job I figure I will be going to the hardware store at least 3 times, even if I check and double check on what I think I will need.

First, the plumbing I have to do is always in a place you cannot get at easily. Under sinks, behind and under the back of a toilet that is next to a wall that is so close that a cat would not go in and so on. They are places that are dark and often smelly and almost always wet. When I was younger and thinner, it was bad. Now that I have filled out [ 😎  ] it is almost imposable.

Second, the parts that have to be removed are almost always corroded and you cannot get them off. I have broken good stuff trying to get the bad stuff off thus making the job bigger. I hate old shut off valves! The often have not been turned off or one for years and will not turn. You break them trying to turn them, or if the valve dose shut off, when you open them back up they drip.

Third, there are so many different types of valves, pipe fittings and ways of connecting things and different sizes of things that it is hard to find the right piece you need that is the right size. Then there is how they are put together…glue, solder sweating, thread fitting, press together fittings, and compression and flair fittings. You often get more than one type on the same job. When you mix and match like that. You almost always get a drip at a junction that cannot be tightened without taking other stuff out.

I have found that you almost always get a drip leak where the new stuff meets the old stuff. Those joints drive me crazy.

My Dad put in an outside shower stall at his lake cottage so we kids did not track sand and mess into the house when we came up from the lake. He neatly ran the hot and cold water lines to the shower using copper pipe and flair fittings. The water line root had multiple 90 degree turns (Mom wanted the pipes to look neat in straight lines on the wall.) as it went to the shower stall. There were 16 connections and when Dad turned on the water 14 of them leaked. I thought it was funny, Dad was mad, and I knew I needed to leave the area before he killed me for laughing. He spent 4 days getting all the joints not to leak. We never had any problems with those joints, but Dad said if there was one he would call a plumber.

Doing plumbing on a boat is as bad as or worse than in a house. Our old boat has at least 3 different types of pipes and lines and now you cannot get some types. You end up having to replace and run new lines. And on a boat you always wonder is water coming from the outside or from the plumbing. 😎

I have a list of plumbing I need to do…I just dread having to get started on them because it all ways is a much bigger job that it would seem.


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