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Thursday, January 5, 2017

I Hate Plumbing

It was raining cats and dogs yesterday and when Bea was asking whether I could clean up the drain in our bathroom sink, I thought it a good idea. There had been a problem with water draining for a while.
So I started by taking apart the drain pipes under the sink. As expected there was some gunk here and there and when I got it all out and the pipes back together, water was still not draining in a timely manner.
Now, Bea had bought one of these pipe brushes on a long wire. You kinda use them by sticking them into a pipe and pushing or drilling it through. And that’s what we did. I pushed and pushed until I met some serious resistance, then pulled it back. When the end reappeared the brush was gone, meaning that it would clog up the drainpipe for good.

You probably knew that already, as I might have mentioned it in an earlier posting: Plumbing is horror to me. And what I was facing now was getting down into the dark basement and taking drain pipes apart. Contrary to Norway and Germany, where drain pipes have screw fittings, over here PVC pipes are glued together, which means that you have to cut pipes with a saw, then buy new pipes and parts and glue it back together.
I had to make 2 cuts to get the whole problem fixed. and I found the brush stuck inside. With the old assembly I drove over to Lubec, and together we filled a little box with the necessary parts. Got some PVC-cement as well and was back home 40 minutes later. Spreading out all fittings, bends and the piece of new pipe I had bought, I found that a 90-degree bend was missing. Oh my…how did that happen?  I quickly did the cross-border thing once more and got the missing part.

One of the problems with plumbing is that standards are changed over the years. A 45-degree bend is now shorter than years ago, and another part has a different, tighter radius. So when I started to measure and test I had to climb into the basement over and over to be sure I wouldn’t mess up the whole thing.  After a total of 4 hours I had it all back together and turned on the water to test whether my pipe assembly would not leak.  To my huge surprise no leaks occurred and I could finally enjoy the rest of my day.

You’ll understand that I was way too busy to take pictures of my doings. So there are none to show you.

Thanks for visiting anyway!


  1. Replies
    1. Actually, it stayed pretty quiet....this time.

  2. Sounds like a typical frustrating plumbing problem, but the key point is that it didn't leak in the end.

  3. Congrats on no leaks! The missing brush was funny, probably not so funny at the time though, yikes.

    I fixed a dishwasher the other day, there was grit in the inlet valve screen, easy fix. Then the hose to the valve started leaking after having taken it apart, but a little wiggling and hot water running through it softened the hose and it resealed and stopped dripping. Then I'm cleaning up my tools and packing up, and I see water dripping from the front corner of the door. What?!!? Looks like I need to go back another time and put a new door seal on it. Way better than a new dishwasher though, it still is working well now.


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