Sunday, October 02, 2005

Man DIY #3 : The Plumbing Chronicles

You’d think I’d know better by now.

You see, every time I attempt any DIY project, I usually finish with a decent job done. However, getting there is one hell of a battle. Usually,when I’m involved, it takes 15 times longer, costs three times more and involves such a long line of fuck-ups…I could fill an entire season of America’s Home Videos by myself.

This time, however, I’m pleased to announce that the actual problem wasn’t my fault.
I’m not pleased to announce that today’s problem was my ultimate nightmare.


You see, when it comes to plumbing, I know exactly what to do:

I say, in a clear, loud voice:

“Dad? This pipe needs fixing.”

You see, my dad is the ultimate Mr. Fix It. I wouldn’t be going to far to say that my Dad is my hero. That guy can fix anything, and is one of those few people that knows a little bit about everything. The kind of person that really pisses you off by doing something in half an hour that would take you all week…and is far too good at ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionairre’ for his own good. At risk of sounding overly sentimental, if I make half as good a husband to Sunny as my Dad made to my Mum, I’ll be well ahead of the game.

Unfortunately, at the moment, my Dad is 3500 miles away. While he’s always been willing to put himself out, I don’t think an uber-expensive, 9 hour plane ride, just to fix a bit of PVC pipe is in the cards. I should’ve called and asked anyway…he enjoys a good laugh.


The plumbing problem was caused by my Step-son, who was cutting the grass for us. He moved the hosepipe out of the way, and the old PVC pipe that it was connected to just broke off, spewing water everywhere. One minute you have a perfectly functional hosepipe, the next it looks and sounds like a racehorse after an all night beer session.

Here’s the whole story.

I give you:

Man DIY Rides Again! The Plumbing Chronicles:

1) Attempt to find the main Stop Cock. Although the one in the house cuts off all the water in the house, it appears the outside hose is on a different circuit (Or whatever the term for ‘other pipes’ is.)

2) Locate stopcock, about 60 feet away from the house. Turn off water.

3) Borrow box of miscellaneous PVC pipe, joints, caps from brother-in-law.

4) Discover that despite the fact the worlds supply of PVC plumbing products is in the box, there isn’t a single one that will fit the pipe. The pipe we need to repair seems to be neither metric or imperial, and was probably made by some evil genius, just to annoy and frustrate me.

5) Drive to Home Depot. Discover that for some reason, the ¾ inch caps they have, won’t fit our supposedly ¾ inch pipe.

6) Leave home depot with an adapter, and screw in plug in order to make everything fit. Answer ‘yes’ when checkout girl asks if we have everything we need.

7) Get home, straighten up the broken end of the pipe with the Dremel.

8) Attempt to open primer and contact cement.

9) Discover that leaving said primer and contact cement outside for over a year causes the cans to rust shut.

10) Spend half an hour attempting to open cans.

11) Finally locate a pair of vice grips to open can.

12) Discover that primer is fine, but the contact cement has turned into a substance that looks like baby sick with extra lumps.

13) Note : Accidental inhilation of expired contact cement fumes gets you smacked off your tits.

14) Giggle for a few minutes. Utter the immortal Simpson’s line: “They call ‘em fingers, but you never see them fing! Wait! There they go!” Discuss ethics and philosophy with my own shoes, until someone thinks to open a window. Wait 15 minutes until all the colors go away, and the badger in the Top Hat and monacle stops telling me to burn things

15) Return to Home Depot for more glue. Jokingly tell the checkout girl that she jinxed us by asking if we’d gotten everything we needed.

16) Discover that Home Depot checkout girls have absolutely no sense of fucking humour.

17) Return home, noticing that it’s completely pitch black by now.

18) Get bit on the forehead by a mosquito, making it appear as though I have leprosy.

19) Watch as stepson primes and glues the new cap-contraption in place.

20) Do not read instructions. Instructions are for sissies. Stepson has used the contact cement before, and insists that it cures in 30 seconds.

21) Stand back and admire handiwork. Get that warm fuzzy feeling that we assume is the feeling of satisfaction of a job well done…until we remember to put the lid back on the contact cement. This time the Badger in the Top Hat tries to sell me a timeshare in Tortuga. We wait until the purple grass stops singing, and the house stops breathing, then:

22) Stepson runs to turn the water on, while I stand by to watch for ‘leaks’.

23) Dive for cover behind car as the pipe begins to shake like a Nun at a porn convention.

24) Utter the words : “It looks like it’s holdi…”

25) Backflip, Neo-style, as the new cap-contraction fires from the end of the pipe with the force of a bullet, managing to miss my ‘family jewels’ by a matter of millimeters.

26) Listen to stepson laugh. Wish I still had the vice-grips in my hand.

27) Pretend to read glue ingredients so we can read the instructions and not appear like little sissy bitches.

28) Discover that glue does indeed cure in 30 seconds, but suggests 15 minutes before pressure testing.

29) File glue off cap-contraption, re-prime, re-glue and re-fit.

30) Wait 15 minutes, check fit, wait another 15 minutes to be safe.

31) Turn on water, this time standing way to the side to avoid any potential plumbing-testicle interface situations.

32) The new cap holds, but for some reason, there is still no water in the house.

33) Remember that other stop-cock under the house is still turned off.

34) Make stepson go under the house, (or as I call it “Dark, Dank, Spider infested bug playground, Doom- drenched spider-filled Cathedral of Despair, and did I mention the spiders? hole”), to turn he water back on.

35) Get warm fuzzy feeling (not the contact cement this time), but because that my stepson has learned an invaluable lesson. Namely, not to laugh at me getting hit in the crotch with a ballistic plumbing component.

In closing, I just hope that our handiwork is still there in the morning when I get up. Or if it does shoot off again, I at least hope it hits the little bastard animals that keep tearing open our trash bags.

1 comment:

OzzyC said...

I think you've just exemplified every DIY project I've ever done