27 Jul 2015

And Then A Dig….

So where have I been? Nowhere. So what have I been doing? Digging and my favourite, a little light plumbing. So why did it take so long? Because I'm no longer a spring chicken is why.

Here's the scenario; water stop-tap below kitchen sink leaking a little water. What else would it leak? Project; remove stop-tap, re-new thread tape or install new tap, or as us plumbers call 'em, stopcocks. Straightforward sort o' job, right? Space is the problem under a sink and it would've been easy if I'd been eighteen inches tall with wrist muscles like Garth.

I have another stopcock halfway down the front path so I slowly worked out that by shutting that valve I could work slow and dry below the sink. However, upon lifting that little access lookin' thingy, I found the outside valve leaking quite dramatically. It did shut off so the inside job was completed with me whacking my head no more than six times. A record low for me when working in restricted areas.

But the outside tap? What to do? I did, indeed, call the water supply fellows. Guess wot? The pipework and valve are down to me as they're on my property. "But the water's yours before it hits my meter, right?" I politely queried.
"Yup, but the pipe and valve's yours." Said somewhat smugly.
"But it's still your water so it's your loss, right?"
"Crazy isn't it; and before you answer that, bu-by." Click

I could leave it leaking but all that water wouldn't be doing the sub-surface of my drum any improvements so I thought, I can fix that.

Short story long, I had to lift the path slabs and, having no Denso tape, cut an old towel into strips, soak them in grease and tightened them up round the leak with a Spanish windlass to hold the water back a bit while I bailed and dug a trench by way of the valve so I could get down close to do a wet valve replacement. There is another stopcock in the sidewalk but, on closer inspection I thought if I close that sucker the rest of the street's going to get a tad irritated without water for half a day. Half a day assuming stuff goes to plan.

Long story now getting shorter, I got it! I then supported the pipework with brick bats, slotted a length of pipe to fit over the pipe and reach surface to prevent in-fill over the valve, shovelled the ten tons of clay back in the trench… Okay, it was more like a ton, but you do get to an age when one of anything that needs lifting feels like ten of the same. I hired a whacker to firm the ground up as I back-filled and finally re-laid the paving slabs.

Apart from the digging out and filling in, it didn't take that long and most of my absence has just been me in recovery mode as I ached in places I'd forgotten I even had places. I have to say that while doing the wet connect, sitting in sodden clay and cold water, I thought to myself, 'Damn! I'm too old for this stuff.' Upon completion of the mission I thought to myself, 'Damn! That went pretty well.'

As it's Fri… Tuesday - and why does the 'e' we pronounce come after the 'u' we don't, here's a little music;  'Just Can't Get Enough'. A bit like me and work I guess. Can you see that lump in my cheek from way over there? That's my tongue.

Quote;  Marya Mannes.

"Lie down and listen to the crabgrass grow, the faucet leak, and learn to leave them so."

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