A Quick Lesson in Plumbing

Last night, when my husband went to the fridge, he asked if I knew why there was a puddle of water on the floor.

I had no idea.

We’ve had mystery puddles show up in the area before.  The fridge and the kitchen sink are opposite each other.  We rarely look under the sink.  It’s a tight space, and the cupboard doors tend to open on their own, so we’ve got a strip of painters tape keeping them closed.  I’d only go under there when I needed to refill our dish soap dispenser from the jug we keep there.  I noted it seemed kinda damp before and figured there was a leak somewhere, but then it would be dry for a while, and I’d forget about it.

With the new puddle, I checked it out and discovered the entire area under the sink was wet.  I emptied the cupboard and mopped things up, then my younger daughter – the most able bodied of us all – took a look while I ran water.  It ended up not being from the pipe at all, but from under one of the sinks, and it was more of a pour than a leak.  The water would run down the pipe and drip in the middle, so we put a couple of buckets under the pipe, I stuck a label on the right side of the sink, so no one would accidentally use it, then we left it until today.

Which is when my older daughter went to take a look, and actually manhandled the pipe a bit, to get a better idea of where the leak was coming from.

That’s when we discovered this.


How long was it like this?  While it may have been leaking for a while, I don’t know when it started to get this bad.

This is what it looked like from above.


Yeah, that top part came right off.  And look at that rust eaten base!  Yikes!

I wonder if, when I went all out scrubbing with the new cleaner to get rid of the iron stains not that long ago, I had caused it to get worse?  I’d scrubbed right into the opening, which is why the piece you see to the side is actually silver instead of rust.  That was a while ago, though, and while we don’t use the right sink as much as the left, you’d think we would have noticed more puddles before now!

Today we made a run to the dump, which didn’t open until 4pm, so we combined trips.  I had been planning to go into town to the pharmacy to pick up distilled water for my husband’s CPAP, anyhow.  My younger daughter came with me, heading to the dump first, then to town.  As we got into town, though, I was noticing the time – almost 5:30 – and decided to quickly hit the pharmacy first, because I figured they would be closing at 6.  I wasn’t sure when the hardware store closed, but I figured it was more likely to be open late.

When we got to the hardware store and found the plumbing section, we were concerned.  This is a small store to begin with, but there just didn’t seem to be any of the parts and pieces in stock.  So I found an employee at the back counter, asked for help and showed him the video and photo I’d taken.  It turns out what we needed came in a boxed kit, which is why we missed it.  He took us over and found it for us.  As we were talking, I asked if we would need any special tools for it.  You’d think, somewhere around the decades of stuff left around, we would have a pipe wrench, but I’ve never seen one.  A lot of the tools that my dad had just aren’t around anymore.

The employee didn’t know about the tools needed.  Were we planning to replace it ourselves?

Uhm.  Yeah?

Well, he wasn’t a plumber, he told me, then joked that if he were, he wouldn’t be working there!  He didn’t know.  There was an older guy that came by, so he asked him.  I thought this was another employee, since he had been at the counter, too.  Nope.  Turns out he was another customer.

A very helpful, knowledgeable customer!

They ended up taking the parts and pieces out of the box and putting them loosely together, as they needed to be on installation, and he showed us the two areas we’d need to tighten.  After my daughter and I checked it out, neither of us knew of a wrench in the house that would work, and nothing in our own tool kits was big enough.  So the guy – the customer, not the employee! – took us over the the tools section.  He helped us find an expandable pair of pliers that would fit both areas, then walked us through how it needed to be installed.  He even asked how old the sink was, just in case.  Older sinks have a thicker metal, and we would have had to install it differently to make up for it.  Also, how was the band on the pipe?  We looked at the video to double check, but couldn’t really see if it needed to be replaced, too.  We figured we’d get a new one, anyhow, just in case.  It’s not like we’ll never need one at some point in the future.  So he walked us back to the plumbing section and found the right size band for us, and gave us a few more instructions.

I was totally convinced this guy was an employee.  He knew the store so well!  My daughter assures me, however, that he was another customer.  A regular customer, that’s for sure!

Everything we got cost us less than $50.  Very reasonable!

As we were paying for our stuff, one of the staff members started fussing with the entry door, then propped the exit door half open.

Turns out they closed at 6 after all.  We got there just in time!

Once at home, my younger daughter set to fixing the sink.  It turned out to not take very long at all.

These are the old parts and pieces.


You see that part on the top right?  The one with a chunk missing on one end?

Here it is.


Still very solidly attached – I tried pulling it off and it wouldn’t move!

All is fixed and tested out, though – no more leaking!

Check out the shiny new silver!


Just think; I had finally gotten all the iron stains off the sink a while back.  You can actually tell it’s silver, now.  Before, it was just rust coloured.  But with that new piece, so shiny, so chrome, you can really see the difference!

Oh, and underneath?


Isn’t that lovely?  She did a great job.

The band around the pipe didn’t need to be replaced, which was nice.

It wasn’t until I uploaded the video onto the computer that I noticed the old cobwebs in the corner.  My daughter never saw them while working under there.  Which is a good thing, because she’s arachnophobic!

As I was taking these pictures, I found myself wondering.

Why do we have flexible hoses leading to our taps instead of pipes?  I’ve seen those hoses for things like running to an installed dishwasher or something, but not like this.

Well, that’s one more thing on the farm we’ve fixed!  Too bad these fixes have almost all been unexpected ones!

The Re-Farmer

2 thoughts on “A Quick Lesson in Plumbing

  1. Pingback: Morning discoveries | The Re-Farmer

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