Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Um. I can’t explain why I not only posted that mind-bogglingly messed up story about last night’s plumbing emergency before I was finished with it, but more than that, while it still had a lot of unedited crap dangling like a stinky klingon from its underside. Damned careless of me. I do apologize from the pit of my frozen soul.

But I have, as it turns out, still more of the story to relate to you. I wasn’t kidding about having a soul as cold and solid as the icy surface of a Jovian moon. I am absolutely shameless about stringing this story out as long as I can, and I don’t care how much you despise me for it. I am impervious to your shame rays. Shame away.

The part I left out, and it was the best part, I promise, was this: I had this idea that I could saw out a length of the pipe that carries the water from the kitchen sink to the sewer, and I would do such a batshit crazy thing because it would make unplugging the sewer pipe so much easier. Shoving a hose down the drain of the kitchen drain requires crawling under the sink, disconnecting the drain pipe, disconnecting the washing machine, connecting a garden hose to the water spigot that the wash machine was previously connected to, dragging the garden hose across the dining room floor to the kitchen while dribbling water all over the Formica and shoving the other end down the drain. I think you can see why this sucks.

But if I could shove a garden hose down the drain pipe in the basement, that would be a whole lot easier and I wouldn’t care how much water I dribbled on the floor. I gleefully hacksawed a three-foot length out of the drainpipe. But before I did that, I took a quick trip over to the hardware store to pick up a length of plastic pipe that was the same width as the copper pipe, as well as a pair of rubber collars with built-in clamps that would join the ends of the plastic pipe to the copper pipe. I took special care to measure the copper pipe to find out it was an inch and a half wide, and I bought plastic pipe that was also an inch and a half wide. The rubber collars came wrapped in a thick cardboard label declaring that it was an inch and a half wide. All was in perfect order.

So it will probably come as no surprise whatsoever that the rubber collars were too big to clamp tightly around the stump of copper pipe that was all that was left sticking out of the floor when I was done sawing it to pieces. Without a tight seal, and with the rubber collars I had it would be anything but, waste water would dribble all over the basement floor if we tried to use the kitchen sink to, for instance, clean up the dinner dishes, which remained strewn all over the dining room table. I discovered this at quarter to eight. The hardware store closed at eight o’clock. Well. Of course.

Driving like a man with nothing to lose, I made it there with just a few minutes to spare. I ran, literally ran from my car to the plumbing section, shoving aside women and children who got in my way, and found a rubber collar that would fit the copper pipe. And I made sure it would because I had a two-inch-long section of pipe that I hacked off the end of the now-useless piece of pipe I’d cut away earlier. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into the hardware store carrying hacked-off pieces of Our Humble O’Bode, I only know for sure this wasn’t the first time.

Back home again, I put the drain pipe together after flushing the sewer out with the garden hose. Everything was fine and dandy and seemed to be draining properly without dribbling too excessively. At that point I was willing to put up with a teensy bit of dribble. And when it was all put back together and the emergency was over, I took a long, hot shower, then plopped my butt in the recliner and did not remove my carcass until it was time to get up and totter off to bed. And somehow I even managed to sleep without nightmares of broken water mains and gushing toilets. Thank goodness.

strikeout | 10:00 pm CDT
Category: adventures in plumbing, Our Humble O'Bode
Comments Off on strikeout

Comments are closed.