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Plumbing - Don't Do It Yourself

Plumbing - Don't Do It Yourself

Personally, I don't mess with plumbing. I am more likely to play with electricity than I am to try and fix my own plumbing. Of course, having an electrician for a spouse makes that a bit easier, but I am serious about not wanting to mess with plumbing. People buy books, watch videos, and ask neighbors, but they usually seem to come right back to asking a professional, usually after making the damage far more expensive than it had to be.

I don't know what it is; some sort of cross-dimensional voodoo, or something known only to a secret society of plumbers, but whenever I or anyone else I know has tried to do their own plumbing, it just makes matters worse. I remember once when my step-father was trying to fix the bathroom sinks. Something was wrong with the faucets. That really doesn't sound too hard; just replace them. No matter what he did, they didn't work right. Either they had to be turned around in all sorts of awkward directions, or they went hot or cold when at strange angles. I never understood what was happening, I just sat and watched as his relationship with my mother deteriorated because the water wasn't doing what she wanted it to do.

When we moved into our first house, a serious fixer-upper, there were some problems with the plumbing. The water pressure wasn't great anywhere in the house, but it was particularly bad in the kitchen sink. It would drizzle out in thin streams. I finally discovered that there was some sort of buildup in the faucet. It could be knocked free every so often, and the water pressure would improve. Also, the bathroom sink had a drip that developed into a steady run. When I went to shut the valves off under the sink, I discovered that their were no valves.

I decided to put them in myself and had the water turned off, but the pipes were so fused together that I couldn't get them to budge. My good buddy warned me not to risk it any further, since the pipes themselves might break, and we ended up pinching the water off and making the sink effectively unusable. In the end, it was only a plumber who could make the permanent fixes.

So, if you feel up to it, go ahead, try to do it yourself. I expect you'll be calling a plumber before too long, hopefully before you flood the basement and cause substantial water damage to your home. In Phoenix, that can get to be really costly.

by: Art Gib
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Plumbing - Don't Do It Yourself