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Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Water Water Everywhere, But Not A Drop To Drink

Last Monday (2nd April) my Wife phoned me while I was at work to inform me that she had discovered a water leak under the kitchen sink. My plan was to investigate after my visit to the dentist (material for another article).

What I discovered was that the cold water pipe was leaking at one of its joints. Of course it wasn’t an easily accessible joint, but one hidden away right up behind the sink. It would be a “sink out” job for the weekend. In the meantime I’d patch it up with some waterproof tape.

That was the plan. However, the reality was very different. The tape was totally useless and the jug I’d places under the leak was filling up at an alarming rate.

On Tuesday I took the day off work to do a full “sink out” repair. While I was at it I might as well fit some nice new taps. We chose one called a deck mixer in chrome and off the plumbers merchant I trotted.

The next task was to turn the hot and cold water off. Turning the mains water off always causes on problem for two reasons.

1 – Our inside stop cock refuses to turn off completely.
2 – The stop cock in the road can’t be turned off as it’s full of soil.

I’m well aware that I need to replace the inside stop cock, but as I can’t turn the outside one off I have a problem. The answer is to phone the water board and get them to deal with it, but I’m worried that they will want to fit a water meter while they are at it.

I’m used to catching the slow-ish trickle of water from the cold pipe, but I wasn’t expecting to have a similar problem with the hot water system. I replace all the other stop cocks about 10 years ago when I did the bathroom, but the hot water was still running 30 minutes after I turned it off. The only solution was to completely drain both the hot and cold tanks. I was then able to get the sink off and fix the leak.

Why do I always try to cut corners and reuse some of the old plumbing? It never works and you’d think I’d have learnt that by now. After a second trip to the plumbers merchant all was sorted and the leak had been banished. All the remained was to refill all the empty tanks and deal with all the air locks caused.

Job done, but as ever with me it took a lot longer than it should.


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