Handmade Plumbing

The spirit of this blog is the joy you can get from creating something with your own two hands.  Whether it’s food, crafts, art, or something more mundane, like the plumbing between the pool pump and pool heater.  Last week that plumbing sprung a leak in fail-in-the-dike fashion, with a jet of water spurting out from a pipe junction.  I tried caulk and that failed.  So I tried more caulk.  That failed.  So I bought some chemical weld, the unholy toxic goop used to bond sections of PVC pipe.  I used a small plastic syringe, squirted it in there, then slathered the edge of the junction with the stuff.  “This can’t fail!”  It failed.  Time to go to level two:  complete rebuild.

I bought some appropriate sections of PVC pipe, junctions, elbows, Teflon tape, fittings, and then bought more the next day.  When a part costs two dollars it’s better just to buy extra and save yourself another trip to the hardware store mid-project, using up three dollars in gas because you’re taking corners on two wheels and testing your car’s rev-limiter because your head is ABOUT TO EXPLODE from frustration.  Not that I’ve ever done something so infantile.  Where were we?  Yes, the parts.  I just needed to get together the tools needed.  Now where is that big pipe wrench I bought for the bathroom renovation project?  Ten minutes searching yielding nothing but empty hands.  I described it to my wife, checked the workbench twice, then a third time.  Half an hour wasted and I need that tool.  Finally I discover it.  It is a massive crescent wrench that can fit up to 1 ½” pipe.  I was using 2” pipe.  So I borrowed a neighbor’s pipe wrench and got to work.  With the right tools, assembling PVC pipe is a snap.  It cuts easily with a hand saw, the chemical bond is like the mighty grip of Thor, and it’s just flexible enough to slight errors in measurement and tolerance.  In a half hour I’d done this:

What, you say?  Can’t tell what’s new?  I admit it doesn’t look like much but please note the absence of a jet of water spurting from the plumbing.  Never mind the system isn’t on, but trust me when I say that it doesn’t leak any more.  Chalk one up for Handmade!

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5 comments
  1. Damn–rock that! It doesn’t matter how it looks if it does that job, and that’s clearly doing the job.

    Maybe I should be more open to trying my hand at things like this . . . :p

  2. Bravo Peter! I know that is no easy task. We just has a similar issue at our hose which required a good portion of the front yard to be dug up. Well, at least its fixed. 🙂

  3. Brenda said:

    Great job. I love the turquoise color gooo! It’s perfect for the swimming pool area. And just think what you saved by doing it by yourself.

  4. Babs said:

    Woo Hoo! Maybe you now have a back-up career besides baking. Oh…baking and plumbing!

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