Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Water water everywhere

As I've alluded to in other posts, I had a bit of a plumbing disaster a while ago - over a month, I'd say. We came home one night to the water meter ticking furiously but no gushing taps. I got Tim the friendly neighbourhood plumber to come over and have a look for me (at 6pm on a Sunday night - I'm sure I'm now his favourite neighbour!). He found the leak for me - a huge chunk had blown out of the pipe around the side of the house. The next day he put a temporary fix on it for me but strongly suggested I dig out the pipes so he could replace the old rusty ones with brand new plastic. So I spent a few happy days trench-digging. The kids helped too, for a while... I dug out about 12 m but then sprang another leak through incautious use of the shovel. So Tim decided he would just lay the polypipe over the top of the soil and I could dig the rest of the trench when I had time. From the meter to the house is probably about 30m, the way the pipe runs (and under the concrete path too). But when he went to lay the polypipe, he found that the pipes were already mostly plastic, and it was only the last, oh, 12 metres that were iron. If I'd dug about another 30cm more, I would have found the plastic myself. How cool was that?!
But not so cool was the fact that once he'd replaced the pipes, every tap in the house kept dripping furiously. I finally got another plumber in (one that I could actually PAY, since Tim accepted only some lasagne I cooked for them but no money) after my wimpy girl-arms failed the tap test, much to my disgust. Anyway, the new plumber kindly loosened all the taps for me and started to replace the washers. Only to find lots of little pebbles in the pipes. When the pipe burst and we turned off the mains a whole bunch of gravel and dirt had fallen into the pipes, and now were spread all through the house at each tap. Yay. Oh, and that kitchen spout that's also dripping from the base? Since the screw has seized up, there's no way to change that washer except to hacksaw off the spout and buy a whole new one. Now this story could get really long and colourful from here, or I could keep it short and say that after changing most of the washers myself and cursing at various other things that didn't work properly and spending many weeks living with buckets under every tap, over the weekend Dad and Roman who was visiting from Melbourne came and helped fix it all! Well, except the bathroom taps and shower still drip a little, and the laundry one leaks as much as before, but I'm keeping quiet about that. Actually the extra bonus frustrating thing about it is that when you change the washers and things, more grit and pebbles seem to flow up the pipes and damage the new washers too. Hooray. So we probably need to actually flush the pipes a bit, which could be a very wet experience. One day...

Here is the trench after I started to fill it in. It still looks exactly like this though! It's a tomorrow job...

A bit hard to see, but this is the section of pipe with the hole in it. The hole is pretty much the same size as my thumb.

Also continuing the water theme is that Sophie has started swimming lessons. I took her to the pool before her lessons started as she is pretty timid and I thought she might be scared of the water. She loved it but hates putting her face under the water. Today though (week 4) she actually willingly put her whole face under the water! I bought new goggles too for her, which should help with her confidence. I think I have probably purchased around two dozen pairs of goggles so far. I only have four children! How does that happen? There must be a goggle party happening somewhere where all the goggles laze around the pool getting a suntan and laughing at the foolish humans they have escaped from.

Sophie about to get in the pool for her first ever swimming lesson.

She actually got in the pool! I did have some doubts...

And totally unrelated to water but I had to share this quote which came up for me today in a widget thing:

Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets and then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again.
Rick Polito
That was a strange enough quote to make me go look it up. It's a tv listing for "The Wizard of Oz".


Michael Field said...

1. Yay Rach the Plumber.
2. Yay for Dads.
3. Yay Sophie the fish girl.
4. Regarding freaky movie phenomenon. The day you told me that SAm had sent you "Dry Baby" on DVD ... that night I was watching TV and guess what was the "movie" that night :)

p.s. Your blog is excempt from my works "Fun is banned" IT policy :)

Michael Field said...

5. Yay for spelling mistakes.