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Very patient, or a slow learner?

For some time the hot water tap (faucet) in my kitchen had been leaking. While a leak is not normally such a big deal, a leak in the middle of a drought can’t be ignored for too long if you collect your own water.

So putting on my plumber’s pants (the ones that show my butt crack to its best advantage) I went into town and bought some replacement washers. Seeing as I had to drain the the hot-water tank in the roof (the hot water is gravity fed, while the cold water is on a pressure pump), I decided to replace them all at the same time. The preceding sentence has absolutely no relevance to this story whatsoever.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I had accomplished the task (I make Tim Taylor look good). Before I knew it, everything was put back together, and the pump switched back on. Bingo! no more leak. But there was one thing that seemed a little odd. When I turned on the hot water tap at the kitchen sink, the water didn’t come out immediately, it took a few seconds. “That’s new” was my astute observation. As I was changing the washers I noticed that the spindle was sticking in that tap, so I pulled the tap apart and sprayed WD40 on it, and eventually loosened it up, so I knew that it couldn’t be the tap that was the problem.

Eventually I determined that because the leak had been stopped, and because the hot water was only gravity fed and not under pressure, and because the pipes come from above the ceiling then under the sink and back up again that those three things conspired to make a slight delay in the delivery of water. So I decided to live with it.

Different situations produced different results, for example it was always worse first thing in the morning, but it wasn’t as bad if I used the bathroom taps before I filled the jug. But then it began taking longer and longer. It got to the point where I would go to the kitchen, turn the tap on and then go back, have a piss, wash my hands and get back to the kitchen before the water showed up, every… fucking… morning.

One day as I was standing there waiting for the water to come out of the tap, I got to thinking. First off I decided that this was bullshit. Then I tried to figure out what was causing it (actually this wasn’t the first time I’d thought about it).  It couldn’t possibly be that the tap itself was cactus, as I’d given it a grease and oil change when I replaced the washer, but what else could it be? Finally I bit the bullet and bought a new tap.

Well cut off my legs and call me Shorty! The water flow was now instantaneous. It was the tap all along. The inside of the tap was so pitted and grungy that apparently when I turned the handle, the washer didn’t move until there was enough water pressure  built up to push the washer out of the way, which took a while seeing as it was gravity fed.

I was ecstatic! So for the past 4 weeks I’ve had water whenever I want it, my life is wonderful. It’s just a shame I didn’t stumble onto the remedy two years ago, when I changed the washers….


33 Responses

  1. Very patient I say. “Well cut off my legs and call me Shorty! ” LMAO!

  2. Isn’t it great when the little things in life give you such joy. Like hot water! Wash my mouth out with soap, hot water a little thing? It’s the best!

    Can we call you Bob the Builder now?

  3. You’re in heaven (singing) that would have driven me mad! Come to think of it my taps aren’t too good …must get embee onto it…. so I’ll be waiting more than two years for that to happen!

  4. Two years! I would not have been so patient. That would have put me in a bad mood every morning, and I would have woken everyone else cussing. Of course we are very spoiled in having such amenities as running (and heated) water. Plenty of people do without it. Funny that I can put up with no toilet, no running water, bugs flying around me while I’m cooking, and so many other things when I’m camping and love every minute of it, but I won’t put up with it for a second at home without whining and cussing.

    Very good post, WT! Who woulda thunk a post about plumbing could be interesting? I especially loved this sentence:
    “So putting on my plumber’s pants (the ones that show my butt crack to its best advantage) I went into town and bought some replacement washers.”
    It’s also interesting for the difference in how your plumbing works. Of course, I’m not sure if there really is a difference since I have no clue how ours works except that I turn the tap on and there’s water.

  5. You got it! Yessss!!! Tis always the most obvious things sometimes we seem to dismiss the easiest, huh? You’re good tho… i would have blown the HWS up for ever if I’d touched it! heh heh

    Sure beats washing down at your creek/billabong, huh?

  6. Dear willowtree. Not patient, not a slow learner. Just yucky with yucky dirty taps!

  7. i love that expression–cut off my legs and call me shorty!

    but “cactus” is a new one for me.

    i’m also now picturing you, vividly, having a piss while showing your plumber’s crack. it’s not all bad….

  8. hahaha!! Oh, that was good. Two years, eh?? why does this remind me of my parents??

  9. This is why I call the plumber. That and because I know not a fucking clue about plumbing.

  10. Hey, you had to recover the cost of the new washer so you had to wait! That’s the bean counter in me LOL.

  11. Two years? TWO YEARS???

    There’s a Danish expression about not riding the same day you saddle the horse, but you take that to extremes, don’t ya?

  12. Well I never!

  13. All’s (well) that ends well.

  14. Two Years? Oh Hell.

  15. You are a brilliant man. And apparently quite patient.

  16. Thank God for all those folks who view us procrastinators as virtuously patient.

  17. oh. my. gosh.

    my water just comes on. and if it doesn’t I call the water people and say WTH? and they fix it.

    where do you get your water? how do you collect it? what do you do when you run out? do you ration yourself? i can’t figure this all out.

  18. We all have a story like that — just to darn proud to admit it. I’m definitely not proud of my plumbers craaaaaack. I think I have two of them. snort… especially after that stretch of housebound and Christmas food. I needa little gravity to get flowing, too.

  19. I think sometimes we learn to live with stuff like that – until one day you can’t take it any more. Now if you could just convince my husband to move his damn truck that has been sitting in our bacyard for 4 months, I’d appreciate it.

  20. Two WT’s posts in one week!

    And where’s Equoni?

    You live alone, in basically a “bachelor pad”, and you seriously wash your hands after a piss?

    Running water. Funny how the simplest things bring the greatest joy. Well, not so simple in your case…

  21. *chortle*

    Of course, you also jumped in the roof and installed a tap on the outlet of the hot water so you don’t have to waste a tankfull next time you need to replace a washer on a hot water tap. 😉

  22. Actually lemmiwinks, it’s not so bad, the hot water draws from the top of the tank, so if the pump is turned off (and doesn’t refill the the tank) I only lose a few litres.

  23. The two year anniversary of the skirting now getting put around my house isn’t until May so I guess I’ll just let hubs (whose name IS Shorty) be patient a little longer!

    Glad to hear your water woes are fixed.

  24. You fix plumbing like I fix computers. That’s not a compliment.

  25. oops, that should have been “not getting put around”. Sorry.

  26. That’s a long time to tolerate no pressure. There’s no way I could have lasted.

  27. You made me laugh out loud this morning. Thanks for that :-).

  28. Hmm, we have horrible water pressure, I wonder if our problem is this easily solved!! But like you , we will probably take a few years to figure it all out. :o)

  29. Mmm patient or slow learner? Neither. LAZY!!!! That’s my story anyway.

  30. Hmmm! My mum loved the cut off my legs and call me shorty bit, Im afraid I could not get past the part about the plumbers crack! Nasty visions! ARggggghhhh!

  31. Well done, Pete the Plumber! Now I got this image in my head of the plumber’s pants….ha!!

  32. I want a picture of you in your Plumber’s Pants that show your crack off to it’s best advantage….


  33. There is a brilliant book there for the taking if somebody just gathers all the “plumbing” stories from blogs everywhere… I’ve been a contributor too.

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