I Don’t Do My Own Plumbing . . .

Tuesday March 3, 2020 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Uncategorized

01 Jan 2000 --- Plumbers dilemma --- Image by © David Bentley/CORBISSo, I did something I said I would never do again. Plumbing.

And it bit me in the butt.

It was a simple task. Change out the faucet in the main floor bathroom. I figured I could manage that. How hard could it be?


I took pictures (Well, actually i forgot to take pictures, so my wife took a few and texted them to me) so I could match it. I went to Menard’s and found a similar new faucet and slotted the time for installation for the weekend.

Sunday afternoon I unboxed the faucet and started the removal. That’s where the first problem popped up. The new faucet had a pop-up drain, instead of a pop-up rod assembly. So I would have to remove the drain and install the new one. No problem.

Well…problem. The area under the sink was very tight. I couldn’t really get my head and arm in the same side without contorting my body. And I was unable to separate the top and bottom part of the drain and it would not pull out otherwise.

It was nasty in there too, fungus and hair and slime. I did manage to clean it up really well. There’s that. But I was missing something in taking out the drain and decided at that point to go ahead and call the plumber to install it all. Which I should have done from the beginning, since I said I would never do my own plumbing again.

So I commenced to put it all back together. It went fairly smoothly and I thought I was done. Did I say the area under the sink was tight? Getting the lines reconnected was a pain due to the lack of space. I couldn’t see very well (at all) without contorting my body again and getting up in there. But I’m not as young as I used to be and I was getting tired. I tried to do it without getting my whole upper body in there, but it all seemed to be back together. I turned the water and nothing was dripping that I noticed. The floor under the sink stayed dry.

Flash forward about eight hours.

My boys coming running up from the basement yelling, “There’s water pouring out of the ceiling!” (Thank God they are down there most of the time. I can’t imagine how this would have turned out otherwise.)

Water was pouring out of a light fixture in the ceiling and there were several places along seems in the drywall where water was pooling and starting to drip through. I ran back upstairs to try and figure out where it was coming from, but nothing was running. Our master bathroom toilet had just been flushed, so maybe something was leaking there and it was right above where it was leaking out of the light fixture. Was it a coincidence that I had tried to do some plumbing work earlier? All I had done was turn on and off the water below the sink.

I was out of my league, but it was 10 PM on Sunday.  I called the emergency number for the plumber and he was there about forty minutes later.

I’ll cut to the chase here; he did an amazing job of pinpointing the problem in fairly short order and had everything fixed by midnight.

Yep, it was my handiwork. I didn’t get the hot water line connected properly under the sink when I put it back together and the water had been trickling down along the line into the basement in a barely visible trail.

I now have some drywall to repair.

Lesson learned. Again. Never, ever, do my own plumbing.

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