September 24, 2011

DIY Home Improvement

In early August, the Hubs discovered that we had a leak in our basement an hour before we were supposed to leave to go meet our extended family for a camping weekend.  The leak was not in the water supply pipes, but in the waste line coming from our kitchen.

As I have stated before, this is the house I grew up in and just about every system in the house has at one time been "improved" or "renovated" by my parents.  However much of those "improvements" were made 25-30 years ago.  Therefore we are bound to find many things that need repair as we settle into this house.  We have been in the house almost a year and a half, and since repairing the furnace last Winter, this is the first emergency - needs to be fixed right now - issue and so I should be grateful.

Since we were leaving for the weekend to go camping, we could have just left it until we returned, but who wants to deal with plumbing after camping all weekend?  I asked if we should call a plumber.  The Hubs gave me a pretty emphatic, "No".  So he took a couple photos of the section needing repaired and headed to our neighborhood hardware store.  Here is the leaking pipe:

You can see clearly the strip of galvanized pipe that is missing above.  There were actually two sections of galvanized pipe and they both looked like that. This section of pipe is located right at the intersection of the 4" main sewer line coming from the main floor bathroom. The section at the bottom of the photo contains a clean out for that intersection. It was complicated. I am an architect, not a plumber. I have learned a lot about all building systems over the last 20+ years of architecture school and working, and I can swing a hammer, but plumbing is not something I ever thought I could take on.

But the Hubs felt he could fix it, so I stepped back and let him.

He returned with a sack full of black plastic pipe sections, including a new clean out section, some plastic pipe adhesive and teflon tape. Basically, we replaced this entire section, so as to remove all the sections of galvanized pipe that had obviously outlived their useful life. There were a couple measurements to be made and a couple cuts to some plastic pipe lengths to match the old sections. Measuring is my job in our marriage.  But that is pretty much all I contributed to this DIY plumbing repair. Well, that and running the kitchen sink a couple times on accident while he was working.  oops.  

He was not happy.

VERY not happy.  Because as I said, it happened twice. double oops.

But after cleaning that mess up (while I tried not to laugh and the Hubs tried -and succeeded- to keep his temper) we proceeded to put it all together.  The plumbing adhesive works FAST.  Remember that if you ever take this on for yourself one day. 

Ta da!  The Hubs will from here on out be known as Super Hubs.  And we were not late to meet the family for camping, this only took a couple hours beginning to end!


  1. Be sure to give him a well-earned pat on the back (or bottom, perhaps?). Gotta love the Super-Hubby!

  2. Great job hubby! My hubby calls the plumber faster than I can say "do you think..." LOL

  3. I know! This goes under the title of "Things I found my man can do AFTER we got married."

  4. Oops! A little water in the face might have been refreshing. Gotta love those DIY warriors. I've got one too. Thankfully.

  5. Props to your husband for the success with his DIY home improvement project. I usually leave 2 things up to the pros: plumbing & electricity, so I salute him!

  6. Good job for your husband! It really helps to have a husband who knows how to do DIY repairs. Imagine how much it would’ve cost you to have this leak repaired by a plumber. Still, you can always consider hiring plumbers to do the repairs to be assured of quality.

    -Darryl Iorio