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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Did I ever tell you I hate plumbing?

I went to the local hardware store to get a five micron, whole house water filter. You know, I want to ensure we have the cleanest well water possible. 'Clean well water' is a bit of oxymoron still it's very much potable. I drink it. I shower in it, brush my teeth with it. So installing a filter seemed the logical solution for cleaner water. We already have a Reverse Osmosis system in the kitchen.

I approached the task like any other household chore. You know, with a how-hard-can-it-be attitude. I started at 11:00am. Gathered my tools. Arranged them all in one place. Got some lead-free solder, a new can of propane. I even read the instructions.

The filter that I bought leaked upon installation. (So did one of my soldering joints.) I went back again to the hardware store to get another replacement for this POS. Installed it and it leaked as before. Perhaps my well's jet pump has too much pressure? I never had any issues with high pressure on my well - quite the opposite. But can't complain really. I called the 1-800 phone number of the filter and the person told me it was normal that the filter leaked when put in by-pass mode. Leaked! This thing gushed both times. They told me to just put a bucket underneath it and wait for it to evaporate. Anyway, I read the fine details and it said the entire filter would have to be changed every five years and the actual filter every 3 or 4 months. I got the idea that this would be more work than I initially figured on.

In the end, I took the second filter back again for a refund this evening. Got another one - same model. While putting the boots to one compression joint my adjustable wrench broke, rather exploded. Sonofa$#@!... I have come to the realization that soldering copper joints with a smoken' hot jet of blue fire in tight dark spaces is not my handyman forte, especially doing it numerous times. I finished the evening with a newly installed 1 foot of shiny new copper pipe to make up for all the cuts I made throughout the day. It's now 10pm. No filter. But I figure the well water is good enough as we have the water tested regularly and I didn't have to pay for a plumber, though it would have eliminated today's headache. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. With plumbing anyway.

If there's one lesson I learned from this experiece, it's heat the fitting - not the pipe. That way the solder is sucked into the joint when the optimal temperature is reached. That and the fact that I hate plumbing. Plumbing sucks.


Blogger Unknown said...

As long as you clean the pipe and fitting, use flux on both peices, slowly heat both the pipe and fitting, so it comes up to temperature uniformly, and once the solder starts to flow back the heat off so as not to over heat. Discolored is over heated and will not take the solder. A good solder job is concave at the connection, if you overheat, or it is dirty or does not suck the solder in it looks convex at the joint

Friday, November 03, 2006 7:29:00 AM  
Blogger John MacDonald said...

Awaken to a new day feeling refreshed and reading the previous comment, plumbing sucks less than it did last night. Thanks for the tip, airwren.

Friday, November 03, 2006 8:03:00 AM  

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