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  • Awesome! 3 days off from work??

    3 hours is probably more accurate!

    FRIDAY: Extremely busy day at the day job along with end of month processing trying to make a paycheck. Pretty decent day overall, sped home to start lawn mowing which has been delayed due to the recent rains (finally.)

    SATURDAY: Spent much of the day in the yard again finishing up between thunderstorms; did some overdue maintenance on the vehicles. Took a long shower trying to wash away the arthritic aches & pains that have worsened after quitting the NSAIDS due to the recently diagnosed ulcer and finally settled into bed. Just about asleep and SWMBO shakes me awake: "Did you leave the water on outside? I hear water running." CRAP! Narrowed the noise down to the same area I had a leak in a couple years ago. Drug heavy furniture out of the way to access the 2 foot square hole I'd cut into the wall when I fixed the leak last time. I could hear the leak clearly and could only see it using a mirror; couldn't get my arm far enough into the space to touch it due to other pipes in the way.



    I shut the water the water off and went back to bed little before midnight.

    SUNDAY: Got maybe 2 hrs sleep worrying about how to get to it to patch it and worrying about the possibility of borrowing money to pay a plumber to yank out a bathtub and wall tiles to access the repairs.

    SWMBO woke me about 7:00 AM in intense pain from a slipped/inflamed disc that started Sat evening dealing with our sweet little granddaughter that was spending a couple days with us. Got her propped up & somewhat comfortable and headed to the shop to start making a narrower version of the aluminum & silicone tubing repair clamp I stopped the last leak with. It had to be narrower as the new leak was in a curve. Spent much of the day herding granddaughter and making the clamp





    SWMBO got worse so off to the E.R. to get her looked at. Finally got her home & meds in place so she could get some rest.

    Finished up the clamp and gently bent the obstructing pipes out of the way enough to snake my arm into the hole. I had split the soft silicone tubing and glued it to the clamp halves with super glue The plan was to slip the clamp over the pipe with one screw started a couple threads, run both screws down finger tight then slide the clamp to the spot & tighten it by feel only. Great plan but as soon as I slid it down the tubing halves popped out immediately. CA glue doesn’t stick well to silicone apparently. I finally got 3M double side tape to stick after cleaning the CA off & playing a butane flame onto the silicon before applying the tape then clamping the rig around a dummy 5/8” rod & heating it all with a heat gun.

    I turned the water back on, assembled the clamp onto the pipe (screws finger-tight), slid it into place over the leak and was able to feel the water spray good enough to get the clamp centered over the pinhole strictly by touch only. I tied a string on the allen wrench (to retrieve it when the inevitable drop occurred) and was finally able to get both screws tight a quarter-turn at a time. Yay, homeshop engineering wins again! Unfortunately I couldn’t even have a celebratory libation due to a doctor-prescribed prohibition rule.



    MONDAY: SWMBO’s still doing poorly so it’s friggin’ housework for me today and washing machine duty getting clothes ready for going back to work tomorrow to get some rest. (Knock on wood!)
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

  • #2
    What caused the (most recent) failure? Was it in the hot water line? Maybe time to replace the copper pipes with pex tubing and some Sharkbite fittings.

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    • #3
      Cold water line. Yep, it has been time to gut the system and start over with new stuff but I don't have the funds to pay someone to do it nor the physical ability to do it myself. The town I live in is known for plumbing problems due to a water treatment issue combined with the M grade copper tubing used when the developers threw these houses together back in the late 70's.

      I'll keep fixing the pinholes as long as I can and maybe a golden meteorite will land in my back yard someday so I can afford to fix it right.
      Milton

      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

      Comment


      • #4
        A trick I use on allen wrenches is rubber washers or grommets. Slip a snug fitting one over the allen wrench with a string or fishing line between it and the wrench. Take a couple of turns around the washer with the line before installing it and it will hold while you fish it back out of the dark recess it has chosen to hide in.

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        • #5
          It was water system maintenance that was the proximate cause of my stroke. I was lying head down under the water tank soldering a patch on a pinhole that was letting the air out. I got up and while my blood pressure was still high I immediately bashed the left rear corner of my head on the 90 degree corner of a shelf, hard. That was exactly where the bleed occurred and the neurologist confirms that was the likely cause. There are other problems though since it shouldn't bleed that easily.

          Today I am struggling with changing the rear brake pads on the F250. I'm gonna have some very sore muscles tomorrow since I am totally out of shape. I am also very paranoid about hitting my head on something.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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          • #6
            Ouch! I worry about that kind of thing myself. When I was young I could hang upside down with no discomfort. Now if I bend way over without getting down on my knees or otherwise lowering my upper body I can feel the pressure rise in my head and worry about something blowing out. I can see how bumping one's head in that condition is dangerous. Us old pharts have gotta be careful! I spent 5 minutes or more getting down in a comfortable position with a pillow and some old towels before doing the final stage of the plumbing repair because I knew I'd be there a while. It was a bit of a contortion getting my arm around that corner!

            Too bad you don't have a young flat-belly apprentice to do simple maintenance chores for you. The right young man could REALLY get a head start on life working around you for a year or so.

            I put brakes on #2 son-in-law's car in my driveway a couple summers ago and spent 3 weeks hobbling around with a bad back afterward. I get one of the guys at the shop to do that stuff now when I can afford it. It hurts my body a lot less!
            Milton

            "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

            "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Evan View Post
              It was water system maintenance that was the proximate cause of my stroke. I was lying head down under the water tank soldering a patch on a pinhole that was letting the air out. I got up and while my blood pressure was still high I immediately bashed the left rear corner of my head on the 90 degree corner of a shelf, hard. That was exactly where the bleed occurred and the neurologist confirms that was the likely cause. There are other problems though since it shouldn't bleed that easily.

              Today I am struggling with changing the rear brake pads on the F250. I'm gonna have some very sore muscles tomorrow since I am totally out of shape. I am also very paranoid about hitting my head on something.
              Evan,

              I'm very glad to hear that you are back to being able to "struggle" on your projects.

              Please, just keep on "struggling", until you get yourself back into shape.
              Cheers,
              Gary

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              • #8
                I have to get myself into some pretty cramped quarters at times, and these days I'm as apt as not to get some kind of cramp while doing so. If I very quickly get back to a normal position, it will go away without building into an internal vise grip. Then I try again. If the same thing happens again, then I pretty much can't do the acrobatic maneuver. If I don't get it all relaxed in time, then I'm in for a painful session which could last for days if not a week or more.

                The last time I pulled a muscle it was over a month before I was ok again.

                I went for a hike the other day, up a fairly steep and rocky trail. I haven't been out in a while, so in part it was a test to see how well my body could handle it. Turns out I barely had to breathe hard to get through it. It's been worse in times past when I was younger and had to stop a time or two to catch my breath. The trail hasn't changed, but for some reason it was relatively easy for me to do this hike. I expected to feel it in my legs today, but I was fine. Counting my blessings-
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #9
                  nice fix, you should market your clamps in local shops! how about a bump cap, IE hard shell baseball cap [ i found that you can get a really good fit and fit your welding visor with some ingenuity, cap backwards of course, much more comfy than straps which explains why my mate has 'borrowed' mine again, also protects your head!
                  keep it up
                  mark

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD View Post
                    Cold water line. The town I live in is known for plumbing problems due to a water treatment issue combined with the M grade copper tubing used when the developers threw these houses together back in the late 70's.
                    Nothing wrong with using M copper for cold water. What condition is causing your municipal water to be so "active" that it's eating through the copper?

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                    • #11
                      The way I understand it, there was a compound in the water that was either not there or was added (can't remember which) that prevented the normal brownish oxidation that is created on the inside of new copper tubing after it's in use for a while. This supposedly allows a slow deterioration from the inside out. That's what I read on a website a while back.

                      The city, of course, says it's inferior copper tubing that causes the problem. Funny, the pinhole leaks problem is well known in the area and occurs in hundreds of homes that were built across a wide range of years. Whatever the reason is, I'm stuck with it!
                      Milton

                      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You mean its not standard fare to have "days off" during which you do more/harder work than is done at the day job, have emergencies/other things "come up," and get little or nothing done that you had been really hoping to use this time to do? Personally, I was under the impression that work was my recovery time from being home with her.

                        I spent most of this weekend tinkering with/cussing at/bleeding on the mower, running over/digging up trash and other crap the previous owners left/half buried in the backyard with said mower (lazy SOBs didnt even do a good job burying), and working on the continuing restoration of our new/old house. The "honey-do" list included installing a new sink faucet/drain in the bathroom (why cant she just use the big kitchen sink for everything like I do?), some painting, hanging curtains, and other bits of the remaining 5% of "finishing" the house that will take the rest of my life. The good news was she took pity on me Sat night, washed/shampooed both the car and truck outside/in, and took me to Applebees for dinner and brew.
                        "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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                        • #13
                          Type "M" copper pipe in 1/2" diameter is only 0.028" thickness while type "L" is 0.040". The lifetime under similar conditions for type L is nearly twice as long. The killer is acid water. Alkaline water produces a protective interior coating and under those conditions copper pipe will last forever. In acid conditions the lifetime is directly dependent on the pH and the presence of sulphates in the water. Any area that tends to have acid water should never be plumbed with type M as it will have a very short life. This is a US wide problem with millions of homes affected.

                          As you can see this is a problem in Tennessee.

                          Last edited by Evan; 09-04-2012, 11:53 AM.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            It would be worthwhile for you to add a water softener to your house, way cheaper than putting in new pipes everywhere that's for sure. Rocksalt is cheap.
                            James Kilroy

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                            • #15
                              Water softeners only remove the calcium hardness from the water, replacing it with (a small amount) sodium. It won't help if his Ph is too low. Maybe a system like this: http://www.water-doctor.com/WD_wellwater.html

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