I am a Plumber ~ Sorta

Have you ever noticed (if you are a women) that stuff seems to always break, deflate, rip and fall apart when your husband is out of town?  Last January not only did our outdoor shower pipe bust and spew at a rate of speed and height to make Old Faithful jealous but the heat went out and I had to go borrow heaters from my good friend Amanda (her blog is great and can be found here) because the stores were all closed.  I think I would have been fine under a pile of quilts but the children think they have to have a temp over 32 degrees inside for comfort.

So this morning I walk to the chicken pen to let the ladies out into their courtyard and about 12 feet from the door I start squishing.  It hasn’t rained.  It hasn’t snowed.  There are no wayward sprinklers running amok.  Nope, it was a massive water leak.  The ground was spongy and I could see the trickle of water from a little sandy area where the water pressure had formed a river bed.  Crap.  I was on my way to work and since I have the keys and the alarm code it’s rather important I attempt to be on time.  So I shut off the main water line and got some coffee then avoided coming home for 2 hours after work by going to Wal-Mart and purchasing my first pair of leggings EVER plus some tights because I had none and I needed some club soda for the deer hide I’m going to tan.  And I was out of iron and we needed some small toys for the Operation Christmas Child packing party at church on Sunday.  I finally ran out of excuses and returned home.  I located, after some effort, a saw, a pvc cap, a shovel and set to work.  Finding the line took a few minutes because it was deeper than I thought it was, however, once found the leak was easy to locate.

I thought I’d share the whole experience with you so if you ever find yourself without a husband and don’t want to pay a plumber and the leak isn’t going into the main house line…..you can take care of it yourself!

pipeI started digging a few inches north of the soggy ground, I knew it had to be close.

Bingo!  It had not frozen and busted like I suspected, no.  The ‘T’ fitting taking water to the barn and calf pen just decided it had enough and was dripping.  After much shoveling of mud I exposed the pipe enough to get at it with a hack saw.


Did I mention it was 39 degrees?

On a Saturday?

And my husband is 10 hours away?



Time to get to work with the hack saw, most important thing to remember before you cut is to MAKE SURE you are cutting behind the leak.  I was.

Once the first cut is made you need to move up a little and cut some more, this way you have room to get the cap on.



Sometimes you need to hold the pipe so it doesn’t bend and crack or break.  Then you would have to start all over = not fun.

You can see here that I cut out a section just slightly longer than the cap…..


Also, be sure you have the right size cap before putting the glue on otherwise you will be like me and driving to your neighbors house and borrowing a cap.  Or worse, if you have horrid non-cap baring neighbors you would have to go to the hardware store with mud on your hands and pants.  Thank God I have Earl.


See how dirty the pipe is?  Not good, it must be really super duper clean before you glue.  So rinse it off…..


Then dab on some pipe cleaner all the way around…….



Don’t forget to clean the cap too!


Now repeat the whole ‘dabbing’ process with the glue and shove the cap on as tight as it will go!



Give it at least 10 minutes or so to set up before you cut the water back on.  It is always a good idea to leave a hose running and cut the water on slowly so the pressure doesn’t hit all at once and blow off the cap thus rendering all your hard work and muddy pants pointless.


Check and make sure nothing is leaking then go ahead and turn the water all the way back on.


Put up your tools then take a selfie because you are so proud of yourself…..


Good Lord I’ll be glad when my husband gets home…….

5 thoughts on “I am a Plumber ~ Sorta

  1. Way to go, Mrs. Rachel! Of course, you know that we have the Maydelle Plumbing Store up the road should your neighbors fail you! And glue, and cleaner, and….yes, we have been in your exact position. You only forgot one thing…a beer at the end (or possibly a glass of wine; or in my case, a nice hot coffee) makes plumbing so much better. 😉


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