A Plumbers Nightmare

What A Crappy Day

Super Mario PlumberCredit: Dreamaker

We'll start with a few bits about what Plumbing is. Some Pipes, and some water, some waste and some air. Some gas and some oil and a few other things we'll be talking about that I forgot, all moving to where we design what is called the plumbing system to take them.

The Plumbing system. This is a network of through ways, made of various tubular devices known as pipes take the liquids were we send them. We have helpers, we couldn't do it so well alone.

One of them and a very important one, is the simple force of nature called gravity. This is basically the preconceived notion and the present understanding, that liquids will run down hill. We'll use this ironically simple force of nature to carry out a monumental task to say the least. 

We'll enlist it to move every single bit of liquid that runs through a gravity based sewage system right to where we want it to take it all.

Most of the time it works. When it doesn't act as it should, is when you'll find yourself saying into your phone, "There's a problem with the water closet." if you didn't drop the phone into it and cause the problem to start with.

The plumber on the other end of the phone's butt crack clinched a little and whoever was there probably noticed because, well you know how plumbers are with their butt crack. Oh wait, except for me. I'm skinny.

Well that's it for the draining part. Then there's the other side of the coin which would be the water part of the plumbing game. These are the pipes that can break off whilst your turning in a boiler drain or burst when your heat goes out and they all freeze. Ah the almighty water pipe the delivery boy of life's thirst quencher. Most of the time.

When the water doesn't come out it's one of two reasons. The city shut you off because you didn't pay the bill, or your well ran dry. Oh wait a minute, there are other reasons, like frozen lines and broken lines and frozen broken lines. Those last ones suck.

I once spent a full seventy hour shift. And I mean straight through seventy hours in a row, thawing frozen pipes in a seacoast town up in Northern New England where I lived at the time. It snowed and it hailed and the ocean was throwing giant ice blocks, through the shoreline houses and yet we still stayed at it trying to get people back online with water lines that had frozen.

We made a homemade steamer out of an old propane cylinder by drilling and tapping the right size holes to make a steam  tank and set it up on a barrel and lit it up. Then we would cut the water line just inside the house and feed a small poly tube of steam into the small water main and slowly melt the ice until it got deep enough underground to reach the part that wouldn't freeze.

It was a nasty winter and I'd wrap the hose from the steamer through my jacket to warm up, even though I kept getting burned. I was freaken freezing the whole time. The worst part about that story is that it's not even close to the worst time I spent as a plumber.

There was one that maybe I should have told you up at the top because it has more to do with drainage then water pipes. Yea I bet I know what your thinking now. Well your most likely on the right track.

It had to do with a certain Saturday and me working on a day I was supposed to have off. I came in and got sent out to a job someone else was at already. They were a septic company installing a new system for the house we had just put all new plumbing in. I had agreed to work Saturday to do the swap over. This is plumbing so the article is still on track.

Anyway the backhoe was there and a few guys with shovels and the had just finished the ditch our new sewer line would run in to tie into the new tank he was going to put in.

At this point I had what I needed and went to work. My job was to break the four and a half inch hole I needed, through the 12 inch concrete foundation, while I was standing in a pit hole in the back yard. This way we could run our plumbing house main out of the cellar through this hole.

I had my Jack Hammer humming and the hole was coming along nicely, when I heard a very loud bang behind me that immediately caught my attention.

It seems that while I had my back turned, the boss of the guy on the backhoe instructed him to cave in the old septic tank, so they could dig it out and make room for the new one.

What no one knew, including the guy on the backhoe who hit the lid with his big machine bucket to crush it, was that the tank was full of you know what and went all over you know who.

 I swear, I stood up and there was a clear silhouette of my body showing up nicely surrounded by crap, that had hit the wall like a chocolate tsunami from God himself, as well as my entire back and head.

Ok so now you've heard about the worst day I had plumbing. Can you believe the boss wanted to know If I was coming back to finish after i went home and grabbed a shower. That was definatly without doubt,the stupidest question I ever heard.

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Ok Back To Plumbing

The Rest Of The Story

The rest of the plumbing game adds gas piping, which is another nasty dirty job that somebody once again ended up having to do a whole crapload of times. This one involves struggling to force a die stock to go around the end of a pipe untill the teeth grab on and start to make a thread. you have to crank it until you have enough threads to go into the fittings they use in their antiquated method of doing this task. Anyway it sucks and I hate it enough said.

Then there's sprinkler systems, did them too. These are exactly like doing gas piping systems because they use the same steel pipe and fittings except there huge. Like six and eight inches around, for the mains. Takes a machine to force the die around them to cut threads. Then you have to use a four-foot pipe wrench, to turn the fittings on the pipe. Super sized gas piping super sucked.

You may meet times when smaller steel lines of the same type are used for air lines in a garage for example. Plumber. There may be times when you're at the pool and it's full of girls in bikini's, asking you to lotion up their backs.......Oh wait never mind,....... that's the pool guy.

Plumbing Sucks.

This article was produced by a completely retired plumber and full-time online writer, who would be happy to write some stuff for you.