Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Monday, August 15, 2005
Plumbing Distractions
Saturday, I was busy getting the house ready for a party. Of course, I had the day planned down to the minute with time to get everything done - assuming nothing went wrong. So, when I went downstairs to throw a load of laundry in the wash, and walked into a small flood in the laundry room, I realized that the day was not going as planned, and it was only 9:00 AM.

There has long been a rather remarkable feat of plumbing and sheer idiocy that connects the condensation outlet from the heat pump, to the drain into my sump pump. Rube Goldberg would be proud. It consists of five feet of PVC tubing with no less than 3 elbow joints to get to the ground drain. Therefore, on really hot days like Saturday, the joints get clogged by the dust and muck in the condensation, which causes the drain pan to overflow and flood. This is remedied amidst much cursing, by twisting apart the tubes, cleaning them out as best I can (which also results in black goo and water spilling all over the floor), and putting the whole thing back together, and then mopping the floor.

Well, I was in no mood to deal with this on party day, and in my haste, the tube snapped in half and black goo and water sprayed all over me, the floor, and the wall. Nice. Now I was looking as spending 2-3 hours that were not in the program to get parts at the hardware store and fix the damn thing. Alternative? Clean things up a bit and place a bucket beneath the remaining tube to catch the water, and deal with it later.

Because it was so hot, and because the air conditioner ran constantly, the bucket was filling about once an hour. Therefore, while getting ready for the party, and during the party, I had to run to the basement every hour and dump the bucket or risk having it overflow and flood the basement again.

Fast forward to 3:00 AM when I sat bolt upright in bed with my post party, wine addled brain and realized I hadn't emptied the bucket since midnight!! I ran to the basement, saw that it was dry, looked at the heat pump and cracked up as I remembered what I had done. My last conscious act had been to duct tape the broken tubing together, with the roll of duct tape still attached to the makeshift repair. The joint was leaking so I had placed the bucket underneath it, but it wasn't leaking very badly, and the bucket was in no danger of overfilling. Relieved, I headed back to bed for much needed sleep.

So yesterday, after two trips to Lowe's for tubing and hose clamps (because one trip to a large suburban mega hardware store in 98 degree weather a 1/2 hour away is just never enough), I had the right size tubing and instead of a rickety pipe, I now have a simple flexible hose line running from the outlet into the drain, which is what should have been installed in the first place.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:00 AM  
4 Editorial Opinions:
  • At August 15, 2005, Blogger AnonymousCoworker said…

    Good job on the fix, and thanks for inviting us to an awesome party.

  • At August 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Linda - sorry we didn't make it. This weekend was crazy busy. Next time though. Next time.


  • At August 15, 2005, Blogger Neckbone said…

    A complete toolbox need contain only four critical items: a hammer, dual-tip screwdriver, vice grips and a roll of duct tape.

  • At August 15, 2005, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    ACW - thanks! I was actually pretty proud of the solution. Should have been proactive and done it sooner.

    Fool - sounds like you guys had a fun and busy weekend. We'll see you next time!

    Neckbone - Agreed. Add needle nose plyers, regular plyers, a good pry bar/ crow bar, and a set of hexagonal screwdrivers (OK, I have a lot of Danish furniture), and I'm with you.

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