Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting Things Flowing

I received a phone message regarding another job I applied to. Odd, as I applied maybe two months ago, and it wasn't a large company. Why the long delay? Does the guy plan that far ahead for his employment needs? Did the first two candidates not work out? I'm glad I was out getting plumbing supplies and didn't have to field that one cold. It's a job that could be interesting and right for me, given certain constraints, but it could be a backwards step that would look bad on my resume. I had a list of questions to ask about it by the phone for a while after applying. In fact I just threw my notes on that out the other day.

If the potential employer took two months to think about it, I can take a day. For now the plumbing issue is more pressing. I have already replaced the ball and washers, but the old tap has rotted inside and spews water all over the counter when I turn it on. Under the sink the associated plumbing is crazier than the wiring on a thirty-year-old airplane. It's a mismatched mess of PVC and copper with shutoff valves I run into some difficulty removing the old tap. There should be a nut holding it on underneath the sink, but I can't find it. It's very difficult to see or get any purchase under there because this is a double kitchen sink installed very close to the back wall of the cabinet, so everything is hidden in the sink's cleavage. I do some internet research, trying to figure out if there is an alternate way this might be fastened in, and rein in my urge to just shred it into bits and tear out the bits. There are old copper lines coming directly off the underside of the faucet assembly, and I've already destroyed them looking for what is holding it in place. Besides rust.

Delta, the faucet manufacturer has a toll-free line, so I call for advice. The rep is excellent, listening, understanding, suggesting, then putting me on hold to consult with an expert on older models. He comes back and asks if I have any need to reuse the old faucet. Hell no. He doesn't come right out and tell me to remove the sucker by any means necessary, but I got the idea. The sink is stainless steel and I do need to keep that, preferably untorn, so I destroy the old faucet with tinsnips and a big pair of vice grips so that I can pull its shredded remnants down through the hole in the counter. The new tap goes in easily and the water comes out of it in an attractively coherent stream. When you have done work involving open plumbing lines you need to open the tap up and then turn on the water from below and let it run to flush out any junk from the lines before operating the faucet mechanism. I probably would have run it for a while even if I didn't know that, just to watch the pretty water coming out into the sink and not onto the counter.

And then I signed up with a free trial with Netflix. If I'm going to be off work I might as well get free movies. It's also a way of ensuring I won't get to use it. I should sign up for a gym membership and enroll in a CPR renewal class, too. Every time I do either of those things I have to move halfway across the country for a new job.

And still on the topic of stopped up plumbing, here's a nice job of handling a recalcitrant nosewheel. It looks like a combination of a firm landing on the mains and slowing down enough to reduce airflow pressure was enough to get the nosewheel down and locked.


Frank Van Haste said...

Dear Trix:

Pleas allow me to share with you an important technique for dealing with old-work plumbing. You need a good supply of vintage cusswords that were current when the plumbing was installed. Perhaps you could consult a retired plumber to learn what words he used to cuss out the cussed fixtures "back in the day". It'll never come out if you can't cuss at it in words it understands.

Come to think of it, this being Canadian old plumbing, you9 may have to cuss at it using vintage French cusswords.



coreydotcom said...

Watch out with netflix. I loved it as it only cost me $8 a month so that was good but we watched so many movies (I live with 3 other people) that our internet usage went through the roof and we got surchages from videotron.

But if you live alone, and watch like 3-7 movies a month, it should be okay.

Bonne journée.

Aviatrix said...

Frank: I forgot to mention that part. I swore and screamed so loud I was afraid the neighbours were going to call 9-1-1.

Sarah said...

Plumbing is a commendable use of time at home... and I know how tough these projects on decades-old pipes can be. Skinned knuckles and blue air are the cost of new faucets for me.

That landing was amazing. Looks like the first one was rejected as being too long, or else was a "bang it on to jar things loose" attempt. Both touchdowns looked very smooth though. Well done. The crew was probably amazed by the outcome too.

Hope the job search pans out soon. You may have to take a sidestep flying job - after all, people have to eat and it beats working waiting tables.

Sarah said...

Forgot to mention the Netflix - yes, I've become a streamer too. The instant gratification is great, and there's getting to be a nice selection.

My latest series to to recapitulate all of that Canadian "Stargate" TV shows. "SG Universe" looked pretty good - so I went back a few years to see what I missed after the original "SG I" - which was too drenched in Egyptian mythology to be interesting to me.

Gordon Scott said...

Replacing faucets is never easy, even when one has the right tool (do you have one of those hinged wrenches on the end of a metal rod?). It's like anything else; once you know the trick, it's easy. The challenge is to know each of the 378 faucet replacement tricks. Those who do are called plumbers, and they can charge $100 per hour.

I suppose I could fly a plane fairly well in good weather, and I have a pretty good idea how to set up a glide path. The trick, of course, is how one does it when the ceiling is 300 feet with a 25-knot crosswind, and icing....

I'll attempt the faucet change, because I'm stubborn enough to believe I can do it. After all, the worst that can happen is that I forget to turn off a valve, and hot water floods the bathroom, and the kitchen below (guilty!).

I'll hire you to land the plane.