Never start a plumbing project in the afternoon

On Saturday, much to my delight, we visited a local Alpaca farm. Christian and I would like to have our own animals someday and we have been exploring different kinds of livestock. These gals definitely win in the cuteness category.

We got back to our farm around 3:30 only to find a big puddle of water coming from the water heater. The geniuses that installed the last water heater failed to put in water shut off valves. So, in order to replace the unit, we had to turn the water off to the whole house.

We had just come from Fleet Farm but now we had to turn around and go back to get a new water heater. Being out in the country, stores are not exactly close. An hour and a half later, we were finally lugging the new heater into the basement.

And, guess what. The new water heater fittings did't fit our old galvanized pipes. Having not eaten since our breakfast pancakes, we slammed a few bean burritos and headed back to Fleet Farm to get new fittings. 

By the time we got back to the farm, it was close to 8PM. Using two huge pipe wrenches, we tried to unscrew the old pipes so we could attach the new ones. They would not budge! The only solution was to rip out all of the old pipes and re-plumb everything in that area.

We went to bed dirty and defeated. No shower, dirty dishes all over the counter, an un-flushed toilet and only one pitcher of drinkable water left in the house.

The next morning, Christian headed back to Fleet Farm to get copper pipe to re-plumb that area of the basement. Embarrassed to go to the hardware store for the fourth time in less than 20 hours, I decided to stay home. Christian returned with the new pipes and I went to the basement to see how things were going.  When I saw this, I just had to laugh:

All that Christian said was, "I'm glad that you find humor in this but I am NOT going to Fleet Farm again!" He bought every copper fitting that he might have needed, and then some.

24 hours later, we were able to turn the water back on in the house. The new water heater works great and the new plumbing includes water shut-off valves. So, in the event that we need to replace the water heater again, at least we won't have to shut the whole house down. 


In any plumbing project, one of the most basic things to do is to put in shut-off valves. I wonder why the previous guys who put in the heater did not install it. Well, the important thing is that you’ve got one now, and that it works. I’m glad Christian found the right fitting for the pipes and re-plumbed it. Great work!

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