Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Adventures in Plumbing

When last we checked on my plumbing skills, I learned how to fix the guts of a toilet, and had gotten pretty good at pulling them up and putting them back in. And before that, I'd mastered the art of the purple stinky glue and the air admittance valve, but I've been letting my plumbing skills go a bit rusty.

Well, they are still rusty.

My new place had this set-up in the bathtub:

I tried showering here a few times, but it was annoying the way the water squirted out from the tape. And really, who does that? Who tapes up their plumbing?

I assumed this was because it was an 1895 fixture the age of the house, and parts were hard to come by.

Not so, it's a reproduction, according to the people at a speciality store in Manhattan. I took this photo in to George Taylor and asked for advice.

Once it was confirmed that this wasn't authentic, and the downstairs tenant confirmed the tape was a recent development (there had been a complicated tenant at one point, who hadn't paid rent and had, um, issues), I looked into it.

I took off the gauze and found electrical tape underneath.

I kept going and found a break.

I pulled out the whole shower riser gizmo and put it in the back of Henry the Ford Taurus. He's made many visits to Modern Plumbing on Communipaw over the years, and this one was fairly successful.

The store proprietor put the pipe in a vise and pulled out the other end of the tap. Huh. 

"You could try to get it rethreaded," he suggested.

I did try--but no one wants to rethread 3/8" pipe. They just like to rethread black pipe.

I don't have a lot of time and I still need handles and to deal with the tape on the faucet.

That sensible approach, I figured, was to buy a new reproduction get-up. And that's what I did. I feel like I failed a bit, and my Aussie ex would be disappointed in my easy fix (he would've figured something out), but at least the only tape present with be made of Teflon. 

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