Not all farmhouse repairs are pretty. In fact, we're finding that many of them are not at all pretty. The recent bout of daily frozen pipes? Decidedly not pretty. And similarly in the plumbing world, a recent repair that went a little something like this:
If you ask Harper for his version of this story, he'll excitedly tell you in his fabulous one-word sentences: "Wall -Up. Hole. Wawa. RAIN! Couch. Wet. Oh-oh."
And, really? That just about covers it. The longer version is a classic case of a "simple" plumbing repair in a 200 year old house gone very much astray. One little thing leads to another, you start digging around the archaic system of metal hidden in the walls, and before you know it, those broken old faucet handles you set out to replace have become the least of your worries. Chaos ensues. A little bit of mystery. Hopefully some laughter.
Ah, but with all disasters come a lesson...or two. For you and me and all to see, I share with you our lessons learned in this particular foray into the World of Plumbing:
1. There IS no such thing as a simple plumbing project. (Particularly, I might add, when you're not a plumber, have never been a plumber, and don't even know any plumbers. And especially, I do believe, when not a single piece of pipe you're dealing with is younger than your oldest living relative.)
2. Perhaps it is best not to leave the house for six hours after beginning one's first plumbing project. (Ahem. If I'm being honest here, I do recall someone advising against this before we set out on a family affair. I think I'm owed a big ole "I told you so" but he's too nice to do it).
In the end, there's a...um...hole in my living room ceiling that will someday work it's way up to the top of the to-do list (if only that magic wand of hers worked!), still a little bit of mystery (where exactly did all that water come from?), and a few little plumbing lessons learned. But! In the end we also have a simple old sink saved, and - what we set out to do to begin with - faucet handles that turn without the vice-grip-as-handle we had previous rigged up. Handwashing with ease, my friends!
We're calling that a rousing house renovation success.
To celebrate, (and maybe - just maybe - because fixing an old sink with new and plastic parts means that the piping underneath is less than pretty now), I made her a skirt.
Pretty plumbing repairs? But, of course!