Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

In honor of the Labor Day weekend, John's parents came to visit. They arrived Saturday around lunch time and left Sunday after church. Once they left, John needed a project to fill the next two days. Boredom gets him into trouble every time. The man cannot just sit still and enjoy some down time. I now present, project number one - clearing the front flower beds. It is true that the front flower beds have been badly neglected. When we bought the house, they were overrun with twisted and mangled shrubs that looked awful. We wasted no time removing the shrubs and planting some mums. Two years later, and that is all we have done. To make matters worse, we have not done any maintenance, so the few remaining mums were surrounded by weeds and in need of pruning. John's solution - till it all up and start fresh, possibly with Azaleas. Sounds good so far. Off we go to till it up. Oops! Apparently, the main water line into our house runs right under the front flower bed. Enter, project number two - replace the broken copper pipe. This was not as simple as it sounded. John has never worked with copper pipe, and he was less than anxious to learn how. So, he cut out the section that was broken, and off we went to Home Depot to review our options. There was a really nice guy in the plumbing section, that offered some helpful tips. We bought 10 foot sections of 3/4" copper tubing, 1/2" copper tubing, and PVC pipe, lots of shark bite connectors and other miscellaneous supplies. Just over $100 later, I was starting to think calling a plumber might have been the smarter option. Once we got home, John hooked everything up, and water shot out of one of the shark bite connections. Because of the angle of one of the connections, the pipe needed to be soldered.
On to plan B - watch online "how to" videos to learn to solder. John watched a few videos, and we made another trip to Home Depot. This time we bought flux, a soldering kit, a small torch and other miscellaneous supplies. Just over $70 later, well over $100 later if you count eating dinner out since we had no water, I was beginning to rethink my decision not to call a plumber. We stopped at Walmart and picked up some bottled water to get us through the evening. John got up first thing Monday morning, and restored the water. He quickly mastered soldering and can now add that skill to his impressive list of talents.

In addition to replacing the pipe, he also installed a main shut off and spliced into the pipe to run water to the faucets in the back yard. The previous owner just had a pipe running from the front faucet and it looked pretty tacky. He did a great job and now we can move on the finishing the original project. Oh wait, since we spent our plant money on plumbing supplies, I guess the flower beds will remain bare. At least John learned some new skills and he definitely stayed busy. No boredom here.

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