fixing water line breaksWater line breaks! Not again! I thought that ugly memory would be relegated to the ghosts of snowmageddons past.  No such luck. The cold weather snuck in right before Christmas, but I was prepared. I spent time turning off the water at the road, draining the pipes, and smugly went to my daughter’s house ahead of the storm. Upon return, I cranked up the water, but noticed the water pressure a bit off. After awhile, my grandson pointed out water flowing from under the house.  Thank God we have pier and beam, so no damage was done.


Frustrated, we turned off the water and began calling plumbers. The plumber we use was so busy they couldn’t even give us a projected date. The handyman who saved us during the last freeze was in Arkansas.

Dejected and sensing what life would be like for weeks, I acted. The drip was visible from the small door opening under the house. In the event waterproof tape would fix the problem, I crawled in. Mind you, hands and knees were not an option. My elbows propelled me forward. No luck, it was shredded. So, I measured the pipe and took pictures. Backing out proved to be the best reversal method.

After getting advice from a friend, I reentered and cut the offending pipe out.


Armed with the pieces, I headed to the hardware store. Before entering, my husband lectured me on what to buy. Due to his disability, he cannot do this physical type of work. He wouldn’t even go into the store with me, which ticked me off. Besides, I’ve watched others do plumbing work around here (as well as helped) and know as much about it as he does.broken pipes

One great thing about being a woman living in a small town and dealing with local merchants is that they are willing to take the time to help a damsel in distress. Holding up the muddy pieces of pipe, I played the helpless female and said, “I need technical help.”

I did not ask for the supplies my husband commanded. (I will pause now to explain why I can say this online without getting his dander up. He doesn’t read my blog. In fact, he hasn’t even read my last two books.)

I exited with an elegant solution. A piece of pex pipe (it bends and doesn’t freeze as easy.) and two fittings. Naturally, when I got to the truck, I got the once over about what I bought, was it the right size (I explained I had the pieces of offending pipe, and the clerk held it up to the new pipe and felt it would work being that it could flex.)

Back at the ranch, my grandson and I went to work. He crawled in behind me. All I had to do was push the pieces of pipe together. However, this was tough. I don’t have the strength to do that. After getting one side hooked up, I fought with the last connection, just about to give up.

I gave one might push and felt it move just a bit. Leak fixed! My grandson then cut off tape for me to rewrap the insulation.

Success? Not quite….


Turns out we also had damage to the guest bath shower drain. Sigh. So, we simply quit using it. I didn’t have the energy or strength to go down under again.

Almost two weeks later, the handyman is back in town, He’ll be out sometime this week to fix the shower drain. And we still haven’t heard from the plumber.

But I’ve paid for my antics. Between that and other physical labor I’ve been doing, my shoulder is acting up. At least I can take a hot shower to ease the pain.

What’s your DIY story?

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