Man Things I Cannot Do: Pipe Repair

HammerI often have trouble with basic motor skills. For example: I am completely unable to perform even the simplest of household repair tasks without nearly destroying (or at least unintentionally vandalizing) the thing which I am attempting to “fix”.

I blame most of this on my brain: “You have already spent more than three minutes performing this boring task,” it seems to say to me, “Rush and get it done in a haphazard fashion so we can go watch COPS.” Of course I always listen, because my brain always seems so smart (and also I really like COPS). But I suppose the bottom line is this: Keep reading if you want to see how pathetic I am.


The Problem

FloodAt some point an old pipe under my bathroom sink started leaking. I didn't really pay too much attention to it; I pushed everything under there out of the way of the water and sort of let it drip.

But eventually the wood started to get kind of, you know, rotten. So I figured I had better do something. I am a man of action.

The Solution

I went to the store, bought a new piece of the same pipe, and fitted it in where the old one used to be. Unfortunately it still leaked. At this point I had already spent at least ten minutes trying to fix it, which I felt was already far too long.

I wasn't about to go back to the store to get a new piece of pipe, that would've just been a hassle. I mean, not only would I have to drive 1/32 of a mile back to the hardware store, but I would also have to figure out why the pipe I had bought wouldn't work properly. No thanks. So instead of going through all this trouble I just decided I would make it work. So here’s what I did:


As you can see, the ingenious “shortcut” I’d come up with was to slather the pipe with absurd amounts of silicone caulk. As I didn’t know where the leak was coming from (and certainly I couldn’t have bothered to go in the other room to get the flashlight. That's almost fourteen steps! One way!) I just squirted it wherever it looked like water might be able to get out and rubbed it around a little. Then I let it dry. Of course it still leaked, so I repeated this process (yes, recaulking the caulk I had just caulked) about six times until the leaks stopped.

HardwareBut maybe something good will come out of this yet. It'll at least be a story to tell. Yes, maybe some day someone who reads this story will head down to Wrigley's Hardware store on 25th and Grove, and relate my story as their own to some of the Good Ol' Boys who hang around outside. "Now I 've squeezed a lot of caulk in my day," this person might say, finishing up the story, "and that, my friend, was a hell of a lot of caulk for one man to handle." Hmm. Well maybe that might not be the best way to phrase that. Sort of comes across a little differently when you say it out loud.

Time Saved

I estimate that this fix saved me negative forty-five minutes. Also I didn’t really feel like taking all the rolls of toilet paper out from under the sink while I was working on it either, so most of that got ruined from the water.

So if you factor in the cost to replace that, I also saved approximately negative six dollars as well. I know for a fact that it's going to start leaking again pretty soon too, so eventually I'll have to really fix it. For now though, I think I'll go see if COPS is on.