Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Plumber

For months the kitchen sink faucet had been leaking.  It was easily jury-rigged with a stick pressed against the pipe to lessen the leak.

Dramatic reenactment
The fix looked a bit like this. Over time the stick became waterlogged, shrunk, and the leak worsened. It was time to call a plumber. I wanted a professional but as these are hard to find, you can't just go online and find one easily, I was stuck with hiring a guy who is not a plumber but can easily fix your pipes because he's experimented enough to know where to stick what. He also fixed the toilet before.

So he comes over, takes everything apart, and says all we need is tape. Immediately my gut is killing me.  Tape?  Are you sure it's a matter of tape and not a broken pipe? He is positive its just a matter of enough tape.  So I fork over 30 pesos to the helper who goes out to fetch some from up the street.  All the while I am saying out loud and to myself, "There is no way it's a matter of tape. The pipe is obviously busted."

The helper returns, the plumber tapes up the pipe and puts everything back together's still leaking.  He takes it all apart again and looks at the pipe this time and golly what do you know? The pipe is cracked! 

Can you see the crack? It's very slight and its on the bottom of the threaded portion of the pipe. I fork over more money to the helper to buy a pipe.  As he runs off on his errand the plumber whips out his plumber's saw and slices off a piece of pipe.  

Why would he do that you ask? Because he is going to use it to marry those two pieces near the can of epoxy. He glues the pieces together and then wraps the end in tape. (Why is it always tape? Whether it's plumbing or electrical work you can count on Filipinos using tape to hold it all together.)

Look at all that tape!  What a mess!
 All right!  Finished. Looking good and now it's all put back together.  

 Let's turn it on!

Oh no! The jury-rigged pipe covered in tape is leaking!  What a surprise!  What's the solution?  To send the helper out for one more piece of pipe which the plumber then marries to the other pieces with the epoxy. Will it work?

The pipe is not bursting at the seams like before so it's a success.  Right?  Wrong. There is still a slight leak at the wall. Kind of like a dribble. Solution?  If you said more tape, congratulations you are a winner.

See how now the base of the pipe is covered in tape? I don't know if that actually fixed the leak 100% but it's good enough for the plumber and it's as good as I am going to get. And that's pretty much how it is here.  You end up settling for what's good enough because there's never anything better.


  1. Had the same problem or close to it. We bought a house and completely remodeled it. We had the side extended so we have a large kitchen, double stainless steel sink hooked to an 80 gallon water heater (YEA!!!! NO MORE COLD SHOWERS!!) The problem is the plumber never installed the gaskets for the sink drains so it leaks under the sink. Get him back to fix the leak and still does not use the gaskets so it starts to leak again and what does he do this time? Use the gaskets? No, he covered the screw on connectors with a paste that hardens so now we cannot get the connector off to fix the leak.

  2. OMG when will this country change...Terrible idiots

  3. Michael, hey, you're Mike! I loved your posts with cup o joe on the old site.... You had me roaring in laughter so many times! Thanks!