Sunday, November 15, 2009

Plumbing Parts from the Past

One of the downsides of having an older house is that many replaceable items are no longer replaceable. On closer inspection of that dank space behind the shower, for example, you can see a collection of oddly shaped and rusty iron pieces, like this mysterious plunger-looking thing attached to the drain.

While we all have moved into the touch-screen 21st century, these old houses keep, hidden away, a virtual museum of mechanical gizmos, whazzits, widgits and wankers that ran civilization throughout the industrial age.

After some additional snooping around this weekend, I found the source of my leak: one of the shower stems. Normally these stems fail due to a worn-out washer, causing that familiar drip, drip that can keep you awake at night. But this leak was springing out from the valve stem itself--right out the handle (and then dripping behind the shower wall and eventually into the kitchen).

So I took the valve stem to Home Depot, making me an instant friend with the semi-retired plumber guy who now sells toilet seats and plungers for a living. "We don't carry anything that old," he said, almost with a tear in his eye, like I had just returned his lost black lab puppy. We talked about ghosts, civilization and plumbing for a while, and he told another customer to get lost. Very cool guy.

More to come...

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Nice blog! Plumbing parts are often made from such materials as plastic and metal. Copper is a commonly used material due to its safety and durability. Copper is also fairly prices competitive. It may cost a little more, but generally, it increases the value of the home and requires less future repairs. Thanks a lot...

    Fort Lauderdale Plumber