Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “plumbing”

The Usual Suspect

This reblog is a companion to yesterday’s Lassie, the Well, and Criminal Minds. Beau has a problem concerning water.

Shootin' the Breeze

Beaurunning
I am starting to detect a pattern.

I am not a master plumber, nor an amateur plumber.  I am not a police detective, nor a private eye.  However, I have been involved in two plumbing tasks this week and I have been involved with an ongoing criminal investigation of repeated acts of vandalism.

In both incidents, spraying water coincidently occurred when a certain Yellow Labrador Retriever was in the vicinity of the scene.

The first incident is described in Lassie, the Well, and Criminal Minds.  https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/the-well/

This very day, an eerily similar incident happened.  I will explain.

Our log house does not have a basement.  It sits on a foundation with a crawl space.  The crawl space is five feet in height.  I am taller than that.  I do not have to literally crawl, but I have to bend and duck.  Within the crawl space are mechanical devices, including a…

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No Brag. Just Fact.

flags1

Y’all might be getting tired of me bragging about Miss Sugar.  Well get used to it.  And, actually, I am not sure it is correctly deemed bragging.  It is simple reporting.  I am reminded of the words of Walter Brennan in his Western series, The Guns of Will Sonnett, when he frequently said, “No brag.  Just fact.”

Regular readers will recall that the installation of our electric gate involved a mishap.  The trencher cut a water line for the drip system that irrigates 14 trees lining the lane and another 9 trees and other landscaping across the lane from our house.  We call this area the flagpole area because, as you might guess, we have a flagpole and fly both the U.S. flag and a Texas flag. 

The broken water line has prevented me from the spring task of hooking up the drip system so as to actually water the trees.  It did not prevent Sugar from doing that very thing.

So while I was engaged in my sedentary work as a lawyer, Sugar took matters into her own dainty hands, again.  She figured that if she plugged the one end of the PVC water pipe, the water could get down the lane to those 14 trees and she could use a hose to reach the flagpole area since it is across from the house.  So she did just that.  Without me.  Again.

Except, the plug blew out when the force of the water came through.  And I will tell you why.  Sugar ain’t as strong as me.  So, she sweet-talked me into laying on the ground, reaching into the hole, and tightening the clamp with a screwdriver so as to hold the plug in the PVC valve.  And I done like I was told.  And it worked.  Plumb good!

That, my friends, is called Team Work.  It was a combination of brains and brawn.  Just the way I like it. 

No brag.  Just fact.

 

Sugarnme

Plumbing Assistance

We decided that we might enjoy heat during the up-coming winter.  We have a hot water radiant heat system.  When the thermostats were turned up, we could hear the boiler clicking to kick in, but it never did.  So we called a plumber with expertise with boilers.

I know what you are thinking — why didn’t Sugar fix it?  Those of you who read my post called Do It Herself Plumbing (https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/do-it-herself-plumbing/) are aware of Sugar’s handyman talents.  Well, she tried before calling the plumber out of frustration.  She went on-line and found the brand of boiler that we have and looked at the owner’s manual.  She diagnosed the problem as stemming from some by-pass thing-a-ma-bob.  She was fixin to order the part when I intervened by doing my own on-line research of plumbers who specialize in hot water radiant heat systems.  So I called the plumber, whose name is Jim, and he came out yesterday.

No disrespect to Sugar, but it turned out to not be the bypass valve.  Rather, the zone valves for the zones needed replacing as well as some corroded re-fill pipe.  Just as I thought!

I know what you are thinking — why didn’t Beau fix it?  Those of you who read my posts called The Usual Suspect (https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/the-usual-suspect/) and Beau Helps Sugar (https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/beau-helps-sugar/) are aware of Beau’s handyman talents.  Well, Beau did help.  Sort of.  Or not.  He did accompany us into the crawl space wherein the boiler resides.  So did Sadie, our other Yellow Labrador Retriever.  So did the cat.

Jim didn’t complain, but I’m not sure he appreciated their advice.  I could see it in his eyes.

Now we have heat.  Thanks, Jim!  Thanks, Sugar!  Thanks, Beau!  Thanks, Sadie!  Thanks, Simba!

Beau and pipe

Do-It-Herself Plumbing

rainbow bunkMy wife, Miss Sugar, descended from a line of plumbers.  Her Italian grandfather was a plumber in New Jersey.  He taught the trade to her father, who moved to Texas to not be a plumber.

Yesterday, we turned on the water in the bunkhouse, which had been winterized until then.  The pipe behind the shower leaked.  So I called a plumber.  We have company coming in a few days and the bunkhouse is our guesthouse.

The plumber was booked until Monday.  (This occurred on Friday.)  So I called another plumber.  He could come Monday afternoon.  So I called the first guy back and scheduled for Monday morning.  That might work because our guests arrive on Tuesday.

However, Miss Sugar is not one to wait.

I was in Denver most of the day.  As a lawyer, I frequently go there for cases.  This was my second day this week that I had to go there.  Denver is about 80 miles from our ranch.

I did not get home until 7:00 p.m.  During those hours when I was away, Miss Sugar turned off the water in the bunkhouse, which involves laying on the floor by the toilet and reaching back behind the shower to the “gate valve” where water comes into the building, or not (if turned off for the winter), removed the brass elbow joint that was leaking, drove to a hardware store twenty miles away, and got a “shark bite adapter” to connect flexible plastic pipe to the brass elbow joint.  She also got plumber’s tape and plumber’s putty to seal the connection between the pipe and the joint behind the shower.  On the first trip, she did not get all the parts she needed because the handyman who made the shower connection last fall did not use the same pipe threads, so she had to make a second trip in order to get universal threads.

plumbingconnect

bunkshower

 

 

 

mosaictoidy

While waiting for the plumber’s putty to dry, Sugar used her spare time to create a mosaic around the base of the toilet, which is not something that I had planned to do.  I suspect that if we hired a plumber, the mosaic would not have been included.

By the time I got home, Sugar was finished with her complicated plumbing tasks and with the mosaic artwork.  I was no help at all.  Well, maybe I helped by being in Denver, out of her way.

So this morning, Sugar asked me to check the bunkhouse to see if it was leaking behind the shower anymore.  It was not.  Success!

Sugar is a real good handyman — for a girl.  Supergirl!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhorse and dallas days

The Usual Suspect

Beaurunning
I am starting to detect a pattern.

I am not a master plumber, nor an amateur plumber.  I am not a police detective, nor a private eye.  However, I have been involved in two plumbing tasks this week and I have been involved with an ongoing criminal investigation of repeated acts of vandalism.

In both incidents, spraying water coincidently occurred when a certain Yellow Labrador Retriever was in the vicinity of the scene.

The first incident is described in Lassie, the Well, and Criminal Minds.  https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/the-well/

This very day, an eerily similar incident happened.  I will explain.

Our log house does not have a basement.  It sits on a foundation with a crawl space.  The crawl space is five feet in height.  I am taller than that.  I do not have to literally crawl, but I have to bend and duck.  Within the crawl space are mechanical devices, including a boiler for our hot water heat system, a hot water heater, holding tanks  for the well, and a water softening system.  All of those involve water.

Miss Sugar, my hot trophy wife,  alerted me to the sound of running water.  She alerted me by shouting from the crawl space.    I dutifully went down to join her, wearing rubber boots because it was flooded.  What could cause such a problem?

A hose that runs from the water softener to the outside empties water, and this is important, OUTSIDE of the crawl space when it periodically recirculates for some reason that I do not understand because, as I told you, I am not a master plumber.  With or without my understanding, the process has occurred successfully for many years, until today.

What was different today?  Apparently, someone, and I ain’t saying who, had tugged on the hose as it spewed water outside the crawlspace, through its designated hole in the foundation,  through which the hose extends for several feet so the water pours away from the foundation, ingeniously irrigating a garden area.  As a result of tugging on that very important hose, a connection INSIDE the crawlspace had become, well, as they say in the plumbing trade, UNCONNECTED.  Even as a layman rather than a master plumber, I could see that water was enthusiastically flowing from the disconnected hose/tube connection, flooding the crawlspace.  I quickly deduced the cause of the flooding to be water flowing from the disconnected connection.

“Here’s your trouble,” I explained to Miss Sugar, who, although just a girl, had already pushed the hose and tube together into the connector thing-a-ma-bob.   She was unimpressed by my analysis, despite the critical thinking and problem-solving I displayed.

Sugar sweetly asked me to get a clamp.  Huh?  Not being a master plumber, I did not know what she meant, so I got her some kind of wrench.  It was not the correct tool.  So Sugar, whose grandfather on her father’s side was a master plumber and had passed on his plumbing genes to my beloved, gently instructed me about how to hold the hose and tube together while she patiently left the crawlspace to get the correct parts for fixing this problem.

I skillfully held the hose and tube together with my bare hands.  My wet bare hands.  There was still some leakage onto my clothing.    While serving as a human clamp within the crawlspace, waiting for Miss Sugar, I witnessed a curious thing.  Someone from outside the building, on the other side of the hole in the foundation, was pulling the hose.  The pulling caused me to lose my grip on the hose, which resulted in soaking me more.  Whoever was doing it was using something sharp to grasp the hose.  I know that because when I tugged on the hose, gaining ground in the tug of war, so as to reconnect it, a portion of it, that portion having been pulled outside and now was back inside, had sprung a leak.  When I pulled that section of the hose back inside the crawlspace, the new hole in the recovered section was adding to the flooding.

Sugar, upon her return, denied that she had tugged on the hose.  She denied putting a hole in the hose with a sharp object.  She jumped to the conclusion that the hole in the hose was made by a tooth or teeth.  Who would grab a hose with his or her teeth?

A shadowy figure passed by the hole in the foundation, temporarily blocking the sunlight, and causing us to look out the hole.  The figure was not shadowy, actually, it was yellow and furry.  It appeared to be the usual suspect.  Sugar was accusing Beau, poor misunderstood Beau, of noticing the water coming out of the hose, pulling on the hose, disconnecting it from the water softener recirculator, and putting a hole in the hose with his teeth.  That was her theory.  It looked bad for Beau.  The circumstantial evidence did leave room for an alternative theory.

“Now see here, Miss Sugar, it could have been some other Yellow Lab, namely Sadie.”  I defended Beau.

“Was it Beau or Sadie who grabbed the hose by the barn when you were filling the horse tank?”  Miss Sugar skillfully cross-examined me.

“It was Beau, to the best of my recollection,”  I admitted.

“Your recollection need only go back to yesterday, correct?”  It was a leading question.

“Yes.”  She was impeaching my credibility.

“And we have had Sadie eight years, have we not?”  She was on a roll.

“Yes.”

“During those eight years, did Sadie or any other dog, such as Max or Rover, may they rest in peace, ever pull this hose out?”

“No,” I admitted.

“Do you expect this court to believe that you have raised even a scintilla of a doubt, let alone a reasonable doubt, that the defendant, Beau, is guilty?”

“I guess not.”

“Then based on all the evidence before this tribunal, I find the Defendant guilty as charged.  May God have mercy on his soul.”

Case closed.

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