Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Plumbing problem

I have two embarrassing things to write about today.  The first is the length of time since an update on what's happening with the house.  Yeah, it's been awhile.  I'm not going to dwell on that, though.  The other embarrassing thing is related to the first, though: A few months (more than 2, less than 3) ago, I heard a drip under my bathroom vanity.  I just now (last weekend) got around to fixing it.  Now you know my shameful secret.  :-)

The drip wasn't from the faucet, it was from the drain.  I had repaired a poor install in the kitchen last winter(?), and I'm starting to suspect the previous owners weren't the best plumbers.  When I looked at where the drip was coming from, it seemed to be coming from right at the drain in the sink itself, so I suspected that the plumber's putty used to seat and seal the drain had failed.  When I actually undid the drain, I found out it was a bit worse:

From Plumbing problem
Looking at the pieces I also notice that it didn't seem that whoever installed it had used any teflon tape on the threads, either.  I doubt that alone caused it to fail, but I suspect that the threads were over-tightened which caused the part to crack and fail.

So, I went back to the hardware store and got a replacement part, which was identical to what I had taken out:
There wasn't a whole lot to getting it back into position and reconnecting the trap and the drain plug mechanism. I did notice that I think the trap part was not exactly under the drain plug assembly.  The additional stress that the part may be under might cause it to fail again sooner than it should, although I have my fingers crossed that it will last longer than the previous part.

If it does fail again prematurely, I'm going to add a flexible pipe section between the replacement assembly and the trap.  I'm starting to believe that DIY plumbers that don't measure accurately should use at least one flexible fitting in the plumbing to relieve stresses on the glue joints.  Only time will tell if my fix was good this time around.