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Itís finally time to start fixing up my house. Itís 30 years old, was just this side of a ďfixer-upperĒ when I got it, and has become one since due to an underfunded maintenance budget. Now I have a small but workable fix Ďer up budget, and since Iím figuring I will want to sell sometime in Ď09, itís time to start learning some of this ďhome improvementĒ stuff Iíve been hearing so much about. And my budget is going to require a lot of sweat equity.

Anyhoo, I tore out the vanity in the master bath two weeks ago. Now that the shutoff valves are exposed, and since of the three that are in there, one leaks and the other two are near frozen from age, I figured those would be the first things I got my hands dirty on. My plan (always the first casualty), since this requires shutting off the water to the whole house, was to replace just one valve on Saturday morning, so that if I screwed it up, there was still time to call a plumber. We filled up a little kiddie pool we have for the dog to play in full of emergency water, made sure the toilets were topped up, and made sure we had some bottled drinking water. This way, if the worst happened, we could live like it was a log-cabin for however long it took to get a plumber to put it all back together.

The valve replacement went without a hitch. Itís a really easy job, and, once all the water drained out of the pipes (it took me twenty minutes to realize it would have taken all day without the other faucets open to let the air in), it took all of three minutes. So now its time to turn the main supply back on. Sally is outside, Iím in the bathroom yelling out to her through the window ďOK, turn it onĒ. Nothing happens. No leaks, which is good, but no water from the open shower faucet either. Hmm.

I go outside and start turning, while Sally goes inside and watches for any signs of water, either where it is supposed to be or where it is not supposed to be. Nothing. 20 turns, 30 turns, 40, 50, not a drop.

The main shutoff valve is was 30 years old, too. Of all the petty annoyances, my first real plumbing repair goes great, but another piece chooses just that moment to fail.

Four hours and $270.00 to Roto Rooter later, all is well. We have water where it is supposed to be, and none coming out any part of the new bathroom valve that it isnít supposed to. Next weekend, then, the other two valves, and maybe more bathroom demo. Of course, now, the budget is a bit tighter.

This house is going to be a money pit, I just know it.


I am very familiar with Money Pits. I had one. I must say though, when all is said and done, it's rewarding to see the outcome. Before you go any further in your renovations. Might I suggest, getting out the camera and taking before photos and then after photos when your done with each room. You'll be happy you did. Have fun.

Posted by Cindy at Saturday, January 19, 2008 08:45 PM

Cindy, that's a pretty good idea, thanks.

Posted by kylben at Saturday, January 19, 2008 10:19 PM

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