Artist Turned Plumber

 So in my never-ending quest of studio improvements and to create a nice wall for photographing artwork, I decided to install a wall along the back end of the studio. Sounds so simple.  But remember who this is?  Debacle Queen?  After conferring with the wonderful handyman/contractor/friend, Marshall, I decided to go for bead-board which I could easily paint, but would also hide the future nail holes, etc. It was going SO well . . . I had all the panels cut to size at Lowe's, and began the install at 7:30 pm. Everything came to a screeching halt when I heard a hiss behind the wall. A snake?  A possum?  A demented cockroach?  This question was quickly solved when water began GUSHING . . . I yanked off the bead-board and Old Faithful came forth to shower me with - - freezing water. I began the WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO dance whilst PLUGGING THE GUSH LIKE THE LITTLE DUTCH BOY.  Not to mention the screaming which my children and husband chose to ignore (or possibly they just couldn't hear me).  Eventually Dylan replaced me as the Little Dutch Boy and I climbed into the dirt hole off the basement to shut off the water.  Whew! This is when I decide to research this disaster on-line and came across some amazing videos on how to fix it 'DIY' style.   I can't tell you how much easier it seemed after watching it vs. just reading instructions. So, I made my supply list, stayed up all night, and Don took me to Lowe's at 8:00 a.m.  We left with the following: close space pipe cutter; copper 1/2" coupler; solder (no lead); flux; Benzomatic self-igniting Torch; and we couldn't find any flame resistant towels, so I decided to use the cement board which we had surrounded the Kiln nook with.  As an afterthought, I could also have used the kiln shelving to protect the wall and boards surrounding the copper pipe.   Here is a view of the nail hole itself, and the small spaces pipe cutter . . . It is extremely SIMPLE.     Here is a view of the cut copper water-pipe and I have already cleaned it with the 2-way wire brush inside and out.  The cleaning is necessary so that the flux and subsequent solder will meld with the copper for the repair. The pipes were loose enough that I was easily able to jiggle the copper coupler over the lip of the bottom pipe (after the coupler was cleaned and flux applied) and then lifting the top pipe into the top of the coupler and wiggling them as tightly together as possible.       Here we are at the pre-TORCHING phase . . . I'm ready to fire up and get 'sweating' (which is what they call this procedure). Voila! It took about 10 minutes . . . now I am officially a plumber and will possibly take up copper sculpture!   I have to be honest and say that I am as proud of this fix as I have ever been of anything else in my life!  I had a bit of trouble with dripping solder from the bottom of the coupler, which means my seam isn't as pretty is I wanted and I was too scared to wipe the hot solder off . . . but, all in all, I am proud. I lost 2 days of studio time, but learned a new skill.  So, if you need your pipes 'sweated', you know who to call!
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