X 3

Sunday, April 30, 2006 | 0 Comments

I tend to underestimate the time that it will take me to do something - especially if it is a home improvement project. SSB says that he takes the time that I say that I think it will take and he multiplies that by three and it comes out about right. I said that I thought that the water softener would take us about four hours...

...and here it is, 2am, almost twelve hours after we started, and we are DONE!!

In my defense, most of the time that we spent in the hours since 2pm have not been spent actually installing the appliance.

About half an hour we spent spreading fertilizer on the lawn, in the rain.

Then we ran to the hardware store for fifteen minutes to get some pipe and fittings.

The first one didn't have everything that we needed, so we ran to another.

Then we gave up and went to Menards instead; then Home Depot, then...

What the hell! TACO BELL!!!

Back home to eat. Then down to business, for about five minutes. That's when we realized that we would have issues with the set up and needed flexible piping instead.

SO, back to the local hardware store...

Which was closed. And the other local one was closed too. So we ran back to Menards, which didn't have it by the foot, over to Home Depot, which also didn't have it, then over to Fleet Farm which did.

We got back with our prize. Finally, we can get this done!

Not so fast. We don't have a 3/4" pipe bender. DAMN IT!! DAMN IT!!

BACK.TO.MENARDS. Which doesn't have one; and neither does Home Depot. So I get some pipe coupling in case I have to patch it up until morning. As we are in line waiting to pay for it, I tell SSB that we WILL get it finished tonight and the guy ahead of us chuckles knowingly.

We got back, deciding that we would just try to bend the pipe by hand. And it does bend fairly well by hand. Yay. Then I realize that the original plan of using rigid pipe and elbows actually would work, AND it will actually work better.

Argh!! Oh, well. Three times to Menards on a project is about right.

And we really did get to start on the installation - FINALLY! It was 9pm.

I got all the pipe cut, sanded and fluxed. Soldered a couple just fine, had a little problem with a couple of others and just could NOT get one of them to take the damn solder!! Then we couldn't get the fitting apart to clean it and try again. I think it took us a half hour to finally pry and hammer the damn thing off - all while I was holding a torch on it, of course.

The easy install fittings that came with the unit were not aptly named. The instructions were crap and so was the video that came with it.

BUT, it is DONE!! Yay!

No more crispy clothes. No more dry skin and hair. No more mineral build-up on our fixtures. I can't wait!!

Oh, and that orange hammer on the ground was essential to the installation on more than one occasion and was to be our default plan in the event that we just could not get the damn thing hooked up.


Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

I love soldering. It's a fun mix of fire and chemestry.

Nice job, guys. I like the 3X rule too.

Shannon said...

The 3 x rule is very, very true!!
I always remind myself of it when my eyes get too big for my time and ability at Home Depot.

sideshow bob said...

Our water is so soft now it feels like your bathing in hamsters!

DrMax said...

"You Save Big Money, You Save Big Money, When You Shop Menards" I think the reason their prices are so low is because they haven't spent the money to change their banjo theme song since the early 70's.

sideshow bob said...

Dr max- I once filled out a survey about what I liked best about Menards, and I said it was the Menards guy...remember him? He looked vaugely like Phil Hartman doing an impression of Admiral Stockdale (Perot's running mate in '92). This was shortly after the Menards Guy retired, and I like othink my opinion made an impact, because shortly after I fileed out that survey, Menards offered him a boatload of money to come out of retirement to be their shill.

Eventually, he died, and they tried to replace him, but couldn't. They tried an amish-hot woman who wore glasses that were similar to his, but she didn't last too long. Then they tried a guy who looked a little bit like Menards Guy, but he didn't last long either...I guess the public felt it was a little like a parent trying to surrepetitiously replace a dog that died while you were away at camp.

oh, and in my previous comment, I meant "you're", not "your". Sorry!

sideshow bob said...

oh, and in my previous comment, I meant "to think" , not "othink" and "filled", not "fileed". Sorry again!

Sylvana said...

Shamus, I love soldering too. I do almost all the soldering in our plumbing projects.

Shannon, if I really knew how long a project was oing to take, we probably would never start a project that actually needed to be done. As it was, thinking that it would take around four hours kept us from doing the project for weeks.

SSB, I think about hamsters every time I wash my hands now.

DrMax, I love the banjo theme song.

SSB, you gotta lay off the jug.

Elizabeth said...

Bathing in hamsters. Eehhh. But hopefully, without the rodent smell? Congratulations on your project.

"AG" said...

I'm not handy that way. I grew up in a NYC apartment where everything was done by the management.

Sylvana said...

Elizabeth, rodent bathing never looks like much fun when they do it on Fear Factor, but really our showers are truly lovely now.

AG, I wanted to learn that stuff from my dad, but he would never teach me. I watched A LOT of home improvement shows in my twenties. That's where I picked up most of what I know on the subject, and what I didn't get from there I picked up reading home improvement books and just jumping in and doing it.