thread leakage ordeal
Monday, August 24 2020
Gretchen hung a shower curtain recently and then, today, took her first shower in the new bathtub. She later reported that it was a great experience, what with the new showerheads and all. Later I checked the hole in the ceiling in the floor beneath the bathtub drain, where I'd seen some nagging evidence of leaks. Sure enough, leaking was happening yet again. I soon determined that it was happening higher up in the drainage system than any of the connections I'd made in the plumbing. This meant that the leak was in plumbing originally installed in the tub. It was a little late in the process to be fixing that plumbing, what with the tub all fixed in place. But I assembled a set of tools, including an adjustable wrench seemingly designed for the large brass nut securing the drain fitting in place from below. After a series of increasingly-precise approximations, I managed to get that wrench to fit that nut, and then I could turn it. Of course, the whole structure turned with it, so them I had to make an arrangement of items in the tub upstairs to keep the top part from rotating. This included a screwdriver and several pieces of wood to hold it in place. Using this method, I was able to completely disassemble the drain hardware. When I re-installed it, I first place a doughnut of plumber's putty under it. I then tested the drain with the stopper in place. It seemed that it might still be leaking, but the water was appearing everywhere beneath the tub, and I soon determined that this was just condensation responding to the cold tap water I'd run into the tub.
Then I had to drive over to Red Hook because the company VPN was too shitty to allow me to download a number of large databases before the heat death of the universe. I was the fourth person in the office, which would've normally been completely vacant outside of tax season. Sometimes my co-workers wore masks at their desks, but for the most part they didn't. But I was only there (with both Ramona and Neville) about a half hour. On the way home, I tried to get plumbing supplies at the Red Hook True Value hardware store, but they were just closing. So I got them at Lowes instead.
Subsequent experiments demonstrated that the slow leaks associated with the tub were coming through the threads of the brass tub drain. Had the manufacturer bothered to use plumbers tape on those threads, they would've saved me a lot of grief. But it looks like I will have to put tape on those threads myself.
I ended up staying up until past 11:00pm implementing and deploying new emergency features for the importing software that is my chief accomplishment of my present job.
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