Sunday, October 25, 2009

Operation Agua

I began my attempts to install the waterline from my basement to my in-fridge ice and water dispenser about two months ago. By begin, I mean I made my dad hole saw thru the floor and then I randomly purchased accoutrements when I remembered in various trips to the store. Last Thursday, I decided enough is enough and in anticipation of Halloween and potential ice needs, I began anew with a trip to Home Depot. (Normally I am Lowe's but we have a gift card.) Operation Agua commence!

My home has a water manifold system and all I wanted on Thursday was:
1) A plastic connector to make the 1/2" pex pipe ($16) that I bought on one of my previous trips for Halloween supplies in order to attach the pex to the port.
2) A reducer/connector to go from 1/2" pex pipe to 1/4" line on the back of my fridge.

Instead, twenty minutes later, I came home with standard plumbing items of the following:
1) 5/8" compression nut with insert $2.77
2) 1/4" compression nut with insert $1.52
3) 5/8" compression nut x 3/8" compression nut both with inserts $4.70
4) 25' of 1/4" poly pipe $6-something

Now, I blame myself partially for not having rechecked the sizes but when he hands me each package after a detailed discussion of what I needed, I left the store and came home full of vim and vigor. Only 3/8" inserts don't fit in 1/4" tubing.

So, I proceed to spend Sunday with the plumbing apprentice aka BS, my boyfriend and every tool we have in the house. Turns out the standard size 5/8" compression nut doesn't actually screw on to the port when you insert the pex into the compression fitting and as we realized this we proceeded to drop it onto the floor and break the nut so I find myself taking a trip to Home Depot to replace the two headed nut and we take the $2.77 loss plus our time plus more gas from my already low tank.

At Home Depot, I return my 5/8"x 3/8" part for store credit and head back to the plumbing aisle. I stare into the boxes of PEX related parts until the man using the threading station notices my bewilderment and proceeds to come to my rescue. Standing there with hands full of all the appropriate parts, I couldn't figure out how I was going to crimp the pipe back at the house..

And lo and behold, Rich, the Home Depot savior, pulls out the "show me how it works in theory" and with a wink, continues to make the above, a 1/2" PEX compression fitting (the one on the left) crimped copper ring, PEX pipe link, crimped copper ring to 1/2" male adaptor... swipe the bags and grab a bag of Sour Patch Kids for my mental stress and I am out $9.30 less the $4.70 credit but am a solid hour ahead in work.
We chisel out the wood to fit our new reducer onto the manifold and turn the water on... LEAK! Guess who forgot pipe tape?? So out to Sears Hardware for $1.05 and back to re-connect the pipes and turn the water on.... LEAK! Turns out the 1/4" compression fitting has some sort of issue in the nut that is allowing water thru coupled with my shrinking patience and I find myself holding three pieces for what is a two piece component. Off I go again, back to Sears for a new compression nut and nylon sleeve with insert ($2.63).
It is now 4:00. I have missed the Steelers game, I have installed a new compression fitting and we turn the water back on....

Total Spent:
6 hours including driving time and $39.37 not counting gas but I will never need a Brita again.

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