I actually called a plumber one time. But ONLY after piercing a water supply pipe to add a water line for ice an maker.
So I decided to add my own water supply to our fridge for the built-in ice maker. First, I felt it was important to identify the correct pipe in the wall. The ideal pipe would be a water supply. After knocking a whole in the wall that was just large enough for a truck to fit through, I found what I could only describe as an absolutely mind-boggling network of pipes, tubes and hoses. None of which I could tell apart.
After carefully selecting the correct pipe (by guessing), I had my drill in hand. This was so I could start a tap-hole in the pipe and install a clamping valve over the galvanized pipe. I slowly started my teeny-tiny drill bit, holding my mouth just right so it did not slip off the metal pipe and damage anything. As the bit began to punch through the metal, I got excited because I am a FUCKING DIY KING!
I imagined the glory that would be bestowed upon me by friends and family, not to mention my wife, as I would have conquered the ice kingdom and magically made cute little ice cubes fall from the refrigerated heavens of our new side-by-side!
But wait, what’s that smell? And why am I not seeing any water dripping from this hole in this water pipe? I mean, there should have been a little bit, right? OH MY FUCKING SHIT! I just drilled a hole in a damned gas line!
Way to go DIY Idiot! You have just killed not only your family, but probably half the damned neighborhood, all because you HAD to have an ice maker! -Is what I was imagining the news anchor would say afterwards.
But after my initial panic attack and a scramble to get the gas turned off, I hauled ass to the hardware store. A few trips back and forth later (stupid cone couplers), and I had me a brand-new and COMPLETELY distinguishable gas line installed. And who the hell runs gas lines that are EXACTLY the same size, color and material right next to water lines? Professionals apparently. That’s who!
Now I have identified the water line. I did this by tracing the pipe from the main supply to the water heater inlet. Please folks, hold your applause because this shit gets crazy.
I once again grit my teeth, and lined up my new drill bit. The last one broke after being thrown deep into the heart of Texas when I realized my earlier mistake. Slowly the drill turned and slowly it sank into the galvanized pipe. I could feel the drill bit bite and then, I was welcomed with a stream of water that would have put Old Faithful to shame! Does anyone have any freaking idea how much water pressure runs through the average water supply pipe in any given home at any given moment? Holy Hell it’s a lot! That’s how much! This stream shot across a ten-foot kitchen with enough force to extinguish my neighbor’s fire place! Which it did, after ringing their door bell and drowning their dog! (I made that last sentence up, but seriously, it was crazy)!
Remember when I said I called a plumber once? This would be that time. I called a local plumber because I turned the water to my house off. Now I had a very angry and vengeful water supply that was no doubt trying to kill me and not cooperating in the least! The DIY Gods were pissed!
As I tried (and promptly failed) to hold a towel over the pipe, my wife ran around frantically looking for the phone to call a plumber or maybe an exorcist. This was NOT going how I’d imagined at all. So much for getting my own DIY show on HGTV. I finally fished my cell phone out of my pocket. Soaking wet and defeated, I dialed the plumber. My sworn enemy. Any person that I would have to PAY to do something that I was clearly capable of doing myself (given that I actually knew how to accomplish said task) was my sworn enemy!
I was told that response time for this major emergency would be about one hour. “Fine. Just hurry.” Was my reply. What a bummer. No telling who would drive by and see a commercial plumber’s van in my driveway. I was not resigned to defeat. Not yet.
I did some research. By that I mean that I walked around the yard sulking, awaiting my fate. Possibly searching for my “Man Card.” This is when I stumbled upon something strange… A second water meter. In MY yard! What the hell? I knelt down and lifted the cover. This one had the shut-off valve between the meter and my house!
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! I ran back to the other meter that I turned off about four hours ago… Shut-off valve was on the other side of this meter. I TURNED OFF MY NEIGHBOR’S WATER!
Luckily they owned and operated a restaurant, so they had been gone all day. But damn! Great fucking planning City Zoning! Thanks! I almost PAID a professional to show me where my water meter was!
After turning this meter back on, sprinting across my yard and turning my real meter off, I hastily called the plumber back.
Me: (Sounding all intelligent and shit) “You can disregard. I was able to locate, identify and repair the leak.”
Plumber: (Sounding all skepticaland shit) “Oh yeah? Was it bad?”
Me: “No big deal. Just a small crack in the supply line behind the fridge.” (Don’t judge. This dude had not made it yet).
Plumber: “Want a job? I’m serious! $10 bucks an hour ’till you get certified.” (This is true, I am not making this up!)
Me: “Thanks, but I am currently employed by The Sheriff.”
Plumber: (Sounding sincere) “Well call if you change your mind. I mean it.”
He hung up and I felt like I could rule the world, or at least the plumbing isle at Home Depot.
I finally finished the install and cleaned up my mess. After only six or maybe 36 hours (I lost track after a record 903 trips to the hardware store), we were able to enjoy some of the hardest earned and most expensive ice ever!
Ps. There are now individual interior water shut-off valves to prevent this shit from ever happening again! See, I learn from MY mistakes!