If you wish to add a comment to any of my articles please do so as I am always pleased to have a contribution from any reader as this increases the interest for other visitors.

Friday, 17 May 2013

The waste pipe system fights back!

It looks deceptively harmless.

A few days ago the time had come when I had to replace the leaking waste pipes, and the worn out mixer tap of the kitchen sink. I couldn't think of any more reasons to delay the inevitable replacement of the parts; the time had come to do battle and like King Canute try to stop the flow of unwanted water.

After several hours of talking to, questioning and answering myself - to explain and clarify that I knew what tactics and actions were needed – catching my knuckles with slipping adjustable spanners, stabbing my hand with a wayward screwdriver and twice getting stuck in the under-sink cupboard my tasks were completed. I had removed the stainless-steel sink, fitted the new tap, fitted the new waste system, replaced the sink, made the correct connections to the hot and cold water supply for the mixer tap, connected the soiled water pipes and tested for leaks. There did not appear to be any.

I sat on the kitchen floor looking into the under-sink cupboard admiring my completed work. I raised and lowered my clenched fist several times in a victory gesture exclaiming: “Well done my son: I knew you could do it if you tried.”

The next day my wife Natalie said to me: “There seems to be a leak under the sink again.”

Little did I suspect that a simple combination of plastic pipes and rubber seals would fight back!

During the last couple of days there have been several small dawn and dusk skirmishes between protagonists with adjustments of alignment of pipes, tightening and re-tightening of rubber seal couplings being made. Each episode being followed after a short while with a repeat of Natalie's words: “There still seems to be a leak under the sink again.”

In my defence, I point out each time that when the builders put in the main soiled waste water outlet pipe, and the plumbers positioned the sink with its waste, the two parts of the system were out of alignment by approximately 3 to 4 millimetres. This means there is built in tension between them when they're together.

There will be between Natalie and I if I don't sort the leak out.

Today I upped the ante. I revised the battle strategy. I dismembered the system, separating the white plastic pipes, rubber seals and couplings from each other for a short while and then reunited them under my terms and conditions. I had to put them in their place and show that I'm better than King Canute.

If the waste pipes fight back again I will have to bring in my ultimate, unstoppable weapon and ally – white silicone sealant.

© Elliot Sampford 2013


  1. Hola Elliot,
    this sounds very familiar, I had the same problems (not just with the kitchen), but also with the toilet, the washing machine , the automatic garden watering system, etc etc....
    I feel that in my pension age, I am doing more work then when I actually was working for a living!!!..........:)

  2. Heehee, love the way you wrote this. If I were you I'd get the sealant before Natalie gets desperate. I know how she feels. We've had a water problem for a long time... only ours involved the main drain. I hate floods and I hate cutting down perfectly good trees because of their interfering roots. Good luck with the next stage!


Please be courteous and add your name rather than 'Anonymous' to your comment, as it may not be published. In the 'Comment as' box above use the drop-down menu and select 'Name/URL'. In the 'Edit profile' pop-up enter your name and press continue. There will be a period of delay before your comment appears on the article until I receive the automatic notification that you have made one and can authorised its publication.

Any comment that includes vulgar language, racist remarks or anything of that nature will either be edited or not published at my discretion.