ImageJust when things are at their worst, success is just around the corner. The darkest hour is before the dawn. You have to persevere, to persist until you succeed.

Last weekend, we went to our cabin to find out that the recent frost had bust the pipes in several places, mostly under the cabin. It immediately changed our weekend. First we had no water for drinking, washing or flushing, and second we had a new home improvement project.


Fixing Leaks

Saturday morning we started early. Each time we found and fixed a leak, we discovered to our dismay, another leak. We did not have all the required supplies, and had to make several trips to the hardware store to get what we needed. The round trip to the nearest store was about half an hour. By the time I found that the pressure reducing valve was blown, we decided to go to a larger store, further away, which was a couple of hours.

Types Of Repairs Involved

Since the cabin was quite old, there were various types of plumbing which showed that it had been repaired more than once over the years. There was the usual copper pipes. We had one spot where the pipe had burst. I had to cut out a section and solder in a new section with some straight couplers. There was some points where the soldering had come loose due to the frost. Those we just had to clean, flux and re-solder.

We had quite a bit of plastic pipes (pex tubing), with compression joints. Some of those had just worked loose. There I just had to tighten them with a couple of wrenches. The hard pard was getting into some tight areas under the cabin to tighten the compression joints. In one joint I had to replace a compression sleeve.

The last and challenging repar was the pressure reducing valve. I needed to buy a replacement, and then undo various step down fittings with a couple of wrenches, and switch them all over to the new valve.

It was physically challenging, working in close quarters under the cabin. That and the traveling back and forth to hardware stores, buying parts, returning parts that did not fit, and buying more parts. It was quite stressful. I was getting more and more tired. But I had a determination to go on, I was not willing to let it beat me, even if I replaced every pipe there was under that cabin.

By about 5pm I finally got all the leaks repaired and we had water pressure restored to the cabin. It was about 24 hours without water, and the first  luxury for me was to enjoy a hot shower.

Lessons Learned

Some learnings I got out of this:

  • Failure was not an option. It did not occur to me that we would give up.

  • Pain and discomfort fueled my determination to keep going until we made it.

  • The number of leaks was unknown, and grew as time went on. Still, we had faith that it was a finite number, and repaired them one at a time.

  • Once finished, we felt a sense of accomplishment and pride that we did it. This was our mountain and we conquered it.


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