It helps to know that I grew up in the suburbs of Fairbanks, Alaska; it also helps to know that my father, with a little help from his friends, built the entirety of our house, down to the wiring. (We were outside city limits, so a lot of regulations did not apply to us, but fortunately Dad believed in studying the housing code, then exceeding it.)
[04:56] synecdochic i have two simple rules. i do not do plumbing and i do not do electric. plumbing, if you fuck up, you've flooded the house. electric, if you fuck up, you kill yourself or you burn down the house.
[04:57] synecdochic everything else you can finagle. (presuming you have the ability to identify a load bearing wall.)
[04:58] azurelunatic Even Dad got an expert in for much of the plumbing.
[04:58] azurelunatic Though he did do a fair bit of the work himself.
[04:58] azurelunatic and yes, he did manage to flood the house. That was exciting.
[04:59] azurelunatic Not entirely his fault, though.
[05:00] synecdochic i'm just happy that the wall between the kitchen and dining room (which is slated for eventual death) isn't bearing.
[05:00] azurelunatic After a good ... two? three? four? years of no indoor plumbing, it was time to change that, so he hired our neighbor the plumber and general construction worker, with the backhoe, to get the well hooked up.
[05:01] azurelunatic (that was in the big house; the cabin of course did not even pretend to have indoor plumbing.)
[05:01] azurelunatic so the guy digs this ... 300 foot? trench between the well (at the top of the hill) and the house (at the bottom of the hill)
[05:02] azurelunatic dad not being a fool, the pipe is insulated and there's a line of heat tape on the thing, because it *will* freeze
[05:02] synecdochic heh.
[05:02] azurelunatic and the copper pipe comes up through the bathroom floor into the house.
[05:03] synecdochic ok, with you so far ...
[05:03] azurelunatic and it is winter now, and the inside of the house is not fully plumbed, but at least we have water coming in, that we do not have to make a 200 yard round trip for, and ... I think the priority was on getting the septic tank and the leach field set up before the ground froze?
[05:04] azurelunatic so the copper pipe is coming in, and it will be eventually attached to a pressure tank
[05:04] azurelunatic but for now, it is attached with !!electrical tape!! to a garden hose.
[05:04] azurelunatic (this is temporary. we all know this is temporary.)
[05:05] synecdochic oh my
[05:05] azurelunatic so it has been working servicably, but now winter has set in, and we wake up to find that there is no water.
[05:05] synecdochic one suspects that the heat tape isn't?
[05:05] azurelunatic Never fear! quoth dad, or words to that effect, and he fires up the heat tape.
[05:07] azurelunatic the heat tape can't be left continuously plugged in, for reasons that I didn't fully understand at the time
[05:07] azurelunatic Dad was very excited, because this meant that he was going to get to test whether the system actually worked, or whether we'd have to rip it all out and do it again next summer.
[05:07] synecdochic *snicker*
[05:07] synecdochic I am very familiar with the way this works, yes.
[05:08] azurelunatic he had borrowed a variac from someone at work, to put the proper amount of load on the system with the heat tape, so he fired up the whole thing, and we clustered around in the bathroom to see what happened.
[05:08] azurelunatic There was a hum.
[05:08] azurelunatic About as exciting as watching paint dry.
[05:08] azurelunatic Then there was creaking.
[05:09] azurelunatic Suddenly, there was an immense noise, the hose flew off the end of the pipe, and water and 1" diameter cylinders of ice began to spew out of the end of the pipe into the bathroom.
[05:10] azurelunatic What Dad said at this juncture is lost to history.
[05:10] synecdochic *snerk*
[05:10] synecdochic Oh my.
[05:11] azurelunatic Even after he unplugged the well pump (and the heat tape) there was a bit more coming in.
[05:11] azurelunatic My sister and I first retreated to the stairs (get for high ground!) but then I ran and got the rag bag, and the flow stopped, and soon things were restored to normal.
[05:11] azurelunatic but after that, the water was run absolutely every day, whether we needed water or not.
[05:12] synecdochic hee hee hee. yes, i can see where that would be a rule