Life Skills: Plumbing Edition

10 Jan


One night, my toilet decided it didn’t want to flush anymore.

 And because I’m now living on my own, this is my problem…not my parents’.

When you live in residence, there are maintenance people that look after things like this. You submit a work order online and they are supposed to come and fix the problem between the hours of 8am and 5pm.

Slight Complication: It was after 9pm when this happened to me, and I didn’t know how soon the next day the maintenance person would come to fix it.

So I called the one handyman I know who’s on the clock 24/7 (my dad) and hoped that he was still awake (because it was almost 9:30 and he’s old).

As it turns out, he was awake (surprise) but his phone was turned off. I called my mom who insisted I explain to her what was wrong (even though she wouldn’t have any idea how to help me) before she would turn the phone over to my dad.

I then had to explain the problem for a second time, and I lost 20 minutes of my life that I would never get back.

But luckily my dad knew how to fix it, and I was able to get the toilet working well enough to flush again.

Unfortunately, I then had to listen to my dad’s lecture (FOR THE BILLIONTH TIME) on how I should not be at university, but rather, learning the art of plumbing. The world needs plumbers, Emily!

And I couldn’t really argue this time, seeing as how basic plumbing skills came in extremely handy…which was annoying.

After this incident, I thought that I was done with plumbing issues.

But then about a month later, I discovered that the pipes underneath my kitchen sink were leaking.

The sad part about this was that it took me a very long time to realize that the problem even existed.

For about a week, I thought that the water on the kitchen floor was from people walking around on it in their snowy, wet boots.

But when I stepped in water for about the fifth time, soaking yet another pair of socks, I made three important observations:

1. The water had collected in a giant puddle.

2. The giant puddle was located on the floor next to the sink.

3. The snow was pretty much melted and the ground was dry, so the floor could not be wet from snowy boots.

Conclusion: Leaky pipes!

(Forget plumbing, I should be a detective!)

Anyways, I didn’t attempt to fix the pipes on my own, so I put in a work order and got it sorted out.

But as it turned out, even that was not the last plumbing issue I had to deal with.

Some time later, I discovered that my shower drain wasn’t working very well.

I’m no genius, but I knew that it was probably time to clean it out.

Now, I’ve never had to do this before…so I had no idea how disgusting it is to fish hair out of a shower drain. And the smell….

Ohhhhh, it was bad.

But I got the job done…and I thanked my dad for never making me do that when I lived at home.

The good thing was, that drain marked the end of my plumbing issues. (So far).

It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t pretty, but I gained some valuable life skills.

#1. I can now take the lid off the tank of a toilet and recognize how the parts work to make it flush. LIFE SKILL.

#2. I can recognize a problem, and fix it myself…maybe even saving me the cost of calling a plumber in the future. LIFE SKILL.

#3. I have experience in unclogging drains. Believe it or not, I am considering this a very important LIFE SKILL.

University seems to be teaching me more things than I thought.

My dad’s response when I told him this: “Not really, I could’ve taught you these things at home for free.”


Fair enough.


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