Essay on the unappealing nature of plumbing

Plumbing is unlovely. It is unlovely in all aspects except, perhaps for the appearance of external feature such as an elegant turn of a faucet or bend of nozzle. “Nozzle.” Even the words of plumbing are ugly.

Plumbing is just ugly

Parts are surprising non-standard and change over time. Basic parts. Like the bits that go inside the wall. But how many choices do we need to turn water on and off and keep it from leaking? And plumbing parts are ugly. Clunky, badly textured, and awkward to manipulate. As are the tools.

Well, there goes that turkey baster

Not only do most plumbing jobs require nearly every basic tool, but they often need a kitchen utensil or two. Like a turkey baster or skewer.

Also awkward are the spaces the plumbing is in. Once one is wedged into the cabinet or next to the toilet to reach a nut, it may be impossible to gain enough leverage to actually turn the damned thing. Once wedged, it’s nearly guaranteed something vital will be out of reach: a tool, a locking nut that has to be held, one’s sanity.

After several hours, an unplanned wet and messy eruption or two, and at least two trips to the hardware store, one doesn’t even really have the satisfaction of a finished job, because if everything was done correctly? It will look exactly the same as before.


Yep. New filler valve and flapper. Oh, joy.



  1. Steve said

    Nice job. How much would you charge to plumb my kitchen for a dishwasher?


    • Nancy said

      Ha! You’d better be kidding! I don’t do new plumbing. Besides, I can’t get the *#(_$ nuts (bolts?) loosened on my kitchen faucet. I R weak.

  2. Steve said

    Can’t get the nuts/ bolts loosened? There’s cutting oil, Loctite, or if you’re feeling adventurous, drill it out and re-tap.

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