This is a multi-post series
These posts are roughly in order. They will show up in reverse order on this blog, since they are sorted by date, most recent first. Sorry. Scroll to this one and then scroll up? It might make more sense that way.
First, there is Plumbing. Research #1.
I managed to stop the leak, without water damage, but in terms of repair I was not so lucky. Total. Disaster. I eventually fixed it all, except for re-tiling the wall with exotic, matching, Italian glass tiles. After this "learning experience" I made up my mind to learn more plumbing. Any plumbing I do, and any plumbing I see done, will all be 100% to code and tested as well. Luckily, my friend Mark and his wife do all of their own plumbing, so I'm going to have them school me.
I can do lots of plumbing, mostly learned from fixing the slum. For instance, our latest plumber used the wrong pressure fit connector, one designed for copper and not plastic pipe. Also, he didn't test it. Sure enough, it leaked and was fairly unfixable. I disassembled it, and then wound some waxed dental floss in a critical area. Under compression, this can form an arbitrary "washer" which will hold for decades. I learned this by disassembling and ancient toilet supply system and found some cotton thread in there. It had held for decades and I didn't even know it was in there. Cool trick!
However, I don't yet trust that I can solder a copper pipe blind (where you can only see the front third) and then seal it up behind plaster and tile. I need to be able to wet the entire joint, all the way around, without seeing the back side. Then I should never have to wait for a plumbing emergency again.