They say that plastering is the most difficult of all the trades to master, but I would like to put forward a different candidate – plumbing – for that particular award. At least it is in our experience.

Four years in, I think it’s fair to say that most elements of our plumbing ‘system’ have required some level of intervention. Usually the intervention is relaxed, simple maintenance. Occasionally, as is the way with plumbing matters, intervention is usually required in the middle of the night in panicked, hushed tones.

Most catastrophic of all was a leaky pipe that was designed to take the overflow from the Megaflo to outside, but which only managed to deposit the water into the void inbetween floor and ceiling boards. Resulting in having to install a new overflow diversion pipe and plenty of re-plasterboarding. We’ve also had, more recently, a waste pipe from the bath that was never properly secured and had to be reattached after a leak which rather entertainingly sent water cascading into the bathroom below. Through the extract vent (which shorted and now doesn’t work).

Last night took the biscuit. The wall mounted bath taps weren’t sealed properly resulting in a modest but frustrating extra leak from the upstairs shower/bath. A basic problem easily fixed. However, at 1am, an almighty crash saw our Happy D wall-mounted vanity unit (it’s attached to the sink above) fall off the wall. It’s all rather invigorating in the middle of the night to be dealing with stuff like this but luckily my extremely practical, kind and patient father-in-law is going to help sort it out this morning. Quite how it didn’t manage to wake up our 9 week old son sleeping deeply next to our bed was quite astonishing particularly as he usually gets woken up by an ant sneezing in the garden.

I think that part of the problem is that for our plumber a lot of the fittings were relatively unusual and one-offs and we’re the unfortunate victim of him only ever having done these type of installations once or twice. Either way, I’m currently a big advert for the benefits of keeping things simple.

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