This didn’t happen, thanks to my quick thinking.
“Excusez-moi? You need a WHAT?” (Even in a crisis, I never miss an opportunity to practice my French)
“The Bunsen burner. To heat up the ring so it will come off.” Coe waved his hand dismissively, as though any idiot would know that. And he was right, only an idiot would think using a Bunsen burner was a good plan.
“Over my dead body. No, strike that. Over your dead body. You are not using an open flame under that cabinet for any purpose. This is a job for Google.”
“Google? How is Google going to help?”
I ignored the query and fired up Firefox. Time was of the essence, as I had to find the answer before Coe found the Bunsen burner in the pack-rat garage. His luck had been remarkably good this afternoon and I didn’t want to press mine.
[typing] copper pipe ring . . . Oh look! It’s called a “compression ring” and one of the Google suggestions is “copper pipe compression ring removal.”
[click] I scanned the many suggested sites, picking up a ton of information along the way. For example, it appears that a special tool called a “compression ring puller” ~may~ or ~may not~ be available at any hardware store. And it ~may~ or ~may not~ work. I already have enough tools that don’t work. Moving on.
There is a suggestion utilizing a hacksaw to cut the ring, then pry it off with a screwdriver, all without damaging the pipe. Bwahahahaha. This idea sounds only slightly less ridiculous than the Bunsen burner idea. Next.
Ah. Several “experts” suggest just cutting off the pipe right below the ring. This is a possibility, as I know we have a pipe cutter in the pack-rat garage. Just as I am heading to the door, Coe appears, Bunsen burner in hand. Damn!
“We have to cut it off. It’s what alllllll of the experts say.” What I mean is alllll the experts I am willing to take advice from.
“Yeah, I thought of that. I just thought we could try this first,” he said, looking a bit disappointed. I’m sensing a bit of restlessness from this retired firefighter.
“Nope, sorry, we have to cut it off. Otherwise we might damage the pipe and then we will need a whole new pipe.” Now I am just making stuff up. But the other possibility is that we will need a whole new house when he burns this one down. Besides, it could be true.
Coe locates the pipe cutter a bit faster than the crescent wrenches. Amazingly, he cuts the ring off and gets the new shut-off valve and its wedding ring on the pipe and everything back together in less than ten minutes. Let no man put asunder what Coe has joined together.
Coe trundles back down the stairs to turn on the water again. Did I mention that the basement is even worse than the garage? Spiders. But I digress.
Praisethelordhallelujiahthankyougod! The hot water is actually staying inside the pipes.
“See? We didn’t need to call a plumber.” As is his wont, Coe gathers up all of his tools to throw on the workbench, in no particular order. He leaves the rest of the mess for the Magic Cleanup Fairy.
It turns out that the Magic Cleanup Fairy is now entertaining the Good Wine Fairy. We have that bottle open and poured before Coe’s posterior hits the seat of his recliner. And we are drinking to the rest of the people who didn’t need to be called.
The fire department. The police department. And my friends, for bail money.
All that water turned into a Wine Miracle.