I’ve spent about two hours today awkwardly bent behind my bathroom sink trying to sort out the pipes. We’ve lived here for over a year and it seems that the general gunk that accumulates has gotten so bad in the drains that the water was flowing at about 10% the rate it should have been.

The sinks didn’t smell and the pipes are awkward to reach behind the basin so I had left this task on my todo list for a while. But today was the day.

I cleared the area around the sink.Squeezed my body and arms as best as I could into the small gaps available, unscrewed all the pipes, set about cleaning the gunk and was feeling pretty happy with myself. In my head I had saved about £50-£100 I assume it would have cost to get a plumber out here to do the work.

The problems started when I tried to  put everything back together again. I’ve no idea how old these pipes were but they were worn out, chipped and dirty and the rubber seals inside which are meant to make it water tight seemed warped. The result was that when I turned the water back on to test it there were 3 different leaks.

I then spent the next hour or so grumbling and twisting and reseating seals and trying various tricks to get to get these crappy old bits of pipe to become water tight again. My hands were visibly sore and callused by the time I gave up and headed off to the local DIY store with the offending pipes in a bag to try and find a replacement.

The part I needed consisted of 3 specific shapes of pipe with connectors and seals. In my head I assumed the whole thing would cost £20-£25 maybe? Maybe I could just replace the seals for £5?

Normally I’m happy when things are cheaper than expected but this time I couldn’t stop feeling a bit annoyed. The entire thing cost £3.41!

I bought it and when I got back home it took a minute to fit and had no leaks. Saving money by being frugal is great. But I think I’d much rather have saved myself the 2 hours and frustration and scarred hands!

I had saved plenty by not hiring a plumber but the real moral is that trying to reduce your costs to £0 is very often not worth the effort. If I had known the entire replacement was so cheap I would have bought