The Flanders and Swann song The Gasman Cometh has been running through my head.
At the weekend we realised that something (perhaps the heavy recent rain, combined with sunshine and age) had caused our plastic rainwater butt to spring a leak (along the line where it came out of the mould). So on Sunday we went to buy a new one. The most serviceable-looking one was a bit smaller in diameter than the original, but the same height. The height is important, because the inlet to the butt must be on a level with the take-off on the down-pipe, or it will either not fill the butt, or over-fill it.
Back home, we discovered that the new butt would not sit level on the stand of the old one.
So on Monday morning we went to buy a new stand for the new water butt.
This stand is quite a bit (4 inches) shorter than the old stand, and therefore the inlet was now about 4 inches lower than the down-pipe take-off.
There was a spare paving slab, which brought it up about an inch, and, importantly, still had space for the watering can to stand under the tap. Fortunately, we had some bricks stacked up in the garage. These boosted the whole affair to almost the right level. It looked as if we'd got it set up satisfactorily.
We put some water into it with the hose to check that the tap was water-tight, and it seemed OK. Looked like a success.
Today DH checked, and reported that it was full to the top (it rained a lot again yesterday). What he didn't see, and what I spotted when I looked at it this afternoon, was that it was leaking gently from both the inlet and the tap!
So a whole water-butt-ful has been emptied onto the already sodden garden, and we have dismantled the whole thing and fixed supposedly waterproof tape round the relevant bits. We put some water into it with the hose to check that the tap was water-tight, and it seemed OK.
I'll check it in the morning - it's bound to rain overnight.
At least we haven't painted over the gas tap .....