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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Faucets Ate My Wednesday


I had plans for my day off on Wednesday. Lists of things to do. Long lists. Including writing, plus a bunch of household chores. The list started out with: replace bathroom and kitchen faucets. This should have been a fairly easy task. (Really, just read the boxes the faucets come in.) I've done my own minor plumbing for years--I can fix a toilet like nobody's business. And the REALLY OLD pipes had been cleared away after I moved in (and, you know, broke them trying to replace the bathroom faucet the last time).

But NO.

The bathroom faucet took about 5 hours. FIVE HOURS, people. Most of that was trying to get the old faucet off. Things were stuck. There was copious use of WD40. I consulted the Interwebs (someone sent me a great link to This Old House, which said use a hammer...which actually worked). Wrestling, then walking away, then more wrestling. There might have been cursing. But in the end, there was this:

This was the old faucet. See that drain thingy lying there? Broken. Also, it was a crappy faucet.

Everything got taken out from under the sink. No, it didn't all fit back underneath after. I don't know why.

After four hours, the old faucet finally decided to give up. The hammer might have had something to do with that.

Bare naked sink. I almost left it that way.

Look--the new faucet is so pretty! (The sink however, is filthy. I'll clean it tomorrow.)
 Like a sensible person (okay, a sensible person would have called the plumber after hour two, but nevermind), I gave up on the idea of doing the kitchen sink on the same day. I was tired, dammit. And the kitchen faucet was only sorta broken (it was supposed to rotate, and it had stopped doing it a year ago, which was inconvenient over a double sink, but obviously not impossible, because A YEAR AGO).

And then my pal Glen (you remember him, he built my new desk for me) came by to rescue me from the bathroom sink. Which I'd literally finished five minutes before he got there. So he said, "Let me take a look at the kitchen sink. It doesn't look that bad..."

Really, I should have known better. It mostly came apart easier than the bathroom faucet (it helped that there were two of us, and you know, he had the right tools--note to self: buy more tools). But when we had it put together, the LAST connection kept leaking, and we couldn't figure out why. We tried everything. Silicon tape. Plumber's putty. Filing down a rough spot on one of the connections. Finally, Glen thought to try using a washer (those little black rubber thingies that usually go inside a faucet--thankfully, although I don't have all the right tools, I have a wiz-bang collection of washers in every size and shape imaginable). It shouldn't have worked, but it did. Which is good, because by then it was 6pm, and I'd started on the first faucet at 10 am. *headsink*

The spiffy new black faucet and soap dispenser. It's a crappy picture. I was tired. So sue me.



So that's what happened to MY Wednesday. What did you do on yours? Do any good household repairs lately?

8 comments:

  1. My Wednesday involved hanging about the house (one of my days off) waiting to hear from the mechanic that they'd found me a new tire AND a new spare so that my Tuesday evening at work surprise flat was now fixed. (This is when I love the fact that I can walk home from work. I hadn't planned to, since the only way I can make myself do errands after work is to drive there and not go home until the errands are done.) So, hardly any of Wednesday's planned stuff got done, because by the time I got the car back it was late afternoon rush hour.

    In other news, I've been flushing my toilet with a bucket for a month, because of not finding time and mental energy to call a plumber. That was one of the planned things that didn't get done yesterday, because surely if I touched the phone, that would be when the auto shop would want to call me. My toilet valve disintegrated about a month ago, and the last time I tried to replace one myself, I called in a plumber after the second time I hit the tank with a 16 inch wrench and scared myself that I'd cracked it. This time I'm opting out from the beginning.
    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. The toilet I would either have fixed or called the plumber on...must have working toilet.

      And, er, you shouldn't need a wrench to change out a toilet valve. I mean, unless you are just whacking on the toilet because you're annoyed.

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    2. The toilet works just fine as long as you flush it with a bucket, which to me barely counts as a minor inconvenience. The seal around the bottom of the float mechanism, whatever it's called. It was, on the old toilet in my two-houses-ago house, fastened with a nut. Which had been there for maybe thirty years, and did not want to yield to my strength, so the wrench kept slipping out of my hand.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    3. Ah. It's always the nuts that get you.

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  2. Let me start by saying that I have owned my current house for 20 years and I'm considered by most people that know me to be pretty handy. I know this because friends call me frequently for advice on how to fix things. I have found that there is a phrase that I suspect when spoken of by ancient people in a far away land probably caused the collapse of everything they held dear. So if your contemplating a project and these words enter your mind "How hard could it be" , run.....run quickly and run far, because its an indication that things are about to go terribly wrong .

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    1. Oh yeah. When I was redoing my kitchen after I bought the house, a project which involved a contractor, a plumber, and electrician, and me...the electrician used to say, "All ya gotta do is..." We learned to run away when we heard it.

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    2. The dire "It's real simple" curse.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    3. Almost as bad as "foolproof."

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