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random musings

May 22, 2010

GRRRR!

Okay, slight confession.

I have been without a kitchen sink for the last week. Mind you I said kitchen sink - well. more accurately, faucet - not water. It all started innocently enough. A short while ago, I noticed that the kitchen faucet was leaking. Just a small drip ......drip......driiii.. But since T took off, I find myself with a little more time on my hands, and instead of waiting for paint to dry I thought I'd replace the valves in the faucet handles.
And since I like DIY I can't leave good enough alone, I thought this would be a good opportunity to replace the gasket which I can see is corroding starting to disintegrate.

Enter my local water supply. The locals brag about how good it tastes. I say it's full of minerals. Enter also my short arms. They're actually proportionally fine, but I'm only 5'3" so when lying on my back under the sink, I can't reach all the bolts and nuts. I have to turn so that one shoulder is on the cabinet base and my other shoulder is directly stacked above. Which means I have no use of the second hand. And have to crane my neck. Alternatively I can do an ab crunch for the entire time. Finally, enter the !@#$#$% powers that dictate that kitchen sinks be 2" from the exterior wall.

After hours days of wrestling with the thing, waiting for penetrating oil to take effect, purchasing special tools. I could not get the locknuts off. Yes, 2 nylon locknuts were all that stood between me and faucet removal and I couldn't do it. I also couldn't justify spending $$$ to get someone in, who with there longer arms and fingers, would find the job ridiculously easy.

So yesterday I made the executive decision that I would forgo putting in a new gasket and save that repair for when I replace the countertops, when the sink would have to come out anyway. As we covered earlier, not only do I lack the height to leverage a sink out, I also lack having helpers handily about.

I went over to big blue and got me some valves, hooked everything up and turned on the water only to immediately turn it back off. And again. And again. So I guess that 3rd time really isn't the charm.

I've got one more go in me, mostly because tomorrow is Sunday and I won't be able to call a plumber. I'll have him replace the faucet with a completely new assembly. [Note to self: get all new hoses too]

Looks like my $15 fix will be in the $300 mark. Great, and I just paid tuition, too. Meanwhile, it's amazing how many fewer hand-wash dishes I've used in the last week. Microwave cooking at its finest.

Full disclosure: it took days because every time I spent the couple hours to wrestle, I was useless for anything else that night. Not good during the workweek.

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