Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Faucet

Today was the day to fix the dripping faucet in the kitchen.
After breakfast, and with the roommate at church, the toolbox was dragged out and a screwdriver pulled out. The cap on the faucet popped off, and the handle was pulled off. Next was a very big ring thing around the contraption, so another trip was made to the tool box, this time to get a very big adjustable wrench. The big ring came off reasonably well, and the skinny ring below it came off with a bit of effort. Now, the issue was getting the thingbob out of the big bolt, so I could replace the washer.
Since there were grooves on the big bolt, it would seem to reason that the thingbob was screwed into it. A third trip to the tool box was made, and a pair of pliers brought out.
It should be noted at this point that there are technically three toolboxes here. There is the big red box, the smaller red box that used to be in the car, and the paper box lid. Two years ago, when I put the gutters up, I carried all the tools that I needed for that chore in the paper box lid, and never did put them up. The paper box lid operates as a de facto tool box.
So the thingbob doesn't want to come out. Twisting it with the pliers does no good, and only serves to flatten the grooves on the bigbolt, and make it a funny shape. This will cause problems later when it is time to put humpty dumpty back together.
Time to go to google, and look for install a washer. I see a bunch of articles about installing a washing machine, and even more ads of people who would like to install it for me. I try googling fix a faucet, and get a long list of people who can fix my faucet. I finally find a home repair site, determine that this is a compression faucet, with a repair that the man says is easy. This is about the level of usefulness I find at the rest of the site.
I find the step by step instructions for installing a washer, only to click in the wrong place and am returned to the page that tells me what type of faucet I am working with. I am starting to yell cusswords at the screen. Finally, after seeing the illustrated page telling me how to cut off the water to the faucet before starting the repair, I find the page telling me how to get the thingbob out of the big bolt. It said to use pliers.
I go back to the kitchen, attach the pliers to the thingbob, shake it a few times gently, and pull it out of the big bolt. I pull the washer at the bottom of the hole out, and put the whole device in a cup and head to Lowes.
I get to the plumbing department, and look for someone to help me. After asking a man with dreadlocks for help, asking a bearded man for help, and pushing a red button, and waiting a few minutes, an African African comes to help. He did find a brandnew thingbob that was a pretty good match for the old one.
I pay for the thingbob and go home.
Does the washer in the bottom go up this way or that way? How do you get it in the little hole in any event? Finally, the thingbob is ready to go in the big bolt. The skinny ring goes on with some difficulty. The big ring goes on with even more difficulty. The handle goes on, after a few more cuss words and a bit of effort. I understand now why plumbers drink so much.
The moment of truth arrives. I turn the water on under the sink, turn the handle, the water comes on, and turn the handle off, the water stops. At first there is no drip, and I start to put the tools up. Then I notice that it is dripping. I turn the water off at the other faucet under the sink, and the dripping stops. I take the package the thingbob came in and go back to Loews to get another.
Replacing the second knob was a bit easier than the first, except when I dropped the spring in the pipe and couldn’t find it. I finally replaced it with an old spring, put the washer, thingbob, and rings in place. The water was turned on under the sink, the handle was turned, the water came out, the water was cut off, and DID NOT LEAK.
Somehow driving a delivery truck will not seem so horrible tomorrow.
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
Loews- lowness, lowest, lowell, lobes, lodes, loges, lopes, loses, loves, lose
To my disappointment, spell check did not have a suggestion for thingbob.


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