3.02.2008

i am a man, or a longish post that may actually, literally, bore you to tears

A few days ago, the pipes underneath my kitchen sink started leaking (the only reason I even noticed it was because I stepped in a big puddle of water that was all over the kitchen floor). It didn't seem like anything serious. It was just a little drip, so I put a bucket under it and decided I would deal with it later.

Well, when I woke up this morning, I decided it would be Plumbing Day, because there's also been another plumbing issue that I've been ignoring for the past couple of months: a dripping bathtub faucet. So, after gearing up with a few cups of coffee and a viewing of 'Gone Baby Gone' (which was as good as everyone says), I decided it was time to get going with all of the manliness. I flipped a metaphorical coin to see which one I would tackle first, and the bathroom won out. I have to confess, that I had no idea what I was doing, or how to even fix the problem, regardless of how many articles purportedly about fixing it that I read last week, but I figured that I'd just take some pliers to it and see what I could see.


So I removed the faucet handles ok, but after that, I didn't really know what to do. Everything I read said that a dripping faucet can be solved by replacing the washer in the handles. But there weren't any washers. So I removed everything that could possibly be removed and then put it all back again, clueless as to how to fix it. And, as you can see, I think this is the same faucet assembly that was put in when the house was built in 1955 (look at how gross it is under there), so actually fixing it will probably require replacing everything with new gear. Something I'm not sure I'm willing to do.

So, since I failed at that one, but didn't actually destroy anything beyond repair, I figured it couldn't possibly be that much of a disaster to tackle the kitchen sink. So, I crawled under there and saw that the J joint was cracked and that's where the leak was coming from. Now, I kinda love my local Ace Hardware store, so I have no problems having an excuse to make a trip, and this one was for something that was kind of legitimate. You know, tools were needed. Plumbing things must be purchased, not just paint or screws or something lame like that. I returned home from my first trip with a new J joint and a monkey wrench!

I started off doing what most people would do, and attempted to unscrew the nuts holding the old J joint in place. Well, guess what? That simple action revealed that not only was the J joint corroded, but so was the pipe leading from the joint to the wall, and when I tried to unscrew that nut, it pretty much ripped the pipe right in half.

So, it was back to Ace for one of those pipes.

When I got everything back home, I discovered that the new pipe was too long so I had to cut it down. Guess what? It meant another trip to Ace for a hacksaw. But! That's it! After about 10 minutes, I had the new pipe cut down to size, with plumber's tape wrapped around the joints and then a few minutes and some twists with my brand new monkey wrench later, I had new pipe assemblage under my sink.

And, guess what? It doesn't even leak.

Ungh. Me. Man.

I guess a .500 batting average isn't too bad, but I'm gonna feel like a big ol' schmo tomorrow when I have to call the plumber to come fix the bathroom one.

7 comments:

LSL said...

This is super impressive. I have a whole list for you to tackle now. :)

Jeannette said...

If I did that Id blog about it too, or draw a comic about it, or draw a comic about me blogging about it.

And the bathroom leak, cant you add some washers to the mix? I worked at Home Depot for three years so I feel I am totally qualified to give that advice. I was a cashier.

Rebel said...

Good job fixing your sink! I had a leaky bathroom sink and fixed it using... duct tape... and saran wrap.

Hey - it works!

d said...

lsl: for a stay in upstate new york, i'll take you up on it.

j: but where do i put the washers? that's what i couldn't figure out.

rebel: well, you can see that i tried the ol' duct tape route also and it didn't last very long...hopefully, yours will be more resilient.

Big Daddy said...

Ack.

I have to replace the p-trap in my bathroom.

And replace the garbage disposal in the kitchen.

I know I could do it, but I want it done right.

Good job!

Michael5000 said...

Well done, sir!

Mrs.5000 & I spent last weekend applying plaster to the tile-backing surface in what might, someday, again be our upstairs shower.

Today, we realized we used the wrong compound.

Next weekend, we will remove the plaster, and begin adding the correct compound.

Home ownership is an endless adventure.

d said...

that sounds way worse than anything i had to tackle. i wish you much luck.

sooner or later, i'm gonna replace the floor in my bathroom. wanna come help?