Plumbing issues....

Today's post is brought to you by: My wonderful husband.  

So there's been a slow leak under my kitchen sink for a long time. I was pretty sure that it was the drain pipe at the connection to the p-trap. For a long time, I was happy to put it off and leave a bucket under the sink. As long as I checked on the bucket every so often to make sure it wasn't overflowing, everything was good. Every once in a while the wetness would seem to come from somewhere else and the towel under the bucket would end up wet. But this was sporadic. So on the one hand it was not a huge problem, but on the other hand it made determining the source of the problem more difficult.

Well last week - the procrastination had to stop as there was a new source of drippage under my sink. The faucet just began dripping from the bottom at a pretty good rate. It no longer took my bucket a few weeks to get full, but about half a day.

So Sunday afternoon I undertook to replace my faucet.

We went online and found a relatively inexpensive one at Lowe's and went down to pick it up. I thought I was in for a few hours of work. The instructions said 45 minutes, but I knew there was no way and that it would end up being at least 2 hours....heh....I was in for more fun that I imagined.

It's funny how a half an hours work can be reduced to one line "Remove the old faucet". Rather it should say "strap on your headlamp for a half an hour on your back with your arms straight up in the air holding a wrench and a pair of pliers and trying to undo about ten years worth of corrosion".

Of course when I got the old faucet out and the new one in, it turned out the rubber seal on the fittings were completely destroyed and leaking all over the place. Well, a trip to Home Depot to replace these taught me that "that's the old way of doing things" and I would have to buy completely new hoses, and of course new valves. So I went home to get the old pieces to ensure I bought the right size new parts. This of course required shutting off the water to the house. No problem though as I was going to run back out to the Home Dee-Pot and get the required replacement valves and work late into the night to get the problem fixed. The only problem was that both Home Depot and Lowe's were closed early due to it being Sunday. So our water was off and the valves removed and we were out of water for the night. I stopped at Albertson's to get some bottled water for drinking and teeth brushing and the like. This is fun! It's like camping at home!

So at this point I was 7 hours into my 45 minute project, and I knew I would have to take at least the first part of Monday off work because I couldn't leave the family with no toilet and no dishwashing water all day.

Despite the fact that the main valve was shut off, water continued to drip from the pipes all night long and by morning the bucket was overflowing. yay!

Well - thanks to my Grandpa coming over and lending his expertise, I was able to go to both Lowe's and Home Depot and come home with most of what I would need to finish the project, and by about 10:30 the old fitting were cut off the pipes and the new valves were on and the water to the house was back on.

Well to shorten up this long story, I'll just say I had another trip out to both Lowe's and Home Depot in store. I also had about two or three more times of thinking "ahh, finally done" just to find out I wasn't.

What was supposed to be a new faucet with a cool little sprayer turned out to be: a new tee at the drain pipe, buying a new air gap for the dishwasher drain then throwing it away, buying a new 7/8" hose for the dishwasher drain and not using it, buying a new direct attachment from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal, two new valves, two new supply hoses, a new cap for the random hole drilled in the top of the sink by a previous owner, AND a new faucet with sprayer.

It was a long, tiresome, painful, expensive process, but I feel so happy now that we have a new faucet and everything underneath the sink seems to be in good working order. The cold water valve still has a really really slow drip. Maybe it will calcify shut in a couple days, or maybe there's going to be more adventure in store as I try to fix that.

I'm sure this story bring back fond memories of similar experiences for most other home owners, especially owners of older homes. No project is what it appears to be. Whatever you see is only the first domino to fall, or the tip of the iceberg - whichever analogy you prefer.

Sadly - this experience makes me more prone to procrastinate on other projects. I'm never sure if this one hour project will turn out to be the one that ends up lasting 30 hours instead!

Joshua blogs at http://anotherdayanothernewthing.blogspot.com/

He has great insight and a wonderful style.  I promise you'll be challenged intellectually if you give it a read.



M-I-L Claude said...

From one homeowner to another, I feel your pain. Remember the day you stepped into a LOT of water in the bathroom at my house? One "small slab leak" ended up costing sooooooooooooooooooooooo much money. I did get an awesome new bathroom out of the deal, but you know what I'm saying.

Darryl Iorio said...

Argh! All those disruptions just because of a leaky faucet... If I were you, I would have called a professional plumber right away to do all the ‘dirty’ work. I’d be much more confident in him than doing it myself, and later on find out that everything has to be redone. It’s been more than a year. How is your sink doing now?

Darryl Iorio

Regi:Create said...

After a year, I'm happy to say that we haven't had any problems with our sink or new faucet. All is flowing well in our house. :) We're blessed.