Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Drippity Drip

Our kitchen faucet has the wonderful habit of turning itself off. It's like the handle gets tired and so it just lowers itself and cuts off our water. The good news is that faucets usually have a lifetime warranty, so you can request a replacement part to fix the problem. Unfortunately for us, the person who installed it didn't do it properly and it had a pretty major leak that corroded all of the fittings. Therefore, it couldn't be taken out to be fixed without being cut out, which meant ruining it. 

Now, I bought new hoses and a new faucet with the intention of running home and putting it in. I figured it would take maybe 30 minutes? I called my dad to see if there was anything I should know before I got started, and he told me it was going to take hours and be really difficult. Despite knowing that he's always right, I rolled my eyes and carried on. Well $*&%*$*#, he's ALWAYS RIGHT. I am so tired of it! I got home, opened the cabinet, and realized I had the bottom of the sink, the garbage disposall, and tons of hoses and pipes and a power cord keeping me from even seeing the bottom of the faucet, not to mention the fact that you have to lie on your back with your derriere on the floor and the edge of the cabinet cutting into you. 

Enter: Jerry. Our handyman. Have I mentioned that he's a totally legit engineer? I think I have. He did it all for us, although it took many trips because we hit a few snags. I should have gotten a picture of the faucet all cut out... it was a sad sight. On the bright side, here's our new, shiny, ready to run for hours and not just for seconds faucet. 

The only problem? We couldn't turn it on. The old faucet actually had this same issue but to a lesser degree. The hole they cut in the granite was too far back and it therefore hits the raised piece of granite that's on our bar. This simultaneously keeps it from turning all the way on while also pushing the faucet forward and up, thus ruining the seal and allowing water to leak through to the cabinet.

So, Jerry just shaved a little of the granite off in the front of the hole so the faucet could sit a tiny bit more forward, however it took three diamond bits to get it done because our extra-hardy granite broke the first two. Sorry it's all dusty... I may or may not have undertaken a huge (and therefore dusty) renovation project that I'll share in a few days.

She's a beaut!

I also wanted to change out the faucets in the half bath and guest bath.

I got my dad to help because while I could see everything pretty easily (i.e. didn't have 10 obstacles in my way like I did in the kitchen), I knew this wasn't something I wanted to mess up. I got two new hoses (one for hot, one for cold), two new valves (again, hot and cold) because ours were leaking, and the faucet.

Here's all of the old stuff.

The hose is the long braided silver stuff that looks like... a hose. The valves are the things that connect to the back of the cabinet (you can only see the cold one in the picture above) that allow you to turn the water off to the sink. Since ours was leaking, we couldn't actually turn the water off sufficiently, so we had to turn off the main water valve that cuts off water to the entire house.

My dad brought all of these tools which I thought was overkill... but it wasn't.

It was a small and uncomfortable space down there...

Very very very long, frustrating, anxiety-ridden, overwhelming, defeating, seemingly never ending, tiring (need I go on?) story short, we got it switched out.

And we didn't do the guest bath. I returned that faucet and I'm happy to let it stay ugly until the day I die. I'm going to stay very far away from plumbing because it is so not worth it.

Let me break it down a little. Coming out of the wall is a copper pipe. Around that pipe is the old valve. Now, when we went to replace it, we had to leave this little metal fitting on the pipe rather than replacing it with a new one. That's because when they're put on, they get clamped down in place when the valve is screwed on. The issue here is that they form to the very exact shape of that valve, so when we put a new valve on the fitting wasn't exact. Therefore, it leaked. Screwing it tighter didn't help, and we didn't want to screw it too tight because that can actually make things worse.

The thing that was making it take absolutely forever was that we had to keep running outside to turn the water on and off. When we turned it off, we had to let the water in the house run until the pipes were empty so there wouldn't be residual water waiting to bust out if something went wrong. Now since we were running the pipes dry we were therefore emptying the water heater. Since we have an electric (rather than gas) water heater, we had to turn the power off to it because when it's empty it can just get confused and think it hasn't heated the water, causing the whole thing to over heat. We didn't know which breaker went to it though so we had to turn off power to the entire house. Sooo the house was dark, and while the head lamp was helpful, it was just another layer of frustration.

Anyway. I will never plumb again. I couldn't be more thankful that we got this fixture in eventually, because if we hadn't, we would have had to call a plumber to cut the wire pipe out of the wall. Yikes. I didn't realize that detail when we started this project.

Sorry if that was a super negative rant, but I feel I have some sort of duty to warn you. Unless you have superpowers, prior experience, training, or crazy good luck, I'd steer clear of the water pipes. Our condo is pretty new, so I can't even imagine doing this in an older house.

Have any of you had better luck with plumbing? Did we just cash in on 2012's worth of bad karma?

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