Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spicket is Not a Word

I kept writing "spicket" on my to do list to remind me that ours weren't working. My phone said it wasn't a word, but had no suggestions. Turns out that what I meant to type was "spigot"--the faucet type thing that sticks out of your exterior walls that you attach hoses to. Silly me, but I've just never seen it spelled, and no one says spiGot, they say spiCKet! 

After my first and very deeply traumatic experience with plumbing, I vowed to never touch pipes again. But alas, we had some spigot issues. The spigot near our front door had an attachment that keeps the water that's sitting in the hose from going back into the wall. These attachments are used because when that water goes back in, it contaminates the potable (drinkable) water. The issue with our attachment was that it was too large for a hose to connect to, and it was interrupting the water flow. 

These attachments are screwed on to the end of the spigot and then secured by a little screw.

Unfortunately, the screw was totally rusted out which meant we couldn't unscrew it. Enter: my dad, knower of all things. He brought over his plethora of tools and announced that we'd need to saw it off. Saw it off?! Metal? Yup. So, he whipped out his hand saw and got to it.

The trick was to saw through the attachment but not damage the spigot, and that's exactly what he did.

Then, he pried it off.

It snapped in half...

Then the whole thing came off! That was easy :)

If you're worried about us being attachment-less, don't be. My all knowing father has reassured me that the water in the hose doesn't actually travel against gravity upwards into the spigot, and even if it did, the spigot is in the off position and therefore doesn't let the water inside.

Next up: the spigot in the back. This spigot had the same attachment, but it also had an attachment on top of that attachment that allowed hoses to be connected to it. So, while the attachment wasn't the issue here, the spigot was constantly leaking. Luckily we don't actually pay our water bill (it's included in our flat HOA fee), but we didn't want to be wasteful and it can also be bad for your foundation to be constantly saturated with water. 

My dad said that it was possible it could just be a quick fix. He thought that maybe the washer that seals the inside of the spigot when it's in the off position could be damaged. To find out, he took off the front part of the spigot. He used one wrench (on the right) to hold the spigot still so the pipe it's attached to wouldn't be damaged, and one wrench (on the left) to twist the front part off.

You can kind of see that the washer below has ridges in it (rather than being smooth) that have been formed from lots of use.

He unscrewed the screw holding it in.

He looked at the pile of spigot washers he had on hand to see which one matched. Why he has any spigot washers on hand is totally beyond me.

He found the perfect one (the new one is on the left, old one is on the right).

And he screwed it in!

Before we put the front part back on he suggested we take a look inside to see if the spigot was in good shape. He pointed out that there was a little notch on the innermost rim (see it on the top left?) which meant that the washer probably wouldn't do the trick. Most likely, that little notch was keeping the spigot from sealing.

We hoped he was wrong and put it back on anyway.

Womp womp.

Leaky :(

So, he took off the whole spigot, this time using his second wrench to grip the copper pipe that goes into the wall.

We put some plumbing tape on to help the spigot seal to the pipe.

He twisted it on, and it was not easy.

Ta da!

Now we have two fully functional spigots. It's a miracle. 

To switch gears a little... is it strange that I only capitalize some words in the titles of my blog posts? I've treated them like a title of a paper, where you don't capitalize things like "is" and "a," but I noticed that John & Sherry capitalize them all. What do you think? 

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