At least Noah had time to build the Ark

29 11 2005

Like Captain Ahab and his Moby Dick, I too have been challenged by whale.
To follow up my Thanksgiving in “Moist” style, I was thrown into the deep end… literally. On Friday, instead of trying to battle to crowds at Wal-mart for some cheap-a$$ laptop that I don’t need, I decided to be productive and improve my home with some home improvement. For some time the Bathroom sink faucet has become more and more faulty and I was going to replace it with an equally crappy replacement. Now, I do see myself as a rather handy person around the house. I have tools and I know how to screw… things together when necessary. If you’ll if you’ll review my previous post titled “Fun with power tools” you’ll see what I’m talking about. Replacing the faucet would not be my first foray into plumbing, but is has been the most adventurous, and by adventurous I mean time consuming, stressful and painful. The whole thing went south right from the get go. I cleared off the vanity, got all the tools I thought I would need and began. I turned of the hot water valve below the sing without incident. Then I tried to turn off the cold water valve, I was able to turn it a little about a quarter turn when it stopped, but the water was still on. Okay, let me try to turn it again with more force, still not going anywhere. One more time and POP the pipe leading to the valve snapped. Well now I was in a predicament. I water coming at me with the pressure of a fire hose and this cold water at the end of November, Cold! In a panic I tried my best to divert the horizontal gusher in the bucket I had strategically place to collect any leaking water. Every three to five seconds I had to quickly dump the water to the tub and reset to collect more of soon to be rising water all while my wife and family tried to get to the water main under the house in a rarely used, dark, creepy crawlspace. From what I’ve gathered fro other eyewitness accounts it too was a comedy of errors leading to no success, leading to the timely assistance of my neighbor from across the street. He was able to turn off the water at street; he was also very knowledgeable about plumbing and repair. Now here I was soaking wet from freezing cold water, admiring my latest screw-up while my toes went numb from the same freezing cold water two inches deep on my floor. Now this happened Friday at 1pm, so I have some time to clean and make as many repairs as needed. I was even luckier that my very knowledgeable neighbor has a good friend who is a “real” plumber. After the removal of the counter top, vanity and most of the old carpet in the hall way outside of the bathroom, my new plumber was able to come out to my house late on a Friday and replace the 50 year old and mostly disintegrated pipe and valve. He did this in all of 5 minuets for a very modest fee. To my truly fortunate surprise, I have beautiful cherry glazed hardwood floors beneath my cheep, crappy, twenty plus year old carpet. Now that we know, we may have to remove more carpet, but that’s another post. As of Sunday I made no less than eight trips to the hardware store, spent over a hundred and fifty dollars from my Christmas bonus and learned how to assemble, disassemble and reassemble all of the piping and hardware including the vanity and countertop in my bathroom. I was even able to finish my original intention of replacing the faucet with a high quality Moen replacement. As for any really bad water damage, almost all of the water drained to the dirt foundation of the dark, creepy crawlspace. Aside from a little caulking, the bathroom is as good as new. Damn! I forgot to get caulk, now I have to go back to the hardware store.

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