Thursday, January 13, 2011

pipe dreams

My bathroom faucet was leaking. Does anybody know where this is going yet? Most sensible people would call the plumber, or the landlord, as it were. Am I sensible? No, I like to do things myself! I like learning!

I had read a tutorial on fixing a leaking faucet in ReadyMade Magazine a year or so ago. I vaguely remembered it when the drip started becoming intolerably loud at night. I have realized over the mere four months that I've lived in this apartment that I am one of the only people in this building who calls the landlord for anything. So I thought I'd just give him a break, and use my rudimentary secondhand knowledge of plumbing to help him out. What a great tenant I am!

I unscrewed some of the parts of the faucet one lazy afternoon to take a look at it. Well, it didn't exactly look like the faucets in the article, but it couldn't be rocket science. I put it back together and went to the hardware store. I talked to one of the associates there, who told me to just replace the whole thing. No thanks! Rubber 0-rings cost next to nothing, and I wasn't about to replace the whole faucet for the landlord. I bought a wrench and went back home.

So a few days later around midnight, because that's the best time to work on your plumbing, I turned the water lines off and began disassembling the faucet again. All the parts were laid out before me, and I crouched down below the sink to fiddle with the plug mechanism. Confusion set in, as I all at once realized a) there was a very loud sound, b) I was freaking cold and c) it was raining inside my bathroom. Anyone who hasn't been drenched in a matter of seconds cannot understand how long it takes to realize what is happening, haha.

I popped up and saw a geyser of frigid water shooting out of the place where the knob had been. I stuck my thumb into the hole to plug it while I frantically scanned the bathroom for the missing piece. I couldn't reach it, so I went back down, getting wetter by the moment, to shut the water line valve all the way off. Apparently, I didn't do a good enough job with that before. The water had bounced off of the CEILING and all over my bathroom, soaking everything in there, including my Tammy Faye Bakker-looking self. After mopping, hanging my clothes up, and draping things over my radiators to dry off, I put my faucet back together. And called my landlord.

Everything dried out overnight, but the crappiest part was my sink was EVEN WORSE after I tried to "fix" it. The maintenance guy came a few days ago, and he was in there for ten minutes and now it's working perfectly. LEAVE IT TO THE PROS. If I keep this up, I'm gonna have to rename my blog DIY Disasters. <3

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