Thursday, October 06, 2005

Triumph & Defeat

Last night when I went to bed, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Why? Well, we live in a nice neighborhood of tract houses built from all the cheap-assest materials money can buy. And that means terrible faucets. My dad changed out the kitchen faucet and downstairs bathroom faucet for us a while back, but we still had the crappy faucets in the bathrooms upstairrs. I've been wanting new faucets up there for a long time. So the other day I actually went to Home Depot, purchased new faucets and a basin wrench and some teflon tape, and yesterday I got down under the sinks in our master bathroom and changed those suckers out. Sure, I scraped a couple of my knuckles to the point of bleeding. Sure, on the second sink I got a little cocky and got under there with my tools and started unhooking and detaching here and there and it wasn't till a lot of water suddenly rained down on my face that I realized I'd forgotten what I think must be the very first rule of plumbing, which is "always turn the water off at the source before you start messing around down there." I had myself all geared up to write an amusing blog post about that little mishap and how as a result of getting drenched, I awoke with Bride of Frankenstein hair this morning, but still, I am woman, hear me roar, women can replace faucets, girl power, yada yada yada. I went to bed in triumph, aware that two brand new faucets were gleaming in my bathoom -- faucets I had installed my very own self.

So you can imagine how happy I was to wake up to Reasonable Man telling me one of my faucets was leaking.

I groggily told him I'd take care of it. He told me it was "quite a bit" and that it was my sink, and then he left me alone. I was lying there in bed acting like I was actually going to go back to sleep for a while, but then I got up and went into the bathroom to survey the damage. Reasonable Man had turned off the leaky side of my sink at the source, and I got all my stuff out of there, but decided the inside of the cupboard needed to dry out before I could do anything with it and went downstairs.

Downstairs in the kitchen, Reasonable Man was dealing with the aftermath of a flood.

The water had leaked from upstairs down through the cannister light fixtures. One them is conveniently located above the sink, but the other is over the kitchen table -- so the kitchen eating area was drenched. As was the kitchen floor, due to the ceiling being lowered to accomodate our ugly fluorescent lighting fixture, kind of down the side of which the water was still dripping when I came downstairs. Reasonable Man said there'd been a "bubble" there but he'd already popped it. He'd moved all the chairs out of the way and mopped up most of the water by the time I arrived downstairs, so really all there was for me to do at that point was flop down on the couch and say some bad words and, you know, contemplate the folly of my hubris and all.

All I wanted was to replace the faucets. They really sucked -- you have to believe me.
And you know, they had kind of screwed when they hooked up the plumbing under that sink in the first place -- the hot and cold are on the wrong sides from where they should be, which means the tubing whatever thingies have to stretch farther than they want to and, you know, of the 4 water connections I attached, that one was the toughest because it didn't want to stretch. I thought I'd gotten it right but evidently -- no. So that's my morning so far. I'll get under the sink and see if I can fix the connection, and we'll wait for the ceiling downstairs to dry out so I can paint over the water damage. And I'm still going to replace the faucet in the kids' bathroom myself.

I'm just not going to enjoy it very much.

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