Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Apparently, They Talk

I think my house was built by the three blind mice.  After they got their tails cut off and truly hated mankind.  Every project is like an infomercial.  But wait!  There's more.

Nothing is labeled correctly.  Most things are not where they should be.  Water shut off valves are installed facing the wall or stud, making them close to impossible to shut off.  Hot water runs through pipes labeled for cold water and vice versa.  For the previous owners, duct tape and spackle are high quality building materials.

This past weekend, we decided to replace the bathroom sink and vanity, something I've done too many times to count.  My dad is a handyman, so, growing up, while my friends were out playing basketball and football, I was with my dad fixing up houses.  I may not have been thrilled then, but I'm now liking the skills I picked up.

Anyways, I remove the old vanity and sink, and things go relatively smoothly.  I'm feeling good, because this should not take long.  I put in the new vanity and sink, install the new faucet, make all the plumbing connections and check the supply lines for leaks.  All well.  Cool.

I turn on the water, let the sink fill up, and then open the drain stopper.  I look under the sink.  Niagara Falls.  There's five places it could possibly leak.  It's pouring from three of them.

Grumble, soak up, wipe, take apart, reseat the gaskets, new plumbers putty, lather, rinse, repeat.

Turn on faucets, let sink fill, pull plug.  Two leaks.  Uggghhhhh!  Now, I'm getting frustrated.

Grumble, soak up, wipe, take apart, reseat the gaskets, new plumbers putty, lather, rinse, repeat.  Still leaking, though not as much.  By now, this simple job has gone well into the first quarter of the football game.

I need a break to clear my thoughts, so I head off to repair the trim around one of the doors.   That's simple, right?  I get the trim cut to size, and start to nail it in.  This wood is a bit dense, so I'm taking big swings with the hammer to make sure I hit the nail solidly.  I do.  My thumbnail.  I'm putting in the last nail when I smash my finger.  Now, I'm dancing around the room, red-faced, bent over, with my thumb between my legs, trying hard not to curse.

Clearly, the bathroom sent word ahead to the trim to make sure it did not cooperate either.

Yesterday afternoon, I get a call from my wife that the kitchen sink is now backed up and there's water all over the kitchen counters and running down to the floor.


I guess the house is now revolting against me.

Cover me, I'm going back in.


Ed Skinner said...

I would much prefer to pay taxes TWICE in one year than to do battle with house plumbing ONCE.
You have all my sympathy.

Rev. Paul said...

Your sink stories are why I don't do plumbing. I'll pull wire all day long, and electrify anything you want ... but a man's got to know his limitations, and mine begins with pipes & water.