Sunday, January 06, 2008

adventures in plumbing

Today's big housing adventure was dealing with a leaking outdoor faucet.

One of the hose faucets has a worn-out washer that's leaking. To replace the washer, you need to turn off the water to the house. It turns out the new place has a quick shutoff valve (which I finally found in a cabinet in the garage), but after some experimentation it became clear that valve shuts off the supply to the house itself, not to the outside faucets. A call to Parental Tech Support (thanks, Dad!) turned up the right answer: shut off the main valve to the house, which is under the rectangular cover marked "water" (as opposed to being under either of the round covers also marked "water.")

The faucet itself is stuck behind the sort of over-sized geranium you only get in Southern climes. Trying to damage the plant as little as possible, I removed the nut at the top of the faucet and discovered I couldn't get access to the washer that way. That triggered another Parental Tech Support call, which resulted in my removing the entire faucet.

At that point, I could see the washer but couldn't figure out how to get it out of the faucet. So it became necessary to replace the entire faucet. Which meant I needed to buy a faucet. Which meant I needed to wash the crud off my hands from messing around with the plumbing. Which meant I needed to turn on the water again. Which meant I had to put the worn-out faucet back on the pipe or suffer a geyser as soon as the water came back on.

So, faucet back on and geranium looking a bit the worse for wear, Coppertop and I headed for a quick trip to Home Depot. Quick because it was getting dark and starting to rain. Long story short, we got back after it'd already gotten pretty dark and the rain was coming down pretty hard, but I wasn't going to put off replacing the faucet because removing the old one and putting it back on had left it leaking worse than before. So Coppertop, who hates rain, bravely volunteered to hold the flashlight while I installed the new faucet. It was a damp job, but the new faucet seems to be holding up well, I now know how to control the water to the house, and we were still able to clean up, change clothes, and make it to dinner on time.

1 comment:

Maria Elisa said...

Go team!! Hey. The geranium will withstand tons of abuse. You can break off a piece and replant it. Easy as pie. Do not worry about damaging it. If by chance you damage it beyond repair, you can have a cutting off one of mine.