Or, I Could Have Paid The Hundred Dollar Installation Fee

Our kitchen faucet was too small for the sink. You had to angle pots, tall glasses, coffee pots, water bottles, and anything similar, just so in order to fit them under the tap. It also leaked a bit when on full pressure. The little sprayer thingy didn’t work. It was an old, cheap piece of hardware, and it looked both. We’ve both complained about it since we bought the house.

Changing a faucet is pretty low on the scale of difficulty for home improvement projects. It requires no special knowledge, no special tools, and not a lot of time or money. All you need to do is unscrew a few nuts and connections. So, given the major pain ours was, and the ease of fixing it, you might think I replaced the faucet a long time ago. This is also one of the few projects I’ve been nagged about doing. But if you thought I fixed this post haste, you would be wrong. Instead, I waited almost three years to do anything about it.

Some jobs will take time. Painting a room will take a day or two. Building a patio requires a few weekends. You will spend all day laying out a new flower bed. You know that. So it’s no big deal. What is a big deal are projects that ought to take ten minutes, but, because of unforeseen problems, take much longer. Those make you want to shoot yourself or someone else. I had procrastinated on the faucet because I knew beyond a doubt the faucet would fit into this category.

It’s true all you need to do is unscrew a few nuts. Therein, though, was the unforeseen problem.

I knew this thing had been in the sink for a while. I also knew it had leaked for a while. Hence, before doing anything I soaked the two nuts holding the faucet in place with WD-40. After that soaked for a bit, I attacked the more rusty of the two nuts. Sweet! It came right off. Being the more rusty, I thought that meant the other side would be even easier. Four hours and three trips to the store proved me wrong.

I had no luck with my basin wrench. So I soaked it some more and attacked it with a socket wrench. No luck. More WD-40. Then the vice grips. Still no go. More WD-40. Lunch. Then I tried to take apart the faucet from the top, hoping to access whatever held it in place. Failure. I bought a small hacksaw, mine being to big to reach the bolt. Using that and a small pry bar, I tried to cut the bolt. Nope. Back to the store for a Dremel. I quickly destroyed both metal-cutting bits. More WD-40, and more muscle, and more wrenches. No movement. Going back to the store one more time, I purchased a breaker bar and deep 9/16 socket.

Before I got home to use it, I had another issue. Leaving Lowes’s parking lot, I hit the gas to pull into traffic. I heard a ping, and then my car suddenly sounded, and ran like, an old crappy lawn mower. Great. My car sounding like something from Sanford and Son, I eased back to the house, parked it and went back to the job.

And praise Jesus, this time, it worked. Using the added leverage of the breaker bar, I thought I felt the nut turn. But it didn’t. Instead, I felt the bolt moving. “Oh well,” I thought, “this thing is going in the trash anyway.” I worked it a few times, and then, joy oh joy unbounded, the bolt snapped off, allowing me to lift out and throw away the old faucet.

After that, it really was only a few minutes until the new faucet was all set. Then, with the new faucet in place and the water supply on, I – like Clark Griswald about to turn on his Christmas light display – prepared to turn on the new faucet. I did. Nothing happened. The shocking part is, by this time I was too beaten down to even curse.

Thankfully, the gods of home improvement had mercy. It was just a bit of debris in the new supply lines. Within a few minutes, the faucet flowed freely. And all rejoiced.

(They even had mercy on me with the car. It threw a spark plug. Three dollars and twenty minutes were all it took to fix it.)

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4 Comments on “Or, I Could Have Paid The Hundred Dollar Installation Fee”

  1. Mauriceloridans Says:

    Wow! My home improvement projects seem to go that way some days.

    On the car issue, when I once “spit a plug” I had to tap it and helicoil it, is that what you did or did it just unthread and you tightened it back?

  2. mom Says:

    Thank you for fixing that faucet…I look forward to doing dishes the next time I come for a visit!! 🙂

  3. wheeler Says:

    just had to screw it in. i fingers, toes and whatever else crossed during the attempt. thankfully, it worked.

    btw, was that you i saw heading north with a small group of riders on creswell saturday morning? i think it was about 9:00.


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