Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Kitchen Faucet

I finally fixed the kitchen faucet, last night. I say “finally” because it’s been leaking since we moved in, a couple of years ago. (At first, we noticed that when we turned it off, we had to position the handle right in the centre, or else it would drip. Later, we realized that the faucet was also leaking water, from the base, when we used it.)

I took the handle off, Sunday night, to see if it was something simple. Maybe it just needed a new rubber washer, or something. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a problem. Even more unfortunately, when I put the handle back on, I couldn’t get it on properly, and couldn’t turn the water off at all. So I had to use some pliers to manually force the faucet off, so that I could turn the water back on, and the decision was made for me: I’d have to replace it altogether.

Now, if you know me, you know that I’m not mechanically inclined. If I try to replace a faucet, we could just as easily end up with a lake in our kitchen as a new faucet. So I wasn’t looking forward to this event. And, of course, as with all of my home repairs, this one didn’t go smoothly: I had the water off, and had removed the old faucet, when I realized that I needed some extra “flexible pipes” to hook up the new one, and had to rush to Home Depot to find them. And I do mean “rush”, because it was about 8:30 at the time, and I was afraid the store would close before I could get there. (I would have had to reconnect the old faucet, so that I could turn the water back on, and then wait until Tuesday to get back to the store.)

And, since nothing is ever easy, I got the store and discovered that there are various kinds of flexible pipe, and there was nothing to indicate to me what type I might need. (Also, to add to the confusion, the type of piping that I needed was in a different aisle than the faucets. So there was an aisle with faucets and piping for dishwashers—which didn’t look right—and then, in the next aisle, there was the type of piping that I needed.) So I bought two different kinds, hoping that one of them would be right, said a little prayer, and returned home.

Now here is where the story takes a bizarre twist: From this point on, everything went smoothly. We now have a new kitchen faucet—with a little spray attachment and a soap dispenser—and it doesn’t leak. I spent the rest of the night (what little there was left) occasionally peering under the sink, to look for water coming out of the various pipes I’d connected together, but to all appearances, they’re connected properly.

At one point, I thought of using the camera phone to capture various stages of the repair (e.g. a shot of the old faucet, in many wet, rusty pieces, sitting in the sink). However, the thought hit me as I was driving to Home Depot, and, at the time, I was still worried that things weren’t going to go smoothly—I didn’t feel that dealing with the camera phone, at various stages, would be a good idea.