My kitchen faucet has been dripping; not a lot, and not everyday..but just enough to drive me a little bit crazier than normal.
Thankfully I am a child of the 60’s where my parents decided I needed a knowledge of (very) basic plumbing in order to have a well-rounded education…….not that I wanted to learn how to change out a gasket or stop a leak, but I am almost grateful that they made me learn things so I could screw them up royally prior to calling a professional to come fix what I repaired.
thankfully today was not a total disaster in that I did eventually repair the faucet so the drip went away………I only wish that it hadn’t been such a “fun” job.
It started out well enough….I turned off the water under the sink and managed to get the handles off without tearing them up or losing any parts..and was under the sink double checking the in flow pipes for leaks when George wandered into the room…….he (of course) had no clue what I was doing and didn’t notice the handles were taken apart………………….he said “Suze, why are you under the sink”………..I answered “because I am checking for leaks before I replace a gasket”………he (being a nurse and not a plumber) said “but why are you under the sink?”
I wiggled out from under the sink and said “hon, do YOU want to replace the gaskets?” and he just grinned and shook his head…………he assisted me to my feet (he is so gallant!) and as I was sorting through the ten bazillion gaskets in my tool box looking for a match to the kitchen sink gaskets my adored husband reached under the sink and turned the hot water back on…………and screeched when water rushed out of the handle opening straight up into the ceiling!. He then seemed to have a great deal of difficulty turning the water back off…..now you’d think he would know how since he had turned the blasted thing ON but for some reason when men (at least him) get slopped in the face with hot water they forget things of that nature…………..so back under the sink I went to turn it off again……..George, in the meantime, had grabbed three towels and threw them onto the handle opening in an effort to stop the flood………………..I straightened up to find a wet and very red faced hubby, three GOOD towels all soaked and dripping onto the floor and a kitchen that looked like it should be condemned………….gaskets were busily floating away in the several feet of water on the floor and heading directly for the living room (and all kinds of lovely electrical cords going to things like computers and keyboards)
After cleaning the entire kitchen (this was planned for AFTER the repairs, not before) and shoving my beloved hubby out of the kitchen, I searched through all the water logged gaskets and realized that NONE of the ten bazillion ones I own will work. So it was off with the smooshed gasket from the sink and a trip to the local hardware warehouse from Hell to get another one.
I placed the gaskets in a baggie, sealed it shut and drove to Flows! (lol). I gave a small prayer (actually I prayed constantly the entire trip to the store) that I could easily find what I needed and could go home without any complications.
Now since I used to work for a hardware warehouse, I knew where I could find the gaskets and immediately headed in that direction….I told myself to not get excited passing by the paint department that the house needs to remain a boring off-white color……..and only frightened one new employee by rushing through the department while talking to myself………it could have been the “Suze, just get the damned gasket and get out”……or “Suze, you don’t NEED any paint”….or “Suze, don’t worry, you can DO this!”
Anyway, I found the correct aisle and started the search. Now for anyone that has never gone to buy a gasket, there are 400 billion bazillions of them all in little semi-clear plastic bins labeled with numbers and letters.like A 412 or C63………..and my gasket had no discernable numbers on it. So it was a grab one out of each bin and hold it up to the broken one to compare them…..after a good ten minutes a kid wandered up to me and said “are you looking for a gasket?”I looked up at him and said “yes, why?” He then mumbled something so I said “what? speak up young man”. I think I may have scared him because he skedaddled right out of the aisle around the corner. I went back to my search: only 87 million more bins to look through.
A middle-aged fellow then made an appearance and said “I was sent to help you find whatever it is you are looking for; what was it?” I just looked at him and said “a gasket” while pointing to the huge bin sign that said “gaskets” and he said (I kid you NOT!) “the gaskets are on another aisle”. I must have looked dumbfounded or something because he says “really, they are over two aisles”. Needless to say (yes, I am still going to say it) I sent him on his way with a snarled “leave me ALONE!” and went back to my search.
After another 47 million tiny bins I found one that MIGHT work and was busy comparing my smooshed one with the new and improved not-smooshed one when a third fellow wanders up behind me and shouts “what are ya doing? Can I help?” (God save me from idiots, PLEASE?) I took a deep breath and said “I am capable of finding a damned gasket ALL BY MYSELF!” (yes, I know that was rude and socially unacceptable….I didn’t care!) He yanks my smooshed gasket out of my hand and says “this is a gasket huh?”.
By now I am tired, sick to death of men and stores, and ready to start slapping people that are breathing much less annoying me but I manage to control myself by saying “you look terrible in orange Suze”…….the kid says “huh?” and I say “Can I have my gasket back now?”
The kid hands it back to me, reaches into a bin three feet in front of me (I was working my way towards it) and yanks out a package of two gaskets, says “these will fit” and walks away. I took them and the two already in my hands that I thought would work and went to pay for the blasted things.Then the cashier tried to bill me for six gaskets……now two of them are wet, blackened, misshapen and in a zip-lock baggie so OF COURSE they must be new, right? After five minutes of argument she rang up the correct number and I finally left to go home.
For some reason I decided that I would use the ones that the kid found for me, so it was find the scissors (or a chain saw) and open the package. After a 20 minute attack on the packaging I was finally IN and took the gaskets out, put them onto their little springs and dropped them into the kitchen faucet where they belonged,and they were too small. Water poured out of the handles when I turned it on the test for leaks…..we’re talking fountains here……………water gushing out the sides of the handles and soaking the living room walls and the kitchen appliances at the same time……..off the water went…………handles removed, gaskets and little springs taken back out………………..and this time I used the two I had searched diligently for and prayed would fit
and, nothing. no leaks, no mess, no fuss. It all worked and I no longer have a leak in the kitchen faucet. It only took two hours to fully dry out the appliances, living room and walls, put away all the tools and throw away all the junk; George walked in and said “good job. by the way, the sink in the hall bathroom has a drip”
I am calling a plumber tomorrow.