Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And then the Sink Sprung a Leak

**For a definition of Horsefeathers and the beginning of the tale go here.**

Lion will be one of the first to admit that he is not mechanically inclined. Therefore it is a true blessing that Silverback taught me some basic home maintenance skills. I have successfully rewired a faulty grounded outlet and I can plunge a toilet with the best of them. But everyone knows, the true test of a person's skills comes when the dreaded drip occurs.

You know The Drip. Suddenly there is a puddle where puddles really shouldn't be and the source is unknown or worse, in a place that can't be reached without years of yoga instruction and pre-plumbing stretches and warm ups. We had The Drip. In the kitchen. Creating a puddle amongst the cleaning supplies and dog food. And it was rapidly growing.

Careful observation revealed that the drip was actually a leak in the line of our retractable faucet and it was at the pull out end. Well, that should be easy enough to fix, right? Just get the new line and replace it! How tough could that be?

I tripped lightly through Home Depot with Marmie in tow and wound my way leisurely down the plumbing aisle. Politely I asked the gentleman in the orange apron if he could direct me to the replacement line in question and I willingly handed over my $20.

Two weeks later the bottom fell out of the dog food bag and I pleaded with Lion to replace the line - TODAY!! "Oh, no! I don't know anything about that. You'll need to do that." Well, if I had known it was going to be my job maybe we could have avoided the whole dog food under the oven fiasco.

So Sunday afternoon, I did my grocery shopping and put it all away. Then I cleaned out the cabinet under the sink and assembled all my tools. Lion and Rhino ran for the hills (aka the park with their golf clubs) while Marmie and Orangutan settled down for an afternoon movie. It's simple I said to myself. I just have to disconnect the sprayer and the supply line from the hose, pull it out and reattach the new one. I called the Silverback for one last pep talk and then settled in to work.

Disassembly went rather well in spite of the fact that I didn't have "precisely" the right tools. But then it was time to put it all back together. Note: Universal kits usually come with about 400 adapter pieces to interchange to make said kit fit your personal scenario. You will find that it is almost impossible to find the proper configuration unless you try every...single...combination. Then you will find that one of those adapters is actually two pieces and you only need half of it. You will be tempted to swear at this point but you will take a deep breath and continue.

When I finally got the top half of the hose to fit the sprayer, I had to feed it through the faucet and back under the sink. This involved a wire hanger, a steak knife and holding a flashlight in my teeth. Twenty five minutes later (after gagging on the flashlight at least half a dozen times) I had it fed through. Now to climb back under the sink.

Another little note for you. When working with flexible metal tubing it is best to have someone helping you. Especially if you have to twist that tubing at all because they will need to twist the other end to keep the tubing straight. Please keep in mind that I didn't have this second person. I began to reconnect the hose to the supply line only to have the nasty thing get wound up tighter than a slinky on crack and completely untwist itself as soon as I let go. But I am a patient woman.

Time to employ the Wrenches of Doom. One adjustable wrench (because remember I didn't have precisely the right tools - 1/2 in versus 9/16 and yes it made a difference!) was attached to the hose on the topside and dangled over the side of the sink so that I could untwist myself. The other wrench was attached to the nut connecting the two lines.

Twist. Twist. Twist.

Slip. Thunk. Right between the eyes. I mean dead in the middle of my own forehead. Of course my body jerked upward, my hand instinctively trying to get to the swelling lump in the middle of my noggin. Except. My arm got tangled up in loose water lines and my hand slammed into the side of the garbage disposal while my head (still rapidly traveling north) smashed into the PVC trap with a resounding THWACK!

There's only one word a person can say at a moment like that. Especially when they are mindful that their darling daughters could step into the kitchen at any moment and they do not want to be the one to teach those daughters to be unladylike.


When my vision cleared and the room stopped spinning I thought it was best to get out from under the sink and survey the damage I had just done to my head. I took one look in the mirror at my previously tidy bun which was now a mass of flyaways, tangles, a dead spider and a million cobwebs and I started to giggle. Then I started to chuckle and finally was laughing so hard at the whole situation that I had tears rolling down my face.

I had grown into my legacy. I had used "Horsefeathers!" in context, by instinct, and at completely the right moment. When I recounted this part of the story to Silverback later that evening he assured me that it was definitely a "Horsefeathers!" moment.

But for all of my chuckling, I still didn't have water in my kitchen.


Jennifer said...

Just for that I think I will tell you the story of how I got a goose egg on my forehead Friday. =)

I am Mrs. Fix-it in my house too. I'm not nearly as polite as you are though =) Plus, we pay rent. Hubby calls the landlord, landlord fixes it, Jennifer is happy =) As a matter of fact, he is a... PLUMBER. Are you jealous?