Tuesday, September 15, 2009

European Faucets, Floods and Lasagna

**Feel like you're missing something?

Horsefeathers (Part 1)
The Drip (Part 2)

I had settled from my hysterical laughter and assumed my position under the sink to give the water supply line one more crack and this time, it took. Now to see if I had any leaks.

Tenatively I turned the water back on at the valves under the sink. No faceful of spray so that is encouraging. Then I turned on the faucet. Only a minor leak there so I snagged one of the Wrenches of Doom and started adjusting and tightening. Still leaking. Then I saw those darling little black rings that had eluded me earlier. After quickly disassembling the sprayer one more time I inserted the proper rubber washer, tightened it back down and voila! No more leak at the sprayer end.

What I had failed to check was whether there was a leak at the supply end. I had been "up top" turning the water on and off for a good fifteen minutes before I got it settled. In the meantime there had been a fountain bubbling merrily away under the sink and out of the cabinet and across the floor and right under the oven. If only I had left a dog food dam there to slow things down.

Three large bath towels later I could finally get back under the sink to turn the water off and try to reconnect the supply line. And this is when Lion came home. Excellent timing because now I don't have to try the Wrenches of Doom set up again; he can just untwist me from the top. It took a few tries for us to figure out which way he needed to turn his end so that my end stayed untangled but we finally got it. I asked him to gently turn the water on. I wasn't really in the mood to wash the lump on my forehead at this point. And after one small twist we were leak free.

And then he put the sprayer back into the faucet housing. And it didn't go all the way in. It hung out by half an inch. It wasn't flush. He looked at me. I stared at the faucet. One thing to know about Lion. If it isn't right, it can't stay. Half an inch. I stared at the faucet. I pushed on it. I pulled on the hose from the bottom side. Maybe it was hung up on something in the housing. Lion looked at me. I stared at the faucet.

Lion said, "I need to run up to the corner store. I'll be right back."

I think I mumbled something like, "Yeah, whatever."

I cooked dinner in the bathroom Sunday night. Well not completely cooked it but washed all the vegetables. I had disassembled the whole thing and returned it to Home Depot. There was no merry tripping this time. It took all my strength not to scream "Horsefeathers!" at every orange apron that passed me. Faucet guts and appendages were strewn all over my counter while I tried to cook. The gaping whole in my sink kept winking at me like it was delighting in having the night off.

I got up Monday morning with a new attitude. All I needed to do was try Ace Hardware. Surely "the Helpful Hardware Place" would have what I needed. I hate red aprons too. They had exactly the same universal kit that I had just returned only they were willing to admit that it was the wrong thing before I even told them I had already tried it. And they get a bonus point for referring me to a plumbing specialty store 9 miles away. At least they tried to offer me a solution.

I called my sister and asked her to look up the address up for me (thank you internet for allowing a person in Missouri to find an address in Georgia) and I plugged it into my navigation system. Now please keep in mind that Marmie was with me while I attacked this problem and with the help of a chocolate creme filled doughnut, she was being charming and delightful. I'm pretty sure I would have Horsefeathered someone if she had even shown a shadow of nuttiness.

At the plumbing specialty store, The Ball Cap twins took one look at my hose (yes, I had plumbing in my purse) and started shaking their heads. It turns out that my faucet was made by a German stainless steel company and therefore has no parts in the US. We were now edging up on the 24 hour mark and I had just learned that I wasn't replacing a hose - I was replacing a whole faucet.

I won't say it. I won't say it. I'll just go get the faucet and fix the problem.
So back to Home Depot I went. I stomped back to the kitchen faucets. I growled at the ladder that was in front of the display. I found a faucet that looked very similar to our old faucet and I brought it home. By now I was looking at my sink like it was Mount Everest in January. There was no way I was going to be able to get this done and I had planned out lasagna for dinner. Lasagna is messy. I had to have water. I didn't have anything else even remotely ready to fill in if lasagna was out of the question.

Marmie went down for her nap and I gathered my tools. Disconnect the main lines. Pull the old fixture completely out. Drop the new fixture in. Tighten it into place. Figure out that there were more adapters on the main water supply lines to make them fit that stupid European faucet (no offense to my European readers - our stuff just doesn't mix well with yours) and take them off with the Pipe Wrenches of Death. Did I mention that I don't have precisely the right tools for plumbing? Attach the sprayer line. Attach the two main water lines. Attach the sprayer nozzle. Hold your breath. Turn the water on.

No leaks.

One hour. From plumbing disaster to stylish functioning faucet in one hour. No horsefeathers.

I sent my husband a text message. "You have THE most AWESOME wife on the planet!" He called me and asked "Why?"



Jennifer said...

Teach Rhino now that when a woman says she's awesome, especially his future wife, he AGREES first, then asks for the particulars. =)

Amanda said...

This story sounds oddly like our new faucet saga when we bought our last house. It was leaking, couldn't be fixed, so we bought a new one. Someone failed to tell me that the pipes leading to the faucet were old and larger than newer piping. My husband wouldn't let me get a pipe saw and saudering tools to put new fittings on so after 11 trips (10 miles one way) to Lowe's (no Home Depot within an hour), I had to call a plumber.