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Just a Leaky Faucet

December 7, 2012

It all started simply enough.  I decided to fix the leaky faucet in my bathroom.  All I had to do was to replace the rubber washer.  I had a large collection of washers.  If those weren’t enough, hardware stores had even more.

I started by shutting off the water.  This house didn’t have individual shutoff valves for each faucet, so I had to shut off the water for the whole house.  It was only going to be for a few minutes anyway.  Next, I removed the faucet valve.  It was peculiar.  I’d never seen one like that before.  There was a rubber washer, but no screw to hold it in place.  Instead, the valve had a brass post on the end.  The rubber washer fit tightly over this post.  I didn’t have a replacement washer for that one.  Hardware stores didn’t either.  I put it all back together and turned the water back on.

I decided to replace the set of taps instead.  This would be easy enough.  I bought a new set with the correct spacing to fit the sink.  I bought individual shutoff valves and new feed tubes too.  Once again, I shut off the hot and cold water to whole house.  I quickly ran into a problem removing the old faucet set.  The nuts that held them were inside a small cabinet and way up behind the sink.  I had to lie on my back to reach them.  One nut was rusted and would not come off.  I tried all my tools.  Nothing worked.  That nut would not turn.  It was time for plan B.

I decided to lift the whole sink and turn it over so I could reach the stubborn nut.  I could cut it off if I had to.  In the end, I had to.  It was easy enough to remove the sink.  That’s when I discovered rust holes in the bottom of the sink, around the drain.  I’d have to replace the sink too.  In the meantime, I wanted to turn on the water in the house, even though I no longer had a bathroom sink.  That was easily solved by installing the individual shutoff valves that I’d bought.  I could use the bathtub or kitchen sink for washing while I went shopping for a new bathrom sink.

I measured the opening in my vanity cabinet carefully and went shopping for a sink.  I soon learned that nothing was available in that size.  The next larger size didn’t work because it was too big for the cabinet.  My search was hopeless.  There was nothing to do but to replace the cabinet too.  The stores were full of those, most of them way too large for my tiny bathroom.  I finally found a small cabinet with the sink top included.  It was even on sale.  After many measurements, I determined that it would just fit my bathroom, in place of the old cabinet and sink.

Finally, it was just a matter of installing the new cabinet in my bathroom and assembling all the pieces.  There was the sink top, a new drain and trap, the faucet set, and the feed tubes to connect.  I turned the water on, cautiously at first.  There were no leaks.  Everything worked!  My never ending story had come to an end.  I’d fixed the leaky faucet, and gotten a new cabinet, sink top, and faucets in the process.

A few years later, when I sold that house, the new owner started a whole series of renovations.  One of the things he did was to expand the bathroom into part of a bedroom.  He also replaced all the bathroom furniture and fixtures.  He invited me on a tour of the house.  The bathroom did look very nice.  I was impressed.  Yes, one thing leads to another.

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