Monday, July 02, 2007

No Drips Here!

This weekend, I helped my mom out by fixing her leaky kitchen faucet. Things are never simple and easy at her house. Something always seems to go a little awry! This time, what the faucet needed was a new o-ring in the spout (spigot? I tell you - a plumber I am not!) part. Some time ago, we had bought a few o-rings, but now that we need them they are nowhere to be found! So of course that meant a trip to the hardware store for more o-rings and oh guess what? We forgot the installation directions at home!

Now we get to the plumbing counter at the local McClendon's Hardware. If you don't live in Seattle, this store is a real hardware store. You never know what you'll find there that you don't need, and you can find just about any hardware item you do need. McClendon's has been around for ages, and everyone there is very helpful and knowledgeable. So anyway - we're at the counter, with no directions, nothing to tell us the faucet model name or number, and no idea of what size o-ring we need! We did know it's an American Standard, so the guy at the counter pulled out a catalog and we found a faucet that resembles my mom's. But guess what! Still no size listed for that o-ring! Now what to do?

Well, we just selected a whole bunch of different sizes of o-ring, and bought one of each size! We had the guy at the counter laughing at us as we joked about how many we were getting! We just figured one of those rings just HAD to fit, and my mom could return the rest of them. Now I call that the shotgun approach to plumbing repair.

Now a guy....(such as my dad)...would have bought ONE o-ring, being convinced he had the right size, gone to fix the faucet and found it was the wrong size, and had to make at LEAST two more trips to the hardware store! This method is better known as the scattershot approach.

We took our packages home and ate dessert. You know - the important things first! THEN we tackled the faucet. Getting all the stuff from under the sink? Easy. Turning the water off? Easy. Finding the channel lock pliers? Also easy. Getting the metal collar off the bottom of the spout without scratching it all up? Uh oh...that is, until my mom had the absolutely brilliant idea of putting a strip of duct tape around the collar! One tug and that collar screwed right off.

The o-ring came off easily enough with the help of a screwdriver, and the replacement slid right on. Oh yeah - of course we had the perfect size among the dozen or so rings we bought! Screw the collar back on, turn on the water....and it leaked like a sieve! Damn! My mom was all ready to take the entire spout back to McClendon's to see what else needed replacing. But I thought about it for a minute, and figured I hadn't seated the inner collar firmly enough. I put the spout back on, seated the collar and screwed the metal one back on. This time - success!! I am so proud of myself!

You know - we used to joke and tease my dad all the time about his duct tape, but I think that last night he was up there somewhere laughing at us and beaming at how well his favorite fixit worked for us!


Tink said...

Oy. That sounds like a whole lot of trouble for a seemingly simple fix. That's the story of my life, btw. Which is why we're missing the hot faucet in our main bathroom. It's been missing since May.

Kiwi Ellen said...

Hey Sassy, long time no chat but but I'm tagging you for a Meme. If you check out my blog you'll see what it's all about & hopefully you will play too ;9

AMIT said...

Hey its a good post.

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