Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Woman of the House - Vol. 2 - Plumbing

I woke up this morning feeling a sense of accomplishment. With the help of two friends, their toolbox full of appropriate tools, some sweat, some curse words, and a lot of laughter, a shiny new faucet was installed and doing it's job of not dripping.

I put Calvin Harris and Rihanna's song This is What You Came For on repeat. I needed some pump me up music to inspire  and summon the courage and motivation to dig into the plumbing project. I watched the video on how to remove the old faucet. I read the instructions, and got to work turning off the water under the sink. I turned off the hot water with success, but the cold water continued surging out of the faucet--no matter how hard I turned the cold water supply.

After 20 minutes of trying, praying and whimpering with frustration, Rihanna and Calvin were no longer helping. I turned off the music. I wasn't ready to quit, but I was annoyed. Fifty minutes into the endeavor with no better results, I called Manda and asked to talk to her husband, Gus.

Over the speaker phone, he talked me through what to do. When cold water was still shooting out of the faucet, Gus asked, "Could we come over and take a look?" While I would have liked to have done it myself, I knew I needed help, so I said, "Yes! Come on over!"

I was so grateful that they were willing to help me on short notice. Gus is so great. He was one of the friends who helped me with replacing the light switch in my bedroom.  He respects my determination to do things myself. He offers suggestions and tips and waits awhile before asking if I'd like help.


Tight spot.
 I was cracking up about how weak my stomach muscles were to support me while reaching up to loosen everything.  I was able to loosen some of these parts on my own and then I hit some stuff I couldn't manage. I eased out of the tight space and Gus took my place.  Our progress slowed when he determined that some rusted stuff (see below- I have no idea what it is called) had to be removed in order for us to proceed.

Obstacle to progress.

No plumber's crack, but also no matching either. I'm comfortable, which is my top priority when I am home.
Once the rusted piece was removed, Gus moved on to removing the soap dispenser where new sprayer would reside. Creative problem-solving and teamwork helped us overcome not having the right size tool for this stage of the process. Manda, a photographer, was in charge of documenting our work.

Old faucet out!

I learned new vocabulary in the course of what became a three-hour project: gasket and escutcheon. I resumed my place under the sink to tighten the new faucet in place. Gus followed up with more tightening.

This is Manda's favorite "action" shot. Note the grimace on my face.

Tada! After.

We did it! Gold medals for us! TEAM NO MORE LEAKY FAUCET!
I truly could not have done this project without Gus and Manda. It's a relief to no longer have a leaky faucet and to not see the Delta box sitting in my kitchen waiting to be opened. The good feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction lasted all day. I was productive at work; I attended a networking event with my work mentor; I grocery shopped while Cadence was at Girl Scouts; and then mowed the front lawn before the dark set in.  I talked with our neighbor, who is a talented carpenter and all-around handy guy, about the next projects that I need help with. He assured me that all of them could be done with little difficulty or great cost. (I will of course document them here.)

The evening wrapped up by helping with 4th grade math homework and watching a few minutes of Olympic diving and volleyball.

I am amazed by how good it feels to take action on all of these lingering projects. With each project I undertake, I know my confidence and skills will increase. I can't wait to see what I accomplish completely on my own someday. Until then, I am so grateful for my friends' help.


  1. You made me smile. What an uplifting blog post! You make a wonderful team. We recently undertook a kitchen renovation, meaning a new sink needed to be installed. We did not do this by ourselves, but instead enlisted the help of our local friendly plumbing company. I always admire people who can do this type of plumbing work themselves.

  2. Motivation to dig into the plumbing project. I watched the video on how to remove the old faucet.go to the website

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