Vakkotaur (vakkotaur) wrote,

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Misadventures in plumbing, kitchen edition.

When we moved into this house it had a fairly standard kitchen faucet & spout arrangement: A unitary control faucet for hot & cold & how much, and a spray hose. The spray hose always leaked just a bit when the water was running, even if we didn't use the sprayer at all. It was enough to notice after a time, but it was very, very minor and dripped into the sink so it was a minor annoyance at the very worst. Recently the faucet setup itself started leaking and not just a little. While that also, eventually, went down the sink it was enough to be more than irksome. Thus we obtained a replacement... which sat for some time as things kept happening and there was no good time to do anything. The last time I did have time, it was a Sunday. Sunday, the hardware stores in town are closed. I was not about to start a plumbing project without that backup available.

Last week friday morning I finally had time and had had enough. Originally I figured I'd just clear out everything from under the sink and apply penetrating oil to the places I'd need to uncouple. Instead, I found I could readily uncouple things. At first I put them back, figuring it was before breakfast and we'd need the sink working for and just after that and I wasn't sure how long things would take. This was a Very Good Move.

After breakfast and cleanup, I set about changing things. Removing the old assembly was not all that difficult but was a bigger pain than expected. While one person can do this, it would have been much easier at various times to have even a little help. That wasn't the real problem. Or problems. Strategic placement of vice grips and other things bypassed the need for another hand or longer arms. Two problems conspired to make this job a real pain. Either alone would be quite irksome enough.

The hot water cutoff valve under the sink does not quite fully cut off. Yes, I closed it as far as I could, but it still let a very slight trickle of water through. Over a few minutes this was not a big deal and a towel easily handled the moisture. Over an hour, the towel got thoroughly soaked and it made for an unpleasant area to work in. That would not have been a big deal if the job had only taken the few minutes it should. But things are never as ideal as they ought to be.

There are a series of clips screwed into things (from above, but under the sink itself - so I cannot get at the screws without removing the sink, which would mean significantly more work) that appear to hold sink in the exact right location. Most of these clips are simply there and of no notice. One, of course, was exactly in the way of the fastening assembly that holds the new faucet control in place. That ate time, and thus the few minutes turned into hours. I resorted to shutting off the house hot water, save for running the dishwasher and taking a shower (which I did at the same time, to conserve the on time). This was inconvenient, to put it mildly.

After that, I shut off the hot water again, used another towel to clean up the additional leakage, yet another to deal with anything else, and then put all but the very last towel mentioned (which was still mostly dry) in the washer and washed all the wet things - in cold water. And hoped that I could deal with that wretched clip in the morning, after work and before sleep - and not have to go all weekend like that. And the hardware stores are closed on Sunday.

Saturday morning I swapped out towels again and got things as dry as I could manage. And then set about dealing with the problematic clip. Nudging, bending, pounding and I'm not entirely sure what really worked, but it was enough and the new assembly could go in and get properly tightened into place. That was done, double checking alignments, and then things would be reconnected. The result was satisfying: A unitary control that doesn't leak. A high spout that doesn't leak. A sprayer hose that doesn't leak - and has good pressure when in use. After that came a very welcome hot shower, without concern of how much was leaking under the sink. And then it was time to wash towels again.

That wasn't all of it. In my hurry to get things working, I left the aerator on the spout, which was not supposed to be there when the water first came on again. It was either then or when I removed the aerator to clean it that I managed to damage it enough to need a replacement. There was also a bottle assembly for a pump soap dispenser that wasn't installed until Sunday morning. We decided the best use of that was as a dish soap, rather than hand soap, dispenser. That works quite well. The whole works looks like it was meant to be there all along, which is good. The right, proper intact aerator is all that is lacking now. There is an aerator in place, but it's not quite right. Still, it's so nice to have a kitchen sink where the water only runs when and where it is supposed to run.

And while I have had quite enough of working on plumbing, the bathroom sink has a slow drip...

Tags: kitchen, plumbing
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