Sit back, reader, and prepare to learn. Or laugh. Or yawn, roll your eyes, or X out of your browser. Today’s topic is Repair a Leaky Faucet. Officially. A few years ago I watched videos on how to do it. I don’t remember anything coming of it except for confidently dismantling my own faucets to clean them. I know, exciting! I noticed that the sinks in each of the bathrooms here in our humble abode occasionally leaked and it wasn’t until the boys left their sink stopped up one night and it was full of water the next morning that I knew we had an issue. I honestly put it off for so long because I’ve been irrationally dreaming about new vanities in each restroom and thought that repairing them meant accepting them forever.
So I began to review repair videos. This one I enjoy very much.
They pretty much all said the same thing, just a different moustache to pair with each sink. One comment did stand out to me though and that was to take your time and make sure you have everything you need. What a good point to make. Why rush through when the job will still get done and maybe done even better if I just take my time and enjoy it? I have both styles of screwdriver and a wrench and I’ve had “assorted washers” sitting in my glovebox for months from when I admitted to myself it was time to repair the faucets. I waited until after I picked the kids up from school to tackle this one. I have decided to give them every opportunity I can to learn about tools and building and breaking. I rounded up my wrench, my standard screwdriver, my phillip’s head screwdriver, the boys, and my washers and headed to their bathroom. We turned off the water supply to the sink and turned the faucets “on” just to be sure they were empty. We then plugged the sink, just like the video. I then removed the “decorative cap” from the handle like so:
After that, I unscrewed the center screw to release the handle from the valve beneath it. There was a plastic ring around the valve so I pulled that off too and arranged it so you can see all the pretty pieces. I would like to mention here that we took this opportunity to clean the handles.
These parts weren’t difficult to remove at all and didn’t have as much buildup on them as I thought they would. Next, my youngest helped me to pull the valves loose with the adjustable wrench we keep laying around:
At last we could get a good view of the valve and this infamous washer I was supposed to remove, dispose of, and replace.
As you can see, there is no washer here. At least on the bottom. At this point the kids were ready to move on to something more exciting so I let them. I removed the other valve thinking that maybe this was just a singular washerless piece of equipment. None of the valves that I removed, including those upstairs, had a washer on the bottom like the ones in all the videos I so studiously watched.
I went back to the drawing board (www.youtube.com) to try a more specific search on the valve, or “component” or to at least find a video that featured a faucet or valve similar to mine. So far and up to this minute, I have not found a video or product comparable to what I have in my hot little hand in that photo. No, no, it couldn’t be that easy.
I did inspect all four of the washers that are there and none seem to be cracked or damaged. They feel a little dry as far as rubber goes so I will replace them anyway. I just need to go to the hardware store again. I tried fitting some of the different washers on the valve at the bottom just in case they were just removed but never replaced. I put both faucets back together and this week I will replace the washers I do have just to be sure that they are not the cause of the dripping. Maybe that’ll do the trick.
I also wanted to briefly share with you all that the other day I came downstairs to find the ceiling fan not on. I usually leave it on just to circulate the air and I was upstairs showering while the boys played downstairs. I checked the switch and it was set to “on”, thinking the boys turned it off, flicked it on and off just in case, and checked to make sure the power was on. A few days later, I was relating this fact that the ceiling fan just stopped working when my eldest son interjected: “Mom, here’s what really happened. The other day I came home from school and took my shoes off and my socks off and I threw my socks up into the air and one got stuck on the fan! We had to get it off so we started throwing things at the fan — not heavy things — pillows and toys, to get it down. And then we threw a shoe at it and it finally came down but then the fa turned off.” I just stared at him. It’s incredible how many emotions we humans can feel at the same time. I was proud that he chose to come right out and tell me what happened, angry that he threw his socks, angry that he threw other stuff and disappointed that he didn’t find another way to get the sock down or at least come to me for help with it.
At least now I know.
Thanks for reading, everyone.