Monday, September 18, 2006

Our bathtub has had issues almost since we moved in. It's got a spray handset, and the hose was old and had weakened to the point that it sprayed water in multiple directions, giving whoever was holding the handset a thorough soaking. Also the walls, the window, the cats, etc. There was also this little issue with the diverter valve that told the water whether it should go out the faucet or the handset. It has become increasingly indecisive in its old age, so the handset leaks even when the valve is turned to the "faucet only" setting, unless you futz with it. It's not as big a leak as the hose, but it's been bugging me.

But I've been putting it off because I know it's going to be a pain in the ass to fix. I can get to the workings of the tub, but only from the basement, and they're about 9 inches beyond my reach if I stretch to my fullest, and about 18 inches beyond my reach if I also want to see what I'm doing. And all of this is going on while I'm perched on a stepstool in the downstairs shower stall, reaching up between floor joists, electrical wiring, and plumbing.

I stuck conduit over the handles of my channel locks, and now I had a tool that would reach. So, to work.

I'll spare you the details, but it only took me five hours to get the old hose off and the new hose on. And just one trip to the hardware store for a replacement hose, since the one I had didn't fit down the hole into the basement. Nice. So nice, in fact, that I decided to tackle the diverter valve and see what it'd take to fix it.

End result: It's now permanently busted. I spent 6 hours to turn two minor problems into one major one. Which is progress, of a sort, I suppose. Luckily, Christie made me quit before I took a sawzall to the tub, and I've figured out how to fix it. I just don't know what the replacement parts will cost or whether I can get them locally. But, hey, what's life without a little mystery?


Anonymous said...

This is when you break down and call an H.T.G. plumber. Trust me, in the end it is the most economical path.

Mike said...

I can count on one hand (closed) the number of times calling a plumber has saved me money. I've saved time, and I've saved aggravation, but I've never saved money by calling a plumber.