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calendar   Sunday - July 06, 2014

Plumb amazing

The first rule of homeowner repairs: when something isn’t working right, take it apart, clean it up, lubricate it if necessary, and put it back together. 90% of the time that fixes things, or at least delays the inevitable for another half year or so.

We had a drippy knob in the shower. We’ve got one of those mono-lever showers, American Standard circa 1978. Pull the little knob on the tub faucet to make the shower run, and adjust the hot/cold and flow volume with one big knob on this Twist and Pull shaft. And a few weeks ago it started being real hard to push in and out. And a couple days ago the only way we could get the water to shut off was to turn the dial to cold and then lean on the knob as hard as we could. Right. So Saturday it went past that point, and started dripping no matter what. And today it was rather pissing out.

So I turned off the water as much as it goes ( must get a real plumber in one of these days to put in a real valve, not the ancient POS valve there that works at best 95% ), and started the good fight. You know the drill. Run around the house and locate every tool you think might be necessary. Pull up a How To video on YouTube, only to find out that it’s for a Moen valve, and you’ve got American Standard. Close enough? We’ll see.

Go at it, but at least this time you’re being smart, thinking ahead, and you’ve got a wash cloth stuffed in the tub drain. Because of screws, washers, and other suicidal parts. Not this time you bastards! Take everything apart. Get stuck on the collar, go back to YouTube.  It says it slides off. Right. Really!! Be partway into watching another How To video when the wife comes over with the collar. Say What??? She got it off by worrying it back and forth a million times, but it came off. Fine. Great. Move ahead. Figure out how to pull the copper clip, get it out. Worry the cartridge out, pray that a zillion gallons of water don’t come shooting out with it.

Rub down the cartridge, wipe off some corrosion, inspect the washers, spin them around a bit, give the whole thing a good spray of WD-40. Dig around in the cylinder with a long screwdriver to see if anything else wants to fall out. Nothing. Fine. Put the cartridge back in, don’t forget the little C clip, lean on it real hard, get the Mrs. to wiggle the retaining clip in 85%. Figure that the decorative steel retaining collar will hold it in, so tap that one back on with several dozen light, precise whaps with a 3lb drilling hammer. Yeah. Mr. Big Hammer does it again!! Screw the front plate on, screw on the knob. Drips? No. Turn the water back on. Drips? No. Good enough. Don’t touch it until morning. We don’t need showers right now, and with the water on we can flush the toilet or rinse some dishes in the kitchen sink. Good enough. Oh, let’s fill a few plastic jugs with water just in case, so we’ll have a couple flushes if it all goes to hell in the morning. With luck, we won’t need the plumber. Not yet, not yet.

Good enough for now. Time for a drink.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/06/2014 at 11:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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