I alluded to this yesterday but I just wanted to say that I was proud of myself this week. I have never been mechanically inclined or ever been a “handyman” of any kind. I can change the oil on older cars but I don’t like to and I don’t want to. I have done some things around my house like changing a disposal and more than one ceiling fan. But, for the most part, I’ll admit, I’ve always just had my Pops do all that stuff. Hey, Dad, can you come fix this? Hey, Pops, can you “help” me figure this out? and so on…
A few years ago, I had a leaky shower and he came and changed some kind of valve or something in the spigot. Yeah, I don’t know. But, this past week (the last two actually) the other valve became quite leaky. So much so that when you turned the handle all the off, it really just kept on running. That, in itself, was bad enough but this continuously ran the hot water. So, showers were a bit chillier than normal.
Funny story, though, for the first day that this started to really be noticeable, we didn’t know what it was. For some reason the floor of the shower was hot. I checked in the kitchen (below the shower) and the ceiling wasn’t hot. Because the drip was annoying, we had taken the hand-held shower head and sat it on one of the “seats” in the shower. It wasn’t until I bent over to check it whilst in the shower that I noticed it was the hot water that was running out. We had spent all day freaking out about what could be causing that. Okay, I digress.
So, determined that I need to learn to do stuff on my own – I’m 47 and have to stop relying on my Pops to do everything for me (although I’m sure he would have done it had I asked) – I watched some YouTube vids and remembering that he had replaced that valve, I headed on down to Lowe’s and grabbed what I thought was the part I needed. “Deduction” was my true superpower that day. I had to figure between two models and then some guestimations. I won the battle of self-wit and brought the piece home.
The next day, I set out to tackle it. I have a valve on the inside of my house that allows me to turn off the water coming in. I grabbed the few tools I thought I needed and headed to the shower to tackle that biotch! Carefully trying to remember what I had watched, I used my Allen key to undo the handle, then the adapter for the handle over the valve. I examined it a bit and then took the sleeve off of the valve. I had to use a towel, but I was able to get the brass nut off of the valve as well as the O-ring. Using a flat head screwdriver I pried the valve from its well.
Okay, it looked like it matched, although the color was wrong, but this was 16 years old, after all. I matched up the sides so I would know which was hot and cold. Put it in there, put the brass nut back on, and the O-ring. The vanity sleeve was a bit of a pain but finally got it on there. Then the adapter and finally the handle. I tightened it up and walked back downstairs to turn the water back on. Went back upstairs, took a deep breath, and turned the handle. Water came from the nozzle. Great.
But then the handle, sleeves, brass nut, and valve, all, shot across the shower and there was a line of water that looked a lot like a solid bar going across the middle of the shower. CRAP!! I closed the shower door and ran back downstairs, around the rooms to get to the valve to turn it off once again. Back to it again. I think I didn’t have the brass nut on correctly so that’s why the water pressure kicked the valve off. I put it back together, correctly this time, and it has been working perfectly, with no drips, since Tuesday. Yay me!
I felt really good about it. Yeah, it’s a minor thing but for me and my disinclination, I thought it turned out great and I was very proud of myself. I didn’t have to call anyone. I didn’t have to talk to anyone about it. I just did it. Thanks, YouTube and the crazy, Yankee plumbers and handymen that post videos of them changing old ladies’ shower valves in upstate New Yawk and Bah-ston. Now, what’s the next project?
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“My plumbing is no one’s business but my own.” – Peter O’Toole