The Ten Minute Project
It was Thursday and I didn’t have anything that couldn’t be held up by couple of hours, so when my wife invited me to accompany her on a non-clothes shopping trip it meant a beast of burden was needed. The faucet in the kitchen leaked a bit and the last rime I was at Lowes I was unable to decide which of the hundred rebuild kits was the right one, so I reached under the sink and shut off the hot and cold water at the shutoff valves. I removed the offending innards of the faucet and took them to compare to those available at Lowes. After a bit of study I found what I thought be the right part. We picked up some other items and checked out.
After the food shopping we headed home. I replaced the parts in the faucet. The second time the faucet even turned in the correct direction. We had lunch and all was well. As we were finishing lunch a friend showed up with a busted computer. I finished up the faucet job and turned the valves on and went to attack the computer.
A few hours later after bringing in some firewood for the furnace I came in the kitchen to find my wife mopping and cleaning under the sink. With a very disgusted tone of voice she said “I guess you know.”
My snappy response was “know what?” I checked my work on the faucet and it appeared OK. A little further inspection showed that the shutoff valve I had installed thirty years ago was leaking. Turning the valve off stopped the bleeding. I checked my box of excess plumbing parts and found another valve, things are looking up.
I collected the Teflon tape from the barn, the propane torch, several wrenches and remarked to life companion (after 45 years I guess it probably will last a lifetime) “something is going to go wrong. Everything I looked for was in the first place I looked.”
After some grunting and groaning and special magic words I learned in the Seabees the old valve came off and the copper tubing was undamaged. But the valve from the excess parts was not the correct size. Off the hardware store before it closed.
The new valve went in like it was supposed to, until I went to attach the tube to the faucet; the tube would not go into the valve enough for the compression bushing to allow the nut to grip the threads. After some further magic words I determined the old valve allowed the tubing to go into it further. A trip to the barn to get the hand grinder and dinner was ready. A wee dram of Turkey before dinner and some spaghetti and I’d be at it again.
As luck would have it the youngest son showed up with his kids and dogs just as dinner was over. I regaled him with the details of the ten minute project and he produced his grinder from his truck that had a cutting wheel instead of a grindstone and nipped off the offending 1/16th inch of tubing and in ten minutes the project really was done. The clock read just after 7PM not bad for a ten minute project that started before noon.