There is something both terrifying and freeing about fixing a problem in your home.
Recently the leak from our bathroom faucet had become too much to ignore – money was just drip, drip, dripping away down the sink all day every day.
So, off to Lowe’s I went to buy a new faucet. I mean, how hard can it really be to replace a faucet? You just unscrew a few things, turn off the water, and viola you have a cool new bathroom fixture.
On the flip side, anytime you start mucking around with plumbing in your house, something seems bound to go wrong.
Home ownership seems to be for three distinct sets of people:
The handymen and women who fix anything and everything that breaks, upgrades their houses and saves money in the process.
The people who pay professionals to come in and fix or upgrade whatever needs fixing or upgrading.
And finally there is my group. The group who is too poor to pay professionals, but doesn’t really know how to fix anything either.
But this was just a stinking faucet. Surely I could fix that right?
I made sure to read all the directions, took off the screws holding on the old faucet, turned off the cold and hot water valves and then disaster – the hot water valve wouldn’t completely turn off, which I discovered by having hot water spray all over creation when I attempted to detach the hose from the old faucet.
The sinking feeling of despair one gets when water starts spraying during a homeowner grade plumbing job is something else.
I feel like there is a life lesson here. No matter how prepared you think you are for something, you likely aren’t. And until you are in the situation you won’t know how you will react.
I was actually pretty calm, except for a few choice words. After a million text messages to my brother – who is a general contractor and changes faucets in his sleep – I successfully figured out how to turn off the hot water on the hot water heater.
From there it was a bang bang operation of unscrewing and rescrewing.
Now we have a pretty new faucet that doesn’t match our bathroom – but it will when we find some more money to upgrade the rest of the bathroom.
And I have the sense of accomplishment that comes with not only fixing a problem in the house, but also having to really stop and think how to do it.
Before I become a paper pusher and started working in a cubicle, I worked outside doing construction, working for a parks department and doing landscaping.
I miss those days of feeling like you created something with your hands, getting dirty in the process and going home knowing you really put in a hard day’s work.
Now, as I joke with my brother, I have soft hands from years of typing, not good for much physical labor these days.
Though for a chaotic three hours recently, they were able to change out a faucet and allow me to feel like I am all that is man. Ha.
– Craig Craker