Steps to repairing a leaky faucet

  1. Put off the repair as long as humanly possible.  It’s no big deal that you have to jiggle the handle a certain way. Five or six times. And it still drips for a couple of seconds.  All faucets do that, right?
  2. Take to rinsing your cereal bowls (only milky stuff left, as you are very careful to finish all the cereal) in the bathroom sink in order to avoid turning on the kitchen faucet.
  3. Talk to your boss about fixing the leak.  Almost believe him when he says you should just call a plumber.  Cringe as he recounts horror stories of water, water, everywhere.
  4. Remember that you’ve done this before, successfully even, years ago.
  5. Research leaky faucet repairs on the web, becoming reassured that, yeah, you’re handygirl aplenty enough to handle this.
  6. In course of IM conversation with Dad WRT injured cats and recent trip to Charleston, confirm that “all washers are not the same” and you really do have to go home, take the blasted thing apart, and then take the bits to Home Despot to find replacements.
  7. Call Home Despot to determine that they do not carry the plant mounting bracket that you need, although Lowe’s does.  Resign yourself to going to Lowe’s, even though it’s further away and you have a $10 Home Despot card to use up.  Plant bracket has *nothing* to do with faucet, of course, but is vitally necessary to hang a lamp you bought in Charleston.
  8. Go home.
  9. Turn off water supply under sink.  Very important.
  10. Disassemble sink.  Take bits out.  Wrap in paper towel and put in baggie.
  11. Gloat a little on the way to Lowe’s because that wasn’t so hard after all and your boss was nuts.  You’re HandyGirl, you can do this (you’re even Capitalizing HandyGirl ™ in your head).
  12. At Lowe’s go to plumbing department.  Look at plumbing bits.  Find bits that look a lot like the bits you’re holding, but not exactly alike.
  13. Desire reassurance.
  14. Find plumbing department guy.  Show him baggie.
  15. When he asks you what brand of faucet it is, realize that perhaps you should’ve paid a little more attention during the disassembly process.
  16. Agree when he suggests Delta.  Everyone has Delta faucets, right?  Besides, he says it looks like a Delta handle (be glad you brought the handle instead of just the interior bits).
  17. Smile smugly when plumbing department guy says you’re going to save $75 plus the 30% markup on the bits you’re buying for $14.
  18. Think about MINI goodness and that $75 buying half an iPod mount for said MINI.
  19. Get plant bracket and light bulbs.  Gloat some more that you remembered all the pieces you came for.
  20. Realize that once again, you really should’ve gotten a basket at the *beginning* of the trip, rather than holding onto the edges of all the little things with your pinky fingers.
  21. Go home, procuring KFC Twister sandwich for dinner en route.  Resolve not to eat it until faucet is fixed, as the cooling sandwich will provide motivation.
  22. Take bits out of packages.  Reassemble faucet, following *really vague* instructions on back of package.
  23. Wonder which direction the little ball thingy with the stick on it should go.
  24. Think you’ve figured it out, based on the way the handle has to move when everything is said and done.
  25. Put all the bits in place.
  26. Tighten everything.
  27. Turn on water supply under sink.
  28. Watch faucet leak.
  29. Take everything apart and try again.
  30. While talking to Dad on phone (unrelated call topic, but it is determined that phone diagnosis of faucet problem is impossible), repeat steps 25-29 (inclusive) with every possible combination of new parts and old parts.  (Maybe the old ball-with-stick thingy was better than the new one?)
  31. Decide that maybe the O-rings are the problem (the O-rings are almost always the problem aren’t they?)
  32. Replace them.  Cut pinky finger trying to pry old O-rings off.  Apparently the old O-rings weren’t in such bad shape after all.
  33. Reassemble everything, tightening securely.
  34. Turn on water, and watch faucet leak.
  35. Panic.
  36. Succumb to hunger and let go of pride.
  37. Eat Twister sandwich while watching a DVR’d Carol Duvall. You’re still CraftyGirl, even if you can’t fix the damn faucet.  Wonder where last week’s The Apprentice is, which you missed while getting your hair cut.  Hope it’s repeated on Wednesday night, per norm, as you are quite hooked.
  38. Decide more research is needed. Go turn on home computer and wait for damn thing to boot.
  39. Slow, slow computer.
  40. Remember that you still have all your Charleston photos to organize/go through.  Consider doing that instead of fixing faucet.
  41. Google “repair leaky faucet” and find nothing useful. Revision: find lots of useful stuff, but nothing with pictures.  Pictures at this point seem critical.
  42. Wonder how all those sites do the thing where they appear no matter what you search on.
  43. Be really annoyed at Bob Vila, whose site has the following useful tidbit:

    “Leaky Faucets:  Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period”

    but NOTHING about how to repair said faucet.  Thanks, Bob.  (“Let’s go over and see Fred, who is installing the countertops in this home we’re restoring.  Hey, Fred, what are you working on?”  “Um, I’m installing countertops, Bob…”  “Right, so how’s that going, Fred?”  “Um…great, Bob.”  “Okay, Fred, we’ll check back in with you later.”)

  44. Wonder if the “kitchen” bit is critical.  Try searching on “repair leaky ktichen faucet“. Be glad that Google spellchecks.
  45. Find this: and this
  46. Realize that there’s a piece that turns that you didn’t know turned (the “adjusting ring,” if you care).
  47. Go back to ktichen (just seeing if you were paying attention).  Try one more time.  Okay try about six more times.  Be vaguely reassured that at least you’re causing the faucet to leak in new and different ways, as now the spout is OK, but it’s leaking from around the base.
  48. Squirt water across kitchen once, getting quite wet in the process.  Maybe tomorrow will be a “hair wash” day after all.
  49. Through some combination of dumb luck (and perhaps dumber) perseverance, hit on magic combination that STOPS THE LEAK.
  50. Wonder if, perhaps, the faucet really works as well now as it once did.
  51. Realize that you don’t really care, ’cause the damn thing isn’t leaking anymore and that’s all that matters.
  52. Put away tools.
  53. Gloat.
  54. Blog.

5 thoughts on “Steps to repairing a leaky faucet

  1. fixing a hole where the water gets in
    Your boss sounds like the real hero in this story. His advice was sound–his method of offering the advice kind, respectful, but firm. All in all, a good fellow. A bit of a shame you didn’t take it. But why start new habits, huh?


  2. *laugh*
    That’s a wonderful write-up. I’ve been through a similar process before. Twice. (Except they were both before I had started blogging.) After the first time, I bought a couple of books: How to do Just About Anything and The Big Book of Easy Home Fix-Ups. I think I still ended up making two trips to the hardware store, but I had instructions with pictures!
    Congratulations, HandyGirl!


    • The bit that I didn’t post was that right after that I decided to hang the lamp, which meant standing on top of a stool on top of my tall dreeser…
      Will finish that one tonight, I hope


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