The Saturday after our housewarming gathering, Joe and I woke up feeling happy to have finally been able to sleep in and refreshed that it was the first weekend in months that we didn’t a crazy to-do list to get through.
Maybe we’ll finally take that walk around the park nearby, we thought. Maybe we’ll tackle a few smaller tasks.
That was until one of those smaller tasks turned into our whole Saturday.
It started with Joe removing the head of our kitchen faucet. The water pressure on one of the settings had significantly decreased and we thought our first order of business should be to clean out the head with some CLR.
Unfortunately, when Joe removed the head, we hadn’t thought to remove the weight from the faucet line below, and the hose retracted into the faucet. Joe pulled it out with pliers, yet unbeknownst to us, the metal part that attached the head to the hose had gotten stuck inside.
I finished cleaning the head and went back to attach it, confused about how it was supposed to go back on. In the process of figuring it out we managed to lose the hose in the faucet yet again, and snap the plastic off the bottom of the head.
That’s when we realized this was going to be a longer process than we anticipated and we started Googling how to turn off the water to our kitchen sink and how to remove our faucet.
Trial and Error
After turning off the water for our entire unit, since we couldn’t get our hot water to shut off completely, we ended up removing the whole damn faucet, with Joe tucking his wide shoulders under the sink and collecting screws in his bellybutton as they came off.
This didn’t reveal any solution, however. The hose was still getting stuck on something inside and we couldn’t pull it out in either direction. We decided to take it down to Home Depot to see if anyone in the plumbing department should shed some light on the situation.
We hauled the whole faucet down there in my bag. To their credit, the associates at Home Depot couldn’t do much, and they didn’t carry individual parts for our American Standard faucet, but they did let us know that most companies like American Standard have lifetime guarantees for their products.
We got home, now hours into the process, and Joe called American Standard while I ordered pizza and kept futzing with the faucet. If we could only poke down there far enough to set the metal piece loose and work it out the front. I shone a flashlight down the bottom, slowly juggling the hose while pushing down with a long flathead screwdriver until I felt the metal piece loosen! It was still stuck but the hose was now getting stuck further down the pipe in the direction we needed it to go.
Joe took over from there loosening it more until we heard it slide down the faucet. Huzzah!
Really, that’s all we needed to do from the beginning but our lack of understanding of what was wrong precluded us from pursuing it.
How You Learn
As I told Joe, I always wonder how my parents just seem to know everything but it’s because of days like this. It’s because they, too, spent a whole weekend afternoon struggling with a problem they didn’t know how to fix until they did know.
Joe and I are both problem solvers in our day jobs, but the problems are more mental and abstract, less tangible. It felt good to struggle and learn with something tactile.
We still have a broken faucet head, but we are getting a new one from American Standard, so until then we left the weight off the pipes and taped the metal piece to the end of the hose so we don’t loose it again.
This brings our total repair cost to the 97 cents we paid for plumbers tape at Home Depot, which we really bought more as a precaution.
We definitely earned the drinks we had at our friend’s birthday party that evening.
UPDATE: We only had to suffer with our taped up faucet hose for a few days. We went on vacation shortly after that and when we came home two weeks later our new hose and head were waiting for us! Thanks, American Standard!