Plumbing 101

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Just so you know, I’ve taught myself many things in my lifetime. One thing I taught myself to do was small plumbing jobs, like I can change a washer, replace the toilet handle and flap, change faucet handles, faucet seats, and faucet cartridges. And oh yeah, anyone can change the aerator. If you can read well, you can learn to do just about anything. Even if you cannot read, if you are a visual learner, you can learn to do new things from YouTube videos. So this week I wanted to fix my bathroom sink’s faucet handles and seats. Read on to find out what happened.

I already purchased the collection of tools and parts necessary to do the job in August, therefore, all I needed was time to do the work when shutting the water off wouldn’t affect anyone. Thursday was the perfect day because everyone except me would be out of the house for a few hours. I started by laying out all my supplies and shutting off the water in the basement. Next tried to remove the stripped faucet screws stuck in the handles because of hard water and erosion. All the recommended tools for removing the screws did not work. While fiddling with the hot water handle and screw, the handle popped off, leaving the screw stuck inside the cartridge along with a small piece of the handle. This is when reality set in. I’d have to call in a plumber.

Plumbers are expensive too. To make a long story short, the plumbers came and ended up installing a new vanity, a faucet for the bathroom I’d purchased, a new toilet, and a new faucet for the kitchen sink. Use your imagination to figure out how much that costs. Everything looks new and shiny for now. So let’s see if these home improvements will stand the test of time.

Will this experience deter me from doing more plumbing in the future? I think not! After all I had successfully stopped a leak in my mother’s bathroom faucet handle about 2 months ago. I’d also installed a new handle and flap on my previous toilet. The supplies aren’t very costly and remember my service time is free. The lessons learned from plumbing 101 were to leave the challenging jobs to the pros, and a few home improvements or upgrades can look amazing.

I hope I’ve inspired someone to learn something new even if you’re retired. Who knows what could happen. You might just become a pro at it. So what will you learn next? Let me know in the comments section.

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