Monday, March 28, 2011

Plumbing for Dummies

Remember this faucet that I was supposed to install a week ago?

Well, I finally got around to it yesterday. Better late than never, right? It's not entirely my fault that the project was delayed. Let's just say the directions were not exactly user-friendly.

Here's how it went:

I breeze through the first 4 steps in the installation process. Of course, they basically consist of turning off the water supply and making sure all the contents of the box are in tact. Still... I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then I got to steps 5 and 6, which looked like this...

Okay. That looked easy enough. Put the 2 round plates together and attach to the faucet body. Check. Put the 2 deckplate pieces together and attach them to the round plates that were just attached to the faucet body. Check Wait. What is going on here? The deckplate does not fit onto the round plates. (Insert bad words).

I try every which way to get the pieces to snap together, and nothing works. Obviously, the faucet is defective. Just my luck. I got a lemon.

Fast forward a few days later. I march my defective faucet right on back into Lowe's. Someone is going to hear about this. I can't wait to tell the guy in the plumbing department exactly what I think about this faucet and its lousy directions. Hmmph!

I head to the plumbing department and proceed to demonstrate for the salesperson how I follow the directions exactly and yet the pieces do not fit together. I expect to hear how sorry he is that they sold me a flawed product, that I am right... it sure doesn't fit together the way it should, etc., etc.  But, instead he says, "Oh. You're supposed to use one or the other. The round plates if you're just covering one hole in the countertop. The deckplates if you're covering 3 holes."  Oh. Whoops. I feel dumb now. "We get that all the time," he adds, but I'm sure he's just trying to make me feel better. I leave with my tail between my legs.

So, the first lesson in Plumbing for Dummies is to read the instructions carefully I know it seems most logical that Step 5 should be followed by Step 6. But as we have just discovered, sometimes one must choose between Step 5 and Step 6, even if that is not clearly stated. Have I confused you? Or just myself? Simply put, if you are putting something together and the pieces don't fit, you may in fact not need one of the pieces.

Back at home, I removed the original faucet which looked like this...

(I know. It's difficult to believe I could part with such a beauty. But don't worry. I've still got another one.)

There was a LOT of elbow grease needed to unwrench the 20 year old fixture and the pipe below. This brings me to our second plumbing lesson. When you disconnect a pipe, it stinks. Literally. It was one of the foulest odors I've ever smelled, and I live with a lot of boys.  The pipe was nasty, so I cleaned it within an inch of its life.

I was able to follow the rest of the instructions quite easily, and voila...

The new faucet is in!  And, just in case you are still doubting my plumbing skills...

It works! It really works! Guess I ain't no dummy after all :)


  1. Your hard work paid off! Love that faucet. We had it in our guest bath in GA. The boys (and dog) loved to use it as a drinking fountain. :)

  2. Beautiful faucet! I am jealous....we still have your before faucets in our home. I am impressed with your plumbing skills there is no way I would have tackled that.........and I would have so done the same thing and left the store wanting to die!

  3. YOU ARE BRILLIANT. And funny...loved the comment about the boys...I can relate.

  4. Good job, and love the faucet :-)

    I'm a technical writer - whenever there are multiple options for a step, I include them all under the same step number and separate them with OR. Makes more sense than giving options for the same step different numbers, I think :-)

  5. Wow you are a smart cookie! I would never ever even THINK of trying to put that in. I am impressed!

  6. It looks great! I am planning to do the same with ugly faucets (:

  7. When I saw that faucet in the store I loved it. I still need to get the mister to replace the one in the powder room. Love it.