Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What she bought: the kitchen sink

So, our host daughter, Y, popped her head into my sewing room Saturday night and asked, "Is it okay if I put some duct-tape on the kitchen sink?"

This is not the kind of question I get every day, and I spent a couple of seconds with the gears in my head whirring around trying to perform computations and correlations:  duct tape?  sink?  Is there some natural connection?  I finally answered, "um, sure, but is there a reason you want to put duct tape on the sink?"

She said, "well, there's a leak, and so I figured duct tape would stop it."

Oh.  A leak.  Of course, duct tape is not the solution to a leak, so I got up from my sewing room, went down to the kitchen, and took a look for myself.  Sure enough the kitchen faucet had sprung a hole, about midway along the arm, so that when you turn on the water most of the water performed the correct duty of coming out the nozzle, but some of the water sprayed straight up toward the ceiling like a drinking fountain.  Cute, and possibly with practical uses for a creative person, but not really what I want in my kitchen.

My husband had the car that day, so I called and asked if, on the way home, he might stop at the store pick up an extra kitchen faucet set.  He did.

Sunday, I brought J-son down into the kitchen with me for a little plumbing lesson.  Stage one, clear out everything under the sink; stage two, turn off the water.

Except the shut-off valves on these old, old pipes are old and a little rusty themselves, and the hot-water valve just didn't want to turn.  J-son enthusiastically offered to use a hammer.  I equally enthusiastically rejected that kind offer -- oh, geez; that's JUST what I need!  (Anybody remember the time J-son "fixed" his bike with my mallet?  Neither the bike nor the mallet survived).

We tried a more gentle form of coercion, but when part of the hot water shut-off valve knob broke off in my hand, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor.  A new faucet installation might be within my ability, but a busted water pipe is beyond my meager plumbing skills.

Since, on Monday, I headed out for yet another math trip, I delegated the calling of professional plumbers to my husband.  It really is nice having him around to take care of things in the house!

The plumbers apparently brought along a faucet with them; it's a super super nice faucet.  I'm really too cheap to splurge on something like this myself, but I'm secretly (okay, not-so-secretly) delighted at the upgrade we've gotten.

It comes at a price -- that price being $750.  With that, we also got new shut-off valves under the sink, plus a one-year protection plan.  I was not around to negotiate on this; my husband assures me it was a good deal, and I try not to second-guess people who I've asked to take over a project when I can't do it.  So I'll declare this a success.

But  I sure do hope I don't have many more plumbing adventures this January!

(I've silently lusted after hose-handle faucets.  And now I have one!)


  1. Nice! I too love the handle hose things much better than the separate sprayer. I was imagining, tho, that you got an entirely new sink. That happened to us this past year. Did you know that sink edges can rust through? And sink edges aren't supposed to be caulked?

    Our sink edge was caulked when we moved in, and I figured that was fine. But I noticed the caulk was starting to rot and there was water leaking under the sink from the sink edge. When the maintenance guy came by, he said it was a gut job. We got new counters and everything! Unfortunately, in our very small kitchen, we have a very tiny kitchen sink that splashes water when we do dishes. I surmise that the previous occupants were less than careful about that. Now, I am super diligent about drying all that water every time I do the dishes.

    1. I didn't know that about the caulking. Oog, sorry!

      I think we're going to go for new counters sometime within the next few years . . . the ones we have are more than a quarter century old, and look even older. But we haven't actually yet gotten to the point of replacing them (and the sink) -- just the faucet. And the shut-off valves. Sigh.

    2. I think the "not caulking" means that the person should not have caulked the sink and should have fixed the rust-through at the time instead. By sink edges, I should clarify -- not the very edge of the metal sink (I think that can be caulked), but within the metal. I thought we had a frame of metal and a sink and that there was caulk between the two, but apparently frames and sinks should all be one place.

      Good luck with the counters. If you're ready for a cosmetic upgrade, counters really do make a big difference. Even though we still have old, not so great cabinets, the lovely counters make me happy every time I clean the kitchen.