Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nothing is getting done!

Every 'now and again' Dawn and I get that feeling that those small maintenance type sub-projects are not being attended to - by me, of course. She says, "Nothing's getting done!" while I say, "I'm completely overwhelmed!" It seems as though these minor repairs are coming at me from every direction and I can't keep up. The latest nuisance occurs while she's been at the kitchen sink that's missing the faucet aerator screen - keeping the water flowing in the down direction. I always thought those things were to keep rocks out of your Iced Tea. Well, they do that AND keep the Dish Washer (for this example - that would be my wife) from getting a bath! Why the faucet is missing in the first place is a whole other boring and completely pointless story that makes sense only to me – so, we’ll skip that part.

Cleaning or replacing the aerator is very easy and you should be able to do it without any tools. I know I won't need any tools because the aerators missing - I'm halfway done - all I need is the aerator! Ah ha! There's the problem - getting to the hardware store. I have this thing about running out each and every time I need something. Dawn thinks I just don’t like “running errands” – to me, it’s a huge waste of time. If I’m going out to get something, I need to make at least three stops to feel efficient – that’s another boring and completely pointless story that makes sense only to me – so, we’ll skip that too.

Let’s get onto the repair. First of all, close the drain with a dish cloth so you don't lose any parts, this way I won’t have to explain how to take the P-trap apart. You don't need to turn off the water supply for this repair. The aerator is the assembly and screen water passes through as it leaves the spout. This part at the tip of the spout unscrews in a clockwise direction. Righty tighty, lefty loosey (I hate saying that) does not apply because you’re looking at the top of the faucet and you’re unscrewing away from you. Usually, when you unscrew something, it backs out toward you. This would only apply if you miniaturized yourself and were in the sink looking up at the aerator.

Dry both the spout and your hands before trying to remove it with your fingers. If it is too tight, then you are going to need to use an adjustable wrench. Caution here - before using the pliers on the faucet, wrap several loops of electrical tape or a rubber band around the aerator. If you squeeze the aerator too much you could bend it out of round and if you don’t squeeze enough, the pliers could slip and scratch the finish. Be careful.
Once you remove the aerator you will notice one or more parts contained within. Note the order and orientation of the parts as you remove them so they go back the same way – yes, it matters! As you take them out you will probably find grit and rust. Rinse the pieces with water and brush off the debris. For difficult to remove deposits, soak the parts in white vinegar for a few minutes and scrub with a toothbrush. If any parts are cracked or broken, replace them. If the washer has hardened, it should be replaced. The whole contraption costs less than $5 – treat yourself!
With the debris cleaned out, reassemble the aerator and screw it back onto the faucet. Hand tightening should be adequate and it will if you use Teflon tape. If you don’t already, I strongly recommend having a roll Teflon tape in your tool box. This stuff will stop any leak on anything with a thread. The trick is to wrap the tape in the direction that you’ll be screwing back onto and use very little otherwise catching the threads will be difficult.
That's it, done.

So, here I am on the train Monday morning, thinking about how much work I had planned to accomplish around the house this weekend and how she’s right – nothing is getting done! Okay, so there were two soccer games and a dance rehearsal, soccer cleats that had to be returned because I bought 2 different size shoes – it seems like when I try to help, I cause more work in the long run - a backyard party, shopping for a gift for the backyard party, 9 holes of golf with my sons – which is the most important thing I did all weekend and dinner at Mom’s Sunday night – the culinary highlight of the week. Actually, it’s amazing I did all that and had time to fix the sink!


bj said... make these little chores sound like fun, Fred..
all of this is so helpful and with your instructions, I think I could replace that little screen myself. Couldn't build things like you do, tho!

The Faded Cottage said...

OMG Fred,
I laughed all the way through your blog, you have a great sense of humor, maybe I can learn something from you then teach it to my husband. Keep the blog going!!, Janice

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see someone on here with the how to's for fixing things....teflon tape....never heard of it...but you bet your booty I will buy some for my husband. He didn't know he needed. Always a chore around the house, but you make it so entertaining. Make the most of these years with yor children.
Years will pass rapidly. With 5 of my own, how well I know how fast they pass. The time with family can't wait but the to do's list can...unless your Dish Washer is getting sprayed with water...
Glad I found you!!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Fred ~ I just found your blog from Dawn's ~ it is awesome and so much fun to read ~

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

You make me laugh out your writing. did you go down the drain ?
You need to catch up your blog because I need more laughs.
I'm just sayin'..........