Saturday, March 06, 2010

Gaming interrupted

A rainy morning. Perfect weather for playing Escape from Atlantis with my mum (AKA Grandma) and daughters while my wife was at work. Not so perfect weather for a plumbing mishap. Unfortunately a washer in one of the shower taps went and the water just wouldn't stop dripping. And it wasn't just a slow drip, it was a fast drip, almost a steady stream.

By this time Grandma had arrived. So after a quick cup of tea I left her in charge of the kids. I grabbed an umbrella and trudged out to the front yard, located the sunken box which contained the main tap and turned off the household water. I then prepared myself with the necessary tools to change a washer.

Now the innards of our shower taps are probably original from when the house was built back in the 1970's. I've had the displeasure of working with them on a few occasions since we've been here and they're certainly showing their age. So much so that as I was undoing a screw it broke off, leaving half of it in the spindle (jumper valve). Grrr!

So I borrowed Grandma's car and drove through the rain to the local hardware store. When possible I try to support this small store with my business as they're close and offer excellent knowledge and service that can't compare to the large chain stores like Bunnings Warehouse.

I tried to buy a similar jumper valve but found they no longer make them (I told you they were old!). So I purchased two new ones as well as some washers. While I was there I decided to pick up a couple of new tap handles as well because the old ones were looking a bit worn. I then made my way home through the rain.

Back in the shower, as I was preparing to insert the jumper valves, I realised the chrome flanges (the circular covers that go against the tile and into which the tap handles sit) were also a bit old and grotty. D'oh! I should have bought a couple of those as well when I was at the hardware store! Fast forward me trudging out to Grandma's car, driving through the rain, entering the hardware store, buying the said items, driving back through the rain, stomping upstairs.

Back in the shower again. I now had new (21st century!) shower taps ready to install. After all that preparation I found the installation the easy part. Everything fit in and together as planned and before I knew it I was done. All except the sealer that needed to go around the edges of the chrome flange. D'oh! Not another trip back to the hardware store! Thankfully I found some sealer from another household job I'd done in the past so was able to finish the job.

So, a couple of hours after I'd started, the shower was once again drip free. I stood back to admire my handiwork and felt a sense of satisfaction.

However, by this time I wasn't really in the mood to play a board game, and the kids were playing the Wii, and I just wanted to sit down and relax with a hot cup of tea, and so unfortunately we'll have to wait until next week to play Escape from Atlantis.


Friendless said...

You were lucky! Traditionally it's impossible to change a washer in the shower without destroying the entire bathroom wall and then having to retile the floor.

Ozvortex said...

Either that, or flooding the house when the main water tap is turned on! :)