Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where I continue to pay for my mistakes

Remember how I poured boiling water down my bathroom sink and cracked it? And then how Home Depot sent me a replacement one for free because I wrote the CEO?

That replacement sink sat in our living room for a couple of months in its humongous box because I didn't want to install it. To put in the new sink I'd need to remove the old faucet from the old sink and then reinstall it. Installing faucets is the worst: you have to get three separate parts aligned while tightening bolts from two different sides and it just totally sucks. I did it myself when I first installed the sink and it's a miracle that it was even close to normal looking.

I started by unwrapping the box in the smallest area possible. Does anyone else do this? Inevitably I decide to build a huge Ikea desk in the hallway, only to discover that I've wedged myself into a corner and it requires an act of god to get it and me out.

Last time I put the sink together I used a jigsaw to inelegantly cut out an area for the P-trap.

When my parents remodeled their bathrooms the contractor used a hole saw to create a tidy hole for the pipes. This time we were going to do it right! So I went to Home Depot, bought a hole saw and the auger/pilot hole bit for it to attach to my drill.

Except I bought a bit that's too big for my drill. So we connected it to a socket wrench and did it by hand. That's how we roll.

And that mostly worked.

Then I started to dismantle the faucet from the old sink, only to find that the plastic snaps underneath that connect the water supply tubes to the faucets are designed to be installed once. I couldn't figure out a way to get them off without just breaking them. I'm sure they sell replacement kits online but they didn't have them at the Home Depot, which meant purchasing another faucet kit. I don't know about you but I can think of about a thousand things I'd rather spend my money on than a new faucet. Like curtains. Or scotch. Or new trees for the yard. Toilet paper. Anything, really.

So Greg and I installed them and got really, really pissy with each other. I hate that part of home improvement. But it got easier from there! We had lunch! I installed the plumbing! Oh my god it was leaking underneath! Then Greg and I bickered about what was leaking (I was right, just saying), reinstalled the plunger kit again (still leaking), then tried the old plunger kit (it leaked too), then discovered that the porcelain has a tiny chip where the sink terminates and meets the gasket in the drain stem.

Fuck. Me.

It was really discouraging. Finally, with a magical combination of plumbers putty (which I kept calling "plutters pumby" even though I had NOT been drinking), wrenching, and swear words, it stopped leaking. Usually when I finish a project like that I feel exuberant afterward. This time I just felt like weeping because I have no confidence that this will continue to be watertight.

The best part of this whole story? Our bathroom looks exactly the same as it did before I lost an entire Saturday to it. Okay, we no longer have a line of caulk through the middle of our sink basin, but other than that it's the same. Do they make fifty year sinks? Next time I'm buying one of those, having it professionally installed, then never touching it again.



Have you told someone you love recently not to pour boiling water down their bathroom sink? Maybe you should go do that right now.


  1. I never knew that boiling water could crack a sink! I'm glad you made that mistake so I don't have to! Just sayin'...

  2. I make the DIY mistakes so you don't have to! You're welcome. :)

  3. ". . .next time I am hiring a professional . . "
    Oh, the regret and bittersweet wisdom in those words. Said them myself of course. Still, it's nice to have the new sink installed and done.

  4. OMG...this sounds way too familiar! Glad you finally got it done least you don't have a big box in the corner of your living room now, right?!? One of my fave stupid moments happend when we first moved in. Our bathroom didn't have a shower, so we put in one of those metal ring ones...oh, the glory of having a shower (never though THAT was something I'd find luxurious instead of just necessary). Unfortunately, our bathroom didn't have a vent (crazy, huh). So, we bought a kit at Home Depot and tried installing it. It went fairly well...but while up in the attic, attaching everything, my partner stepped on some of the lathe and his foot popped through the bathroom ceiling. We patched it roughly, with every intention of soothing and painting it...that was 3 years still hasn't been painted :-(

  5. lol, in your misery your post is hilarious: way to keep it honest. And it TOTALLY sucks when you spend an entire day on something and there's nothing tangible or visual to really show for it. That always sucks the big one. But now hopefully everything works great!

  6. That is my number one fear when I go in the attic! It's so easy to set a foot in the wrong place . . . thank you for commiserating :)

  7. Do you remember what you did with your time and money before you bought a house? I honestly can't remember!

  8. It *is* nice to have it done and we're all going to laugh about this someday, right? Okay, I'm going to need a little more time but some day it will be funny!

  9. That rocks! You turn it to a beauty!
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