Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Evening the score

The hot water faucet in my bathtub has ceased to be. It was bound to, sooner or later. I've been here over 10 years and only did a superficial redecoration when I moved in (though I did replace the vanity and installed PVC pipes, laid stick-on floor tiles, wall paper, low-flow shower head, a low-flow toilet and supply line, and got the window replaced). It really needs a gut and complete overhaul to be welcoming to guests (I'm used to it).

But now the gasket has bit the dust and I can't turn it off or on. So I've developed a method to take a sponge bath in the tub that probably uses about the same amount of water I'm losing every day until I figure out how to fix the stupid thing (compression faucet, probably 33 years old, and installed by the same semi-professional who did the original ham-handed reno when Mrs. Berry finally moved out after 56 or so years).

So, I fill up two plastic pans with warm water from the sink, stand in the tub, wash all over with a fluffy sock (easier to handle than a washcloth) and my usual Olay soap, and use one pan to rinse the back and one to rinse the front. I wash my face in the sink, and I'll wash my hair in the kitchen because it has a nice spray faucet on a hose.

But that frickin' drip is keeping me awake at night!

UPDATE: I'm always looking for uses for the water I'm collecting from the leaky faucet. So far I'm emptying it into a mop bucket for cleaning, saving some for watering indoor plants, and, best of all, using it to launder items that need hand washing. Two tubs (a day's worth of drips) washes and rinses two light sweaters or blouses or a miniload of unmentionables (bras, panties, camis).


Craig Saunders said...

Is there a shutoff valve, or do you have to shut off all the water in the house to work on it?

If there's access to the pipes, then replacement is pretty easy. In my old house, I got access when I ripped out an old cupboard. At that time, I installed shutoff valves and new pipes to a new faucet and shower head. Then I took a glass-doored Ikea unit and built it in where the old cupboards had been. The unit is secured by two screws hidden behind a drawer, and if those are removed it pops right out for easy pipe access.

Of course, I doubt the new owner knows that...

KarenInTo said...

What a great solution! Extra storage and easy access.

There's a shutoff in the basement for the hot water tank as well as the main shutoff to the house (brand new since I got the big pipe from the street replaced). I just have to get off my duff... I watched an episode of Mag Ruffman's DIY show, and while she is a capable contractor she did have a LOT of trouble with replacing the compression faucet in her tub (based on the outtakes at the end of the show). When I do stuff like this I'm one of those people who have a lot more parts left over than expected.