Water Water All Around…

Faucet…and if only it would stay in place.

I’ve written about my $927.41 water leak already. That was an uncontrollable spewing of water in large volume. The immediate crisis of money it caused deserved a post. But there’s more.

An older house (mine is a 1929 bungalow on the state’s list of historic structures) brings with it certain frailties. Perhaps it has to do with amending the old with the new. It just doesn’t “take.” It’s like an organ transplant where the original body rejects the new limb. And, there’s also the simple fact that after awhile, the old wears out.

So it seems that the plumbing in my old home is both rejecting and wearing out. Plumbing repair is an expensive matter. Plumbers in my part of the world don’t advertise their rates. But the usual charge is $100 just to let the guy in your home. Then you buy their time, and plumbers seem to work slow, like roofers and handymen. Their time can run about $90-150 an hour. Then there are the materials. They buy at discount but those savings are not passed on to the distressed homeowner.

These realities lead to the proliferation of books and magazines showing the do-it-yourselfer just that – how to repair a leaky toilet or replace a kitchen faucet. I have a few of those and each time I browse the used bookshelves or walk past the check-out at Home Depot, there are plenty more waiting.

I’ve been mending a kitchen faucet for months now. These are relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to install. But when I look at that faucet, I see an insurmountable chain of repair-and-replace. This weekend, I added more of that thick, waterproof duct tape. I wrapped it around in neat angles from the base to the spigot. Now, I can turn on the water at full blast and not have it spew in my face. It’s a act of convenience. I have immediate gratification. But it is just a stopgap.

What’s far more serious is the sink. It leaks.

This is the original, double-well, cast iron sink installed in 1929. At 85 years old, it is a definite antique. In fact, it is so old that it is no longer sold at the usual kitchen sink places. I’d thought to replace it with a new version. But economics bars that for the time being. To replace this antique sink first requires replacing the counter top. One of the incentives of buying this house was the expansive kitchen and its extremely long counter top. Now, 28 years later, that long line of shelf is adding to my woes.

So my faucet does not spray me but the sink continues to leak. Anyone the least bit knowledgeable about feng shui knows this is not a good thing.

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