Thursday, August 19, 2010

Little Miss Fix It

Old shower head
Yep, that's me.  Little Miss Fix It.  If things break at home and I can fix it I will, instead of calling the handyman.  Just seems easier to do these things myself.  This week I faced a challenge, fixing the leaky shower.  It took a few days to actually repair.  I was very close to just throwing in the towel and calling the handyman.  But, I didn't.  I fixed the it!  So, here is the saga of the shower head.

Elisabeth vs. the Shower.
Round 1-  Three days ago as I turned on the shower the head came off.  This was a problem.  I had to take a shower, I had just finished a workout.  It was 9pm.  Clearly couldn't call the handyman at that hour even if I wanted to.  So, I decided to just try to fix it myself.  The only problem was, this wasn't a standard shower head.  The shower head didn't just screw back on, instead there was a ball on the end and the head was in two pieces and had a rubber washer to go with it.  I spent approx 25 mins trying to get the damn thing back on properly without spraying everywhere.  I finally got it into a semi-functional state (it was still leaky, but much more controlled, although the water pressure was very low). 

End of round 1 - we'll call it a draw, it wasn't completely fixed, but it was capable of being used.

The culprit of the leak - a crack on the
collar holding the head on the arm.

Round 2 - I attempted to call the maintenance man in hopes that he would be able to fix it quickly.  I couldn't find his number, anywhere.  I seriously tried.  I tried calling the landlord, who wasn't in (and left him a message).  I tried going to my neighbors, they either weren't home or didn't have the number.  So, I figured since I had to go to Target anyway, I would just get a new shower head there.  Epic failure.  This is when I realized that we had a crazy old shower head (clearly time for a new one).  Target does not carry that style of shower head.  So, I moved on to OSH.  No luck, they didn't even know what I was talking about.  At this point I was completely frustrated.  I was afraid I had no choice but to track down the handyman and get it repaired by him. This is not something I wanted to do because it meant that I couldn't do it myself, and I am my mother's daughter and figure that if I can fix its easier than calling someone in. 

End of round 2 - Shower -1; Elisabeth - 0.  I was not going to let this damn shower beat me.
Old shower arm with ball on end - not normal
Round 3 - Beginning of day 3 of the shower saga.  At this point I had left yet another message for the landlord about needing the maintenance man's phone number.  (Just in case I couldn't solve the problem on my own, the landlord had called me the previous night, while I was in Target, but I didn't hear the phone ring, and he didn't leave a message and when I called back no answer.)  Then I started doing some research online and I realized that I was not going to be able to find the part anywhere (not easily anyway) and this was going to be harder than I originally thought (as the collar was cracked and finding just that piece wasn't going to be happening anytime soon, and the whole damn piece was so old that I needed to start all over).  So, I called up the hardware store that we went to when I was a kid, Virgil's in Glendale.  I figured that this would be my best shot at finding the parts that I needed to repair this busted thing.  Jackpot!  They not only knew what I was talking about, but they had the parts I would need to repair the blasted thing.  I knew at this point I had the upper hand.  All I needed to do was get to the hardware store and we would have a functioning shower once again.

Really BIG pipe wrench
I headed to Virgil's with my dad on our way to the Dodger game and when we got there I had a moment where I thought I couldn't do it.  But, the guy simply explained everything to me and I bought the pieces I would need (including a new pipe, special tape for the pipe, and a new shower head - a regular one).  All I needed now was a pipe wrench, which my dad had.  After the game I got home and prepared to defeat the shower one final time.  Less than 20 minutes later.... success!  I had finally gotten the old pieces out and the new ones installed and there were no more leaks.  End of round 3 - Shower -0; Elisabeth -1.  (I took away the shower's points from Round 2 as I clearly defeated it, beacuse it is now in pieces in the trash.)

I'm not afraid to get my hands
a little dirty to get the job done.
It might've been faster and it definitely would've been cheaper to just call the handyman.  But, I'm stubborn like that and I was determined to do this and I knew I could.  And I did.  (The new one might not match, as it's white, but I still did it.  Could you?)
The new fully functional shower head.

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