I’ve been thinking ….. Determination

Sometimes my determination to DO something is a good thing.  Well, maybe it is more of a stubborn streak to be truthful, but “determination” is a much nicer sounding word to attribute to my need to get things done.

Take, for example, my dripping mixer tap on my bathroom vanity.  It had been dripping from under the mixer handle for a good while now – ok, let’s not beat around the bush, months, it actually had been dripping for months!

Each morning and evening I would be greeted with a little pool of water laying languorously on my wooden vanity, glistening in it’s innocence.  Each morning and evening I would wipe away the pool and wrap a facewasher around the base of the fitting to soak it up. Still, sometimes the drip was super exuberant, rejecting the absorbent hugging talents of the facewasher, and I would be greeted with a larger pool of water, coyly threatening to drip onto the floor.

I was pretty sure that all I needed to do was change the filter cartridge and the problem would be fixed. I had done this successfully on my bath mixer tap many years ago, so I did have some evidence to back up my deduction.  (On a side note, I did ring a Plumber last week and he suggested I simply buy a complete new mixer fitting – $120ish – and he would then come and install it!)  Still, I was confident that if I could only change the filter, which would cost about $17, the issue would be fixed.

So, why let it drip, why not just fix it?  Well, sometimes I DON’T let my determination carry me through, and since I had attempted to – unsuccessfully – change the filter in this very tap when I changed the bath one, I had been putting the confrontation off.  I hadn’t yet found my “you can do it if you really want to” smile/grimace since last time I used it, when I donned it to do whatever-needed-doing-that-I-didn’t-have-a-man-to-do-for-me-anymore-since-he-inconveniently-died!

The problem was the handle itself, last time it would not come off.  I had removed the grub screw – which I promptly dropped down into the well of the fitting, never to be seen or heard of again – but I could not get the handle off.  It was completely oblivious to my gentle persuasion to uncouple from it’s shank; it was also completely unresponsive to the increasing violence of pulling, gripping, and wiggling that I inflicted on it.  In the end I hung my head in shame and decided that the filter really didn’t need to be changed (it wasn’t dripping then).

So there I was yesterday, my determination (a.k.a stubborn streak) finally overwhelming the memory of my last failure, standing in my bathroom prepared to not give any quarter to my opponent this time.  Perhaps, I thought, perhaps I really didn’t try hard enough last time!  This time I would really get to grips with it, and if I busted the whole thing in the process, well then, surely the plumber would come out to visit over Easter!!!!

So, off I started:  turn off water to house – check.  Turn on bath tap to drain remaining water in pipes – check.  Pull off mixer handle – AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGH.  Take big breathe – check.  Try again – nope, not budging.  Get rubber hammer, tap it gently – check.  Still not moving.  Get screwdriver and pry up under the handle … vigorously … still NOPE.  Turn on computer and Google “how to remove stuck mixer handle” – check.   Google suggests that I may have a bonded male\female coupling cause by calcification, and the answer is …. Vinegar!

And so it was!  Vinegar sprayed under the handle helped dissolve the bond and I was able to use the screwdriver the pry up the handle.  I also found the lost grub screw, laying disconsolately in the cone well, still shiny and un-calcified.  YAY, I thought to myself, you’ve done it.  All that was left was to unscrew the cone and the hex fitting holding the filter in, easy peasy, right?

Innocence is easily shattered folks.

Of course the cone wouldn’t unscrew.  Of course I didn’t have a wrench large enough to fit around it.  Out to the shed to see if I had a bigger one, trek back inside to find it still wasn’t big enough, back to the shed to look despairingly for something that I could use to remove this thing barring my road to accomplishment; grab (I am ashamed to admit) a clamp – to see if I could “clamp” it and twist – NO,NO,NO!

Ok, ok, maybe vinegar in there would help too, {sprays vinegar}.  Hmmm, what did I do last time – oh, pliers, I used pliers!  Back to the shed to get the pliers (only, mind you, after I had tried my teeny little jewellery pliers first – obviously they didn’t work).  Pliers applied – check.  Twist – check.  It moved – oh happy days – twist again, joys of joys, it unscrewed.  Use the wrench to remove the hex nut, take out the cartridge, soak everything in vinegar, scrub off calcification with wire brush, spray it all with silicone lubricant and screw everything back together.

Simple as!

So, you see, determination is the only thing that let me accomplish this task, and save myself $$ in the process.  So much for Plumbers and their easy answers.


8 thoughts on “I’ve been thinking ….. Determination

    1. Mmm, well I did fit my lightshades to my house & I can change a globe, does that count? Never touch electrical stuff – I do not want to fritz myself. You’re on your own and I strongly suggest a Sparky. 🙂


  1. Well, I felt exhausted just reading that! CONGRATULATIONS! I know how long that has been dripping away in your “I-want-to-do-it-but-I-know-how-tough-it-was-when-I-tried-it-but-I-don-t-want-a-plumber-to-come””mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to replace a window The Geek son broke. The glazier wanted $160 and the glass just costs $40 so I’m off to get the putty tomorrow and a hefty jar of that determination stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

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