Today I saved myself about $150 by manning up and doing some home plumbing. I did not want to do this plumbing which is how I discovered that it would cost me $175 to have someone come and do it. Of the 3 plumbers I asked to get estimates from, $175 was the cheapest, one was over $200 and the 3rd dude didn't even bother showing up for the appointment he made with me.
I've gotten ahead of myself and should give some explanation. Over the past few months, the cold water tap in the shower has become increasingly difficult to turn on and off and the handles been loosening. Awhile ago I thought it was done for, but I managed to finagle it and didn't have to fix it back then. Unfortunately my luck ran out last Thursday. Not only did it stop working, but it loosened to the point that I couldn't get it to tighten and shut the water off all the way and the screw head broke off in the stem. That was the end of showers. Because I knew I wasn't going to want to spend the money for an emergency fix and the water was only leaking a little bit, I just put in the plug and let the cold water build up over night, then added hot water the next day to have a bath and the rugrat and I were washing our hair in the kitchen sink. Yeah, I know, I'm ghetto, but at least I didn't just let it drip and waste all that water.
So, after waking up Monday morning feeling as though I'd been hit by a truck, I got a hold of 3 different plumbers to come take a look and give me an estimate because I didn't want to deal wit it anymore. After they all left I sat down to decide what I was going to do. I looked into how much the parts would be and it was about $25. I just needed to let go of my fear of dealing with plumbing and replace the stem and other sundry parts. So I went and got the new parts with the plan to fix it tonight after getting home from work.
Those plans were thwarted when I spent the rest of Monday night and early this morning in the bathroom as it became apparent that I would not be going to work. The "hit by a truck" feeling was apparently a prelude to a 24 hour stomach flu bug thingamajig and I wanted to die by about 5 this morning. I got the rugrat to daycare and came home to spend some more time in the bathroom. It occurred to me that I since I was going to be spending the day in the bathroom anyway, I should go ahead and fix the tub tap while I was in there.
Now, I must take a small break here to remind you all about my tendency to mix brilliance with complete idiocy. I believe I have covered this in depth on this blog. I wish that I could blame today's instance of this on drugs, but since I'm pretty sure that Pepto and Advil don't cause stupidity, that's not really an option.
Anyway, it wasn't until about 5 minutes after I shut off the water and I was wrestling with the stem to loosen and remove it that I realized that the reason I was in the bathroom in the first place was my frequent need of the facilities available in the bathroom. Luckily, and I'm still not sure exactly why I did it, I had filled a bucket of water prior to turning off the water so I could refill the tank on the toilet. Yes, I'm an idiot. Luckily it wasn't a very difficult thing to fix so it only took me about 20 minutes total to take out the old and put in the new. I think if I'd not been sick it would have only taken about half that.
I then used up all the hot water in the house taking a shower. =)
That's not the best part about the whole thing though. The best part is that this is the first home repair/project I've completed without injuring myself. I don't know how I managed it but it appears that I'm less apt to injure myself when I'm half out of it because I'm ill. Eh, whatever the reason, I have no injuries and I'm fine with that.