Tuesday, August 11, 2009

When the Shut-off Won’t Shut Off

I was comfortable – finally – and just beginning to drift off when I heard the unmistakable sound that is an incoming text message on my cell phone. What the hell? I thought, I know it’s well after midnight.

I flipped on the light. 12:22. I padded over to my phone which I would normally have already turned off hours ago. I guess I’d forgotten. Maybe it was from the MonkeyGirl. Or maybe it was PB. She and I had been exchanging emails earlier in the evening. But no.

Homeowners, lower your mortgage with a loan modification. I didn't need to read any more. I could feel my face going red as the anger rose. B*stards! Calling people after MIDNIGHT! Can’t wait to turn this one in to the Do Not Call Registry where my cell has been registered for at least three months.

The wake-up was particularly ugly as I’d spent some of my limited evening fighting the kitchen sink. Remember how happy I was to have hot water and water pressure again? Well, the joy was short-lived. Over the weekend, the hot water wouldn’t shut off and would issue a steady stream even when off -- unless you turned the shut-off valve.

I can deal with this, I thought a few days ago as the sink and its fixtures will be gone in just a few weeks. But then last night, our temporary method failed. With a screwdriver, I finally managed to get the valve to activate and the water went off. But now what? I guess I need a new shut-off valve. Hmmm.

Plumbing is not my forte though I’ve done my share. I was trying to recall whether I’ve ever replaced a shut-off or not. Maybe in the bathroom, once, a century ago? Can’t remember. At any rate, it doesn’t look like it would be that hard. (Though those are historically the very kind of jobs I've found to be the most difficult.)

Sounds like I’ll be finding out sooner rather than later.


Gene said...

Replacing a shut-off valve isn't too hard. The most time-consuming part is shutting off the water to the house and draining the pipes a bit before removing the old one.

Do you have copper or galvanized pipes? If the latter, the hardest part will probably be getting the old valve off. Be sure to use two wrenches so you don't twist the pipe inside the wall.

Debbie said...

Oh how I hate those solicitor calls in the late hours of the evening/night.

I hope the installation of the valve goes well; you can do it!

Karen Anne said...

Those calls that spoof their callerID are the worse.

NV said...

Thanks for the votes of confidence. We'll see how brave I feel after I get done with everything else on the agenda for the weekend. I may just leave it to Lawrence later this month!

Don, the Window Cleaner said...

I have a house with 5 bathrooms. One at a time, the shut of valves are failing on me in the past couple of years. I needed to turn off the one to the downstairs toilet so we could remove it and re-tile the floor. The shut off will not turn all the way shut. I have used a wrench and extreme force.

I call the plumber for these. Why do these shut offs fail?? Do plumbers purposely use inferior crap so we have to call them sooner?? I have to wonder...

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