Saturday, August 14, 2010

DIY for Quilters: Plumbing

This weekend it was time to tackle a pesky leaky bathtub faucet. I have been putting this off because (1) I didn't want to spend the money to hire a plumber and (2) although I've done two minor plumbing jobs, this seemed more complicated.

Step one in any DIY project when you are a quilter is:

Go to your favorite LQS. Yes that is step one. You need to visit your favorite place and hang out with some friends and soak up some good vibes.

I went to Sweet Home Quilt Co. to see what was new and sign up for Melisa's new Groovy Girls club that starts in September. Karin was there and she *made* me buy this cute-as-can-be little kit to make little Halloween treat bags from the new Quilts and More magazine

well actually I think it's Bad Melisa's fault because how can you resist this cute little bundle???
A bitty piece of Halloween fabric "just because", two charm packs for a future Schnibble, and some matching on-sale Moda marble and I was ready to tackle home repair. Trust me it works. Girl Power!!!

Step two: go home and drink some more coffee. While you fuel up on caffeine, check emails and blogs.

Step three: Call your dad and find out if he remembers where the main water shut off valve is. This serves two purposes (1) my dad has a good memory and can describe things over the phone well and (2) puts him on notice to keep his cell phone handy in case problem arise. After describing the water meter and lines under the house, sure enough, dad knew where it was. Turn off the water all the way. Remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. These things really need labels. Nice decorative hang tags or a small sign. As soon as I finish this plumbing job, I'm labeling everything in the crawl space.
With Martha Stewart gift tags.

Step four: Get your tool box and most importantly your laptop. Having a wireless router is so worth it just to be able to take my laptop all around the house.
Luckily the bathroom has a handy laptop holder. Use the power of Google to find several websites showing step-by-step instructions on how to take apart your faucet. Verify that the water is off completely, cover the drain with a old towel so you don't drop important pieces down the drain, and take apart the faucet. Use your favorite tools and cuss words here. Take all pieces and parts and put them in a quilt project bag (aka ziploc baggie).

Step five: Get thee to Home Depot. Wait do not go directly to the store go to.....

Step four and a half: Add more power steering fluid to Xena because along with everything else, Xena the truck is leaking power steering fluid. Geez... Realize you can't wash your hands because you turned off the water....

Step five: go to Home Depot with your quilt project bag and match old pieces to new pieces in the plumbing aisle. This takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Spend a few minutes wondering why the silicone caulk and teflon tape are not with the plumbing supplies. Wander around and get these items from their most unlikely places.

Step six: go home and start replacing pieces which requires three hands. I only have two. Use whatever tools seem helpful. Bash your knuckle and drop crucial piece down inside the wall. Use more favorite cuss words here.

Step seven: go to Lowe's. It's closer and you are now sweaty and grumpy and still can't wash your hands. Wonder why they don't sell big bags of M&Ms and wine at Lowe's because you could really use some of both right about now. Buy replacement piece.

Step eight: Get back home. Say in a loud voice "let's do this!" Cats think you are crazy and wonder why you are playing in the bathtub. Finish putting faucet back together. Be amazed with yourself.

Step nine: turn the water back on, remove camera, laptop, cell phone from bathroom--just in case... Be even more amazed with yourself when nothing leaks and faucet is working correctly. Finish tightening all fittings and get silicone caulk all over everything. Realize you are even more sweaty, gross, and now sticky and you can't take a shower for three hours until the caulk is set. The bathtub is dirty with footprints and ooky stuff from the old pieces. Be happy no one is around except the cats.

Step ten call your dad so he can be proud of you. Be proud of yourself. Wonder if you can join the plumbers union.

Step eleven: Call for take out and quilt the rest of the weekend. You did good.


Gari said...

Now will you come to my house and fix my leaking tub faucet? I don't think I can follow all the steps after "got to your local LQS."

Simone de Klerk said...

Wow Gretchen, you can definitely be very very proud of yourself, doing a job like this. Admirable!!!
You deserve the rest of the weekend quilting and doing the things you love doing!!!

Karin said...

Good job...and now your reward is....
Play the rest of the weekend!!!

Carol said...

WOWSER! You deserve all the M&M's, coffee and sewing time that you can get today! Great job!

Melisa @ Sweet Home said...

WOW! A "jill of all trades!" I am impressed! Oh, and Step One is the MOST important...great seeing you!

Linda said...

Awesome! You deserve a raise! lol

Brenda said...

I know who to call the next time I need a plumber.

Michelle said...

You go girl!!

*karendianne. said...

Oh my gosh what a post! I laughed. My gosh did I laugh. What a hoot. This one is a total winner. "...bathroom has a handy laptop holder" - indeedie. "...match old pieces to new pieces in the plumbing aisle. This takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r." good lord friend, what great writing! I love it.

Becky said...

Great post! LOL! Man, if I knew you did plumbing we could have saved that late night visit with the plumber and our garbage disposal:) Love the green Halloween fabric. Hope to see you on Saturday!