Wednesday, October 4, 2023

On Replacing a Faucet

When I saw that our laundry faucet was leaking copiously, I surmised that the fix was a new faucet. The old one was as old as Genevieve, who is turning 18 any day now (my stars! that's a different post). Then, I further thought in my new pragmatic way: I bet replacing a faucet is just a bunch of screws and matching up connections. I prefer to save my money for skills and professional services I cannot hope to duplicate with a YouTube video. So I checked with my dad who is the ultimate handyman if he would be present while I crawled under the sink and matched things up. I wanted to free up my husband for other house repairs - he also is a handyman, but he works fulltime, unlike my dad who is retired and enjoying himself hugely. 

Guess what? It went great. I bought a faucet for about forty bucks, my husband bought new hoses for a few dollars more, and I changed that faucet with my dad's excellent guidance. The only glitch was that the hot and cold water got switched, which meant another tedious session under the sink switching them.  

As a professionally trained and experienced teacher, I was impressed with my dad's patient, positive approach. He gave some low-key guidance, never critical, and he did not show impatience as I struggled with the bolts and figuring out which tool to use, sometimes getting my righty-tighty and lefty-loosy mixed up. It's not easy to be the expert being patient as the novice hacks and bungles through the job. He just fetched a work light from his truck. He really had me do the work and sat back in full confidence that I could do the job. It was a delightful, empowering experience for me. I have more respect for my dad's life work and knowledge. 

I gave him concord grape pie - sort of a thank you gift but truly, I love to share my homemade fruit pies with my parents anytime. They are so appreciative.

In this phase of my life, I am looking for ways to cut through the patriarchal, traditional approaches to distill the problem and see what solution I can offer. I don't always have this confident, pragmatic energy, but when I do, I lean into it hard. It feels great. 


'Snough said...

Way to go, you! Plumbing is intimidating, therefore quite rewarding when you actually do it and realize it's not that bad.

Lessons from my own dad: (1) Often, a leaky faucet can be fixed with a new washer -- a dollar or two of materials. (2) Every plumbing repair requires three trips to the hardware store.

I don't know if the second lesson is *always* correct, but I've found reassurance in doing repairs while the hardware store is open, and also feel less like a dolt when I have to go back mid-repair to get a different-sized washer/silicone tape, etc.

I love that you're taking on these learning adventures. And huzzah for your dad being such a good teacher!

Jen said...

One of the things I always enjoy is learning from my Dad! He is also patient with me when it comes to instruction. The pride that is felt when a successful home project is completed is so refreshing! Way to go!

e said...

How satisfying and empowering to tackle this job yourself! A very generous dad giving instruction and encouragement but letting you complete the repair yourself - that's priceless. Congrats on that faucet and the life lesson! Well done!

Nancy In Boise said...

Good for you! I remember our girls being 18 and getting ready to go off to college!