Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Own Comedy of Errors, and My Rescue

Can you hear it?  The constant drip... drip... drip of the leaking bath tub faucet.  Annoying enough.  Then it's drip, drip, drip.  And soon it goes to dddddrrrriiiiiiiiiipppppppppp, a nice, steady stream...  What's a girl to do?  She can call her Daddy, or she can look it up on the Internet (watch the video below) and figure it out herself.  After all, she was raised to be independent, to be able to do things for herself. 


Okay, so I watched the above video a few times, and it seemed simple enough.  I lined up my tools in the bathroom, took a big breath.... and I couldn't get the handle off.  Yes, I was using the 1/8" Allen wrench, but the screw must have been stripped.  I tried and tried, to no avail.  So I went to bed and couldn't sleep for thinking.  How am I going to get that handle off?  I haven't even started on the real work yet.  I don't want to ask Daddy to drive 30 minutes one way to come to my rescue (he had done just that three weeks earlier when my car broke down).  I can do this!  I just have to figure out how.  

The next morning I was determined to get that faucet off and the water leak repaired.  After all, that WAS money going down the drain, and I'm not rich.  Once more I tried the Allen wrench, still didn't work.  So I brought out the big guns (I sure hope my Dad isn't reading this, because he just might disown me...).  My electric drill.  With a nice drill bit on the end that fit just right into the hole in the faucet.  Yep, if I couldn't make the wrench work, I could certainly drill through the head of the screw.  Or so I thought.  The drill bit wasn't quite long enough.  Talk about frustrating!  But apparently it was long enough to drill out the center of the screw, because I tried the wrench again and out the screw came, fitting neatly over the tip of my wrench.  That screw certainly can't be used again!  So, off came the handle.

Now things would certainly be much easier.  Couldn't get any worse, could it?  Especially since all the parts were coming off as the above video said they would.  I didn't even need a wrench on the fitting that held the valves in place!  To pull out the valves and replace those rubber fittings and springs was going to be a piece of cake!  

Except... when I managed to pull out the valves, I released a jet of water!  I'm talking about 65 psi (as I was later told)!  Sixty-five pounds per square inch!! It was like someone was using a fire hose in my bathroom, or at least so it seemed.  I mean, I certainly didn't remember the video saying anything about this happening!  In a panic, I forgot all about putting in the rubber gaskets and springs, and desperately tried to force the valves back in place.  It wasn't happening... I was standing outside the tub, and it was filling up fast.  Nothing to do but climb in and shove for all I was worth.  I was desperately praying for God to give me the strength to put that valve back in place.  Wasn't working. I started bailing water by the bucket full and dumping it into the toilet, then slipped and ran to the laundry room where I turned off the hot water on the furnace.  I bailed some more, jumped back in the tub, and once again tried to force the part back in.  Finally!!!  Shaking so bad I thought I was going to drop my parts, I tried to put the outside fitting back on, hoping it would hold and slow or stop the flow of water.  No such luck.  Well the fitting held, but it didn't hold back the water.  At least now the water was coming out of the faucet at a regular fill-up-the-bathtub rate, which gave me some time.  I bailed some more.  I called the water company and asked them to come turn off the water, since I couldn't find a shut off valve to the house.  I must have been a sight!  They said they would come turn it on whenever I was through with my repair, which was now much easier to do.

Unfortunately the drip was worse than before.  The water guy had said I was losing water at the rate of 1/2 a gallon per minute.  Start adding that up!  So what do you think I did next?  I called my Daddy!!  He didn't seem amused when I told him I thought I had tried to drown myself that morning.  But after explaining through my laughter, he did see the humor. And of course, in true Daddy fashion he said he would fix it for me.  What a relief!  

Daddy called me Monday morning to discuss my problem.  Did I know that I could have turned the water off in the wall behind the tub?  All I had to do was take off the face plate and there were the cut off valves.  No, I didn't know that.  That video above, you know.   Must have been made for someone with some basic plumbing skills.  Because I still don't remember it saying anything about cutting off the water, or how or where to cut off the water.  I guess the guy just assumed that MOST people would KNOW to cut off the water first!!  I have watched my Dad and helped my Dad work on so many repairs of various kinds that I should have.... well, you know.

Upon telling the guys at work my story and after hearing their raucous laughter (and heartily joining in, I might add), I was told that I should never, ever try to do any electrical work.  Because failing to turn off the POWER would not allow me a second chance (guys, I'm not THAT stupid!).

More seriously, I left money for my Dad to use to replace the parts of my faucet.  But he called and told me that the money was on the counter, that it was "his privilege" to make those repairs for me.  I'm having a hard time writing this part, because I'm writing through tears.  I am so fortunate to have a dad like mine!  

When Daddy told me it was "his privilege", it made me think about God.  He is waiting for us to step back and allow Him to help us, but He'll never force His way.  Can't you hear Him?   It was and is His privilege to help us.  He loves us.  He sent His Son to die for us, and WE DON'T EVEN DESERVE IT!  Just because He loves us, like my Dad loves me.  Remember Philipians 4:19 says, "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."


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