Great … now she thinks she’s Bob Vila

With a little phone support from Daddy (who has more plumbing experience and is better at thinking backwards and inside out than I am) and a teensy bit of elbow grease from Ron (who helped me loosen a couple of corroded copper valves and went out a couple of times to turn the main water line on and off while I stayed inside to make sure nothing leaked), I managed to replace our worn-out bathroom sink and faucet with a brand-new set tonight.

It took a lot longer than it should have, mostly because it was a plumbing project involving 20-year-old fixtures, and when you’re dealing with old plumbing, it always ends up being more complicated and time-consuming than it should be … but I got it done, and I think it looks pretty good.

This is the new sink. Notice the cool retro faucets, which Ron found at 84 Lumber for $24 — about $12 less than the set we’d picked up at Home Depot, which wasn’t nearly as interesting. There’s still some putty around the edge of the sink, which I haven’t cleaned off yet, but at least you can see what it looks like:

New sink

This next picture isn’t very exciting, but I’m proud of it anyway, because I had to replace the supply line valves, which I’d never done before (Ron actually wound up doing a lot of the work on that part, because I was on the phone with Daddy, who was trying to walk me through it, and I couldn’t hold the phone and two wrenches all at the same time), and I had to replace the trap on the drain and take a hacksaw to the PVC pipe coming out of the wall to get the new plumbing to fit right. Here is my handiwork:

New drain plumbing

I’m really happy with this project for three reasons:

1. It fixed a problem we’d been having with the water pressure in there for a couple of weeks.
2. I assembled the pop-up drain correctly on the first try. (I messed up that part last time I installed a sink.)
3. I learned some new stuff about plumbing.

The thing about home improvement that makes it frustrating is also the thing that makes it fun: Invariably, you’ll get right in the middle of a project and then run across something you weren’t expecting or hadn’t dealt with before. Sometimes that can be really frustrating, but it also keeps things interesting and forces you to learn something new every time.

Plus it gives me an excuse to spend half an hour on the phone with Daddy and make umpteen trips to the hardware store in one day … which sort of reminds me of all those times Daddy let me tag along with him on his trips to the hardware store in my hometown when I was little bitty. 🙂


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