Home improvement

After six years of service, our $20 discount-store showerhead started leaking like a sieve, so I picked up a replacement at the hardware store down the street. The new model was fairly elaborate and significantly more expensive than the old one, and Ron told me I could have it if and only if I was absolutely sure I could install it myself.

Upon hearing this, the hardware-store owner was incredulous (he said he had some female customers who did their own household repairs, but I didn’t look like “the type”) and wanted to see a picture of my handiwork when I got done, so Ron got out his camera and documented the project for posterity this afternoon.

I’ll go ahead and file this post under “Ask the Hippie,” since it does answer a question.

Q. How do you install a showerhead?

A. Like this:

Step 1: Remove the old one.

Step 2: Peel off the old teflon tape and replace it with new tape to prevent leaks.

Step 3: Install the valve for the new showerhead. If it has flat sides, use a crescent wrench to tighten it. If it has smooth sides, a faucet wrench (shown below) comes in handy.

Step 4: Connect tube for handheld showerhead. (The model we bought has two heads — one handheld and one stationary. On a simple, single-head model, you obviously won’t have to mess with so many steps.)

Step 5: Tape the threads for the wall-mounted showerhead to prevent leaks.

Step 6: Install wall-mounted showerhead.

Step 7: Connect hose to tube for handheld showerhead.

Step 8: Tighten.

Step 9: Tape threads on handheld showerhead and connect to other end of hose.

Step 10: Brandish handheld showerhead menancingly, lest husband get any bright ideas about trying to commandeer the shower before you’ve had a chance to try out your handiwork.

Plumbing is pretty easy. You just have to remember to tape all the threads and get everything good and tight to prevent leaks. If you don’t have a handheld showerhead, I highly recommend getting one. They’re relatively cheap ($15 to $20 for the simplest models) and easy to install, and they come in very handy for bathing pets.

Hope your Saturday afternoon is productive, wherever you are.



3 thoughts on “Home improvement”

  1. What “type” of woman did that jerk think would be able to do her own plumbing improvements? I think I’d find a different hardware store if I were you. You don’t need to “prove” anything to anybody.

    1. Normally, I’d probably be offended, but A.) the guy is from some other country –where, I am assuming, most women leave home repairs to the men — and B.) his reaction was one of delighted amusement — more of a “Wow, that’s cool!” response. Kind of like our old neighbor, who was in complete awe of me because I could drive a pickup with no power steering AND understand how a GFI worked.

      I get a kick out of busting stereotypes. I get irritated when clerks refuse to wait on me in stores with predominantly male clientele (yeah, Builder’s Square and O’Reilly Auto Parts, I’m lookin’ at you), but I just think it’s funny when the mom-and-pop hardware store owner greets me as “Ms. Fix-It.”

  2. Always remember the three laws of plumbing:
    1. Payday is Friday.
    2. Shit flows downstream.
    3. Don’t suck your thumb or eat with your hands.

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