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One waterless weekend later: the tub is fixed!

February 9, 2009

It’s official: our leaky tub (that would be Resolution #6) is finally fixed, thanks mostly to D., who decided to tackle this project this weekend. Par for the course for our house, though, this little fix turned into a big adventure. Here’s what we’ve learned this weekend:

  1. Fixing things in an old house is never as easy as the Interweb says it’s going to be.
  2. Shut-off valves are good things. We should probably get some. (We do have a main shut-off for the house….but it turns out that’s the only shut-off valve our old house has! This becomes a problem if, say, you inadvertently break a pipe and it can’t be fixed for two days. Hypothetically speaking, of course.)
  3. Never force a valve that won’t turn.
  4. We should have an earthquake kit, because then we would also have extra water floating around for non-earthquake emergencies.
  5. We have awesome neighbors! (Okay, actually we knew that part already, but they further proved their awesomeness when one set of neighbors let us use their shower for the weekend, another loaned D. tools to try to do the repair himself, and a third came over on a Sunday afternoon and fixed said broken pipe for us….so there will definitely be a neighbor dinner forthcoming!)

Household tools
Incidentally, this brings up another big question: what are the right tools to have in your household toolkit? When we moved in, we had the basics, and pretty much everything we’ve acquired since then has been due to some emergency project or another. This weekend’s chaos promises to get us some Channellocks. So now we have:

  • Drill and related bits
  • Hacksaw
  • Wrenches (adjustable, Allen, socket, Hex, standard, pipe)
  • Screwdrivers of various sizes (Phillips, flathead, Torx)
  • Pliers (needlenose and standard)
  • Files
  • Planer
  • Cable cutter
  • Telescoping ladder
  • Step ladder
  • Putty knives and paint scrapers
  • Wire stripper/cutter
  • Stud finder and level
  • Hammers
  • Channellocks (soon!)

What else do we need to avoid emergency runs to Ace when the water’s coming out of the wall or the plaster is crumbling? (Bear in mind that we have the phenomenal Temescal Tool Lending Library, part of the Oakland Public Library system, just a short hop away, so we can get most specialty non-emergency-related tools there, with the sad exception of the Silent Paint Remover, which I really-really-really want but can’t really justify the cost of…..plus, stripping the dining room woodwork doesn’t count as an “emergency” exactly.)

At any rate, it’s only February and one of nine resolutions is under our belt—not half bad!

One comment

  1. Having great neighbors is, well, great :-)

    Having shut-offs for different parts of the house is mighty nice, even for non emergency plumbing work. Or maybe especially, since the non emergency sort tends to go on for longer.

    You’ve got a pretty good selection of tools. Nothing’s jumping out at me as being missing, unless you’re going to be sweating copper pipe in an emergency.



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