December 3, 2005

Clumsy Oaf

So The Wife said she had a headache and thought that taking a bath would help. Being the nice guy that I am, I offered to clean out the baththub so she could do that and feel better. Well, no good deed goes unpunished and this was no exception.

Did you ever wonder what holds the bathtub faucet to the wall and the plumbing? Neither did I. But now I know and thanks to the magic of the Internet, now you will too, Loyal Readers.

This is what the tub looked like after I placed my hand on the faucet for balance. The damn thing just snapped off clean. It didn't feel like it was held on there with anything. There was no visible epoxy, glue, mastic, or other adhesive on either the plastic surface of the shower/tub wall, nor on the back of the faucet.

Oh, for those of you Loyal Readers unfamiliar with it, the shower control is a ring around the mouth of the faucet; you pull down on it and it stops the bath faucet and diverts water to the shower. There are no markings or labels to tell a newbie this; you have to intuit the dictates of the Tennessee Plumbing Gods. For those of you Loyal Readers from Tennessee who don't understand why I think this is worth mentioning, remember that in other parts of the country, there are bars, levers, or other devices with markings on them that control the water diversion.

This is what the wall mount looks like. As you can see, it's a thin sheath of plastic over a thin piece of drywall, with a PVC pipe through which the water flows at high pressure. Loath indeed am I to play with water under high pressure and drywall. Hell, I can't even avoid breaking anything when I clean; as The Wife was kind enough to point out, I could do some serious water damage to The Estate At Louisville were I to attempt to reattach the plumbing.

The way I see it, I need to somehow squash in the PVC tube from the wall into the mating mount on the back side of the faucet, shown on the right. They should thread together. Then I need to figure out how to turn that hex nut so that it tightens and the PVC should be held together again, and water will come out the facuet as the builder orignally intended.

But I also don't think that I can do it. Like the man says on the Home Depot commercial, as water sprays out of his toilet like a fountain behind him, "I am not a plumber." No, I am not a plumber. I am a clumsy oaf who can break things armed only with a sponge and a can of Comet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blech, nothing like pics of someone else's bathtub grime to go with your morning coffee!

I need my soma.