i may not be a lot of things.
i cannot sing to save my life.
my mom did my highschool sewing project to ensure i'd graduate.
my gardening skills are non-existent.
but i've always prided myself in being handy around the house. when i was in college, i got my own landline extension by buying those long cords and splitter thing and extending it all the way to my room. a couple of years ago, i removed the old curtain installations and installed my own curtain rods (to my brother's amazement). and just this weekend, i figured out how to stop the faucet-to-washing machine connection from leaking.
i may be a girl, but i'd like to think i'm pretty handy with power tools and wrenches.
one thing i've never ventured into, however, was the area of plumbing. it seemed so specialized, so manly. so when the faucet + pipe elbow in the garden came off last week, all i could do was to send a text message to the plumber who installed the maynilad connection and ask him to come back. in the meantime, i gingerly re-attached the faucet + pipe elbow to the main line and prayed that the drip-drip-drip in the garden wouldn't affect my water bill so much.
so last sunday, the plumber came, listened to me gripe about the drip-drip-drip in the garden and the temporarily attached faucet + pipe elbow, and re-attached the faucet + pipe elbow to the main line. he then left, and after a while, i turned the main valve back on, and was frustrated with the fact that while the faucet + pipe elbow was now securely attached, the faucet was still dripping.
and since this wasn't part of the plumber's warranty (he guaranteed to me when he attached me to maynilad that all the pipes have been re-secured with pipe cement), i couldn't very well call him back without spending a lot of money once more. i figured, maybe i could detach the faucet + pipe elbow, replace it with a new faucet + pipe elbow i'll have someone in the hardware put together for me, and re-cement it to the main.
thanks to tita mayu (actually, to tito lito to whom she passed the phone to after i wailed out my predicament), i found out that my plans would ultimately fail -- once pvc has been cemented to pvc, i'd have to wait for a long time (like a decade of zero water passing through the pipes) before the cement would go weak. the solution, according to tito lito, was to replace the faucet itself.
now, cementing one piece of pvc to another piece of pvc is one thing, replacing a faucet is another thing. to my mind, that's a real plumber's work, something that i think i can spend a couple of hundred on rather than risk failure.
but then tito lito said it's a breeze, and proceeded to giving me instructions via telephone. that's all good, except that i didn't replace the faucet that day. yes, i'm lazy.
when i got home yesterday, though, the dripping was more like drip-drip-drip-drip-drip ... it was fast, it was a whole lot of water, and it was no longer negligible. "helpless" girl that i was, i tried twisting the faucet to "close" it even more. no deal. so i did the next best thing: i opened the faucet all the way (major gush of water here -- it was almost midnight and no one in the neigborhood, i suppose, had his faucet on) and attempted to close it, praying that the dripping would stop if i closed it hard enough.
major fail -- now, not only was it dripping, the faucet was gushing water -- apparently, opening the faucet all the way also meant i couldn't close it anymore. the faucet was old, and it had no intentions of stopping water from gushing out of the pipes. i did the only thing i could do: turn off the water main and tell myself that i had to do something i had never done before in the middle of the night.
i knew i had the white teflon tape handy, and by some miracle, there was a spare industrial-looking faucet in one of the toolboxes at home. my 88 store flashlight - thank goodness - was fully charged. so, while i was still wearing my pretty purple dress, pearls, and my work watch, i grabbed a rag and a wrench and started working on removing the old faucet.
it was hard, and there was a point that i was scared the old faucet won't ever come off, but it eventually did. i wrapped the tread of the industrial-looking faucet with teflon tape, prayed it would fit (it did) and connected it to the pipe. then with one major shout out to god, i turned the main valve back on and hoped for a miracle.
guess what -- i got my miracle.
fifteen minutes after my near-disaster, the old faucet was gone. no more drip-drip. no more broken faucet. just an industrial looking faucet snugly connected to the pvc.
now, if only i could have the brawn power to re-attach my bathroom sink back to the wall, i'd be invincible at home.