The Kitchen Remodel–Days 13 & 14 (As Reviewed on Day 15)

So I’ve had some time to reflect on my Day 13 experiences, which really bled into Day 14–a heady day–and into the wee hours of Day 15, although that was me being up late and doing touch-ups rather than laboring for 48 hours.

We have a sink. A sink! I can stand in the kitchen and get water now, instead of knocking small items off of the installed counter through the big hole in the middle of it.

It took a really, really long time to install, I thought (five hours), but I’m not the professional able to judge such matters. There was a trip to the hardware store for an airgap and an airgap cover (the old and probably cruddy one got tossed with the old sink before anyone even thought about it or noticed until now), and some hoses with different width attachments, and maybe that added some time. There was a garbage disposal to install, and a dishwasher to mess with, and a water filter to mount, and other stuff like that, and the guy is a handyman versus a specialized plumber, so it all added up. I have to admit getting antsy; we put off lunch a long time, and it made the trip to the grocery store more tiring afterward.

But the water turned off and on (albeit at a much lower flow), and the guy left the caulk behind for me to put on the next day, and I just wanted this very nice person to just get out of the house already, and we called it a day. A good day, with a round of washing up and drying after, which was almost a dream with the extra space on the countertop (knocking off that breakfast bar added so much square footage) and some paper plates and plastic forks for the evening meal.

That night after washing dishes, however, I decided that the much lower water pressure out of the faucet was intolerable. The sink guy had pointed it out to me, and we both watched it trickle with dismay, but then I came up with a story about how the neighbor behind us had put in a new regulator for the water pressure. We took a field trip to the window to stare at the neighbor’s new regulator…

…and concluded that it was just too bad for me, that somehow the new faucet was amplifying an old problem. That was all fine and good when you were just watching the water fall into the sink, but actually trying to fill the new, deep sink with sudsy water to wash things was intolerable. I turned to Google (the solution to, and cause of, many of my problems) for answers.

People had long and sad tales about how all the water manufacturers were evilly complying with this idea that faucets ought to be water-conserving, and that if you installed new faucets you were going to have to trick them out to restore your old flow rates, or else unscrew the tip of the faucet (the aerator) and clean out the gravel and debris that might have gotten caught with the changing of fixtures and water knocking loose build-up in the pipes and hoses. My aerator was clean. Next stop, dismantling the faucet to look for those tricksy pieces that block water flow on purpose. Husband and I got the handle off and some rings and spacers, and were thwarted by this cylinder thing that was too wide to grip with our pliers and made of plastic anyway and so too wasy to damage the threads of should we have attempted to force the issue.

We’d noticed earlier that the hand sprayer water flow seemed perfectly normal, which was the exact opposite of a problem that a few people online had reported–the sprayer not getting enough water. The piece that diverted the water from faucet to sprayer was accessible without removing that one piece, so we pulled it out. It was a little round plug thing, with holes at the north and south and solid walls at the east and west. (Don’t spend a lot of time visualizing it.) Husband started to recover some memory about how maybe he’d already messed around with the faucet and how maybe he’d pulled that piece in and out and put it in wrong (it’s a circle that just sits in place, so I don’t know how it could have gone in wrong; I’m not being sarcastic), but he turned it ninety degrees whatever way so that the holes were pointing either up instead of sideways or something, and I guess this diverter piece had been blocking or trapping water that was supposed to go to the faucet and it works fine now. If this is an example of low-flow water conservation, I am perfectly happy with it. And I am so relieved we found this little piece before we wrecked some other piece looking in vain for the elusive hippy-water-blocker.

The next day I did my own private futzing around beneath the sink. The plumber had mounted but not hooked up our water filter partly because the hoses needed different connectors and partly because we had an old, no-longer-filtering filter that made no sense to hook up. Because it was naptime and I could make no trips to the hardware store, I reexamined the connectors, and discovered that if I removed this one adapter that made a hose connector female instead of male, I could use them. Yay! I installed the hoses and tightened the connections with a wrench and all was well. I found new filters online for a third of the price that they sell them at Lowe’s, which was nice, and placed the order. Hard work, that.

It wasn’t until after dinner that I decided to tackle the caulking project, and it was not the most successful project I’ve ever undertaken. It was messy, and ugly, and I experimented with a lot of tools (including a rusty razor blade) before I decided that applying it in small stretches with my finger and cleaning the edges immediately with a baby wash cloth was the best technique. Ha, ha, yeah, yeah all of you that already knew that this was the best way to apply caulk and joke’s on me for reinventing the wheel. I scraped up a lot of caulk, and wore a lot of caulk, but I got it to look normal enough so that I wouldn’t start crying in the morning when I saw it. Husband didn’t notice that the caulk was on at first (which means it was sufficiently clean and tidy to blend in), and after I pointed it out he said he’d add another coat, which would make it seem more even and would better seal the job. I have frosted many cakes twice, and nearly cried when I saw the first layer of icing and then gloated when I saw the second one, so this is probably just another version of that, but it can be very demoralizing. I passed the time pleasantly enough, however, watching two or three great episodes of Party Down (the investor one, the senior singles party one, and the porn awards one), and one kinda terrible episode of Buffy Season 4 (the sex one where the tree grows inside the frat house). OK, really terrible.

I also consumed an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Creme Brulee ice cream. I was fishing through the pint looking for the brown sugar bits and ended up with ice cream on my spoon as well, and before I knew it, It was gone. It was yummy. I feel pretty bad about it; other people live in my house who might have wanted to have some of that ice cream. But going to the store to replace the pint and then eating just enough out of it to make it look like I only had those spoonfuls I’d eaten in public seems like too much effort. I need to save my effort for the rest of the week, when the tile floor installation projects really turns our house upside down.

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