Thursday, May 13, 2010

Never Take Running Water for Granted: Installing a New Sink

So this week had a few firsts for me. This happens to be the first time I've blogged anything, ever.

My name is Tom, by the way. Hi.

I've also never done plumbing on anything, ever. Oh boy, plumbing. Where do I start? Never having done plumbing before, I was a bit..... er, nervous. Electricity I can deal with. You can't electrocute your whole house, just yourself, right? Well you could certainly flood your whole house if you were bad enough at plumbing. Scary. Give me wires over pipes any day of the week.

But, as you know if you've been following along with my wonderful wife's posts, we have been without a kitchen sink or dishwasher for 6+ weeks now. So it was time to face my fears and reconnect our kitchen to the civilized world. Let's go through a play by play on how the kitchen sink project played out.

Step One: Disconnecting your old sink

Always turn off the valves to both your hot and cold water supply lines before disconnecting anything. It's also helpful to have trained water emergency response personnel (Chelsea) ready to sprint to your house's main water shutoff valve at a moment's notice. Don't worry, we didn't have to resort to this. Then we disconnected the supply hoses (hot and cold) to the faucet. If the water sprays you in the face, this is when you activate the Chelsea Emergency Water Shutoff Response System, because you totally did something wrong. You can expect a little dripping water, so keep your towel handy.

Next you need to disconnect the drain line(s) from any drains or garbage disposals. This step was a total confidence booster. Not because it went smoothly or anything, but because the entire drain pipe assembly fell apart when I touched it and water gushed everywhere. Ahhhh, nothing like the feeling that you can only improve something! There was no way I could do THAT bad reinstalling the sink. I was a man with nothing to lose!!

But, seriously, do keep in mind the trap (U-shaped portion of the drain pipe below any sink) has a ton of water in it. That's why they call it the trap (haha)! Yes it did take me spilling water all over the kitchen to put two and two together, but I guess you remember things more when you learn them the hard way. So on a practical note, anytime you work on your drain pipes, keep a bucket handy and work carefully to dump the trapped water into it. :-) Another pearl of wisdom while I'm on the topic- anytime you have a total clog or a slow sink drain that is too stubborn to clear up, a clog in the trap should be your number one suspect: hair and other debris tends to settle down in the trap. Before you call a plumber, try to check it out yourself by dissembling the drain pipe and hopefully pulling out the culprit!

Next: Step Two - Faucet Installation!

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  1. Very nice post Tom. It's about time you started pulling your weight around this blog..haha!
    Yeah we learned the bucket trick the hard way too. I guess it's a right of passage or initiation into homeownership.

    Good job!


  2. Hahaha, no joke Heather!

    Chelsea - 71 Posts, Tom - 1. Ah well, you gotta start somewhere. I think that deserves a round of applause! :)

    And you are sooo right on the New Homeowner Initiation part. For sure.


  3. Nice post, Tom! Jimmee does all our plumbing work around here so I don't know much about it, but I like to watch. We haven't done anything too complicated so far but will be installing a new kitchen sink sometime in the future so I'll have to show him this post.
    Looking forward to pt 2!

  4. That is so funny. I never thought about how the water will flood the house, but the electricity won't hurt the whole house. I think the opposite. I'm so scared of electricity, I don't even like to change the covers on electrical outlets! Give me plumbing anytime, the water won't kill me :p We also had a hard time changing out the faucet and reinstalling the sink in my kitchen. After all the mess we made, it cleaned up well and looks great in the end. It's always worth it!
    I'm looking forward to the faucet post, I'm having to change out my bathroom faucet on Sunday.

  5. Tom, I can hear all the men out there groaning in sympathy with you as you tackle the dreaded kitchen sink plumbing. For some reason, alot of muttering under one's breath is required for this particular job, not to mention words and exclamations that won't be published in this commentary =). Also lots and lots of trips to Home Depot or Lowes!

  6. Thanks everyone for posting!!

    Heather- Yes, it is about time I start pulling my weight around here, isn't it?! I have been "behind the scenes" the whole time but it's nice to get out here and share the experience from my point of view- although I do enjoy reading Chelsea's posts, lol.

    Chelsea- :-P I love you! Thanks for the round of applause :)

    Anne- I'm sure Jimmee knows a ton more about plumbing than I do, considering this is my first crack at it! But, that being said, by reading about our minor disasters, hopefully you guys can avoid them!

    Jolie- We hear your pain about making a mess, but you are right- it's worth it in the end!

    Debbie- How did you know!!? Ain't that the truth? It's probably because there's nothing but pain and frustration waiting for you below that sink, lol.

  7. Tom...of course I was kidding ya. I enjoy Chelsea's posts as well. It's nice to hear from you too and to see that you really do exist (again ..kidding). Just between us there is another guy on Chelsea's mind an awful lot lately and his name is ...CHARLIE! I'd watch out for that one. ;)
    More posts would be welcome!


  8. I'm also scared of plumbing. Seems to me this 'trap' is a pain, you should reinvent the wheel and make a less 'trappy' one! ha

  9. Funny enough, the word verification for my last comment was 'hairout'. What are the odds??! I just had to share that :)

  10. Tom, This is Uncle Bob. Just a little advice on the topic of word....DYNAMITE. Think about it, Tom.


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