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39 Steps To Fixing a Leaking Water Tap

Step 1. After noticing your shower head is determined to continue dripping ever so slightly many hours after you have theoretically shut off the water supply, turn the hot water tap further to the right to ensure it is completely closed for real this time.

Step 2.  The next day, after going to the basement to run a load of laundry and seeing there is clear evidence of water dripping on the floor at the base of the steps, closely investigate the hot water pipe located in the ceiling (which is to say directly beneath the bathroom) to determine the source of the drip. This will require water dripping in your eye and on your clothing.

Step 3. Search the basement for the plumber’s putty you knew you had. This should take approximately two hours.

Step 4. Drive to the nearest DIY centre to buy plumber’s putty.

Step 5. Apply newly-purchased plumber’s putty to troubled region of the hot water pipe and watch as water continues to steadily drip, defying you.

Step 6. Place empty large plastic storage bin at the base of the steps to catch the defiantly dripping water.

Step 7. Investigate the poorly-designed and ineptly-installed faucet assembly in your bathroom to determine the source of the water dripping into the basement . This will be located inside of a lidded ‘built-in’ providing both a much needed shelf area in the woefully-small and inexpertly-laid-out bathroom and, secondarily, as a housing for the faucet assembly to more or less correctly position it at the head of the tub.

Step 8. Vaguely understanding that one of the laws of fluid dynamics states that water seeks its own level, determine that the water appears to be coming from the hot water tap you are certain you had previously turned off, give the tap yet another turn to the right, showing it who is in control. Observe as the leaking ceases.

Step 9. The next day, seeing one of your cats in the bathtub having a nice morning drink of fresh water dripping ever-so-slightly from an unseen source in the general area of the spigot, investigate further to discover that the water appears to be seeping from just behind the handle on the hot water tap. Give it another forceful turn to the right – the tap, not the cat. Observe as the leaking ceases.

Step 10. Having decided you need to replace the washer inside of the hot water tap, locate the small box of various sized rubber washers you knew you had. This should take approximately one hour during which you will find the old jar of plumber’s putty you needed earlier.

Step 11. Drive to the nearest DIY centre and buy a small box of various sized rubber washers.

Step 12. With a flat-blade screwdriver, remove the tiny plastic cap with an H on it in the middle of the hot water tap.

Step 13. With a cross-head or Phillips screwdriver, remove the screw inside the head of the hot water tap.

Step 14. Attempt to remove the hot water tap in much the same way as you have seen it done countless times on DIY programmes or as you have done with other taps any other time.

Step 15. Determining, after copious swearing, that it will not slide off quite easily by hand, or with the invaluable assistance of a Stillson wrench, channel locks, or a flat-blade screw driver, search every conceivable centimetre of it for some sort of hex- or Allen screw holding it in place.

Step 16. Finding no reason for the tap handle to remain in place, return screw to tiny hole in the centre of the tap.

Step 17. Upon discovering the reason the screw will no longer seat correctly or ever stop turning is due to the fact that, in the process of turning it clockwise, the head has come completely off and is only connected to the tip of the cross-head screwdriver via magnetism, return the tiny plastic cap with an H on it back into the centre of the water tap with a firm smack and notice that the water has ceased to drip.

Step 18.  Put away your tools, whereupon you will find the small box of various sized rubber washers you knew you once had, and drink a beer in frustration, pondering, at the same time, just why you quit smoking four years ago or never pursued a romantic endeavour with someone who enjoys DIY projects nearly as much as you – like Amy Matthews or JoAnne Liebeler.

Step 19. Go to the internet and search for helpful tips on plumbing and repairing a leak in your water tap. On YouTube, stumble upon a video series featuring ‘John, on behalf of Expert Village’ and determine that you have done precisely what he suggests but to no avail. Also determine that his uninflected voice and deadpan expression will drive you to thoughts of grievous bodily harm if forced to endure it much longer.

Step 20. Knowing you will need to somehow extract the headless screw inside the tap before you proceed, and recalling that you had once seen an advert about a tool designed just for this purpose, search the internet to no avail.

Step 21. The next day, drive to the nearest DIY centre and ask a seemingly bored and indifferent employee standing idle in the tool department who probably would have ignored you had you not chosen to deliberately walk up to them if the store carry a screw extractor.

Step 22. Explain the essential function of a screw extractor and how it differs from the suggested tool called a ‘screwdriver.’

Step 23. Drive to another nearby DIY centre and engage in conversation with a more knowledgeable expert who directs you to the correct tool.

Step 24. Returning home, locate your hand drill. This should take approximately 30 minutes as you are resourceful and are learning where the children of your ex ‘stored’ things so that they may be easily found.

Step 25. Locate the chuck key to properly remove the last used and now rusted drill bit from the drill. This should take approximately 30 minutes.

Step 26. Using a hammer and channel locks, try to extract the rusted drill bit from the drill. This may be done in two sessions of approximately 15 minutes each and may include a walk onto the back porch to have a strong word with The Universe.

Step 27. Drive to the nearest DIY centre and once more find the seemingly bored and indifferent employee standing idle in the tool department who probably would have ignored you had you not chosen to deliberately walk up to them and ask if the store carry replacement chuck keys.

Step 28. As the employee  points to them – conveniently located on a bottom shelf at roughly ankle height – ask if the keys are, by chance, universal to save yourself the necessity of squatting down to have a closer look. Because the employee is shaking his head – an action you cannot hear as you are facing the indicated chuck keys – turn to him and repeat the question to discover that, no, they are not universal.

Step 29. Squatting to peruse the indicated ankle height shelf in attempt to correctly determine which of the six offered sizes of chuck keys you will need, notice that on the left side of the shelf there are several different varieties of screw extractors hanging there just exactly as you were told there weren’t by the seeming bored and indifferent employee during your pre
vious visit.

Step 30. As you drive home, consider disposal options for the potential body of the seeming bored and indifferent employee of the nearest DIY centre.

Step 31. Finding that you have chosen your new chuck key very wisely, place fresh drill bit in the drill and return to the bathroom.

Step 32. As the cord on your drill will not allow you to reach the vicinity of the hot water tap, locate an extension cord. This should take approximately 1 minute, as the extension cord had been recently used for another purpose and is blessedly close at hand.

Step 33. Remembering to shut off the water supply to the hot water tap, remove the lid to the ‘built-in’ housing the faucet assembly which more or less correctly positions it at the head of the tub and determine there is no shut-off valve provided for neither the hot nor the cold water tap.

Step 34. Travelling to the basement, being sure to take note of the relatively small amount of water collected in the large plastic storage bin at the base of the steps to catch the defiantly dripping water, trace the route of the hot water pipe from below the tub to locate nearest shut-off valve.

Step 35. Continue to trace the circuitous route of the hot water pipe far into the small room which houses your furnace and water heater, determining that the only shut-off to the faucet assembly in your bathroom is the shut-off for the entire water system of your house.

Step 36. Knowing that you have devoted entirely too much time to this project and that the idea of draining a 60 gallon water heater only to replace a 2¢ rubber washer errs on the side of being unnecessarily expensive as well as somewhat impractical, loudly curse the ineptitude of the imbecile who poorly designed and ineptly installed the plumbing in your house. Colourful expletives, including potentially difficult and clumsy ways in which this person might have intercourse with non-stationary baked goods, may be used. Throwing something is suggested.

Step 37. Thinking you might be able to replace the washer without disrupting the flow of water to the whole of your house and wasting more than 60 gallons of hot water, plug in the drill to find that it no longer functions and that the reason the last-used bit had rusted in place was due to the fact that the drill had apparently been immersed in water the last time flood water backed up into your basement and no-one bothered to tell you. This may also include a journey to the back porch to have another word with The Universe.

Step 38. Return to the basement for another look at the large plastic storage bin at the base of the steps to catch the defiantly dripping water and decide that the water being collected amounts to less than what is typically wasted in the average washing of dishes or brushing of teeth and that it could easily be reclaimed for other purposes until you decide to resume this project at a later date and with some assistance.

Step 39. Drink beer.

5 Responses to 39 Steps To Fixing a Leaking Water Tap

  1. Anastasia says:

    Thanks for a great read and a good laugh! I guess we all need a Richard Hannay to get us out of a …sticky situation 🙂 I like step 39 best..even though I don’t like beer very much.

  2. Plumbing says:

    The steps are very detailed and I find it really good. I wonder if anyone would not get what the steps are trying to say. Anyway, thank you for the good post.

  3. I liked all the steps..And thank you for the good post..All the steps are explained in detail..

  4. I thought having to go through 39 steps would be difficult, but your detailed writing style helped me pull through. 😀 I’m very keen on details when it comes to bathroom problems, and I quickly look for a solution to keep things from getting worse. Thanks!

  5. Water is a precious and expensive resource, however it is an essential part of everyday life. Fixing a tap is committed to developing water saving initiatives to ensure all households can save water and help the environment, as well as saving money.

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