It was such a simple plan

The spigot in the tub leaked a bit. Sometimes. For 6-8 months. More usually lately though.

So something had to be done soonishly but these tub fixtures are original to the house, as in 1978, & you know that means that the spigot takes some special sized O ring that they stopped making in 1992 & probably it would just be easier to get a new one & while we’re on the subject I really hate the shower head too & don’t get me started on the mock crystal knob faucet control.


So we decided I’d go buy a new set of fixtures Friday & then DH would take the boys camping early Saturday, leaving me undisturbed to replace the fixtures & shut off the water if necessary.

Friday morning I traveled south and went to the ‘far away’ Lowes. (There are 5 Lowes within a 60 mile distance from my home. There are none within ‘Free Delivery & Set Up’ distance)


And I found this!


But all the boxes had been opened & no one in their right mind buys an open box from a Lowes that is an hour away from their home.

So I left there & headed north and stopped at the “brand new’ Lowes


All their boxes of that model had been opened as well. I didn’t want another model. Well, actually I did want one, I wanted the dark brass one with the giant rain shower head but it was $250 and this model was $58

Saturday DH & the boys eventually left the house and I went to the ‘close by’ Lowes


Where they had the right model in a sealed box.


It was $75 in this Lowes.

Yeah.  Apparently the Lowes 20 minutes north of me is in one district & the one 25 minutes south of me is in a different one, so they price things differently.

So I took the box to customer service & explained my issue & they called the other Lowes, determined the price really was $58 there & charged me that. While the lady was calling I chanced to look at the back of the box


Is that a hacksaw pictured under Tools Required?

Why would you need a hacksaw to replace some fixtures?

(This would be called foreshadowing if this were a novel.)

Despite my sense of unease I took the box home, turned off the water and opened the box.

I have a bad feeling about this.


This seems to imply pipe connecting. I wonder how you get to the pipes? Behind the mock crystal knob plate probably. But ok, I can screw & unscrew pipe threads.

So I went to work. I took off the old shower head, the old spigot and the mock crystal knob but I couldn’t get the plate off


You see that screw? It just spins loosely. But you can’t pull it out. Its attached to something keeping it in there, but letting it spin somehow.

I pondered my options & then gave DH one of those phone calls he loves to get.

“Hey, do we have anything that will cut the head off of a screw? Some thing small, like plier sized. A hacksaw is not going to fit”

After a longish pause that might have been due to cell signal issues he had me describe the problem & said it would have to be drilled out. And right there this fixture replacement thing changed difficulty levels and all work stopped until DH got home Sunday.  I’ll drill holes in wood but I am not comfortable with drilling a screw.  With my luck my hand will slip and I’ll drill a hole right through the tub surround. I hate the tub surround & want to replace it with a tile shower & I worry that subconsciously I might try to sabotage the tub so we have to replace it.

But I want a mud room more.

Sunday DH came home & made short work of the recalcitrant screw


Tin snips are awesome.

Then we saw this


There are no pipes visible at all. So how do you replace the piece? Due to the tin snipping we are beyond the point of no return. We have to replace it and that means…


Yes, a hole in the wall. Oh but wait! Sharp eyed readers may notice something about the piece connected to the pipes that is different about the replacement piece. That’s right! The old piece is female and the new piece is male!

It’s not just replacing the fixtures, it’s gender reassignment surgery.

Now even my shower is male.

Oh, and of course the pipes are glued together. We have to cut the old fitting out & then reattach the pipes with new end pieces to the new fitting. And what about this hole in the wall? Off we went to Lowes. The ‘close by’ one.


and came home with all this


Handy man at work


There was a lot of fitting & sawing & refitting & lining things up and then when everything was just right it was glued down


Oh wait.

Sharp eyed readers might notice that the fitting is turned 90 degrees.


More cutting, fitting & gluing and this time all was well!

Except for that small leak on the hot water side.


It’s more of a small seep than a leak really.

We can’t put the fixture handle on until that is fixed because we can’t screw it down until we’re sure we won’t have to take it apart again. DH needs to get some thing or other that will seal it but it’s late Sunday & so return trip to Lowes is postponed until DH’s lunchtime Monday. The shower is functional, with a pair of pliers to turn the water off & on.

What worries me is that we are just redneck enough to leave it that way, complete with open hole in the wall.

Monday DH failed to make it to Lowes.

Any guesses on when the fixture replacement will be complete?

Please remember, we pulled the trim pieces off the wall in that bathroom in 2005 when we laid down new vinyl flooring & we still have not replaced those trim pieces yet.

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7 comments to It was such a simple plan

  • Simple plans are the worst. One thing just seems to lead to another in my experience. I just brace myself for things to go badly wrong now.
    My other half was just sanding out a small crack in the kitchen ceiling once while I was at work. By the time I got home the entire ceiling was in a neat pile on the floor…

  • Plumbing is one of those things my husband is not allowed to attempt. Anymore. After the incident of the flooded kitchen . . .

  • O dear, why is it the simplest replacement turns into a mountain. But at least we are not the only ones who half finish things. Not including all the things half done in our house (only filled in the holes in hall and kitchen ceiling when we had to replace the whole living room ceiling..took at least 2 years!), we have been saying we will change the garden since we moved in (7 yrs ago). Managed a small patio so far. Neighbours been in less than 6 months and moved the oil drum, covered the whole garden in decking and painted it and he works mon – fri! Ashamed…me??!!!!! LOL

  • Oh I feel your pain. Three weeks ago we discovered our toilet upstairs was leaking – after seeing our downstairs ceiling bowing. The leak has led to two weeks with a contractor pulling up our entire bathroom floor, cutting out a portion of our bathroom wall, and taking out the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom. Allegedly the project will be finished Friday. I am skeptical. I hate the domino effect of fixing anything in our house. Bleh.

  • Oh, boy, poor you! Home improvement projects can be such a pain! I hope you’ll fix things soon and without too much (more) trouble.

  • Hope you get it all sorted soon….I think you’re very brave to have started at all!
    Alison xx

  • SFD

    This, right here, is why I hire someone to do shit like this.