Monday, November 21, 2005

Water, Water

This morning I woke up and went to my bathroom to shower, and get ready for work. I turned on the cold water knob in my sink and then the hot water knob. I accidently turned the hot water too much, and water was pouring out and splashed all over my t shirt. I reached for the hot water knob and turned it lower, but the water wasn't stopping. Oh great, I thought to myself. So idiot that I am, I turned the knob the other way and hot water came GUSHING out. I frantically tried to turn the knob off but it wasn't turning off! It was coming out so fast that the drain couldn't keep up. As the sink filled quickly, my eyes grew wider. Images of a flooded bathroom started to flash through my head as the water began to flow out of the sink and on to the counter. I ran to my kitchen and grabbed a mixing bowl and started to empty the water into my bathtub. But I didn't get a big enough bowl and my efforts weren't doing much good at stopping the flood.

I went to get a bigger bowl and grabbed my phone as I ran back to my bathroom. Now we were getting somewhere. My new bowl was working much better as a flood-emptying vessel. But I still had Niagara Falls coming out of my faucet and I couldn't just stand there doing that for the rest of my day. I called downstairs and told my doorman "Can you send someone up here? I have an emergency. My hot water won't turn off!"

The building maintenance guys came up pretty quickly. They looked under my sink but didn't see a valve to shut the water off. I was a little insulted. I know how to look for a valve underneath a sink! I'm not that helpless. One of the guys ran downstairs to see if he could shut it off from the basement. There was a flurry of activity and walkie-talkie discussions. Meanwhile, I just stood there to the background watching them and having my coffee.

Eventually one of the guys was able to turn the center of the hot water knob with his screwdriver and the waterfall reduced to a trickle making my apartment relatively quiet again. Then the guy who went downstairs came back and explained to me that somehow I had broken the valve down in the basement. How I did that, I have no idea. But now the hot water would have to be shut off for the ENTIRE building for the rest of the day. Oh my god. I was so embarrassed. I could picture a sign in the lobby: "Because of Terence, the building does not have hot water today."

I then left for work. Later on in the day, I got a call from the super saying that everything had been fixed, but I'd have to buy a new faucet or just never use hot water at my bathroom sink ever again. That obviously wasn't going to work. I hate washing my hands in cold water. It feels so unhygenic.

So now I have to buy a faucet. This is kind of exciting. I've never really bought any home improvement fixtures like faucets or sconces or appliances or anything like that. There are so many choices for faucets! I had a hard time making up my mind between a two knob or a single handle faucet. Like my friend said, I like the look of two knobs, but I like the functionality of one handle. I also didn't want a faucet with a really short spout. My pet peeve is having to wash hands where you have to touch the sink to get any water on your hands. Another friend of mine said he likes Hansgrohe, but I wasn't too crazy about them. I also looked at Kohler, but I ended up buying a faucet from American Standard. I did end up getting a faucet with one handle and it happens to be the one that my friend said he liked. I didn't want to spend a ton of money considering that I hope i'll be moving out of this apartment in 2 years or so, but it was kind of cool to play homeowner and do stuff like this. I feel so grown up.

7 comments:

j-a said...

i still don't get how you can break a valve by turning on the tap.

EM said...

wait, do you rent or own? because if you rent (which calling it an "apartment" leads me to believe), how is it that YOU have to pay for the new faucet? and how is it that YOU somehow broke a valve in the basement by turning on a faulty faucet in your apartment? something doesn't add up here. i'd be asking for a reimbusement for the new faucet if i were you.

TCho said...

Hi j-a. Who are you? ;-) I'm trying to figure that out. Send me an email (link to the right of my blog).

Believe me, I wish I knew how I broke the valve downstairs. The guys were speaking plumbing language.

Oh and I'll be getting reimbursed from my landlord for the faucet. My landlord lives in Calif, so it's easier if I just get the faucet.

j-a said...

heh heh...i must say i laughed out loud at your comment to mine. i believe you have linked my blog to yours.

TCho said...

j-a--which blog is yours?

TCho said...

j-a--i figured out which blog is yours. Thanks for reading mine!

Anonymous said...

From Jayne: We have Moen faucets, selected by the person who built the house. The amazing thing is, when we needed a part for one about 5 years ago (we have been here about 20 years now), we called them about where we could order one, and they sent us the part FREE. All of our faucets have one control, which I like. It is far easier than some places I have been, where there are two faucets and one does hot and the other does cold and they do not mix at all except in the sink. I feel so blessed some times ...