Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trials of a Domestic maintenance engineer

We have an old house, a very old house. We have lived in it for a LONG time (30+ yrs). It was a fixer upper when we bought it, and I think it has aged back into a fixer upper again. I have heard, and it has been roughly my experience, that "things" last about 8 years. Thus I usually write the purchase date on appliances such as water heaters, washers, dryers and I should have put one on our new furnace that replaced our aged furnace that started "acting up" just before a forecast cold snap.

So small jobs accumulate. A leaky shower valve, "fixed" but still not right. Then last night while playing with Lily, I hopped (do NOT try to visualize) a bit in the hallway to get her to run away, and CRASH! down came the glass globe from the ceiling light. (OK, maybe I need to lose some weight).

So this afternoon I dismantled the valve, and put another new washer in it. The washer worked perfectly, however, now the valve stem leaked horrendously. (Horrendously = I won't be able to BS Moonrabbit that it's SUPPOSED to do that for lubrication purposes) So off to hardware store #1 for a new complete valve kit and a replacement globe for the light. Found the kit eventually($4), then found globe that LOOKED like it was the right size ($9). It was on a top shelf, and when I tried to grab it, it rolled to the back. Get help. Get home, the diameter is 1/4 inch too big, but I have already taken off the labels. I know the other globes they had would be too small, so it's off to hardware store #2 across town, but there are some other things I need in the neighborhood. They don't have the other thing I need, and when I find the globes, they don't have the size I need. They DO have a NEW base ($3)which would fit the new globe. My old base may be out of date?

I get home, reassemble the valve with the other new parts it needed, it seems to work properly. Then I tackle the light fixture. I SO enjoy working over my head, literally and figuratively. The best description of what followed is the old adage about a monkey having relations with a football. Dropped screws, connectors, drill (as a power screwdriver) etc. Anyway it works now.


  1. OK key question -- How many times do you have to be reminded by your spouse to take on a fix-it project? Or are you a self-starter? :)


  2. I believe I have fifth amendment rights which I wish to invoke.

  3. Hi I just found your blog , its full of pictures of cats and the sea , a bit like mine although mine is based in UK ... I will be back ! You have some great photography .

  4. We've been in our house for about 30 years, and no kidding about everything breaking down in cycles... we are on our 2nd remodel project since we first bought the place (also a fixer upper, possibly decorated by 5 blind people.) The fun just never ends, right?