Small House Big World


The Ghost of Sinks Past

Anna Edgren • May 29, 2015

As you may have read previously, Kelly and I managed to pull off a little DIY painting project where we updated our sink and shower.

The sink in question.

The sink in question.

We have been pretty happy with how everything turned out, but one unintentional consequence reared its ugly head. When we painted the sink, we had to take the faucet off entirely to get into the appropriate crevices, and then put it back on later when everything had dried. When we got the faucet back in its place, we noticed that it had begun leaking underneath the cabinet. Nothing serious, just occasional drips whenever the faucet was turned on.  We put a bucket under it and resolved to fix it sooner rather than later. 

The time came and Kelly put on his handyman overalls and got to work (OK, he doesn’t have handyman overalls, but that would be funny). He figured he just needed to tighten things up a bit – he must not have gotten them together quite right in putting things back together. As I sat casually browsing the internet from the other room, I began to hear curses and swears. I then heard the unmistakable sound of rushing water, followed by Kelly running at high-speed out of the bathroom screaming unintelligibly about me grabbing another bucket (we don’t HAVE another bucket…?). He zipped outside and shut off the water, and I took a towel into the bathroom to clean up about an inch of water in the cabinet. Turns out this won’t be such an easy fix after all.

Off to Home Depot we went. Kelly picked out the appropriate parts to fix things while I tested out lawn chairs (all in a day’s work).  We came back and resumed our positions – mine on the couch and Kelly’s under the sink. After a few quiet minutes Kelly asked me to go outside and turn the water back on. I flipped the switch and immediately hear: “TURNITOFFTURNITOFF”, with water spraying everywhere once again. After some additional tightening, things were decidedly WORSE than they had been pre-Home Depot trip. The piece that Kelly had added to the mix was NOT doing what it was supposed to. To make matters worse, it was stuck on and couldn’t be removed. After lots of pushing and pulling and twisting to no avail, Kelly decided to try to unscrew the sink entirely to get better access to the stuck piece. Seemed like a good idea, until the plastic sink itself cracked right down the middle of the bowl. So much for our pretty new sink!

At this point there were comments thrown around like: “…Should have just left it dripping!!!” and “Don’t know why you had to have this fixed!!!” Which I am sure were said only in the heat of the moment of course. 

Off to Home Depot take 2. We needed to get new parts, as it turns out these were the WRONG parts, clearly. Not to mention we needed to pick up some epoxy to fill the crack in the sink. Talked to an extraordinarily helpful man at Home Depot, who got us totally different parts and gave us some advice on how to fix it up. Apparently we had been trying to fix our 1993 sink with 1993 plumbing parts. What we really needed to do was get some 2015 plumbing parts in there, history be damned.

We got back and Kelly managed to put humpty dumpty back together again. New pieces in. Everything screwed on tight.  Another consequence we did not foresee: All of the movement during this process loosened up the edges of the sink and it simply would not lay back down flat where it once had been. The easiest option was just to screw it back into place, so screw it we did. Then of course we had to rub epoxy over the crack. Nothing about this was pretty, but dammit it works.

Well, worked. Past tense. About 10 minutes after we declared victory, Kelly noticed that the sink was now leaking around the faucet – in an entirely new place. No, I am not joking.

Off to Home Depot take 3: The solo journey. This time Kelly went alone. A girl can only do so much. He picked out a brand new faucet and brought it home, popped that baby in there, and my god, this time everything finally worked. No drips. Miracle. 

The sink looks… OK. The grand irony being that the only reason we touched it in the first place was to make it look prettier, and now it looks… a little rough. So – oh well. Lessons learned. Plumbing practice gathered. At least the sink is functional again. We’ll take it. 

At least the new faucet is shiny. Let's focus on that.

At least the new faucet is shiny. Let’s focus on that.

DIY RVrv plumbingrv sink repair

Anna Edgren • May 29, 2015

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  1. envious ;-) May 29, 2015 - 8:42 pm Reply

    Thanks for the great read!
    Your sink looks fabulous by the way
    (Anna, I don’t know WHY you were so worried about a stupid little drip πŸ™‚ )
    And Kelly, great job!
    Plumbing is almost as much fun as automotive mechanics for me.
    It is especially irritating when working with cheap plastic plumbing parts.
    The new faucet looks much better, yes, lets focus on that. πŸ˜€

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