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Infuriating lack of ability to fix things today. - Nothing to See Here

Oct. 11th, 2008

03:02 pm - Infuriating lack of ability to fix things today.

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I decided to fix 3 things today.

(1) We have an exterior light on the side of the house which is operated by a switch inside the garage. The switch was taped down in the off position. When I removed said tape, a while back, it turned out that when switched to the "On" position, it flickered, obviously not a good connection.

Today, I bought a simple 2-way light switch (white) for $0.59, and a face plate (white) for $0.22. I turned off the power at the breaker box, removed the old switch, hooked up and installed the new switch, and voila! It worked. Took a bit of time to figure out (urox noticed the slot to push a screwdriver into to release them) how to release the wires from the old switch, but it didn't take too terribly long.

(2) I decided to replace the broken garbage disposal with a unit I bought from Costco.com.

I tried to begin removing the old In-Sink-Erator 333 (1/2hp) using instructions that I found via google, but after managing to turn the slip-joint nut, I completely failed to turn a screw connecting the drain tube to the disposal. I gave up. I called our Home Warranty people. They are arranging a plumber to come out, but I probably won't even hear from them until Monday, let alone have it fixed. This is a pain in the neck because for the time being now, we get backwash into the sink if we run the dishwasher.

(3) I decided to replace the shower "neck" in the master bathroom.

The story behind this is that the people who did the carpet cleaning (but didn't properly wash the soap/whatever /out/) and supposed "deep cleaning" of the house (which was cursory at /best/; non-existent mostly) ... well, let's just say we were rather horrified to find that the shower head, still attached to the "neck" which normally stays firmly rooted into the wall, was sitting in the soap tray when we next visited the house after they were there.

I was angry about this (as well as the truly pathetic job they did -- what a ridiculous waste of our money), but they said that "[they] didn't put it back in because it was corroded, they couldn't clean it better, and maybe we would want to buy a new one". Ok, so that sounded vaguely reasonable. I bought a new neck, for all of $5 or $6 at Home Depot. I have had it for a week or so now.

I went to install it just now. I went to remove any pipe tape from the threads of the pipe in the wall and dry it before applying pipe tape to the new neck and screwing it in to the pipe in the wall. "How odd, no threads? I don't get this." Looked at the new neck, and it's definitely threaded on the end, definitely needs to go into a threaded end of the pipe. Try to see if it will somehow fit. No. Fetch the old neck (with old shower head still attached). THEY BROKE THE &(*^@^&)!#% THING OFF IN THE PIPE IN THE WALL! ARGH! They didn't own up to this. I have to discover this a couple of weeks later? Scumbags!

I wonder how the hell you get a broken off bit of externally-threaded pipe out of an internally-threaded pipe that is part of the plumbing in the wall.

Perhaps something like the reverse of pliers, such that you put it in, expand it, and turn?

Current Location: Fremont, CA
Current Mood: infuriatedinfuriated

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:urox
Date:October 12th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
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Drainage problem solved for now. Cause was due to painter people putting our WALLPAPER down the drain and clogging in. I suspect we will not have a backflow problem from the dishwasher now that I've fished out all the pieces.
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[User Picture]
From:mavjop
Date:October 12th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
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Yay!
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[User Picture]
From:spitgirl
Date:October 13th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
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Google knows everything... I think this blog entry might help you with the whole shower head thing.

http://toolmonger.com/2006/07/01/sprinkler-repair-kit/
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[User Picture]
From:mavjop
Date:October 13th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
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I don't know if the tools in there would be directly useful, but thank you for the URL! :) It sent me off in the right direction with Google search terms. I found various things including this page on plumbersurplus.com listing "pipe and nipple extractors" (sounds a little scary!) which I think may be just the ticket.

We have a plumber coming out to replace (hopefully!) the garbage disposal. I thought I might have them give an opinion on it while they're here. Perhaps it'll be a 2 minute quick fix for them that they won't even charge for, or perhaps they'll tell me where to get what I need.

Talking to people at Home Depot got me no useful ideas and one employee almost gleefully telling me we would have to cut a huge hole in the wall. No thank you!
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[User Picture]
From:mavjop
Date:October 13th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
http://www.waltontools.com/tips/reps.htm would seem to support my early optimism that a pipe extractor is what I need...
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