"I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul." Jean Couteau

Saturday, May 3, 2014

what happens when you pull your car too far into the garage

Back in December, we cleaned the rest of the old furniture out of our garage, so Zach's car could finally live in there. Of course, there's still a lot of stuff in the garage, and it's just barely big enough. The lawnmower lives on Zach's side of the garage, and he pulls right up to it, leaving about 3 inches between then back of his car and the closed garage door. Sometimes, he pulls in a little too far and nudges the lawnmower. Last week, he pulled in a little more too far and nudged the lawnmower into the water spigot, bending the knob attachment. I came home from work the next day to a mini river flowing from the hose out to the driveway because, with that attachment bent, the knob wouldn't fully close anymore.

  After turning off the water to that spigot, I easily took the knob attachment out, just by unscrewing it. I was hoping to only have to replace that part because attempting to unscrew the entire faucet+pipe was not successful. Unfortunately, the plumbing guy at Home Depot (who was extremely nice and helpful and talked to me at just the right level of knowledge) said that wouldn't really work. For starters, you can't just buy that inner piece. Plus, he said that if you just replaced that part, you couldn't really be sure that you got a good seal inside. So besides getting me the faucet+pipe piece I needed, he also recommended a penetrating lubricant (insert dirty joke here) to attempt to get the existing pipe to budge.

Now the fun could begin. In order to reach the oil back to the pipe fitting, I had to rip out some drywall. And it turned out to be super-thick drywall, about an inch thick, so cutting through it was not easy. Between a box-cutter, hacksaw, rubber mallet, and lots of elbow grease, I finally got enough drywall out that I could reach in and find the screw end of my pipe. 

I sprayed it liberally with the penetrating oil, let it sit and penetrate for a few minutes as instructed, hooked on my wrench, and attempted to turn. No luck. More oil, more waiting, more no movement. Eventually I gave up and waited for Zach to get home. I held the wrench while he gripped the faucet with some pliers and attempted to turn. No luck. More oil, still nothing. More oil, still nothing, other than Zach yanking so hard that I lost my grip on the wrench, which then smashed into my finger. At this point, we gave up again to wait until we could enlist help from our wonderful friend, who has helped me many times in the past (with this, and this, plus various other smaller things that haven't made it into this blog). 

The next evening, our friend came over, and between two strong men and two pairs of pliers, they finally got that pipe unscrewed! 

It turned out that the pipe/faucet that the Home Depot guy had picked for me was longer than what we had, so with pipe in hand, I went back to Home Depot and traded it in for a shorter one. It turned out they didn't have one that was actually the same length, but the shorter one wasn't MUCH shorter, and I already knew there was some wiggle room, so I went with that. 

We already had some Teflon tape, which I wrapped around the threaded end of the pipe for sealing help. I screwed it in by hand as tightly as I could, then enlisted Zach's help again to tighten it further with me holding the end still with pliers and Zach screwing the pipe in. We turned the water on and no leaking! Success!

Unfortunately, this project was still not done. As you can see from the above photo, there was still a hole in the wall. Since the drywall was so thick, I figured I could just screw the one side back in and glue the rest of it back together. And since it's in the garage and doesn't need to look nice, I decided to not even mud over it this point. This turned out to be less easy than anticipated, but eventually I got it closed up enough for a garage wall.

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