If you are fortunate (unfortunate), enough to find yourself with some time to consider a bit of home improvement, or under pressure to carry out, what appears to be a minor repair, then it is possibly best to consider more…………a lot more!?
How can it be that ‘a bit of diy’, is usually far more and within the tap of a hammer, or a turn of a wrench, all hell can break loose!
For example, I remember a phone call from my father, who had inadvertently cut through an electric cable! What appeared to be an unsightly and innocuous length of wire, which should have been removed years ago, was in-fact an integral part of my parents electric supply!
Having survived over forty years in the building trade, with just a few scary encounters, my father wasn’t really that affected by his potentially shocking experience; however he was somewhat annoyed that the fibers on the top of his slippers were charred!
To follow in my fathers diy footsteps, is really quite an indescribable experience. I tend to prefer water to electric, though I wouldn’t say that one is any less unpredictable than the other! A dripping tap was to lead to several rather bizarre twists and turns, which I could have done without on what should have been, a relaxing weekend.
Logically, it would seem appropriate to call out a plumber, however we were still recovering from our last encounter with a heating engineer, who thought installing and maintaining heating systems, was comparable to guiding a space shuttle to land on an undiscovered planet, in a different solar system in some unmapped star registry, with the aid of just a scientific calculator and a packet of wine gums!
The mood was not improved, when the engineer was ignorant enough to remark that my heavily pregnant and therefore very swollen girlfriend, “looked like a man”!
I eventually found myself trawling the Internet for a diy guide to changing a washer on a mixer tap. The instructions, along with a video guide, presented by a man in a suitably wise beard, seemed quite easy and I thought, “why not, it’s got to be worth a try”!
Fortunately, there were two isolation valves on the hot and cold feeds to the taps, so in the event that I should totally mess up, I would be saved by the valves.
After dismantling the tap, I discovered that one of the rubber rings, which controlled the water flow, was broken, so it appeared to be a straight forward repair.
The problems started, when I found myself visiting six diy shops, in search of a rubber O-ring, which proved to be as illusive and destructive as its namesake, in the sequel to the hobbit! It seems that the whole mixer tap was a bizarre, generic product, which was imported from overseas and only ever designed for a one off installation.
Following attempts to use several, slightly larger, slightly smaller, slightly wider and slightly thinner o-rings, which involved removing and re-instating the mixer tap numerous times, I eventually started to rage with anger. Following several swear words, and a long period of sporting a red face, complete with bulging eyes, I did what any true professional would do; I gave up!
A second plumber was eventually called and to my girlfriend’s relief, he was a really nice man. He took a quick look at what was once an elegant swan neck shaped mixer tap and said “ere”, “ooh”, “it’s all bent”!
My girlfriend, who had been tasked with receiving the plumber, in order to save my embarrassment, tried to keep a straight face, as she attempted to pass off the severely vandalized mixer tap, as “having always looked misshapen”, although it was difficult to disguise such destruction!
There are many things in life, which are worth trying once, some of them several times, but diy is one of those joy’s, which are worth delaying and for as long as possible!