After I took out all of our cleaning supplies and various randoms that have somehow ended up underneath the kitchen sink (like steam cleaning liquid -- we don't have a steam cleaner), I was fully ready to tackle my first big plumbing project.
That's not completely true. I installed the toilet in the master bathroom, which was no small feat. So call this my second.
Here's what under the sink looked like without all the crap in the way:
Yeah. Drink that in for a second.
We discovered that not only was the old faucet spraying water all over creation on top of the sink, but also below.
Now, because I know nothing about plumbing, I have no idea if this set up is legit or not. But I can tell you it's a holy pain in the ass to get to the parts I needed to in order to disconnect the faucet ... which was up behind the main drain pipe towards the back:
You can kind of see it better in this photo, but here's a better angle:
My camera was sitting on the PVC pipe to get this photo, which I had to blast out in Photoshop so you could even see what I had to deal with. Which, in a nutshell, was corroded copper pipes and fittings in something much more akin to pitch darkness, up behind the backs of the dual basins of the underside of the sink.
Also discovered at this point that my sink is stamped to be from 2002. I was all relieved for a minute that that meant the sink wasn't so old, after all (and gave a small window into the time frame in which this kitchen was added/renovated) but then had the swift punch in the gut that 2002 was TEN YEARS AGO and HOLY EFFING BEEBUS I'M GETTING SO OLD SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP. In some ways that makes this sink far less cool because I thought it was old as crap and just holding up as well as it could, which was awesome from an old-house-kitsch standpoint, but now it's just a decade old and not holding up as well as it should. Of course.
Reeling it back in, let's take a real good look at that water damage for a minute:
Now added to the list: finding what I did with that Contact paper from five years ago and re-doing this cabinet floor since replacing it sadly isn't going to happen any time soon. :(
Any DIY plumber can tell you that before you start a project, it's best to have a couple of things on hand after you make sure you've turned off either your local water source, or to be safe, the water to your whole house -- that's a bucket and some towels. Even if you turn on the faucet after you've cut the main water to drain what's in the pipes and tubes, chances are there's still some fun goodness stuck up in those passageways that just didn't have the pressure from surging water to make them reach an outlet, like your kitchen faucet.
Read: You Will Get Wet On This Ride.
I had sent Kyle to Home Depot to return some stuff we didn't need in order to get silicone caulk and a couple other randoms (including a bucket for cleaning purposes since ours are all either broken or have cement or grout or some other permanent compound gunked all up in it), so I was completely on my own for this one, and without a proper bucket.
So I made do.
In the true spirit of DIY and impatience, I dumped out the kids' Little Mermaid sand castle/gardening set (which was actually mine -- I got it for my high school graduation, shut up) and Ariel and I braced ourselves to get a little wet and dirty.
OUT. OF. THE GUTTER.
It's actually a really heavy duty bucket with a sturdy yet removable handle and maybe this isn't the first time I've used this bucket for non-sand-castle-slash-gardening-needs. You learn to make do and make it work, you know?
Of course you do.
Just like I haven't had to tell you that this was during naptime because as parents of littles, you have to work in small windows of time or lose sleep. We can't afford to lose any more sleep.
PS, if you look closely in that photo, you can see the hose that goes to the sprayer head leaking. For at least five years, that's been going on and somehow we've missed it. Please let this result in a reduction in our water bill.
Anywhoodle, I get my adjustable wrench and a vice grip and I position myself into that pile of gross a couple of pictures up in a weird kind of half-bridge move which, as you can imagine, is less than comfortable, and I get going disconnecting water lines and removing escutcheons and doing my minor-plumbing thing, ladeedah look at me go WHEEEE when, much to my non-surprise, I discover that the water damage underneath the faucet is far worse than I had previously noticed.
Mainly, that the escutcheon holding on the center cylinder of the faucet had rusted and corroded beyond a simple removal:
Oh, and for shits and giggles, the countertop is rotting right there. And if you push too hard, the whole sink moves, meaning it's ever been properly adhered in place.
For all of the places they used high-powered adhesives in this house, you'd think they'd glue a sink in place. Maybe that's not how it's supposed to be done, but it seems to me that if you can move YOUR WHOLE CAST IRON SINK by tugging on a wee bit of flex pipe, things are probably not right somewhere.
I won't let this deter me, oh no, so even though Kyle's still not home I double check the Googles to make sure I'm not missing something huge in the how-to-remove-a-faucet camp (I wasn't) and I decide to go to town with a flat head screwdriver and a hammer -- there obviously was a slot there for a turning mechanism at one time, so maybe I could with enough brute force and simple-tool usage, bust that baby into submission.
Instead, I broke the screwdriver. :(
And that bastard piece of disgusting metal went NOWHERE. My sink shifted back and forth, but that faucet stayed put.
I could do one of two things, really, at this juncture -- wait for Kyle to come home and go about removing this god-awful faucet in a reasonable, team-minded manner, or I could beat the everliving crap out of it and everything around it and hope for the best.
You will have to come back Thursday to see which avenue I pursued.