Well, it turned out that the insides of the faucet mechanism were shot. There’s a notch that’s supposed to keep the ball in place, and it had worn away.
Still, nothing that $100 of new faucet can’t fix.
Oh, and as with the toilet, the pipes needed to be hacksawed off, along with the bolts, as the entire thing had rusted up years ago. Another job I could never have succeeded at. The plumber said it was the worst rusted-in faucet he’d ever seen.
Our kitchen faucet has been leaking annoyingly for months now. Today I tried replacing every single moving part, and the damn thing is still leaking. So I gave up and called a plumber, and they’ll be here this afternoon.
Like the whole toilet fiasco, I find this experience deeply depressing, out of all proportion to the level of drama and shame it warrants. I don’t understand why it even bothers me at all; perhaps it’s just that as an engineer, I feel like I ought to be able to fix mechanical objects myself.
I did fit a new shower head without incident.
Last night, the slow leaking of the toilet became unbearable. I had bought a replacement valve assembly, and decided to fit it. Unfortunately, the metal nuts that held the various pipes in place had rusted solid, and the rubber seals had perished, so after an hour or so I had a toilet that was leaking even worse. I felt like a pathetic worthless loser.
We called and arranged for a plumber this morning. He ended up having to hacksaw the old pipes off of the toilet, which made me feel much better about my inability to remove them with a wrench. I attended a meeting by phone while he sorted things out.
So I got into work late, without having had any morning coffee. No toilet in the morning = no coffee in the morning, for obvious reasons. The afternoon went pretty fast, but I still have a fuzzy head even now.