Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Loving YouTube and the Internet

As a homeowner, I've often done my own repairs when they're simple.  However, there are certain projects that I've been afraid of int he past and always called in the experts, be they plumbers, electricians, or appliance repair experts.  When we lived in Florida, I had my list of trusty experts that I could call on when needed and knew they would show up at a prearranged time.  Moving to the country has been challenging for two reasons - I don't have a list of dependable people anymore and it's quite a drive that some aren't willing to make.  

A couple of months ago I discovered that our dishwasher had sprung a leak.  In the old days, I would have immediately called someone to repair it.  This time I decided to investigate to see if I could do it myself.  I loosened the bracket that held it to the counter, slid it out, and turned it on.  I immediately saw the problem.  One of the hoses had pinhole leak.  Upon further investigation, I realized the hose was held in place at both ends by simple clips.  Deciding I could fix it myself, I visited one of the big box home improvement stores and located a "universal" hose for much less than the cost of a home service call.  I happily snapped it up and raced home to complete my task.  Unfortunately, universal is not universal.  The hose didn't work.  But I wasn't deterred.  I pulled out my appliance manual and found the description and part number for that brand's hose and did a quick internet search.  I found the part I needed, still for much less than the cost of a service call, and placed an order.  On my next trip into town, I returned the "universal" hose.  A few days later, the correct part arrived and it was simple to remove the old hose and install the new one.  The most difficult part was to get the dishwasher lined up with the cabinet so I could reattach the brackets.  I felt pretty good after the job was done.

A few weeks ago I had another problem.  When I went to use my laundry sink, the faucet snapped off in my hands (I'm not that strong so I'm not sure what went wrong).  "Ah ha!"  I thought to myself; another opportunity to do a home repair.  Again, it wasn't as simple as it sounds and so, several weeks later, the sink still isn't repaired.  One problem is that it is impossible to get to the nuts that connect the faucet to the water supply lines.  There was no wiggle room to maneuver a wrench.  How on earth did they do it?  My first thought was that I had to remove the sink.  Then I remembered that I would also have to disconnect the drain line.  My light bulb moment - perhaps someone had done a YouTube tutorial on this topic.  Yes!  A nice plumber, bless his soul, had made one and even identified the tool - a basin wrench!  Once again, a quick search and there it was.  Another search revealed that big box home improvement stores carry them and they're not expensive.  So on my next trip into town, I'll be bringing one home.  And my laundry sink will soon be ready for duty.

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