Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

A simple fix to an annoying problem

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Greg Peck
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I’ve admitted here before that I don’t consider myself the handiest guy around. Sure, I worked part time as a teenager for a home builder, but it was a lot of grunt work. I was able to rebuild our rotting deck on the back side of our house a few years ago, but when it comes to certain tasks, I’d rather not touch them.

I read a recent column by Laura Kreutzer in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that suggested do-it-yourself projects can be divided in two categories. If it’s carpentry or minor repairs, perhaps an unskilled homeowner can tackle them. If the job involves messing with gas lines, wiring or pipes, a task that, done wrong, might damage the house, it could be time to call in the experts.

Drip, drip, drip. It was driving me crazy, that leaky kitchen faucet. Heck, a buddy helped me install it perhaps 10 years ago. It wasn’t THAT old. Why is it dripping already? The lone handle swivels. “See?” my wife said helpfully. “You just have to twist it the right way when you turn it off, and it won’t drip.”

Sure. Then the next time I walk past, I see it drip, drip, dripping, or running a slow trickle.

If you’re like me, you have a file stuffed with appliance and yard tool maintenance manuals. Before calling a plumber, I thought to check that file.

Sure enough, I still had the paperwork to that Delta faucet. I thumbed through it and found a “maintenance” section that suggested two repair kits, “ball assembly” and “seats & springs,” for when the faucet leaks from the spout.

I took the manual to Menard’s and asked a clerk to lead me to the right repair kits, and he found them.

With a shutoff valve below the sink and a set of allen wrenches in my workshop to disassemble the faucet, I was optimistic.

No more than 20 minutes later, the new parts were in place, the faucet was reassembled and…no more drip!

It took a little time, but little more than $10 in parts.

Sometimes, I guess, if you keep those maintenance manuals and have any skill and tools at all, you can avoid calling in the expensive experts.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Last updated: 9:25 am Monday, April 29, 2013

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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