March 21, 2012

Water Pressure, Aerators, & the Apparent Piss

My water pressure in my bathroom sink suddenly shit the bed a couple days ago.  It went from a dripping sink with a crap aerator, to normal water pressure, to little more than the stream from an 80 year old man with prostate issues trying to take a piss in the span of a week.  So, I shot my landlord an email about it.  It’s not a leak, so I can deal with it for a few days if I have to.  Plus, I wanted to ask about the status of a couple other things I needed to have done around my place anyway.

I got a reply back a few hours later.  He’d been talking to the maintenance guy about getting to some of the other things I’d brought up anyway, so he said that it wouldn’t be too hard to look at the sink at the same time.  Though, he mentioned that it was probably something in the aerator since we’d been working on the pipes in there and might have jarred some sediment loose.  Ok, fair enough.  I can see that being the case.  Especially since the repair guy had to beat on the shutoff valves to get them to turn.  So, at the landlord’s urging, I gave the “simple” task of unscrewing the aerator and washing out any sediment a try.  That was dumb.


 The fact of the matter is that water and I have a love/hate relationship.  Well, not water, but plumbing.  It seems like everything that broke as a homeowner was somehow water related.  The spigot in the front yard, the dishwasher, the water heater, the toilet and the sprinklers.  Hell, we had to replace the shed in the back yard because the sprinklers were soaking it to the point it rotted out.  If it had water in it, it needed attention in a very expensive way.   I love indoor plumbing, but I really need to be sleeping with a plumber.

So, anyway, I had been in the bathroom, putting towels away at the time.  I think it was about 9:00 at night, and I got a wild hair.  This should be easy!  I’m already in the bathroom.  Let’s give this whole DIY thing a shot.  So, I grabbed the faucet and twisted.  Nothing.  Hmmm...  So, I looked at it, pondered if my pliers would work, and then decided to give it another try.  I eventually did get the aerator to come loose.  I looked in it, and it seemed clean to me.  I knocked it against the sink a couple times and nothing gross came out.  Hmmm.  Well, there went that thought for where the pressure loss is coming from.  So, I screwed the cap back on.  Now, being somewhat intelligent, I tested the installation.  Aaaaand, it didn’t work.  A jet of water came rushing out of the front of the aerator’s joint between it and the faucet, hitting me right at crotch level.  I now have bad plumbing AND look like I just pissed myself.  I took the cap off and tried to screw it on a little tighter the second time.  Gooseggs.  I still have a broken faucet.  I gave up, took the cap off, put it on the back of the sink, and went back to watching The Longest Yard, or whatever movie was on the last channel the TV was on when I left the house that morning.  I shot the landlord a message telling him that the easy task bested me, and I’ll be sure to eat my crow in front of the repair guy next time I see him.  Case closed, right?  Nope.

At the time this all went down, I didn’t have any plans to see the guy I’m seeing that night.  He works late, and I figured he’d eventually need more then the 4 hours of sleep he’d get if he comes over to stay with me.  However, between then and midnight, those plans changed and he was headed over after quitting time.  I’d gotten a snooze in while I was waiting for the drier, I can dig getting 4 hours of sleep before my alarm goes off.  

Well, I hear him let himself in around 12:30 and head to the bathroom.  I was mostly asleep when he came in, so I didn’t do the math.  I hear the toilet flush, and the squeak of the faucet turning, followed immediately by a yelp of surprise when the water sprayed out in every direction but down.  I’ll admit, I laughed.  I did.  And then I felt bad and tried to stifle the giggle.  That only made it worse and I ended up laying there just snorting through my nose, trying to be quiet.  (I’m sorry sweetie.  I was mostly asleep, and that yelp was adorable.  And now you know why I had that goofy ass smirk on my face for the next 15 minutes after you came to bed.)  I guess I should call the landlord and find out when I can get that looked at sooner rather than later.

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