Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Less Bob Vila and More Tim "The Toolman" Taylor

It's been a while since my last home improvement project but I just finished up a home fix it project and thought I would share.

Late last week my kitchen sink started leaking a bit and I had to investigate to see what the deal was. "What had happened was..."

The seal that keeps the sink strainer connected to the piping below had dried out and was no longer sealing. You can see the old, dried putty (I assume) in the picture below.

You see all that rusty/brownish-white stuff? Well, you're not supposed to see that because that's the stuff that holds the pieces together. Before I realized that this was the problem I tried to tighten the lock-nut that holds everything together and as nature (and my luck) would have it, I completely broke it. You can see it below in the 3 pieces that I broke it into.

Here are some pics I took while I was taking it apart along with a shot of everything once I got everything separated.

Once I realized what was wrong I started to think: "Maybe I can save myself some money on a plumber and put it back together on my own (who wants to pay a plumber, right)".

So I started checking everything out to see if it was a plausible thought that I could actually fix this on my own. It's one thing to think you can fix something but you also don't want to mess things up to the point where you do some real damage (read: expen$$$$ive damage).

But after looking at (and making some assumptions) about how things were connected I decided I'd give it a shot. After getting all the supplies from Home Depot, I read the instructions on the back of the strainer box and it laid everything out in simple enough terms so I went into everything with a little bit of confidence. I mean I do have an engineering degree for goodness sakes! LOL.

Here's a shot of everything I had to buy to put it back together with a proper seal.

I was fortunate enough to only have to buy some plumber's putty and the strainer (it came with all the pieces that needed to be replaced). So it turned out this wouldn't be as complicated a job as I had expected. The first thing I did was clean off the old dried up putty from the hole in my sink. Then I replaced it with a new layer of putty. I think I used a bit too much but it's easy to clean off the excess (I didn't know it would be as easy to clean off as it was initially so I was happy that it was easily removable).

This is a pic of me making sure that the new strainer would fit.

After that I applied the layer of plumber's putty.

After that I put the strainer in place. During this part I had to press down pretty hard on the strainer to ensure that there was a good seal so I used the end of a spare pipe to press down on the strainer and get a good seal on everything.

From there I had to do all the work under the sink to connect the piping back together properly. This was the toughest part of all.

Here's how it looked from above once I put everything back together.

I had to remove the excess putty but once I did that, VOILA!

And that is my second home project that I'm just a smidgeon proud of (smidgeon, eh?).


chantele said...

go 'head, mike! it is very rewarding when you've completed a home improvement or maintenance project. when i changed out my bathroom faucet, i basically reversed engineered it like you did. i was quite impressed when the isht didn't leak and flood my living room! lol.

Nubian said...

This is probably the most excitement I've ever seen regarding a home improvement project. I'm glad you didn't call a plumber because they would have laughed then charged you up the wazoo just for needing one for such a small job. At any rate - congrats.

Oh, yeah, I did say "wazoo"!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Chanty: It was pretty rewarding. Until something happens and I realize I screwed it up and it only works for like 3 months. But until then....SCHWEEEET!

Nubian: "YES! I AM VERY HAPPY TO BE HERE!"...I was excited just like Eddie Murphy was when he said that on Coming to America! "F*CK YOU TOO!"

smh @ wazoo.

Tamecia said...

The best part of engineering degrees is the blind faith one has in themselves that projects "Can't be that complicated," lack of fear of failure, and the perseverance to never be conquered (Because that plumber money could be used for alcohol).


Anonymous said...

LOL, you are 100% correct Mecia. You know I was sitting there like: "I can see how all this stuff goes together so I'm pretty sure I can disassemble and put it back together." Like Chantele said, reverse engineer.

And touché to your comment about where the plumber money can go/went, LOL.