I heard Mom come in before I was even out of bed (damn you, time change). After eating breakfast (I LEARNED MY LESSON), we stared at the bathroom sink.
"Lemme see if I can get the valves shut off" says she.
Nope. They won't turn. What if we hit them a bit with a wrench? Nope, that didn't work either.
Maybe we wrap them in paper towels soaked in vinegar? Loosen up the calcium deposits?
Nope. Okay, I go shut off the water to the whole house.
For the next hour, all I see is my mother's bottom half lying on my bathroom floor. Her top half is IN the cabinet, and there is swearing and clanging.
Upon emerging, she is wet, dirty, and holding the line that runs from the wall to the faucet. Looks like we're replacing those, too.
We go to Home Depot. We corner some poor plumbing department guy and grill him for information. We buy shutoff valves, and the little flexy hoses, and a new faucet, and plumber's putty.
Upon returning, we discover that we cannot get the old faucet OUT. Nor can we get the little stopper thing out of the drain hole, and the hoses we bought are too long, and the shutoff valves don't seem to fit the pipes coming out of the wall.
Back to Home Depot for some returns and exchanges. We eat tacos so as to fortify ourselves for what is coming.
None of it works. I text my brother.
Hey, what do you know about installing faucets?
Because Mom and I are on hour 4 of this project, and we need help.
"The kids are asleep and Wife isn't home, I'll come over when she gets back."
Sink on hold, I scuttle about trying to complete chores that do not require water. Brother arrives, looking tired like only the father of two boys under age four can look. He stands in the bathroom, forehead furrowed (family trait), and assesses the damage. Sighing, he scoots into the hole under the sink and begins to shuffle around.
At this point, I am useless, so I leave the sink to my brother and mother and go start shuffling furniture around in the den. I have finished enough floor to put my hearth risers back together, and to put the bookshelves back next to the fireplace. I grab Mom to help me move large things.
Brother moseys out of the bathroom, crushed bits of galvanized p-trap in his hand. Well, that's new. I guess we're replacing that, too. He goes to Home Depot. By the time he returns, my den looks ALMOST presentable.
Remember how I said it's an old house, and nothing is easy? Yeah, the pipe coming out of the wall is one and a half inch. The sink drain is one and a quarter. Fantastic. At least I can turn the water on in the rest of the house, even if I can't really trust the drain in my bathroom sink. I don't care at this point, I can brush my teeth in the kitchen.
Still need to get a reducer to properly hook up the drain, but my faucet no longer drips.
As he left, Brother says "next time, save yourself the four hours and call me first?"
He didn't know about the three hours I spent the day before.
Initial problem: Faucet drip.
Theoretical solution: Replace washers in faucet handles.
Actual solution: 9 total hours of work, 4 trips to Home Depot, 2 women with bachelor's degrees, 1 mechanical engineer, 1 new faucet, 1 new p-trap, 2 new shutoff valves, 2 new hose hookups, 1 destroyed bathmat, and I still can't really use the sink.
But it doesn't drip anymore!