Tuesday, February 28, 2012


We noticed the kitchen tap had started to wobble slightly whenever you moved it's spout left or right. Visions of it suddenly coming completely off and spraying a fountain of water twenty feet into the air with me trying to plug it's new outlet with my thumb spurred me on to investigate the cause.

Under the kitchen sink is not the best place in the world. Firstly it contains all our cleaning products neatly tucked away, secondly it's always cold, don't ask me why but every sink I have been under has a distinct coldness as though it's haunted by a recently passed plug or something. Once clear though I could see the underside of the tap, the only problem was I couldn't make out what I was looking at.

I had expected to find a pipe or two for the water and a large nut to tighten it onto the sink, instead I found two pipes, three mini pipes with twists, a large nut that seemed to latch on to nothing and a long brass tube around two inches long. Even worse I had to lay on the floor to see this much and getting my hands too them across the rest of the pipes from the plughole and washer meant I had to perform a spiralling pirouette and flex my joints in a position that can only be described as excruciating.

Twisting various components trying to work out what to do I did manage to raise and lower the plug, disconnect the overflow and burn my fingers on the hot pipe at the same time. It took a while to figure it out as it dawned on me that the last thing I checked, the brass tube, was actually a mechanism to lock the tap to the sink.

Finding it was one thing, finding a tool to do the job was another. For a start it was completely smooth with no grip so using pliers and such was a no, no. At the end was a very small nut shape object around 2mm thick and of a shape that no tool I had would fit it. The inside was hollow so I couldn't shove anything in their either. My only hope was two small grooves cut opposite each other that look liked it could take a screwdriver. There followed a good twenty minutes of searching, checking and cursing every screwdriver I had as each one I tried felt like slipping a glass slipper on a horse.

The gap was massive, my screwdrivers were small. D.I.Y became D.I.Don't until I remembered Ralph. I don't know where Ralph came from but he is a very large flat blade screwdriver that doesn't get out much. I only remembered him because I used him on Bunnyopolis last year then placed him back in his dark corner. Ralph I was sure would do the job.

Well, to cut a long and possibly boring story short, Ralph did work, eventually. The length of Ralph made it incredibly difficult to work in the 3cm cubic space underneath the sink. I had to carefully thread him in followed by my hands then brace myself to get a good grip whilst the hot pipe burnt a new line across my wrists. At the point where my joints were on the verge of dislocation and maximum pain was achieved I felt Ralph turn and the tap tightened.

Phew. Remind me never to hide Ralph again and possibly never to consider being a plumber for a job.

No comments: