Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dear Charlie:

Sometimes, I don't know my own strength.

I don't look like that strong a person, but I'm usually the one who ends up changing the bottle on the water cooler at work. I'm usually the one people ask for help moving furniture. Me and Dad have done lots of moving with just the two of us.

But I don't really think I'm that strong. So imagine my surprise when I popped the metal knob off my own shower pull, just by pulling on it.

Okay, so I know my water is gunky. It's why I always have a supply of bottled water to drink. City water always tastes like chlorine, but my city water also has a yuck mineral taste, too. Not like hard water -- I grew up on that stuff and never batted an eye -- but...yuck. Like...rotten minerals. Rotten chlorinated minerals. I just can't get used to it, especially when I see stuff floating in it.

That gunk -- probably calcium -- builds up in the shower's mechanism and makes it hard to pull the little knob. I've tried CLR, Lime-Away, etc., but it just builds right back up again within months. When it gets sticky like that, I use pliers to tug upwards on it. Works like a charm until I can get some gunk-b-gone on it.

But this time, it refused to move, so I just tugged harder. And harder. And...plunk!

Heh. You shoulda seen the look on my face.

But you probably woulda had to plug your ears to keep them from burning.

Anyway, not to be outdone by a mere busted knobby thing, I soaked the faucet in some CLR, then hammered gently at the mechanism underneath, trying to pop it up from that side, but to no avail. I figured if I could get it moving again, I could probably super-glue the knob back on until I could afford to replace the whole thing, but no dice.

I guess it's just baths for me for a while. I usually take baths, so it's no biggie. Just...too bad I need to color my hair. Ironically, that's why I was trying to work the shower in the first place. I wanted to make sure I could get the little dingle-hopper working. I've gotten a little leary of putting anything in my hair without assurance that the shower will be functional enough to wash it out again. Heheh.

So I'll be a little greyer than usual until I can get the darn thing fixed. I'm not gonna try to rinse under the faucet...unless I get really irritated with the grey, which I sometimes do. It usually doesn't bother me -- vain, I am not -- but you never know.

Anyway...anybody know any easy-fix tricks?


At 7:11 AM, Blogger writtenwyrdd said...

I don't believe there's an easy fix for that one. Once the works are shot, you probably have to replace the entire shower assembly behind the wall. You can do it yourself, but you have to go into the wall (I hope you have access from the back!) and go from the entry up. I'd replace the whole works because you might have leaking, which can start mold problems in your wall. You don't want that!

The fix for the high mineral water that tastes nasty and leaves hard water mineralization all over your pipes is an inline water filter or a water softener. The latter is ridiculously pricey, but an inline water filter, which I had on the old house, cost only about $100 to install. The inline filter's carbon cartridges are about $8 apiece and swap out using a special wrench with a twist. We have incredibly hard water where I live, and that did the trick for me.

And your water tastes nice, too.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger GutterBall said...

That's some good information, WW. If I had my druthers, I'd have replaced the whole works long ago. One of these days, huh?

As for the shower, I've found a temporary fix. When more force doesn't work, try less force, right?

So instead of the regular hammer, I found my old tack hammer and tried it. Puk... puk... puk... and the pull went right up. I poured some CLR on a brush and scrubbed off the mineral build-up on the stem, and I do believe I'll be my usual dark-headed self in about an hour. Woot!

Sooner or later, it'll have to be fixed, but at least it works today, right?


Post a Comment

<< Home