TGIF: Plumbing Is Fun

\"\"Products and companies can inspire a lot of passion. It’s always nice to see consumers forge lifelong relationships with products or brands they love. But there’s another way passion can play out. In some cases, a single bad experience can make a company dead to you forever.

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This week I finished installing two new bathroom faucets. I’m always a bit leery of plumbing projects, but I felt that installing faucets was well within my capabilities. I was right.

Step one, however, was to remove the old faucets, which I was sure would be even easier than the install – destroying is always easier than creating, right? And on that I was horribly, terribly, disastrously wrong. I won’t go into the details, but just know that removing the old faucet took about ten times longer than the install, and required the use of tools, including a drill and a hacksaw, I would have never imagined. You might blame the difficulty on my plumbing incompetence (many times you’d be right), but in this case I have an army of youtubers who back me up. The Moen faucet I was removing is infamous, and the time (20+ years in service) and other factors (very hard local water, which made parts fuse together) involved made it worse than any of the videos I viewed. I won in the end, but it came at a high cost.

Yes, I’m talking about you, Moen. We’re done. I’m sure you fired the misguided designer behind the Moen Monticello faucet long ago, but his painful legacy lives on. Your name will forever evoke the tears, the smashed fingers, and the desperate frustration I felt this week. It’s over.

The stress and emotion of removing these two faucets left me vulnerable. I was the perfect candidate for a rebound.

Enter Pfister. Its Courant faucet put an arm around my shoulder and made me feel loved. It was ridiculously easy to install, and (fearful of being hurt again) I could tell it would be straightforward to remove. The elegant simplicity of its push & seal drain closed the deal. I’m officially smitten.

You wouldn’t think bathroom faucets would top a list of passion-inspiring products, but DIY emotions run deep. A single project has made me forever curse one faucet company and feel fierce devotion to another. It pains me to admit it, but price is a minor concern going forward (just for faucets, though – let’s not go crazy).

Plumbing Blasts from the Past

My list of links today is short and self-serving, but I do have two plumbing posts to profile from the archives.

One of my greatest fears when installing the faucets was doing something bad (upstream of the shut-off valve) and causing a leak or flood. I had the number of a plumber handy, but my most important prep was knowing how to shut off my water main fast. If you haven’t figured this out for your house and confirmed you have any tool you need, please do so today.

Although I was careful in my work, I was still very worried a small mistake would surface later with a flooded bathroom (or house…). I checked and rechecked for leaks in the hours and days after I finished work (yes I’m a bit anal), but my worries were also relieved by putting a leak detector under each sink. I had to borrow them from other parts of the house, though, which showed me I was short. I just purchased more Zircon leak detectors to have one under every sink and behind every commode. They’re not as cute as my Leak Frogs, but they seem to work as well and are much cheaper.


That’s a wrap for today – the long weekend (at least here in the U.S.) beckons.

Happy Friday everyone!


As you a DIY plumber, or are you terrified of flooding your house? Any plumbing misadventures or brag-worthy accomplishments? Let me know in the comments.


6 thoughts on “TGIF: Plumbing Is Fun”

  1. Oh, why we have had plenty of DIY plumbing mishaps! We did a DIY renovation and *most* of it went to plan. Unfortunately the refrigerator water line and the damn U-shaped pipe under the sink both unhooked at different times, flooding our house in an inch of water. We spent hours vacuuming and sponging water. Ugh. Sometimes it’s best to call the pros, unfortunately.

    1. Sounds like you’ve been to the dark side of plumbing! The refrigerator water line has to be one of the most dangerous water lines in the house – out of sight and connected to an appliance that can move. I’ve heard many a horror story featuring it.

      You should definitely consider some leak detectors – I have the low tech version (they just beep), so they’re only helpful if we’re around, but they are far better than nothing and have already saved us from one disaster.

      I agree there’s a time and place for the pros – I’m trying to move that line back gradually, but sometimes you just need an expert.

  2. Two things that always make me the most nervous when doing DIY is electrical work and plumbing work. The rest of the stuff I’m not as worried about but burning/flooding my house are my two biggest worries. So like you Youtube is my best friend but I always try to make sure I have a 2nd person watching to ensure I’m not missing anything 🙂

    1. I’ve always been afraid of plumbing too (electricity I play within my ability, and the individual breakers give me confidence I won’t kill myself). The thing that made me put my toe in the water and start to try more was seeing the half-assedness of many a plumber – especially the ones who did the original construction for our house. I figure my modest skills with 100% devotion may actually level the playing field with the pros, but I try to stay fully aware of risks and mitigate wherever possible. It’s definitely the final frontier of home DIY!

  3. Hey Paul, congrats on your DIY !

    And that you were brave enough to take on a plumbing job 🙂 … I am just like you, some of the electrical and plumbing jobs … it worries me, but when that happen I waste no time in going to hire the right PRO for the job, not only they know what to do but they have the right tools for the job as well so you don’t have to spend extra money in case you don’t have those tools for the specific job.

    But anyway, it looks great, great job!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Paul! Thank you for sharing your experience. Your article made me laugh a bit but that’s not a bad thing, of course. I remember when I first started to fix everything myself. And I had no idea how to remove the old faucet. There weren’t screws or anything (that I thought there will be). I called everyone I knew and they didn’t understand any of my questions. I was just standing there with a towel on my hands trying to figure out what the hell should I even do. Oh, yes, and I almost fooded the house. Now I think that also was kind of funny..
    By the way, I am happy for you. Fixing things ourselves really is much better than hiring different services and paying money for basically those things we can do.

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