So yesterday my mother and my oldest brother, Scott, decided to come visit me and attempt to replace the faucet handles in my shower. The hot water handle, and the diverter (the one that switches from bath to shower) have both broken off since I've moved into my condo. As it turns out, my home warranty people won't replace these because they believe this was caused by "excessive force". The truth is, Mr. Finger (the previous owner) put the cheapest handles he could possibly find (which didn't actually fit) in my shower and therefore both handles came off quite easily.
So my mother and brother, along with my two nieces, Elora (who's FIVE now!!) and Madelyn (who's definitely hit her terrible two's). First things first, my brother tries to turn off the water in my house. We couldn't find a place to do this, so we called the condo complex's maintenance man. He tells us that to shut off the water in my condo, he'd have to shut off the water to the whole building. And? he won't do this because it's the weekend and everyone is home. Also, my building is the only building like this in the whole complex! grr...
So we decide that instead of replacing them all right now, that we'll just replace the hot water handle, since the hot water can be turned off at the hot water heater. We made a long and stressful trip to Home Depot and to lunch (stressful because of Little Miss Terrible Two's) and came back 2 hours later.
My brother quite easily takes off the old handles (what was left of them) and then decides he's going to go ahead and try to replace the cold water handle too, even though the water was not shut off. Apparently, if he could have done this without popping a certain um.. thing.. then um.. it would be okay.
He forgot one thing. He's no plumber. And bad luck with home improvements run rampant in my family. So I'm downstairs trying to rally my nieces into not killing my cat when I hear a loud WHOOSH and then what sounded like a train going by in my upstairs bathroom. I run upstairs to find my brother and mother both soaked standing in my (tiny) bathroom with the shower door shut with water shooting straight at the back wall of the shower with the force of a large waterfall. The doors weren't holding much back and water was going all over the place. I used almost every one of my twenty or so towels trying to soak up water in my bathroom floor. We immediately made a call to the maintenance man and told him he HAD to come shut the water off. My niece Elora called to us upstairs and said something about slime coming down the wall in my living room. So my mother went downstairs to use the rest of my towels to soak up the water that was coming down the wall.
After ten or so minutes the water was finally shut off. My brother quickly finished putting on the faucet handles and told the maint. man to cut the water back on. Water again begins to come out uncontrollably, but this time from the actual bath faucet. And it can't be turned off. So the maint. man had to shut the water off.. again. We discover we are missing a tiny black gasket from inside the cold water faucet handle. We felt defeated because most likely it had fallen down the drain during the waterfall escapade.
While this is going on I was in my bedroom closet where I had to remove my giant shoe rack and all of my shoes so that I could get to the panel that accesses the area behind the bath, just to make sure it didn't flood back there. With luck, I found the gasket behind the wall, where it had ricocheted and landed.
With a sigh of relief the faucet handles were finally installed correctly and the water was turned back on for good. After my brother's clothes had dried my family left and life returned to normal.
That is until a little while later when I decided to try to take a shower. That's when I discovered my hot water was not working. With ANOTHER visit from the maint. man, we gave up and decided that it just needed to sit for like, an hour, until the hot water heater could be filled up (at least we hoped that was all that was wrong).
So I went to dinner and around 9:00 returned to find my hot water finally working. Thank God. All this so that I could finally take a shower without the use of pliers. I think next time, I'll just call a plumber. Sheesh.