Monday, January 12, 2009

No one thing can fail by itself

Last Monday Liz woke up at 3 AM. It was over 80 degrees upstairs! We have one of those programmable thermostats set to 67 degrees. So Liz turned the thermostat off until later in the morning. Then Saturday morning the same thing happened. I went down and looked, and the scheduled temp was not showing. So the thermostat control was just heating without an upper limit. My thermostat control was failing. So I knew I had to go get a new one. Before I went to Lowe's though, I decided to take a shower.
I turned our shower faucet control and only very little water came out. So I tried fiddling with it. When that didn't work, I tried taking it apart to see what the issue was. In the process I striped the valve control stem. At that point I couldn't turn off the water and I didn't think I was going to be able to fix it myself. I called a plumbing company, but they said they wouldn't be able to come look at it until the next week. I fiddled with it some more and decided that I might be able to fix it myself. So I went to Lowe's and found replacement parts. Then I went home and spent the next several hours fixing my issues. I hate my shower control thingamajig and wish I could change it out for a different one. But apparently the mixer piece is not a universal part, so i would have to rip my wall out, re-plumb the shower. Sigh.

* Update *
It's been a week now since I replaced that shower control valve. It has only given us grief. From often not allowing us to change the temperature of the water from hot to cold, to not allowing us to shut off the water. While I recognize that I am not the best plumber in the world, that 'Mixet' brand shower hardware is crap. It looks like I am going to have to have the plumbing replaced so we can get our shower to work like a shower should.

** Update to the Update **
I decided to get the shower control replaced. No plumbers would give me an estimate over the phone, so I had the people with the lowest fee for coming out. The ad in the phone book said they would pay me if they were late. My appointment was for 10:00 - noon. They didn't end up coming until 12:20, but they didn't say anything about giving me a discount or anything. I told him what I wanted (a brushed nickle one stem control that you push up and down for the flow amount, and left and right for the temperature). I also wasn't very keen on having a hole cut into the the wall in the bedroom to get to the shower control. I had hoped that they could take off the panel on the shower side and do it that way, but he said it would probably break if he tried to do it that way. Anyways, I had priced a shower control at Lowe's at about $150. He said those ones were connected with fasteners, rather then soldered. He made it sound like soldered ones were a lot more reliable and getting it through them would have a warranty. We ended up getting it from him, though it cost $300 just for the control part. After he was all done, I saw that the one he installed was not the kind I had said I wanted, instead it was just turn left or right for temperature, and at one end is off. There is no pressure adjustment at all. Sigh.
He left without even replacing the pipe for the shower head. I had to have a friend in my ward who is a plumber come help me replace it because it was really stuck. I also replaced the drain piece with the same brushed nickle. All told, it was about $700. *sigh* At least I have a shower that works now.

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