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Initiation into guyhood

I took my youngest son (approximately 4 months) to the hardware store with me today. First trip to the hardware store with Dad.

Dad, you see, did something dumb. While using spray foam to seal up some gaps in the drywall under the kitchen sink (left over from sloppy renovation many years ago, presumably), I noticed a wrench sitting down there. I picked it up, and bumped the trap under one of the drains. I heard a crunch, followed by a drip-drip-drip. Lovely.

The last time I fixed a sink, it took me four hours, at least three trips to the hardware store, and every tool I own except a drill. The repair lasted about a year before it started leaking and I had to call in someone with a little competence. So I contemplated calling someone who knows how to do this for real, but after using the sink for the third time after announcing that nobody should use that sink right now, I decided to take a closer look. This job didn’t look too bad. For some reason, the leaking trap was connected with the modern plastic nuts that can be turned by hand. So I unscrewed the nuts, removed the trap, made a mess, cleaned up the mess, and took my youngest son with me to the hardware store to find a suitable replacement. I wanted something made of PVC, so it wouldn’t corrode and crack again sometime when my boys are teenagers. Though at that point, undoubtedly they’ll both know more about plumbing than me. I think my oldest already does, and as far as he knows, a toilet is a place for you to sit down and think.

I found a like-sized PVC replacement in the plumbing aisle while my son played in the cart. I picked up a roll of PTFE tape, since I probably wouldn’t be able to find mine. I verified with a store employee that I was buying the right thing, paid our $4, and took it home. While my son watched (I’m sure he didn’t learn much), I slipped the replacement trap into place, wrapped some PTFE tape around the threads, tightened the nuts back down, alternating between the two until they were snug and it all fit well, and then, for the moment of truth, I turned the water on. I heard water flow into the trap, but no drips. A visual check confirmed the joints weren’t leaking. Success!

It almost made me want to go find something else to fix. Almost.

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