Drip, Drip, Drip

Japanese Garden Fountain

When we returned home after spending the summer at the cabin, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the city had finally removed the tree stump on the parking strip. I had been nagging the city’s forester about it for over a year. Last week, a worker returned to seed the bare patch of ground, where the stump had been. A couple of days ago, I seeded the rest of the parking strip, which was also pretty bare and setup a sprinkler on a timer to water the new grass every night. Both the front yard and backyard faucets drip. Over the summer, I had used their shutoff valves to stop that from happening, while we were away, but with commencing this watering regimen that was no longer an option.

So yesterday, I began what turned into an all-day project. I started with the backyard faucet, because it wasn’t being used for watering. I’ve decided that the backyard needs about a summer’s worth of weeding, before I start watering back there. I started taking that faucet apart and was able to loosen both the packing nut and the faucet’s spindle, but I couldn’t loosen the faucet’s handle from the spindle. It was being held on by a Phillip’s head screw that I couldn’t untighten and was beginning to strip. Switching faucets, I tried loosening the handle on the front yard faucet, which loosened right away. Returning to the backyard faucet, whether by peer pressure or maybe my muscle memory that faucet handle screw miraculously loosened. I had gotten the first faucet apart and now it was time to buy new parts. Taking a break, I visited two big-box hardware stores.

Menards was totally worthless and Home Depot only slightly less so. I bought a pack of ‘0’ sized stem washers there, which were the wrong size. Returning to Home Depot, I returned the ‘0’ size washers and bought ‘00’ sized washers for the stem and as it turned out the wrong size packing washers. On my third trip to the hardware store, I visited Scheidt True Value Hardware, the last remaining mom-and-pop hardware store still nearby. There the clerk suggested graphite packing cord, instead of a washer. I was somewhat leery of this but bought a pack anyway. Returning home, after cleaning the lime off of all of the parts, I reassembled the backyard faucet. I got it back together and voilà it worked, with no leaks. That was yesterday. Today, I fixed the front yard faucet, like lickity split. So, to recap, this project involved three trips to the hardware stores, really four, because I still have to return the last bad pack of washers and six YouTube videos. Still not too bad, if I do say so myself.

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