Last night I turned on the water in the kitchen and heard something break in the faucet. Nothing came out. Not a drop. I had a huge stack of dishes to do, including a frying pan that I needed to handwash right away to use for dinner. I had to settle for an un-grilled cheese sandwich. Oh, the horror!
This morning and afternoon I tackled the faucet. I went to Home Depot and picked out a new faucet but I wasn't thrilled with the price: $78. On the way to checkout I saw a home repair how-to guide. I flipped through the pages and found instructions for repairing a faucet. This sounded much cheaper than replacing it so I went looking for a faucet repair kit. Apparently there are different kits and different parts for different brands of faucet. I had no idea what brand my faucet was. One of the guys suggested bringing in the broken part, so home I went.
I spent a couple of hours trying to take apart the faucet. I couldn't find a screw on the top so I crawled under my nasty sink to try and take it apart from below. I couldn't get the flashlight to point in the right direction and did all I could to keep from holding it in my teeth (no way was I opening my mouth in there. Yuck!). I stripped a screw and broke a Phillips head screwdriver. I tried using my drill and accidentally dropped it on my face. Ouch.
In frustration I looked again for a screw on top of the faucet. I finally found it under the hot/cold label. I took the faucet apart and found the problem: a broken ball. The ball and I went back to Home Depot and found a match for under $10. It only took ten minutes to put everything back together and the faucet works better than it has since I moved in two years ago. Hooray!
I can't believe it took me so long to fix it but I'm glad I didn't buy a new one - especially since that stripped screw would have to come out before I could think of installing another faucet. After all that work taking it apart and putting it back together, I never saw a brand name on that faucet and I still have no clue what it is. You'd think manufacturers could make these things a little more universal!