Friday, December 19, 2014

The Joy of Fixing Things

I started off the week dealing with getting a leaky shower fixed. While the plumber was here I asked him if there was such a thing as a regulator that controlled the pressure of water coming into the house. Actually years ago, another plumber had told me there was a regulator and ours was broken, but I had my doubts if it was true. I’d been through a batch of plumbers all with different stories why we were having the problems we were having including one guy who blamed it on the kind of faucets we had and charge me $150 for that information but didn’t fix anything.

I do recall the problems seemed to end after the regulator was replaced, but I never was certain if it was a real thing or not. To my surprise, the plumber on Monday said indeed there was such a thing and I asked him if he would check ours.

I had been telling my family I thought there was something wrong with the water pressure, but they looked at me like I was nuts. Sure enough, it turned out the regulator was broken and the water coming it was something like double the pressure it was supposed to be. The plumber seemed surprised that I knew and asked me how I’d figured it out. It was all about the sound and the way the water came on when I turned on a faucet or flushed a toilet.

So, we have a new regulator and all is well.

When we got our first house, I took a class in home repairs at a place called Everywoman’s Village. The guy who taught it was a story onto himself. He really played up the macho thing and would ride his motorcycle up to the front door of the class room and park it there. He always straddled a chair when he spoke to the class and had a jacket with a lot of decals sewn on. One said something like “next to sex, I like my Harley best.” He claimed to be a psychologist who had determined what really made people crazy were the little things in life like a broken lamp. So, he decided to teach classes in home repairs so people would know how to fix things. He also seemed to have developed a following of women who I don’t think cared about learning how to fix anything.

I did learn how everything from a toilet to a lamp worked. We also each built something. My project was a medicine cabinet, but I don’t thing it ever actually got installed. I did later install a new water inlet to our toilet and put down new tile on the bathroom floor.

Over the years, I have fixed a lot of things and even when my attempts were unsuccessful when I called a professional I had an idea of what was going on. That class gave me th confidence to give things a shot, though I have to admit when it comes to anything electrical beyond dealing with light bulbs, I steer clear.

So when the heart rate monitor watch I wear to the gym died, I decided instead of taking it to a watch place to be fixed, I would try replacing the battery myself and see if that resuscitated it. The first challenge was finding the battery. I checked online and Target said they carried in the store, but when I went to the electronics department, the clerk couldn’t find it in their selection of batteries and told me they didn’t carry that battery anymore.

I hate to say it, but I didn’t believe him and kept going through the store with the feeling I was going to find the battery. And I did. My watch battery turned up in the hearing aid battery area.
Go figure.

I have a wonderful set of tools that includes tiny tiny screw drivers that were just the right size for removing the watch back. I popped in the battery and my watch came back to life. Of course, when my husband heard, he showed up with his dead watch. I am pleased to say it also working again.

I’m not sure if that teacher was right about what makes people crazy, but I do know that being able to fix things certainly makes me feel good.

The picture has nothing to do with fixing anything. I went to Disneyland on Sunday and the castle was so pretty I just wanted to share


Planner said...

Congratulations on your triumphs! Practical skills are always useful, and your Sherlock Holmes skills to pinpoint a problem are invaluable.

I wonder if Sleeping Beauty is equally skilled in fixing problems in the castle....

Linda O. Johnston said...

Wow, I admire you, Betty. I rarely fix anything. Fortunately, my husband is skilled at it.

Betty Hechtman said...

Thanks, Planner. I wasn't sure whose castle it was supposed to be. I don't think there is anything much for Sleeping Beauty to worry about since the castle seems pretty empty.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I am so glad that my son is very handy. It is nice to have someone else around who can fix things.

Planner said...

To my knowledge, the castle at Disneyland has always been called "Sleeping Beauty Castle." If you walked inside, it featured the story of Sleeping Beauty, although I'm not sure that's still the case today.