ANOTHER HOME REPAIR SAGA…PART I

fixitDespite many attempts at fixing things around the house, or trying to save a few bucks here and there by taking on some home improvement projects, I have never had much success in building a reputation for being “handy.” In fact, my history points well in the other direction. It is not unusual that any “home project” I undertake subsequently involves a minimum of three additional trips to the hardware store and sometimes one to the ER.

First, let me say that I am pretty fearless. I will not shy away from most household projects and repairs. And, now that there are so many excellent tutorials on YouTube, I have become almost invincible when it comes to repairing an appliance. It’s easy: just order the part from the appliance parts website and watch their video showing how to install it and you can’t go wrong…wrong…wrong. So, okay, here comes the story. It’s a shaggy dog story so it’s in two parts and even I still don’t know how it ends. Here is Part I:

Several weeks ago my wife began complaining that the ice from the icemaker in the freezer was getting foggier and didn’t seem to taste very good. Since the icemaker appeared to be functioning normally as far as producing its normal capacity, I suggested that I consider changing the plastic water hose that feeds it and maybe even install a water filter. That shouldn’t be difficult…difficult…difficult, I thought.

So I went to the Internet and looked at filters for icemakers. They are pretty standard and appeared easy to install. I decided I’d bypass waiting a few days to have the hose and filter shipped and instead got in the car and hurried off to my local Home Depot. There I got said hose and filter and headed back home. It should be clear sailing and clear ice from this point forward.

While in Home Depot I took at look at the filter installation instructions to make sure I understood them and had all the parts I needed. It looked super easy. No parts even. Just cut the plastic water line and insert one end in the filter, flush it out for a few minutes to get some factory charcoal residue out of it, then stick the other end of the plastic water line into the other end of the filter and, voilà, all done! And the filter is only 12 bucks! I head home figuring I got this task iced.

I pulled the fridge out from the wall, turned off the water valve in the wall that feeds the water through a hose to the refrigerator where it fastens to the “intake water valve” mounted at the bottom of the fridge. Then I measured where the filter was going to be placed. I removed the plastic hose and decided to reuse it since it had fittings attached that were needed to attach to the fridge. I flushed it out with vinegar several times figuring I may as well clean it while I had it off even though it looked clear of any debris. Then I reattached it to the “intake water valve” mounted on the bottom of the refrigerator and cut it where I was going to install the filter. One end of the hose went into the filter and secured itself exactly like the instructions said. Then I put the filter in a bucket since I was supposed to run water through it for awhile to clear it of charcoal remnants. I turned the water valve at the wall back on. Nothing. No water came flowing through the filter. I turn the valve the other way, thinking maybe I turned it off, not on. Nothing. I decided the only way I could tell if water was flowing was to loosen the connection where the water hose from the wall attaches to the intake water valve on the fridge. KAH-BLEWIE! The hose comes off and I’ve got a fire hose shooting water across the kitchen. I stick it in the bucket and reach over to shut off the valve in the wall. I turn it all the way and the water is still gushing. I turn it the opposite direction all the way and the water is still gushing. OMG!

I scream for my wife and she comes running in pretty quickly. I tell her to shut off the valves under the sink since one of them should close off the wall valve feeding the refrigerator. She turns them all, both ways…NOTHING! Bucket’s full. Gotta empty it fast and bring it back. I put her on bucket duty while I go out front to turn off the main valve that feeds water to the whole house. I am successful at that…immediate flooding crisis is over.

I go back inside and while Rosemarie mops up the lake in the kitchen, I reattached the water hose to the intake valve in the refrigerator, knowing that it will keep the water off since the valve in the wall is busted and there apparently is no safety shutoff valve for it. I’ve been in the house 16 years and never had to touch this valve so whoddathunk?

Okay, everything is mopped up and the water hose is securely fastened to the fridge so there will be no more worries except to get the broken wall valve replaced and then finish the filter job. I go back outside to turn the main water line back on. I turn the handle all the way in the open position…NOTHING! No water is coming into the house. When I closed the valve it must have broken too. I later read on google that this is not unusual for the age of the valve and considering it’s never been touched. So now there’s no running water in the house. It’s 6pm Sunday night….prime NFL game time. Where do you think most plumbers are?

To be continued…

*****

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About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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