When he was about seven, my son, mistaking himself for a gymnast and the bathroom sink for a pommel horse, propelled his full weight into the air and down upon the edge of this delicate wall-mounted basin. We heard a crack. The drainpipe of the pedestal washstand snapped in two.
This should have been easy enough to fix. Yet, this Fix-It Chick decided that perhaps she should replace the entire faucet instead of just the pipe. “Can I install this myself?” I asked the plumbing supply salesman. “Sure,” he assured me. “Just follow the directions.”
The old faucet came out and the new one went in just fine. Granted, it took me all day to do the job. Finally, in the evening, I slowly opened the water valves to test my handiwork. Liquid jets spurted from every joint! No one told me that I needed a special tool called a “basin wrench” to tighten the hard-to-reach connectors up under the sink.
Did I learn about the basin wrench from the plumber who charged $200 to tighten my screws the next day? No. I got that information after the fact off of the Web, from sites designed to help us all repair and maintain our homes.
Lowe’s Home Improvement offers a library of instructions and videos for home repair and improvement. This particular page details the use of the mysterious basin wrench and assures us that the faucet swap should take no more than an hour. (I couldn’t even get the water turned off in that amount of time.)