Two things unusual or notable happened last night. So I'm going to tell you about them!
Thing #1. We finally got the new garbage disposal installed! Honestly, I did 90% of it myself. Shobhit was on the couch. That was fine, though; it was largely by choice. He didn't come over until I told him I needed him, and he did ask about halfway through whether I needed him yet and I said no. I felt it was just easier to focus on the instructions pamphlet by myself.
I stopped at Bartell Drugs and then Pacific Supply Company on my way home, getting Plumber's Putty and a disposable (but I still saved it) putty knife at the latter. The two together cost barely more than $3. How does this hardware store stay in business on Capitol Hill, anyway? Maybe by being basically the only one in the entire neighborhood, I suppose. And presumably other people buy a lot more expensive stuff. Anyway, the putty was what put a stop to our attempt at finally installing the new garbage disposal on Tuesday night -- the instructions said it was needed but not included.
Everything else needed but not included was already available from the old disposal unit: the electrical power cord; the clamp thing that holds the cord; the wire nuts. Honest I don't understand why these things aren't just manufactured with the electrical cord already attached, instead of just having exposed wires you have to wrap around the corresponding ends of a power cord and then press together with wire nuts and pieces of tape. That all seems unnecessarily convoluted to me, but maybe it would make the unit more expensive than it already is? Fuck if I know, I'm not a plumber.
The new unit did come with a "discharge tube" but guess what? That one arrived completely shattered. Even though it's fucking made out of plastic! Under other circumstances that might have prompted me to return the product, but I got this from Amazon; did not want to wait another week to get actual use out of my kitchen sink again; and the one already in place was still perfectly usable anyway.
In any case, I followed all the directions very carefully in order, getting all the parts I needed off the old disposal unit, and putting all the new parts in place, including the sink flange and all its accessories -- the parts that go on top and on the bottom of the drain hole in the sink. In the end, all I needed Shobhit for was holding the disposal unit itself as we twist-connected it to the mounting ring under the sink. This involves precise alignment so the three "mounting tabs" twist over the "slide-up ramps" on the mounting ring, twisting the disposal unit and the sink flange together.
This was the only part that proved especially challenging, and took several attempts, both of us switching positions where one was holding up the unit and the other was attempting to get all three mounting tabs aligned. That thing is heavy, so it's not easy to keep it held up for long. This was the problem we had when trying to re-mount the old unit after disconnecting it on Saturday -- it's really hard to get all three of those tabs aligned. And then, once we did, we could not get the water to stop leaking through the sink flange. It may have just been the really old plumber's putty in there, trying to be used after disconnection and reconnection even though it was literally a decade old. That was Shobhit's theory, anyway, and he may be right.
This time, with the new Plumber's Putty, I put down a healthy amount, and got a really good, tight connection with the drain hole parts. Once we finally got the new disposal unit screwed on properly and started testing the drain, it did leak a little -- this time I had the presence of mind to set a pot under there -- but not from the flange; this time it was from where the discharge tube was connected to the side of the unit. I finally figured out that the soft ring thing around the end of the tube, which goes into the hole on the unit, was in sort of crooked. I unscrewed the two screws on either side of that, straightened the ring, and reattached and tightened the screws. After that, it seemed to work fine: a working sink, and a working garbage disposal! Hooray!
We only had to rinse our dishes out and wash pots and pans in the bathroom sink for four days.
Thing #2. There was a "meet and greet" in the Braeburn Condos community kitchen from 7:00 to 8:00, to give all the homeowners information on a re-carpeting and repainting project on all the common areas in both buildings, scheduled to last between mid-June and mid-October. Because of the time it took to install the new garbage disposal, we didn't make it down there until 7:30. Shobhit almost skipped it, but it's a good thing he didn't: once he was down there, apparently, all Board members were in attendance, which was good.
The representative from the company hired to do the work had basically just begun his spiel, going through the bulletin points in a handout, when we arrived. I think all we missed, really, was about half an hour of provided snacks and drinks, of which I had a few bites, and got half a cup of wine for Shobhit. Had we gotten down there on time to do the pre-presentation mingling, I would have counted this as a point for Shobhit on the Social Review. I'm not going to now, though. This was essentially a sort of business event, and I did no real mingling.
I did find out, though, that I may be able to go to a hardware store to find a replacement lever for opening our bedroom window. It's a handle that sort of pops partway out and then you twist it to open the window, and that plastic handle is completely stripped and no longer works. I can still open the window but it's a bit cumbersome, as I have to use a wrench. It takes a lot longer that way and is annoying. The building is so old now, though -- twelve years, how ancient! -- that the company that manufactured those parts is no longer in business. But, I may still be able to find a workable part at a hardware store, I was told. The color might not match, but who gives a shit? I just want a working handle.
Anyway, I left a bit before Shobhit did because I needed to swap out laundry between the washing machine and the dryer. Shobhit and I watched Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and not long after that I was getting ready for bed.
[posted 12:19 pm]