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Very patient, or a slow learner?

For some time the hot water tap (faucet) in my kitchen had been leaking. While a leak is not normally such a big deal, a leak in the middle of a drought can’t be ignored for too long if you collect your own water.

So putting on my plumber’s pants (the ones that show my butt crack to its best advantage) I went into town and bought some replacement washers. Seeing as I had to drain the the hot-water tank in the roof (the hot water is gravity fed, while the cold water is on a pressure pump), I decided to replace them all at the same time. The preceding sentence has absolutely no relevance to this story whatsoever.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I had accomplished the task (I make Tim Taylor look good). Before I knew it, everything was put back together, and the pump switched back on. Bingo! no more leak. But there was one thing that seemed a little odd. When I turned on the hot water tap at the kitchen sink, the water didn’t come out immediately, it took a few seconds. “That’s new” was my astute observation. As I was changing the washers I noticed that the spindle was sticking in that tap, so I pulled the tap apart and sprayed WD40 on it, and eventually loosened it up, so I knew that it couldn’t be the tap that was the problem.

Eventually I determined that because the leak had been stopped, and because the hot water was only gravity fed and not under pressure, and because the pipes come from above the ceiling then under the sink and back up again that those three things conspired to make a slight delay in the delivery of water. So I decided to live with it.

Different situations produced different results, for example it was always worse first thing in the morning, but it wasn’t as bad if I used the bathroom taps before I filled the jug. But then it began taking longer and longer. It got to the point where I would go to the kitchen, turn the tap on and then go back, have a piss, wash my hands and get back to the kitchen before the water showed up, every… fucking… morning.

One day as I was standing there waiting for the water to come out of the tap, I got to thinking. First off I decided that this was bullshit. Then I tried to figure out what was causing it (actually this wasn’t the first time I’d thought about it).¬† It couldn’t possibly be that the tap itself was cactus, as I’d given it a grease and oil change when I replaced the washer, but what else could it be? Finally I bit the bullet and bought a new tap.

Well cut off my legs and call me Shorty! The water flow was now instantaneous. It was the tap all along. The inside of the tap was so pitted and grungy that apparently when I turned the handle, the washer didn’t move until there was enough water pressure¬† built up to push the washer out of the way, which took a while seeing as it was gravity fed.

I was ecstatic! So for the past 4 weeks I’ve had water whenever I want it, my life is wonderful. It’s just a shame I didn’t stumble onto the remedy two years ago, when I changed the washers….