Saturday In The Life: Hose Bibbs

First, banter from Friday

Again, X was up several times last night peeing to avoid recurring bad dreams.

X can only sleep on his back or right side. If he sleeps on his left, his sinuses drain into the left and clogs said schnoz and then has to breathe through his mouth then gets drymouth then must drink water, then must pee. Sleeps on right side. X likes simple.

X sets his alarm clock time 10-12 minutes ahead of real time.  X has to calculate the real time in his fugue state, then he must make a decision whether or not to get up. X gets up with the wife’s alarm as need to arise at whatever time kick-starts the day here…except for today.

X, since he sleeps on his right side on the right side of the bed facing the clock, opened his eyes and saw the clock read 6:17. A fairly quick fuzzy calculation determined that they had overslept some 20 minutes.

He reached over, touched said wife and said “did you forget to set your alarm or are you off today?”

She sat upright “I forgot to set alarm”. A mad scramble ensued.

X proceeded directly to kitchen to prepare lunch while wife got ready. She actually got out the door while the toast was still toasting today, ending up leaving earlier.

As she backed out she said “if I were you, I’d be going back to bed”.

X waved and replied “I gotta have something to eat first, but maybe later.” Maybe later indeed.

The rest of Friday was uneventful…more or less.


I  kept putting it off and putting it off because I knew it was going to be 110% bitch.

I ordered a washer and screw assortment for ‘plumbing repair’ and received that like Wednesday. I hate going out with a passion so decided to wait until Saturday so I could shut the water off and begin work on the bibbs, starting early in case a second trip to the hardware store was necessary.

I hit the snooze on Saturday a few times before I dragged my ass out of bed. I was out the door to the grocery store at 6:30.

As I loaded up the groceries into my truck I glanced across the street at the Starbucks…no one in line. I finished loading and got into the truck searching for my Starbucks gift card someone had given me. After looking in all the places it should have been I figured “screw it” and started the truck and left. Just as well, by then the line was out to the street.

I unloaded and put away groceries and headed to Lowe’s…less than five minute trip if the traffic is low. Here, on Saturday before eleven, this part of town is dead.

I headed back to the plumbing department and actually ran into the plumber. I told him what I was doing and he directed me to yet another set of assorted washers and screws. I picked up some pipe dope, and a complete hose bibb assembly for the back yard, and some packing material for the rebuild.

Upon my arrival at home, I shut off the water, grabbed some tools and began the destruction.

The stem assembly came out pretty easy, but the screw that held the rubber washer was broken off. That’s bad.

I pondered a minute, then decided to go ahead and replace the entire assembly in the back, and use that stem assembly for the front.

Remember that the front bibb cannot be held while twisting off the bibb. The nipple is buried in the wall. The bibb in the back is loose and easily pulls out of the wall far enough to hold the nut/nipple while twisting off the bibb.

The bibb in the rear was R/R in five minutes. I used Teflon tape instead of the pipe dope. I remember the first time I bought Teflon tape in the seventies, a roll cost around 7 dollars. Now it’s what; 50 cents?

After some finagling, I got the stem assembly out and the screw was still good. When I tried removing the screw, the phillips head just disintegrated. Rats.

‘Nuther trip back to Lowe’s to purchase a new bibb. It turns out that my other trip purchased the last one of the 1/2″ female hose bibbs. So be it.

Off to Home Depot where I picked one similar.

Back home, I dug around and found a chisel. Don’t know what kind but it worked. I pounded away at the mortar that surrounded the bibb and surprisingly, it fell away easily, allowing me to put a pair of needle-nose vice grips on the nut behind the bibb.

It came off easily. A loud waHOO was in order. More Teflon tape and good to go.

I’ll need to buy some of the canned expando insulation to fill in the gaps on both bibbs.

I turned on the water supply and no leaks at either one. I bet that will knock ten bucks off my water bill.

I’ve been reading about my pal Dr. Jim and his adventures cleaning his garage, so I took this opportunity to work on mine.

I have been stocking up on canning jars. By the way, those of you who are interested can frequently find these jars at for $11 a case.

I had 12 cases stashed all over so I decided to unbox them and make some room. I ended up with a bunch of cardboard boxes, and I cut them up for the city recycle blue bin.

I stacked and organized my jars, lids, spices, tools and accessories. I got some 15 gallon industrial strength Sterilite storage boxes and was able to put everything but the quart jars in those.

A wise man once told me

If you prepare for the worst, you’re usually surprised.

I have come to believe this.

It also reminds of another law, Murphy’s #15

Anything you do yourself will take longer and cost more than you thought.

This too, is generally true.


4 thoughts on “Saturday In The Life: Hose Bibbs

  1. And Murphy was an optimist!

    Good job on getting faucets repaired.

    The $7 Teflon tape was almost assuredly made in the USA, while the fiddy cent stuff has slanted eyes.

    Spent all day on the Iowa doing some radio work to get the comm center ready, and then we had a group of 60 people from an elementary school where they have a Ham Radio club.

    The kids were thrilled to be allowed in the radio room, and most of them have their licenses.

    We did three groups of 20 so we didn’t get overwhelmed. These kids were absolutely the best behaved bunch of young kids I’ve ever seen. We didn’t mind having them one bit, and even invited them back.

    Not like some of the other groups we’ve had where we all collapsed after they left…..

  2. I was afraid of the crapped out screw thing happening on your hose bibs. Usually the head’s not completely gone though; it’s just really brittle from being exposed to water for years and years. That’s why I was saying you needed just the right-sized screwdriver for it, as the head of the screw will often pretty much disintegrate when you go to turn it. Usually though, there’s enough left of it to either work it out with the screwdriver, or to grab onto with Vise-Grips. I’m glad you were able to cobble together a solution!

    …I hate plumbing too… and for just this kind of reason…

    • I tried to drill it, but it was crooked. A drill press woulda been nice, but still don’t have easy out that small. One does the best one can with what one has.

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