The Faulty Faucet

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

I had a list of things to fix while in Moab. I had fixed the propane problem by finding a leaky connection on the tank harness. I checked again today with a propane sensor, and it picked up a bit of a leak where the big knob connects to one of the two tanks. I tightened it, but may have to get a new line if it continues.

Faucet clogged with birdseed
Fan-Tastic Vent fan not working
broken wire and dangling reading light

My stuffed up faucet is the immediate problem, so I removed it and went to Ace Hardware. They had a bunch of faucets and a very helpful young lady, but nothing quite matched. We went to another plumbing supply store, Riverside Plumbing & Heating. 

I plopped my faucet on the counter with its three hoses dangling. Debbie said it is likely the cartridge inside that needs to be replaced, and she showed us what it probably looked like. She said Moen faucets are guaranteed for life, so we could send it back (not an option), or they would send a new cartridge. I could have left it for them, but they are very busy, and it might be a day or so before they could get to it. She said to try to get to the cartridge so we could replace it.

Back at the trailer, I tried again to get it apart, and watched five videos, which weren’t the same faucet. Finally, with Martha’s help and a spark plug socket wrench, I removed the top and took out a cartridge. For two hours in the hot sun I tried to remove the inside to get to another cartridge. 

Finally, I took it back to Riverside Plumbing. This time Cindy was at the counter. I retold the mice in the fresh water tank story. She looked inside and saw the seeds. Thankfully the young plumber, Steven, came in, and she asked him to take a look. I told him I couldn’t remove the inside parts, and he said that’s because you can’t remove anything else.

Taking it to a big sink in the back, he flushed it with water, poked at the seeds with an ice pick, blew air into the lines and managed to get a few seeds out. He was able to clear the cold and hot lines, but not the sprayer line. I said good enough for me, and thanked him profusely.

I bought a new top (and only) cartridge for $39 while Cindy told their story. She and her husband grew up in Moab. A good date in those days was to go up to Delicate Arch at sunset or Dead Horse Point. When they got married, she wanted to leave Moab, the small town she grew up in, so they did. Once she saw other places, they finally decided to return home and started the business. Both their sons work the business, and a daughter lives in town. She said she felt very blessed to live here and to have her family here. Steven was a very good athlete and pitched for the Minnesota Twins for a while. Then she showed me a picture of her young grand daughter sitting naturally on one of their horses. With a tear in my eye, I told Cindy she was very blessed and gave her a hug.

I could have bought a new faucet along with three braided lines for maybe $300-400, if I could have found it, but thanks to this wonderful place with great people, I was able to fix it for $39. 

I went back to Ace Hardware and bought a couple of picture wire spools to try to further poke out the sprayer line. Then I went to Radio Shack for some solder and a soldering iron so I could solder a broken wire on a reading light that had dropped down while driving. I thought all Radio Shacks had closed. It is such a handy store! A nice young man helped me find what I needed.

I poked and blew and flushed the spray line all I could, then hooked everything up. Somehow I had the handle on backwards so when I pulled the handle down the water came on. Hey, but the water came on!

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