Tag Archives: fixing plumbing

Never Give Up


It’s a strange thing when you can’t give up on something you’ve started. Is that a Type A personality? Determination? Stupidity? Or maybe a little of all of those things.  The hats I’ve worn are many, and I know things.  Just enough to get me into trouble sometimes.  But, if I don’t know something I research, read, network,  I get my information, and I get whatever it is done!

This is a little off the easel, but when my bathroom faucet started leaking, I foolishly thought it needed a washer. I’ll just run to Home Depot and pick them up.   Little did I know the newer faucets now have cartridges, and thinking about it why not?  Replacement washers are maybe 69 cents, while cartridges it turns out are $70.00 plus.  I guess I’m not keeping up with the times.

Anyway, when we remodeled the bathroom,  I put in all German Grohe  faucets. I didn’t think anything about metric. I loved the designs, that’s really all I cared about.  ……Now the fun begins.

After watching multiple videos on YouTube, it seemed simple enough to me.  I haven’t repaired any faucets or appliances in years, so this I knew I could tackle without any problems.   Are you starting to see where this is going?

We have a small bathroom with a vessel sink, and the faucet is nicely placed in the back corner.  On thee back of the handle there is a  plug covering a recessed  screw  with barely enough room to hold a small mirror to see what you need to do.   I however did get the plug  out easily.  The screw, well that’s another thing all together…

This is going to be a piece of cake!

Oh, I realized I needed  an Allen wrench to remove this screw, no problem, we have lots of those…….   I was sure we had the right allen wrench!

Several minutes later we are in the car headed for, yep…..Home Depot!

It was a good thing Home Depot was open on Sunday because that was my free day for projects.  Fortunately, Ron helped us and knew exactly what I was trying to accomplish.   He sold me metric allen wrenches, and just to be on the safe side I took his advice and bought a small can of Spray and Release just in case.   God bless Ron, he didn’t steer me wrong!

After spraying everything just for good measure, and waiting the proper thirty minutes for it to work.  I was able to get behind the faucet with a metric wrench that actually unscrewed, and allowed me to remove the handle.  We’re just getting started but so far so good.  Now taking off the handle…We decided to give the handle a spray since it had been everything  else had been difficult to undo earlier.  This time we had lunch, and gave it another quick spray for good luck.

All rested up and ready to go, I went into the bathroom to finish the sink, my husband following behind me with suggestions on how I should best tackle the next step.   I referred to the instructions which were conveniently written in German…..I had no idea what they were telling me.  The schematic was barely more helpful, but it did have metric measurements written on the parts, and that did help.  The handle finally came off with a little coaxing and tugging.

After  waiting two weeks for the part to be shipped from Grohe East Coast, the only Grohe distributor in the United States, I hated the thought of ordering another part from them.  I’m determined to find a metric wrench to get into the recessed area to remove the large hex shaped nut so I can actually change out the cartridge.   Les and I went all over, but then it was Sunday and the real plumbing stores are closed.

Monday morning after a cup of coffee, I started calling, reading, researching on the internet without any luck..   I even asked them, ” if they were installing this faucet what would they use? ”   No answer!  They had no idea what they would do, but I knew they wouldn’t give up the hefty hourly price they would charge me if I gave up and called them.

Last resort,  Amazon, Ebay, Grohe……  

I couldn’t find what I was looking for on Amazon or Ebay,  believe me I was disappointed, but I have a motto that says….“Never Give Up!”    The other motto is,  “Fake it ’till you make it!”  I’m not a plumber, but I’m determined not to pay  $100.+ for something I can do.

Finally, I went onto the Grohe website, and after searching all over I found the part I was looking for.   GASP!   Grohe wanted $50.00 plus shipping for this simple metric wrench.  What a rip off, it’s just a simple metric plumbers wrench.  After the shock wore off I went back to Amazon, this time finding a Grohe wrench at a slight bit more.  The price was a few dollars higher, but I could get it in two days.   Finally I put it in my basket, and waited before I purchased it.   I was still in shock, and admittedly angry.  Angry because I knew there must be something less expensive available somewhere I just hadn’t found it, or hadn’t thought of it.

I sat for a few minutes looking at my cart, silly me,  I don’t know what I thought would happen but before I pressed buy, I backtracked to look once more.   Scrolling down just for digestion purposes,  there it was …….  

Another option for the wrench, the wrench to install, and as an another option, the same wrench from Grohe.  Was I seeing it correctly,  Grohe was $50. the knockoff $14.99.  The Universe is blessing me with another option.

All the reviews mentioned,  they had used the less expensive wrench on their Grohe faucet, and it worked fine.  I’m still in shock, but I’m much happier.   With a satisfied feeling, I can now sit back and relax while waiting for the wrench to arrive.

Thank you Universe!

Thanks for stopping by to read Stone Soup.   It was a little outside the box this time, but that’s life!  See you soon.