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Monday, January 20, 2020

Even a Novice Can Learn a New Plumbing Trick

My daughter had a rather unfortunate accident with one of the upstairs bathroom sinks. She uses this bathroom for cleaning up her paintbrushes and making an occasional pot of tea for herself to sip while painting. Two weeks ago, she was using the electric tea kettle in the bathroom. Once she poured the boiling water into the tea cup, she poured the rest of the super-heated water into the sink. The porcelain of the sink was likely very cold. When the boiling water met the cold porcelain, my daughter heard a loud pop and then noticed a long cracked where she had poured. Not a good moment.

the old sink after she removed it from the cabinetry

Needless to say, she was devastated that this happened and wanted to do what she could to right the situation. This daughter is not shy in the least when it comes to trying something new. She asked if she could try taking out the old sink and replace it with a new one. I knew she'd be careful, so I thought I should let her see what she could do.

she used the turkey roaster to catch water as she unhooked the trap

Believe it or not, this young lady (with zero plumbing skills but very good youtube skills) not only took the old sink out, but with the help of her sister, she replaced it with a new one from Home Depot.

the opening in the counter after the old sink was taken out -- she "caught" the sink in a pile of quilts

My kids inspire me constantly. They tackle jobs from which I shy away. They teach themselves new skills routinely. Perhaps my husband and I did something right when raising them. Or perhaps we just got kids who are not afraid to try.

the brand new sink installed, including plumbing

I have no idea how much we saved on hiring a plumber. When my daughter asked to do this, my initial thought was that she might feel empowered by learning another skill. My second thought, now that she has done this with an under mount sink, is to have her work with me this summer to replace 2 over mount sinks in another bathroom that are in bad repair. Maybe this old dog can learn a new trick with the help of one of her pups.

You know, youtube is a great resource for all kinds of DIY. Someone out there has done just the thing I'm trying to learn and recorded just how to do the job. It may take a few different videos for me to hit upon the very one that is well-presented. But when I do, it's like having that know-it-all neighbor giving me the how-to's over the fence in my backyard. My kids have grown up with youtube and tend to rely on it even more than I do. I'm trying to move with the times.


  1. The last estimate I had for replacing a sink was in the $250 range, and that's been a while ago, so yes, you saved a bunch.

    But yes to YouTube! Used it for plumbing (fixing a water turn-off valve, replacing bathtub water spout/shower diverter), minor car repairs, sewing techniques and more. Sometimes I learn that a particular project is beyond my abilities, but that's a good thing to know, too.

  2. Amazing! It looks great. Our younger son, especially, utilizes YouTube for auto and home repair. He learned how to put new brakes on his car, watching YouTube.

    Midwest Girl

  3. What an amazing job! Good for her.

  4. I think you and your husband have done something right in raising your children. You have given them confidence to try new things. That will serve them well their entire life. And with the aid of YouTube, it's amazing what they will be able to do. I'm with you. I need to look to YouTube more when learning new things. I use it, but not as often as I should.

  5. Kudos to your daughter! I think you have modeled a diy mindset for her--she has just taken it to a different level by using Youtube as a resource. Like you, I have found that I have to view a few different videos to find the one that makes sense to me, but when I find it, it's oh so helpful.

  6. Yea to your daughter. Couldn't hurt the sink and she did a good job.

  7. Tell your daughter great job. Our faucet needed replacing when my son was 17. He asked could he help. My husband told him what to do and he did it all by himself.

  8. Hi there,
    oh, $250. That is a huge amount of $$. But to be honest, my daughter did put in several hours getting this job done. Her hourly rate wouldn't have been nearly as impressive as a professional plumbers, once the work was divided over the hours she put in. Youtube has encouraged me to try so many new things.

  9. Hi Midwest Girl,
    kudos to your son for installing his own brakes. I'm not sure I'd have the confidence to do that level of a job!

  10. Thanks, Lynn. I'm proud of her for trying this and getting it done.

  11. Hi Live and Learn,
    I think this whole generation has a lot more courage to try things outside of their usual expertise. I'm working at adopting some of their attitudes concerning embracing technology. Obviously, there are some jobs that will just be out of my range of capabilities. But I do think we could learn a lot of new skills, or at least follow along with some simplified explanations to get tasks done well enough to not need to hire them out, as needed.

  12. Hi Kris,
    I'm pretty proud of both of my daughters. My other daughter did some minor paint repair to our car this past summer. I think it's really great that daughters are now encouraged to try some of the tasks that used to be reserved for the sons of a family. And hopefully this is working in the other direction, as well, that sons are encouraged to try many of the traditional female tasks.

  13. Hi Cheryl,
    I agree! Worst case if she found she couldn't do it -- we would have had a sink already bought and needed to be professionally installed. Nothing lost.

  14. Hi Marybeth,
    That's terrific with your son and the faucet! I think letting our kids tackle these tasks gives them confidence to try the next level. I think it's a gift to your children. I'll pass on the kudos to my daughter.

  15. I really admire how you have raised your children, Lili. They have the right attitude when life throws a few lemons. They figure it out and make it right. Kudos!!

    Have a great day, tomorrow!!

  16. Thank you, YHF.
    I hope you're enjoying a lovely day today!


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