No spig in my spigot

Sadly, I have no spig in my spigot. I have no turn in my quarter turn hose bib. 

And I'm feeling man tears coming soon.

I fell in love with my new hose bib at first sight. I’m thinking that the feeling was mutual. It’s not every day that a homeowner changes out their solid brass hose bibs from 1967 for a new shiny chrome model. 

It’s not like my relationship with my old bibs had grown stale. I could still turn them on. Oh, sure I had to change out the rubber washers from time to time, but periodic leaking happens as one ages. My fatal mistake was not asking Larry for permission before embarking on this union, but hey, I was under pressure.

Every homeowner needs good solid expert advice from time to time. Larry is my go-to guy for everything plumbing. You see, he’s been there and plumbed that. That’s why I have bought thousands of dollars of plumbing supplies from his aisle tucked far in the back of my local big box store. 

There is no glory in the plumbing aisle, and even worse, his strategic command centre is dimly lit. At the front of the store it’s all glitzy, flyers, contests, promotions, and giveaways. It’s all about air miles. In the plumbing department it’s just plain business, and the customers can be tough.

Larry is the first and only line of defence in the plumbing department. Homeowners with plumbing problems wander to his aisle much like zombies out of water. 

Larry is unique, valuable and irreplaceable. Not because he knows the answers to every plumbing question on earth, but because he can take the nonsensical gibberish, the, “I need a which-me-call-it”, or a “do-dah”, or a “which-ma-jiggy”, and make the translation into an actual plumbing solution. God knows how the average homeowner will survive when he pulls the drain plug. Larry is old school, a real straight shooter.

Regrettably, Larry was on days-off that very day when I decided to swing by the plumbing aisle to explore my bib options. On a previous visit, he told me about quarter turn bibs. 

I felt sure my wife would love them. Instead of turning, turning and turning the handle, she could get full blast water at a quarter turn of the handle. Quarter turn bibs offer the ultimate control when using hose based watering techniques. That day, without Larry, I was like a hungry fish in the water, I was attracted to the chrome flash of that bib, and took the bait. 

I went home with a sexy new model, and it promised to be a lead free, non-freeze lawn faucet with a self-draining vacuum breaker, but that’s what they all say. 

Later, a few short weeks after my purchase when my bib failed me, I learnt from Larry that the make of the bib that I had errantly chosen has a ceramic part that could break. 

I know the return defective merchandise game at big box stores. It goes like this: Bring back the defective item with the original receipt. But my bib is permanently installed inside my wall assembly behind drywall vapour barrier and insulation. Removing the bib would be invasive and costly and not practical to return. So, my first solution was to purchase a duplicate for parts from the very same store. 

Surprise, since my original purchase, my bib has been discontinued by head office. 

I called the manufacturer for help. I told them my story, and it turns out that I don’t qualify for their customer service for their product. They don’t help the actual end user of their product, they only help the stores that sell their stuff. Since my local store doesn’t carry the product anymore they won’t help. 

The spig is up - I am stuck in the proverbial customer service waste pipe without a bib.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

When you need advice or guidance with DIY home improvement and repairs, Hugh Cairns can help you with the answers.

Home improvements can be rewarding, turn your home into a nicer more comfortable place to live, and increase its value.

Whether you are renovating your kitchen, converting a loft, giving a room a lick of paint or making improvements to your home’s energy efficiency, this column is here to guide you with useful information and key things to remember.

Do you have a renovation question or concern? Please feel free to send Hugh your questions. Contact him through www.subject2homeinspections.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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