(Girl) Power Shortage

My shower has a leak.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

My first plan of attack was to replace the shower head.

I took off the old, gross one and installed a new water-saving model.

When I turned the water back on, it dripped about ten times faster than before I started.


I read about what the next step might be (thank you, internets) and discovered that what I must do is replace the “cartridge” which rests deep in the heart of the shower infrastructure – behind the knob that turns the water off and on.

My plan was to write today about how I totally kicked ass and disassembled and reassembled that knob/cartridge like some kind of plumbing ninja. If ninjas did plumbing.

Which I am guessing they don’t, because I think that little face cover thing that ninjas wear would get in the way of all the yelling and cursing required to do plumbing. Plus, ninjas don’t have the patience required. They are all hiiiyaaa…and one chop and things are dead and falling down. They don’t have the fortitude required for plumbing.

I am like a ninja that way. Because apparently I do not either.

Because let me tell you – plumbing is a pain in the butt.

Almost literally since I came this close to falling on mine while standing on the wet shower floor attempting to bust a stubborn screw loose.  But I am getting ahead of myself…

I managed to wedge the secret cover on the faucet handle off – and avoided bleeding in the process – which I considered an early win on the project.

Then I attempted to loosen the single screw that holds the whole works together.

One screw.

One very tight screw.

One screw that was in there so tightly that my attempts to screwdriver it loose resulted in a completely round hole in the top of the screw – replacing the little + that is supposed to be there.


A trip to Home Depot later and cut to me standing in the shower with the (leaky) shower head dripping on me while I yell at the faucet handle.

Get off of there!

I mean it. Get. Off.

You are pissing me off now – LET LOOSE!

In between the ranting I tried various things including a tool called a “screw extractor” which seems like it could potentially come in handy in non-plumbing situations.

Not all that handy for this particular plumbing situation.

In fact – I tried FIVE DIFFERENT screw extractors. I bought a little set of them because I wasn’t sure which size I needed.

None of them are apparently the right size.

Actually, now I am told that first I must drill a hole into the screw. Which scares me quite a bit. I am stalling on that one for a while.

Because I was scared of doing what was necessary to make the whole screw extractor operation successful, I attempted to use a balloon and a wrench to remove the screw. I will let you try to imagine how THAT came together.

It didn’t work, sadly. I would suck as MacGyver.

My daughter attempted to help, which just made me get pissy because if I can’t make it work, why could she?

I then apologized for being pissy and explained that spending several hours yelling at a screw while water drips on your head tends to make people irrationally mean.

She forgave me. Then she took the wrench and the balloon and did her best to show me up.

Luckily, she also failed.

And no, I am not proud of myself for saying that.

After a few more rounds of banging, yelling, and dripping, I gave up.

Admitting defeat (for now) I went back downstairs and turned the water back on so that the kids could take a shower (with my nifty new rainshower head.)

We went back upstairs (and yes, it is completely stupid that the thing to turn the water supply off and on is in the basement) and I moped my way into the bathroom to see how badly it was now dripping.

And it wasn’t.


Did I fix it?

Or just shut it up for now?

I have a whole bag of parts potentially required once I get that stinking screw out. But apparently I SCARED it into behaving.

So maybe I AM a plumbing ninja!!


About Kristen

Me: Kristen, more than 40-something (don't make me face the number), suburban mom of 2, working girl, therapeutic writer, proprietor of an emptying nest Addictions: Iced Coffee, FOMO resulting in twitchy compulsion to check FB/Instagram/Pinterest in an unending loop, texting, hugging my one child while Snapchatting the other and yelling at my dog

4 Responses

  1. babs50nfab

    You amaze me. If I didn’t have Dave as my go-to guy for these kinds of things I would need an extra bank acct. for the plumber and all other type of ‘handy men’. You get A++ in my book for even trying, not to mention persisting!
    Well done ninja!

  2. Isabel


    Sorry to bother you, wish you could reply me soon in regards with my emails. If you don’t want to hear from me again please just reply with “Remove” or something similar, and I’ll mark you as “not interested” and won’t bother you again.


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