It's been a while since I had the time to post. Things are hectic/crazy as we get closer to the Gettysburg reenactment.
FINALLY have the tub in the bathroom. Which brings me to the plumbing portion of the adventure story I commonly refer to as "rehabbing the house." For any of you who have not had the pleasure of doing your own plumbing (apparently including the majority of SCOTUS, for reasons I will make clear later on), a quick cheat-sheet: The parts that stick out (pipes, etc.) and have the screw threads on the outside are "male" and the parts that screw onto the "male" parts (nuts, etc.) are "female". And that's where today's story begins...
I bought the plumbing bits (faucets/rigid water supply pipes/chrome drain pipes) for the tub individually over the last several years. My tub is antique cast iron that requires a tub-wall-mount faucet with 3 3/8" centers. Most of the faucets I found were made either for acrylic tubs (which apparently are thicker than cast iron), had wider (read: modern standard) hole centers, or were for tub-deck or wall mounts. I ended up buying the drain/supply lines from two different places on Amazon, and bought the faucet from a local plumbing store in town for $30. Got an amazing (I thought) deal on the faucet. Most of the faucets I found were in the $150 and up range. And then the boxes of my pretty bits of plumbing chrome sat in the bottom of the tub, in my living room, for almost 3 years. (Which is slow progress, even for me!)
Anyway, we moved the tub into place a couple of weeks ago and I gleefully started putting the plumbing bits together. It all was going so well...until I tried to attach the supply lines to the back of the faucet. The nut would not screw onto the brass male fitting on the faucet. I figured, "No big. I'll just run by the plumber's and get the proper threaded nut."
Took the nut and the faucet to the local plumbing store. Gave them to the plumbing guy manning the store and explained the problem. He twisted the faucet's handles up and down a couple of times, turned it over, tried to twist the nut on two or three times, looked thoroughly confused and asked what it was to. I said a clawfoot tub. He asked where I had bought the faucet. I told him I had bought it from him three years ago. He said I needed to solder (or something) another piece of brass onto the back of the faucet to attach my supply lines. I explained that wouldn't work, because it would show. He proceeded to wander around the store, muttering, twisting the faucet's handles back and forth, on and off. Then he proceeded to inform me, in his best "you are female and are incapable of knowing anything about plumbing" voice, all the while twisting the faucet handles on-and-off, on-and-off, that I had a wall-mounted faucet, not a tub-wall-mount faucet, and that I couldn't return it, since I had bought it so long ago. I swore creatively all the way to Lowe's.
At Lowe's, I tracked down the dude who was assigned plumbing, explained the problem, and handed him the faucet and the nut. He immediately started twisting the tub handles on-and-off, on-and-off, asked me if I had been to the local plumbing store, and then informed me that they didn't have anything to help me. He said no one installs cast iron tubs anymore and suggested I might be interested in buying an acrylic tub. More creative swearing ensued, all the way home. I even trotted out the few Yiddish swear words I know, that's how mad I was.
Got home, pulled up Amazon, and broke the bank by plunking down champagne-budget money on a proper, tub-wall, side-mount, chrome-plated, adjustable width, with shower adapter, faucet from Kingston Brass. Piled the rest of the shiny chrome bits into the tub, and proceeded to mutter my way through the last two weeks while the right faucet wended its way through the mails to me. It got here yesterday.
As soon as the box was in my hot little hands, I tore it open. Beautiful faucet. Started assembling it. The water supply elbows came separate from the faucet proper, so it could be adjusted to the 3 3/8" center holes for my water supply lines. But there was one problem. The elbows were "male" at the end that attached to the faucet, but were "female" at the end that attached to the water supply lines! I consulted the assembly instructions. They had a split picture for attaching the elbows; one showed the elbows I had, the other showed slightly longer elbows with "male" threads at both ends. I pawed through the rest of the parts in the box, and came up with a pair of 2 1/2" brass "male" adapters, which were far too long for the wall thickness my cast iron tub. I got on the phone to Kingston Brass customer service. A bored sounding girl answered.
I explained what I was doing, gave her the part number for the faucet, and asked how to get the other elbows. She told me I didn't need them, that I had the right ones. I told her the brass "male" adapter was far too long, would show on the outside of the tub, and asked if I could just order the other elbows because my supply lines couldn't attach to the elbows I had. She asked where I had bought my supply lines. I told her I didn't remember, Amazon somewhere. She haughtily informed me that I had the wrong supply lines; I'd have to buy Kingston Brass supply lines. I mentally started swearing as I pulled up the part number she gave me. I explained to her that the Kingston Brass supply lines had the same "female" nut that my supply lines did, that I didn't want a brass adapter showing amid all the chrome on the back of my tub, and that it was impossible to put a "female" elbow with a "female" nut. She insisted I had the right parts, didn't need a "male" end for the water-supply lines to attach to, and took my number so she could have a "professional" call me to correct my thinking.
After much more creative swearing, mainly centering on **** people who don't **** understand their own **** area of expertise, and who **** ignore the obvious by **** insisting that you could join two "female" parts, I decided to ignore the professionals and figure it out myself. A quick trip to Lowe's to obtain a couple of 1 1/2" "male" adapters and I was good to go. Faucet looks good, supply lines look good.
All of which is a long-winded story of how I know that the majority of the SCOTUS have never done their own plumbing. If they had, they would have known that you just CAN'T properly join two "females."
(It was just pointed out to me, in defense of SCOTUS, that most of the "female" pairs they were ruling on usually supply their own "male"...um...adapters, although it was also quickly pointed out that Lowe's probably doesn't carry those particular adapters.)
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