View Full Version : Wishing you hadn't started that simple job

2nd Dec 2014, 18:38
It was only meant to be removing some grout that was discoloured and then replace same, simple, job done, kudos. Reality…..several tiles fell off/came away revealing wet wood panel behind and now several days later a small job became a large one. One wishes one had left things alone. So what repair/whatever jobs have the ppruners started and then thought "I wish I hadn't done that" ? There is, of course, a great satisfaction when one has completed said task, but I wonder if it outweighs the frustration and wasted time that will never be regained. :ugh:


2nd Dec 2014, 19:23
Oh yes!

An request for "an afternoon's job" of tiling part of a bathroom wall at my son's first house resulted in my discovering that he needed an entire new bathroom.

This included a rebuild of part of two of the structural inner brick walls and the construction of an entire window return, which basically fell down when I pulled some tiles off. A new wooden floor, new tiles on top. It needed a compete new bathroom suite, resulting in the complete redesign and replacement of the 1930s plumbing. I ended up living there for almost six weeks. It was complicated because I had to refit the bath, sink, and toilet every night so it was possible to live in the house. Because my son was going to work, I did it mainly single handed. In my "days off" I went home and went to work..

I was pleased with the result. But never again...

2nd Dec 2014, 19:27
Bathrooms are always a bastard of lucking issues.

I personally won't help anyone with them now for exactly the reasons out lined.

2nd Dec 2014, 19:50
Ooh, ooh, me, me
Dripping tap in a small en-suite toilet/washroom
Buy washers take off tap cover, find that tap shank has snapped!
No problem, you can buy replacement tap covers and shanks, so do so.
Find that taps are old imperial taps and therefore the spare parts don't fit.
(The house is a pretty forgettable bungalow, built in the 50's by an ex german POW who used to be held in the POW camp that preceded the bungalow!)
Old taps are pretty much welded to old sink, have to make decision to continue in knowledge that removing taps may wreck sink. It does, one last wrench of tap against bottom nut and sink cracks, as does toilet bowl when spanner flies off nut and hits it.
So, need new sink and toilet!
On removing rest of sink, find the surrounding tiles were fitted around sink so there is a sink stencil in the remaining tiles. Same goes for the hole made by the pedestal for the sink and the toilet!
Good job I've got a sense of humour!

2nd Dec 2014, 21:24
Handysnaks, my daughter has just repeated your performance, minus the toilet but plus reseating the tap washer. At least she did it herself.

2nd Dec 2014, 22:30
Naw, the absolute worse simple job that you wished you had never started, was putting up the first Christmas decoration.

Trust me on this. :{

2nd Dec 2014, 23:49
Replacing an indicator lamp on the dashboard of one of my cars.
'Two minute job'......... he thunk ...........

Hours later, having disconnected battery, removed steering wheel, dashboard, wiring looms, centre console .......... sitting surrounded by a dozen or so wiring looms and a million wires ..........

2nd Dec 2014, 23:59
Henry, try this


3rd Dec 2014, 02:22
She said: " I wonder if you could help me with this one little thing..."

Terry Dactil
3rd Dec 2014, 06:41
Naw, the absolute worse simple job that you wished you had never started, was putting up the first Christmas decoration.

Putting up the Xmas lights is easy.


3rd Dec 2014, 08:43
Putting my hand down a certain girl's knickers....

3rd Dec 2014, 08:57
She said: " I wonder if you could help me with this one little thing..."

That happens so many times!

"While you're up that ladder, I just wondered if you could see if this can be mended? There's no rush but I'm off to my mother's in a minute"

(She's holding up another broken object of some indeterminate description. Whatever it was, it's in pieces).

"I don't think so, it's beyond repair, dear. Can you just stop wobbling the ladder?" :ooh:

"How can you say that, you've not even looked at it properly!"

"That's because I'm up this bleedin' ladder!"

"There's no need to be like that!" :*

3rd Dec 2014, 09:14
I seem to recall Slasher regretting a minor repair to a cup . . . :E

Walking Ballast
3rd Dec 2014, 09:43
Would you believe tightening an 8mm bolt in the bottom agitator of the washing machine just took me 7 hours, 4 beers, and several dozen inappropriate uses of nonstandard English phraseology (most beginning with F and ending in uck).

After 20 some years of faithful service the old Simpson was in need of a bit of maintenance. Small black stains have begun to appear on the clothes after they had been washed, said stains were not on clothing prior to being washed. The agitator was loose and the theory was the clothes were getting under the agitator and getting grease on them.

SHE:” Can you have a look at the washing machine please, it is playing up”
ME: “Easy job Hunni, give me a second and I will grab some tools from the shed”…….Famous last words.

Gentle application of measured force commiserate with the need to tighten small bolt ever so slightly resulted in a snapped bolt as a result of corrosion and the bolt ‘welding’ itself into the thread. I was left looking at half still remaining IN the motor spindle and nothing to grab hold of too unscrew the broken bit.

BUGGER ME…No problems, I have an ‘Ezi-out” to take care of that, drill hole, insert ‘Ezi-out’ and find that the remainder of the bolt will not budge regardless of the amount of precisely and firmly, yet controlled application of torque applied…..mmmm…OK, well, maybe if I swear at it a little the flaming thing will get scared, know that I mean business and give up.

Nope, ‘Ezi-out’ snaps, so, now I have broken bolt, high tensile steel ‘Ezi-out’ and the second use of nonstandard English.

Long story short, the motor had to come out in order to complete major repairs in the Man Cave, where I had easy access to tools and bench. I needed to split the inner and outer bowls to access the motor, AND as a result needed a new bearing installed. The bearing had to be pressed fitted….I don’t own a press…….so a drive down the street to friend place was on the cards.

By the end of the ‘two minute job before dinner’ I had four full blocks around home of grown men trembling, women crying and babies screaming in fear at the constant stream of abuse and swearing that came from the laundry and then the shed.

After that marathon effort all I got was, “I guess now is not a good time to mention that I have an oil leak in the car?” :ugh::ugh::ugh::sad:

3rd Dec 2014, 11:37
Don't start, yesterday came home to a missus whinging about a dislodged toilet seat. Toilet was fitted when I was working abroad 2 years ago and I never did like it. Attempting to fix it, I searched the back for the usual access to the underneath bolts....nope, unable to, no access at all!Attempted to remove the seat from the top mountings only to have the hinge barrels cave into the mounting! WTF. Called brother in law plumber who came to see it, shook his head and said the entire toilet will have to come out..........For a ******* toilet seat!

Toilet was fit by same brother in law now shaking his head in disbeleif. So, now we're changing the entire toilet on the weekend.
Some toilet designers need to be shot. Brothers in law who don't consider everything might be spared if they promise to fit the next one for free.

3rd Dec 2014, 13:05
Your friends are

(a) epoxy (varieties: slow, fast, high temp, metal bonding)
(b) sikaflex (varieties: black or white)

Never found anything one of these two won't fix.

Oh, and for fillings, inlays or crowns:

(c) Uhu

Of course if you are suffering from background noise, using (b) works wonders on dental problems.

3rd Dec 2014, 13:59
Never start ANY job on a Sunday afternoon.

The cistern in the loo started to run water out of the overflow. Oh, thinks I, I'll change the washer and fix that when I've finished my lunch. There is a bag of assorted tap washers in the garage. Found them, no trouble. Found some plumbers pipe gasket just in case .............. All set.

I lifted the lid on the cistern to remind myself what the gubbings looks like. Ah yes, standard looking thing, I have a suitable washer in my bag full. No problem, be all done in a few minutes.

So, I flushed the loo to take the water away, undid the large nut retaining the ball valve mechanism and withdrew the body complete with float, arm, piston, washer and nozzle. As the flow of un-controlled water started I grabbed a foil dish and positioned it to deflect the incoming jet down into the cistern. Re-flushed the loo to take the water away.

At this point I decided that the next bit would need more hands than I have. Called partner to hold the foil dish and take responsibility for flushing away the water every time the tide came in.

I checked out the nozzle and washer and found that they were in good order. Then I spotted that the end of the incoming water fitting, where the nozzle seats, was corroded and eaten away at the end. It was going to need more than a washer to sort it.

It was about half an hour before the end of Sunday trading. In quick time I re-fitted everything back as it had been, dashed to the nearest supplier and grabbed an identical looking ball valve assembly complete. They locked the door as I left the store. Phew.

So, I went home armed with a full replacement part, what could possibly go wrong?

Answer, plenty, apparently.

To replace the incoming water fitting part was going to need the water turning off. The stopcock is accessed through a fist sized hole through the back of a kitchen cupboard unit. We cleared out the cupboard and I crawled inside it. The stopcock is sideways on, you can't get a handle or lever onto it. It was seized tight and wouldn't turn more than a few degrees. An hour later, after much application of spray oil and wrestling with pliers I turned it far enough to nearly stop the water flow into the house. Leaving the bath tap running would reduce the flow to the cistern to manageable proportions.

I proceeded to remove the assembly, as before, and set about the incoming pipe fitting replacement. No problem. Offered up the new fitting, looks a bit shorter, ho hum, still it is long enough to bridge the gap between the pipe poking through the wall and the side of the cistern and still get the nut on. I did that.

Then, I went to fit the rest of the assembly to the incoming fitting and found that the ball float didn't clear the flushing syphon assembly. Everything had been moved over due to the shorter incoming pipe fitting, but not enough to have caused the extent of the issue.

I fetched a tape measure and on checking everything I found that the arm that holds the float on the new assembly to be a full inch shorter than the old assembly. The new incoming fitting was shorter than the old by about three quarters of an inch.

So, I set about swapping the float arm from the old unit to the new. The extra inch still left the ball float fouling the syphon assembly.

I was running out of options.

Luckily, I have access to an engineers lathe. After shifting a mountain of stuff to make space to work my lathe I was able to turn down the end of the corroded fitting just enough to remove the corroded and eaten away brass. This didn't shorten it significantly, it was still longer than the new replacement part.

After further spanner work I replaced the new incoming fitting with the old, fitted the new ball valve assembly but with the old float arm. It was going to work out OK. I went back to the kitchen and wrestled the stopcock back on.

By the time I had cleared up my tools and washed my hands, and we had put the stuff back in the kitchen cupboard the 5 minute job had taken nearly 5 hours.

3rd Dec 2014, 14:04
Been having a frustrating few days. Down into Derby on Mon to put up the church Christmas tree. Little helpers already at it when I arrived. Looking good. Until they got to the top bit - the one the star/fairy/whathaveyou straps onto.
Top of the existing section: male end.
Bottom of the top bit: male end.
"Who put this away last year?!!!"
"You did, Jim!"
Long pause, followed by a longer frantic search stretching to both loft spaces and organ loft. Nada.
"Oh well, (bravely) I'll fettle an adaptor, and make sure the star fits securely on the top this year. That's a 25mm spike, I've got some 1" plastic tubing, I'm sure."

This morning:
Plastic tubing 2mm too small in i.d. Off to the d.i.y. store.
Back tomorrow with 29mm tubing and stickyback plastic.

I think I'll deal with that leaky tap instead. It looks easier...

3rd Dec 2014, 17:19
Naw, the absolute worse simple job that you wished you had never started, was putting up the first Christmas decoration.

Trust me on this.

I do Con, I do! Worst day of the year!


3rd Dec 2014, 18:39
Don't ever try to drain, flush and refill your central heating system at 2 p.m. on Easter Sunday, even if there's a sudden cold snap and you get nagged because someone is getting cold due to a lukewarm radiator, obviously caused by silt.

It will go well enough, albeit taking up your whole afternoon and evening, until you get to the final and critical part of the job, which is to bleed the boiler. When you open the centre brass screw with a spanner (the highly critical part), it falls out in small pieces due to corrosion. You now have a drain valve that cannot be turned off or sealed. The only way to stop the full flow is to turn off the mains. Obviously, there is now no chance of heating or even having a warm drink.

The frost now sets in hard in more ways than one. You are now extremely unpopular because someone is even colder. You get to bed at midnight, filthy, cold, thirsty and totally peed off, but happy in the knowledge that you could fix it tomorrow when the shops open and you can get to a plumbers' merchant.

Then you realise it's Easter Monday tomorrow....

3rd Dec 2014, 18:49
And it was all your fault for breaking the valve. :ugh:

A competent tradesman would have had a spare (and probably wouldn't have broken it in the first place) - I can hear her indoors berating you for being so stupid.

The Flying Pram
3rd Dec 2014, 19:17
1) Repainting the wheels from my Mini with Hammerite, THEN putting them in the kitchen oven to bake it. The resulting finish was superb, but for some strange reason mother wasn't very pleased...

2) Replacing an engine mount on my old Austin Maxi. One of two long bolts had rusted solid and took hours of cursing, penetrating fluid, and finally Oxy Torch heating to shift. Had I previously installed the bolts facing the other way, it would have been dead easy to remove just the nuts, thereby allowing the mount and adjacent bracket to be separated. Then I could have set about the remaining bolt in a large vice, instead of laying on the floor...

3) Repairing numerous small "holes" in the sills of said motorised contraption, which invariably became LARGE holes before there was enough decent metal to attach a patch to.

4) A similar small hole in the floor pan of the subsequent Fiat Panda - by the time I had removed all the cr*p I could put my foot through the opening.

5) Renewing the motor bearings in our Creda tumble dryer. This should have been a straightforward job, but (as with the car) ONE bloody mounting bolt was seized. And, once again, it took the Oxy torch to shift it. On reflection I probably should have dragged the appliance outside before doing this! However this amazing machine is still going strong - it's now 36 years old.

6) Offering to look at the electrics on brother-in-laws 30 year old motor boat. Let's just say it has become "a work in progress"...