Replacing a gasket is like replacing a lightbulb

I recently moved into a cozy apartment in Prague that has various areas in need of some maintenance. I’ve had some really good memories there in the first month, so I don’t regret the choice. :D.

One such element was a leaking connection by the tap, which was not urgent yet would be nice to fix. I made the mistake of impatiently signing off that the apartment is “basically ok” when I should have investigated and asked for basic mainentance to be done before I sign the contract.

The first idea was to tighten the bolt, suggested by a handyman friend. Unfortunately, this seems to have further broken the rotten gasket (a seal or Těsnění), exacerbating the leakage to an urgent level.

Now I had to struggle with all my might to get the water shut-off valves to budge. I discovered some sort of double-thumb rotation technique and leveled up. It was pretty nifty hearing the water rush through as slowly turning the water back on. Good thing I got so used to cold showers this year 🤣.

The landlord’s representative claimed a plumber would be called and would show up on Sep. 1. This was untrue.

I thought it’d be ideal to have a wise friend show me the ropes and asked on Facebook (– amazing I’ve become such a person!).

Various friends gave me instructions on what to do, including lectures on how nearly anything to do with plumbing is easy to figure out and YouTube is “full of experts competing to explain things to me for free!”).

If everyone in the know says it’s “easy” (while those who don’t shrug and suggest finding a good plumber), maybe it’s worth a shot early enough in the day to call for help as needed?

Taking the tap off is surprisingly easy, and this cute lil’ gasket’s stuck in the nozzle — no shit it wasn’t functioning correctly. It had rotted quite a bit, leaving some remains in the grinder for removal.

The staff at M.A.T., a local hardware store, were adequately friendly and easily gave me replacement gaskets. One even spoke English 😎👍.

They go in as one would expect, and all one needs to do is screw into them enough for water-flow to be sealed in. Voila.

The repair then seems done with a bit of tightening.

Given how easy it was, I feel like a drama king making a big deal about something as simple as changing a lightbulb.

My fear is primarily that in my ignorance I will fuck things up in some unknown way, causing horrible flooding that I can’t resolve and needing to wait a few days in that condition until some plumber can help… or something 😜.

I did a bit of reading on HowStuffWorks where they suggest everyone in a household should know where the water valves are — I don’t. And if the ones in my apartment dysfunction, I’m not sure where the main ones are. That seems like improper protocol 🥲🤓.

And watching “How to Fix a Sink Leak (Supply Valve, Lines, & Faucet)” on YouTube did make the task look easier (and less likely to have scary failure modes).

I recall wishing to be a more full-stack citizen of Earth: one who is able to deal with all wakes of life, much as in Heinlein’s famous passage. Let us know of the algorithms of intelligence, of transistors, of bricklaying, of septic systems, of viral medical care, et cetera~!

Yet when a situation to learn more arises, well, I really wish to live in a well-functioning environment where I can focus on other fun, interesting aspects of life where my individual strengths will be better utilized.

And I’m glad to have leveled up skills in «seal replacement». I’m also grateful to those who helped.

I’m open to further developing full-stack embodied Earthling capacities, hopefully in an easy, relaxed manner under the tutelage of wiser friends 🤓🤖.