Thanks to the salamander, we now have a new sink!

So remember I took in a blue-spotted salamander that I found in the basement after we brought in wood a couple months ago?

Well thanks to that salamander we now have a new sink!

Last weekend I was giving his little plastic terrarium a quick clean/water change. He has been very docile since I found him. The internet research I did said he was probably still trying to continue his hibernation/over-wintering. Well this time he had a quick flash of Olympic glory. He was completely still and docile and then he quickly jumped up, turning around, and swoosh! down the drain. The kitchen drain!!

Oh the horror! After all this effort I killed him!

I must have shrieked because Jeff came running to the kitchen. He was so calm and collected. He got a bucket and undid the plumbing trap. Oddly enough, not much water came out, and there was no salamander.

In between kicking myself for being so stupid and tearing up I ran around the house gathering the tools as Jeff called for them. Bucket. Flashlight. Towels. Vice-grips. Saw. wait. saw?

Piece by piece Jeff took apart the plumbing. I was sure the salamander was long gone. But then I shone the flashlight down the drain and I could see him! Turn on the water, Jeff said. Flush him out the open trap!

No go. Only water came out.

I could see him perched on top of something in the drain.

Eventually Jeff took the hacksaw and sawed off the plumbing and disconnected it from the sinks. He took the network of plumbing and dumped it out over the bucket I had and there he was! Safe and sound, and plomp! back into your terrarium you go you little bugger.

Jeff had to get his drain snake out to clear out the plumping. There was 4 popsicle sticks in the drain!! That is what he was sitting on! The last home owner must have put them down there for some reason. (No wonder the drain stunk at times and didn’t drain water away quickly!)

After our adrenalin rush eased off we looked around to realize our kitchen plumbing was all taken apart and the sink drains had been removed.

Now Jeff had his chance. He HATED the sink in this kitchen since he first laid eyes on it. HATED it! There could be no better chance than to see it out of here than when it was already half taken apart!

Because my wonderful husband had such a big heart to saw through our plumbing to save a salamander, when so many others would have just cranked on the hot water and wished him well, I completely agreed that replacing the sink would be a great idea.

Here is the old sink. It is a brown ceramic and the sinks are circle:

old sink

We knew that replacing the sink wouldn’t be as easy as it could be. Because the sink was two circles it is wider than a normal sink dimension. We could replace the counter, as we plan to some day soon, so we could start with a smaller cut-out again so a normal sized sink could be purchased, but we also want to get rid of the counter-top cook stove when we replace the counter and we really didn’t want to renovate the kitchen without a little more forethought!

So Jeff removed the sink from the counter and carefully measured the hole and we researched the possibilities. We spent an afternoon after work one day visiting the local hardware stores. Not only did they have no sinks in stock that would fit in our cut-out sink hole, they weren’t able to even order us one! Well perhaps that is because no one that works past 4 o’clock is allowed to place inventory orders (damn small-town!). And did we really want to wait a few weeks for a sink to come in? The non-traditional drain attachment on this stupid brown sink would take a great deal of work to put back together and doing it temporarily was not really appealing to either of us.

Jeff found a sink on Home Depot’s website with the required dimensions so he called this week to see if they had one in stock in Halifax. They did not! The woman told him they could special order that particular sink, but they did have several sinks in stock that had the dimensions we were looking for.

Excellent!

So we traveled the 2.5 hours to Home Depot in Halifax.

Guess what.

They didn’t have a sink of that dimension. They don’t stock them. They had one on display but were not willing to take it off the wall for me. Yes. I asked.

The lady working there went through all their sink manufacturer catalogues to show us our options. A few of them were in the $800 range. Many more of them were in the $1500 range.

She told us that Kent and Rona were both nearby and maybe we should check them.

With our spirits lower than our ankles, we drove over to the Kent hardware store. Surprise surprise. They had almost the identical sinks in stock. And none that were a little bit wider to fit our sink cut out. Argh.

So we drove on in search of Rona. I dragged my feet into that store and back to the kitchen and bath area. We zipped down the row and saw the same manufacturers as the last two stores. Our eyes darted to the dimensions on the display sinks to the boxes on the shelves below and above the display. All the way down the row. All the way back up the row. And.. WAIT! Look at that box right there Jeff – doesn’t that say 33.75 wide? Yes I believe it does! We get a skip in our steps as we race back along all the display sinks trying to match up the numbers on the box to see the sink. Nope. That sink isn’t displayed anywhere – but there is a stack of them several shelves high. And all of those shelves were way out of reach. And the Rona employees-only staircase on wheels was right there. All we had to do was remove the chain that said “employees only please” and we’d have our sink!!

But we didn’t.

Because we are good upstanding, law-abiding, Rona sign respecting, citizens.

And a guy did come to help us. And it was probably only 10 minutes, not the 90 minutes that it felt like.

He took the sink box down and opened it up for us. Yep. 33.75 wide. YES! Wait, oh no, it’s only 6.5″ deep. But do we care? Nope! Because it’s huge! And stainless steel! And it won’t leave a gap in the counter on each side for easy access to the cupboard below. And it was only $249. What a steal! The one we had selected online was almost double that!

Off we skipped to the tap department to browse the hardware. The sink we just scored has only one hole for a tap instead of the common 3. I am super-keen on this. I hate cleaning behind the taps.

We browsed, and narrowed it down, and THERE! That is the one – that one right there!

Of course it was up on the shelf again, but the wait must only have been another 8 minutes this time. Jeff tried so hard to resist standing on something or climbing the shelves himself! At that is exactly what the employee did – he pushed back the other tap models with his foot and climbed on the shelf to snatch the one we wanted.

YES! We are going to go home happy!!

So several hours later, Jeff has all the plumbing reconstructed, and the sink is installed!! AND I’ve washed dishes twice – nothing makes dishes as fun as a new sink and tap. And our cookie trays and large pots actually fit in the sink! Neither of us minds that it is only 6.5″ deep – probably a standard size. Many of the new ones are 8″ but I don’t see the need – especially on a well – it would take a while to fill it with that much water!

So here is the final product!

new sink

new sink

new sink

Thanks to one little salamander. (Who is now free and out in the wild again. I set him free today and I wish him a long and happy and maybe a little less-adventurous life!)

Lisa

Lisa (Verkley) Schuyler is a blogger reporting live from her new home in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Often found wearing a hoodie, covered in pet hair, Lisa is a mis-placed forester who now spends her days engineering happiness for WordPress users. Lisa loves nature, animals, and most importantly, her handsome husband Jeff.

5 Replies to “Thanks to the salamander, we now have a new sink!

  1. What a sad day, the one and only double brown round sink is gone. I will miss the sucker,not.

    Glad you found a new one. Who is fighting to do the dishes?

    Have a great weekend.

  2. I’ve just had my weekly “At home with Lisa and Jeff in Nova Scotia” read……….reading your stories are better than any novel!!! And the sink is a DEFINITE improvement!!

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