Bevels can be like belly buttons – there are innies and outies

The old shower door, outside handle on the left, inside handle on the right and bevel in the middle

Each time I used to get into the shower and close the door, my heart would skip a beat, would the door open again? Something in the lock mechanism had worn out causing the bevel to get stuck . The bevel is the bit of metal that slides in and out when you turn the handle.

Riding the wave of confidence of replacing the shower bilge pump, I volunteered to replace the shower door handle. The conversation went something like this:

Me: think I might give replacing the shower door handle a go

The Skipper: goodo, all yours

Me (thinking): this is sounding like the shower bilge pump episode all over again

Me: ok, mum is looking after Orbit tomorrow, so I’ll remove the old one and take it to the chandlery, a replacement on will only cost $50, crossing fingers they’ll have one and the new one will be on tomorrow night, so it should only take 48 hours, tops

The Skipper: you sound like your on top of this one

Me (rather proudly): yep

The Skipper: ok, all yours 

After dropping Orbit at my mum’s, I was ready to tackle my task. No dramas with removing the handle so I was off to my favourite shop, the local chandlery. At the chandlery while waiting my turn to be served, I tried to avoid looking at the clothes and shoe section – one day I will indulge and buy my new Musto outfit and a new pair of Dubarry shoes, one day … but I digress, where was I? at the counter asking the helpful staff if they have a replacement for my door handle.

Yes they do, but none in stock, so I walk away job half done, waiting for a phone call for when my new handle would arrive.

A few days later the new handle has arrived. The Skipper has a few things on his shopping list, so he’s taken advantage of the situation to pick up my handle and while getting a few things he ‘needed’ from the chandlery.

The first words on his return were ‘don’t drop it in the water’. Why would I do that? The handle is on the boat, I don’t plan on taking it outside the boat, not even in the cockpit. Maybe he knows something that I don’t? Is he referring to the water in the shower bilge? After clarification, he just wanted me to be careful because the handle was in excess of $200! It turns out the handle I found in the catalogue was a different brand to our handle, which is why there was such a big price difference.

The new shower door handle

The new shower door handle

Five days since the handle came off and child free, it was time to put the new lock on, without dropping in the water. After reading the instructions and reviewing the photos I took removing the old handle, I was ready to go.

Ten minutes later the handle was on, all I had to do was test it. There was a heart starting moment when I couldn’t get the door open, the bevel got a little bit stuck in the recess. After a few deep breaths, a turn of the handle and a slight push, the shower door was open. I didn’t think this was a big thing because the bevel was only getting a little bit stuck. So I packed up all the bits and pieces, making sure I kept all the ‘spare’ screws, allen key and instructions, just in case.

Lucky I did …

That night I proudly displayed my work to the Skipper. While acknowledging what a fantastic job I had done he stepped into the shower and closed the door. The bevel got a little bit stuck again. Similar to me, the Skipper was able to get out of the shower by turning the handle and a gentle push. After inspecting my work more closely, he informed me that the bevel on the new handle was the opposite direction to the bevel on the old one. If you look closely at the photos you’ll see the different positions. This is why the handle would turn the bevel but not all the way out of the recess, making it get a ‘little bit stuck’. Thank goodness I kept all the bits and pieces!  It meant I could pack it up and take it back to the chandlery for a replacement (with the bevel the right way around).

Tips on replacing the shower door handle, i.e. things that the instructions won’t tell you:

  1. Bevels can be like belly buttons, some have innies and outies depending on whether the door opens in or out.
  2. Take a photo of each time a bit is removed, just in case the instructions don’t make sense.
  3. Have a cup of tea after removing the lock – for no other reason than its always nice to have a cup of tea.

Because the replacement handle will take about two weeks to come in, in total my quick project (i.e. 48 hours) will turn into one that will take about 4 weeks, . This means we don’t have a handle on the shower door. But that’s ok. We don’t really need it unless we want to have a shower when we are sailing (as the boat will be heeled over). And we’re not planning on having showers while sailing over the next two weeks. Lucky there are plenty of things on the To Do List to keep me busy while I wait for the replacement handle to arrive!