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NaDeCluMo and the “Oh-Hell-Box”

This episode of NaDeCluMo is brought to you by Old House Syndrome and the “Oh-Hell-Box”.

When I go to the hardware store, I tend to overbuy in order to avoid having to run back for more parts midway through. These spare parts tend to accumulate in disorganized piles in my garage. I don’t throw them away because I might need them someday; I never actually use them because I can’t locate the right part at the right time.

So as I was decluttering the garage, I designated collecting places for various categories.  If it’s “plumbing stuff”, it goes in this box.  “Electrical stuff” goes over there.  You get the idea.  My Dad calls these Oh-Hell-Boxes … for reasons that will become obvious shortly.

Which leads me to old house syndrome.  When you go to fix something in an old house, the repair is simply an opportunity for something else to break.  Often everything in a particular system will be ready to collapse at once, and so when the first element goes, the others follow right away.  In plumbing, that’s usually because things like rubber washers tend to degrade over time, and so if one washer is bad, all of the others probably are as well.

In this case, the toilet flow valve had ceased to function.  You had to physically manipulate the valve to get it to start refilling the tank after a flush, then again it took human intervention to get it to stop the water flow once the tank was full.

So I trundled down to Home Depot and picked up a replacement valve.  Grabbed a new flapper as well, since those tend to die on the same schedule as the valves. That repair seemed to go fine, but of course manipulating the shutoff valve on the toilet made its washers break down and I ended up with a nice leak in the valve. 

Enter the Oh-Hell-Box.  When you’re doing a repair and something else breaks, giving you that “Oh, Hell!” moment, the Oh-Hell-Box has the bits you need to do a quick repair without having to go back to the hardware store.  In this case, I had a spare shutoff valve of the correct size, and so the repair was accomplished in just a few minutes.

Of course, manipulating the water supply line to repair the valve seems to have led to a leak in the water supply line… on the bright side, I have a spare water supply line in my OHB (though it may be too short)!

On other fronts, I also bought a wedding dress this weekend.  Went to a place with many, many dresses and tried on a bunch; picked the one I liked the best and discovered it cost the least as well.  So I must’ve done something good recently to get such karma.  It’s a relief to have that task out of the way.

Just took Mom and Dad to the airport, after a restful weekend, and now need to get back to work.  Let’s see if I can find the initiative to do so!


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