Precious Metals

Fresh off a four comment post (WOOT!), I figured it was time to get a service/product post out of the way.  That and it was a great opportunity to get the Macro glass back out.  Needless to say, this Macro realm is going to take some time to get adjusted too.  Thinking at this point, it is all about the tripod/monopod and possibly the wireless shutter or at worst case the old stand by shutter timer.  Honestly, easy hobbies bore me and this one looks like it will give me a lifetime of enjoyment.

You are probably wondering why there appears to be metal shavings hanging out on the left.  Could it be some colossal metal sculpture depicting the evolution of life from the moment of conception to the point they put you back in the ground (stare at awhile from bottom up, you’ll get what I mean and it will forever haunt you every time you see this picture)?  Maybe it is some civil war relics dug up during our trip out east a couple of years ago or perhaps simply some metal shavings that ended up costing me some green bills?  I’ll let you ponder that for a couple of minutes if nothing else to let you shake out some bad imagery.  If you picked ‘A’, I have some things I’d like to sell you.  If instead you immediately deduced this was a post about service and therefore selected option ‘C’ then pat yourself on the back.  These shavings are actually fingertip small and cost me about $100.  A number of weeks back, my wife decided to enjoy the whirlpool after a long agility show day.  Once filled, she tried to turn off the water but a small stream of cold water remained.  For the most part I’ve gain some proficiency in the carpentry thing, the brick/cement thing, basic mechanics and even wiring when the need arises.  There are two things I am definitely not good at – one being natural gas and the other being plumbing.  When I originally built my house, everything was electric because I could likely fix anything that went wrong and it didn’t have the threat of blowing up my house (note, since then the genset has been installed crushing my no gas plan).

So now it is late on a Sunday and we are staring at a stream of water destined to drain the well if left unresolved too long.  After some brain things inside my head, it occurred to me that it was not a crisis since I could simply close the shut-offs to the whirlpool and get it addressed before her next use.  This plan was relevant for about 5 minutes until a quick run downstairs brought awareness to the fact there were NO shutoffs on the whirlpool.  Couple that discovery with the fact there is a fully tiled elevated skirting along the two open sides of the whirlpool and you have some major suckage happening.  Last chance was to take off the Delta faucets and see if there was a washer I could temporarily tighten down to at least stop the flow.  Any guesses how that idea panned out…you’re right.  With no other options, I killed the main well shutoff and planned to open it up just long enough for our morning showers while we hunted down someone to fix it.  Lucking out, when we turned the water back on, the faucet was no longer leaking so we left the water on, got a hold of someone recommended by one of the builders we still talk to and tested our patience until that Friday when he could make it over to correct the situation.  I should point out, the job included fixing the leaks and putting in the missing shut off valves in case it ever happened again.  Long story short, the plumber successfully put the shut offs in and then started working on the faucet leaks.  Adding to my limited knowledge of plumbing, Delta now uses a cartridge concept which simply pulls out for easy replacement.  There is a spring that sits on top to engage the cartridge which allows the water to flow or more importantly shuts it off when the handles are turned.  The plumber pulls out the cartridge puts a new one in and has me turn the water back on.  Ack!  water still does not shut off.  Intrigued, the plumber turned the water back off, removed the cartridge and started probing into the faucet base.  Pretty soon he pulls out a few of the metal pieces above.  The odd thing he notices is that they appeared galvanized and thus was unsure of where they would have originated from.  Problem solved, faucet replaced and the water turned back on… not so fast… still leaks… water back off.  The faucet was removed again and sure enough more metal shavings and now the rest of them are in the tube having navigated their way through the rest of the innards.  This second attempt did the trick and the faucet officially works now.

I am still left wondering why those shavings ended up there.  I highly doubt it was luck of the draw from debris that made it in to the piping during the build phase over 3 years ago.  What is more believable is faulty faucet workmanship.  The assumption being the metal shavings were part of the faucet manufacturing process and they simply broke off over time.  I do not have the time to verify if there are galvanized components inside the faucet, but in any case, these little shavings cost me over $100.  That amount of money for the weight of those shavings put it in company with some pretty precious metals, however, it was putting at jeopardy the most precious commodity there is out in the country… WATER 8^)