Of Leaks and Love

So it occurred to me today that what needs is… [cue drum roll] 

… the human element. 

I know, right? I mean, it's pipe, folks. It's hose. How human can it get? 

But the thing is, we're all human, right? The people who are visiting this site are human. I mean, we're all just trying to wend our way through this maze of pipe, tubing, hose, fittings, appliances… while still maintaining good, solid relationships with our loved ones and friends. Can I get a witness? 

One man the other day, for instance, had said to his lovely but skeptical wife, "Honey, we don't need to call a plumber. I can fix this leak under the kitchen sink myself. And with the money we save, I'll be able to buy you that red dress I've been wanting to get for you."

Not only does this man clearly love his wife, but his manhood is now on the line. Now, you tell me which is more important. But thankfully, is here to help ensure that both are proven. 

So after consulting P&H, and after inspecting his installation, he heads down to Renthrow Grady's Home Appliance and Hardware, armed with the precise information he needs in order to intelligently ask if they have it—an acumen seldom witnessed by the staff. He steps confidently up to the help desk and concisely states his inquiry. His manliness is quietly noted by all nearby observers.

During the ensuing pause of silence, the help desk guy thinks to himself, "Gee, most people ask me what they need, and then I gotta figure it out for them. This is weird."

Later that evening, as his wife finishes the last dish in her sparkling, leak-free sink, she finds herself looking forward to getting that new red dress, inwardly acknowledging how much her husband loves her. 

As I write, I fight off tears of gratitude for the fact that I (viz., have been able to play a part in this beautiful human drama. 

Just another day at You're welcome.

And of course, we know there are other ways, as well, of proving our manhood, and expressing our love...

Valentine's Day Gabriel Fine Jewelry

I Hate Thread Tape

Okay, maybe I don't actually hate thread tape. It's pretty handy stuff, and it doesn't get all over your fingers and everything you touch afterward. But I hate it and here's why...

Sometimes you have to insert and remove a given fitting routinely. I know, pipe threads aren't meant to be used as quick disconnect fitments, but there are some cases where insertion and removal of a threaded fitting is part of the routine process. In a case like that, if you use thread tape, the stuff just starts to wad up toward the base of the thread after a few uses. The first few times you just pile more on each time you screw it in. Then after several cycles you find yourself spending, like, a minute or two on each one digging the old tape off the thing with your finger nail, fastidiously unwrapping it like you're unwinding a bobbin of thread—only the stuff just tears off over and over again, and never quite comes clean. Finally you just say, "screw it," wrap some more tape back on, and then actually screw it... in, that is.

I also hate pipe dope.

The stuff never hardens, which, I suppose, is a good thing. Otherwise you'd never get the thing apart without a torch or some other unseemly "tool." But the stuff never dries. It just keeps coming back off your fingers, transferring itself onto every cotton-pickin' surface of every object in the shop. It's like the Prussian Blue we always put on the milling machine handle just before the new guy starts his second day of work. It just keeps going and going. It gets everywhere: on his forehead, his glasses, his face. Hilarious, right? Pipe dope is the same way. I hate that stuff.

So here's my solution... A timely tip, from me to you. Three letters:

  • RTV

I love this stuff. First off, sure, it kinda stinks, and it can be a mess. But if you keep a rag handy, you can actually wipe it off your fingers. And unlike pipe dope, it actually dries and [sort of] hardens up in a reasonable amount of time. Not only that, but it actually seals. Plus, you can clean the old stuff off the used fitting with relative ease.

I'm not suggesting you use it on a 2000 psi hydraulic system, but for low pressure applications, such as cooling lines on an injection mold, RTV is my go-to goo.

My favorite brand? Permatex. They've got your High-Temp, your Sensor-Safe, your Oil Resistant... Whatever you need.