The Curse Looms Bigger than Ever (by )

Yes friends it is back - today in the Snell-Pym disastor sytcom we have exploding taps and clonking vans!

Five in the morning sleepily I moan at Alaric fro having a shower that early. He grumbles at me for leaving said shower on. There was a brief pause and he gets up to investigate.

Not the shower, no lo! It is the squeacky cold tape downstair the washer had finially gone and water was jettosoning out of it at a scary rate. And so poor Al hurts his hand trying to turn the stop cock off.

Now we had known the washer was going due to the squeak in fact we had bought washers for the tape over a year ago but could not get to the washers to replace them. On top of that we could not get the stop cock to completely turn off.

Then there was some confussion later in the day when I thought Al had told Barabara but apparently hadn't been able to find her and she came around to ask if I'd been having trouble with the washing machine!

After alot of talking round in circles before things became clear it was a wait for the emergancy plumber - who fixed it in under five minutes - he said to be fair it was only an easy job if you had the right tools becuase they are stupid tapes!

He was also impressed with our messures to reduce the amount of water lost - ie we put on the fitting for the hose pipe with a penny in it and then cable tied it to the tape and placed tea towls over it to reduce pressure spray.

It was a nasty day as I had left banana chutney half made the night before thinking it would be a simple task to finish it today - sigh.

Then I managed to loose the work I had spent all morning doing on the laptop as it crashed whilst I was saving - it somehow lost the stuff I thought I'd already saved as well :/ The whole file thing - I'm wondering if I forgot to do intermediate saves or something - what ever the cuase I was not very happy as you can imagin!

The Alaric leaves the house to go and help at another Cub group in a sort of exchange thing him and one of their leaders has set up. But a few minutes later he comes dashing back in the house in a bit of a panic as the van isn't starting.

Clonk clonk and the lights go out - so this ment I found myself helping to strip some copper wire to fix the positive contact on the battery and wating Al sand paper it. To our emmense suprise it worked and the van started but I think we are now both just waiting for the next incident to hit us full force!



  • By @ndy Macolleague, Thu 7th Jun 2007 @ 9:53 pm

    Taps that spurt in the middle of the night are a pain. I had one do that at my parent's house and it really wakes you up... In a kind of "wtf is that?" kind of way. Then you try to work out if you're asleep or awake. Then you try to ignore it. Then it gets worse. Then you try to screw it down so that it stops. That makes the washer split completely and water flows freely.

    Even after fixing it up it still dripped like a wotsit for a few years. This eventually left a nice calcium trail along the porcelain.

    This comment reads like it was written by a three year old.

  • By alaric, Sat 9th Jun 2007 @ 6:50 pm

    I'm glad the van problem was exactly what I guessed it was.

    Symptom: As Sarah said, turn on the electrical systems and all seems fine, but try to start the engine and the lights all go out with a clunk of relays resetting.

    Now, from when we'd been teaching the Scouts for their Mechanic's Badge by taking the battery in and out of the van, I'd remembered that the positive battery clamp was a bit loose even when done up as tight as the nut would allow. So I looked under the bonnet and found that it was even worse, you could just lift the clamp off of the terminal. I suspected it was making a good enough connection to make the lights come on, but some combination of insufficient contact area and grime getting into the gap meaning that it couldn't drive the current required for the starter motor (100A or so for a diesel, I think).

    So I sandpapered the terminal and the inside of the clamp clean, then stripped some handy mains cable to get the copper strands (leaving a bit of insulation on one end to keep the bunch together neatly), then wrapped it about the terminal and put the clamp on. With the extra bulk in there it tightens up properly, and the squashed copper strands make a decent electrical connection, and the van started first time.

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