Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Shocking Contraption

Time out for oozing contraption repair
Oozes inside the Big Brain's Laboratory

We knew plumbing was different from country to country but the reality of coming face to face with those startling differences on Monday and discovering a contraption that was oozing in the Big Brain's Deck Lab was shocking. Hidden in the deep dark recesses where only strange creatures forage for unmentionables, we found this oozing contraption (see photo). Follow this blog to keep your own brain from going bonkers if you ever come face to face with one of these!

We're glad this plumbing was NOT on the cryo chamber on the Big Brain machine or the world might be frozen over today and you could go to work by snow mobile or ice skates! The contraption by the lab wall sprung a major leak and the entire external laboratory lab deck filled up overnight with water like a giant holding pond! Of course, it had rained the night before and it seemed this was the result of excessive rain and wind. But that was not the case.

Closer inspection revealed a simple metal water faucet mounted on the brick wall, with no threads of any kind at its end. Attached to it was a contraption with a water hose on the end, press fit, no threads. How was that possible? It had leaked overnight. To repair, the water source was turned off and the contraption was removed with four simple Philips screws and then disassembled completely. It appeared simple... with several parts, until it was noted that the screws had non standard heads that fit no screwdrivers in the world despite their appearances. Working with standard pliers, needle nose pliers, and an arsenal of  other tool box drivers, the contraption was finally removed.

Oddly enough, the contraption was merely press fit to the faucet. How could that work? Stay tuned as the weirdness just continues to increase.

Next, a rubber o-ring was found that needed replacing. Behold, the goose chase was on, trying to locate this o-ring. Going to 15 stores, including every hardware and plumbing store within a radius of 2 miles produced nothing that was the same size as the original. Going back, the old ring was inverted and put back into the contraption, and remounted back onto the faucet.

In the process we did buy an assortment of similar but different o-rings, teflon tape, tools and other plumbing fittings, and as fate would have it, all were useless...

The discovery moment was when playing a bit with the contraption. The Big Brain does NOT recommend you play with your contraption. Hidden beneath it's odd gripping useless jutting out prong was a few embedded threads. So it would be possible to press attach the assembly and connect with the screws, then tighten it a bit, by hand. There was no wrench to fit such a weird contraption. With inverted o-ring, and a new press fitting, and a bit of tightening, success was achieved.

If you are every traveling or living in other countries, be aware of the dreaded contraption that may be lurking within the deep recess of only God knows where. Knowing a few simple things about its weirdness may keep your own brain from going bonkers!