“Knowledge is power.” Francis Bacon
This is the basic premise and purpose of this website, to share knowledge. Francis Bacon, who may have gone by the pen name of Shakespeare, was clearly an intelligent person. The quote above remains true in both big and small scales. In my little way, by sharing what I’ve learned over many years, I hope to enable readers to gain more control over their lives, which translates into any number of good things and outcomes. Just looking at one field; plumbing. Knowledge of this will help you make things safer, healthier, more comfortable, more satisfying, less expensive and less time consuming.
Here is an example: You may see this photo elsewhere on the site, but think safety for a moment. What is unsafe about this? Three things jump out. First, notice that cap on the relief valve line? That’s a good way to encourage the heater to blow up! A 30 gallon heater can explode with the force of two sticks of dynamite. This is a 40 gallon tank, under a house. If it went kablooie, the house would be so damaged, it might not be worth rebuilding. And, what happens to the people inside? How about that plumber's tape acting as earthquake strapping? It’s actually worse than nothing as it pretends it will help, but in a quake, it simply doesn’t have the ability to hold the tank, which weighs over 400 pounds when full of water. When it falls in a quake, the gas line will likely get broken, flooding the house with gas… causing an explosion and fire. Not good! Next, look at the vent pipe. See how it’s close to floor joists and not connected to a vent pipe that leads outside? Which is worse; the possibility of causing a fire, killing the occupants or killing the occupants with carbon monoxide? All these things did get fixed, but without the know-how, someone might just look at the heater and say how nice and efficient it is because of the blanket!
In future posts, I’ll share other stories and observations that I hope you’ll find useful and entertaining. Of course, feedback is welcome!
Looking back over my working life of 50+ years, it seems clear that self sufficiency has always been the best way for me to be useful. Now, mix in a strong interest in water in its many forms and the wide world of animals and you'll know what's important to me.