Archive for July, 2012

I Know What I’m Doing

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

How many times have we heard that, just before a disaster unfolds?
Today, we’ll take a quick look at some of the things we thought we knew, but didn’t. One of the most basic things about appliances is to not put metal in a microwave. One of our customers brought in their trailer with a complaint that the microwave didn’t work. As usual, I drew the short straw, and went out to look it over. It was no wonder it didn’t work, it looked like a refugee from Chernobyl. The inside was black and sooty, and the outside control panel was partly melted, with congealed plastic looking like stalactites oozing down the front. A quick grilling of the customer revealed the microwave had worked fine until they heated a can of soup in it. After finding out what happened, I was really surprised to find out the microwave had heated cans of soup before, but this time, they must have pre-heated it a little too long before putting in the can. Yes, this was their first microwave, ever. Hard to believe, but some people still have never used one. Several hundred dollars and the better part of an hour’s tutoring later, newly educated customers left with their trailer and fresh microwave.
Next, a couple brought in their Airstream with both a missing center rock guard and a missing front window. He said he always tows with the front window open to help keep the trailer cool. I didn’t know what to tell this guy, other than “don’t do it again”.
Last for this time, a customer called up to complain that his new water pump never shut off. After calming him down, Rusty determined that he had not filled his fresh water tank, but he also had several faucets open. In that condition, the customer was absolutely correct: The pump never would shut off, since it would be impossible to build up water pressure to turn off.
And customers aren’t the only ones that do things they know not to do. Two days ago, the fire alarms and sprinklers went off in the shop. A quick search in the artificial monsoon found Buck standing on a chair, with a cleaning towel in his hand, directly under a sprinkler. He had been cleaning cobwebs in his office, and snagged the little piece that turns on the sprinkler system if it gets too hot. After the sprinklers were turned off and the fire department left, Pop took Buck into his office for a chat. I don’t think Buck will be cleaning any more cobwebs off sprinkler heads any time soon.

About the Author

Lug Wrench is a long-time mechanic, multiple Airstream owner, and dyed-in-the-wool pragmatist. All tales guaranteed 100% true, although names and certain details may be altered to protect the guilty.