Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Delicate surgery

There are some messages that should not be posted and this is one of them. I reject about a message a month after writing it because of various reasons, either it is too raunchy (sorry, no!) or not really funny, or too controversial. But, there are also some messages that should not be posted because they are too trivial. This is one of those.

Men are strange creatures, yes, I admit it. We need challenges in our lives, something to overcome to make us feel successful, as if we have accomplished something. We need to continue the eternal struggle against chaos in the world. In this case it was the development in our bathroom heater of a loud clicking noise every time we used it. It was so annoyng that we stopped using it, which only became a problem with the onset of winter. When the bathroom is that cold, you put up with a clicking noise, at least for a while. But, being a man, I decided that I had to find the origin of this noise and I had to remove/defeat it.

So I took the heater down off the wall and opened it up. I quickly discovered that the origin of the clicking noise was contact between the cylinder that rotates to put out the hot air and the left hand side of its metal holder. I also discovered that if the heater was tilted to the right the noise stopped. So I put it back up on the wall with a small tilt to the right, but the trouble was the bracket holding the heater is attached through screws in the wall and so the tilt could only be slight. It looked strange tilted and this did not solve the problem, the noise came back. Then when I was looking at it again I realized that if I pushed something in at the left end it would force the axle on which the cylinder rotates to the right and away from the metal plate. I tried this, and it also worked, but only for a short time.

At this point the trivial problem was becoming annoying. Apart from taking the whole unit into a professional and paying for this, I was stumped. So I decided to take the unit apart, I separated it from the electrical connection and opened it up on the table and examined its innards. I found that I could remove the right hand end of the the rotating cylinder which was a rubber cap with a metal piece that had a hole in it for the axle of the rotor. Then I found that it was possible to loosen the whole cylinder, and I thought that if I could take it out I could insert a small spring that would force it to the right. But, I did not want to take it out because I had no idea how I would get it back. So then I had another idea, I found a plastic washer, I cut a small segment out of it and then lowered it into place with tweezers between the rotor and the metal case. When I spun the cylinder by hand there was no noise. When I put the whole thing back together and then hung it on the wall and reconnected the electricity and turned it on - there was no noise! Another strike for mankind against the forces of chaos!

Note that in order to accomplish this task I needed various things, a screwdriver, a tweezers, a small spring, a plastic washer and electrical tape. I found the washer lying in a plastic container where I keep miscellaneous things, pieces of plastic, screws, nails and odd bits of things. When my daughter was here recently and clearing up (which I greatly appreciate) she wanted to throw all my plastic containers of miscellaneous bits and pieces away, but I told her I needed them. Every man needs a drawer or a container in which he collects all manner of trivial things that you never know when one day you might need it, a specific size screw, a spring or a plastic washer.
PS. Happy New Year to all my readers!


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