Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Smashing Gaskets and Counterintuitive Problem Solving

My experience with pipe wrenches, nuts and bolts, and plumbing is limited. Mainly by choice. Plumbing problems are historically ignored at my house. Ignored until my head-in-the-sand philosophy becomes water on the floor, backed up toilet impossible.

I mentioned the possibility of calling a plumber on Saturday. I was nearly to the point of placing a permanent "out of order" sign on the downstairs bathroom.

While I didn't call a plumber, I realized the unpopularity of my "out of order" sign idea. I talked to a knowledgeable friend with tools, who graciously came to my home and bailed me out.

Turns out, when it come to toilets, it's possible to make it too tight. I had torqued the bolts connecting the bowl to the basin so much, the gasket went flat. The water leaked. My friend expertly applied the right amount of pressure to create a leak-free seal.

Tighter is not better. More pressure is not better.

Better is always better.

When we view problems from only one perspective, we often make it worse. And get frustrated. Sometimes taking the opposite and counter-intuitive approach solves everything.