[PLUG-TALK] Housing Infrastructure (was Re: Attic Insulation)

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Sun Jul 31 14:35:08 PDT 2011

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 01:28:54AM -0700, Russell Senior wrote:
> And digressing a step further, my mother had a plumbing failure on
> Thursday night.  At 3AM she awoke to a smoke alarm.  Getting out of
> bed, she stepped into 1-inch deep water.  She called 9-1-1, discovered
> the source of the water (a failed flex-hose to the bathroom sink
> hot-water tap), couldn't get it shut off there because of the hot
> water, eventually got it turned off.  
> The flex-hose was metal armored, and burst in the middle.  No obvious
> reason.  

I've had one of these hoses break when I bumped it, while
working under the sink (on electrical stuff, and yes, the
branch was turned off at the breaker).  There is a plastic
hose in these "armored" flex hoses, and the metal doesn't
protect it much.  Things get knocked around and stressed
under sinks.   However, I suspect poor quality plastic, it
did not look that old.  Unfortunately, there is no way for
Joe Consumer to easily tell the difference between good 
and bad hose manufacturing.  Perhaps some plumbers know.

When something like this occurs, turn off the water entering
the house.  There is normally a valve with a garden-spigot
style handle.  KNOW WHERE IT IS, GO LOOK NOW.

I also have a "curb key", a big T-handled wrench that can
turn the water off at the meter.  Many jurisdictions frown
on these, but if the 51yo pipe to the street bursts, (or
the 51yo shutoff valve fails!) I want to be able to stop
the water.  If that happens in a big earthquake, the water
district will be too busy to help me or my neighbors.

After the water into the house is stopped, turn on a 
different tap (the bathtub is good) and drain the pipes. 
Then the water should stop spraying out the broken hose.

When my wife was in training, with some 36 hour days,
she came home, got in the bathtub, started the water,
fell asleep, and the tub overflowed.  So I bought a 
battery powered water level alarm for the tub.  The
alarm wouldn't wake her, but it would wake ME.   I
can't imagine maintaining these for a whole house,
though, I would forget to change the batteries.

Water - can't live with it, can't live without it :-)


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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