19 July, 2014

Kunselman's laws of home repair

I'm no Albert Einstein (although I admire his genius), I don't even pretend to be that smart and I know I can't compete with the laws of General Relativity.  It was just that in the early 1980's while working as a counterman at a local hardware store in Cleveland, that I came to the realization of my own version of Murphy's laws.  While scientific researchers have never proved or disproved my theorems, I just offer them to you as possible explanations for some of the  mysteries of home repair.  And to immortalize myself; of course, I named the laws after me (me being Kunselman).

Kunselman's First Law:   
Never start a project after the supply stores close.

Even if you think that you have everything you need to do the job, up to and including Aunt Sadie's bloomers--something will snap, break or disintegrate within nano-seconds of the store closing.  Sunday morning is the worst time to jump into a big repair job because whatever it is that you broke will not available at a Home Depot or Lowes' and you'll have to wait until the supply store reopens on Monday.

Kunselman's Second Law:  
Always take the broken parts with you to the supply store.

If you have a Humma-Dunker faucet made in western Austrobovia, is it the model with the what-zit mounted on the front or on the side?  If you bring the old part with you to the store, the counter clerk and you can eyeball the new part to ensure that it's gonna fit.

Kunselman's Third Law:  
Learn the names of the parts on the item that you're working upon. 

I can understand this can be a tough one for most people, because I speak Construction and had learned English as a second languageIt's still very difficult for me, (I am fluent in Profanity, however) but knowing the correct part names makes it much easier to communicate to supply store clerks to get the part you need.  It amazes me how much information is out there on the web, so look it up. Some vendors on the web have exploded views with part names and order numbers. If whatever item you're working upon has a plate or tag with a model number and a serial number, write those down and bring along, too.

Kunselman's Fourth Law:
Never tell anyone that you know how to fix/build things or that you have tools.

Let me tell you, if you let it get out that you can do things around the house, you're in deep trouble. You'll be stuck wiring fixtures in your cousin Eddie's kitchen, then insulating your mom's attic under the shallow pitched roof and getting wedged.  The next-door neighbor will want you to show her how to install a water heater.  In fact, you shouldn't tell your wife, husband or spouse-equivalent, that you know how to work on anything.  My spouse-equivalent has 10 years' worth of 'Honey-Do' jobs for me to complete, I'll never see a Saturday again.  
As for not telling anyone that you have tools--I'll just say that my kid brother has had my pressure washer for five years now. I think you get the idea.