| > All kidding aside though, I /do/ understand why he wants to just fix it
| > rather than take it back for a refund. I fix a ton of things that 99%
| > would toss.
| That's what happens when one grows up in the
| shadow of The Great Depression.
Anyone living who grew up during the Depression
would be at least 85 now. My very elderly father
grew up in the Depression. (Born 1922.) He still
buys groceries based on price rather than taste or
nutritional value. (And finding a bargain is still the
high point of his week.) I grew up in the 60s and
early 70s, when white picket fences were starting to
look a bit haggard and we could afford to question
the American Dream that we were being herded into.
But I enjoy being able to do things for myself. In
general I find it very practical. Why throw out a
perfectly good hot water bottle if it can be fixed?
It's *usually* more economical. There's
also an aesthetic/moral aspect: We all waste a
great deal because we simply don't need to pay
attention. But that's a sloppy, unsatisfying way to
live. It can also an expensive way to live.
(Computerized devices and smart phones are a great
current example. People buy new ones before they've
even paid off the old ones, which they really didn't
need in the first place.)
But as Clint Eastwood said so well, "A man's just
got to know his limitations." Last week we got a new
toaster oven. Supposedly high-end. A fancy Italian
model from Bloomingdales that was deeply discounted.
It was junk. The elements only partially heated. Besides,
the thing was ridiculously big. A giant, caverous waste
of heat just to cook toast. So I'm not researching
replacement elements. That toaster oven went back. :)
That brings up an interesting issue, though, that
I expect others have noticed: We live in a time of
global trade, yet variety keeps shrinking. There used
to be more stores, carrying more items. A hardware
store would be run by someone who knew hardware
and ordered from numerous suppliers. Likewise with
dpartment stores. Today they all contract with a stock
company to fill the shelves with whatever's cheap this
month, and they all carry the same things. It's the
same with clothing, electronics, etc. Target carries the
same electroincs models that Best Buy has. CVS is a
clone of Walgreens. Lowes is a clone of HD. Hardware
stores all stock the same selection of hinges and pulls.
Is there more than one company supplying hot water
bottles in the US? I don't know. Probably. But I wouldn't
be surprised if there isn't.
Though I did not grow up during the depression, my father did and I
really got a good picture of what it was like.
One day he came home from the store crying because he was not able to
get the loaf a bread he was sent out to get...the family was short by
They had to wait a few days for my grandfather to get back to town with
the small amount of money he earned by selling eggs door to door.
The reason the family was able to eat was because my father trapped
pigeons under the bridge!
<snipped for brevity>
I just did a quick on-line search and you will be happy to know there
are a lot of varieties of hot water bottles some for as little as $4
There was one type I saw that clamped shut and did not require a
As to your comment (that I snipped for brevity) about Lowes being a
clone of HD....yep!
I was in the industrial battery business and we had a national contract
with HD. When we got the Lowes account they wanted a contract just like
HD only with one improvement to it...and that's what we gave them.
BTW: They were both good customers and when I have a good customer at
work, I support them back.
Uh, you might want to consider. Perfectly good
and leaking are not adjectives used to describe
the same hot water bottle at the same point in
space at the same time. Fizziks, you know.
If you keep buying and fixing broken stuff from
the store, they will keep selling broken stuff.
It's only by active and assertive returns that
stores learn of their broken stuff. You are
rewarding the sale of broken stuff by fixing it
"We sold a million units, and not one was
I was going to suggest Vaseline or petroleum jelly, but plumber's grease
may be better.
You might try any kind of grease you have on hand, and see if reasonable
pressure causes a leak.
What about an O-Ring? An O-Ring lubricated with petroleum jelly?
| You might try any kind of grease you have on hand, and see if reasonable
| pressure causes a leak.
| What about an O-Ring? An O-Ring lubricated with petroleum jelly?
There can be high pressure with a hot water
bottle, and the seal needs to be between the
threads and the bottle's plastic wall. It's hard
to see how something that's not adhesive would
work. If water can be pushed through between
the isert threads and plastic wall then why
wouldn't it also push grease or petrolatum
When my former friend Lenny had a winter power cut
(due to not paying the bill) I visited several times,
loaned him my propane heater, ran the furnace off
my generator, etc.
They still had gas hot water. I suggested to Amy
to make a hot water bottle with a soda pop bottle.
She had no clue (like so many moments there). I
filled one of the kids twenty ouncer Mt Dew
bottles with hot water from the tap. Slipped it
into my coat, and made MMMM noises. Handed it to
her. She slipped the water bottle in and then I
could see the light bulb (non electric) go on.
Would a two or three liter soda bottle do the job
and less likely to leak?
Grease has been used for centuries, maybe thousands of years, to make
airtight or watertight seals. Various adhesives adhere to various
surfaces. Grease seems to adhere to everything. When an adhesive
hardens, it may break loose and no longer adhere. Grease keeps adhering.
If I used grease to close a 1" hole, it wouldn't take much pressure to
push it out. If I whittled a wooden plug for the hole and greased it,
the grease would block the tiny spaces where the plug didn't match the
hole. As long as grease doesn't melt, it will resist a lot of pressure,
depending on how tiny the holes are. The spaces between your threads
must be tiny.
| > Anyone living who grew up during the Depression
| > would be at least 85 now.
| I did, I'm 81.
That would have made you 7 y.o. in 1940. So you
grew up affected by the Depression, but by the time
you were out and about we were into WW2.
| > That brings up an interesting issue, though, that
| > I expect others have noticed: We live in a time of
| > global trade, yet variety keeps shrinking.
| ?? Have you looked at bread or chips in a supermarket recently?? :)
True enough. And cigarettes. Growing up we only
had one version of Winston or Marlboro. Now there
are probably 6 of each. :) I guess that's true with
most edibles. There's real variety. (ex.: beer) And
there's also trumped up variety. (ex.: types of soda
and cigarettes, as well as a large variety of industrial
It's an interesting question as to why it works that
way. I guess it's mostly durable goods that lack
variety and lack sources. Those kinds of stores
have gradually disappeared or gone to chain versions.
There used to be 3 hardware stores within about
2 miles of me. Now there are none. Stationery? gone.
And if I go to the mall there's almost nothing practical.
It's mostly clothing stores for early-teen girls.
The same exact thing happened to me. I experienced a life changing back injury.
Went and bought hot water bottles from CVS for warm moist heat therapy (and no
mediocre artificial gel microwave packs do not rise to this chronic, life long
challenge). Every 2 months I found myself sending someone out to buy 3 or 4 more
hot water bottles from the only pharmacy around. ( I need 3-4 each night for
coverage over the injured areas) The other stores I have checked such as
Walmart stopped carrying the durable and higher quality red ribbed rubber hot
water bottles. So I was left with only these cheap reddish plastic bottles,
made from the kind of plastic that when heated probably shouldn't be against
your skin, doesn't hold the heat the way rubber does, and most likely is the
very cheapest material they could find to make the highest profit imaginable in
the market. I really WANT to return them, but I never kept the boxes they came
in OR the receipts. How can I possibly walk into CVS and expect my money back
under those conditions? Each time I bought more, under the duress of intense
pain, I kept having faith that THIS time they would not leak, since rubber hot
water bottles never used to leak, I have never heard of a rubber hot water
bottle ever leaking in my entire life, not until they dry rotted decades later!
I have bought 3 batches, and VOW to NEVER buy them again. And every time I bring
the subject up to people I tell them all about it, and (now that I can walk)
when I go to CVS, I tell customers in the store about it too. Lucky for us, we
now have the internet age, and the red ribbed hot water bottles that you should
buy are available online, after a few hours of shopping for them with vague
search terms I have found them.
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