Saturday, 12 April 2014

Make do and mend

I'd left a rag under the union on the water pump that I reconnected last week, and it showed that there was some water escaping. Hardly a leak, more of a seep. So I acquired some PTFE tape, something I don't think I've had occasion to use personally for a couple of decades. PolyTetraFluoroEthylene, as I recall. Turn off the stop-cock, drain the pipes, undo the union, apply some tape, do it all up again, take it all off again to get rid of a kink I'd put in the flexible hose, apply more tape, do it all up more carefully, and turn on the stop-cock so we can have a restorative cuppa. It's amazing what can wear you out. Take photo, replace rag with a dry one so I can check for seepage in the morning.

Then it's on to the two window catches which had come unstuck. Some 5-minute Araldite saw this one back in place in the bathroom (time will tell how effectively it's now attached).

But the other was more complicated – the turner wouldn't turn.

Eventually I found that the two sides screw together and managed to unscrew them.

Inside everything was very sticky, for no apparent reason – the parts were meant to be separated by plastic washers, and I can't think why these should have deteriorated to an adhesive state – perhaps the previous owner had stuck them together for some reason. So next week we'll pay a visit to my favourite hardware shop in Christchurch and see whether they can be replaced.

Erin Mae's hardware is a funny mixture of stuff you can buy in B&Q, and things which appear to have been custom designed and made in Poland. Mending them seems to take you back to first principles – the ones used by all our friends back in Brazil in the 80s who could repair almost anything. But that's also the sort of thing at which my favourite hardware shop in Christchurch excels.


  1. If you manage to find any suitable window catches would you be kind enough to let me know please. We have an Aqualine of similar age with the same problem and could do with a couple of replacements.
    Many thanks

    1. The ChannelGlaze man said the windows from our generation were a Polish copy of their design, and Aqualine have since changed their supplier. I see little hope of getting authentic replacements. ChannelGlaze may be able to help with something similar, and were helpful with rubber gasket.