I realized this week as I was putting the stock from our last delivery away that I’ve been slacking. I was dutifully taking pictures of a new stock item so I could document it on our website and I figured out that I was getting really behind in my write-ups. That is, the number of pictures that I’ve taken and uploaded to my “New Products” folder is getting much bigger than the ones in the “Finished” folder. So here goes.
The first item to describe is a new type of something that we have always carried, a “low watt density” electric water heater element. If you’ve ever had to live with an electric water heater you’ll probably know that they usually work pretty well. Then, after you’ve forgotten all about them, lurking silently in your basement, all of a sudden while you are in your shower you notice that the water seems to be getting colder and colder. The first reaction of most folks is to turn up the hot water at little, but this is just putting off the inevitable. If you’re smart (or you’ve experienced this before), the first thing to do is rinse the shampoo out of your hair and finish your shower before the water goes stone-cold on you, you’ve lost an element.
Electric water heater elements usually last a long time, but then they will burn out suddenly. Putting in a new one is not that difficult, but when you get the old one out, check to see whether it is all coated with solidified calcium. If it is and you know that you have “hard” water, replacing your failed element with a new “low watt density” unit may be a good idea. The principle behind this type of element is to spread out the heating surface along a longer length of the metal element casing. This means that it doesn’t have to get as hot to do the same amount of heating. This reduces the tendency for minerals such as calcium to deposit on the element and insulate it. This will make the new unit last longer. The manufacturers neatly fold the longer element so that it will still slip into the same mounting hole in the water tank as the original. Once you screw it in and hook it up you’re all set.
The next new item is a really simple one. I’m not sure why we didn’t carry it before, unless it just got sold and no one noticed. It is a called a shoe gasket, and no, it is not used to keep your feet dry in the rain. It is the gasket that is installed between your bathtub and the drain at the bottom (called a “shoe” in the old days). Nothing fancy about it, but it should be replaced if you ever have to take the drain off your tub for any reason. If you try to re-use the old, petrified one it will surely leak.
The last item this time is actually kind of fun. It is a hand-held million candle power spot light. It is a battery powered, rechargeable spotlight that is incredibly bright and will throw a huge beam a very long distance. These are very handy out camping and boating and a lot of fun too. Many folks carry one in their car, R/V or boat for emergencies. Just make sure that the kids charge it back up and put it back in it’s place when they get done playing with it.
That’s it for now. I’ll have to write up new products again soon, here at the Old hardware store…