I will freely admit to some things to which most men will not. For one, I am not a sports fan. While I can easily sit in front of the TV (often while eating dinner) and watch a half-hour of “Jeopardy!” I cannot imagine sitting there for two hours watching a football game. Another thing to which I will freely admit is that I am not a handyman. Oh, I’ve installed ceiling fans and built a small above-ground garden (which, this year, hosts two tomato plants, three pepper plants, and a row of lettuce) and done minor repairs around the house, but I’m not well-versed in routine maintenance projects and in-depth installations or repairs.
Which is what made yesterday (June 15th) unique.
Around 8:30 in the morning our doorbell rang. I had been up since 5:30, but I was still in my PJ’s, and the ladies (Evelyn and Karlyn) were still asleep. Kianna, Evelyn’s service dog, being trained to let us know when someone comes to the door, did her job and instantly started barking incessantly. I ran to the door and found a neighbor standing there. Her eyes got momentarily larger when she saw my attire, and she apologized for waking me up. I assured her that I had been up for several hours — just hadn’t bothered getting dressed yet.
She then explained the reason for her coming over: she and her husband were having a problem with their pressure washer. She knew that I had been using mine just days before and thought maybe I could check theirs out. I agreed and, after getting dressed, went to look at their ailing machine.
It was an electric pressure washer, so the first thing the husband showed me was his extension cord with an indicator light on it that confirmed there was power (that would have been my first question, so he anticipated it well). The machine was indeed running, but the water coming out of the nozzle was hardly more than a trickle. I looked the machine over to make sure there were no knobs or buttons or switches that needed to be activated, but it was a fairly simple set-up, and everything seemed to be set correctly.
We were all stumped. That’s when I looked away and noticed that their garden hose has a serious crimp in it. As soon as I straightened it out, the pressure washer sprang to life, spewing water all over! The couple were grateful, as the wife (not the husband!) began the work of washing down their front steps.
I may not be a handyman, but this experience told me that sometimes you don’t have to be. Sometimes you just have to make sure the system is working the way it’s supposed to. Hoses are not expected to deliver water if they’re crimped. That’s a simple rule. The experience also reminded me that sometimes a small difficulty can break down whole, larger systems. Regardless of how many pounds per square inch the pressure washer was designed to deliver, regardless of the fact that it was plugged in and getting the electricity it needed to operate, regardless of how well the mechanisms inside the pressure washer were working, it still wasn’t going to be able to do what it was designed to do without access to water, and the water could so easily be kept from getting to the pressure washer by a simple kink.
Before I get all stressed out over a problem and imagine it to be something irreparable, I’m going to try to find the kink in the hose first. I’m guessing that doing so will solve my problems more often than not.