Things break down and that causes me stress. I know that everything in the world is gradually corroding, eroding and disintegrating but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
The root cause of my problem is that I don’t like fixing things. I have zero interest in hardware, maintenance and DIY projects. I’m more capable of worrying about making things worse, and the ramifications of not fixing something than I am about actually getting a thing repaired.
I think I put too much mystique into infrastructure. When a repair person comes around who knows what they are doing, inevitably there is futzing around, bashing things, and basically forcing it to work. I have a mindset that things should elegantly function - that they shouldn’t have to be pushed into working as designed.
My latest adventure has been a hydrochloric acid dispenser for my swimming pool. It uses a peristaltic pump system to draw the acid from a bottle and doses it into the pool. The control unit monitors the pH of the pool water and runs the peristaltic pump on a regular basis to inject small volumes of acid into the pool. According to my research, peristaltic pumps are simple and reliable. According to my real world experience, they aren’t.
A few weeks ago it stopped dosing. I played around with the rubber hosing, asked the retailer for help, and eventually managed to reseat it in a way that must have made it happy, because the dosing worked once more.
Fast forward to now, and a few additional weeks of entropy, and the pH levels were again elevated. This time the control box is telling me to replace the tube. Fine, I do this thinking that a worn tube must be the root cause. Of course, this small piece of tubing was $42.
I manage to remove the old one and install the new one. I seat it back into its peristaltic pump in a way that looks right. I prime the tube. I let it run for a few hours. Has the pH level come back down? No, of course not. Because hardware doesn’t love me. Will it resolve over the next day or two? I don’t know. I don’t even know if the pump is pumping - there is no way to see if there is any fluid flowing. Of course, this is made a little more dangerous by the fact that the fluid is hydrochloric acid.
Another day passes and the problem is still there, so now I have to call out the guy who knows what he’s doing. Turns out the pump spinner had suffered entropy of its own—eroding such that it didn’t create a strong enough pulse in the piping to effect peristalsis.
I hate that entropy exists in the world, such that equipment can’t be relied upon for a longer period of time. I hate that I’m not a more capable handyman.
Today, one of my outdoor taps broke. I managed to find a replacement part - after visiting 4 hardware stores, and get it changed out. So while I fixed it, it’s still more household entropy.