Saturday, October 04, 2003

J-B Weld

When we moved into the new house, there was a large brass valve outside. The inspector failed to look at this valve, and apparently the prior owner had let it freeze over the winter. The first time I turned it on, water shot out in a huge fan in every direction from a hundred long thin cracks caused by the frozen water.

I went to Home Depot, and it was going to cost about $100 to buy a new valve. That didn't sound too exciting, so I sauntered over to the glue aisle -- maybe modern science could offer some sort of epoxy to solve this problem. Home Depot sells about 50 different kinds of glue, and the one that looked most promising (at least according to the packaging) was something called J-B Weld, "the World's Finest Cold Weld".

The packaging claims this glue to be, "indispensable for mechanics, farmers, homemakers and almost everyone!" I fit into the general category of "almost everyone." It claims to be able to fix things like transmissions, crankshaft pulleys, engine blocks, axles, hubs, etc. Then there are the testimonials on the back. For example:At that point I was sold, and I bought a package.

It is an epoxy, so you mix two tubes of glue together to form an opaque gray syrup. If you let it set for 20 minutes it becomes more like a putty. I slathered this putty on the outside of the brass fitting, covering every crack I could find. I let it set for the day. It dries to form a grey rock-like material that is never going to come off. I turned on the value and the leaks were gone. The glue is probably stronger than the brass -- there is no way it is ever going to leak again. I can foresee myself using it again.

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