Did Hans Brinker get "prune" finger?

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

     Everyone has heard the story of the little hero, Hans Brinker, and how he saved the people of Holland by sticking his finger in the leaking dike (and we think New Orleans has problems).  One thing I didn't know Wood plug in drain pipewas that the story was a "made-up" story that is part of the book, The Silver Skates, by American author Mary Mapes Dodge, published in 1865.  At any rate, sitting all night long with his finger in the dike---holding back the salty North Sea----must have resulted in a wicked case of prune finger.   If you haven't read the book I strongly encourage it.  It is all about how sometimes the things we are "forced to do" (due to things beyond our control) prepare us more for what we "want to do" than if we had been able to do what we "wanted to do" all along.

     At a recent inspection, I found a wooden plug driven into a hole in the cast iron drain and I got to thinking about poor Hans and how lucky he was that Mary Mapes Dodge wasn't a plumber----or he might have had something less pleasant to stick his finger in.  Even so, for Han's sake, I wish Ms. Dodge knew a little bit more about hypothermia and just how cold the North Sea actually is-----no matter what time of year it is.

     I gave the little wooden plug a tug only to have it break off due to its being rotten.  I have no clue how the hole got to be in the pipe.  I do know that a wooden stick is not the proper fix.  We will have to see what the plumber says about what it will take to fix it properly----I'm not going to play the part of Hans Brinker though.

Charles Buell

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

sign me up

Raven DeCroeDeCroe, is my "certiflied" home inspector assistant and occasionally flies into my blog to offer assistance. To find out more about her beginnings just click on Raven.

picture logo

Posted by

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seattle Home Inspector

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out: AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

My WORDLESS WEDNESDAY pictures and some selected POEMS & STORIES.

Just quack on me to subscribe

 

The Human Rights Campaign   QR code for Charles Buell Inspections Inc  ASHI.org

 

WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

close

Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donald Bradbury 01/03/2009 05:18 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Washington King County Seattle
Groups:
AR My Name is Cheryl
Home Inspectors across the country
Home Inspector's Corner
Puget Sound - WA Real Estate
Sparky's Plumbing
Tags:
seattle home inspectors
shoreline wa home inspectors
everett wa home inspector
lynnwood wa home inspector
king county wa home inspectors

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay---OK I'll bite----how does this fact relate to my friend Hans?:)

Jan 03, 2009 04:11 PM #27
Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

What did I predict, Charles Buell!!  You are featured again.  Congratulations again!!

Jan 03, 2009 04:14 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,245,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You suggested fruitcake as a "permanent fix."  A fruitcake used as a door shop since 1961 would not be entirely out of the realm of human thought...  practice...  experience...  et al.  Which is more permanent - the fruitcake or the tin?  Only time will decide.

Jan 03, 2009 04:17 PM #29
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Barbara, what can I say---it is all in the question marks????  I told you The Gods must be crazy?!!

Jay, AHHHHHHH----very funny.  I guess I am the real fruit cake:)  I would put my money on the Fruit Cake however.

Jan 03, 2009 04:19 PM #30
Ambassador
406,865
Virginia Hepp
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Charles - what were they thinking, using a wooden plug?  Were they out of duct tape?  :)

Jan 03, 2009 06:17 PM #31
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Virginia---that would be a fair assumption:)

Jan 03, 2009 10:06 PM #32
Rainmaker
312,527
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

Charlie - this reminds me of when my aunt served as my daughter's full time babysitter. She went to a garage sale and bought one of those old potty seats with a metal pan insert which was THE POTTY part of the unit. But, the metal pan had a hole in it. My Aunt grew up during the depression and was very resourceful. She eliminated the possibility of a leak by chewing on some gum and pushing the wad of gum into the hole. Well, it did the trick - and soon my daughter was potty trained!   

Jan 03, 2009 10:12 PM #33
Rainmaker
179,204
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Charles they used to use lead sticks, but you could get in trouble for that now.  The chewing gum would have been a better choice.

 

Jan 03, 2009 10:23 PM #34
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Carol---cute story---one I am sure has been used to embarrass your daughter on more than one occasion perhaps?  It is so great to have stories to embarrass our children with isn't it?

Jan 03, 2009 10:24 PM #35
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jack, it is an interesting question isn't it?  I mean here you have a pipe with a hole in it that has been sucessfully plugged with a wooden plug for probably 30 years----hard to argue with sucess:)  Even duct tape wouldn't last that long.  Maybe we just need to fashion another wooden plug and worry about it in another 30 years:)

Jan 03, 2009 11:05 PM #36
Ambassador
406,865
Virginia Hepp
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Charles - if you decide to go into the wooden plug quick pipe fix supply business, give me a call, sometimes the simplest products sell the best - I'll go partners with you!

Jan 03, 2009 11:17 PM #37
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Virginia----I hear that mesquite make the best plugs for this purpose:)

Jan 03, 2009 11:20 PM #38
Ambassador
406,865
Virginia Hepp
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Charles, Yes, we are famous here for traditional substitute products made entirely of hardwood from mesquite trees.  The beauty of it in the case of pipe plugs is that it will swell slightly and form a permanent seal upon repeated contact with water.  And we do have a reliable supplier for the mesquite wood.

My husband is out in the garage now, working on a prototype of the Hepp-Buell Amazing Authentic Mesquite Pipe Plug - Guaranteed to last 30 years if purchased from a registered dealer.

I don't hear any cussing, so it must be going well.

Jan 03, 2009 11:37 PM #39
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

I can see a whole Hepp of money in our future:)

Jan 03, 2009 11:41 PM #40
Ambassador
406,865
Virginia Hepp
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

I'm hepp to that!

Jan 03, 2009 11:45 PM #41
Ambassador
1,503,458
Michael Thornton
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspector - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.0297

Charles, I reckon that using a wood "stob" is better than having a nasty case of prune finger, especially in that nasty water...

~~ michael

Jan 04, 2009 04:05 AM #42
Rainmaker
66,806
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

I'm all for a mesquite plumbing plug that will last 30 years, but this blog brings up an interesting question: If there is a "quick-fix" that was installed ny some previous homeowner, and it is either about to expire, on it's last gasp, or otherwise ready to fall out, or not work at all anymore.... and then some poor unsuspecting home inspector comes along, and touches it, and it then falls out or falls apart, so as to leave it in a totally unrepaired state (or leaking, as in the case of the wood plug in the cast iron drain), then whose responsability is it to fix it right? 

The argument could be made.... that it wasn't leaking before you touched it, so now you had better get it fixed...the right way. Hmm

Jan 04, 2009 06:13 AM #43
Rainmaker
635,862
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Kevin, The response to that is " You're lucky I found this." Write it up as defective and in need of repair.

Jan 04, 2009 07:52 AM #44
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

James and Kevin, it is also kind of like breaking a pimple:)

Jan 04, 2009 07:59 AM #45
Ambassador
1,090,486
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Michael, I would certainly agree----gotta love that word "stob":)

Jan 04, 2009 08:01 AM #46
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
1,090,486

Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspector
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information