My house--my current house--is blessed with well water that carries a fair bit of iron. So to keep it out of the appliances and pipes, I have an in-line filter that snags it. The filter uses cartridges that have to be changed out every few months.
This particular filter system is new, having been installed by a friend who is a plumbing god not too long ago. I haven't had to mess with it myself yet.
Recently, I noticed that the water pressure was starting to drop off, a sure sign that the filter was clogging up. So I grabbed a filter from Home Depot and crawled into the crawlspace to do what should have been a two minute job.
Water turned off. Check.
Filter canister unscrewed and removed. Check.
Old dirty filter dropped into a five-gallon pail. Check.
Canister rinsed out. Check.
New filter put in canister and canister screwed back on. Check.
Water back on..."What the fu--?!"
Icy cold water blasts out of the filter, hitting me square in the face.
OK, Obviously I didn't put something back together right. I take it back apart, re-seat the filter, reinstall the canister, and turn the water on again. I get a second ice-cold shower.
WHAT. THE. FU--?!
Once again, I take it apart. I inspect everything and reassemble it. I switch it on again and get blasted a third time. The way this damned thing is set up, there's only one place I can be in order to reach the knob to turn it back on, and that's right where it's spraying the water under pretty impressive pressure.
Why is this happening to me?!
About this time, Belle comes down the basement and pokes her head into the crawl space. Instantly, I assign the blame. "This is YOUR fault," I accuse. "What did you DO?!" Belle immediately turns and runs back upstairs. Murphy, who knows better than to come around when I'm attempting home repairs, is no doubt laughing.
Once again, I disassemble everything, clean it all out, and reassemble it. And once again I get drenched. And did I mention that this ground water is freaking COLD? DAMN IT!!
The new filter looks like the old filter. The label says it's correct. The canister seems to fit just right...yet I cannot get this thing to not leak and spray water all over me every time I turn it on.
Finally, in frustration, I crawl back out of the crawlspace, taking with me the five gallon pail full of water that I'd drained down when I removed the old filter. I take that outside and dump it, and something else spills out on the snow. Something black. Something round. Something that looks like a flipping GASKET!
Oh, son of a biscuit...was it really just that easy?
Sure enough, I go back up in there, drop the canister again, seat the gasket on top of it (Why it fits just like it was made to go there..) and reinstall the canister. I turn the water back on, and finally I do not get hit in the face with a stream of ice water. It's working perfectly now. And all the angels sing "Hallelujah!"
Apparently the gasket dropped off and into the bucket without me seeing it, and having no idea that it needed one, I kept putting it back together without one. Now any donkey could figure out that a fitting intended for water under pressure would naturally have to have a gasket to keep leaks from occurring, but no one has ever accused me of being just any donkey. Hell, no--I'm clearly one of those special kind of donkeys that needs to get zapped with an ice shower about eight times before the light finally comes on.
Can I get a "Hee-Haw" here?