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I'll tap that - Ferrocene's Fare for Far-Flung Friends

About I'll tap that

Previous Entry I'll tap that Nov. 15th, 2008 @ 10:29 pm Next Entry
My new house is new; built in 2006. It seems to be rather energy-efficient, but I've had to replace almost every light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb. Not every fixture can accept the larger size of some CFL bulbs.

Down to Home Depot I trudged to buy replacement outdoor triple flood light fixtures. Simple, right? Well, no.

Each socket assembly comes with a self-tapping grounding screw. Except that it doesn't self-tap. I needed a real tap. 12 sockets * 2 minutes per socket = 24 minutes; + 30 minutes to buy a new tap after I broke off one in a socket. Cutting & affixing a ground wire to each socket. 12 sockets * 0.5 minutes per socket = 6 minutes. Wimpy threading on angle adjustment stripped on four of the sockets. Simple fix with a new, larger bolt, plus tapping. 4 sockets * 4 minutes per socket = 16 minutes. One socket came with wires that had been crimped & the insulation cut at the angle adjustment point; these had to be insulated with heat-shrink tubing. Time: 5 minutes. Cross-threaded or poorly threaded mounting threads on two sockets. 2 sockets * 5 minutes per socket = 10 minutes.

Total time for repair of shoddy or incomplete workmanship: 91 minutes

Time to assemble socket assemblies after this work was done: 4 socket assemblies * 5 minutes per assembly = 20 minutes. Time to install assemblies: 4 assemblies * 5 minutes per assembly = 20 minutes; + 5 minutes set-up + 5 minutes clean-up = 50 minutes.

Total job time: 141 minutes, 182% longer than it should have been.

The sockets were manufactured by an American company, but assembled in Mexico. I'm not blaming the workers, but far too many manufacturers use Free Trade as an excuse to build shoddy merchandise. There's no reason for the ground screw hole to not be tapped, no reason for the adjustment screw threads to strip. No reason for poorly-formed threads. No excuse for the cut wires.

How many customers will take the time to assemble these correctly?
Current Mood: puzzled
Current Music: Puccini: Turandot; Sutherland, Pavarotti, Mehta
poke me with a spoon
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Date:November 16th, 2008 06:52 am (UTC)
I LOLed at your tag. Also, I need hugz over da intarwubz, plz send. (either that, or write a paper for me, your choice...)
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Date:November 16th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)

****BIG HUGS****

(poke me with a spoon)
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