Picture of the Day – Capillary Attraction – Brierley [2008]

Physics in action

Taken to document possibly one of the proudest moments of my life, today’s picture shows how a GCSE in Physics, a bit of string, some baking trays and a slow leaking radiator valve can all be combined to prevent a fuse box from shorting out and causing a disaster.

Having been notified that there was water dribbling from the upstairs bathroom, down the kitchen wall and into the meter cupboard, investigations revealed that the valve from the recently removed radiator had burst due to age and was issuing water at a very slow rate but sufficient enough to be problematic.

Application of a spanner reduced the leak to a slight dribble but the resulting issuance was in that awful hinterland of too much and too little. Then the long dead Mr O’Malley’s tobacco stained voice echoed in my head and said – “Capillary Attraction”. 

A visit to the shed to collect some string and grabbing a handful of containers later, I had fashioned a rudimentary collection device which stopped the flow downstairs until such a time as the emergency plumber could attend. 

I still remember his face when he saw what I had done and if you look up the word Impressed in a Pictionary, you’ll see that same face.

You can read the events as they unfolded here