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Fixing or Replacing Old Stuff: Where to Start

Posted on May 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

A Brief Introduction:

Your first experience visiting Hippo Hardware (or dealing with old stuff) can be a little overwhelming, as well as your second trip, or your thirty-second, so it's helpful to keep a few important things in mind.
You may have a clear, concise understanding of the thing you need that has compelled you to seek assistance from us. There are, however, a thousand other things almost exactly like yours, frequently differing in tiny, almost unseen ways. As a general statement, measuring and/or bringing it in are best.
It certainly varies, but below are some general tips on helping us help you.

Let's start with Plumbing

(maybe the most complicated, and my personal diaspora):
Not all handles fit all faucets. Let's get that bummer out of the way now. Many a customer would like to put some groovy porcelain handles in their shower in lieu of crusty plastic ones, and I can't blame them. In some cases, however, this is like trying to put a Rolls Royce key in a Hyundai ignition. No go.
The most sure fire way to find a handle is to:
1) shut off the water
2) remove the handle in question
3) loosen the hex nut revealed by the removal of your handle
4) unscrew the stem in the direction it naturally "turns on" or in the event of a cartridge, pull it straight out
5) leave the water off with a note for kids and granny and bring that stuff in.
When we find a nice fit, not at all loose, and not too tight, we've found your new handle!  It all sounds complicated, I know, but this is for sure, the easiest and most accurate way to get you what you want and applies to almost anything in the store. Bring in what you want to fix/replace.

Now, our Lighting department:

We have globes for lights. Hundreds, maybe thousands of them.  Please, please bring in either a match to your globe, the broken pieces of the one the neighborhood kid threw a frozen ham hock at, (where'd he get that thing?) the fitter that supports said globe, or at the very least, and accurate measurement of the globe or the fitter in question.

And then there's Architecture:

This is the department where we put big things. Sometimes, people call us and ask, "do you have doors?" (see above paragraph for likely response) We may ask you, once you are in the store, "What size is the door you are replacing?"
In all instances, when we ask, "what size is the ______ you are replacing?" the accurate response is never, "the standard size." To make sure you get something that'll fit, measure your door, and note which way it swings if you are installing it yourself and are not a seasoned door-hanger. Same goes with windows, standard-size be damned!

Last but not least, Hardware:

Now, with doors out of the way, how about the hardware that goes upon them? If you're looking to find a key you will have to bring in your lock. 
There are no generic keys and even passage mortise locks (a very simple lock indeed!) only has a 30% success rate for the most common key.  This is one case where a photo just won't do.  That being said, folks bring in their locking drawers, their cabinet doors, and on rare occasion their house doors to try their luck with our old keys. 

So in conclusion:

This may sound daunting, and I have dramatized it a bit in order to accumulate more web traffic, but truly, there are answers to be found, parts to be replaced, and fixtures to be rewired.  We can do it, together. 
As always, the most important thing to keep in mind (as our owner and founder Steve will heartily attest), if you get something home and it's not right, or your sweetie doesn't like it, or you don't think you got value for your money... Do not despair. We accept returns with a proper receipt.
We are aware of the dichotomous nature of a junk store that takes returns. But we are happy to embody that dichotomy. Keep your receipt, try to be expedient in your return transactions, and come get the right thing or a refund. As Steve says, his wife's still looking for the receipt for him.



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