There was an old lady (well, not that old) who bought a Kärcher hose extension

You've probably heard the song about the old lady who swallowed a fly.
"I don't know why
she swallowed a fly.
Perhaps she'll die".
The song goes on to relate how she swallowed a spider to catch the fly, then swallowed a bird to catch the spider, then swallowed a cat to catch the bird, and so on, and so on.
I felt a bit like that today. I have a Kärcher pressure washer, which is about 10 years old. They don't make the exact model I have any more, but this is vaguely what it looks like.

It works fine, but it doesn't have a very long high-pressure hose, which means that if you want to reach a particularly awkward corner, you keep having to unplug it and plug the whole thing in again. Pressure washers have three connections: the hose that supplies the water from the tap, the power cable, and the high-pressure hose. You can plug the power cable into an extension lead, and you can use a longer hose to supply water to the machine. But what I wanted was to be able to use the cleaning attachment without having to have the machine four metres away (for example, when you are doing steps, or the car). What I needed, I decided, was an extension high-pressure hose.
I bought the extension hose. Here it is.

Now, If you are super-intelligent, you may have already guessed that the new extension hose would not fit my old machine. (That would have been far too simple.) It has a QC (Quick Connect) fitting, whereas my old machine has a U-Clip fitting. Dang!
So I rang Kärcher to ask if they made an adapter that would allow me to fit the new hose to my old machine. They did. This is it. I bought it.

I managed to use it to connect the new hose to my old machine. Hurray! But then I had no way of fitting the new hose to any of the attachments that actually do the cleaning bit, or to the old hose. Dang! I obviously needed another adapter for the other end of the hose. I bought this:

This connected to the end of the new hose. Hurray! But it didn't connect to any of the attachments. Dang! On the other hand, if I plugged the old hose back into the machine, I could use this to connect the old hose with the new hose, giving me one really long hose. Hurray! So what I really needed now was a new "hand gun", which would take the QC fitting.
You're probably wondering by now why I didn't just go and buy a new Kärcher pressure washer. That's a very good question. However, it wouldn't have solved my original problem, which was to create an extra-long hose. And I had already bought the extension. So I went off on a little odyssey, first to my local Wyevale garden centre, where I discovered they no longer stock Kärcher products. (One more reason not to shop at Wyevale.)
From there, I journeyed to B&Q in Swindon, where I found - roll of drums, fanfare of trumpets - a handgun attachment. And you know what? It came with an extension hose!
If I put all my extension hoses together I could probably pressure-wash the entire street. The total cost of all these adapters and attachments came to something like £10 less than the cost of a new machine, although that's not including the cost of petrol to get to Swindon.
I'm happy, however. My pressure washer works beautifully, I can clean all my paving without having to unplug and move the machine, and the thought of replacing a perfectly good piece of kit kind of stuck in my throat. Thank goodness I didn't have to try to swallow any spiders or flies.


Margaret said…
Ha! I feel the same way about discarding perfectly good equipment. You were incredibly lucky that they sold adaptors for the old equipment - it seems that accommodating older equipment isn't done that much these days. I'm glad that you were able to create exactly what you needed :)

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