At the Hardware Store

Ara Klujian

Moderator & TMF Repair Expert
Premium VIP
Jun 19, 2008
Chicago, IL
Real Name
Business Location
United States
Today I was at the hardware store looking for a 2 1/2 inch plug for a vacuum inlet on my recovery tank. So I asked the man working at the store if he can help me find a specific one I was looking for. Aparently they don't make a plug for a 2 1/2 inch dia. pipe. And he asks me "what is this for?" So I tell him "Its for a pipe I need to plug." Then he asks me "what kind of a pipe is this?" I told him "Its an aluminum pipe." He looks at me with a strang look on his face and says "an aluminum pipe? what kind of aluminum pipe?" "What are you doing?" At this point I'm thinking, wow, am I really going to have to explain to this person? So I begin to tell this man "Its for a vacuum tank I have. And I need to plug the hole." Then he says "oh my you can't plug a vacuum tank with this. Are you sure you know what your doing?" "you should call the manfacturer of the tank". Now I'm thinking to myself are you kidding me. Is this guy for real. So I politely told him "no sir I think it will be alright.
Why is it that whenever I go to the hardware store for things for my truck unit, or really anything I'm fabricating I always get people that ask me what I'm doing or what is this for? It's really not a big deal but why do I have explain everything? Why cant the man just say ok you need a plug here they are. Thats it, have a nice day.
I understand people are curious about certain things. I just don't like the redundency of always explaining what I'm doing.
That was a part of my day. :rockon:
Does anyone else who repairs TM's encounter this at the hardware store or autoparts store at all? Im curious.

Nick N

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2008
yes , at the auto parts store.

Ara , look in the phone book undder plumbing supply, that sells to plumbers they should be able to get what you want. If not email me I can send you what you need.

I went to autozone a number of years ago. ASked the guy at the desk, for sparkplugs for a 1979 427 bigblock chevy.. He then asks me whats it goin in. I tell him I just need plugs for a 79 big block chevy. He then gets smart with me and tells me, Well I can not get you the plugs unless you tell me what it is going in. OK

So I tell him it's going in a 1979 Chevotoa landcruiser. to be a smart aleck. Well the guy looks for 10 minutes and tells me I cant find Chevota?? I am like nooooooooooo

How about looking up some plugs for a chevy truck with a 427. so then he get them. I start walking out , he says whats a chevota? I tell him it a toyota landcruiser with a 427 bigblock chevy in it. The he says o well that will never fit in a landcruiser. I was like dude its out side if you want to see it DEE DEE DEE.

It just amazes me.

Ara if you have any oil field or hydraulic supply houses in town they will have what you need for 2.5 pipe.


Oct 11, 2007
Real Name
I too, always find it frustrating when the salesperson (the one who watched the video on how to operate the store computers and cash machines) seem to believe that they are now an expert in the field.
Sadly enough I've also seen this type of thinking from several "experts" those with many years in that particular business.
I usually just try to explain to them that it's my money and if I want to waste it on the product I want, then I will. "I appreciate your concern for my wasteful spending but, you are not my wife. Now, do you have the item or not?"

May 6, 2008
Real Name
D Oxley
Business Location
United States

I have the same frustration. I think that it's one reason that Home Depot and Lowe's got to be so successful. You don't have to spend an extra amount of time explaining everything to someone who doesn't understand what you're doing. And auto parts people are simply lost, if you can't tell them the "yearmodel" as they look at the computer screen.

A friend of mine has fun with it, though. He tells them all sorts of stories, like how he's working on a 1930's Bi-Plane and needs it to repair a pedal that's controlling the a vertical stabilizer or something.

I've been known to do things like that myself. :)

rob allen

Staff member
Sep 5, 2007
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States
Funny Ara, this has happened for years to me also. At least you are able to find some help...:biggrin:

I like Nick said go to a plumbing supply place now. Makes a big difference.

Once I had a hardware store rep ask me was I building a [email protected] or [email protected] Geez I said of couse not and had to explain myself. :argue:

That is the nature of our work I suppose! :wink:


Sep 28, 2008
Real Name
Steven Hoodlebrink
The pipe come out of our blower exhaust of our Steam Genie, to the muffler under the van. I took it to a repair shop to have them reclamp it just so I knew it was on good and I didn't have any back pressure issues. They kept asking what it was for and all these questions. I'm think come on just put another clamp on it, give me a bill and let me be on my way.


Sep 26, 2008
Real Name
Mike DePalo
funny story, for years there was a nice lady in the sporting goods section of k-mart and every time i went there i would ask her if they sell ammo she would say yes and point to the area, then before she would walk away i asked her where the ski masks were.....:):):) after awhile we became friends and had good laughs and yep i got to clean her carpets. so people might be nosey and ask alot of bs questions , but i always remember that there punching the clock trying to get through the day making min wage and are just trying to get through there bordom. i remember when i was a kid working a real job answering to a boss it sucked:) take it easy, mike.

Steve Jr.

Oct 21, 2008
Brookville, Ohio
Real Name
Steve Aponyi
Business Location
United States
Not to many problems out of the parts store they have gotten used to me and tinkering, the local hardware store that is another story, the guy who owns it knows as much about hardware as i do trying to perform open heart surgery, and after 2:30 his high school staff arrives, I'll drive the 15 min to lowes or home depot.


Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2008
Real Name
Joel Riggs
Business Location
United States
I have been lucky except for the time that I went to a plumbing supply house. Told him what I was looking for and he sent me on wild goose chase because he didn't understand what I was looking for and purpous. Went to a different plumbing supply store and they helped me figure out what would work.

When i tell them what i am looking for at home depot or lowes or even hardware store they seem to know they have no idea about what works on a carpet truck so they have always pointed me to what I am asking for or tried to help me find it until we both realize they dont have it.