The conversation went like this:
- "The fire marshal says we need a different connector on the thingy by the door."
"How is this possible? Did they change the connectors on the fire trucks since 2001?"
"I don't know. He's very insistent, though."
"Ok, I guess we have to do it then. Find out what we need and get one."
So, someone had the sprinkler maintenance company come out and they installed this thing. Besides the fact that there's a cap on it, can you tell them apart? Neither can I.
They charged us $800 for this. $450 for the part, and $350 for "installation". Which, as far as I can tell, was "unscrew the old one and screw on the new one."
Except I have a strong suspicion that the pipe wasn't the only thing getting screwed here. In an ideal world, one of my henchmen would have said "$800 for that, you must be mad", found out the model number, and just eBayed the stupid thing. I do not live in that world.
You recall the other classic scam the fire-equipment-service people pull, right? As I reported in 2000:
You need to have your extinguishers charged once a year. So after nine months, someone from the extinguisher company will stop by and say "I'm here to service the extinguishers." Doubtless whoever answers the door will just say, "uh, ok." Then they bill you for it, and mark the extinguishers as being good for another twelve months. But this means they're charging you for four years worth of service every three years!
This world: less than ideal.