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Joe the Plumber helped plug that damned hole

He's a different Joe the Plumber, yet another average Joe, but it's his design of a containment cap that is said to have been used by BP to finally stop the leak:

0717-joe-the-plumber-caldart.jpg
The identity of the "mystery plumber" whose homemade design for a new containment cap may have helped to finally stanch the Gulf oil spill geyser emerged Saturday.

His name is Joe Caldart, a married, 40-something blue-collar guy with five kids and three hound dogs living in St. Francis, Kan. Mr. Caldart has 907 Facebook friends. He likes the band Rednecks & Red Dirt, watches "Family Guy," and cites the 1978 Burt Reynolds flick "Hooper" as one of his favorites.

As to his decision to go public, Caldart says in an interview with the Monitor, "My wife was, like, 'This is kind of scary, I don't know if you should [go public],' and I said, 'Yeah and no.' But I also felt like people should know that here an average guy submitted something that maybe helped."

Caldart's sketches, routed six weeks ago to BP and the Coast Guard through University of California petroleum engineer Robert Bea, are a near identical match to the design of a new containment cap lowered last week over the renegade Macondo well 50 miles off Venice, La.

"The idea was using the top flange on the blowout preventer as an attachment point and then employing an internal seal against that flange surface," says Dr. Bea. "You can kind of see how a plumber thinks this way. That's how they have to plumb homes for sewage."

The current design is "a steel cap, and underneath it is the internal plug and on top of that is a piston and the flow tube in the middle, and coming down the left side is the warm water inlet tube," says Caldart. "I made that sketch on May 25th."

Pretty awesome news... and rather symbolic.  Remember Obama's words?

Because there has never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. That's why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's Secretary of Energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.

As a result of these efforts, we've directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. And in the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well. This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that's expected to stop the leak completely.

That was a month ago... and today we learn a plumber may be the guy responsible for actually stopping the leak.

There's a lesson there folks. 


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Comments (15)

Seen it happen many times i... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

Seen it happen many times in my career. The engineers sometimes over think a problem and they fail to ask the guys that have been doing this kind of problem solving every day.

"...a team led by Dr. Steve... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's Secretary of Energy."

Yep, the same 'brain' that wasn't aware part of his duties had to do with "OIL".

There's a lesson t... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:
There's a lesson there folks.

Yes, and Obama should appoint a blue-ribbon panel full of Nobel Laureates, PhDs, political hacks and other people who are better than we are to investigate and tell us what that lesson is.

Beautiful.....a blue collar... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Beautiful.....a blue collar democrat gets the job done. It doesn't get better than that!

The whinnin' weenie liberal... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

The whinnin' weenie liberals are out early today.

How many of you want to bet... (Below threshold)
Stan:

How many of you want to bet that this guy will never see a dime out of his idea. The government (O in particular) will claim it was a collective effort between them and the commie professors.

I searched both articles - ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I searched both articles - where is the info he's a Democrat, Jeff?

He must have attended Haava... (Below threshold)
Maddox:

He must have attended Haavaad before he started working as a plumber under the guidance of the union. There is no other way to explain this.

If you never read the book... (Below threshold)
Meiji_man:

If you never read the book "The Wisdom of Crowds" by James Surowiecki. This is a perfect example of what the book is about. It is also the theory behind crowd sourcing, open book management and Open source software.

Jeff, I notice you did not ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Jeff, I notice you did not capitalize "democrat" in your post. You are to be commended for eschewing a meaningless statement on political party affiliation.

I'll keep my fingers crosse... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'll keep my fingers crossed, but won't believe the well has been truly capped until THE ONE says that 'I've capped it'. Then and only then will we know for sure.

Sorry, but I ain't buying i... (Below threshold)
fustian:

Sorry, but I ain't buying it yet.

These drilling guys are not empty shirt PhD's. They're smart, practical, guys that live in the real world.

Think of them as fighter pilots with good educations.

King Koopa knew enough to r... (Below threshold)
BlueNight:

King Koopa knew enough to respect plumbers. Now the Super Joe Brothers are plugging his leaks and exposing his socialist agenda.

I'm curious Jeff, where did... (Below threshold)
JeffC:

I'm curious Jeff, where did you find out he was a democrat ?

I would suggest he is a blue collar American ...

Many institutes are offerin... (Below threshold)

Many institutes are offering the plumbing courses. Plumbing work is an essential thing and hence the courses linked with this profession will cost you a little more than the other professional courses.




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