Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some Aerie Doings and
some quick traveling plans

After getting 0.23 inches of rain Sunday night and another 1.26 inches Monday night, neither Monday nor Tuesday were good days to be staining. Things had to dry out before I could pick up a brush again.

That's okay, I had the pink water in the cistern to concern myself with. That pink was caused bu too rapid refilling after I used the hose to wash the deck on Friday. It's caused by fine clay washing into the well from between the layers of shale the hillside is made from. We get a little of it every summer when we use too much water for things like the garden. (Note to self: Get some rain barrels!) The clay gets passed the in-line filter which is a 1 micron job and into the 500 gallon tank. Then into the house lines and discolors all the water in the laundry, sinks and toilets. We tend to notice it more in the toilets because that water sits for a while between uses and the clay settles out.

I used the sump pump to empty the the cistern and then changed the filter. Turned the circuit breaker back on and...nothing. I started to panic a little. I fiddled with the delay/kill switch for the well pump. (This switch will kill the pump if it starts to draw air, or when it has pumped for a preset period of time.) Still nothing. Now I was panicing a lot. What bothered me most is that we have had this problem before and have successfully handled the restart.

Terry suggested I call Don, the contractor with whom I worked and lived as we built the Aeire. Maybe he would know what to do.

I called. He came up ASAP.

We went down to the basement and I was describing what I had done and what the problem was. Don set his tool bag down and did a quick test on the circuit of the kill switch. That's when I noticed that the two valves that control water flow around the filter were turned to the closed position.

I reached over and turned them to the open position and water began flowing immediately. The pump was running but couldn't push the water into the system because I had blocked the flow to install a new filter and never unblocked it. It's a good thing the pump was sumberged or it could have overheated and burned out.

Anyway, problem solved. Don stayed for a brief visit and went home with a zucchini bread for his troubles.

Me? I learned a couple of lessons.

1) Check all the damn valves before you panic!

2) Don is still a really nice guy and valuable friend.


All day Tuesday we had bright sunshine and a fair breeze blowing. The deck dried out nicely, but the sky was too clear Tuesday night and the temperatures (mid-50s) produced a very heavy dew on all horizontal surfaces. This morning I had to wait until that dew disappeared before I could take up the brush again and get some staining done.

It didn't reach 60 degrees until just after 10 AM. By then most of the dew was gone and I felt safe in getting to work on the stiles and rails which have many, many vertical surfaces.

I didn't lay down the brush until 6:30 when the first gallon of stain was gone. By then I was through with nearly all the stiles and rails with the exception of one side of the short steps down to the lawn and one bottom rail I overlooked.

I only took a couple of 10 minute breaks and 15 for a quick nosh around 1 PM.

The deck surface will be done next week when we get back from eastern Massachusetts and a claim bake with Sue and Bruce and their extended family. Sixty or seventy people in all will be in attendance. Friday we'll go quahog hunting off the coast. Saturday we're to collect seaweed. Sunday it will be time to par-tay!

1 comment:

Rev. Paul said...

It's good that your pump/valve problem was resolved without costly result. Now: go have fun!