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Anybody want some snow?

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GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Anybody want some snow?

And yes, that green thing in the middle that's poking through is my paper box.  Four inches more and you wouldn't see it.  

 

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15 REPLIES 15
BirdDog
Assistant Professor

No thanks! It's pretty but getting too old to shovel and drive in it. One of the main reasons we moved further south.

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

I don't blame you.  A lot of people around here end up moving down south when they retire.  My Aunt and Uncle did.  

 

We used to have a neighbor that would plow out both my folks' and my driveways with their tractor, but he's been working away a lot, so he's not around these days to do it.  It was sort of a "thank you" for my folks letting the neighbors use a piece of land for their horses during the summer months.  Gotta love country neighbors.  🙂   

 

And worse, my folks' snowblower hasn't worked in about four years, and they keep forgetting to get it repaired until it's too late, though neither my stepfather, nor myself, are in any physical condition to blow out our driveways.  His shoulders and my back.  I could probably do a path, but that's about it.  Still, a path would be nice.

 

When I was a kid my grandfather had this old lawn/garden tractor that had a couple of attachments.  One was a front reel mower, and the other a front snowblower.  He had another riding mower for the lawn, as the reel mower was old and didn't cut very well, but the snowblower attachment worked perfectly.  The greatest thing was that he had this canvas cover with a framework that he could attach to the tractor.  It had plastic "windows" and a working door to get in and out.  So, in the winter you'd be inside this makeshift cab while snowblowing.  It wasn't heated or anything, and it wasn't sealed around the bottom edges, but it kept the wind out, for the most part.  It was pretty darn neat.  I so wish I had something like that now.  Heck, if I had a small tractor with a heated cab I would love going out and plowing or snowblowing the driveways.  It would be fun.  🙂


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maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

I'll take 5 lbs, please. 

 


@GabeU wrote:

And yes, that green thing in the middle that's poking through is my paper box.  Four inches more and you wouldn't see it.  

 

 


 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

And now nearly all of the snow has melted, plus it's been raining, and my folks have no hot water because their basement is flooded and the water has gotten high enough to submerge the burner in their water heater.  SMH.  

 

They've always had issues with water in their basement during heavy rains and snow melts, and the water heater is up on a small stand because of it.  This flooding is terrible, though.  More than a foot and a half deep.  Over the tops of our barn boots.  Ugh.  

 

Unfortunately, it's a very old farmhouse, and the basement floor, though concrete, is uneven.  It does have a drain near one corner, but it's the corner that's the highest, of course.  LOL.  They REALLY need a sump pump, or at least a utility pump that sits on the floor that they can plug in when they need to.  My basement has a pedestal type sump pump, and it's been working overtime over the last couple of days.  


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maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

That's awful, Gabe. They definitely need a sump pump. 

Gabe,

Oh my!! I definitely do not miss snow, although it is nice to visit once in a blue moon. lol

*Felicia*

Before I retired I used to panic when it snowed, especially since I had to drive from Southern Fauquier to the Dulles area. I drive a Mustang GT, which is American for 'snow sled'.

 

Nowadays I look at it as exercise. I go out there even if there's a bit more than a dusting to shovel away.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

" I drive a Mustang GT, which is American for 'snow sled'."

 

LOL.  What fun on snowy hills this must be. 


@maratsade wrote:

LOL.  What fun on snowy hills this must be. 


Did it once and only once. Now it doesn't leave the garage...


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Luckily, the water had receded enough that I was able to get their water heater going again.  It's a newer type with a piezo ignitor, and it's an enclosed (to easy access) burner chamber, which means it takes a lot to be able to open it up to see the burner and all.  

 

I took a few tries, but it lit, and it seemed like it was doing fine.  The burner then went off and the blinking light on the control that lets you know that the pilot is lit stopped blinking.  Stupid me, I didn't wait very long and I tried to light it again.  After a few tries, and after gas was evidently pooling inside the chamber, I darn near blew myself up.  A flame shot out from around the access seal, and it blew the flue collector off the top.  Luckily it didn't go anywhere as it's screwed to the flue pipe, but it detached from the top.  I had to re-seat it.  

 

Call me old fashioned, but I like simple, pilot lit water heaters with an access door that is easy to remove so one can inspect the burner chamber.  Not practically sealed chambers that take removing screws, wires, the gas line and pilot gas line from the gas valve in order to gain the same access.   

 

Years ago I had a customer with a no heat issue with their oil boiler.  They told me that they only hit the burner reset button one time, which is a warning clearly written on the burner control (Only press reset button one time).  I changed the filter, strainer and nozzle and blew out the oil line, as they had just gotten fuel, which stirred up dirt in the old tank and caused the problem in the first place.  It sucked up nasty, dirty oil, which fouled those three things I changed.  

 

Anyway, I bled the air out of the fuel line system and started it up.  Everything seemed fine until the thing started rumbling and just about dancing on the floor. Smoke started to come out of it.  I turned the burner off and closed all air access, including wrapping rags around the air intake on the burner to try to starve the fire to get it out, but it didn't stop.  

 

It turns out that the homeowner had lied, even after I told him the importance of telling me how many times he hit the reset button.  He had hit it over and over and over again, loading the burner chamber with a ton of oil.  SMH.  Needless to say, I ended up calling the fire department as I couldn't stop it.  His boiler was ruined and his half finished basement was covered in soot.  Think copier or printer toner all over everything.  He certainly paid for that mistake.  SMH.

 

The flame shooting out tonight reminded me of that.  But, it's up and running now, and they have hot water again.  🙂  


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Glad everyone's safe. When you start talking gas lines and pilots combined with flooding, the pilots go out and bubble up through the water... that's just bad news waiting to happen. Bunch of houses blew up in Mass. just recently on gas explosions.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV


@MarkJFine wrote:

Glad everyone's safe. When you start talking gas lines and pilots combined with flooding, the pilots go out and bubble up through the water... that's just bad news waiting to happen. Bunch of houses blew up in Mass. just recently on gas explosions.


Yep.  I could hear the water spitting out when the burner first attempted to come on.  Even when everything was finally good and it lit and stayed lit, I heard a little more water coming out about five or six minutes after the burner had been on.  

 

I REALLY hate the design of this new water heater.  Well, semi-new.  My stepfather is a little gullible when it comes to this sort of thing, and the contracter sold him a used water heater that had come out of some place.  Don't get me wrong, it's fairly new, and it looks like it.  The manufacture date is also fairly recent.  He sold it to him for less money, but in the end, it's not really the right water heater for them.  It will work, but it's not what I, nor any other contractor, would have chosen for them.  It's too tall, and they had to create an opening higher in the flue base by chiseling it out in order so that the flue wouldn't be going downhill.  It was when they installed it, and I called and complained, so the owner came out the next day and fixed it by creating the higher opening.  It's just the wrong water heater and it started with a bad install.  

 

What they now have is a Reliance 6 40 GORT 300.  It has this burner control for the gas valve, which it sits on top of.  A big pain in the rump.

 

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lol "scalding risk increases with hotter water"

it's also wet... who knew?


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

I got a kick out of that, too.  Like the "don't eat this" warnings on things that no one would ever eat.  😛

 

That control just feels cheap, and because of the way the water heater is designed there is no way to light it manually.  It can ONLY be lit by that piezo lighter on the control.  😞 

 

I can see the control going bad long before the water heater itself does.  😞   

 

I'm used to the old, small water heater gas valve with the big black dial on it that has the temps.  You reach in with a long match or one of those flexible, extended grill lighters to light the pilot while holding the button down, then put the access panel cover back on the inside, then the outside.  Easy and long lasting.  Heck, my water heater is approaching 18 years and it's still going strong.  And it sits on a concrete slab on a dirt floor basement, so it's not exactly a dry environment.  But, it's still fine.  My furnace is about the same age, and other than replacing the hot surface ignitor a few times, it's still going strong, as well.  They forgot to move the draft prover switch when they installed it in a horizontal position, so it was below the exhaust blower housing and would get water in it.  It took a bit to figure that one out, as I'm not used to gas furnaces, but I knew what draft prover switches were and how they worked, and I could tell it was full of water from the condensation building up in the exhaust blower housing and running down the rubber tube to it.  Just shook it out, let it sit for a few hours, and put it in the right position.  


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maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

Holy mackerel, Gabe, that was a close call! Glad to hear everyone's all right.