Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dirty job done.

Location, at Home, CA

Another “Dirty Job” out of the way.

It was time for my annual replacement of the sacrificial anode in the water heater. Not only was the anode replacement due but I had other issues with the water heater. For some time while dry camping, the water pump would cycle intermittently. Aggravating at best but no apparent solution until recently.

While camping at Cachuma Lake earlier this month I noticed water dripping from the area of the water heater.  Inspection showed the water coming from the TPV valve which keeps the heater from over pressuring. Sometimes the valve will leak if the “bubble” at the top of the heater has been lost causing excessive pressure. The remedy is to briefly open the TPV valve and let some water out. However, in my case the valve was so corroded that I didn’t think it would reseat itself.

I purchased a new TPV valve and already had a few sacrificial anodes in stock so today I tackled the repair.

For once, I didn’t get deluged with water when I removed the anode as I was smart enough to release the pressure in the lines by opening a faucet at the kitchen sink first.

As the water gushed out it also brought a lot of lime with it. After the water slowed I used a wire with a 90 degree bend in the end to loosen more of the lime and with repeated flushing got most of it out. Some of the chunks were really large.

I installed a new anode and turned the water to the RV back on. When the water started to come out of the TPV valve hole which is at the top of the tank, I turned the source water off and installed the TPV valve. This should give me an air bubble or gap at the top of the tank.

Turning the water back on and purging the air from the lines by opening a kitchen faucet completes the installation. I tested the heater by first turning it on electricity and within a few seconds I could hear the heater element come on. Next I started the water heater on propane and left it heat completely to check that the TPV valve was not leaking. After an hour all looks good.

I picked berries again today and got 11.5 baskets. My largest picking so far this year.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I haven't disapeared.

Location, at Home, CA

No, I haven’t disappeared or blown away but it is very windy today and has been for several days.

Our nice warn weather has disappeared also. It is sunny but only in the 60’s. It will make for a cool Memorial Day weekend.

A quick synopsis of the past month.

The 10 days at Ranchero Visitadores went well. The weather was nice with temps in the 80’s most days with a nice afternoon breeze to keep us cool. After I was through at the gate, I moved the trailer to Lake Cachuma for 3 days. Clyda came up on Friday afternoon and we kicked back for the weekend with a little wine tasting thrown in for good measure.

I must say that there certainly was a lack of campers at the lake. I think the high prices for camping ($45 with FHU) and high gas prices are keeping people away. They may also have been saving for this weekend.

The boysenberries are producing. I have picked between 6 and 9 baskets the last few days. The berries are nice and plump from the late rains we had. Clyda made syrup from one of the pickings and I froze those picked today.

Craig has a few things planted in the garden such as pole beans, zucchini, crookneck squash and peppers. Zucchini and crookneck will be ready to pick in a few days.

Clyda’s planting of radishes in a cardboard box didn’t turn out well as they didn’t grow fast enough and were tough as rocks. I threw all of them in the compost bucket.

On Tuesday I removed the two solar water heating panels from the back of the garage roof. We had a large trash pickup on Wednesday so I managed to get rid of the bulk objects. The units were still serviceable but I could no longer get spare parts so they had to go. I have someone coming after Memorial Day to give me a quote for replacement units. I left all the plumbing in place as it may be useable with the new units.  

I received a call from a friend yesterday offering Clyda and I a job for the summer running a check in station for the Core of Engineers in Oregon. It seems the people who had the job quit. I think they only worked for a few weeks. The pay was quite good and we only had to work 40 hours a week between us. It does rain however. The job ran through September 15th. We have several commitments this summer so it is not practical for us to do it. We might think about doing something like that but I am not sure I could take dealing with the public. I’m not diplomatic enough I guess or just ornery.