Thursday, June 7, 2012

Solar water heat, new cell phones, and berries.

Location, at Home, CA

We have had solar water heat since 1984. Actually it was a water pre-heater which feed by convection into our hot water heater. The solar units consisted of two 20 gallon stainless steel tanks each sitting in large “tubs” with a Mylar reflector under each tank and a cover over each unit.

They worked very well with little maintenance. I once replaced a copper flex line which was leaking and lately we had another leak which I did not fix as the covers were cracked and breaking up. I could not find spare parts anywhere so a few weeks ago I removed the units.

I researched several new units which are now much more efficient, and selected one for instillation. It is a single unit on the garage roof and again piped to the water heater as a pre-heater. This system uses propylene glycol as a heating medium to heat the water in a 48 gallon tank on the roof.  

It has taken several days for the instillation which is mostly complete except for cleanup and adding some insulation around the pipes.

This unit also has a rebate from the local gas company and a federal tax write off as well.

Our cell phone contracts were up for renewal and Clyda wanted a phone she could text with. My Droid phone has an unlimited data plan which I want to keep so I needed to renew my contract. We got a package deal for a new Droid Razr Maxx for me and a Samsung phone with keyboard for Clyda. It will take me some time to figure out all the bells and whistles on the Maxx that’s for sure.

I am still picking berries. The freezer is full so I don’t know what we will do with the remaining berries. Today I picked 11 baskets.