Sunday, January 18, 2009

Calamities, Projects and Repairs, Oh My!

The house is quiet now and I am taking a moment to catch my breath from a whirlwind of minor calamities, major projects and unexpected repairs. It seems as though fate collected a multitude of unpleasantries and brought them to me for redemption this past week.

Wednesday morning the hard drive in my home office computer choked and corrupted several system files that are needed to boot up successfully. Fortunately, the drive is not totally dead and I recovered most of my important data by sticking the drive in another PC and copying the data to another disk. I'd have to restore the operating system on the PC this weekend.

Wednesday was the same day central Ohio got socked by an Alberta clipper that dumped 6 to 8 inches of snow. I used to love the snow. In fact, I used to sneak out late at night and shovel my neighbor's walks and drives. But my passion has cooled considerably the past several seasons, and since most of my current neighbors are now younger than me, they can fend for themselves. (And this morning I heard a radio spot about how the road to recovery is called US 1 and has destinations called Long Key, Marathon, and Big Pine Key. Oh, brother!)

Thursday was really cold and the temps Thursday night got down to a minus 14ºF. It was Friday morning when I realized the furnace was not working. It was 51ºF and falling in the house so everyone went to work to find some warmth. Fortunately, the fix was as simple as clearing the frost from the combustible air intake and that task was completed by my furnace guy sometime during the day.

Saturday morning came cold again - minus 20ºF the paper said - but the furnace was still working. At 9:00AM the missus and I started the bathroom redeux project which meant preparing the walls for new paint. This meant sanding and spackling and sanding some more.

While I waited for the quickset spackling to dry, I started the operating system installation process on my sick PC. This tag team process went on for about an hour. Multitasking at its most diverse.

Shortly before the noon hour, Teresa says there is water coming out of the hot water heater. The temperature and pressure relief valve has decided it is tired of holding back the flood and is taking a break. I shut off the valves and go back to sanding walls, formatting a hard drive and copying files. The hot water can wait a few hours.

About mid afternoon I took a break from the redeux and got to a place where the office PC was actually talking to the Internet and not talking back to me, so I looked at the prices for a new water heater hoping against the possibility of a worse case scenario. They start at about $400 and I started to calculate the miscellaneous motorcycle addons I'll might have to postpone from purchasing.

Fortunately, the relief valve installed without issue and I turned the hot and cold water valves back on only to see the drain valve at the bottom of the tank spewing hot water. The valve, made mostly of plastic with some rubber washers, was tight, but water still flowed. So, I turned all the valves off, again.

It looked like the rubber washer was too compressed to seal so I took an old old rubber inner tube and cut out a new washer to help out the old. I would have given the solution a less than 50% chance of working but it did work and I'm still please as punch.

At the end of the day, I think I would call the bout between me and fate as a draw: the water heater is salvaged, most of my data is saved with my PC is limping along for now, and the bathroom is functional, although still a work in progress.

Such are the joys of home ownership. And, yes, I'd rather be riding but you gotta come home sometime.


Baron's Life said...

Sounds like you've had "fun" trying to do all these things at once...when it rains, it pours and I can understand how frustrating things can get..It's a good thing Teresa caught the water leak early on before it became a major issue.
Keep well

irondad said...

I'm impressed how well you handled everything. Even doing a lot of the fixing yourself. A lesser man would have crumpled. I hope this is the end for a while, don't you?

Allen Madding said...

McGuyer always survives! :)


Doug C said...

Baron - It is times like these that I visit Baron's Life for a chuckle or smile.

Irondad - I agree. Enough is enough. Its time for some warmer weather. I vote we have spring early this year!

Doug C said...

Allen - I knew the were benefits to watching that show!

Lance said...

Nice post Doug - sounds like you are pretty good at the handyman projects. I always seem to fall back on Red Green's advice to use the "handyman's secret weapon" ductape!

Doug C said...

Lance - I love Red Green! Ductape is the force that holds the universe together.