Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Water Heater is replaced

The title says it all!!!!!   I was able to  replace the water heater today.  I removed the bad one and installed the replacement and quit at 3 pm.  I have some minor things to put back, but nothing serious..  To top it off, I think the heater works on both gas and electric.  That is what I'm really thankful for since the origin of the package was a bankrupt motorhome factory.  When I say package, I should say that it was an "un-packed" stock item.  So there is always the possibility that it didn't work for the first user.  However, looking at the unit, it has never been installed or wired in. I think I picked up a winner!

I do need to give credit to Winnebago for the way they installed the unit.  The two water lines were not quick disconnects, but they were reasonable to access.  What a joy to have that task out of the way.

We are patiently waiting for a good spring rain. Sadly, the weather man isn't giving us much hope for any moisture soon.  But as I've told a local, it always has rained at least the day before it is too late.  We'll leave it to the Lord again for us.

Yesterday was Cedar Rapids for a physical for Sandy.  Tomorrow it is Cedar Rapids for a dental appointment for both of us.  They Friday it is again Cedar Rapids for Sandy for a heart check up.   Perhaps that will be it until fall when I let the doctor have a shot at me.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

I had this entry about 80 percent written and I think that I took a short cat nap.  Anyway, presto, what was written is no more. What a revolting  development.

We finished the light pole project on Friday.  The REC folks insisted that we needed to  have a new replacement pole because they felt that the old pole was too rotten.  They  did that part of it for free.  However, I have to pay for the local electrician's time to remove and replace the wires.  When they were done, I then finished the ground  level hookups and then we had to clean up the area. But it is done.

The corn that was planted two weeks go, was sprouted last Sunday and is growing nicely. We'd like some rain, but Mother Nature will have to take care of that department.  What mother Nature  has provided us with is lots of heat.  It was warm last week and hot this weekend.  Supposedly, it is to cool down to more seasonal temperatures this week. We are ready for it.

Later this week, I need to get the replacement water heater installed.  We wanted to take it to a local RV repair shop nearby but on Friday when I tried to visit with him, we found out that he is out of business.  So I'll save my dollars and do it myself.  We'll blog it when I'm done (I hope).  

Before I lose this copy, here it is!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Ready for the weekend

Isn't it amazing how time flies!   I just wrote the last blog and here it is a week later.  But who should complain, we're healthy and wise!  The asparagus is still producing fresh tender shoots, the sun continues to shine and mother nature gave us a brief shower yesterday evening to calm our fears of an impending drought for the summer.

Going back wards, yesterday was a busy day on the hilltop.  A month ago, the REC inspectors treated our yard light pole and then condemned it for replacement.  So yesterday, the REC shows up with 3 bucket trucks and the local electrician shows up with one bucket truck.  But in about two hours time, they had stripped the old pole, pulled it, planted a new pole and had it fully restored.  Now I'm in charge of restoring some of the little stuff that seems to grow around the pole.  But we can handle that.

Earlier in the week, the local ditch digger was here to repair a field tile.  The tile has probably been in the ground for 50 years and now it decides to break, then collapse and impede the flow of water.  Of course when there is more water higher up, it naturally rises around the blockage and creates a mud hole that can't be farmed.  It is now fixed!

(Yes, we have a backhoe on our tractor, but crawling back and forth from the tractor to the bottom of the tile hole just isn't fun any more. It is just too easy to ask Hopp (the local fixer) to fix the problem and send me the bill.

Today is laundry day for us.  While Sandy is doing the laundry, I'm going on to a neighboring town to see about getting the local RV repairman to install our new water heater.  Yes, I'm sure we could do it.  But again, laying on my back, under the motorhome working on the water lines through a 8 by 12 inch hole for an hour or two is just not something that this old guy looks forward to. So again, we'll see if money talks and he'll do  it for us. (Of course, it will be after a dozen others that want it done yesterday!)   At least we have no departure schedule to work around!

It is 5:43 and the sun has just cleared the horizon. It looks like it will be a bright shinny day today.


Friday, May 18, 2012

On the Farm, catching up on stuff

Okay, as you can see, we're not the most prompt of writers.  But then considering the pay, it is about right.

We returned from the Don Williams County Park last Sunday to the farm, where we found all of the corn and beans planted.  Now we need some rain, which has really been turned off for the last two weeks.  However, it will happen in time.  Trust mother nature (all farmers do.)

Now that we're back on the farm, it was time for me to get serious on fixing our water heater.  We found out while at Don Williams that the controller was shot, so Monday we dug into the problem.  The fire that had erupted on the outside of the heater had melted some of the wires and there was a black mess.  We separated the wires and attempted to use the gas heat.  It refused to work.  So we probably cremated the controller (another $150 bucks).   Secondly, we learned that after the wires were separated,  the electric heating element also wouldn't work.    So we fiddled around and was able to enabl                                                                                   e the heating element relay manually and presto, we have hot water.  What a relief!

So now we have it fixed.  If we turn the water heater AC switch on about 45 minutes before we need hot water, it works. Doing it that way also removes the internal thermostat, so we have to remember to turn it off after 45 minutes.  That we can handle  with the help of a timer.

So after considering our options Tuesday and Wednesday, we finally looked for a source of a replacement controller or water heater.   The second RV salvage yard we called had a brand new water heater of the same model as we have.  We thought about it for a night and called him this morning and bought it.  It ought to be here next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Getting it installed will likely be a real challenge also.  The problem (or challenge or opportunity) is that all of the connections are in the back and must be worked through a 10 by 15 inch opening from beneath the heater.  We start the task, but if the going gets too rough, I just may call on the RV repair shop in a neighboring town and ask him to finish it (if he will)!  But digging in is how we learn.   Since all of it is outside under the RV, it is almost certain to start raining next week.  So I have to wait a week?  I can handle that!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Don Williams County Park (Odgen, IA)

Sandy and I decided to move to the May Rally site a day early.  I'm not sure why, but we're here with lots to do.  It's called "Make work", since nothing is schedule really until Saturday's Luncheon.  But this gives us more time to visit with all of our friends that we haven't seen since last fall.

It is a nice park and in the area we're in  (I think there are about a 100 sites), it has or will have about 10 members of our group and 3 or 4 others.  To put it another way, There is lots of room!  But I like it this way.

There seems to be no end to our trials and tribulations with something on our motorhome.  A week ago, we had a back flame in the water heater compartment and it burned the safety fuse after scorching several of the wires in the compartment.   The day was saved when the safety fuse opened and shut the gas off.

So we obtained a replacement 2 days ago along with a new thermostat.  However, being a bit skittish  on just turning it on, we've been using a timer when we enable the electric heating element.  So yesterday when we arrived, I told Sandy to turn it on, since we're not billed for our electric usage here.  Well, guess what. After a couple of hours, water suddenly started to spray out of the temperature/pressure relief valve on the side of the tank.  The heater was stuck on and was boiling the water, thus over pressuring the system.  So we put a quick end to that.  We'll not do any testing until we get back to the farm.  Then we'll try to determine why the new thermostat didn't shut the system off properly.  At least my water pump continues to work!

Right now, lunch is over and it is time to get outside to make sure I don't miss any of the latest news


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Puttering along

Okay, I had no intention of writing an entry this noon, but when searching on information about myself, the "blogger" entry came up.  So here I am.

For starters, I yak about the "new face" of Blogger, which I don't like. It seems like a disease of the computer world that after something has been out and in use, they have to give it a new face.  (Windows is the first one on my list.)  I suspect that it is a new crop of programmers who are really justifying their existence.

We had a big family gathering for my mother last Sunday which I really enjoyed.  She is at the ripe old age of 101 and hanging on.  She is ready to meet her maker any time.  I didn't think that she'd be up to it at the care center, but my sister went to see her and the next thing we knew, they wheeled her in.  It is very difficult to converse with her as her hearing is shot and she won't wear a hearing aid.  (Sandy can converse with her but my voice tonal range is out of her hearing range.)  What I especially enjoyed was visiting with all of the nieces and nephews that made it.  What a diverse group of people.

We're perched here on the hill top where the wind seems to never die down much.  It used to be a gentle breeze but not lately.  Of course the way we're parked on the lawn, with trees on the east and the west gives a southern breeze a straight shot to us.  Perhaps it even acts like a funnel to the wind!  But it is good clean fresh farm air (no livestock to help it out).

It is a great day to out and about.