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Old 11-28-2011, 05:28 PM   #9121
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I had a tree trimmer out to take down a few dead ash trees and to deal with a huge dangling willow branch that was threatening to squash my neighbor's woven fence. I am always amazed at the grace and skill of the tree trimmer guy and what he charges wouldn't pay my deductible at the emergency room. I'll cut up the downed wood and post is as free firewood on Craigslist.

I also splurged on a new waterproof jacket today. I noticed that the cuffs are worn through on the old one and I don't want to embarrass the DW.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:01 PM   #9122
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Yesterday evening we bought a TV wall unit and an end table off Craiglsist. The owner claims to have paid $600 at Inspiration a couple years ago and sold them for $200. It's designed for a CRT TV or a small flat-panel TV, and people just don't want them anymore. We'll get 10 years out of this in the familyroom, or until our daughter decides to take it with her to her first duty station in 2014.

Our old TV wall unit has been chewed pretty badly by our dearly departed bunny. We'll give that away on FreeCycle or Craigslist. Not sure what we'll do with the end table, but if we sell that it'll be pure profit.

What did I do today? Pretty much nothin', which for me is unusual.

Maybe I'll paint more of the familyroom trim today. Or maybe not-- that's getting old, and it's 3 PM already. I've thoroughly enjoyed a down day.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:24 AM   #9123
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Yesterday, I had a plumber come to find out why my hot water pressure was almost gone. I have lived in this house 12 years with a non-working water softener that we had installed when we built the house. We had no idea how it worked and my husband had no interest in it....so it just sat there for 12 years. Some way or another it was affecting my hot water pressure. The plumber bypassed the water softener and now I have hot water again. So relieved it wasn't anything major and was happy to pay the $50 service call.

The plumber thought the water softener was completely broken. So, at some point I would like to get a new unit and learn how it works. Something to budget for now.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:33 AM   #9124
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So, at some point I would like to get a new unit and learn how it works. Something to budget for now.
The following requires no budgeting.

How does a water softener work?
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:54 AM   #9125
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Thanks REWahoo.... I might get some water softener stuff for the washing machine, but, I really would like a whole house one. I didn't know there were "beads" involved with this process. I only knew about the salt and mine wasn't working right for 12 years. It was funny after the plumber bypassed the water softener, the first time I flushed one toilet, the refilled tank water was BLACK. After a few more flushes, it finally cleared. I have no idea what that was.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:57 AM   #9126
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Hope you turned on your faucets and let the water run a while before drinking or brushing your teeth...
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:58 AM   #9127
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Yucky rainy day so I might as well go to work later.

Tomorrow take DW out for dinner for her birthday to what is billed as a high-class restaurant. I guess this means I'll have to wear leather shoes.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:00 AM   #9128
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Tomorrow take DW out for dinner for her birthday to what is billed as a high-class restaurant. I guess this means I'll have to wear leather shoes pants.
FIFY...
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:40 AM   #9129
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Originally Posted by happy2bretired View Post
Yesterday, I had a plumber come to find out why my hot water pressure was almost gone. I have lived in this house 12 years with a non-working water softener that we had installed when we built the house. We had no idea how it worked and my husband had no interest in it....so it just sat there for 12 years. Some way or another it was affecting my hot water pressure. The plumber bypassed the water softener and now I have hot water again. So relieved it wasn't anything major and was happy to pay the $50 service call.

The plumber thought the water softener was completely broken. So, at some point I would like to get a new unit and learn how it works. Something to budget for now.
Oh, contaminated dihydrogen monoxide. Very bad
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:43 AM   #9130
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Yucky rainy day so I might as well go to work later.

Tomorrow take DW out for dinner for her birthday to what is billed as a high-class restaurant. I guess this means I'll have to wear leather shoes.
Shirt, tie, dinner jacket and a buttonier for good measure. And a $20 for Maitre D'establishment.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:50 AM   #9131
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Originally Posted by happy2bretired View Post
Yesterday, I had a plumber come to find out why my hot water pressure was almost gone. I have lived in this house 12 years with a non-working water softener that we had installed when we built the house. We had no idea how it worked and my husband had no interest in it....so it just sat there for 12 years. Some way or another it was affecting my hot water pressure. The plumber bypassed the water softener and now I have hot water again. So relieved it wasn't anything major and was happy to pay the $50 service call.
The plumber thought the water softener was completely broken. So, at some point I would like to get a new unit and learn how it works. Something to budget for now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2bretired View Post
Thanks REWahoo.... I might get some water softener stuff for the washing machine, but, I really would like a whole house one. I didn't know there were "beads" involved with this process. I only knew about the salt and mine wasn't working right for 12 years. It was funny after the plumber bypassed the water softener, the first time I flushed one toilet, the refilled tank water was BLACK. After a few more flushes, it finally cleared. I have no idea what that was.
Oh, boy, plumbing fun!

I'm not sure why you lost hot water pressure and not cold water pressure as well. It's possible that the water conditioner is only tied into the water heater, although I can't imagine why someone would want soft hot water and not soft cold water. You might want to check the piping arrangement to make sure the water conditioner is tied into the house's water supply from the street, not just to the outlet from the water heater.

The black stuff is what professional plumbers describe by the technical term of "rust". (In the nuclear power industry the term is "crud".) It came from at least one of two places. If there was bypass piping already installed around the water conditioner (as there should have been) then it must've been really really rusty inside. Or, if the water pressure was low for a long time (months) then rust could've built up on your home's water piping because the flow was slower. When the water pressure went up then so did the flow rate, and the brisk scrubbing action of the faster-flowing water cleaned out your pipes.

You should see what nuclear reactor piping looks like after a month or so of low flow followed by a short period of brisk flow. You'd expect reactor coolant to look clear (like regular pure water), not black.

The resin in the tanks is supposed to last about 10 years. Our rental home has a tankload going on 14 years but I'm going to have to ask the tenant how their water pressure is doing.

You can buy a whole-house water conditioner at Home Depot or Sears (or maybe Lowes) for about $500-$700. It might go on sale with the other appliances or over the holidays.

You could also try to replace the resin tank (home of "the beads") on the existing water conditioner. Guys like M_Paquette, Gumby, and myself think resin swaps are lots of fun, but you may feel otherwise. A 12-year-old system would probably require a visit from a professional plumbing company, and the first thing they'd try to do would be to upsell you a new water conditioner. (Rightfully so if the controller valve is the part that's broke.) So unless you have a hard-core nuke plumber neighbor I'd skip this step.

I'd be astounded if the new water conditioner fit right in where the old was. When you buy the new water conditioner, you want a plumber who can modify the existing connections (to the old water conditioner) to work with the new one. It's not rocket science but it's tedious.

Your budget will need to include approx $5/month for a 40-pound bag of water conditioner salt.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:32 PM   #9132
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The black stuff is what professional plumbers describe by the technical term of "rust". (In the nuclear power industry the term is "crud".) It came from at least one of two places. If there was bypass piping already installed around the water conditioner (as there should have been) then it must've been really really rusty inside. Or, if the water pressure was low for a long time (months) then rust could've built up on your home's water piping because the flow was slower. When the water pressure went up then so did the flow rate, and the brisk scrubbing action of the faster-flowing water cleaned out your pipes.

You should see what nuclear reactor piping looks like after a month or so of low flow followed by a short period of brisk flow. You'd expect reactor coolant to look clear (like regular pure water), not black.
A CRUD burst! Joy! Have the ELT draw a sample...

Fortunately, home conditioner resin swaps are easier than the nuke version. No funny looking coveralls or health physics lectures beforehand, and no pesky RADCON considerations. The bad news is that around here at least, it costs about as much as getting a new system. :-(
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:16 PM   #9133
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I'm in a 4-hour conference call, and about 50% of the meeting has nothing to do with me...so I can post occasionally.

P.S. Since I got over 500 posts today, I know am "Full time employment: Posting here" status.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:34 PM   #9134
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I'm in a 4-hour conference call, and about 50% of the meeting has nothing to do with me...so I can post occasionally.

P.S. Since I got over 500 posts today, I know am "Full time employment: Posting here" status.
Warning most people are worse at multitasking than they think.

I've gotten in the habit of looking things up in imdb on my iPod touch while watching a movie. The other day I did it while watching an Italian movie with subtitles. It was a minute before I realized that multitasking does not work in this situation.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:35 PM   #9135
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No black teeth from black cruddy dihydrogen monoxide... Yes, there is a bypass around the water softener and the cold water was affected too, just not as much. I did put up with it for about a month, but, it was getting really bad and I couldn't take a shower any longer with that luke warm water...

The plumbing company that I use also does my heating and air conditioning work and they have always treated me well. They work with a local water conditioning company for what they install....so some day, probably next year. I'm kinda hoping for the model that tells me when it's low on salt and needs to be repaired since I can't seem to tell.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:36 PM   #9136
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Regenerated a cryo pump, in between goofing off...

Cryopump - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Regeneration of a cryopump is the process of evaporating the trapped gases. This can be done at room temperature and pressure, or the process can be made more complete by exposure to vacuum and faster by elevated temperatures. Best practice is to heat the whole chamber under vacuum to the highest temperature allowed by the materials, allow time for outgassing products to be exhausted by the mechanical pumps, and then cool and use the cryopump without breaking the vacuum.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:43 PM   #9137
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Ok, everybody...get the smelling salts ready.

I went to WallyWorld today in search of a live christmas tree in a bucket. No dice. So I bought a 4' artificial one with prestrung multicolor lights for $25.
I also bought a new coffee maker, the glass-carafe-less kind where you press your cup up against a bar switch and fill the cup.
While I was there, I scored 2 good sized bags of tulip bulbs, a pastel mix and pure whites, for $4 each. It is still warm enough to get them planted out front. I will save a few for "forcing" indoors during the winter months.
I cringed at the price of Christmas cactus plants in 6" pots. I have several of my own in-house, so I will take some cuttings and start some new ones.
I also picked up a homemade blueberry pie with whipped cream topping. A lady bakes 4 fresh pies each week for the club where I do table bussing. I asked her to make me one, at a very reasonable price of $10. She uses fresh fruit, not the canned filling, and very little sugar added in her pies. The crust and whipped cream topping is also made from scratch.
I treated myself to a piece when I got home.
Her recipe for fresh peach pie is to die for...that will be my next order when we finish up the blueberry one.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:16 PM   #9138
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Went on a dark, dreary, almost rainy, windy 16 mile bike ride with Lena. The first colder ride of the season (50 degrees). Glad to be home.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:43 PM   #9139
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Among other things I went to Kroger's and to the library. I borrowed 25 children's books to read to my DGD via iChat. I finished the 20 that I had borrowed previously last night and had to reread her a couple of them. She told me that we had already read that book yesterday. Everyday is yesterday when you are 3. I also borrowed 2 books for me, Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt (I requested my library to buy this book and have checked it out before and Living Large in Lean Times by Clark Howard. I have not read any of his stuff before, but hopefully I will enjoy it. I came home and made a big pot of Ham and Bean Soup. I ate a sandwich while it was cooking, but could not resist eating a small bowl when it was done. I will be making corn bread tomorrow night after work and it will be a yummy dinner. I always wonder what type of soup Khan had made when she posts. I am a soup person!
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:29 PM   #9140
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A CRUD burst! Joy! Have the ELT draw a sample...
Fortunately, home conditioner resin swaps are easier than the nuke version. No funny looking coveralls or health physics lectures beforehand, and no pesky RADCON considerations. The bad news is that around here at least, it costs about as much as getting a new system. :-(
I'll bet the crud bursts on your boat were spectacular! What was the radiation stay time at the sample sink?

But yeah, I find it hard to justify replacing a 14-year-old resin bed when the Ametek control valve is also that old. Much easier to buy a GE or Kenmore package and modify the plumbing connections. But I'm going to go on the current resin bed until the tenant moves out or starts complaining about mineral deposits.

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I'm kinda hoping for the model that tells me when it's low on salt and needs to be repaired since I can't seem to tell.
Our Kenmore has an LCD panel that you program with the hardness of your water. (Obtained by testing with a conductivity meter or by reading the water-quality report of your water company.) Its internal flowmeter tells it when to regenerate the resin with the salt. Then you fill the tank with at least one 40-pound bag of salt, although they can usually hold five or six bags. If you use just one bag then you fill it once a month or whenever you happen to look into the tank and notice that there's no salt...
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