Annoying chores…

We have a day or two of nice weather before more early winter is forecast. I’m trying to use it to get some annoying things out of the way. But at the moment I’m just waiting for the outside temperature to warm up. Having done all the necessary early things including Tobie’s long morning walkie, I’ve been trying to sit and enjoy a book for an hour but somebody


…has decided he doesn’t like that. Keeps walking over and placing his chin very precisely on my book, like he thinks he’s a cat and I’m committing the sin of Feline Ignorement. I’ve been trying to explain to him that he’s actually a dog: He’s perfectly welcome to lay here or on his bed but for the moment he’s had his tithe of exclusive attention. He wasn’t buying it. Finally gave up on the book and went to the desk beside his bed to do this blog post I should have done yesterday, and that was apparently what he wanted…


…because now he’s leaving me alone to work. Maybe he was really trying to guilt me into ceasing to ignore the blog.

Anyway: A couple of very annoying things happened more or less simultaneously last week…


Due to some erosion around the gully run-off ditch that I didn’t fix immediately because the frickin’ rain wouldn’t stop, I got a break in my sewer pipe. Right at a join, which is where it always breaks. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to get one locally, I sent away for a flexible coupler then wrapped the break with Gorilla tape and re-buried it. The coupler came in yesterday, so I dug the broken pipe back up and fixed the break.


Now I have to lay down some scrap pipe in the ditch under the woodshed bridge – for normal grey water drainage – and bury it to a level that will put the sewer pipe back underground, before the other side of the exposed section breaks off. Which it otherwise surely will, as it has before.

Then the next time the gully floods and really needs the ditch, the dirt plug will wash out, the drainage pipes will be hurled down the driveway, and the Great Circle of Piss Joel Off will be complete once more.

Meanwhile…


this damned thing stopped working in the middle of the night. Again.

Why that happened was easy to diagnose. The propane bottle it had been drawing from sucked empty and the bypass regulator that was supposed to automatically switch to the second bottle – didn’t. And why that happened was also easy to suss out: The secondary bottle was also empty, because one of my nearly-new pigtail hoses had developed a leak and drained it over the summer. Should have just closed off the bottle valves, but I wanted to keep the pipe pressurized.

Heavy sigh – okay, no problem, that’s why I have lots of spares. Swapped out the bottle. Re-lit the furnace pilot. Tested the furnace. Didn’t work.

Didn’t work! Why the *&^% NOT?

Another heavy sigh. The usual reason for that always turns out to be…


…another failed expensive bypass regulator. I have a standard diagnosis/fix for that…


My Plan B regulator. It didn’t fix the problem. On a roll, I dragged out my Plan C regulator. It didn’t fix the problem either. Now I was stumped.

And I’m still stumped. But I really need that bedroom furnace to get working before things get cold. This morning I’m going to put the bypass back on, then try burping the pipe. But when there’s air trapped in the pipe, it usually stops the pilot from lighting. And the pilot flame lights easily – though I did notice it seems a little meager. So maybe I really have some non-regulator-related problem with gas blockage, and maybe burping air out of the pipe will fix it. If it doesn’t, I don’t know what I’ll try next.

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few days. Lots of entertaining fun.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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One Response to Annoying chores…

  1. Anonymous says:

    To Tobie, you typing at the desk is your equivalent of laundry on the cruciform clothesline. Maybe it takes him back to his puppy days.

To the stake with the heretic!