This is a part of Spring I could get to liking…

Late in 2020 we finished a thing that made Ian’s Cave a very useful and happy place, even though it looks less and less likely that anyone will ever live there.


It happened so gradually, in such a choppy, punctuated manner, that I found myself spending time this morning trying to remember exactly when it was finished and useable. It started in June 2020 when a bunch of very expensive plumbers expensively dug a vault behind the cave, into which they expensively poured expensive hardware needed to raise Ian’s water pressure to expensive (and damaging, in the short run) levels never expensively seen before. They went away without actually getting the pump running, because they’re incompetent boobs, but happily I have access to a neighbor with more knowledge of how electrical circuits work than I – or the expensive plumbers – do. Then Landlady began a series of visits to install a water softener and in-line water heater, which did not go well at first.

It wasn’t till November 2020 that we tiled the shower and it officially became open for business. Trouble is, Ian’s cave isn’t heated and by December it was cold enough that I really didn’t feel like going there to get naked and wet anymore. So I didn’t use the thing till early last summer, and then we had the Great Water Leak of 2021, which flooded the powershed and forced me to disconnect power to the water pump for quite a while, and…

Well. Like most of our more ambitious projects, it’s been one thing after another. I’ve really grown to distrust big ambitious projects. But still, while it works, hot showers!

And I’ve gone so many years without hot showers that the presence of a functioning shower within walking distance of the Lair is something I still regard with wonder and appreciation. And in the past few days, the temperature inside Ian’s Cave has reluctantly risen past the point where the old man can use it again without hypothermia. And that’s a part of Spring I’d really like to grow used to – except that I truly don’t trust it to last.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to This is a part of Spring I could get to liking…

  1. Mike says:

    “it looks less and less likely that anyone will ever live there”

    Considering all the rhetoric going around about war and such, who knows, maybe you will have a full time neighbour again. 💣 🔥 ☠️ ⚔️

  2. Robert says:

    I’ve found taking a shower wherein ice is forming on the exposed cement block walls to be invigorating. Yeah, let’s go with that polite term.

  3. Joel says:

    I’ve heard that lots of people love jumping into ice water. Those people are demonstrably insane. Personally, I hate shivering while naked and wet and I won’t do it voluntarily.

  4. What about something like this, but with a pump that runs on 12 volts? No expensive pump system, uses propane for fuel. Get yourself a nice big wash basin to catch the water for reuse.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-BOSS-XB13-Basecamp-Operated/dp/B011TRLVP0/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=propane%2Bshower&qid=1648410585&sr=8-8&th=1

  5. Robert says:

    Believe me, showering in an ice-encrusted shower is not my preferred option. At least there was sorta-hot water that time.

  6. Sendarius says:

    My man-cave now has a shower – converted from a tiny washroom – that is plumbed into the main (electric) water heater.

    The first problem is that old water heater is not thermostat controlled, and is getting better at its task as it gets more use after years of sitting idle. I suspect there was a lot of scale on the heating element.

    Temperature is regulated by flow – once water flow through it is detected, it’s all troops on deck. If I want cooler hot water, I request more flow by turning the hot tap on further. Hotter water is just a twist of the tap handle away – provided that the flow through the heater stays above the turn-on threshold. Unfortunately, the lowest temperature I can get, with water flow through the unit maxed out, is still too hot for human skin.

    Which brings up the second problem. The total available water flow through the showerhead is insufficient to add enough cold water to the mix and still keep the hot water flow high enough for the heater to stay on. Remember, as I add cold water, the flow through the heater is reduced, and thus the output temperature goes up, which needs more cold water, which sends the heater output temp higher, which needs more cold water … – and then the heater shuts off due to insufficient flow.

    My interim solution is to run a SECOND hot tap when I shower, thus running enough water through the heater to get the temperature down to the point where I can add enough cold water in the shower that I don’t come out par-boiled.

    Still, being able to wash off the grease and sweat at the end of the day may be a luxury & a hassle, but it is SO worth it.

    First world problems, eh?

  7. Ben says:

    Sendarius: You need more flow through your shower head. You may have a removable orfice in your current shower head, or get a different one with enough flow to trigger your hot water heater.

  8. Sendarius says:

    Ben: You know, I think you’re on the money there!

    It never occurred to me, but low-flow showerheads are mandatory here in west Oz, so that spiffy new unit that I bought instead of re-using the old one that I already had is probably the root cause of the issue. Naturally all the stores only stock legally compliant stuff.

    I’ll swap it out and give it a try. Fingers crossed!

To the stake with the heretic!