A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can't make this stuff up

No trick, no treats: Parish bans Halloween on Sunday

"Livingston Parish forbids the observance of Halloween on a Sunday.

So this year for the first time, in unincorporated parts of the parish of 120,000, Halloween is on Monday, Nov. 1.

Moreover, trick-or-treating hours are 6 to 8 p.m. on the prescribed day, and violators risk a fine of up to $500 or up to 30 days in jail."

Here's the money quote, though:

"All this has attracted the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which Friday dispatched a letter to parish officials telling them they were violating neighbors' constitutional rights to walk their streets and ask for candy any day they pleased, as well as the religious freedom of anyone wanting to celebrate Halloween as a religious feast -- although trick-or-treating is not part of Wiccans' observance of the day."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For Dy

One of our IT guys owns this:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roof patched

So I finished up in the attic this afternoon. Moved the original water heater, Didn't get it out of the attic, though, even empty it weighs a couple hundred pounds. (Luckily, it will fit down the stairs when I rig up a winch.) I did find that it is a 1985 model. I doubt that pressure vessels are rated for 25+ years so it was time for it to go. Removed the chimney and re-shingled the roof to close the hole. Found that I had a single leftover 3/4" PVC 90 from another project and that was all I needed to relocate the water catch pan under the new heater.

Only thing left is to fish the wall and run the wires for the remote, but that can wait until it cools off a bit.

A bit of efficiency entertainment as well:

The original tank heater still had the "EnergyGuide" sticker on it. That 50 gallon heater was rated (using 1983 energy prices of $0.627/therm) at $246/year.

My new heater is rated (using 2007 energy prices of $1.218/therm)at $223/year.

So, doing the conversion, my new heater uses less than 46% of the natural gas that my old one did.

If I hadn't planned to replace the unit, though, given that my gas bill is generally less than $50/month on average, it would not have been cost effective even with the government subsidy of nearly $750.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A few final thoughts.

While not a job for a novice, there was nothing about this installation that was really difficult. (Other than working in the attic when it is sunny and 90F outside.)

The only part of the installation that I'd not done before was a gas line modification. After I found the shutoff - (300 feet from the house at the street) - and used the stove to de-pressure the line, it came apart easily with pipe wrenches and went back together easily as well.

About the only other significant learning I had was that if you use the rag that you use to wipe down the sweated joints after they're done to wipe your head, you will end up with minor acid burns. Flux sux.

Now all I have to do is finish draining the old tank, get it out of the attic and move the drip pan under the new heater.

New Water Heater Installation Complete

Got the electrical outlet mounted first thing this morning, then it was time to hit the point of (limited) return. I made a list of parts and headed back to the 'Po.

When I arrived home, I tackled the gas line first. 3/4" black iron pipe. That went very smoothly and with a little help from Rectorseal and a new shutoff valve, - No leaks.

Then I started the water lines. I replaced the shutoff valve on the heater inlet because the original was seized. (And I'm not a big fan of globe valves anyway.) Had one leak at a solder joint when I pressure tested it, but a little more heat and solder and all was good on the inlet side.

I had planned to reuse the connection for the outlet, but after building the "T" required for the Pressure Relief Valve and getting the new line all soldered in place, that connector for the heater outlet was bad, so back to the 'Po I went. One new flexible connector and a spool of 18-2 thermostat wire so I can mount the remote control downstairs later and I was in business.

Finally, no leaks. I purged the hot water system and plugged the heater in. Jailbroke the heater remote so I could set the temp to 140 and turned on the faucet. Perfect operation first time out.

Very little lag if any compared to the old tank heater. Hardly any noise when it's operating either.

It ain't pretty, but it works like a charm:


Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Chimney Installed.

Had to run to the 'Po for some flashing sealer and parts to add a new outlet to the attic but I was able to get the chimney installed and sealed.


The leftmost chimney is the new water heater. It is next to the existing one. The Rightmost is the wood stove chimney I installed about 4 years ago.

From the attic:


Started the new water heater installation

Found an 8' long x 10" wide piece of 1/2" ply in the attic. I cut that up to make the mount for the new tankless gas water heater. I decided, as I know I need a few parts for the connections, that I would install the unit next to the existing tank and run a new chimney.

Then I can take my time on the install without having to cut the water supply to the house until everything else is almost complete.


If I don't have to run to a machine shop in Baton Rouge to check on a pump, I'll probably run the Chimney this afternoon. Otherwise I'll hit it tomorrow morning.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Almost, but not quite

Plugged the race car in to try to start it. No dice.

Diddled around with it for awhile and finally troubleshot it back to the switch. I think it may just be the connections as when I clamped the positive lead from the charger directly to the output side of the switch, the lights came on and it at least tried to start. Wouldn't turn over, though.

Guess I'll fool with it a bit this weekend.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

JBWeld is awesome

Found a leak at a bad oem joint where the top radiator cross tube attaches to the end cap. Cleaned it, JBWelded it and no more leak.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Second Place

Big Raffle

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tom Dixon in Baton Rouge

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Map for Mom.

Click here.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Lot Lizard

Found this little guy sunning himself on my hood. I didn't tell him I have AIG.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

In the room at The Sanfird House B&B

Jacobins in Arlington, TX