Friday, September 30, 2011

What Else Could Go Wrong....

I will admit, I learned pretty quickly NOT to say "what else can go wrong".... As something always did.

I thought the work was done, expenses were where I had budgeted, and all was good. So I finally tried to spend the night at the cabin -- and the water stopped working.....

I head down to the walk-out basement where all the mechanicals are. Now mind you, this is not a "true" basement. It's more like a cellar -- a stone floor over dirt, with the well pump and water system, furnace, hot water heating, some storage, and a sump pump, accessed only from the outside of the house.

We discover that the water system near the pump has somewhat "exploded" -- the well pump is burning hot and appearing to be on the verge of overheating, and oh yeah -- I had forgotten all about the filtering system, which is not completely clogged.

Did I mention the cabin is on well water? And not just any well water, highly mineralized and organic water -- meaning it comes out of the tap with a high, and I mean HIGH, iron content and sparkling quality. So the water system in the cellar is a fairly sophisticated (ummmm, not really -- more like fairly complicated!) system to manage these two qualities.

There is a recirculating pump and holding tank to remove as much of the carbonation content as possible, and then a water softening system with 2 tanks, and a filtering system with three filters. All of these things need constant attention, care and maintenance.

And I had completely forgotten about them during the septic tank and kitchen work.....

And now the filters were clogged, the water had backed up, the well pump was overheating, and the system was on the verge of collapse....

Two plumbers and a well specialist later, the pump was salvaged, the filters had been cleaned, the softener system re-stocked, hundreds of dollars spent, and a year later, I still have a small leak.

But, the system was fixed, and showers, toilets and faucets were useable again.

What else....

Oh yeah. Forgot about that.

A week later, I am in the cellar, and notice first that there is a sticky watery substance all over the floor near the furnace, and then that the furnace itself seems to be off. I pull off the access panel, electricity arcs and flames shoot out momentarily, and then the burning smell kicks in....

And the furnace is dead. And in dying, it separated the tubes for the radiant in-floor heating from the connections, and now gylcol had drained out all over the cellar floor.

Fun. Fun.

Several thousand dollars and weeks later, I had a brand new furnace. At least it's more energy efficient!

The furnace finally fixed, I am able to turn my attention to the friend working on the "wildfire mitigation" required by my homeowner's insurance.

Though a story in and of itself (let's just say that the Fire Inspector I had come recommended trees to be cut down for wildfire mitigation, the Forest Service guy who came disagreed on quite a few, and recommended several others -- and let the confusion begin!), mostly it was just expensive.

Who knew it could cost so much money to remove trees?

And sadly, I wasn't even done when the snow started.... So the tree removal had to continue in the spring... ummm, summer.

As that is what happened next: the snow started. And did not stop....


  1. You have spend pretty much on your furnace. You need a good Long Island plumbers for your household problems.

  2. That's sad to hear. I hope you'll have better plumbing and sewage system in the area where you live. It's also important to keep a good water jetter in case of emergency.