Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Water Heater

Earlier this summer the water heater died. It was about 20 years old and finally gave up the ghost. I'd replaced the thermocouple a couple of times, but that was the extent of the maintenance. It did get drained and flushed a few times and was moved once. We originally got it to replace the water heater in our 12x60 mobile home. When I built this place it got put in here.

We decided we didn't need to rush out and buy a new one, we could get by for awhile as it was summer and we had the stove to heat water for doing dishes and other stuff (bird bath). Also we had The Guppy where we could take showers. Just had to wait awhile (10-20 minutes) for the water heater to heat the water.

Finally on the 9th we ordered a water heater from Lowes as I have a Lowes credit card and can do 6 months with no interest on large purchases. While we procrastinated the price went up. But on the plus side learned they do a discount for veterans. I knew they did a discount for military and retired military, but didn't know they did one for short-timers like me.

The only bitch I have with Lowes is they didn't let me know when the water heater arrived at the store. When we ordered it the expected date was the 24th, on the 25th The Old Lady called and was told it was there so we went and got it. Asked about the veteran discount and showed my VA card and got 10% knocked off. As I was working on installing it the other day I noticed a tag on the box that said it had arrived at the store on the 22nd. The least they could have done is send me an email to say it was at the store or the store could have called!!

Anywho, the other day I decided to do the water heater swap. Got the big box off the truck and with a hand truck got it into the house. Before I did that I drained the old one. Disconnecting the old one wasn't a problem, disconnected the gas line and the two water lines. Hauled the old one outside and removed the plumbing parts I needed for the new one (water lines and gas fitting). Put the new one in place and hooked it up. Checked the gas line for leaks, checked OK. Filled the tank with water, had a leak at the union on the hot water outlet side, tightened it. Lit the pilot, which is different than the old one. The old one you lit it with a match, the new one had a sealed burner unit and you push a button that creates a spark to light the pilot. Got it lit and turned the knob to start heating the water.

It worked for about 5 minutes and then went out. Thinking Fuck, spent all that money and the fucker doesn't work. Tried lighting the pilot, pilot would light, but when I released the knob it would go out. This new ones has several wires going to the control, one is for the spark deal and there are a couple others. It also has a light that flashes (the light also supposedly will give you codes to tell you what's wrong, from 0 to 8 flashes, well I had 0) when it is working. The light had gone out and would not come back when the pilot was lit. Tried several times with no luck. Then looked at where the wires went and noticed a small button (looked like a small peg between the terminals) where the two wires plugged in, pushed the button and when I lit the pilot the light started flashing and I turned the burner on and it's been working ever since.

The disgusting thing about this is it came with a 36 page instruction manual telling how to install and maintain the water heater. It also has a trouble shooting guide for things like "no hot water" which basically tells you to light the pilot. If after several tries and it doesn't work call a service technician. NO WHERE IN THE FUCKING MANUAL DOES IT MENTION THERE IS A FUCKING RESET BUTTON!!!!!!!! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Finally Got The Parking Brakes Fixed

Yesterday I finally got the parking brakes fixed on my truck. Almost 2 months after I bought what I thought was the only part I needed to fix the parking brakes. As I said in the earlier post installing the cable kinda made the brake work, but then I discovered the lining had separated and disintegrated on the side that didn't lock up. I figured no big deal, I'll get a set of shoes and replace them. I didn't get them right away, it was a couple weeks later. When I went to replace the shoes I discovered that one of the shoes with no lining had come loose and jammed against the other shoe.  I removed the shoes and what parts were left to hold the shoes in place. So I bought a hardware kit because some parts were missing and others damaged badly enough to be unusable.

The parts between the shoes was what I needed to finally fix the brakes. This is the old shoes (the ones that were left) before I changed them. Took a couple pictures in case I forgot how to put it back together. 

Then when I had the hardware kit and went to install the shoes I found there was another missing part. Part of the mechanism that pushes the shoes apart was missing. Yesterday I went to see my neighbor because he has a wrecked Expedition. I got the parts I needed and cleaned them up and they were froze in place with rust and crud. A little Never-Seize on the pin the parts pivot on and I got everything installed. Now the brakes lock up and will hold the truck. The main reason I wanted to fix the parking brakes is the truck is a stick and with over 230K miles the engine probably doesn't have enough compression to hold the truck by putting it in gear on a hill with any kind of slope.