When good valves go bad

That handle is tighter than Dick Tracy’s hat brim. Barry Samsel.

Sunday. Noon. 100 degrees. No shade. Of course.

Fourteen hours after he left in the dark, Barry Samsel from Custom Plumbing is back at Sea Eagle View to cut out the Pressure Relief Valve that he suspects failed, to replace it.

Did fluctuations in pressure caused by the dying PRV trigger the water heater to blow out? Did a water heater failure cascade back to the PRV? Two systems separated by 50+ feet broke down in the same 24 hour period, connected only by water; that’s a mystery wrapped inside an enigma.

Barry at right contemplating how to lever a washer between the pipe assembly and the water meter. New shutoff valve with yellow lever handle in the middle, new Pressure Relief Valve at left.
Barry at right contemplating how to lever a washer between the pipe assembly and the water meter. New shutoff valve with yellow lever handle in the middle, new Pressure Relief Valve at left.

Dig. Wrench to remove. Send Steven to Lowe’s to get a replacement for the butterfly shutoff valve that is not loaded on Barry’s personal Ford 350. Squeeze the new assembly into place with a 2×4 lever applied to city meter, carefully. Wrench to install. Test. Test again. Test a third time.

We have water! We have water pressure! There will be hot showers. There will be a bill …

Barry holds the pressure relief valve that failed, left, and the shutoff valve with butterfly handle that froze and locked, unmovable, forcing replacement.
Barry holds the pressure relief valve that failed, left, and the shutoff valve with butterfly handle that froze and locked, unmovable, forcing replacement.
Share. Link. Like.

13 years in a blink

In front, from left, Steven, Summer, Jadin, Judge Henning. In back, from right, Jacquela, Charletha, Yoshiko, Lonnie, Charlene, Myra, Karen, Cassidy.
In front, from left, Steven, Summer, Jadin, Judge Henning. In back, from right, Jacquela, Charletha, Yoshiko, Lonnie, Charlene, Myra, Karen, Cassidy.

26 July 2002. Thirteen years ago. Today is the day we adopted Jadin. There are no words profound enough.

A family. Thank you, Randi Barrow, adoption attorney.
A family. Thank you, Randi Barrow, adoption attorney.
Share. Link. Like.

Exterior paint plan

We are tasked by Ranserve with selecting exterior colors. Mark and Ron want to start painting the brick and new Hardieboard siding by end of week.

Jacquela and Steven have been talking about deep, rich, cool greys for months. Jadin searched the web for photos of houses where she liked the colors.

We visited Sherwin Williams while Kenny from Custom Plumbing worked on the water heater that blew out. The color chips and brochures in the store were, politely, frustrating. We came home to prowl Houzz and photos we had archived.

Three hours later we came to this decision.

  • Cyberspace, Sherwin Williams 7076, for the brick and siding — the body of the house.
  • Snowbound, SW 7004, for the trim.
  • Positive Red, SW 6871, for the front door. Punch that entry to make a bold statement. Although Jacquela thinks it may be too pink, not red enough. She’s going to purchase samples.
  • Naval, SW 6244, a candidate for the garage doors.
  • Wall Street, SW 7665, backup/alternate candidate for the garage doors — or the body of the house if Cyberspace proves too dark.
  • With a wood stain for the cedar siding accent that we plan for the front porch, something that looks like this photo pulled from Houzz by Jacquela.
    Balodemas Architects, via Houzz.

     

Choosing the appliances was painless. Picking out colors for the house is dangerous.

Share. Link. Like.

The hiss of water

We woke Saturday morning to the hiss of water.

At Sea Eagle View, one of the 11-year-old water heaters failed, one year past expected lifetime. Manufactured in December 2004 according to the label, this tank served the kitchen, laundry and powder bath on the first floor, and the master upstairs.

Steven called Barry at Custom Plumbing. He’s tasked with plumbing Emerald Hill. Barry rolled a truck. Kenny arrived about 11 a.m. after picking up a new 50-gallon electric water heater and other supplies. Kenny went to work. Steven, Jacquela and Jadin got out of the way, delivering donations to Goodwill, visiting Sherwin-Williams to begin picking out exterior paint colors for Emerald Hill. About 145 pm, Kenny reported he needed to also repair the pipes to the recirculating pump, after bumping the pump while lifting the new tank into position. About 4 pm, Kenny turned the water back on, Steven turned on power to the new pump at the breaker box, and Steven and Kenny babysat the plumbing, looking for leaks. We were dry. Kenny packed up and drove off.

Which is when this adventure swerved into a ditch.

Water pressure inside the house fluctuated between a trickle and full pressure. Steven and Jacquela bled air out of the system. Pressure came back up, then dropped, then came back up. Steven checked the valves at the tank and street. All good. Jacquela and Jadin left for dinner with friends Shannon and Rafael and Jadin’s classmate since kindergarten, Sofia. Steven stayed behind to take a shower using the new water heater.

But, first, he checked the new tank — and discovered water streaming across the garage floor, hissing out of a pinhole leak at the pipes that connect to the top of the new tank.

Barry pulled into the driveway about 10 pm, peeled back the protective insulating foam, located the pinhole, soldered it closed. Barry and Steven tested the water pressure in the house — normal. Barry drove off. Steven opened up the kitchen faucet to put water into Reboot’s bowl. Nothing. Not even a trickle. Upstairs, Jacquela opened up fixtures in the master bath. She got a couple of kicks of air bleeding from the system. Then a trickle of water. Steven called Barry. Barry walked Steven through checking and rechecking all the valves at both water heaters, the valves at the street, fixtures in the house. Past 11 p.m., Barry and Steven agreed that Kenny was coming back Sunday with Pressure Reducing Valves, the device that reduces the flow of municipal water supply from above 80psi to 65psi, which is less destructive to solder joints and fixtures inside the house. See this article from Watts. We suspect the pressure fluctuations are telling us that the PRV is failing.

Share. Link. Like.