Monday, March 03, 2014

3828 Slammed #2

Monday, March 3, 2014

Second slam:  Back about February 18th I got a call from the fuel oil supplier for the country house saying that they couldn't get up the (300 foot uphill) driveway to deliver to the country house.  I contacted the Hairless Hunk, and he took over.

So this morning I hear from HH.  The oil guy tried to deliver late last week, but (HH just found out) was able to pump only 9 gallons when the intake pipe "overflowed".  Their conclusion is that the tank is still full from the early December delivery.


(HH is suspicious of that because he went up and checked, and there's no evidence of overflow.)

Anyway, the country house apparently has no heat, and may not have had heat since, oh, early December, or maybe even before that.  Great.

Lots of possibilities:
The furnace is dead.
The power is out.
The fuel line is clogged.
Who knows.

I told HH there's no panic.  With the below 0 temps they've had almost all winter, if there's any damage, it's already happened.

The thermostat had been set at 50.  I had turned the well pump off, and opened the faucets in the bathtub and the kitchen sink to allow for expansion.  I THINK I had filled all the traps and toilets with antifreeze (but I'm not sure, and even so, who knows how long before it evaporates anyway).  To tell the truth, I had been slightly worried about sewer gas from the septic tank filling the house, and the damn place exploding at the first spark.

So I guess I have to go up there later this week and sort it out.  If there's any damage from frozen pipes, it will be no more than whatever water was sitting in the pipes, and fixing can wait for spring.  I can carry water for my stays.

If there's power, I can have heat while I'm there, because the otherwise defunct old heat pump has electric backup and I can run that.  Costs a fortune, but, well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.   If the house has already been without heat so long, it won't hurt to just turn it off when I leave.  What more could happen?

If there's no power, I'll stay overnight in a local motel and then just come home.  No way I can do anything about anything until spring if it's anything more than a tripped circuit breaker.

Bad bad bad winter.  Go away.


Note:  More evidence of my mistrust, according to the electric bill for the country house, it used 564 kwh in December and January, and the bill claims this is an actual reading.  If the furnace was off, all that's running is a dehumidifier in the basement and a refrigerator in the kitchen, and if there's been no heat, I doubt either has been running much.  But those are the same usage numbers as last year.  So either the power was on through December and January, or the electric company is inventing numbers.

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