Saturday, December 26, 2020

What happened to my fridge

No pictures in this one, sorry.

A day after I was told that I may have been exposed to COVID I realised that my fridge was getting close to room temperature. However, the freezer was working.
Hilo is not well stocked for refrigerators, I already knew that because I had researched it for the other house (see the blog post about the sink drain). However, I did manage to find a small fridge/freezer (with separate doors for fridge part od freezer part) in stock which my line manager at work got for me and delivered to my house. I found a spot outside that's perfect for it and while it is definitely not ideal it could be made to work, especially as the freezer of the old one was still working.

Got through quarantine with no symptoms (and a negative test), got busy doing other stuff (work, among them - of course I also worked through quarantine as well as we have been working from home since March) and finally remembered to call about maintenance for the fridge (it is on a Sears maintenance contract) earlier this week and got an appointment for Christmas Eve.
The technician called and I had just about unpacked the freezer when he came, so this worked out well. He took the drawer out and found that there was a lot of ice int he pack - the result of something falling behind one of the drawers and the drawer not shutting completely until I noticed that it had done that and got what had fallen behind out and closed it. As it is auto-defrosting I thought it would eventually get the frost and ice out but it didn't, and instead the fridge part failed.

The ice inside had clogged it to the point that the fan that blows the cold air up to the fridge part was completely blocked and the fan blade had fallen off. The technician blew out the ice, put the fan blade back on, then found that a relay had failed, so he replaced that too. And I have a working fridge again.

A thank you to Emil from Sears Maintenance, you made my Christmas.

I can now buy yogurt in 2 lb tubs again and make popsicles rather than having to give away all the lilikoi.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Some advice I just gave to a clove seed customer

(yes, I do have some clove seeds but I don't really have time to deal with them so if I have other orders that need to be insepected I list some on Etsy towards the end of the week. I currently tend to ship on Fridays - except for the next two which are holidays and ag inspection will be closed, so I will ship on the Thursdays preceding those)

The following is from 2 message I sent tonight:

You should first see the seed (cotyledons, really) lift off the ground, supported by the root. They always grow roots first, so going into the ground is good. Scooting a little soil up against the sides sounds like a good idea. Yes, they are a bit slow, they're trees after all, not beans. Once they are maybe 1" off the ground something will at some point start poking out upwards. I don't know anything about grow lights, I have never used one. I would make sure that they don't dry out too much.

You're not the only one who has ever contacted me several times, I can understand that you're concerned. Cloves are difficult to grow, yet, believe it or not, somewhat invasive (here). You may also have noticed that while the listing was for 10 seeds I sent you 20. That's because I never know how many die in transport, and you can believe me that I threw out another 50 or so to get together those 20. However, if you have a full grown tree it will produce thousands - when it does, which is somewhat unpredictable. I remember a time when I didn't get any in 2 years as well as a time when I got 2 harvests in one year. And, right now it is raining buckets and has been all day and I won't go to the bottom of the yard when it does that, so the seeds will drop anyway (if there are any left to drop) and sprout in place. Heads up on that: clove plants are difficult to transplant and they have tap roots too, so whenever you think that one of your plants is getting roots near the bottom of the planter, let it dry out a little bit and lift it out of the planter with as much of the dirt as will stick, disturbing the root ball as little as possible and plant into something that is deep rather than wide.

(FYI, Google: I am unable to add labels)

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Adventures in rebuilding a sink drain (or "was nicht passt wird passend gemacht")

First, here is a "before" picture
that was taken by my Realtor, Wailana Herbst, who was very helpful in the last 2 years of my house-hunt (I didn't have my phone charged). It was leaking where the tailpipe (metal) is (was) connected ot the plastic parts.

Taking it all apart, which took a bench vise for 2 of the nuts (don't have a wrench that opens far enough), I figured out that the sink was misaligned with the drain by on the order of 1/16", so the existing parts couldn't be made to fit (unless, afterthought here, I might have been able to heat one of the part to soften it enough to make it fit). OK, says me, this calls for one of those flex tubes, but that has to be vertical otherwise you get too much buildup. For that the tail pipe had to come off.

Easier said than done, this is where I had to actually tighten the bench vise (glad I only have a small one) around the nut just under the sink, and that's the nut that broke. You can see the deposits on the pipe (the pipe is otherwise OK and I'll save it with the rest of my pumbing parts), and that's probably why the nut was held in place so firmly.

Next I connected the flex pipe I had bought in the meantime where the tailpipe had been and found

2 threaded parts next to one another. Take a short piece of pipe and 2 nuts and connect the two (there is a purpose to saving otherwise pretty useless plumbing parts - and keeping all your plumbing parts in one place together with the plumbing tools that have no other use, like e.g. a faucet seat wrench and your supply of teflon tape). As this made the part below the sink before the trap way too long I cut off part of what goes towards the sink. I have a Dremel that has a bit stuck in it to attach cut-off wheels to, which most of the time I find annoying, but in this case it came in handy because I didn't have to think about that part. I cut off just the right amount for the nut and slip joint washer to fit and the rest of the pipe to fully go into the sink part.
However, this still had the part coming down from the sink too long.
after which I decided I could just cut off a piece of the downward end of the slip joint tee where the second sink's drain connects and after a bit of fiddling, ogt all of it connected.
And while I left a bowl under it for the time being, I didn't see any dripping and I tested both sinks. - And, well, by the discoloration of the two (formerly white) nuts where I had to connect the two threaded parts, you can see that saved plumbing parts can be quite useful, and the piece of pipe inside in that area was a left over part as well.