A leak in the system

Today started with high hopes that were somewhat soggy by the end. The plan for today was to flush the water piping and pressure test all of the newly installed components for our somewhat complicated hybrid wood-fired, solar thermal and electric hot water system. It’s always a good practice to take the head off your shower and your sink faucet and let the water run for a few minutes on any brand new system to get rid of any incidental debris that could clog the screens or damage the valves.

With so many bits and bobbles, I expected a drip or two somewhere but there are very few things in the entire system that I couldn’t fix pretty easily…

I’m reminded here of the time that a winter storm knocked over a tree on my farm and sent it like a laser guided missile into the one square foot of my entire 217,000 square-foot farm where it would obliterate the main water manifold that fed our hydroelectric generator, irrigation, and the drinking water to all of the structures. There being no valve upstream from that point let’s just say it was interesting to replumb an actively flowing 4 inch waterline.

Today’s failure wasn’t nearly that exciting but was equally as unlikely. It turns out that one of the special proprietary plastic washer screens that seal the thermostatic mixing valve was slightly defective and no amount of wrenching could stop the slow drip. Of course replacement parts must be shipped from distant lands leaving us wry and dry for the remainder of the week.

I feel a little sheepish because I vowed to Liz that no matter what happened during the pressure test I wouldn’t freak out. I guess if you define not freaking out as scowling growling and the abundant use of expletives, I kept my promise.


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