First of all, dad got the car out of the driveway. It warmed up a bit today and the sun came out, so the ice floe we call a driveway was as slick as frog snot. Despite my having warned him the the driveway is currently only about two feet wider than the car, he swung too wide and stuck it. We applied vast quantities of ashes and dug out the back end and he got out. The upside of the fact that the driveway gets narrower with every storm is that when stuck, there's plenty of snow to remove to create wiggle room before you hit hill. At that point, we stayed outside to continue chipping ice. It's not done by any means, but it's a lot better than it was. Bob's still out there, but my back is done. I think we should invest in an ice chipper. I never felt the need for one before, but it would probably be a good thing to have in stock. Or another flat garden shovel at the very least.
The plumbing gods giveth: I have hot water. I actually almost burned myself when I came in from working on the driveway. I did what I always do - cranked the hot water on full bore with no cold in the mix, wet my hands, soaped my hands, stuck my hands under the water to rinse. Ouch! That's never happened before. My dad asked if we had *ever* had hot water in the house, and I'm beginning to wonder. The old tempering valve was removed, the discovery was made that the stick of copper pipe we keep on hand is 3/4" and we needed 1/2", and they managed to plumb it in with the existing pipe. At the end, there was something like an inch or less of pipe left over. We'll be picking up a length of 1/2" copper to add to the supplies up the basement rafters. But the new valve is installed, it's adjustable, and I have hot water!
Additionally, dad confirmed that our pressure tank was waterlogged. So with the new compressor that he gave us for Christmas, he - you know, I don't know what he did. Reinflated the bladder, I guess? He showed Bob how, so it's okay that I don't know. We appear to have a lot more water pressure than we did before. I'll let you know after the shower. We may need a new pressure tank, but dad was quite impressed by how quickly the pump refilled it. Given that, if the adjustment to the pressure tank has solved our pressure issue, I may drop "replace the well pump" to an "as needed" item. I still worry that it's scary old, but what I might do is establish a well-pump fund for the day when it finally goes. I have a good well service, and we've talked to them about those pumps, so we know who we'll call and what we want when that day comes. We even know roughly how much it'll cost. Hot water with pressure - even better.
The plumbing gods taketh away: whenever you screw with your plumbing it breaks loose all sorts of crap and crud that you have to run out of the lines. In our case, it seems to ALL have lodged in the cold water filter of the washing machine. I am getting nothing more than a dribble into the washer. I don't wash my work clothes on hot, which is currently the only option. It *should* be an easy fix, except that here is where you run into one of the "what were they thinking" moments on this house. In order to pull the hoses to access the filter screens, you have to pull out the washer. Except you can't, because the valves are in the way. So you have to move the washer a couple of inches to the left in order to pull it out. Except that the only way to do that is to pull out the dryer. But the doorknob is in the way.
It's like one of those sliding square puzzles. If you want to pull out the washer for some reason, it goes like this:
* Open the side door;
* Pull out the dryer;
* Slide the washer to the left so that it is behind the dryer;
* Slide the dryer to the right, pushing the door as far open as possible in order to clear the door knob;
* Close the door;
* Slide the dryer into the kitchen through the doorway that is blocked when the side door is open;
* Slide the washer into the kitchen, or work on it in place.
Alternately, you can take the side door off its hinges and prop it on the stoop so that the dryer doesn't have to actually go into the kitchen, but I'm not really sure that gets you anything.
Bob seems to think that he can access the hoses and the filters with a stepstool and some contortionism. I hope so. We'll see. Even if not, I still feel like we're ahead of the game. Especially since dad mentioned moving that water supply valve up three inches so that the washer will go in and out easily. I may have a Memorial Day weekend project!
I'm going to go run some water to clear the pipes. I'm giving Bob first crack at the shower since he did all the work. Then I'm going to stay in there until I look like a lobster. It's the little things.