Tuesday, December 12, 2006

...and then there was the Blogosphere

My apologies for not keeping up to date on my blogging. It has been a busy time with the holidays, travel, and work.

As for the Paso Straw Bale House, the December cold weather wreaked havoc with the pipes from the well, to the pump, and to the water tank. Several days the temps dropped to the mid 20s and by 5th day of cold weather, the exterior pipes finally froze. Good thing is that after the ice thawed out, insulation was added to prevent a recurrence, the bad thing is that there was no insulation in the first place.

Unfortunately a bigger problem surfaced, mainly a broken piece of PVC at the well. This resulted in a mini-geyser while the pump was on. Luckily a cool head and fleet feet cut power to the pump and called Farm Supply in Paso Robles. If you ever have to call the Pump Division of Farm Supply on the weekend, be prepared to spend $200.00/hour. Fortunately they were not needed on the weekend and during the week they charge $100.00/hour.

In July I blogged about a grass fire. This fire damaged some of the plastic PVC that went to the CDF line. I called out Miller Drilling(who originally installed the well lines and water tank) and received a bid as follows,

  • Replace a pressure Gauge $4.50
  • Check Valve 1, 1 1/4x80 $35.00
  • Misc. Pipes & Electrical Fittings $150.00
  • Sales Tax $13.74
  • Labor: Replumb Booster, 4" CDF Line $500
  • Total: $703.24
End Flashback

Farm Supply came out on a Monday, fixed the broken PVC at the well that was causing the geyser AND fixed the damage from the fire in July for the grand total of $224.29. For those of you keeping score at home, that is a $478.95 difference with a larger scope of work. Farm Supply good, Miller Drilling, perhaps they do a good job but I cannot understand the price difference.

The irony is that Miller Drilling did the original install and did not use insulation. Needless to say, Farm Supply has my business from here on out.


irngneer said...

I have wanted to build straw bale for a long time, just looking for the place. good to know your experience with some of the playa's in the industry. sorry about your H2O system, but looks like you have a good base line to xeriscape around your well house. Ever find someone to cut your redwood? try the Farm Supply bulletin board (the cork kind). You may want to look for someone with a portable saw mill, that can come out to your house and cut it in your yard. Suggest one with bandsaw type, as it doesn't lose so much wood. we have lots of those guys around here (TN), don't know your area. The circular blade type takes out 2x as much wood to make the cut. Good luck, the house is really looking good with your fixes...ciao

Leslie Miley said...

Good luck with your straw bale aspirations. I believe Tenn. will be much easier to get permits and building started. I have taken a step back from the wood work to concentrate on landscaping for the time being. Thanks for reading the blog.