Home Improvement Day!

I’m interrupting the wind-power saga to blog about Home Improvement Day! Yesterday, Ken, the previous homeowner (and the builder) came over for seven hours of fix-it fun (I’m not sure how much fun Ken found it, but I had a blast–everything works now!) that really taught me a lot about the house’s design and architecture. Saying this though, although Ken was a massive help in fixing the majority of issues in the house, there were still a few tasks that I still needed to tend to. For example, our sewer line has been blocked for a while, which makes it difficult to flush the toilet properly or even use the sink without the water filling up fast. It may be time to get in touch with a professional sewer line repair company, as they could get this fixed and it’d be one less task to think about around the house.

This wasn’t the focus of much of the day, though, but more of a side effect. No, the main issue I’d been having was that the thermostat in the bedroom:

The previously chilly bedroom...
The previously chilly bedroom…

wasn’t talking to the pump that carried hot water through the floor. When the living room thermostat would kick on, the bedroom would finally get warm(er–I keep the heat at 54 degrees, so it’s never really that warm. I wear lots of layers). I stared at the heating system:


but nothing had exploded/fallen off the wall/had a sign that said, “I’m broken.” Therefore, I called in the expert (i.e. Ken). Back in December, we’d bartered his handyman skills for his wife’s Christmas present (I got to play Santa! It was awesome), so not only was I getting stuff fixed, but I was getting stuff fixed for free! Did I mention what a great day yesterday was?

So, Ken took a look and diagnosed the problem, which wasn’t the thermostat after all. The valve was opening when the room got cold, but the end switch:


wasn’t sending the signal to the pump to turn on and move the hot water through the floors. When Ken opened the cover to take it apart and the pieces flew everywhere (a spring bounced off of Ken’s head), his theory was confirmed.

So Ken called the parts store, and I headed out on the 45-minute drive to Buena Vista:


My sister recommended for me to check out Tradefix to see if they had what I needed but I needed it urgently so listened to Ken’s advice! I picked up the new end switch, turned onto the highway, got stuck behind a semi over Trout Creek Pass, listened to some tunes, ate some toffee peanuts (not sure how long they’d been in my truck, but it’s okay. I don’t think they go bad. Probably. I’ll let you know), passed the semi, got behind an H2, ate some more perfectly edible (probably) peanuts, and finally arrived home.

It was the wrong part.

Although I’m not sure how much difference the right part being 120V and the wrong part being 24V would make (Ken: “A lot.”), I drove back to Buena Vista:


got the right part from a sheepish parts-store guy, checked the part number, handed the part back to the sheepish parts-store guy so he could double-check the part number, rechecked the part number, and headed home. While I was gone, Ken had fixed two sinks, installed a gate latch, trimmed a rogue wire that was poking out of my computer chair (I had wire-cutter envy–his were huge!), added a relay switch to my generator panel and straightened my crooked charge controller. Did I mention that Ken is amazing?

The part was the right one (yay!), so he installed it as quick as a bunny (a handy bunny) and was soon on his way home.

And everything that was once broken is now fixed, and it is wonderful.