A little extra warmth

First, I have to share this bit of adorableness.

This is one of the grey and whites – though the lighting makes it look more brown than grey! – that lets us pet him. He is so tiny!!

And yes, I know. He’s got leaky eyes. There’s nothing we’re able to do about it at this time. They all get it, off and on, especially in the winter.

Today, the ceramic heat bulbs we ordered came in.

The brand we ordered before is no longer available, but these are the same thing. The dimensions seem a little different – a bit broader and narrower at the top – but that might be just me. The old one is still in the garbage can in the sun room. If I remember, I’ll compare when I set a bulb up tonight. It’s so much warmer these days, it almost seemed unnecessary, but I don’t think the babies will mind a bit of extra warmth!

Today has been a very quiet day. I’m currently working on a reflective crochet pony tail hat while watching videos on building outdoor kitchens. My poor younger daughter is not doing well today (my older daughter has gone back to working at night and sleeping during the day, as she finds herself more productive that way). She did so much in the basement yesterday, she’s hobbling around with a cane, today. It’s a huge job, and not quite done yet. The mess the cats have been making is bad enough, but she’s getting into the corner of the basement that was most affected by the failed weeping tile during the spring flooding, and that will involve moving around an old gutted radio, a gutted phonograph, and my mother’s old sewing machine (which should still work), all of which are pretty large pieces of furniture. She’s been working section by section, and once she’s cleaned up each section of mess, she’s been bleaching the heck out it, so we won’t end up with mold and mildew problems. It’s unlikely we’ll get the level of moisture we did last year, as it’s quite unlikely we’ll see that level of flooding again, but it’ll help for when we’re able to finally paint things down there. The down side is, there’s really no one in a position to help her much at all, so she’s doing this almost completely on her own. 😔 She’s paying for it today, so she’s pain killered up and using today to recover.

We’re one heck of a gimpy family!

Ah, well. We do what we can and, little by little, we’re getting it done.

The Re-Farmer


Last night, my younger daughter was able to crawl under the kitchen sink and get it fixed. Yay!

This the old stuff she removed.

What a mess! Just disintegrated!

The sink the pieces are in was much like this when she fixed it our first spring here.

The new drain kit is very different. The cup is deeper, and it has a completely different stopper, both in how it fits in the drain, and aesthetic appearances. I didn’t see it until later, or I would have included it in the picture. It’s not standard at all, and I don’t recall seeing replacements of it anywhere. I’m thinking, if I ever do see a replacement stopper in that style, I’d better pick up some extras, just in case. I suspect they will be harder to find compared to the usual design. Still, I’m happy with the design. I think it actually works better than the standard ones.

I really appreciate that my younger daughter is up to being our plumber for jobs like this. She’s the most able bodied in our household! I might be able to get under the sink if I really had to, but I’d probably need someone to help me get back up again. I’m much better suited to doing the outdoor stuff! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Staying out of the rain, and taking a chance.

We had thunderstorms pass over us during the night, and it was still raining when I headed out to do my morning rounds.

The girls heard cat’s arguing with each other last night. When they went out to check, Potato Beetle came into the sun room, where he got to spend a nice, dry night, with his own food and water. Thankfully, that meant he had no interest in the food when he went out in the morning, because there’s a very wet and bedraggled TDG looking back at me in the photo – and he’s the one Potato had been threatened by!

All the cats were looking so wet!

And you can certainly see why. All the areas that had finally been almost dry are wet again, including this spot the cats normally use to get under the storage house. Even though they can’t get under there right now, because of the water, they still run through here. So do the skunks. The grass is so tall, you can’t really see that the whole area is under water again.

That lilac bush is struggling so much! It’s basically drowning. It still managed to bloom, though!

The main garden area has got a lot of areas with standing water. If we are to loose anything we planted at this point, it’s going to be from being drowned!

Along the bean tunnel, however, I saw both types of beans have started coming up!

I didn’t look too closely at things because, even though it was raining, I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes. They don’t mind being out in the rain!

I was keeping a close eye on the forecasts and weather radar. They were predicting a series of thunderstorms throughout the morning and afternoon, including at times when I would expect to be on the road with my mother, to take her to her doctor’s appointment.

So I left early. I figured, I could fill up the tank on my mother’s car and find something to do before it was time to pick up my mother. I’m trying to spend as little time at her place as possible, right now.

Which reminds me… my brother used his Power of Attorney to speak on my mother’s behalf and get her place treated for bedbugs. It’s a good thing he did. She could never have navigated the calls or followed through on them. It was totally beyond her abilities.

Her building is owned by a the provincial government, but the department that administrates it was almost impossible to get to. He got numbers to call from the senior’s centre in my mother’s town, chased a few of them down, found that the contact person he normally would have talked to was away for the week, sent some emails (because he was doing this from work and couldn’t be on hold for 20 minutes, over and over!) and eventually found out that the province is aware there are bedbugs in her building. It’s a problem with quite a few buildings they run. So much so, that they are being treated on a schedule. The next time they are in my mother’s area, she will get a note slid under her door with date and time and instructions. Which my mother won’t understand. My brother was supposed to get a copy of that note and its instructions emailed to him, but he never got it. All he knows for sure is, she’s supposed to be out of her apartment for 6 hours while they take care of the rest. When he told my mother this, she said she would just hang out in the lobby.

For 6 hours.

While her apartment – and any others in the building – are getting sprayed.

My mother, who has respiratory issues…



We’ll find other arrangements.

Once I got to my mother’s, we headed out again soon after. We got to the clinic quite early, but she ended up getting called in early, too!

Oh, the poor doctor.

We were there to talk about breathing issues she’s been having, but when he came in, instead of telling him about it, she started saying things like, “please help me with my breathing…” as if he already knew everything. She and I had been talking about it, and it was as if she thought he somehow heard and knew everything she had said to me!

Between the two of us, we managed to drag out enough information from her that he could figure out what sorts of tests to have done. Any tentative conclusions we both reached by the end of it may be correct, but other things need to be ruled out, first. It will take a few weeks, at least, before all the tests are done and he gets the results.

So that worked out fairly well. Even as we left, though, the doctor commented to me that my mother’s symptoms are quite strange – and they certainly are! Hopefully, we’ll have some answers, or at least a direction to look, after the tests are done. The one that will take the most time will require a call from the city, then someone has to pick up some equipment for my mother to use at home, then the equipment, and the data collected, returned. It may take up to 3 weeks, before all that’s done.

The rain continued off and on, and there was still severe weather on the radar, so we didn’t do my mother’s usual stop at a restaurant (I made sure to ask if she’d had lunch before we left!), and I took her home, with only a stop at the grocery store first. Since I was there with her car, it allowed her to pick up and stock up on a lot more, so she took advantage of it.

I feel much better, knowing my mother has at least some food stocked up, even if it’s just for about a week or so.

It had stopped raining for most of my drive home, more or less, but I’m glad I didn’t linger. The gravel roads are being destroyed by all the rain again. My mother’s car handled it well so far, but we’re supposed to get more storms tomorrow, and that spot near our place is already only passable on one side again. The road past our driveway is still closed, too, for all that I regularly see traffic going by, including small cars. One of these days, I should make the walk to the washout to see how it looks.

On a completely different topic, I found a site before I left for my mother’s, and sent some links to my family to check out while I was away. It was one of those “is this too good to be true?” places. It’s a clearance site for Lowe’s, with various sheds at massive discounts. As in, insanely massive. They were all in the same price range, roughly between $85-$90 Cdn, regardless of original price. It seems that these are all abandoned orders – stuff people already bought and paid for, but never picked up.

After much discussion, we decided to take a chance.

This is what we ordered.

Image belongs to lowescheap.com

They have a 30 day trial period, but it’s unlikely we’d put it together within that time. We’d open the box to check, but would need to make a foundation for it before we could assemble it.

I was sorely tempted by their largest shed. That one did not come with a floor, which I could live with, but also did not come with shingles. Which is not a big deal, but for something that large, we wouldn’t be able to get them for quite some time.

So we went with a plastic one that was the largest, complete shed available. At 20’x8′, it includes two sets of double doors, 2 windows, 2 skylights, some shelves, shutters and a “foundation”, among other things. We’re a bit confused about the included foundation, because it also says a foundation is needed. Looking at the diagram, I think they mean what looks like a 4″ sub floor as the included foundation. We’d have to find and prepare a spot for a foundation, somewhere in the inner yard, where it would be most useful.

The total cost, in Canadian dollars, came out to just over $133 after shipping. Which is insanely cheap. Hopefully, we will actually get what we ordered, and it’s as good as the specs describe it. If it is, it will be a big help. If not… well, hopefully, we’d be able to get our money back.

The thing is, I’ve looked at other sites with deeply discounted products, including things like chicken coops, sheds, garage kits, etc., that I could quickly spot as scam sites. Seeing images stolen from other sites was usually the first warning! This one, however, actually looks legitimate.

Well, we’ll know soon enough. And if it does turn out to be legitimate, we will certainly get more! One that is currently on the site is a 12’x8′ cedar Cabana, with a split door and 2 windows with window boxes. It’s pretty much exactly what my younger daughter wants as the focal point of the peony garden she wants to plant, well away from the house. There’s currently a branch pile that needs to be chipped where she wants to plant it, so it’s not like we’re in any hurry! Looking around at some of the other sheds, there are even some that could easily be converted to a chicken coop, and cost far less than if we build one ourselves, even using salvaged wood.

Here’s hoping!

The Re-Farmer

Getting all knobby

In my last post, I commented that it sounded like my daughter was finished cleaning the knobs that we found to fix the door to the old kitchen.

I was wrong.

She was down in the basement, using the buffer in my Dremel kit on the knobs!

She just took this project right over, and I’m happy she did. She did a much better job than I would have! 😀

This is how the knobs looked when I dragged them into the light.

Even as filthy as they were, they were still kinda pretty!

Oh, did they ever clean up good!

These two were out of the running. We were never able to get that screw out, and the bar was very wobbly. Also, there was no screw to fit the black knob.

We had these two bars to work with. They were both the same size as the damaged one, except for the length. These are shorter than the damaged one.

These are the knobs that came off the door, with crud and paint removed, revealing some of the copper.

These fit on the threaded bar, and had their own screws, but we didn’t want to use these again. Not when we had such pretty alternatives!

Aren’t these pretty? Uncovering the gold colour on the one was a very pleasant surprise.

These are threaded, so we could use them on the threaded bar. They are a bit smaller, though. Plus, we liked these ones, better.

We did not expect one of them to turn out to be brass! And that decorative one… wow, did my daughter do a great job cleaning that up! Especially where the paint had gotten right into the design. Their large sizes are more comfortable in the hand, too.

These fit on the non-threaded bar.

Sort of.

There was only one screw between them. Though we had screws from the other knobs, this one was longer, to fit into the holes in the bar, and the threads were different, too.

The screw went into the silver knob, which is where it came from originally. The bar fit very tightly into the brass knob, but without something running through the knob and into the bar, it could still get pulled off.

If we didn’t have a screw, we could still use a peg, right?

My daughter ended up using a piece of bamboo chopstick and trimmed it to fit. Then she installed the knobs into the door.

After hours spent scrubbing, cleaning and buffing, it took about a minute to install! 😀

The only problem is, the bar is too long. Even taking into account the different holes at each ind of the bar that would allow for some adjustment. With the original bar, the knobs could screw in as far as necessary to fit. The non-threaded bar isn’t that flexible. There are only so many holes that could be used to set the knobs.

Which means the whole thing gets pulled in and out while being used. The knobs actually fit into the openings in the plates perfectly, though.

Man, that door looks so battered and gross, now that it has these shiny, pretty knobs!

You can see the peg on this knob, left long to make it easy to remove, if necessary.

As we tested the door, there were still some problems opening and closing it that left us concerned that we’d be breaking the bar or something. This has long been an issue with the door, completely aside from the troubles with the knobs. It reminded me to take a closer look.

Sure enough, the top hinge plate was coming loose from the frame.

The hinge plate – and the screws – was painted over, of course.


My daughter was able to get it tightened, though, and that solved the problem. The door latches open and closed much more smoothly now.

Looking at the door while it was closed showed something very odd. I’d never looked closely before. I’d noticed the gap between door and frame at the top before; that’s easy enough to see. This is a very dark spot, so I used a flashlight to examine the rest of the door and frame and discovered that, by the middle, the door was flush against the frame. At the bottom, however, there was a very small gap that had opened up after the top hinge plate was tightened against the frame.

Normally, I would say that this was because of the house shifting, but the size of the gap at the top of the door, where it ends up snug against the frame in the middle, only to pen up again at the bottom, suggests to me that the door itself isn’t straight at that edge. Chances are pretty good it has been like this since the door was first hung!


Now that the door is secured and the knobs replaced, we’ll just need to add something to keep the knobs from sliding back and forth as the door is used. I’m not sure what to use, yet. Need to think about what we’ve got, lying about!

I think, in the future, I’m going to be keeping an eye out for any other old doors lying around. If we’ve got another similar door in a shed somewhere, we might be able to salvage the parts and pieces and replace the current bar with a shorter one.

The important thing, though, is that it’s fixed. That means, when I go out to do my rounds in the morning, I won’t have to get someone to let me into the house when I’m done!

The Re-Farmer

Replacement door: hung

The replacement door to the sun room is back up again!

Of course, things went wonky in the process. At this point, I expect nothing else!

I don’t know if you can tell, but we ended up adding yet another piece of wood under the bottom hinge. The gap there was still massive. And yet, none was needed at the middle hinge!

Of course, the door didn’t quite fit, even after all this. We still needed to force the door over the threshold. We’d had to do that with the old door, to a certain extent. It wasn’t as noticeable, and I think that was partly because the door was already starting to fall apart before we moved here.

Using the blue paint scraped off the door as a guide, I used whatever tools I could dig up to smooth out the side piece. I tried one of the planes we found in the basement. It was a bit big for the space, but it would have worked, except the plate was loose, which is when I discovered the frame holding it was cracked.

We didn’t find it that way. The cats had knocked it off the shelf I’d put it on.


I carved out a recess for the latch plate and deepened the hole for the latch itself until it could finally catch and stay caught. I also began chiselling, carving and rasping away at the outer edge of the threshold until the door could close without being forced.

Well. It still kinda needs to be forced. There is still an issue with the hinges. Understandably, there is a lot of stress on them. I’m trying to think of what I can do to fix that, and not a whole lot comes to mind that is feasible.

I suspect this door won’t last very long, but it’s the best we can do right now, and at least there’s a working door!

I still need to work on smoothing out the frame some more before we paint it. I have been eyeballing some tiny little planers at the hardware store that would be perfect for the job. I might just have to spring for one.

I will be so happy when this job is finally done.

The Re-Farmer

Replacement door: sun room door frame progress, and washer surprise

You know, when the outer door on the sun room finally broke, we thought replacing it would just be a simple matter of switching out one door for another that we salvaged from a shed.

How wrong we were!

There were a lot of things we discovered along the way that complicated things. For those who are new to this blog (welcome! Happy to see you here! 🙂 ), you can catch up on the saga here, here, here and here. Then life happened, and the whole thing stopped until yesterday.

Today, I am finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!

The first thing I did was smooth out the rough bits of the cut pieces a bit, then nail the side piece in place. I didn’t bother taking a picture at that point, because it really just looked the same as when we checked the final fit yesterday.

I had trimmed away some ragged bits of old caulking that were still attached to both frame and wall, but that bit of a gap that you can see was still there.

Once the side piece was nailed in, it was time to take off the door and work on the hinge side.

When cutting the side piece yesterday, I first cut it to the line I’d measured and marked with a chalk line, only to discover that when we put the piece in place, needed more cut off. That I was left with two long, narrow pieces came in very handy.

I used sections from the skinny end of the first piece I cut off to fill in the hinge recesses.

Since the weight of the door will be on this side, I used some wood glue on the second piece that was cut off…

… then nailed it in place, with extra nails on either side of where the hinges will be screwed into place.

Before taking the door off its hinges, I’d marked exactly where I would need to put the latch plate on the other side.

While giving the glue some time to set, I used a chisel to start gouging out a recess for the latch.

While I had been working on this, we got a call from the appliance repair guy about our washing machine, and he arrived while I was gouging, so I paused to be with him for that.

It was just last week that our new washing machine simply stopped working. No response when pushing the power button. Of course, pretty much every time we walked past it, we’d reach over and push the button. Nothing happened.

When the repair guy first called after being contacted by LG for the warranty work, and I described what was (and was not) happening, he ordered 2 parts that could possibly be the problem. They came in very quickly – in conversation, he mentioned that some of his customers using other brands have been waiting for 5-6 weeks, and he still doesn’t have their parts! With LG, the parts come in pretty much the next day.

He, of course, did the same thing we did; pushed the power button. LOL He tested the power to the outlet, and it was fine. As we were chatting, he mentioned that he has only recently started working with LG products; the company had been trying to get him to do warranty work for them for some time, and he finally agreed. I’m glad he did, because he’s the only person in the area that does! Still, he said he’s not as familiar with LG products as other brands.

After popping off the cover for the electronics at the back, he took the screws off one of the first part he was going to replace, for the power. The other one would have been the display panel. Then to check something out, he plugged it in.

It made noise.

I think we both had matching stunned faces.

He hit the power button.

It turned on.

I asked him what he did. He’d done nothing!

He checked the wires, to see if any where loose, but everything was fine.

He was at a complete loss as to why is suddenly started working.

He was also at a loss as to how to proceed. If he left it and sent the parts back, he’d half to re-order them if it stopped working again. The fact that it stopped working once, for no reason he could find, means that it could easily happen again. In the end, he decided to leave the parts with me, bill the warranty work, then if – when? – it happened again, we could call him directly, and he’d put in the new parts. Not knowing why it happened in the first place, as well as what happened for it to start working again, made is difficult for him to just walk away from the job. It just seems like there’s a very good chance it will happen again.

After he left, we started a small load of laundry, just to test it! So far, it’s still working fine.

What a mystery!

Ah, technology. I love my tech, but it does break down a lot more than the old school stuff! 😀

After that, I went back to working on the door.

While the door was hung, I had to lift it over the threshold to be able to close it. There was a large gap at the bottom hinge, but not the top hinge. In fact, the top corner of the door was hitting the frame. So while I did not need to add material all the way to the top of the frame, I decided to fill the hinge recess at the top, as well. With no hinge recesses, there should be enough of a gap at the top for the door to no longer be touching the frame at that corner.

Once the hinge side was built up, I put the top piece back. I then applied caulk to the outside of the frame pieces.

It’s amazing how just adding that white caulk over the gap made the whole thing look so much better!

The top was a different issue. Particularly in the middle, where there was a substantial section of wood missing! I’m guessing there was some rot that got cleaned out, before it was painted the summer before we moved in.

Little bits and pieces from the remaining piece cut off the side frame got used to fill in the gap, then I caulked the rest.

I lined the angle cut with the other side of the frame, but the shifting meant that left a large gap on the hinge side. Another piece of wood and some wood glue got pressed into duty to fill the space.

For now, everything is being left for the glue to and caulk to dry and cure for a while. The next step will be to hang the door again, and attach the latch plate. I picked up a quart of white exterior paint, and the whole frame will be painted.

Then, once everything is back up, the chain for the door, to keep it from blowing open too far, will be attached to the top of the frame. Once that is secure, I plan to move the shelf we’ve got behind the door, to the other side. I want to wait until the door is completely done because, right now, that shelf ensures the door doesn’t get blown open and breaking a window or something. I doubt the door can even open that far, but I didn’t want to take any chances!

So I figure, I’ll snag a daughter this evening to help hang the door, then – weather willing – the painting can happen tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Unless we discover something else has gone wrong, once the door is hung back up. The way this project has been going, that wouldn’t surprise me at all! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Got a new toy, and dealing with unexpected issues

“Only” 10 yard cats showed up for breakfast. 🙂

This morning, after doing my rounds and feeding the felines, I headed into town to run a few errands. This included stopping at the post office in our little hamlet. Which is also a liquor store.

I bought a whole lot of wine.

Or, should I say, my daughter did, since she paid for it. 😀

We don’t actually want the wine, but it came in 3L jugs. We need to rack our hard apple cider, and I’ve been hesitating because we only have gallon jugs (4L) to rack into. With using unfiltered, raw apple juice, there is going to be a LOT left behind when we siphon off the liquid, and 4L jugs would have left a lot more headroom than there should be.

The 3L wine bottles will be perfect carboys.

We will just have to drink a lot of wine over the next couple of days! 😀

I hope it’s actually good wine. I’m not a wine drinker to begin with, so chances are pretty high I won’t like it. 😀

I was happy to see the waterproof cord protectors came in in the mail, so that’s another step closer to winterizing the cat house.

Once in town, I made a point of stopping at a local business that had been getting threats, including death threats, for putting up a humorous sign saying “face diapers” were not required to enter. I’d talked to one of the owners online, and wanted to stop in in person to show them some support. We had an excellent chat. It turned out the owner has a health condition and cannot wear a mask. Even though there is no mask mandate, some of the local businesses are refusing to allow anyone in without a mask, even if it means discriminating against people on the basis of health, so he wanted people to know everyone was welcome in his business, with or without a mask. It was good to hear that, for all the threats and efforts to cancel his business out completely, he’s now busier than ever! It’s a printing business, and he gave me a bunch of business card sized notices of exemption, citing the relevant portion of the mandates (for those municipalities the province put mandates on) and phone numbers.

One of them will be going on my mother’s door, and I’ll be giving her one to carry with her, too.

After visiting the shop, I went to the other hardware store in town, hoping they might have something I could use to cut the piece of door frame for the sun room. Even just clamps, so I could use the reciprocating saw.

I ended up leaving with an inexpensive jigsaw.

My new toy got a major workout today! It even went through hidden nails.

But before I started that, I ended up spending some time on the computer, emailing with my siblings about the situation with my mother. Then I called her and asked for the name and number for the social worker she deals with. These are the people she talks to when there are problems where she lives. She didn’t want to give me the number, saying she didn’t want to make trouble with the caretakers. She had found a note under her door saying that I should be wearing a mask in the building, but it was not signed or anything. She’s pretty sure who left it. We talked about how she should not be wearing a mask, and she again said she didn’t want to make trouble, and just takes it off her face when she needs to breathe. !!!! I convinced her to give me the information, and promised to be nice to them. 😀

It turns out that the number was for a senior’s office, and while they often do things where my mother lives (until they got canceled by the pandemic restrictions), they don’t actually have any say in what goes on there. That falls under a provincial department.

When I called them, identifying myself and my relationship to my mother, then told them what happened, they immediately came to the same conclusion as my mother about who left the note. At one point, I was talking to two people on speakerphone, and they seemed so incredibly happy that I was calling on behalf of my mother. It turns out they have been trying for years to get this caretaking couple fired, due to their horrific and abusive behaviour towards the seniors in the buildings they work in – not just the one my mother is in! – but they have the residents so intimidated, no one is willing to write a formal complaint to the provincial department that manages the building. It turns out this couple has especially targeted my mother, who stands up to them the most. The ladies I spoke to vehemently agreed that my mother should not be wearing a mask, but she has told them she’s afraid of what would happen – meaning how the caretakers would react – if she didn’t. !!! They have already threatened to get my mother evicted, and it turns out they’ve threatened the job of one of the social workers, too!

In the end, I got a name and number for the person they’ve been working with at the provincial level, and they were thrilled that I was willing to call with a complaint (because even if they witness something, they are not allowed to say anything themselves), asking me to let them know how it works out.

When I called the number, though, it went straight to voice mail, so I left a message saying I wanted to talk about elder abuse towards my mother. I will try again tomorrow.

Once I did as much as I could with that, I headed outside and started to set up to use my new toy.

I was being watched!

Sibling snuggles!

So adorable!

Of course, once I started making too much noise, they ran off.

With my daughter’s help, I was able to cut the marked area off the piece of frame. Then we set it in place and…

… made a new mark to cut it again.

Finally! We can close the door with the frame piece.

I had considered screwing the pieces in place, but in the end, decided we’ll just nail them.

The crazy thing is, with all the buckets, jars, tins and plastic margarine containers full of nails all over the place, we have absolutely no nails that we can use to put the frame pieces in!

We’ve got lots of roofing nails, though. 😀

So tomorrow, I will make another trip into town.

Once the frame pieces are back, we will remove the door and use the pieces I cut off the frame on one side, to add to the frame on the other side, so that the door will hang straight, even if the sun room itself is now shifted.

It is all a horrible, messy looking patch job, but until we are in a position to replace the entire door frame, it’s the best we can do for now.

I’m glad I found that little jig saw. It still had a hard time cutting this surprisingly hard wood. That is also managed to cut through some hidden nails, barely slowing down, is bonus.

I will have to make a point of stocking up on spare blades. I foresee using this baby a lot, in the future!

Once we did as much as we could with the door, I had a chance to paint the other side of the support post for the old platform bird feeder. I’ve already picked up a new hanging feeder to put on its hook, ready and waiting. For now, I will not be trying to put on a new platform, and will just leave the little support pieces for that, where they are.

If all goes well, we should be able to set it up by the end of this week. I’ll just have to pick up some more bird seed. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Front tap, finally fixed!

For the past while, whenever I’ve had the chance, I’ve been looking for what I might need to fix the front outside tap.

At first, it would spray water when we shut the water off, so we just left it on. It made it more convenient when using the hose, anyhow. Then, after the end of the hose broke off and I tried putting on another one, I found it had started spraying water all the time. So we’ve had to use the tap at the back of the house – and almost 300 ft of hose – leaving the front one shut off in the basement.

I figured I just needed to replace the O ring (or whatever this type of seal is properly called) inside the tap, but do you think I could find one? I was also looking for replacement taps, since I thought that might be easier (and I figured it was due to be replaced, anyhow), but I couldn’t find those, either. I wasn’t even sure what section of various stores to look in. The closest I could find to what we had were laundry taps, and any ring seals I saw were not for inside the tap itself, but for the couplings.

I needed to go to town today, so I remembered to take a photo of the tap before I left. Once at the hardware store, I just showed it to an employee, explained the problem, and asked him where I might find what I needed.

Of course, he needed to know where it was leaking from, which was right at where it turns on and off.

Well, it turns out there’s a reason I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

They don’t carry that type of seal.

In the end, it was easier to just replace it!

Also, the new taps were, indeed, in the plumbing section (not the gardening or laundry sections, where I had also looked), but not where I had been looking. According to the label, the tap is designed for boilers. 😀

Once back at home, I dug up some thread tape and headed out to replace the old tap. The old tap was painted over a bit, but nothing a wrench couldn’t get loose.

On screwing in the new tap, however, I found an unexpected problem.

This is the new tap, with the hose connector facing down. Notice how much of the threads are exposed? In the old tap, there was nothing like this!

It wasn’t actually screwed in tight in the above photo. I got a daughter to turn the water on in the basement to test it out, and I was happy to see it did not leak at all, but as I turned the tap on and off, the whole thing would turn and wiggle even looser.

For the tap to be on good and tight, we get this.

All it took was a quarter turn to tighten it, but it would go no further.

It’s a flexible hose coming through the wall, so we could move that board the tap is affixed to, if we wanted, and reposition it to the side. I don’t really want to put new holes in the wall, then have to seal the old holes, get paint to touch up the wall (the house was painted the summer before we moved in, but we don’t have any leftover paint from that), and end up with a tap that’s lower and harder to reach to screw the hose into.

So we’ll just leave it like this, with the hose sticking out sideways. 🙂

Of course, I had to open up the old tap to see how bad the seal was inside.


…looks perfectly fine!

The seal is still flexible, and nothing is cracked or broken.

I have no idea why this tap started spraying water like it did, where it did!

So I’ve kept it.

In the end, I’m happy with the new tap. I like the triangular design over the round one, as it can be gripped more easily and securely. Especially with wet hands.

So now we have front and back hoses again!

We might need to get another hose for the front, though. I looked for something to fix the hose that broke, but everything I could see would require me to cut off the metal reinforced end. I might just wait for the fall sales and pick up another one, instead.

Just maybe not at Walmart.

The Re-Farmer