There's one licensed plumber in this part of the county. Fortunately Kelvin is an ace. The sort of guy who grew up making stuff from the remnants of pipes and faucets using wrenches and hacksaws that had seen better days. The plumbing in my house always finds a way of surprising him.
When Kelvin was here previously he needed to run 150 feet of a snake to get to a clog that was responsible for waste water overflowing into the basement / garage. The access point for the upstairs pipes - only output from the upstairs fixtures spilled into the basement - is about 40 feet north and 10 feet below the farthest fixture, AKA the kitchen sink.
The plumbing here must be based on Monty Python's third season title sequence.
This time around something blocked the flow of water into the water heater. Whatever it is*, 120 psi of compressed air from either direction isn't enough to dislodge it. Kelvin decided to just screw it and route water from the sink in the downstairs bathroom into the water heater. Everything works fine now.
While he was dealing with that a plumbing mystery has been solved. For a couple years the water pump would turn on once or twice an hour. I couldn't find a leak anywhere. Kelvin was here installing a new toilet and he couldn't find a leak either. When a pipe under the driveway burst and was later repaired the pump would still kick in several times a day for no good reason, stop doing it for a couple months, start again, and finally stopped.
And then it just stopped. Why? It sealed itself. Huh?
So how hard is the water here?
Not as hard as lots of places, but I've been spoiled by the water in Missoula, San Francisco and Hawai'i.
Meanwhile the furnace / boiler is still shot. It's not talking to the thermostat in the front part of the house, but that doesn't matter as the water for the baseboards doesn't circulate if I manually override the thermostat control. It can burn all the oil it wants to, not much happens in the way of heating the house. On a good day that fucker is 65% efficient, and that's probably with the door to the boiler room open so the heat from burning the fuel oil comes upstairs.
I don't know what to do, have it repaired, replaced, or just get some space heaters. Switching to propane seems too expensive. The three to five grand for a new boiler I could do, but digging and installing new pipes from the tank to boiler would cost a shitload. Then there's my fear of propane go boom in case of a fire. The fuel oil tank is way the fuck underground. Plus if I did get propane installed I'd want to use it for the water heater and the clothes dryer.
And I'm still stuck with baseboard radiators that aren't all that hot. Switching to some other method of heating this dump, along with everything else, would probably cost more than it's currently worth.
On top of all that the methylphenidate is giving me trouble. The split 5mg AM & 5mg afternoon doses weren't doing anything. So I tried 10mg with breakfast. That seemed to work for a few days. Until yesterday, where I felt kind of off. Today it's the same, only a little more so. It's like I'm on the verge of an aura. I have the headache and I'm more confused than usual, while everything else is somewhere between psychosomatic and actual onset. If I do nothing else except pay attention to how I feel, I can just notice my stomach tightening, and a tingling in my right hand that comes and goes. I haven't been able to walk straight for over two years now, so that's no longer a reliable indicator, but it's been worse today and yesterday. So it's back to minimal functionality.
I've been working on the forum software upgrade as best I can. So far so good now. No idea when it will be ready.
*At long last, has some piece of Bob Crane's corpse surfaced?