Tech Support

I backdated yesterday’s post to the time when I first tried to publish it. I didn’t actually get it online until after 10 this morning. My internet connection did this fascinating thing last night where it stopped being able to locate my blog website here. I could still view all the other websites I wanted to. I could view this one on my phone, but that’s pretty inconvenient.

I ran around doing nerd stuff for a while. I ruled out everything I could fix on my own. I’ve learned that if I can’t figure it out, tech support probably won’t be able to help me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a better option. I spent the next two or three hours chatting online with tech support. (I like that modern technological trends have accidentally made more things accessible to deaf people.) In that time, the friendly tech support person determined that they could not help me.

Someone is supposed to call me back in the next day or two, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to hear the person who calls. The odds are not in my favor. In any case, I should practice my butch voice so they take me seriously. Looks like I’ll be accessing my blog from my phone for a while.

Heating Up the House

Yesterday morning, when I woke up and came down the stairs, I found that our dormant thermostat read 58°F. I decided it was time to get the heating system ready for winter. We have hot water baseboard heating, so I wanted to flush out the system, refill it, and bleed the line. I had very little energy yesterday, so I didn’t start working on the heat until late in the evening.

I got a bucket ready and drained the system. Then I opened the series of valves to refill it with clean water. I watched the pressure gauge for a little while and the needle didn’t move. I opened the drain valve to see how fast the water was flowing from the fill line. It seemed like a pretty puny stream, so I thought maybe there wasn’t enough water pressure to fill the boiler.

water draining from a spigot into a green bucket

We had trouble getting the system to fill a couple years ago, so we called out a plumber. He located a filter that was full of crud. I think that house call cost about $100. Eager for a chance to fix something we’d had to pay for last time, I opened the pipes and located the filter. It looked too clean to be the culprit, but I pulled it out for a better look anyway.

wire mesh filter in a threaded plumbing jointclose-up of a cone shaped wire mesh filter sitting on a white towel

The filter was definitely not the problem. Next, I checked the backflow preventer. That wasn’t it either. Since water was definitely flowing through the system, I decided to try filling it again. This time I waited longer for the needle to move on the pressure gauge. I stood there and visualized the whole system filling up with water before the pressure could increase.

When the needle started to move, I had a good laugh. As it turned out, the only part of the system with a problem was the valve operator’s patience. Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure my original hypothesis would have been possible. Nonetheless, I’m glad I ran with it, since I learned more about the components of my home’s heating system. It was a rather stressful experience though, so I hope I remember all of this next time.