Keeping it mundane

Gorgeous day! BEeeeaaautiful. Cold, clear and bright. The kind of day that makes you want to go out and do something…until you actually get outside, feel the cold and look at all there is to do and how a nice cup of tea seems even more appealing……

‘Course, Ol’ Sal was already outside diligently cleaning up the yard so as to make it ‘look nice’ for the winter. I’m just standing around looking for something to lift……sayin’ stupid stuff to make Sal laugh….“Hey, look! A squirrel!”

I loaded up the wood this morning…into the house from the shed. Only a few wheelbarrows full but we are now all stocked up again for a few days. Typically, a stocking-up day results in a pile that lasts a week. Not so much these days. It has been cold and miserable much of the time lately and we have pounded a ways through our woodpile already. I am loading up every three or four days instead of seven. We’ll be fine, tho. We have enough in the shed and another half-a-shed in logs stacked ready to be used in case. We are good.

Speaking of good, there is Christ and there is an anti-Christ. There is also a Murphy and Murphy’s good-guy nemesis, Anti-Murph. Angel Murph. We don’t see much of him but he visited recently. I know he did. And it was glorious. I had a genset down at the lagoon. I expected to use it every few months or so but, like so many plans, those ‘lagoon’ chores kept getting postponed and well, the old genset just sat there for 18 months. To be honest, my memory ain’t perfect so it could just as easily been a full two years. I was pretty sure that the gas was stale, the carb was gummed and the oil had started to ferment. Sheesh, that old genset needed some love.

We hauled the genset a few days ago. It is now at my shop.

I got out the fluids, found my tools and placed the genset at waist level so that I could do all the jobs I needed to do. And then I started and ran the engine as if it was perfect! Had to. Oil was so cold it would not drain out and so I had to warm the engine up to change the oil. Bad omen: the oil drain plug was kinda ‘bonded’ to the casting. “Yikes! Had it been longer than two years?”

Good omen: It started and it ran right away. Quite a surprise. Whew.

I eventually got that plug out, drained the sump, replaced the oil and drained the carb. Damn, it all looked good. Typically, after all that time, the ferrous metal based carb bowl would have rusted some on the inside at the very least. It had not. It was all good.

I looked around for Murphy. He had to be lurking around somewhere. Then I did the rest of the ‘service’ and everything else also went well. Started the genset again and let it run (drive out all the moisture, tune settings, check fluids again…filters…etc.) Sal came over. “Geez, that old thing is a hummin’ like a Swiss watch. Good job.”

“Honestly, everything I did was basic. There was no need to do much of anything special. I can’t explain it – it is as if I did something right when I last used it. SSOOooooooooo unlike me. But, but, but, the first few minutes of running there was a lot of white smoke. The only positive reading on that is that I Sea-foamed the hell out of it when I last laid it up. I think that kept it all good.”

Mundane stuff. I know that. Just a hour or two in the day……but it sure is a beeeaautifulllllll day.

12 thoughts on “Keeping it mundane

  1. Nice when a “stored” genny runs with no hiccups.
    I used to run my generators every month under load.
    The first few minutes the “genny” smoked like a chimney.
    No biggie.
    If you run it for a half hour or so once a month UNDER LOAD it is much better for the generator side of the engine.
    Even an electric space heater or a clothes dryer to load it is much better than just running the engine.
    I ran my Genny’s diligently and one year we did our annual power shutdown in the Commercial office tower.
    We would kill all the power in a 20 story office building to go in and test/ clean the main electrical vault .
    I ran the generator the day before the power shutdown.
    Next night we killed the power.
    The generator automatically fired up, the water pump seized, tore the fan belt off, the fan belt flew into the radiator and punctured it…all the rad fluid ran out and the generator shut on high temp…. in about 3 minutes.
    No power, no lights, no elevators in the building …..for 12 hours.
    But, I had the records going back 8 years showing I had run the generator every month for an hour…….with no issues.
    Murphy strikes again.


  2. Beeeeutiful Day? It’s been a beautiful “summer”, if only a few months late and quite a bit colder. We haven’t seen any precip in almost 3 weeks! Not at all like July, August and September when we were lucky to get a 3 day stretch of rainless weather. Not complaining though. We didn’t get any fires. For a while there it seemed we were doomed to two seasons a year: Smoke and Snow.
    Anything we get is better than the alternative: not getting any!


  3. Dave, that “white smoke” is usually condensation steaming off!

    On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 2:19 PM Our Off the Grid Home wrote:

    > jdavidcox posted: ” Gorgeous day! BEeeeaaautiful. Cold, clear and bright. > The kind of day that makes you want to go out and do something…until you > actually get outside, feel the cold and look at all there is to do and how > a nice cup of tea seems even more appealing….” >


      • I had a company come by one year and they offered to “clean” the fuel.
        They had a fuel filtration system that recycled the fuel through several grades of filtration ..50 micron…25 micron and then 5 micron….
        The scum and sludge that they sucked off the sides and bottom of my 500 gallon underground diesel tank was unbelievable.

        The fuel sample they pulled at the start was black …like dirty oil.
        After 12 hours of filtering the old, dirty fuel….. clear, yellowish honey coclored fuel ( still diesel) that you could “read a newspaper” through…
        Essentially, even if you have “clean”, “new” fuel…..if you have fuel delivered…. and “topped up” into a tank with “old fuel”….anorexic ( anaerobic…bacteria doesnt need oxygen…) scum will keep growing in your fuel tank……
        Apparently even fuel ( especially diesel) has food in it!
        Bacteria live in the top, thin, layer where moisture( condensation) and the waxy , impurities(dirt, spores, scum) float……and the anaerobic bacteria …Thrive!
        Who knew?
        Scum loves fuel.
        And scummy fuel bogs generators.


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