Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn is Over

After 5 days of light snowfall, we are back to clear and visibility unlimited which means that winter has arrived. This is the 8:30AM view to the south east as the slow transition to daylight begins. Sunrise still isn't for another 40 minutes and we are losing daylight at the rate of 6 minutes per day. I don't think that I will ever get tired of the view of the Alaska Range to the south. Mount Hayes is the highest peak near the center of the picture at 13,832 feet. Reality has finally set in and I packed away all of the bike and camping gear that was scattered around the garage so there is now room for a second car inside.

Now that winter is setting in, it seemed like the "perfect" time to shut down the boiler for some routine maintenance (that I could have easily been done last summer). We get our domestic hot water from a heat exchanger inside of the boiler and over the years it gets calcium and other inorganic minerals built up inside the copper tubing. The way you clean is is to isolate the heat exchanger from the water system with a couple of gate valves and circulate a fairly strong hydrochloric acid solution through the heat exchanger until it flows freely. The water in the boiler should be near room temperature when this is done. I had plumbed the system with the appropriate valves and hose fittings to simplify this job but it still meant that there was no heat for several hours. Fortunately, the house is fairly well insulated.

The University of Alaska pays the borough a lump sum every year to enable anyone affiliated to ride the bus just by showing their university ID card. I'm attempting to take advantage of this benefit as much as possible though it is challenging to make it to the bus stop in the morning. If I do ride the bus, it ensures that I will get at least 3.8 miles of walking (or running) in per day. 

12 comments:

Unknown said...

Richard:

We also had signs of a fading Autumn. First dusting of snow on our local mountains Sunday morning, then having to scrap my windshield this morning. Our temps are going down to freezing for the next few days.

won't the hydrochloric acid eat through your heat exchanger, that would be trouble it that happens

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Unknown said...

Richard:

am I in your Spam Folder ?

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

Yes, you are still considered Spam according to Google. Maybe too much complaining about Blogger....

RichardM said...

Yes, that is why you have to be really careful not to overdue this process and plan on replacing the heat exchanger at some point in the future.

Time for a cover over your windshield. I just throw a tarp over the windshield and hood to help minimize frost on the windshield.

Unknown said...

Richard:

I LOVE BLOGGER. I was complaining about WEBSHOTS !

Hear me GOOGLE+, I love YOU.

"There, that should do it"

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

VStar Lady said...

Richard I'm sad that winter is dawning for you when I'm up to my ears in autumn. I know, I know, it's coming here too. ... Hey, I wish I had someone to force me to walk....As for Bob, I'm really enjoying your grovelling. Does Google check you out as often as they check me out? Do I look like I'll be posting Xrated material more than you guys?

Keith - Circle Blue said...

It is still very much autumn here. Truthfully, I've not experienced much of a winter here in St.Louis. It certainly isn't like what I was accustomed to growing up in Central Michigan. And, although many of the natives complain about how cold it can get here...again it is relative.

I, too,have noticed how easy it is to wait until I have to get something done before I do it. I have great intentions, but my follow through is often lacking.
~k

Trobairitz said...

I vaguely remember temperatures that cold while I was visiting my mom in Edmonton or Calgary, but luckily it doesn't get that cold in Corvallis. I have become a weather weenie since we moved down here. I don't handle the cold well at all.

Your view in the early morning hours sure is pretty.

RichardM said...

Winter is here for the duration. The clear sky last night brought morning temperatures of -6°F. We're so done with Autumn....

RichardM said...

I think people always need something to complain about. Isn't that the origin of blogging? I'm sure that there are many more tasks that I need to get done but the hot water thing was becoming a real hassle due to the dramatically reduced flow rate.

RichardM said...

Like anything you just sort of get used to it. This mornings temperatures necessitated a switch to my winter coat but it was feeling a bit too warm as I ran to the bus stop and then up to my office. How can -6°F feel too warm...

BeemerGirl said...

Wow. Yes, that is a beautiful view. I can imagine seeing that daily. Ys, even with the cold temps. Still not sure about the daylight thing, though. ;)

Running...I caught that jab. Good luck!