Collector News

The bad news is, a couple of days after I fixed the frost damage on the solar collector, I noticed drips of water coming out of the bottom corner. Since we have hard water here, I spend several days hoping the minerals would “heal” the leak. No such luck. It wasn’t a bad leak, but it was too big to ignore. Ignore it I did, though, for several days.

Finally today I got out the ladder and cordless drill and took the cover off. I suspected the leak was one of the couplings I messed with during the repair. I removed the black aluminum fins from around the two suspect couplings, but they were both dry. I began to suspect I’d have to remove more fins and possibly find yet another burst pipe from last fall’s frost event. I saw another coupling from a previous repair, and removed the fin from around it. Sweet warm mater poured out of that coupling, with more coming when I wiggled it. I’d found the culprit.

I walked to the garage and returned with two crescent wrenches, and a couple of twists stopped the leak. I let it bake in the sun for a couple of hours, and then replaced the cover. I truly believe I’m back in business this time.

I also got a new patch of yard seeded, fertilized, mulched, and watered today. In a couple of weeks we’ll notice some shy thin green spikes of grass coming up through the mulch. Next spring we won’t even remember what that section used to look like.

The weather has been warm and sunny, and the gardens are appreciative. The tomatoes are reaching for the sky, as are many of the other crops. I’m watering both gardens every other day now, and they sure seem to appreciate their drinks. The peas and beans are starting to put out their tendrils in anticipation of a climb up the trellis. I do enjoy poking the plants onto their trellis. When they are young they seem to resist this assistance, but eventually they get the idea, and like the tomatoes, they reach for the sky.

The strawberry wine is almost ready to rack over into clean secondary vessels. There is a layer of beige colored sludge in the bottom of both jugs that tells us the yeast is starting to die off in their own excrement. The house is starting to smell less like a brewery.

Leave a Reply