We had our usual coffee and breakfast granola but made a more leisurely morning of it than normal. We finally got dressed around 11 AM and headed to the Howell Farmers Market at 11:20 where we bought another bar of soap from Marjorie. I got to pick this time and chose the ginger-grapefruit. We bought the Eucalyptus soap two weeks ago and Marjorie suggested letting them air dry for two weeks before using them. We will see how long the Eucalyptus bar lasts once we start using it and that will tell us how often we need to purchase from her to stay ahead of our usage, allowing for drying time.
We stopped at Lowe’s to return the “white” toilet seat and buy a “biscuit” colored one. We looked at pipe wrenches but did not buy one. I did by a 14 TPI, 6″ long blade for my Sawz-All that said it would cut metal up to 1/2″ thick. I still hoped to get the nut off of the trailer ball on the lawn tractor without having to cut the threaded stud, but the blade was my backup plan.
We had a brief confab regarding the motorcoach refrigerator alcove and cabinet. I found my small plumber’s toolbox and it had several pipe wrenches inside. I took the largest one and checked to see if/how it would fit the trailer ball on the lawn tractor. It opened more than wide enough and looked like it would snug down tight around the throat of the ball (between the ball and the hex flange base). Linda kept the pipe wrench from slipping out of position on the ball while I used the torque wrench with the 3/4″ drive, 1-1/8″ socket to remove the nut. It was still a bit of work but we got the ball off without cutting, cracking, or heating. I then backed the lawn tractor up to the utility trailer and Linda connected the trailer yoke to the tractor tow plate.
Next we tackled the hall bathroom toilet seat replacement. Once again we encountered nuts that would not come off. This time the nuts were a hard plastic but the bolts were rusted and the nuts would not turn. I eventually cut through the two plastic nuts with a utility knife and pried them apart allowing us to remove the old retaining bolts. We installed the new seat/lid which came with its own special bolt and elongated plastic nut. The nuts had special tips designed for 1/2″ sockets and engineered to break off when tightened to just the right point. We had both nuts torqued down and broken off but the seat was slightly crooked so I had to loosen then, reposition the seat, and re-tighten them by feel. What should have been a simple, short job ended up being a long and difficult one, in part because there was not a lot of room on the sides of the toilet bowl to get under here and work. As we were cleaning up Linda noticed that the toilet tank was leaning slightly to the right relative to the base/bowl and thought we should adjust it.
I was already aware of the leaning tank, and the fact that it was not as tight as it should be. The tank is held to the bowl by two bolts that go through the bottom of the tank and are sealed by gaskets under the heads. I tried tightening the wing nut on the left bolt. Even though it was rusty I was able to turn it, but the tank immediately started leaking from the bolt hole in the bottom. We shut off the water and flushed the toilet to get most of the water out of the tank. Linda held the left bolt head with a long flat blade screwdriver while I turned the wing nut on the underside of the bowl, first by hand and then with pliers. I was careful not to over torque it and the tank was still a bit wobbly, but it was straighter and it did not leak when we refilled it. We will keep an eye on it. A leaky tank will result in water continuously running onto the floor and causing major damage of not detected quickly and stopped.
Linda cleaned up the bathroom while I put the tools away. We then changed the primary whole house water filter. The filter we use is the same 10″ length as a standard potable filter element but is about 5″ in diameter and has two micron ratings. It’s a spun polypropylene media that is 50 microns at the large outer surface and 5 microns at the small inner surface. In principle it filters better and longer than a single micron rating element by filtering out larger particles first and thus not clogging up the 5 micron material with large particles. The same thing would be accomplished, of course, with two filters in series, or three, or four, each with progressively smaller micron ratings.
The Post-It note by the filter said we had last changed it on 11 November 2013. If that was true it was way overdue to be replaced. The element was completely black from outside to in so it had been in there longer than the fall of 2014 for sure. We are starting to get some slime in the toilet tanks again and the water seems to have a slight black tinge, but that may have been due to the filter element needing to be changed. I may need to have Adams Water Treatment come out again to discuss installing an iron filtration system. Our drinking/cooking water still goes through a reverse osmosis system, so it is very pure.
Having accomplished several rather physical tasks I decide to sit in the living room and work on my blog posts for the last few days. Linda made hot tea for us to enjoy while iPading, after which she reheated the leftover risotto and asparagus from last night’s dinner and we finished the open bottle of 2013 Egri Merlot. After dinner I finally settled in to work on computer-based tasks. I had a long list of things to do but did not get to most them. I did manage to off-load recent photos of the bus interior from my camera to my computer, select a few to use in blog posts, and processed them. I edited a few more blog posts but did not get them uploaded to our website. I then dealt with e-mails and went to bed.