Our geo-thermal heating/cooling system started acting up yesterday. The system was holding the house about 3-4 degrees above the set point but the air felt really damp. I reset all the breakers to the unit and it cooled down ONCE, then fell back to being a damp 3-4 degrees higher than set.
Call the HVAC guy out this morning. He came, spent an hour, and was pretty stumped. He saw that the system had turned itself off, reset it, and tested everything testable. The drain stand that collects condensation was dry, the system was dropping the temperature 20 degrees, water pressures checked out, nothing showing on the diagnostic panel other than the system had self-limited itself. About an hour into watching everything run fine, it shut itself down again! This time, the first thing he checked ended up being the problem. The drain stand was full and the limiter switch had clicked on, even though it was empty when he came in... The actual problem was simple: the drain had clogged with slime. We shoved a wire down it, and freed things up, then used my wet-dry vac to suck the rest of the sludge out of the hose. Apparently this basement house is cool enough that it only gets 3-4 degrees above our set point, but with all the humidity the outside air has when cooled by the surrounding earth. What was happening was simply: The drain would fill, the system would mostly shut down, and just run the fan. Over a day or so, all the water would evaporate. That is why it worked when I cycled all the breakers... once, and why it was dry after a night of the fan running. About an hour service call. Total bill? $75. Got to love the country. Actually ends up the guy is not only a friend of my neighbor, but through my neighbor, had borrowed my trailer to give his little girl a donkey for Christmas! Its a very small world out here. How small? The closest town, about 8 miles away, has a population of about 500 - when all the kids come home to visit. Kirksville is the local "big" town, with about 24.000 people, and is about 15 miles away. Columbia is the closest "city", about 90 miles south of us. Friends are good out here, but try not to make any enemies...
I mixed up another batch of 2-4-D, 2oz/gallon, and spent the afternoon spraying. Evia finished weed whacking the fruit trees and worked around the berries. Wish we had some rain, but that doesn't appear to be going to happen anytime soon. While I was out in the field, Evia called and mentioned she thought she saw Chuck following me. Chuck was moved into the southern field last night, he shouldn't have been in the field I was in. Still, I turned around, and there on a hilltop he stood. I suspect he jumped a fence to be with the ladies, didn't find them where he left them (since I moved them last night too), and panicked. He was VERY obviously happy to see me, since he came running down once I acknowledged him. He then RACED ME back to where he felt he should be (about a 1/3rd of the way across the farm). I always find it funny to see a cow galloping. He seemed to be enjoying it too. Alas, where he thought he should be and where I thought he should be were not quite a match. With a bit of hand waving, he managed to get him across the temporary electric strand I put up yesterday, but we couldn't get him to move out of the trees. Well... it was pretty hot and he had just had a good run. No problem, we figured we would work him later tonight.
We had planned on spending the evening with some close friends out here (as in "the godparents of Frank" close), but the misses wasn't feeling good. We ended up going out to dinner alone, up at Thousand Hills State Park - which just happens to have one of the best restaurants in the area - good food and a great view of the lake there. Toured around a bit after dinner, stopped at a playground for a bit, then came home. Oddly, my allergies were fine all day, but sitting in the trees at the playground got to me. Sudafed came to the rescue.
When we pulled into our driveway, Chuck was standing at the gates separating him from the rest of the boys. All we had to do was open the gates and let him through, which he eagerly did without any prompting. Almost scary easy. Almost too smart of a cow for something that is scheduled for slaughter in 3 weeks.