Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Quick Transition Repair to the Sauna Floor

The parging in the sauna floor has performed very well over the past few years since the C! family helped us to update it from the craptacular finish I had originally attempted to use.

But as was its wont, it cracked and crumbled at the edge where it ran thin as it transitioned into the change room.

Finally I bought some grey caulking, and goobered up the area.  Using my finger as a trowel, I tried to get it to resemble the original parging as much as possible.

I think I did a pretty good job for such a situation.  The next day though, it still hadn't dried while we took sauna.  I kept the sauna curtain open to try to warm up the whole building and give it more time to dry correctly.  Hopefully by tomorrow's sauna it will be able to withstand someone treading on it.

You can see where the parging has broken away.

Lots spread in to cover the gap.

And made to look more like the original!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

More Sauna Adjustments to Prevent Scorched Wall

So, as faithful readers know, I have been engaged in an ongoing campaign to ensure that the sauna stove doesn't end up burning down the sauna itself.

Once again, even after trying to insulate the wood from the heat of the stove by putting tiles between the metal plate and the wood, I found a creeping darkness working its way up from the top of the stove.
I don't like the look of the shadows here.
I loosened off the plate at the top of the stove, and then used a screwdriver to peel off the centre three tiles.
Sorry for potato quality.  Lots of ash on the back of the tiles.

Looks a bit rotten down there behind the steel.
Then I used my reciprocating saw to cut the cedar v-joint up about eight inches higher.

Haven't used this baby for awhile!
You can see that the v-joint was getting pretty scorched.  Rats.

Toasted.  Nicely toasted.
More bad news here. 
I lifted the foil and the logs in behind didn't show any new scorching.
I packed the space with some Roxul, and then replaced the two small tiles with two large ones from my spare pile for around the woodstove.

A split batt of Roxul insulation.
And fit in where the v-joint previously rested.
Some caulking to hold the tiles in place.
Looks okay, but they tilt away from the wall.
A couple of washers on screws to hold the tiles in place, and I was back in business!

A few washers and screws to hold them in place.  Maybe to be upgraded with something more aesthetic someday.
Looking okay again now - but for how long?
Of course, this past sauna, I still found the wood above these tiles, and the tiles themselves, too hot to touch.  Rats!  I'll see how long it takes before the wood starts to go off, and then move onto an every more drastic plan.  :(

Bonus picture of a cold morning inside the cabin.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Total Replacement of my Well Aeration System

Whelp, me not so smart.

For starters, the Chinese bubbler was awesomely cheap and worked well for such low power.  It also was stunningly poorly constructed.

On top of the shoddy quality, I foolishly installed the pump INSIDE the well.  So after only a few days, it rusted completely out and died a premature death.

I ordered a second one (for the fish pond), so when it arrived, I decided to try to use it for the well (our priority) but with a better setup to protect it.

First off, I checked over the connections.  I thought the first ones were bad, these left me gobsmacked.  The wires were stripped back all the way to the main sheath, and then twisted together.  I mean...  I can't even...

Assembling my equipment.
I untwisted them, wrapped them in electrical tape, and then used a glue gun to cover the entire shebang.

Trying to insulate with electrical tape.
Hopefully the wires are well separated now.

Hot glue for the win?
Then I took a small container, and drilled holes in each end of it to accommodate the USB cable and the air hose.  This container was a plastic Lock N Lock style item, which should hopefully protect the pump a bit better.

A quick test fit.
This looks to be the right bit.

So far so good.

A perfect fit!

A larger hole down here for the USB plug.

Everything still fitting well.

Doubled up the length of the hose, and added the pump mounts to make it firmer in the box.

Everything assembled at the well.
I then purchased a cork that better fit the hole and air hose.

So now I put the pump just outside the rim of the well, and ran the air hose through the casing and into the well.  I also connected the two hoses together to allow it to sink even further into the well.

Hose is in the well now.

Looking good!
Finally I hooked it up to a solar panel, which under full sun powers it just fine.

We have bubbles!
At the moment, the whole works is on hold, as it is covered in snow.  I have ordered a mount for the solar panel that I believe will hold the panel up out of the snow.  We'll see.   But in the meantime, my concept has been proven (although the jury is still very much out on whether or not it actually helps with the iron content in the water, which I haven't seen a real reduction in...)

Meanwhile, the pond was frozen over!