Visit to Bent Tree for Repairs

March 28, 2015

Since our trip to Bent Tree on March 17 had revealed the freeze break that caused the kitchen ceiling damage, we returned to deal with some of the problems.

We needed to get the plumbing repairs out of the way before tackling the kitchen ceiling repair. We had agonized about getting a plumber from that area to do it, but I finally decided to tackle it myself, so we headed up with the supplies and a box of tools. There was finally evidence of green leaves behind the house on this day.

Despite that little bit of welcome green, the woods was mostly still bare, and we could see that on the tops of the mountains there was as yet no hint of spring.

We watched what appears to be a hairy woodpecker from the length of his beak. He was busy perforating this tree trunk, but otherwise the mountain was very quiet.

An expensive inch and a half!

The first priority was to repair the freeze break in the pipe in the attic behind the upstairs bathroom. I used a mechanics creeper to lie on my back and scoot the 12ft or so down the narrow triangular attic space to the point of the break. It was a classic puckered freeze break at a point where the roof insulation had fallen off and where there was an eave vent to boot. I was able to get to the pipe to cut it with a tubing cutter and slip a repair coupling onto it. With walkie-talkies, I sent Brenda to the basement to turn the water on at the hot water tank, and to my great relief, that was the only break. So it only took about 30 minutes to make that repair.

The next step required cutting the water off at the road so I could repair the main shutoff valve to the house. I found a bare metal end where the seal was supposed to be. Easy to fix, but that had also cost us because I had shut that valve off tightly when we discovered the leak, and assumed for an hour or so that the water was completely off. But with just metal and no seal at the cutoff point, enough water was flowing through to repressurize the system and send more water to the vulnerable kitchen ceiling.

With the first two repairs having gone quickly, I was not prepared for the kitchen faucet replacement to be such a bear. We guessed it had been there 40 years, and had been leaking around its base. It was so corroded that I couldn't get the bolts to break loose. One was so corroded that I could just tear it out of its base, but for the other I had to just cut the faucet into pieces to remove. It took 2 1/2 hours to get the old faucet off, and 30 minutes to install the new one.

We finished the plumbing about 7pm and prepared to head back toward Atlanta. The evening sun made the mountainside above the house glow.

A pleasant surprise as we headed down the winding approach road to Bent Tree about 7:30pm was the view of three fine wild turkeys.

Return to Bent Tree to Meet Contractor

April 7-8, 2015

On Tuesday, April 7, we headed for Bent Tree after my classes, arriving about 6:30pm. This was a much more pleasant trip than our last trip for the plumbing repair. The weather was nice and the leaves were finally beginning to come out on the mountain, over a week later than at home. The plumbing repairs were fine, and the Water Department had been up to complete the repair of the valve at the road.

It was delightful to just come up and enjoy the beauty of the mountains after the travail of the last two trips. We had supper with approaching sunset, our favorite time of day up here.

April 8, 2015

The morning was exhilirating, and we had a nice breakfast with the view of the new leaves and the sun on the top of Sharptop Mountain and the Burnt Mountain Range. The reflection in the glass doors gives you an idea of our view from the deck.

April and new life

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