by rdpecken on Oct.30, 2013, under porch, Security, Trim & Paint
Wow, time went fast this year. We didn’t get up to the Ranch nearly as often as I would have liked.
With October coming to an end, it is past time to go up and winterize. I got a late start on Saturday, and started work in earnest on Sunday.
To start off, I wanted to take take some readings on the batteries for the solar install. Since the hydrometer that I bought on the last trip was broken when I opened it, I stopped by a Checker Auto and picked up another. I let the batteries charge until they reached the float stage, then let them sit there in float for 1 hour. Then I let the batteries rest for 1 hour with no charging and no load. The hydrometer showed all cells (3 in each battery) fully charged. So I have a good baseline reading. In the future, as I make the reads again, I will have something to compare against.
The hydrometer was kind of hard to read, but the line in the picture below was at 1.275 specific gravity, which represents 100% charged. Specific gravity is reportedly the only way to be sure of the charge level of a battery. Voltages can be deceiving.
The cells read as follows:
|Date||Battery||Voltage||Cell 1 sg.||Cell2 sg.||Cell3 sg.|
As I said, the hydrometer was hard to read, and the process was pretty messy, with battery acid dripping out of the rubber tube. I finally realized that holding the end of the tube up prevented much of the mess. I’m not sure about the first battery’s readings, as that was before I got the knack of wriggling the holder a bit to make sure the float didn’t stick to the sides. I’ll see if they come out better the next time.
Other work accomplished:
- Installed Live View camera. This, and other cameras in undisclosed locations act as our security system. We have Game Cameras hidden on site that save pictures to their flash memory, along with live cameras that send us an email when they detect an appropriate amount of motion in their view.
- Stained/Sealed the deck railings and trim – I used Behr Premium
semi-transparent with a redwood tint this time, rather than the Cabot
stain that we had a poor result with on the deck. The Behr Premium
actually seemed to soak in a bit, although not as well as I would have
liked. What is it with outdoor stain/sealer that makes it so
troublesome?? Anyway, it looks pretty good right now. We’ll see how
it looks next year. Pay no attention to the peeling green paint on the
door trim. The paint didn’t stick to the pre-primered door trim from
the very beginning. We’ll have to pick up a little primer and paint
and redo it in the spring.
- Filled all holes around drain pipes and other floor holes with Great Stuff foam sealant. Hopefully this will keep the mice out this winter.
- Re-wrapped the water pipe going into the Littlehouse with insulation tape. The wind (and I suspect critters) tore off some of the insulation last year.
- Turned off water from tank and drained inlet pipe.
- Filled pipes in the house with 50% mixture of RV anti-freeze.
- We should be good to go, for this winter.