Monday, June 10, 2013

A ‘Peaceful’ Sunday at Home…

This past Sunday wasn’t going to be peaceful no matter what!  With 9 members of Laurie’s extended family visiting on Tuesday…all of them for the first time…we figured that Sunday would be the first of two days of leisurely housecleaning and yard work…

It just didn’t work out that way!

We are technically challenged, that’s for sure!  Our friend Joel came by to program our new Charter controller.  We couldn’t understand the directions and figure out how to do it ourselves…sad, we know!  After spending 2 minutes completing what we couldn’t, Joel then showed me how to handle a problem on my desktop computer. 
Joel is also one of our ‘cat sitting’ friends.  In preparation for our summer vacation, Laurie started walking him through her exacting instructions for taking care of our cat, J.D.  But, as we walked  through our master bedroom and bath to one of the ways to get to our screened in porch at the back of the house, we discovered a ‘little’ problem!

As we came through the bathroom to the screened in porch, we all noted this awful “dead rat” odor!  It was the dreaded propane smell that we’d been warned about if we ever experienced a leak...  It smelled so bad that our cat J.D. wouldn’t even go out on the porch!  And he really loves that porch!  We use propane for our dual-fuel HVAC unit, our water heater, fire place and for our outdoor grill.  Unlike J.D., our immediate thought was ‘will we blow up with our house?’ 
So…we put out an emergency call to our propane provider.  After warning us about the cost of an emergency call on Sunday, Mike (Tellico Propane) made the drive to our house.  After checking and rechecking, he found that the regulator on the tank was the culprit.  Then the real fun began… As you can see above, our 500 gallon tank is buried and the control valve is inside that protective dome shown above.
Note: The photo shown above was taken the next morning after the digging, transplanting and filling in was completed…and all of our ‘evil’ thoughts had dissipated.

While Mike went to get parts, we scrapped off all of the mulch around the dome and loaded it in a wheelbarrow.  Then we cut down the landscape grass next to the dome and Laurie dug up, divided & replanted 36 hostas!  Did I mention that the humidity was through the roof!  Sweat was pouring down…

This was the culprit…the regulator valve for our propane tank.  Mike needed to remove the dome so he could get to this unit, and then have the room to use the proper tools to remove it and tightly replace it.  The clay was packed around the dome and then Mike discovered that the dome had a welded piece holding it on the top of the tank.  Thanks to his persistence and desire to please the customer, after a long time and a lot of sweat, he finally popped the weld joint and was able to replace the control valve.  Then it was time for me to help fill in the hole and then replace the mulch…
But wait!  That wasn’t the end of our ‘easy paced’ stress-free housecleaning Sunday…

See that dome out in a corner of our backyard… That’s our tank that works in conjunction with our local sewage system.  See the dirt spot near the tank in the pine straw!  We’d had about 4” of rain the previous day and our downspouts are buried… Water was just bubbling up like a little spring from that spot and we assumed that it was just the rain water draining off the land from all the recent rainfall.  Mike from the propane company checked it out and told us that it was sewer water!

Too bad that we didn’t take a picture while the water was still bubbling up!  It did look like a pretty little spring…  In any case, another emergency Sunday call was made, this time to the local water utility!  He confirmed the problem, turned off the system and scheduled a crew to dig up the pipe and fix the problem.  It was later discovered that a seal had been blown and it had been leaking for some time.
The upshot of all this was that no housecleaning or yard work was accomplished… We ended up scrambling on Monday in order to get everything done in time for our family visit… Such is life…but thanks to our local utility and especially to Mike from Tellico Propane, our Sunday surprises were resolved and all was well when the company arrived.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by and sharing our stress filled Sunday with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave and Laurie


  1. Wow, what a fun day. Seems like those things come in bunches and at a bad time - the silver lining - it could have waited until Tuesday.

  2. Whew........what a day, hope it wasen't toooo costly!!

  3. oh my gosh!!! I hope you have Uneventful days ahead! guess you are lucky, really!

  4. Dear Dave, I think it was a good thing this was all taken care of before the company arrived! Blessings, Catherine