May 24, 2021

Walter Supervises House Maintenance

Walter likes to be in the middle of the action. Today was a good day for him because while he was out front with me supervising my early morning leaf blowing, there were chances for him to bolt to see someone out like Henry would do in an instant. He stayed where he was when I told him to and once we were finished, his ears lay back and he runs like any bulldog to the backyard, up onto the deck and stands at the patio door to get inside. Today was a busy day, a lot done and some answers.

When I lived in "the tropics" before we used Stella and Sadie to determine when we would turn on the AC. Well late yesterday afternoon, Stella let me know it was time. She was panting with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth almost to the floor, it was 83° inside with the ceiling fans on. I programed the Honeywell thermostat for the AC, nothing happened.

From there I checked out some YouTube info on that specific model number to make sure I was doing everything right. I was. Later as a test I set it for the heater to come on and within minutes the furnace turned on so I knew the thermostat did work, just not for the AC. So that was the highest priority today ... get the AC cleaned out and checked.

I have mentioned before I was happy that the seller let me move in about 9 days before the official closing. That was a great deal. Yet I could tell by the photos of the house inspection and what was written in the report, he wasn't real keen on general house maintenance. I also know that a working couple with three young kids don't have much time on their hands for stuff like annual house maintenance. I expected the worse today for my two tasks ... the condition of the AC and I thought there was a real good chance the whole gutter system was packed with dead leaves not from the fall of 2020 but more likely the fall of 2019.

The stories are long and will not go with the photos. Or maybe they will after I write a short photo description, then continue this story of the day.While I worked on the AC all the hounds and the dog were outside enjoying the early morning ... Stella found a cool spot in the yard.

So I open the lid to the AC with the fan attached. I pulled off the black negative wire and touched the metal case ... the fan turned on ... so that worked. What I saw next you would not believe. Inside that AC unit the lower half was full of dead leaves. I know it was from 2019 because they put on a new roof in 2019 and I have found cut pieces of shingles under wet packed leaves in the front flowerbed.

I took my leaf blower and cleared the AC unit of all the leaves. I turned on my water, put the hose on normal stream and cleaned out each side of the AC and saw more dirt flowing out the unit floor, than I ever had at my other Indiana house a few years ago. I wonder if they ever figured out why their AC wasn't working efficiently??

I doubted that would solve the problem but at least it was clean. I called the Honeywell help desk for the model of thermostat I had. She had me pull the red, green and yellow wires inside the thermostat, twist them together as a test to see what happened. The fan came on ... that is ... the fan for the heating and cooling system inside the house. I looked outside and the AC unit is doing nothing but sitting in the sun.

I called a recommended HVAC company and they cannot get to new customers until next Tuesday ... that is fine with me, it may not agree with Stella. See that dome in the yard??? That is my access to pumping the septic tank. I could tell once again by the lack of general maintenance and cleanliness of the house, the septic tank needed to be pumped. The house inspector confirmed it. They come tomorrow afternoon ... another item from the house inspection checked off the list.

The seller and I negotiated what he would do and what I would do to fix things on the house inspection. I knew for a fact the seller would not get anything finished even if he agreed to fix certain things. That was confirmed by the reason he gave me on why he didn't get the septic tank pumped before I moved in. Everything that I had to do plus what I asked him to do ... was cost out by me so I had a pretty good idea what it was going to cost me to get everything fixed. To my surprise the number I gave him to deduct from the cost of the house, he agreed to.

My friend Ralph tells me that it's a "generational thing", as he has kids in their mid 30's and they think the same way this house seller thinks. Anyway I am getting it all done, either by me or people I hire. The scary thing is ... I don't mind doing the stuff I did today and stuff I have done around here the past few weeks. Sure it was nice not doing a lot of maintenance out in Sierra Vista but I kinda enjoy doing house maintenance and mowing the yard. Sick isn't it??  LOL

I've had a lot of stuff arriving or due to arrive today. This gear shifter had an extension that many vw owners use but it also had a black knob with the shifting pattern in white and that is not a bus thing, nor a single cab thing ... might be a vw beetle thing, not sure. But I like things stock when it comes to cars and trucks, so I was happy to see my order from Wolfsburg West show up today ... my stock black gearstick knob.

Like some states Indiana does not allow an older plate to be licensed with current tags and put on the back. Since they don't require a front license plate I can put anything on there I want. I found a neat website the other day that has original plates of every state and every year. This is NOT restored but original condition. The 1960 Indiana license plate was perfect for the 1960 old VW dove blue single cab as the colors were close to matching. I was thrilled with how fast it arrived, first business day USPS after ordering it on Friday or Saturday.

While I put the shifter knob and license plate on the vw single cab, Henry and Water decided the coolest place to be was in the garage. Notice how Water is sleeping inside Stella's crate with the door open.

After the AC project it was on to #2 on the priority list.  Cleaning out the gutters. I visualized them being packed every inch of the way. Happy to see not as bad as I thought but still bad. Normally I would get up on the roof and walk along the edge with the leaf blower and then get on my knees to reach into the downspouts to grab leaves from there. Today I did it a different way. I did not get on the roof, but climbed a ladder with the leaf blower. After I had gone around the house I raked the dead leaves into small piles so I could run my mulching mower over them. Everything was finished by 11am.  I sat drinking ice water confused why things I did today wasn't done by the seller in past years. I don't get it.

This a small example. Who knows how long this has been sitting in back of the garage but along the side of the built on shed with the overhead door. I tried to get rid of the white bench by putting it out front like I did the grill but after five days no one was even interested in that. So it is in the garage out of site until I take it up to my friends place who has plans for it, just like that tile on the left and the landscaping stones on the right. I can say that location is now empty, leaves raked up, dirt roughed up and grass seed is planted.

By late afternoon the hounds and the dog had about all the fun they could handle. I explained the AC situation to them. They decided to hydrate and guzzle as much water as possible then lay and sleep on the coldest floor in the house.

The ceiling fans with a few opened windows is a life saver. With the temps dropping by the end of the week to our HVAC appointment on June 1st, I think we will survive temps in the high 80s and humidity to match. Right after I post this I will head out for my daily session of shooting the basketball at the goal that came with the house.

This post wasn't meant to be complaints, just a description of my day back in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana ... which I still consider a great decision to move from an area I loved.


  1. It is amazing how some homeowners just neglect their home which is a major investment. Guess they just don't have pride of ownership.

    1. It is hard to figure out. Yet when I saw the photos from the house inspector I realized the photos used for the Zillow sales by owner ad were not current photos but photos of when the seller bought the house 2 years before. It's okay though. There have been no major problems, just general cleanup.