Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Woo Hoo!

Which, after last night is not how I expected to title today’s update!

Last night R2 was acting up.  I mentioned that he was in yesterday’s posts.  Well we basically had no heat for most of the night.  And last night was the coldest night of the blackout.  My outdoor thermometer was reading 28.(something) when I checked it this morning.  What I don’t now remember is if that’s this morning after I got up or after I gave up trying to fix R2.

R2 is a KeroWorld KW24G.  We got him, as I mentioned previously, to cope with the last major power failure we’ve lived through.  That was the so-called “Great” Ice Storm of 2008.  (I’d still like to know what was so great about it… (Why am I picturing Jeff Dunham’s sidekick, Walter, saying that?))

So anywho, it’s been much smokier than I remember from 2008.  We hadn’t used it since then, but I made sure there wasn’t any old kerosene left in the tank before I put it away.  But apparently I must have had some bad kerosene at some point because gradually the wick stopped wicking and the flame became unstable.  I got up to check it around twenty minutes of eleven last night and there was just one little bit of actual flame visible in the window and a dim glow down at the wick.  But even that was only part way around the burner.  So in the dark working with my way cool camo baseball cap with the built in LED light and one of my Mini-Maglight flashlights (that I’ve upgraded with the Night-Eyes LED kit and multi-function tailcap switch) I tore into a strip, clean and rebuild of our old pall R2.

I was, shall we say, “less than successful.”

I finally gave up a little after one this morning.  After adding another blanket and grabbing one of my cold weather hats I went back to bed.

It was like a meat locker in the house when we got up this morning.

I made the executive decision that Mum and I would hop in Galileo and head off to the County Store in Milford, NH where we bought R2 and see A) if they have power and were open, and B) if so do they have a replacement wick for R2?  And besides, Galileo has heat!

Now I did check R2 before we left and the flame had come back up to nearly half of what it should have been.  The kettle had heated the water enough for hot coco.  But the room was still much too cold to leave Mum at home while I went off to work.

Back to the County Store: The first thing I spotted on entering the store (after the Christmas village decorations) was a small end cap display of lamp oil!  They not only had lamp oil but quite a few kerosene heaters and other power failure supplies too.

Have I mentioned how much I like this store?

Chatting with a very helpful sales clerk about what we were looking for she knew immediately what we were after and exactly where it was.  But she did have a disturbing question for me: “Is your heater a KeroWorld or KeroSun heater?”  I’d written down the model number – but not the brand.  Now I wasn’t sure.  The model number matched the heaters they have in stock so we made the leap of deduction that it must be a KeroWorld heater.  I confirmed that after we got home.

But that nagging doubt…

After paying for our initial purchase and going out to Galileo I made another of my executive decisions: I went back in and bought a smaller 10.5K BTU heater – just in case.  That was a $119- expense I really can’t afford.  But having driven all the way to New Hampshire and being ‘right there’ I didn’t want to have to drive back if I couldn’t get R2 back up and running.

So now we have R2 and Me2.  Since the box has not been opened I could maybe return Me2 and look into getting the Solar Photovoltaic System at Harbor Freight instead.  But that presupposes that I can get R2 running again.  I didn’t bother this morning because…

… not five minutes after we got back from New Hampshire the power came back on!

Woo Hoo!!!

More later.  Right now I’ve got to go to the café and grab something for lunch.  What with all the refrigables declared NFG there wasn’t anything left for me to brown-bag-it.

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