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#24747 - 04/23/17 07:44 AM King's Ranch (The Old Shack). Update.
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 1897
Loc: WV
It's been almost 4 years since we first started talking about the old King's house, I know that several of you guys were following along with the progress and all. The original thread is on the "picture board".

The old house has held up pretty good, we've had a couple of little screw-ups. Things that I wish we'd have done a little differently, etc. Overall, things are good.

I'm going to cover a lot of different topics in this thread, some of them might save you a little money or at least a headache. And share a couple of highlights from the last 4 years. And I'll share some of "Wardney's Words of Wisdom".

For one thing, I wish that I would have had a sign-in sheet for everyone that's visited.

One thing that I just can't get over is the monthly electric bill. I mean nobody is living there, the cook stove and fireplace thing are both propane gas. I do have 6, 150 watt floodlights mounted on 3 corners of the house that I use now and then, otherwise I don't use much electric!

The other day I got the bill from the power company, it's here beside me, "Billing Period: March 13 to April 11, 2017." Potomac Edison sent me a bill for $6.07. Yep, Six dollars and seven cents. That's better than 20 cents per day. Outrageous!



Edited by redsnow (08/25/17 07:50 AM)

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#24748 - 04/23/17 07:57 AM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 9874
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
You're lucky. A lot of utility companies have a minimum. In my cabin in Tennessee it's $21 per month.
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#24750 - 04/23/17 10:53 AM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
Dale F Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 552
Loc: Erie, IL
My wife takes care of the bills but I happened to look at the gas bill the other day. 95 bucks for the month and if I was reading it correctly 43 bucks was services and convenience of having it. This is for natural gas, our electric is through a different company. I will look at it next time I see it. Dale

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#24752 - 04/23/17 05:28 PM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
Mike Conrad Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 253
Loc: Sheffield, Ohio
X2 on a minimum monthly bill. I thought all the utility companies had that. Our electric company was just changing over to that when I built my house 30 years ago, just got in under the wire.

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#24754 - 04/24/17 06:38 AM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 1897
Loc: WV
Knock on wood, but I smile every time that I get that electric bill. I don't think it's ever been over $30.

I more than pay my share here in town!

Really, no more time than I spend up there I hardly ever turn on the hot water heater. The only thing that is plugged in now is the fridge.

Above I mentioned the outside lights, there are 3 banks of 2-150 watt bulbs each. The main reason that I have them, one set lights up the parking area, so you can see to get to the door. One set lights up the front porch steps and the other set is mounted on the corner of the upstairs bathroom. When I get up in the middle of the night to take a leak, I like to flip that light on and see what's roaming around outside.

Talking about the gas bill, I'm dealing with one company up at the King's house, which I own that tank. It's a 250 gallon size, had it filled last fall, that should last 3 or 4 years. Now that company doesn't charge me any fees.

Here in town, I'm dealing with another company, I noticed on their last bill, they charged me for a "hazardous" fee, some kind of delivery charge and something else? I talked to the driver, and asked about all of that stuff, probably the last time that I'll have them fill up my tank.

I'll tell you a good one on the gas company, it happened back about the first of the year. My brother was telling me, his wife told him that the cook stove wouldn't light. She was getting ready to fix breakfast. My brother said that he was pretty sure that they'd just filled his tank, so he put on his jacket and figured he'd go check the gauge on the tank. It's one of those 250 gallon "torpedo" tanks, he walked out around the corner of the house and the damn tank was gone!

It's not like 2 guys just rolled in and stole the thing. He said he could track a dual wheeled truck that drove up through the field to his yard fence, and snatched it. He called the gas people, said he was polite about it, they apologized again and again and again. Somebody got the wrong numbers or address mixed up. Anyway, they washed his tank and painted it for him. Just lucky that he had a receipt where he had bought that tank, 20 years ago.

Kind of had me worried about my tank up at the King's place, it's the same outfit. Not sure if I'd have been so polite, drive up there after work and not have any heat. But my tank is still in it's spot.

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#24756 - 04/24/17 01:39 PM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 9874
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
We have propane too. Everybody around here has those 250 gallon tanks. I talked to the folks before I had it installed, and decided to go with the 500 gallon tank. Now the kicker is, if you don't use more than 500 gallons there is a $35 penalty for having that tank. And since we heat with wood, I don't empty the tank. With that said, the owner of a 500 gallon tank automatically gets a 10 cent/gal. discount on his gas. So even if I use just half (250 gal.) that's a $25 savings right there. However, that big tank allows me to fill up in the summer July/Aug. when the price of propane is lowest. So I pay that $35 service fee, and smile all the way to the bank.

My neighbor was getting propane, and I tried to explain that to her. She went ahead and got the 500 gallon tank. BUT, the first time she got a penalty fee, she had a fit and made them bring her 250 gallon tank. Now, she is privileged to forego the 10 cent discount, run out of gas during the winter and get the tank filled when prices are at their highest.

Math is a bitch ain't it. smile
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#24759 - 04/25/17 04:46 AM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
Dale F Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 552
Loc: Erie, IL
Hal do they let you lock in a price for propane? Back when I used propane (couple years ago) I could lock in a price for the whole year. You had to guess how much you'd need and pay for it all up front but was much better then hoping they didn't sky rocket in the middle of winter like it did awhile back.

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#24760 - 04/25/17 06:27 AM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 1897
Loc: WV
All of the utility companies pretty much have us by the nads, on a downhill haul.

My propane tank here in town is 100 gallons, the gas company owns the tank. When I asked the gasman about the fees and all, he tried to make a case for his company. He said that they don't charge rent for the tank, and he has came to me several times and told me that tank was still at 45% or 50% full, and he'd fill it up next time around. Just the cook stove and a wall mounted heater are propane, here at home.

I wanted to tell you about one of the screw ups at the King's house. It was the first winter, after we had water and heat in the house. It was starting to get cold, so Wardney and I went up to drain the water lines and antifreeze the place. Everything worked like it was designed, turn the pump off, open all of the faucets, drain the hot water tank into the commode(i've got a 6 foot long piece of garden hose for that purpose), open the 2 valves under the house and antifreeze the commodes and traps. Drain the water from the water filter, and she's good to go.

Anyway, Wardney and I were talking about the fireplace thing, I figured I'd just turn it off. Wardney said he'd leave the thermostat set where it would come on. So I did.

A couple of weeks later, I went up one night after work, I was listening to the local ballgame on the radio going up the road. When I got to the house, the fireplace thing was on, the game was almost over and I wanted to hear the final score. I was sitting in the car listening to the final few minutes, the fireplace thing was on, then off, and on, and off. Long story short, I burnt almost 100 gallons of propane, and nobody was home.

I've been leaving the pilot light on in the fireplace, but I'll turn it off before long. The cook stove has electronic ignition, this tank of gas will last a long time.

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#24761 - 04/26/17 06:35 AM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 1897
Loc: WV
While we're talking about this fireplace thing, I'll tell you about one thing that caused me a little frustration. One day last winter my buddy Moe and I went up to the old house, figured we'd hunt until dark, spend the night and come home the next day.

When we got to the house, the fireplace thing wouldn't light. I'd just had the tank filled, the pilot light was on, but it wouldn't fire up. The temperature inside the house was in the 30's, Moe said he wasn't staying if we didn't have any heat.

We fumbled and tinkered around the thing for 45 minutes, there's not much room to wiggle it around, the gas line comes in one side and the thermostat wires are on the other. Finally I bypassed the thermostat, so the stove would light, but we couldn't regulate the temperature.

I figured we'd broken a wire from the thermostat. I'd pecked on the thermostat, time after time. I thought about what all could be wrong that night. See, when the man from the gas company installed the stove, did the pressure test and installed the thermostat, he cut the thermostat wires with his staple gun.

Next morning it was 85* in the front room, I was there with my voltmeter, and didn't have any connection to the thermostat. I took the thermostat apart, blew on the contacts really hard a time or 2. Took a little piece of paper towel and rubbed around on the contacts best I could, and it was good to go.

It was just that simple. Much better than taking the side off of the box and replacing the thermostat wires.

Remember before when we were talking about those bug bomb things? I have a feeling that those things could have left a little bit of film on the contacts, and caused the problem.

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#24762 - 04/26/17 12:05 PM Re: The Old Shack. Update. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 9874
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Back in the day when I was making quantities of bait, I had a box that would hold four five gallon buckets. There was a 100 watt bulb in there, controlled by the thermostat. After a couple of years, the gasses from that bait literally ate up the contacts on that thermostat.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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