Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   20 psi solution
Tuesday, June 5 2018
This morning I drove out to Home Depot mostly to get plywood for sheathing the roof of the screened-in porch. I bought four 15/32 inch three ply sheets, each for about $28 (which seemed expensive). I also got a few two by fours and a two by six to cut up into blocking. While at the Home Depot, I treated myself to a second impact driver to work alongside the dependable 12 volt Hitachi I have used for many years. The new one was a Ryobi 18 volt that was otherwise quite similar to the Hitachi (and cost $130 with a charger and two batteries). Its build was a bit cheaper than the Hitachi; this was most evident in the rotation direction switch. But it had a number of nice features, the most useful being a little magnetic tray directly above the battery. It doesn't have an LED illumination light like the Hitachi, but I never use that anyway. It bears mentioning that I also have a "DrillMaster" impact driver that I bought cheap from Harbor Freight, but it's a complete piece of junk; the NiCad batteries do not hold a charge for more than a couple days when the tool isn't being used, and one has to remember not to overcharge the batteries (leave them attached to the charger). Since this is impossible, I had to buy a timer that unplugs the charger after a certain amount of time. But since I never remember to have charged the batteries to begin with, I never use the tool.
Back at the house, I turned my attention to the unfinished business of the laboratory urinal. I didn't want to leave it in the state it was in, which was unusable and with an air compressor at the ready. I'd been assuming the pipe blockage was in the urinal itself, but a little fiasco proved it wasn't. That fiasco involved me pressurizing the urinal funnel (the thing I piss into) and then depressing the ball in the air-inlet valve just behind it. The result was a geyser of beige-colored urea sludge that I then had to clean up. It smelled horrendous and was probably toxic as well, since it contained a fair amount of Liquid Plumr. It ended up in the rats nest of wires (mostly 120 volt power cables, USB cords, and ethernet cables) just below the urinal. To clean that up, the easiest solution was to wipe up what I could and then dilute the rest and slurp it up with a wet vac.
Not knowing what else to do, I decided to try applying greater pressure than I'd been able to by simply holding the urinal pressurizer attachment hard against the pee pee funnel. Using three large C-clamps (one acting as a stable clamping surface for the other two), I managed to clamp the urinal pressurizer to the pee pee funnel, which would allow me to feed any pressure I wanted to into the system. With great power comes great responsibility, and I was nervous I might over-pressurize the PVC plumbing and cause a catastrophic failure (and a huge disgusting mess either in the laboratory or down in the shop, where the pipe runs on its way out of the house). But it turns out that PVC can survive fairly large pressurizations. I was easily able to blow the blockage out of the bottom of the PVC with a pressure of no more than 20 psi (which several times greater than anything I could've held in place with my hands).

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