Back in the swamp and as usual dealing with yet another life and death situation. This time literally life and death.
Two days ago I was feeling pretty good about my efforts at installing the fridge so I was considering leaving it running while I headed to town for a day or so. It was late in the afternoon so I had plans for spending the night, buttoning up the next morning then head out for some AC, shower (of course) and a WalMart run to stock up on “Refrigerate After Opening” supplies. A couple of hours before dark I decided to do a detailed inspection of the fridge. And boy howdy it’s a good thing I did.
When building the enclosure I followed the manufacturers instructions like a person possessed. If it said 32.4 inches wide the end measurement was 32.4 inches. Within 3 degrees of level became dead level. Seal and insulate is triple sealed and triple insulated. I went whole hildabeast (no offense to hogs) installing this thing.
The manufacturer clearly states that all baffles, enclosure walls, base, etc. may be fabricated out of wood, sheet metal or aluminum. I used wood and backer board throughout. In addition to foaming all joints, I sealed every joint with aluminum tape. Overkill, right? Not so fast. It wasn’t overkill by a long shot and very well may have resulted in me returning to a crater of smoldering ashes where the Taj McZiggy once stood.
My inspection was an in depth hands on type. I felt joints for leakage, touched everything than was accessible and even wet my hand to try to feel for air movement. Then I got to the chimney. At first all appeared well so I grabbed it. Well, maybe not grabbed, more like lightly brushed my fingers over it. It was HOT!!! As in, had I grabbed it I may have some healing blisters right now.
Now I expected some heat. Maybe enough to be slightly uncomfortable but this was beyond uncomfortable. And it was pointed directly at a 2×6 brace I had installed per the manufacturers installation instructions. Feeling the wood, it wasn’t blister hot but it was way to hot for any kind of mental comfort that I was searching for. After staring at it for about 3 or maybe 12 minutes a thought surfaced, “Oh shit!”.
I then went into a detailed review of the install which took maybe 90 seconds and arrived at the conclusion that I was hosed. And discouraged (again). And angry (again). But relieved. I was very relieved that in three days of running the fridge on generator and propane I hadn’t burnt down the shack with me and the Boy in it.
So, I went inside and checked the installation manual. Sure ’nuff, I built the enclosure just like they said to. Then I shut the fridge off, turned off the propane, loaded up and headed to town. Or maybe I should say campground since I don’t really live in town.
While in campground, I called the manufacturer, they wouldn’t even talk to me once they learned what I was doing. “That refrigerator isn’t certified for any install other than in a recreational vehicle.” What the hell? I told them to think of it as an RV without wheels. No luck there. Like talking to a democrat about gun control. Dumb as shit and twice as full of it.
So I set about finding my own solution to the problem. Which I’ll get into later in much more detail.
I got a late start out today while it was raining cats and socialists. The roads were slick as all get out but then everyone knows that democrats are full of it anyway. I rarely got over 15 mph so the trip in took nearly an hour and a half. Once I got here the place was soaked. Apparently there’s been over four inches of rain in the last two days with a lot of it looking to be sideways. The prediction was for less than 20 percent chance of rain so I’m guessing the weather forecasters are out at some bar yucking it up tonight about how they can be wrong 100 percent of the time and still not get fired.
Worst part is that I hadn’t put a tarp over the vents for the fridge so the sideways rain ran right in. The cooling unit and controls are soaked. So I can’t light it off until tomorrow sometime after I light off the air compressor and blow it dry. At least it’s not nasty hot tonight.
This morning I oozed out of bed and built some coffee. My Coleman stove was wet from the rain so when I lit it there was flame coming from everywhere except the proper flame place. Some compressed air dried it enough that I was finally able to get water going for coffee. Instant, oh yummy. Not.
Checking the fridge I decided it was dry enough, turned on the gas and started it up. And so it ran, and cooled, and ran, and ran. As far as I can tell, the burner hasn’t cut off yet after about twelve hours. I actually expected this since in the trial run it took nearly a day and a half for it to finally cool enough to cut off. For the trial I had it on one of the coldest settings but this time it’s on a warm setting so I believe it will cut off sometime tonight or in the morning. I wanted to get it to some steady state baseline before I modify the exhaust. This will let me know if the modification helps or hinders cooling.
I noticed that one of my foundations is washing out so I spent a considerable part of the day moving rocks, busting up three bags of concrete which had got hard from humidity and busting up concrete rubble. By the time I quit, you can hardly tell I was even there. I still have some rock to use but it’s not going to be near enough. I need to raise the area about eight inches which doesn’t seem like a lot until you actually start doing it. Then it becomes Mt. Everest. I’ll probably end up heading to the hog wallow with a wheel barrow tomorrow for some fill. I swear I need to buy some illegal aliens to do the work this American doesn’t want to do.
I pulled the card on my front game camera and settled in for the usual six hundred pics of brush moving slightly and nothing else. Then I freaked.
This game camera is about fifteen feet from the front porch of the shack. I’ve never got a picture of any critter other than Ziggy. Then I came to this one. It’s hard to tell but that is Mr. Bear hanging out within spitting distance of where I hang out. I checked the date and I was in shack at that time.
Keep in mind that there’s no bathroom in the shack. If the urge hits in the middle of the night you have to go outside and commune with mother nature, and a bear possibly. Now I’m all into this “it’s his home”, “he was here first”, “not all bears are bad.” I don’t give a rats ass! I don’t want to walk outside to take a leak and find a four hundred pound bear on my porch ready to go all jihadi on me.
So tomorrow I’m going to set up some early warning traps that will hopefully discourage him from hanging around. I have some mouse traps I’ll attach to stakes then glue a primer to the bar so it ignites a pack of firecrackers when tripped. Since the boy is deathly scared of firecrackers I’ll have to put them out just before dark. Hopefully no one will decide to come visit after dark.