Sally and the corkscrew slide
Monday, January 30 2006
Temperatures pushed up into the 50s again today and I was moved to take the dogs for a drive, first to get tiny little bits of plumbing hardware out on 9W and then to see what sort of rusty old pumps were for sale at P&T Surplus on the Rondout. I found an old Bruner 100AF that claimed to work up to 100 psi and the P&T guy sold it to me for $25. When I got it home and opened it up I found it was very rusty and full of hibernating ladybugs but, after a little encouragement, the smallish motor came alive and began operating the mechanism, which was geared down low and very slow. Unlike the circulator pump and drill pumps I've been looking at, the Bruner 100AF operates by means of a piston pushing back and forth on a flexible diaphram on one wall of the pumping chamber into which an input hose enters and an output hose departs. The flow in both lines is fixed by check valves. It is a simple design and doesn't look like it will be very fast, but the flow needs of my antifreeze supply system are very low (or else I have a serious problem).
After I'd made my purchases at P&T, I took the dogs on a walk around the little lowland municipal park next door. On a whim I lifted Sally up and put her on an piece of kiddie play equipment, an elaborate installation featuring a suspension bridge and several slides. Sally was hesitant about crossing the bridge but did so with encouragement. More surprising was her decision to follow me down the corkscrew slide. She went head first but knew enough to slide and not to try to walk. I went in front of her so she didn't go down too quickly. I've had a lot of fun with Sally through the years, but I'll probably remember this incident as one of the highlights of our relationship.
In the evening I burned through two drillpumps trying to prime my antifreeze supply, but in the end I had it installed and operational, waiting to kick in with any incident of pressure loss in any of the house's three separate hydronic networks. Interestingly, once I'd pressurized it to about 28 psi, the pressure in the system continued to gradually rise until it had reached 40 psi. Evidently the gate valve that can allow water in from the household fresh water supply had not been completely closed.
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