Greetings from Seattle

Friday, July 1, 2016

So Now What?

Sometimes things don't go as expected.

Several months ago we had a garage door repairman come out to see what was wrong with our garage door opener. It would blink and stutter and not close the door, but  inconsistently. The garage door guy "fixed' it, but with the warning that we might need to replace it. That costs us over a hundred bucks, and there was no fix. So, several weeks ago, Tom went to Home Depot and bought a new opener. He studied the directions and checked everything off, one step at a time. 
He made sure the mechanisms were working.
He pushed the test button and "Click". The circuit breaker in the panel box flipped. 
So now what? He studied some more. He unplugged from the ceiling outlet, used an extension cord and plugged into a different outlet, pushed the test button and "Click".
Time to call Genie, the manufacturer. After being on hold and finally transferred to someone who dealt with these issues, it was decided that they would send a new circuit board for the motor component. We waited a week for it to arrive. That door is heavy when you have to open and shut it manually. 

More studying. Circuit board replaced. 
Try again. "Click". The opener still tripped the circuit. There was another call to Genie. They agreed to send a whole new motor component. We waited another week. Tom assembled the new motor and tried the test button, "Click".

Now he went back to Home Depot, and they connected him with a garage door installer guy. Over the phone, This guy concluded that the unit was no good, Genie products had circuit problems and Tom should bundle everything up and take it back to the store. He should buy a Chamberlain  brand instead.  So that's what Tom did. 
Because we were doing other things, it took Tom several days to get this new model all put together. Now it was time to test it. "Click".  

That was just about the limit. I know how discouraged I was. Tom was even more so. But he kept thinking and problem solving. 

OK, now he knows it is a wiring problem, not an opener problem. Finally, let's try one more thing. He plugs it into the new outlet installed when we had our heat pump installed about five years ago. It's outside on the back wall of the garage. 

Now push the button.  The motor purred and the garage door lifted! What a sweet sound!
 The extension cord out the window would have to be a temporary fix. How do we fix the electrical problem?

Tom went online to see about replacing the GFIC breakers in the panel box. Then he went to Home Depot to get the new switches. But of course he got the wrong ones, so it was another day before he got back to getting the right ones. By now I was staying away. Too many "clicks" for me. 
But Tom said it was easy. He had watched a video on line. And he did it. Hooray!  No more clicks!!!  The garage door opener works. No more lifting!

Of course, just as he was getting that solved, he noticed that one of the zones on the sprinkler system wasn't working. He tested each zone, and found the problem, but now that zone wouldn't turn off, so he had to turn off the whole system. 

He had to dig out the box to get down to the workings. Then he came up with a cap to cut off just the faulty valve, so we can turn the rest of the system back on.

He went to Home Depot to get the parts, but they only had the new models, so we went on line and ordered what he needs from Amazon. It will take a while to get here, no Prime for these parts, so in the meantime we can water the lawn area with hose and sprinkler. 
The other thing we were doing this week is holly hedge pruning. We have a 100 ft hedge, plus four pillars of holly, and several small trees and shrubs that get pruned at this time every year. 

We worked in the mornings before it got too warm. He used the hedge trimmer, I held the ladder and did the clean up, crawling on the ground and stuffing much of the prunings back under the hedge. 

We got most of it finished. The hedge looks good. 
The pillars are spiffy. 

When I wasn't working with the pruning, and while Tom was running back and forth to Home Depot, I edged the lawn and clipped and deadheaded and groomed.
Now things are looking neat and tidy all over.
And I filled up a compost bin with what I hauled out of the garden beds. 
Tom was almost finished with pruning the last shrubs when he got stung on the hand through his glove. He looked toward where he had leaned his step ladder and saw bees swarming. Yellow jackets were after him. He got away quick, without another sting.

But now he can't get his ladders or finish the job. That's bugging him. 
We plan to wait until dark, go out with flashlights and try to find the nest in the ground and spray it.

Wish us luck. 

We're wondering "So now what?"


  1. OH MY GOODNESS!!! What a string of crazy things to happen. I hope neither of you gets stung in the process of spraying that yellow jacket nest.

  2. Tom is a man long on patience. No such patience ever existed in our household. I forget how much is involved in maintaining a home let alone a magazine beautiful yard. Will be interested in how you make out nest hunting. Keep us informed.

  3. That is some DIY man you've got there. I'm not sure I would have followed through with all the calls and trips back to the store but it is so nice to be able to do it yourself. That is a big trimming job. Your yard is beautiful and shows how hard you guys work.

  4. Tom just read this post. He says I got all the details right, but it doesn't begin to convey how tiring and frustrating it was. It was an ordeal for me, and I didn't have to fix or solve it. I was impressed at how he just kept plugging away. He is exhausted. As we head into this holiday weekend we both need to slow down and take it easy. And so we will.

  5. You and Tom did a lot for a couple of old fogeys. Keep trudging on. I guess it isn't over until it is over.

  6. Owning a wonderful large home like yours, with the garden as well, is a whole lotta work! I didn't really know how much, but your post sure makes me happy I've only got a small little 7 x 23 plot to work with. And no garage at all! Kudos to Tom for getting it all fixed, or almost fixed (for the sprinklers). He can do anything it seems. :-)

  7. wow, quite the happy we can pay our hoa fees and have landscaping maintenance though we don't have the number of plants to take care of that you do....your hubby is smart!

  8. Congratulations to Tom for sticking with it and finding a solution. Sometimes it takes longer when we do something but we get it done for the right price.

  9. Tom reminds me of my brother Jim. Jim will never give up and will eventually bull dog his way to a solution with the help of a lifetime of smarts.
    Good luck with the yellow jackets. I put a large glass bowl over the hole at night and it eventually killed them off. None escaped and I didn't get stung as you can with a hornet spray.

  10. Talk about one thing after another. I seem to remember that any chore around the house ALWAYS involved at least two or three trips back and forth to Home Depot.

  11. Tom is amazing! He must have the patience of Job! You both must! I can't get over how beautiful your gardens look after your edging and deadheading them. You have such a pretty place.

  12. Beautiful photos, as always. Home ownership comes at a price. My husband used to call it the "home owner's blues". Seems like it is always something that needs our attention. your husband is very patient to stick with it!

  13. Oh my gosh! Yellow Jackets are so nasty and aggressive. Your Tom is truly incredible! I'm in awe of all he figures out and does. Hmmmm... Reminds me of Art too. :- )

  14. I wish we lived next door to you - maybe Tom's persistence would be catching. It is nice and not nice to know you have problems just like we do - and probably everyone. Tom's experience reminds me of when we moved into our first house and I could finally go canning-mad. While the dishwasher was preparing the jars I was peeling and slicing double and triple batches - using the garbage disposal. And then the disposal stopped and the sink wouldn't drain. I used a plunger and it seemed to work. The dishes were done and when I opened it there were onion peelings on all the dishes - the people before us had hooked up the two appliances without something to stop things from backing up into the dish washer. So I was in business again after rinsing off all the dishes. Went downstairs for something and the drain in the basement was backed up with all the peelings. And here I was trying to get the canning done! It was shortly after that that I learned how to snake our system out - and NOT put onion peelings down the disposal! Isn't those kind of happenings that make the most vivid memories?!

  15. Tom's patience and tenacity are laudable. He's definitely a keeper! I can't imagine the frustration you both felt, especially with your garden open coming up in only a couple of weeks.


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