Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Great Mister Debacle


My manchild is a fairly simple guy. He doesn’t need fancy “stuff.” He eats beans for dinner when I’m not around. The little house in the woods has a sofa for seating & that’s it. No chairs. If there are more than three people in the den, someone is going to have to sit on the floor. I had to convince him to let me bring in a lamp and sofa table so we could have light from something other than the glow of the TV or the kitchen light. When we had our wedding party at the little house, I convinced him to let me hang tiny white lights on the front porch for ambiance. They looked great and are hanging to this day.

Since summer has arrived here in Texas being outside is almost unbearable so I came up with the brilliant idea to put up a misting system. “LOWER THE TEMPERATURE BY 20°!!!” the box advertised. “Perfect” I said, so I bought a system from the local handy Randy store in town. I read the directions in the box and was raring to go, but was stopped by Manchild – a true perfectionist. I’m sure he was having terroristic visions of me doing a half-assed job, so he insisted on “helping” (which means ‘leave me the hell alone and let me do it the right way, not half-assed’).

The instructions on the box said to put the mister tubing on the outermost edge of the roof overhand but Mr. Perfect didn’t want it to show so he insisted on putting it in a hidden spot, right where the twinkle lights were precisely hung. To do so involved the removal of the thingies holding the lights up, securing the mist tubing and reinstalling the lights.

For the most part things were so far – so good with the exception of reattaching the little staple things that held up the lights. They were “U” shaped and sort of short so my man hammered his big, manly finger multiple times. Each time he hit himself, he let out a string of curses that could be heard 3 counties away.
My guy always gripes and complains a lot when he's working on a project so I'm slowly getting used to it but this particular day he was in fine form. I think I heard all of the local wildlife stampeding away in terror. He was kind enough to mention that he wasn't shouting at me but I was still sort of sick inside.

So...eventually the tubing was installed and the twinkle lights were precisely re-strung and my hopes were high in the anticipation of that wonderful cooling mist. I connected the water hose to the misting system and (cue the hallelujah chorus) a fine mist began spraying. It felt wonderful! 

I was quite happy until I looked at the connection where the water hose was. It was spewing water everywhere. I tried tightening everything but it didn't help. Of course, when Manchild looked at it, he saw the problem right away and remedied the problem. While he was looking at it, I was attempting a "repair" of my own. The system was equipped with a drain valve and I got the bright idea to test it out. The only thing needed to make it work was a simple screw at the end of the line, and by loosening it a little bit, the water could be completely drained out. Sounds simple, right? Well, me being me had to totally remove the screw to "look at it and check it out" and in doing so, I managed to release a teeny weeny spring that was instantly lost forever. The purpose of the spring was to operate a little cut off valve. Can you guess what happened to the water after that? It spewed. There was enough spewing water to shoot completely across the entire porch and spray the wall immediately next to the front door thereby splattering anyone who chose to enter our little love nest.

We turned the water off and on about a hundred times trying to figure out why the drain valve was saturating the side of the house before I admitted to completely removing the screw and effectively breaking it. Yea me!!!! A half hour later we were still trying to find a way to seal the hole where the water was spewing. I thought my man was going to blow a gasket of his own! The problem was finally remedied by jamming a wooden toothpick into the drain hole and so far, it's working fine. In order to completely outline the porch with a fabulous mist curtain, we're going to have to install another complete set. I'm really hoping that the next set installs much more easily and painlessly.

The thing I've learned about simple projects is that they are never simple. Ever. If the instructions state that the project can be accomplished in three easy steps, know that it will probably take you about 300 steps. Oh, and plan for a full day of work, too. That's how it was with us. I'll be sure to post later on how the installation of the second set went. It will probably be about a week from now because I'm sure that's how long it will take us to complete the job.

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