A tale of two holes

About six weeks ago, during an impromptu meeting that ran late after a life group at our house, the various kids then present were playing around in the playroom while the adults talked in the living room.  A ball of some sort, maybe a volleyball if I am recalling the story correctly, was thrown out the playroom window.  This would not be a big deal except that at the time, that window was closed.

It was an impressive exit wound, with glass both inside and outside, but no kids hurt.  That night, we improvised a patch by masking taping two DiGiorno’s pizza boxes over the hole.  We haven’t been spending a lot of time in the playroom lately, as it has once AGAIN gradually filled with stuff.  (I really need for someone to go in there with me to keep me on track and help me de-clutter it.  Scott and I were going to do that a couple weekends ago, but he was tied up with important financial matters, and it didn’t happen.) Anyway, we kind of forgot about the window issue until the weather got a bit cooler and windier, and part of the tape came loose, and every time we opened or closed the playroom door, the vacuum effect cause the pizza boxes to flap off the left side of the window frame and then snap back on.

So Scott asked Andrew to measure the thing so he (Scott) could order the glass.  And Walnut Shade Mom thought to herself, “Is trying to install a window really the best use of Scott’s time and ability?” and she said nothing.  When the measurement never occurred and Scott had decided to call Barry about the vent situation (see below) anyway, he wisely pushed “playroom window” onto Barry’s plate and off his own.

Barry came yesterday and replaced the window.  Ah, how nice!  We just have to leave the playroom door closed for a couple days while the silicone caulk sets up good and hard, so that the vacuum effect won’t suck the window back loose.

One hole filled.

Barry made another hole while he was here.

A few weeks back, Scott had smelled propane in the mornings, and to make a long story a bit shorter, suffice it to say that Jesse, the plumber, came and found that the water heater was leaking propane.  That is not a good situation (for our health or for the propane bill), but Jesse fixed it and we are all good to go now.  However, Jesse was concerned about the ventilation for the water heater.

It’s a 40 gallon propane unit in our cellar.  It’s the third 40 gallon propane water heater that’s been in our cellar in the past 17 years.  For clarification, that means that as long as we’ve lived here, there’s been a 40 gallon propane water heater in the cellar.  Nothing new has changed about the water heater.

So Jesse was concerned that because it’s so and so many BTUs (or whatever) that it needs so and so many cubic feet of air to draw from in order to function maximally.  (Note that the list of things in our home that function maximally would probably fit on a Post-It.)  The water heater doesn’t care where it draws from; it just needs to draw.  (Maybe it’s an artistic water heater?)  Anyway, the volume of air in the cellar is evidently insufficient for this purpose.  (Walnut Shade Mom suspects that it’s probably been sufficient for 17 years, but maybe not.)  If there was a way to let outside air in, that would be good.  If there was a way to let house air down, that would be good.  Jesse suggested that a one foot square hole in the pantry floor would actually be ideal, and he said that until we obtained that, we needed to leave the the trap door open.  Slightly inconvenient and significantly less than aesthetically appealing, but we’ve done it for the past couple weeks.

Meanwhile, this hole-in-the-pantry-floor concept gripped Scott’s heart and would not let go.  He was bound and determined to somehow create a hole in the panty floor to give that water heater what it craved.  We discussed various options and finally settled – as in, “Honey, I’m sure you have insight and wisdom on household-y things, so whatever you think would be best will surely be just right.  I trust you!”  I have learned that husbands like to hear wives (their own, especially) say, “I trust you.” – on cutting a hole in the trap door.

I gently suggested that perhaps such surgery would best be performed by someone skilled in that field; hence Barry’s arrival.  He did indeed cut the hole and installed over it a lovely white vent.  The hole is on the back end of the trap door, where people rarely walk, which is good, because you can’t walk on the vent.  It looks a little odd, but we’re getting used to it, I think it will make the water heater happy, and as we all know, “When the water heater ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

So, in the space of one afternoon, Barry filled one hole and made another, and all is well.


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