Powerball and Water Heaters . . .

First thing this morning while I was waiting for the RV Mobile Lube guy to show up, I crawled under the coach and coated the levelers with silicone spray to keep them lubricated and ready to go for this next year. One more item checked off my “Before We Leave” list.

The lube guy showed up about 9:30 and got right to work. First off he had me start the engine and let the temperature get up to 145 degrees to make the oil drain easier. While he was under there, he replaced the oil filter, both fuel filters, and lubed the chassis and the driveline.

Next up he replaced the coolant filter, topped off the coolant, and then checked the SCA (Supplemental Cooling Additive) in the coolant. Then he pulled the big air filter to check it out. And after looking at it I told him to replace it. It looked like a a bird had built a nest with all the trash inside the filter. It’s hard to see in the photo below, but that’s a pile of dirt/sand underneath it.

Air Flter Birds Nest

Next he serviced the generator by running it for about 10 minutes, and then changing the oil, oil filter, fuel filter, and the air filter.

The transmission was next. He had me start the engine once more, and with the wheels chocked and the air brakes on, put it in Drive. This put a load on the transmission to make it warm up faster, in this case to 165 degrees. Then after shutting the engine down, he replaced the TranSynd fluid and the transmission filter.

The last thing he did underneath the coach was to check the fluid level in the differential. The level was low, and after looking at the fluid color, I had him pump the old fluid out and replace it with new 85w140.

Wrapping things up, he set the tire pressures to my specs, cleaned everything up, and was on his way by about 2:30. A busy guy.

In between helping the lube guy, I had a project of my own – to finish up installing the replacement power window unit in my truck. Between being so busy and all the bad weather we’ve had recently (Thanks again, Nick), this is the first chance I’ve had to work on it.

So I went from this

Door Removal 2

to this.

Door Fixed

The installation itself went pretty quickly. Just pull the glass back out, install the motor/track assembly and glass, and then reinstall the door panel.

Which took more time than all the rest put together. If it would fit at one end, it wouldn’t fit at the other. And so on, and so on.

But finally I got it all back together and working. I don’t have to get out of the car at ATM’s any more. Neat!

My next project was flushing the water heater, something that should be done every year.

This is the procedure I’ve always used.

Water Heater 1

Turn off power/gas to water heater. Be careful not to apply power to the unit until it’s full of water. Otherwise you can burn out your unit.

Open faucet and run water until no hot water is left. Leave faucet open.

Turn off water to coach.

Remove the drain plug (the bottom one) and let a few cups of water out.

Replace the drain plug and remove the T&P valve (the top one).

Pour about a cup of vinegar into the top hole.  I use a turkey baster.

Replace the T&P valve and tighten down.

Turn the water back on and check the open faucet. As soon as the water is flowing smoothly, turn it off.

Turn power to water heater back on and wait an hour.

Turn off power to water heater.

2. Open faucet and run water until no hot water is left. Leave faucet open.

Turn off water to coach.

Open bottom drain plug and let water run out.

Use your ‘magic wand’ to flush out all the gunk still inside the water heater.

Water Heater Wand

Don’t know about online, but the water filter vendors at the rallies usually have them. The wand makes it real easy to flush out all the gunk inside. Continue until only clear water is running out.

Replace the drain plug and tighten securely.

Turn on water to coach.

Leave the hot water faucet open until it stops spitting and spurting.

Turn the water heater back.

You’re done!

When I did this after our first year on the road, I couldn’t believe how much stuff I got out of the unit. I don’t think it had ever been flushed in the 8 years before we bought the rig. We had a lot more hot water after that first flush.

About 4:30 Jan and I headed out for dinner at our favorite local burger place, Stomp’s Burger Joint.

Stomps 4

You’re looking at a full pound of Angus Beef there. Makes your mouth water just looking at it.

On the way home we mailed a letter at the Post Office, and then made a stop at Kroger’s for a few things. I got some lottery tickets for tonight’s PowerBall drawing for $250 Million. Unlike a lot of states, Texas makes you pick whether you want Annual Payments or Cash Value when you buy your ticket.

It seems like most people chose the Cash Option, but I always get Annual Payments. As for the reason, check out the stats on tonight’s Powerball.

The $250 million dollar prize taken in 30 annual payments is 8.3 million dollars a year before taxes. The Cash Option is a total of $156 million. That means by taking the money in cash you lose $94 million dollars, or a little over $3 million dollars a year.

I don’t know about you, but I could do a lot with an extra $3 million dollars a year!

——————————————————————————————————————–

Thought for the Day:

It’s possible to be clueless without being blonde.

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3 Responses

  1. Greg,

    Really helpful and informative post.

    Your readers should be advised that once they pull the big air filter on a diesel engine that they should replace it.. The process of taking it out a slightly dirty air filter will introduce some grit into the engine. Grit is the enemy. Putting it back in will do damage.

  2. “The Cash Option is a total of $156 million. That means by taking the money in cash you lose $94 million dollars, or a little over $3 million dollars a year.”

    Hi Greg, you might want to re-consider your “cash” option, I figure it
    this way, if you take that $156 million and put it in muni bonds at 2.9%
    rate would earn you $4.5 million a year (tax free). Hmmmm, I always
    take the lump sum.. Just sayin….

  3. My Cholestral would be sky high if I ate one of those. But think it would be worth it Oh and you didn’t win the powerball either. But I didn’t either

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