Fatal Error #18

Doing the evening water checks and filling up the stock and garden tanks, I went and had a look at our drinking water tanks. I noticed that there was a little bit of wet ground so I had a closer look…

I found that there was a little weep on one of the poly joins….

I had a closer look by lifting the join up to check underneath… big mistake!!! As soon as I touched it, the weep turned into a gush! Water started spurting out everywhere!!!! Evidently the join was not tight enough and all it needed was a tiny touch and whoosh out came the water! At this point, I may have cursed a little… Now keep in mind that there is approximately 180,000 lt of water pressure pushing out of this pipe and although not fully out, I am guessing that a couple of hundred litres of water came out while I levered and pushed the pipe back in and tightened by hand the join. Soaking wet, I ran up to get my tools and came back down again to repair the leak. Mind you light was fading (I have literally just got in and got dry) and I was starting to panic a little. This was all of our drinking water and if that pipe popped, I could not see how I could get it back on… 180,000 litres of water pressure is just a little too much for even my 53kgs of pure muscle to hold back…

I found all of the valves and shut them off, but there was 1 tank I could not get too (a job for tomorrow) as the valve had been buried… Next I jiggled and levered, loosened and tightened and finally got the pipe back in parallel with the join and tightened again. Using some multi-grips, this join is not undoing any time soon. It was dark by this stage, but I am pretty sure the leak is no longer but will check tomorrow morning.

At worst it will just be a little weep on one of the poly joins…


I don’t want to talk about it.

Today, 60mm of rain and still falling. Big gust of wind. Greenhouse flattened and destroyed. Not repairable. Can’t even reuse panels as I can’t find all of them and they I don’t know which side is sun side up…. Lots of money, lots of time, nothing to show for it…

Fatal Error # 21 – Putting up a greenhouse by yourself in the rain and wind.

Hmmm, well fatal error #21 is – Putting up a greenhouse by yourself in the rain and wind…. won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

Yes I followed the instructions to the letter and I have to say, they suck! Putting the frame up was fiddly enough, but try doing it in the rain and wind! I got the frame up and started on the back end, got all the panels in and as per instructions, started on the front entrance. Well that was my mistake! I should have used my brain and not follow the instructions. Rather than the front opening, I should have completed the sides and corner bracing. That to me makes sense, but alas, I truly thought the engineers and designers knew better, and they designed the instruction manual… Anyway, after a lot of cursing and inventing new phrases, I called it quits in the dark and went inside, just as it started pelting down and the wind picked up a little. Later in the night I went out with the torch to see what had survived…. the greenhouse was flattened! “Crap” I thought – well I actually thought something else, but best not say that here – nothing I could do about it in the dark, so I waited until morning to assess the damage. In the morning I had a good look at the frame and corners, they were in pretty bad shape, but a little bending here and tap tap tap there, are they were as good as new, kinda…

Was going to take a photo of the flattened greenhouse but it was too traumatic for me… here is one of the frame and bracing as well as the front and rear completed.

It poured down rain again and the ground was as muddy as anything, perfect for slipping and sliding! I cursed a little bit more and then got to work. I re-put the frame up and this time put up the bracing as well, solid as a rock! After a long day, I almost finished the greenhouse. I just have the doors, the auto vents as well as boarding up the opening at the bottom and all done!

Most of it is now finished, with the doors and auto vents still to go. Also need to board up the openings on the bottom, may even put in a trap door to allow for some passive cooling and ventilation in summer.

PS – Had a mini heart attack too, Hayley saw the door opening and said “Are the IBC tanks going to fit through there?” #%$*! After a quick  couple of measures, they should fit with at least 100mm to spare!

Hint: When moving cows, shut the gate!

Well I guess the title says it all! It was cow moving time again and this time I thought to myself, “I’ll let the cows into the winter paddock to have a good old run around while I set the next two cells up ready for grazing.” And a good ol’ run they had! They wandered down to the front fence and ate mouthfuls of lush green grass and kept wandering the fence line. Mean while, I was up setting the electric fence and knew that Lightning would easily and eagerly help me move the girls and boy back to the cells. Busy as I was, I forgot to shut the double gates to the winter paddock and the cows made their way to the orchard! As soon as I saw them I dumped my stuff and bolted up there to get them back in. Lightning made short work of them, but they got damn close to having a nibble on the apple trees!

So the moral of this story… shut the bloody gate!