Friday, July 29, 2016

weird shower...


Double weird because it rained mid day and it came from the southeast.  Two of my creek tanks are low so I thought I would give the ol' gas pump a try.  Dumped out the old gas and put in some new but couldn't get it started.  I really need to get it ready for the next downpour since I got room for about 5,000 gallons of water that might come in handy someday.  Tally so far for the year is 4.54".  Total for last year was 11.67".  77,91,73, .17",B

22 comments:

Jim said...

Funny I was just thinking about water catchment and what the average yearly rainfall was out there.

Ronald Mahan said...

After running my new Honda mower for only a year - I could not get it started. Since it was still under the warranty - I let the dealer fix it He advised me not to use any more gasoline with Alcohol in it - as that had caused my new carburetor - to become fouled up! So I took his advise - and no more problems. Honda needs to apply some of their car building expertise to their small motors. I.E. my wife's Honda Accord has been burning gasoline/alcohol fuel for 8 years - with no problems.

Margery Bills said...

Does that mean fewer showers? :-)

Margery Bills said...

Mr. Mahan, where do you buy your gas for small motors? I buy regular gas for my mower. My problem this year was the heat had ruined my battery. And I always have to put in a new plug each time (and filter). So what about this gas? I do not understand. My new battery is still out in the shed in the mower. Testing. Does regular gas have alcohol in it and premium does not?

Ronald Mahan said...

I have been told both regular and premium gasoline now have some alcohol in them. And in Alabama - the pumps must state if the gasoline has alcohol in it. I purchase my unleaded gasoline without alcohol in it - from a MARATHON station. But some other brands sell gas without the damaging alcohol. But most stations do not carry this special type of gasoline! It normally costs about 50 cents more - per gallon!

coffeeinjection said...

John. Its the ethanol in the gasoline that's causing problems. You may have to rebuild the carburetor on the pump. When its up and running okay, once every week or two, start the pump up and run it for a few minutes. Also pour fuel stabilizer into gas cans and use that fuel in all gasoline engines at the Field Lab.

The fuel stabilizer acts as a preservative for the gasoline. I use Stabil brand fuel stabilizer. Theres also a few other brands that are good too like 'Sea Foam' brand.

I have two lawn mowers, and a generator. I run all every two or three weeks for a few minutes just to keep the fluids running if they are not in regular use. I have yet to rebuild a carburetor.

Todd said...

I have written many of our elected representatives to complain of ethanol and how much their political interference in our fuel has cost innocent Americans in repair bills. I lived in Florida when the renewable fuel standard came about requiring 10% ethanol in our gasoline. This resulted in boom times for marine mechanics, as damn near every boat in Florida required extensive maintenance to remedy the effects of adding a hydric solvent to our fuel. I actually approached a couple of law firms about their interest in a class action lawsuit against the federal government and was advised that you cannot litigate against them. Not sure if that is true, nor am I a fan of lawyers or class actions, but I guarantee Florida boat owners spent tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs as a result of the hubris of these well meaning liberal politicians. Interestingly, at least to me Trump was supposedly considering Joni Ernst for VP. Joni Ernst was the Iowa "small government republican" whose family received over 500k dollars from the Feds to build their ethanol corn empire up in Iowa. She was the one with the catchy television ad about how she was going to go to Washington DC and make the pigs at the trough squeal. It remains unknown if any squealing has been heard from the Ernst family, as the remote location of their sprawling corn farms precluded any journalists making it within earshot of their farmhouses.

Larry G said...

who says the govt can't "create" jobs? ;-) I assume most marinas now sell ethanol-free because that's where I got mine. However as pointed out - the auto companies did change their cars so they could accommodate ethanol - even what 85% flex fuel?

So why have the small engine makers not done the same by now?

Oh - and isn't this reminiscent of the time when the govt mandated unleaded gas and we had all that uproar that it ruined engines, eh?

Todd said...

Larry G: The shelf life of Ethanol laced fuel is around 90 days. Ya think any boats or cans of gas for lawnmower might sit longer than that? Also alcohol is hydric, that is it absorbs water. My boat mechanic claimed that if you take a glass jar and fill it half full of ethanol gas and sit it on the table on a muggy Florida day that when you come back a couple hours later the jar will be more full than when you left. The solvent part is that alcohol (like rubbing alcohol) breaks down old residue which promptly proceeds to get stuck in carburetor sand fuel injectors making the engines not run correctly. So, No, in fact ethanol is an inferior fuel, and the reason it is in our gasoline is that we have ignorant liberal politicians who think they are somehow saving the planet by converting food into fuel. The flex fuel vehicles get absolutely horrible fuel economy. But we won't focus on that. Sorry but the comparison to unleaded fuel is not accurate.

BTW as I travel the country I see signs everywhere, banners, letter boards advertising ethanol free fuel. People will pay a premium for it to avoid the headaches.

Todd said...

In all fairness I do hear the mash leftover makes a decent feed, but really only for feedlots as it molds and must be used quickly at high volume operations. So ethanol may have brought boom times back for feedlots. But I think the green crowd wants to do away with feedlots and return to more holistic beef production methods which is actually a pretty good idea imo. Unfortunately they are working against their own desires by creating a market for a cheap perishable cattle feed that works best in feedlots. The real purpose of the ethanol boondoggle imo is to provide support for prices for corn. Should a good use for abundant ethanol come about, like say an ethanol fired power plant they might really have something. Until then gasoline users are simply subsidizing the over production of corn in another gift to the farm lobby. We produce so much corn the Feds will pay farmers to let their fields lie fallow.

I digress.

Margery Bills said...

Yes, I use Stabil fuel stabilizer-very essential-keeps the gas from turning to glue and clogging things.

John Wells said...

...my pump won't start because it sat for 2 years with 2 year old gas in it...end of story.

Larry G said...

@Todd - I don't think it is the green crowd now days that is behind the ethanol as much as it is the corn crowd. They tried to do something about it and the corn lobby is just too powerful now.

at any rate - if all the bad things about ethanol are true - then how come all the cars are running on it it fine right now -including ones that sit for a while and seem to start up just fine after sitting?

just asking... what say you?

Todd said...

The newer cars run with ethanol fuel from day one have the following advantages: All the rubber gaskets that the fuel touches are made to be used with ethanol (ethanol deteriorates rubber gaskets on older engines), and they may have never built up any residue or gunk for the ethanol to break loose. The shelf life problem and the deterioration of pre-ethanol era rubber hoses and gaskets are the real challenges for boats and lawn equipment, etc. Presently ethanol is the cheapest octane booster available, so lower octane cheaper produced gasoline is bumped up to EPA required octane levels providing value to oil refiners. The Feds are aware of all the havoc they caused with the manner in which they rolled out this new fuel. For several years in many if not most markets finding non ethanol fuel was near impossible, and that is the source of all the consternation. The latest political goal of some, which if implemented at the beginning would have saved an awful lot of trouble, is mandating or subsidizing new gas pumps that mix variable ethanol blends at the pump. There is talk of doing this, but it again adds some complexity. For instance in metro markets where refiners have come to rely on the ethanol to boost the octane of their crappy gasoline, that gasoline does not meet EPA regs to be sold on its own. Of course they could refine higher octane gas but it would cost more. Likely in metro markets anyway these mix at the pump pumps will roll out. Then less conscientious consumers will likely use the highest ethanol blend available as it seems cheaper. Those who don't want the ethanol can just choose straight gasoline. The cost to add all this infrastructure is high and that is why it has not been done.

A good wash out in agriculture would likely be long term productive imo, as it is presently near impossible to get into farming if your family does not already own land. All this taxpayer cash funneled into farming has driven ag land prices into the stratosphere and served to help consolidate this largest operators to where their economies of scale make small scale farming damn near impossible. Seeing the bullshit that constitutes daily life in our cities anymore, I looked into small scale farming as an alternative way of life away from city problems and was sad to find it really cannot be done. Farmers, for lack of a better description, are wards of the state these days. They look to the government for everything, and the farm lobby is supported by virtually everyone in DC both parties. Small farmers get very little if any of the taxpayer funds, short of the price supports or money to not farm their land which is not the point of farming. Maybe it's a pipe dream of mine, but should their be a way to make the economics work, leaving city life for green acres to live and raise a family seems very appealing. Unfortunately farming is one of the very biggest government industrial complexes, and industrial agriculture is here to stay. We have to keep overproducing corn to keep the union jobs at the implement manufacturers going, and keep the growth of that industry in tact, regardless of actual need. Anyhow, I'm out in left field here.

Sadly most 4H and FFA kids won't ever own any land or farm if their family does not already own land.

My apologies for the takeover of your comments section John.

Henry Wolanski said...

I think one thing I'll need to adjust to for semi-offgrid is generator use for charging and either running it dry and not letting fuel sit for a long period to avoid the fuel clogging results.

Or better yet, convert to propane/cng which does not have the gasoline stability or storage issues from what I understand. What about diesel, same issues as gasoline for storage?

Even with wind or solar there are times when you just need another source short term. Still plan some grid use and eventually the ability to sell back. But its a work in progress and a big learning experience.

Just glad there are others that have gone before to shed light on some of the pitfalls ahead.

Henry Wolanski said...

I think one thing I'll need to adjust to for semi-offgrid is generator use for charging and either running it dry and not letting fuel sit for a long period to avoid the fuel clogging results.

Or better yet, convert to propane/cng which does not have the gasoline stability or storage issues from what I understand. What about diesel, same issues as gasoline for storage?

Even with wind or solar there are times when you just need another source short term. Still plan some grid use and eventually the ability to sell back. But its a work in progress and a big learning experience.

Just glad there are others that have gone before to shed light on some of the pitfalls ahead.

Larry G said...

a lot to unpack...

corn is not the only way to produce ethanol... other crops can be raised on lower grade soils not as suited to corn - switchgrass, sorghum, sugar cane, sugar beets, etc.

whether you can make a living at it small scale is another issue.

ethanol is also used in differing gasoline blends to reduce emissions in areas where emissions are a problem.... each city now gets a blend, specific to it's seasonal emission requirements.

but farming in the 21st century is just like many other things - the bigger companies are better at larger scale production pretty much across the board farming, manufacturing, and retail. Mom and pop stores get slaughtered by WalMart, Lowes, etc ... the corner gas station is no more... the big corps took that over .. auto repair? well that's one place where there is still opportunity for small business... if you're good at it and word gets around.

but I'm confused... opportunity is pretty accessible in the US - you don't need to start out with wealth , land wealth or otherwise - to grab some... get a a good/better/more education... become an entrepreneur... work hard to achieve one's goals. None of us should expect to start with wealth . some are lucky in that regard but others - have to "earn" it. As they say - we have equal opportunities - not assured equal outcomes.

Farming now is a business and requires college education as well as significant land and investment - something individuals CAN achieve.. and do - with land leasing... There's still a lot of fallow land in the US and entrepreneurs who learn how to farm that land - as a business.

What's changed is that you no longer can just farm a small plot with a high school education - the world has changed.. if you want to farm as a business - it's become like other businesses.. you need education, ability to attract investment and be willing to risk your own financial well-being or just work for "the man"....

bob r said...

Stabil and Sea Foam..............great products that deliver.........I use sea foam in my cereal........well not quite

Todd said...

Larry G:

We are doing fine, we just moved from a metro area in FL to the Midwest and were a bit incensed by the extent that government is presently running farming, and by extension their efforts serving largely to benefit the largest producers. It is a bit of a wasteland where we moved, compared to other rural areas we have traveled to (we presently travel full time btw). There are many locals trying to make their communities work, but the government efforts, at least imo, largely serve to redistribute wealth upward to the largest land owners, essentially locking out any upward mobility for those not presently heavily "in the game". It seems that is the present mantra of the Feds. Taking losses is now political, and none of the big wheels with proper lobbying apparatus shall take losses when a simple waving of the legislative wand in DC points the spigot in their direction. With the FED monetizing what congress spends for the last few years, clearly congress has a bias towards handouts for the most well to do, and most well versed in K street activities. When the business cycle turns, I hope we have a new crop of legislators backed by a more hawkish fed prepared to turn those spigots off to let the creative destruction we all know is coming play out. I am not betting on it, but it needs to happen.

Larry G said...

@Todd - around the world - big companies prevail and have for a long time - whether it's making cars, mining coal, running railroads or airlines, lumber, fishing, banking, you name it.

Laws have been designed to help smaller producers - with loans and other policies as well as monopoly laws to keep companies from dominating one industry.

but businesses had already gotten big long before the govt tried to "help". When the great depression hit - is when govt actually got into the business of trying to help people.

but before then and after then there was always large companies that produced cars, appliances, water pipe and other infrastructure, bridges, etc...

farming was one of the last areas that succumbed to bigger business but it was the advent of things like combines that were more far more productive than one farm -many farms but they cost far more than most small farms could afford. Companies with money would buy them then rent them out. Many other aspects of the logistics chain for farming worked the same way. Farmers would form cooperatives not only for farm issues but electric, phone, etc - with govt help.

Farm-to-market roads - if you're not familiar with them - go read. they were to help farmers get their goods to market and to get electrified but they also enabled bigger farming.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farm-to-market_road

the tendency is to blame govt these days in this country -but look around the world at all the 3rd world countries where govt has not done what it has done in this country -and people farm - and barely survive. Out of 200 countries on the planet only about 50 are like us and all of them have bigger and stronger govt than the 150 who are still 3rd world or developing world.

Roads alone - make this country one of the strongest in the world - they are our "commerce" infrastructure - the networks that allow us to farm the way we do and not only feed ourselves many times over but others also. Those roads came from govt - not small farmers.
The electricity to powered them homes - came from govt - using the roads rights-of-ways and govt grants for them to form cooperatives. Compare our govt-provided roads and electricity to 3rd world countries that don't have either and farming is truly "local" and "small".

We have it good in this country but it don't stop the complaining and govt blame.

Todd said...

I agree we have it pretty good. I also stand by my thoughts above, and wrote off the idea of farming for now because the government has created a gilded class of the largest landowners to whom they presently redistribute wealth upward to. Whether we have a decent country to live in and whether redistributing taxpayer funds to the largest landowners is good policy are not mutually exclusive. But from your comments I presume you feel the government built the nice country we enjoy. We can agree to disagree on that. If I came across as hating on our nation, my apologies. We are supposed to be a people with a government though more recently we could be described as a government with a people. Let's hope we get back to the former ASAP. Cheers.

Larry G said...

I'm a half glass guy. We got issues and problems - we're still pretty lucky to live in THIS country versus many others. We do have a robust commerce infrastructure - roads, rail, communications, and free education for all - lots of opportunity - still not easy... still crony stuff... best to you..