Radio Fence Mend @ Kathy’s Garden – Twisted Pair Nicked

Mended a cut with two orange twist nuts, white grease, and electrical tape along the twisted wires going along the front of Kathy’s garden about 1 foot from house-side corner. Reburied twisted wire along border. It looks like a mower blade had nicked the twist there and it had rusted over time and finally started to give way.

Both wires in the twist had been nicked, probably by lawn mower blade, rusted, and started to short.

Both wires in the twist had been nicked, probably by lawn mower blade, rusted, and started to short.

Radio Fence Patch 2014-03-30

After replacing the entire front bend (driveway to Kathy’s garden) in September, Mr. Pink’s riding mower cut the line. He was scalping the yard for Spring, and the blade went subterranean.

These shots are for location reference. I filled the orange twist nuts with white grease and taped over them with electrical tape prior to burial.

radio-fence-patch-2014-03-30-IMG_1348 radio-fence-patch-2014-03-30-IMG_1349

In Memory of Geo. E. Toale, Xmas – 1915

Cleaning up some basement boxes, I found this pocketwatch that I recall Barbadee giving me when I was young. I would carry the watch around and use it sometimes.

I wound it up, and it is ticking and keeping time, here some 99 years later from the 1915 inscription.

The watchmaker is Rode Watch Co. You can see the F/S adjustment. It is set a bit to the slow side. There is a “Swiss” stamp on the edge of the mechanicals (not pictured.) The back interior case reads:

W.C. CC.

To the right of Illinois is a smaller number: 734301 (from what I can tell.)

At the bottom there appears to be a mark of some kind like a signature.

Beckett Pond Pump Model 7201310 Repeated Fails (A Fix!)

Update 4/26/14: I experienced the same fail with pump #4 within 30 days, but this time I stumbled onto a workaround. Let the pump “suck air” for about 10 seconds after cleaning, and it will resume full flow. I’ve done this 3 times now, and it works every time. I wonder if this would have worked with #1, #2, and #3. It is counter intuitive that when the flow goes to half or less because the filters need cleaning, that cleaning the filters would result in near zero flow, but that is what happens. I assumed it was just “broken” in the past. When trying to figure out why with #4, I pulled the pump out with the motor “trying” and the impeller started to spin at full speed when air hit it. Returning it to the water, it continued to pump fine 24 x 7. I think the flaw here is that the impeller ends up seating wrong after being under the strain of the dirty filters and lower flow. I have often tried flushing the impeller chamber out with the hose, to no avail. But letting it “suck air” after cleaning seems to let the impeller reseat properly. I’ve sent this post to Beckett engineering.]


  • Pump #1 purchased 7/4/2013 from Home Depot. Fails in 30 days.
  • Pump #2 exchanged at Home Depot 8/3/2013. Fails in 90 days.
  • Pump #3 exchanged at Home Depot outside the original 90 day exchange policy 11/25/2013. Fails in two weeks.
  • Beckett ships 2 replacement pumps 3/5/2014
  • Pump #4 in service 3/8/2014.
  • Failed pump #3 sent back to Beckett for inspection.
  • Pump #5 (extra) in storage

Pump #4 in action 3/9/2014

I’ve had a small garden pond for 14 years running a Beckett pump 24 x 7 except when the pond freezes, when I shut it off. The first pump came with the property. I don’t know how old it was, but it was clogged and barely running, so I cleaned it up, and it ran for five more years. I’m guessing 10 years.

I replaced it with the same model, and that one ran about eight years until it quit in June of 2013. I’m amazed any kind of electrical motor can run 24 x 7 under water for so long. Beckett should make washing machines.

I went for a replacement 7/4/2013. The same model (which I did not write down) was not available at Home Depot. I got one that seemed to be the closest fit, a Beckett Pond Pump model 7201310 that pumps 400 gallons per hour.

When I got it home, the motor housing appeared to be a bit smaller. I set it up, and it was running fine. That was 7/4/2013. A month later it suddenly went to just a trickle. There was nothing clogged. I inspected the impeller, but could find no obstruction. It would turn, just with very little force. I exchanged it on 8/3/2013.


The second one lasted until November when I had a repeat of the trickle problem. After another inspection, I again exchanged it. Home Depot pushed back because it was outside the original 90 day warranty. They said they would not be able to exchange it again. I think the 90 day exchange period should reset, given I was sold something obviously not in good order, and I have the trouble of having to do an exchange. But it doesn’t work that way. That was 11/25/2013.

I posted a critical comment on Home Depot’s website and got a  response about two weeks later, when the third pump had already quit! The Home Depot service person put me in touch with Beckett. The head of sales quickly offered to ship me 2 replacement fountains.

The Beckett sales manager’s email went into my spam folder for some reason, and I did not discover it for about a month and a half. Atlanta was busy having frozen ponds and ice storms, so the broken pond pump was not top of mind.

I replied and received the two replacements pumps 3/5/2014. Pump #4 (in photo above) is up and running. Pump #5 (the extra pictured below) is in storage.

The pump has a 2 year warranty, but my expectation is it last 5 years. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Beckett wanted to examine failed pump #3, so I am returning it with a pre-paid shipping label. I still think Home Depot’s exchange dates should reset. Having to come in and replace tools repeatedly is not good customer service. Providing tools that last is good customer service.

Pump #5 on left. Pump #3 (returning to Beckett) is on right. The first 3 pumps came in different form-fitting packaging. Pumps 4 and 5 came in a more boxy tub.


JustHost to BlueHost has been running on for several years at an average of $45 / year. They were acquired by BlueHost last year, and now they are going way up in price. I happen to manage the SJN site (and pay for it) with BlueHost, so I decided to consolidate all sites over to BlueHost and avoid paying two hosting fees.

That meant moving over 85,000 files, many of which are photos, thumbnails, and legacy html from either MovableType or Gallery.

Got almost everything moved over. Need to test an image upload.




KitchenAid Dishwasher Leak (inlet hose)

Black inlet tube damageKathy spotted a leak under the dishwasher. (KitchenAid KUDL02FRSS0.)  I shut off the fuse, disconnected the power (because the electrical cable is too short to pull the washer all the way out) and removed the white sound blanket. There was water under the washer, but I could not see the source. There was a silver metal jacket inlet hose from the sink and a yellowish plastic drain hose, but neither were wet. The tub itself did not seem to have any leaks. It was a mystery.

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Four Holes Filled

Over the years, several holes started forming in the back woods. The shape and depth suggested they all came from rotting stumps. They got deep enough that you could step all the way up to your knee. A little kid might go all the way to his waist!

Over a series of a few weekends, I’ve filled them all up. Took 27 40lb bags of top soil at $1.27 each. I bought 9 bags at a time, which filled up my trunk.

Four Holes Filled

The hole that I thought was smallest (#3) ended up being the largest. As I used my tamper to pack in the first couple of bags of dirt the “floor” fell through to reveal a much larger hole. Clyde could have easily climbed in and and hidden in it. That one hole took 9 bags all by itself.

Last weekend, kid 3 was helping me rake leaves and haul a tarp full to the back woods when she fell into hole #4 (the newest hole to form.) “What the heck!” she exclaimed, her leg disappearing into the stump hole. That was not what Alice said when she fell down the rabbit hole.