The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Beast Lives Forever More

Well, after only four years, we have a fully functional plumbing system, or so I thought.

We'd been having trouble with our clawfoot tub drain. It really wasn't too big of a problem if you didn't use the tub. Since we now have two working sinks in the master bathroom, we no longer had to wash our hands in the tub, so this wasn't a problem for me. However, my wife has this obscene fetish for soaking in a hot bath with gobs of girly, good smelling herbs and oils. While our jet-tub is fully operational, something about pumping a milk bath with essential oils through the self-heating jet system just didn't sound like a good idea.

So, she demanded that the clawfoot tub be fixed. Otherwise, she proposed tearing the whole master bathroom off the house since it "never seemed to fucking work." I am not kidding. And, I think that she was serious.

Fearful, I called Russ at All Plumbing and asked him to come back to house and fix the drain. He said he'd be out in a couple weekends at 9 AM. He never showed. I called and left a message. He called back and left a message. And, so it went. Normally, I wouldn't have put that much effort into it, but he'd done such a professional job on two previous occasions that I figured missing the appointment was a fluke. Finally, Scarlet talked to him, and he came out and fixed the drain. And, he didn't charge us since "you already paid me to fix it once, so it ought to have been fixed." Great! There was much rejoicing and a hecatomb was sacrificed to the plumbing devil.

Scarlet goes to take her long anticipated soak after a truly suck-ass week at work. She complained that the water wasn't hot enough, and, after a empirical test to prove to me that the hot water heater at the rear of the house made hotter water than the master bathroom system, I went under the house and turned up the thermostat on the offending heater. And, defying all expectations, the water actually got colder. It went from sort of hot to lukewarm. No, I didn't accidentally turn the thermostat down either. I checked.

So, what's the problem? I do not know. I think the heater may need a higher amp breaker. My dad also suggested that due to the length of the run from the breaker box to the heater that we may need to replace the line with a higher gauge wire. Scarlet thinks it might be a bum water heater.

Any suggestions from you clever DIY types? If you have some, let me know.

Plumbing is the Devil.

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Blogger Gene said...

Properly sized wire isn't a thing to guess about. Y'all are scarin' me...undersized wiring can lead to overheating which can lead to fire. An undersized breaker will just trip.

How many amps does the electric(!) water heater draw? It should give a rating on it some where. When you turned up the thermostat for it, did the breaker trip? How many amps is the breaker rated for?

6:32 PM  
Blogger John said...

I'll have to get back to you on some of these questions. I hired out this portion of the electrical and the plumbing, so I don't remember.

I think part of the problem is that we replaced our on-demand electric water heaters with traditional ones since they weren't heating the water during the winter.

I do know that the heater is on a 60 Amp breaker and that it has not tripped.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Green Fairy said...

Hi John, just a quick note to let you know you won the contest over at The Box House. E-mail me your address at blog(a) when you get the chance and I'll get your prize in the mail. Thanks for playing!

11:19 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

my dh says that it may have 2 heating elements one may be out. to test the heating elements, shut off breaker then expose the wires to the heating element, with a wire tester check for continuity across the heating element. no continuity, bad element.

or could have a bad thermostat. did it try to click on when you turned it up?


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