Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Ranch, Lakewood, NM

Thursday, March 1, 2012
   The Ranch, Lakewood, New Mexico 43 degrees and mostly sunny to 79 degrees and sunny and windy.

Breakfast was MEWS - (Men Eating Without Supervision) eleven of us went to The Paddock restaurant about five miles east of Artesia, NM. On the way to Riverside I stopped to get a 30 pound propane gas bottle filled, Buster's main propane tank would get emptied when parked here at the Ranch for more than a month.

White plastic pipe with water shutoff valves
Electric extension cord is for the heat tape
One of the projects the park is working now is changing the water pipe coming out of the ground at each site or lot. Every lot had some different means for freeze protection from elaborate houses constructed ice coolers to insulated to nothing. The point is we need to protect from freezing all water pipes exposed to the elements. All exposed pipes are being replaced including the underground shutoff valve. There have been many water leaks discovered underground from the shutoff valve stem or inlet side leaking water into the ground. On one lot the trees grew roots over to the cracked fitting and there was a ball of roots bigger than a softball. We removed galvanized pipe coming out of the ground, in some cases the wall thickness is greatly reduced from corrosion and braking as we handle the pipe. We are installing plastic and using foam insulation heat tape and using a case of four inch plastic pipe to protect these pipes. The heat tape electric use is between three and twenty-six watts of electricity depending on the temperature.

Our temperatures have been only in the high twenties this year and electric cost is averaging eights cents a day for the heat tape inside the foam insulated four inch plastic pipe.  (In December the temperature was down to one degree. In February 2011 the Ranch experienced many day of single degree temperatures over night and there were many water leaks to be repaired). The four inch cap is the access to the underground shutoff valve.

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