Wiring – Exploration 2

The attempts to succeed at wiring drop #1 have not been going well.  I took some time to try and remove a can light from the ceiling so I could hopefully access the pole from above.  Those attempts were futile.  I could not figure out how to get the light trim down.

As I was considering buying some firmer fishing poles, so I could push the pole up through the the insulation batt, I realized, I had a really firm pole already – the 10′ drill bit.  And it’s been up there already once.  So my next attempt to get anything up there will be using the drill bit as a push pole.

In the meantime, I figured maybe I would try and see how difficult it would be to pull the other run in the back bedroom.  The general plan was to cut a hole in the wall, push the drill bit up and drill through the header, then push the rod up into the attic and see if I could find it.

After cutting the opening, I found that I didn’t even have enough depth available to install the outlet plate, I had to trim it down with the Dremel.  Once the ring was mounted to protect the drywall, I pushed the pole up the wall with the camera attached.  Surprisingly, it seemed like I made it into the attic unobstructed.  Yup, according to my tape marking on the pole, 8 inches past the ceiling. So… I never needed a drill bit, for either run?  I could have used the money for stiffer poles for run #1.  Unless… the pole was bending behind the wall, but it didn’t  appear to be from the video.

Anyway, that seems promising, but the real test will be when I get in the attic and see if I can find the pole.  The plan is to push the drill bit up #1 and the fiberglass pole up #2, each with pull cords.  I’ll grab what I can then.


Boy, this year is going to be a lot of fun for insurance.  It was early in the year when I got a notice from my loan servicer that they got a cancellation notice on my insurance policy.  Of course, I was like, what the hell?  I logged on the insurance company’s portal and saw I had a notification that they were cancelling my insurance, like soon.

I don’t remember what made me search, but I did and found a news article that the insurance company was just eliminating entire territories from its coverage area.  As it turned out, I was in one.being eliminated.  The news story that informed me of this actually gave me more information than the insurance company did.  It additionally explained that there was another insurance company that was willing to pick up the remainder of any policies being cancelled early, of which I was one.  That gave me a few months to breathe and figure out what to do.

As the weeks went on, I did get confirmation and more information from the old and the new insurance company.  I would be covered until the end of my policy term, but the new company would not be renewing the policy.  So, as the policy end date closed in, my insurance agency started contacting me more and more frequently and urgently to find a new insurer.

I got two quotes for a new policy and made my choice.  I paid in full and sent the documentation proof to my loan company.  Ok, I’m good for the year.  Well, no.  Less than a month into my new policy, I get two letters in the mail from the new insurer.  The first is a notice of policy cancellation.  The second is a confirmation of policy cancellation.  The policy is going to be cancelled at the end of the month, less than 3 weeks away.  Again, what the hell?

The reason given for the cancellation is my roof.  It appears the agent submitted my information with the wrong shingle type and when they found out what it really is, they determined the age of the roof is too old for them to insure.  So, goodbye.

So, now, I am wondering if the other quote I got, which will be my fallback for now, is even valid if that was submitted with the wrong shingle type.  If it is, I might be looking at getting a re-roofing done ASAP to qualify for any insurance.  I guess I should start getting quotes for roofing.

The Septic System

One thing that’s been on my list for a very long time has been to have the septic tank checked out.  I don’t know anything about it – where it is, how big it is, what its condition is.  I’ve owned the house for 15 years and never done anything with it.  The old owner did an enzyme treatment on it, but never said anything about pumping it out or having service done on it.  Obviously, the best time to have this stuff checked out is when there isn’t a problem, so, I guess the time is right.

I called a nearby place and ended up in voicemail.  I left a message and never got a call back.  Oh well.  I called another place and got on their schedule for te next week.  The tech showed up on schedule and without any formalities, just started into the work.

The first step was to locate the tank.  He had a probing rod he stuck in the ground at various places and found the borders of teh tank quickly.  I guess when this is your life you know all about these things.  So he knew just where to dig to uncover the lid.  He went back to the truck and got a pry bar to lift the lid off and pop, we had an open tank.

The first thing I noticed is that it didn’t stink.  I expected the most foul smell imaginable out of a septic tank, but that’s not the case.  The tech’s quick evaluation is that things are actually really good.  The water level is correct, meaning the drain field is working well, and there’s no buildup of solids, so whatever enzymes are in the system are doing their job just fine.

So with that $150 quick check complete, I just started getting random information.  I learned the boundaries of the tank so I determined I could get a truck onto the property as long as it stuck close to the fence.  The drain field probably extended to the end of the pool patio and there was a small concern about the neighbors tree roots eventually causing issues with it.  The septic tank is concrete, so there’s not going to be any root penetration there.  The tank is 1050 gallons, which is pretty standard for a house of this size.  If the house was smaller, it would likely be a 950 gal, and if bigger, or if a 1050 gal isn’t available at build time, sometimes a 1500 gal is installed.  The area of the tank is about the size of the MX-5.

He estimated that I could go a couple more years before needing any pump out service and shared a bunch of stories about people who have had critical situations with their systems.  We talked about enzymes and he pointed out the enzymes actually working in the tank right there.  They move and everything.  Fascinating and gross.  Before the days of Rid-X and active enzymes, he said the company’s founder used to throw roadkill into his tank to generate the bacteria for breaking down the waste.  Another customer who had a fresh pumpout christened her tank by throwing a whole supermarket chicken in the tank.

As far as enzyme treatments go, I guess they’re legit.  I never thought they were effective, but I’ve seen them in action now.  On top of my disbelief of their effectiveness, my understanding of their application was off as well.  It’s not a one-time application, or even a yearly thing.  You’re supposed to add them once a month.  And maybe my situation is different being alone in the house vs having 4-5-6 people in the house.

So, that was a good peace-of-mind expense to know I’m not going to have any shitty emergencies for a while.  As long as I don’t drain grease into the sink (guilty), flush wipes (nope), or use powdered detergent (nope), I should be plenty safe and the tank should outlive me.  Most likely, I’ll end up pumping it out as a pre-sale list item.

Wiring Project – Attempt 2

In the last post, I said I was going to go and fish that wire “tomorrow”, Sunday.  That didn’t happen.  It waited until Wednesday after work, when a rain shower was coming in.  It seemed like that would make it cool enough.

Step 1: Push the pole and camera and pull cord up the wall.  No big deal.  Step 2, dress up and gather everything I may want up there.  Jeans, long sleeve shirt, head covering, mouth covering, magnet tip for poles, kayak paddles, phone for camera and in case of emergency.  Wouldn’t that be fun.  Hi, 911?  I’m injured and in my attic.

Let’s go, then.

Up the attic with my supplies.  This is path I’ve taken enough to hate.  Ok, crawl under here.


Then turn right and head to the end down there.


Then turn left and go down there.  On your stomach.


Don’t mind the broken and rotting beams.  We’ll see if that needs attention later.

IMG_20200603_172859  IMG_20200603_174256

Once next to the vent, which is my guide point, I assembled the kayak paddle and sent it down to move the insulation.  Once I got working it, I discovered something terrible.  It wasn’t blown insulation stuffed down there.  It was a batt, kind of like a big solid pillow of fiberglass.  So it had to be moved as a whole unit.  And pushing it around at the end of a 7ft pole was not doing it.

I worked at the insulation for probably about 15 minutes, exhausting myself.  The best I could accomplish was compressing it down, but I still couldn’t see the tip of the pole coming up from below.  And if the tip of the pole is stuck in the batt, there’s no way any magnet is going to pull a tiny metal ring through that.

I left the kayak pole up there, and the extra fiberglass poles stayed up there, too.  If I never get back to this, the next homeowner is going to be mightily confused.

What’s the next option?  Well, to get more aggressive, the next thing I could attempt is pulling down the canister light near where I am working and try to reach in that way.  Maybe I can move the batt some from there?  The problem is, I don’t know how to remove the can lights.  Theoretically, I do, but I don’t know for sure how they are fastened up there.

Rest and regroup.  There’s no rush on this.