Almost Done

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 302017

I finished laying out the new issue of the Gypsy Journal late yesterday and printed it out for Terry to proof. She’ll do that this morning, then I’ll make any final corrections, upload it to our web server, and then send it out to our subscribers. So sometime this evening you should be getting the link. It’s always good to get a new issue out, and this will be #108. That’s a lot of travel stories!

Once the new issue is sent out and I have time to catch my breath, I will start on my next Big Lake book Monday or Tuesday. My goal is to put out at least four new books again this year (I did five last year), alternating between Big Lake and the John Lee Quarrels series.

We also need to start getting ready for our summer travels. Terry has been busy acquiring seconds of some items we will need to leave in our Winnebago motorhome so we don’t have to constantly be moving everything back in and out, and also deciding what she will be taking with her from the house. Before we hit the road I need to replace the coach batteries and run system checks on things like the basement air conditioning, automatic rooftop satellite dish, water heater, etc.

Speaking of air conditioning, a while back in a blog titled Beyond My Pay Grade I shared a problem we were having with the air-conditioning/heat pump unit at our house. The unit had been running and the fan was blowing, but we weren’t getting any cold air inside. The metal top of the unit was very cold, so there was cold air in there somewhere that wasn’t getting into the house.

When I took the top cover off the unit the amount of air coming into the house increased dramatically and was very cold. I also noticed that the condenser inside was covered with ice. I left the top off for a while and the ice quickly melted and everything worked fine. So I put the cover back on and it worked for a day or so. Then the same thing happened again – the unit would freeze up and the fan wouldn’t blow, or if it did, it was very weak.

I checked the condenser and the motor with a meter, and everything looks good there. But in fiddling with it, I made a discovery that still confuses me. When it froze up and I took the lid off, the blower fan immediately started working fine, but as soon as I put the lid back on, the fan would stop blowing. Then I discovered that if I even held the cover just above the unit, the fan would stop blowing, but if I lifted it two or three inches, the problem resolved itself. I could literally stop and start the electric fan motor just by raising or lowering the lid.

For the last few days I’ve set the cover on top but left about a quarter inch gap so a certain amount of air could come in, and everything’s been working okay. That leads me to suspect that the fins on the condenser or on the outside air intake are clogged up, keeping it from getting a sufficient airflow, which causes the problem we’ve been experiencing. So I’m going to tackle that project and see if I can clean it up. Since the unit sits in our carport, I’m sure it’s picked up a lot of crud over the years, and maybe a good flushing is all it needs. Wish me well.

I was contacted by longtime reader Ann Splain the other day. Ann told me she has an almost complete collection of printed back issues of the Gypsy Journal and is running out of storage room. She said if anybody wants them for just the cost of shipping she’ll be happy to send them out. This is a first come, first serve type thing and I’m sure Ann wants to get rid of them all at once, so please don’t contact her asking her to sort through the collection for specific issues. Just take them all, and you will have many, many hours of reading ahead of you. You can contact Ann at

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Slow Falling, book six in my friend George Weir’s excellent Bill Travis mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Thought For The Day – A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Almost Done”

  1. Good morning Nick
    Inside the house is an air filter, the filter is connected to the duck work going to the AC unit
    If you’re taking the unit cover off your bypassing that duck work.

    Test with the AC cover back on as normal
    Turn your fan thermostat to manual fan on (no AC)
    Take your house filter out feel the airflow, if everything is working normal you should have really good airflow.
    Which in turn should give you normal airflow through all the house registers

    If not,, leave the fan running take the cover off and go feel the registers in the house
    See If the airflow picks up considerably
    If not, it sounds like you have a collapsed duck work somewhere under the house
    (Where you had your home inspection did the inspector go underneath the house??)
    if the air flow increases (inside the house ) considerably when you take the cover off it would be on the filter to the AC side unit that may have collapsed
    If you don’t have airflow from the AC unit to the room registers, the collapse would be on that side
    If you’re going to clean any of the coils use a special formula spray designed for that purpose any AC parts house will have it
    The wonderful joys of homeownership

  2. Air Flow , Air Flow….50 years ago I work as a teen with the AC guys for a summer work study. Air Flow is always a key into and out of the condenser fins.
    Remember AIR FLOW.
    Now a 2nd item it the Ref. coolant may be getting low and that also causes the freeze up on the condenser fins. Happy Days !

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