caking epsom salt

Pumping saltwater from a container up to the 2nd floor of my townhouse worked just fine. But when I tried to use the same hose to pump the water “downhill” it would not work… and it confused me because it was an easier pumping job.

So I went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of clear hose so I could see where things were going wrong… when experienced people tell you to secure the join points, LISTEN. I simply attached the hose sections together without clamping them and made a spectacle of myself in front of all of my already-suspicious neighbors! Good thing everything is above board and cleared with the rental office.

So anyway, I pumped using the clear hose from the house back to the container and it worked just fine. But then the next day I tried to pump from container to tank and it failed again… but this time I could see clearly. What had happened is that epsom salt had formed cakes near each joint. So I had to remove each clamp and slap the hose on cement to shatter the salt rocks. Then everything worked well and the tank filled…

Of course there’s one more thing that happened..

The water drained out of the tank faster than the salt in the tank, leaving me with 2-4 inches of salt at the bottom of the tank. So, I had a mover take the vat of salt and tilt it towards my front door so I could scoop it out and put it in the tank.

Now, I did a bit of scooping, but it was getting late and I didnt want to irk my neighbors. Now, I awake and the water and salt is frozen solid.

So, when the water thaws, I’m still worried that the salt will be in rocks and I will need to “de-cake” it somehow… suggestions?

But really, everything is OK according to the saltwater concentration meter.

All in all

All in all, I am very happy to have a basic tank with easily-replaceable parts. And doing this myself was educational… aggravating, but educational. I’m very lucky to have a high quality moving service right around the corner from my house. He was able to come over at a moment’s notice on several occassions and make snap moving jobs for me.

What now?

Well, right now the tank is warming up. It started at 42 degrees once it was filled. Now, it is up into the 70s 9 hours later. I have found a powerful portable furnace with a great return policy that tells me they know this sucker will put out some heat.

I want this heater for a few reasons:

  • water will be forced to equilibrate with room temp. And that heater will force the room temperature to 94 easily
  • I’m thinking of just getting a big bathtub and enclosing it in a light and heat tight room. Then just using a powerful heater to being the water temperature to 94. And then just use bleach on the whole setup to keep away the mold problem that Frank mentioned.

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