Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hope the new furnace don't burn us...

It seems that every 3 years - like a clock - something breaks
down on the old boiler and it costs at least $200 to fix it. Granted,
it has served it's time well since it's birth of ignition when
the home was new, to the 3rd of November, 2007, when
I shut her off for the last time - ever!!....scary, no? I used to call
Jeremy (lived close) to help if problems got too "control" oriented.
The new boiler/water heater combo package is installed.
No turning back, now. The old WH and boiler are as disconnected
as they could get at this point - pipes have been re-routed and
electric has been completely demo'ed (existing breaker used for
the new boiler - new wiring).
It seemed a risky move - the combination heater. It hasn't
glitched for 20 hours, now, and seems to be doing the job of both
water heater (heat exchanger type) and hydronics at an efficient
rate. Long term is the only question at this point.

The old boiler - 1962 vintage - had a Natural gas conversion
burner kit installed in the early 70's and, at best bet, would be
60% efficient. The new one at 82.4% rating will be a savings in
gas, alone, and the water heater included (240V elec. replaced)
will save us a huge chunk in $$, as well. The unit is "Domestic
priority" - meaning usable/potable water gets warmed first
and the house, next. The original HydroTherm had a domestic
coil (heated house water) but had been bad for 7 years, or so.

So far, it's better than a heap of trash in the garage (Like I have to
haul out of here after the project). Might scrap some lbs in copper
from the old, well-plumbed structure (new copper in place). It
has, actually, kept the garage around 50 degrees since running.
Like a 3-for-one deal! I left valves and branch lines for a separate
garage unit heater if wanted, later. The wife is already bothering
of a shed - to move the garage "storage" so we can utilize the once-cold
space. I didn't even move the snowboards for the new exhaust through
the roof. A little sheetrock dust just looks like snow, anyway.....

(Sure - it's not beautiful, but it's not under the stairs, now, either.)
I would have to thank my wife, Heidi, for running the new wiring
circuit for the boiler (Yes! An electrician, too!) as well as other misc. chores
involved) and our friend, Pope, for assisting in finishing the project around
12:20 AM last night - when it turned out all functional (heating home).
The only leaks involved were a drain valve not closed all the
way and 1 (one) valve packing (out of 12 valves) nut needed tightened.
That would be 100% test rate on design AND application! After 120
(or so) new joints made, the water lines re-routed 30 feet (or so) out of their
way to the garage (multiple re-connections and disconnections), and the
heating system rearranged almost completely. Not like there was
much thought preceding the task, but ended up to be around 30
(thirty) "man-hours" on the job - around 18 hours for the
foreman (truly yours) yesterday, in all. That's ALMOST
a FULL DAY'S (24) work!! It's hard to hold the excitement
to measure a difference in utility bills....might pay for itself
in 2 years (or less).
How was your weekend?
ps -
The St Pauli was only in the picture after 16 hours - or so -
into operation - a "favor" for helping the neighbor replace a
water heater a few days ago.
(Other brands were used for the installation of this fine, efficient
piece of equipment (but no less prestigious)).

5 opinionated prattle:

real eyez said...

Congrats!!!! While your heater may not be pretty I haven't seen many that are! Just think...designer furnaces! Isn't funny how we go from getting excited about fast cars and stuff to thinking about the amount of money we will save on our utility bills? Is that maturity or the cost of living going up?
Anyways good job to Heidi for the wiring I am sure I wouldn't do as well and even if I thought I could I am sure my husband wouldn't let me! No offense to him he just has this thing about safety!
So what are you going to do with the space under the stairs? Isn't that where the "kid" is supposed to have lived?

mom said...

Good going to both you and your wonderful talented mate. Here's to lots of warmth at a cheaper rate this winter. Lots of love!

Stan said...

Well, I think it pretty! Especially when compared to the picture of the old unit. Good move on your part and now that I know we have an electrician, betweenher and the lineman inthe family there is no reason we should not have power into the HITW. I was wondering why yiu had not updated your blog, now I can see it was constructive time and not writers block. Good job and enjoy, the saving can be converted to camping trips!

JD Plumma said...

The beast appears to be running very well, still. It HAS been only 2 days in operation - not 45 years like the original cast iron monster (that still needs evicted). There are some copper and brass parts to be scavenged off of it, yet. You know my mind is looking for the funds used for the purchase. At a penny a pound for scrap iron, there might even be $4 in the old unit.

Shana said...

I think it is beautiful and am wondering how many beers it took to finish the job? Good Job guys...glad you finally did this...I have heard it talked about for Heidi has more storage in the bedroom...or maybe you can enlarge the bathroom...hmmm....home make over???

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