Friday, January 16, 2009

New boiler adventures...

So, I was all excited yesterday about our new boiler being turned on. I said in my last post that I'd have pictures to show of it and the flooring we uncovered, and that we were just happy to have our 85 year-old, natural gas-guzzler (originally oil) boiler removed.

Well... the cut-over to the new boiler went ok, until the plumbers realized that one of our radiators was too cold and froze up while they were refilling the system. The rad is in our laundry room, which was originally a 3-season sun porch, but had a radiator added to it. The room dropped to around -15 C during the shut-down period, and when they refilled the system, it froze up before they had a chance to fire up the new boiler.

It didn't help that the crawl space beneath the sun-porch is uninsulated and has several large gaping holes open to it from the electricians running the new wiring. Nor did it help that we removed the insulated drop-ceiling from it last week. And then there is the fact that the back wall of that space is adjacent to the school buildings which are heated by a separate furnace which we turned off (and then had the gas line cut that leads out there). Then there's the drafty windows in that space...

Anyway, the plumbers used their torches to warm the radiator up, then we setup some electric heaters in the space (which took some time since we blew a couple fuses figuring out how to run multiple electric heaters on our outdated electrical system). When we left for the evening, the radiator was midly warm, and the tempurature was 2 C. We laid some insulation on the floor, covered it with plywood, and tucked insulation into every drafty gap we could find. After we got back to the rental, I decided that I didn't feel comfortable with leaving that room overnight with electric heaters and a potentially freezing radiator, so I packed up my sleeping bag and stayed in the house last night, setting my alarm so I could check the radiator several times throughout the night. With the insulation on the floor and the drafts cut down somewhat from insulation stuffing, the tempurature got up to 11 C, so we're in the clear for now.

We will be spending some time this weekend insulating the floor and walls of that space to see if we can create a reasonable space to have our laundry out there. If not, then we'll have to move the laundry back to the scary basement. I'm not excited about crawling around in a dirty crawl-space in -20 C weather, but something has to be done. If nothing else, we can put an electric base-board heater out there, just to have some extra BTU capacity in that room on really cold days.

I'll see about getting those floor and boiler pictures up later today.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, sounds like fun. At least the radiator didn't crack when it froze.