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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Not about Pottery...much, more about furnaces

We have a lovely basement studio.

1/2 of the basement is lovely, the other half we lovingly refer to as The Dungeon. The Dungeon is where The Furnace lives.

The Furnace has a limited role in our house because we bought a lovely gas insert for our fireplace that can heat the whole damn house to tropical temperatures for a couple hundred dollars a opposed to The Furnace that could heat the house to barely warm to chilly for about $500 a month.

So The Furnace is only on hot tap water duty these days. It does a marvelous job of making really hot water, and we usually don't run out, except when my lovely wife is in the shower. Which is amazing because her showers take nanoseconds while mine are excessive.

The Furnace seems to be on strike these days, it is still heating up the water, but refuses to pass it along to us. The pipes starting shaking violently and the water flow from the hot tap has slowed to a trickle.

After much investigation we came to the conclusion that the pipes are full of limescale and there is a blockage.

So we investigated further. The furnace does a great job when it isn't all blocked up, plus we still have 1-2 years worth of heating oil in the tank. It would be a loss to give up on it now, but fixing it could be worse. Unblocking it is going to require a furnace specialist to come and put acid into our pipes, let it sit for an hour or so then flush it out.

The guy at the office said it will cost somewhere between $100 and $400 depending on how the furnace is plumbed. Apparently we need valves to put the acid in, and valves to take the acid out. If the valves are there, it'll be $100, if they have to install them it'll be closer to $400.

They are coming tomorrow morning at 8 to check it out. SO I went down to The Dungeon to clear out some space around the furnace because we had piled some things up the last time the basement flooded. So while I was there I checked it out.

I *think* we have the valves in place. SO if that is the case, and the acid bath works tomorrow we'll have hot water again YAY. And we will then go to Lowe's and buy a water softener and have a local plumber install it so we never have lime build up again.

If the acid bath doesn't work the furnace option would then be to replace the coil with a new one. (Heating guy at the office said it could run $1000 installed.) then we'll be going to buy an electric water heater and a water softener which the local plumber guy will install for less than the replacement Coil would be for the furnace. The we can dismantle and remove the furnace, replace the coil at our leisure and sell it off.

A final note: Sometimes I am worried to know that shimmed beams are holding up our living room, but most of the time I don't even think about it.

A TRULY final note: See the lighbulbs in the picture? I don't know why they are all piled up there. They were there when we moved in...and The Dungeon is so scary we only run in to put things in storage, then run out again. This will change. I have a need to totally reorganize and perhaps insulate, because there is a strong, persistent and cold draft coming out of this area all winter.

And for the Pottery..1 glaze kiln cooling..1 glaze kiln firing... last unload will be Thursday morning before we head off to Birka.

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