What we are doing:

In what spare time we have, we decided to spend it (and our savings) on remodeling our rowhouse in South Philly. When we purchased our casa it was a 3 story, 5 bedroom, 1 bath that hadn't been touched in 50+ years. It's currently a 4 bed, 2 bath construction site with so much more to do it's hard to believe.

We use this blog to mark progress, say hi to friends and family, rant about the process of remodeling, and try to have some fun along the way.

- Bryan and Christina

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Out with the Fire Meany!

It's me Christina! Bryan's hand isn't fighting the good fight that well, so I have a story to tell you ....

So for the last few weeks we have been battling random plumbers to get the heat actually on in this house. We had plans with 4 different guys to actually do the work. Started with 2 guys who seemed interested, then never returned phone calls (I was beginning to feel like a girl without a date to the prom). Then came the company who showed up twice, never to do what they said, and then to tell us the work we had done by our old plumber was wrong, and that we would have to pay for all of it to be ripped out and redone, at a super low price of $1400. Mind you it was 45 degrees outside for the high that day, and being a blonde woman at home alone, obviously I was going to get out my check book and pay him immediately. Needless to say, later that day I was on the phone with a 4th plumber, Kevin!

Kevin over last week and got here a bit late, as he has a day job and this was side work. He and another guy got the 2 new Runtal radiators installed on the third floor, with minor installation issues (like Bryan having to pry off the apron of a window for the radiator to fit) along the way. But still, they began to fill and bleed the system about 9:45pm which worked for us.

There is apparently a pressure reducing valve on the system, with an adjustable screw. Of course this comes loose, water sprays out, and all the water drains into the basement. Due to our previous experiences my response is, "At least it is the basement". So the guys takes off for the night before he collapses from starvation and exhaustion, and a bit defeated by the house. It was then 10:30 PM.

They return on Tuesday to try again. Filling the system, bleeding radiators, then our pressure release valve decides to release; water sprays out, and all the water drains into the basement. The guys replace the valve, fill the system, bleed the radiators, and try to light the boiler. Alas, it won't fire.......the guys take off after a late night as neither of them know much about boiler controls. What can you do?

So Kevin promises to find someone who knows controls to come over, I think he was more upset that the heat wasn't on than me. The hitch: yesterday, we get home go down to the basement, and find all the water has drained out of the system; for those playing at home this is 3 full systems of water in the basement. Apparently the problem was that the pressure reducing value (that reduces water pressure from the street pressure of 60 psi to a "boiler friendly" 30 psi) was stuck on. I'm sure you're all saying "well what does that mean?" at this moment. Well I'll tell you: It means that the system doesn't know it's full and KEEPS TRYING TO FILL FOR HOURS AT 60 PSI. For those who aren't plumbers and who haven't lived through this, it means that you get water shooting out of a little valve deal. And it won't stop until your husband has Kevin on the phone and figures out how to shut the valve. Super.

So today, Kevin and a "control friend" show up, and replace what I think is the only remaining old piece of our boiler and promptly re-fill the system. They bled the radiators, and miraculously CREATED HEATED!!! It has only been 6 weeks since we tried to schedule the first guy...don't forget that. Only 6 weeks.

I am not sure if we need both a water idol and a fire idol at this point to bury in the backyard? I guess all this plays into the fact that we are about to go back to Indiana for T-Day, and the last few trips right before we left something water related has decided to crap out. First the water heater exploded, then the washing machine, and now the boiler has all new parts! We did replace the dishwasher, check out our first ever blog for the highlights, so we hope we're covered there.

So we are almost ready for our trip! As long as Bryan's hand is healed enough to drive.....

Which is a whole different (and expanding) story....

1 comment:

The Speaker of the House said...

Well, that must have sucked.

I'm not sure how much of the plumbing he does, but Rick Finn of Finn HVAC was awesome with our boiler problems and with my bro/sis in laws new forced air system. If you ever need someone again, I can give you his number...

He won our first ever "House Rules Trophy for Eptitude"