[at-l] boiling, over (long) Re: AT'93-09???

Tom McGinnis sloetoe at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 14 19:23:15 CST 2012

--- On Wed, 11/14/12, Dee Landau <monadnockdee at gmail.com> wrote:

True that...which is why I was out there for four months last year and two months this year- I'm that cool =)

On Nov 14, 2012, at 15:39, Mike Cunningham <hikermiker at yahoo.com> wrote:
all of the really cool kids are out on the trail hm

### I suspect you're both right. AND that I'm so very uncool.

My thrills lately come like this:

F'ing baddddd time.
Alone, I am setting up and bleeding the hot water circulation system.

The boiler/hot water system is intended to run at about 12 psi. Most household water is somewhere between 50 psi (new home) to maybe 30 psi (for, like, my house, with all the occluded piping and such)...

The safety cut-off valves for the boiler are set at 30 psi at the factory.

So I hook the hose up to the highest part of the house (southside apartment radiator) as I did yesterday, and set about bleeding the radiators. It seemed to take forever, yesterday. Today, one after the other, they each bled liquid in under 5 minutes. Beauty!

But how do I undue the radiator hook-up, with the whole business under pressure now? Uh-oh. And the spill tray I have catching drippage under the hook-up is pretty much full. Uh-oh.

So, back downstairs to turn off the boiler pump. Then I notice I have a leak from the second floor at the front door. Quickly outside to turn off the hose, then back upstairs to take off the hook-up and install the new bleeder valve.

"FUCK!!!" Water as from a firehose, all over me, the walls, the carpet, the woodwork. "MY PRECIOUS BOILER WATER!!!"

And why was it coming so hard??? No faucet; no boiler pump!

I get the valve in, massively spill the tray of water attempting to get it out the window (actually, I only spilled a 1/5th of it, it's just that there was a shitload of water to start with)...., look at the massive water on/in the carpet (and knowing there's a *beautiful* hundred-year-old hardwood floor underneath), sigh, and run downstairs.

Find rags to gather the drippage from upstairs, but as I'm moving around, I hear more water running? "OH NOOOoo!" From the top of the stairs, I *smell* something like a cool waterfall. "SHITTTT." I flip on the light to see water splatter (from somewhere!!!) wetting the bottom of the stairwell. "ROYAL FUCK SQUAD!"

It's time to swear like a sailor.

This is a 3500 sq.ft. house? Big ol' hot water boiler and Depression-era piping to make a WWII engine room swabbie feel at home. Water is gushing out of some unfinished pipe end ("Good! Not a pipe break!"), and I follow it back to the pressure relief valves that some plumber-heating guy said back in 1991 were too old to be reliable. Have they given up the ghost as I'm about to light the boiler? More importantly, ARE THEY GOING TO 'VOID' MY NOW-FILLED, NOW-BLED SYSTEM of its precious fluid? "Oh sweet Lord!"

How do I stop all the water coming out?!?!? Scramble back upstairs, search for wine corks that I'm ALWAYS collecting for memorabilia, but no -- in a  fit of pique, I've thrown them out months ago. What about those big rubber stopper in the boys' craft kits??? None visible. Search the plumbing supplies for pipe ends -- maybe??? NOPE. What about downstairs?? Didn't I finish an install with a valve AND a pipe-end??? Wrong width. Shittttttt! Then! "Ah HA!" The dowel that holds the futon couch upright -- currently not in use, and stashed underneath. Back upstairs, TOSS the bed, grab the dowel, FIND a hammer, BACK downstairs.... Screw screw, bang bang. OMG. Done.

As it stands right now, I THINK I have full charged my system, *including* the expansion tank -- to the point where the overflow pressure-relief valves DID actually work. The piping situation, I THINK is okay. The water has MOSTLY stopped dripping down from the second floor, and I THINK my entire house is ready for a lite.

(If you're halfway familiar?, the pressure gauge aft of the boiler pump, and just before system entry into the boiler itself, never registered more than 12 pounds -- so, something was working somewhere. My basement, though, looks (and smells) like I hosed it out -- or like a recent thunderstorm came through. (Not wholly unpleasant...) And as soon as things warm up, everything could go to hell in a handbasket, and then the rest of this winter will be colddddd indeed. Again.

Me? I am soaked. Frightened, pissed off, smell-like-a-dog stinky, scared, and soaked. AND HUNGRY. No dinner.

Alright then -- back to work. Listen, if I should blow up, like that house on the south side of Indy??? I sure hope no one (besides me) dies or is injured -- and I'm sorry if so.

Wish me luck.


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