Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Big & Hulking, Small & Mighty

So, the boiler conversion was all set to get done.  They came in, abated the asbestos with all manner of tarps, and breathing apparati, and these big honking signs that read DANGER.  They were supposed to knock down the green monster (aka, the ToridHeet boiler), dismantle the outer casing, break up the boiler AND THEN, pump dry the oil (pronounced "EARL") tank and get it out.

But then we hit a wee teensy bump in the road.  The old boiler wasn't cast iron.  No, the builders of the house opted for the latest technology in terms of 1930 heating plants and had a one piece STEEL American  Standard unit dropped into the basement and then built the house around the steel boiler.

This thing is about 4.5 feet high, and WELDED together like the Queen Mary.  All that are missing are the staterooms and the propeller.  It weighs a freaking ton - seriously, if not more.  So the abatement guys threw up their hands and said "sorry" and left without even touching the earl tank.

Did that stop our plumber from installing the new boiler?  Nope.

But it does add in a THIRD day of work.  A man, with an Ayctylene torch has to come to Cookie Monor and cut the mother up.  He'll do this AFTER he drains the oil and the sludge from the 300 gallon tank in the basement, which he will cut up with his torch.  He'll do that AFTER he makes out with the 175 gallons of fuel oil in the tank at present.

Nothing in life is easy, is it.

However for your viewing pleasure, here is a before and after:

before - 40% efficient

"Toridheet" vintage 1960 following the coal to oil conversion.  Note the size of the water heater next to it. Toridheet is a big mother. 

after 80%-efficient

See that blue thingy.  That's the whole damn new boiler.  You see that BIG wet patch of concert on the floor?  That is where Toridheet's boiler (which you can see in the background) sat on a fire brick base. 

So now we are toasty warm.  But tomorrow, that guy with the torch shows up to cut that steel mother up and then get this:

earl tank

Out of the house.  THEN we can get out ducks, and boxes, in a row.

 But at least we are toasty warm as of now.


  1. Nothing's easy, but at least you are making progress.

    Our 1950's house in Beachwood had a giant furnace like that one, but it was a gas burning, forced hot air job. I imagine that if we had wanted to replace it, there would have been similar issues in getting it out.

    Don't forget to save that nameplate from the old Torridheet!
    --Road to Parnassus

  2. It seems to always be something. At least with the removal of the Torrid heater, you continue to wade through. I can't wait to see more of your progression!

    1. Tomorrow they start ripping the worn out roof over the kitchen, laying boards and...you get the idea. Thursday and Friday are MY days this week.