Sunday, October 7, 2012

Not So Torrid & Not Even Heat

So, what has Cookie been doing in the last few days.  Well, mostly I have been doing a little dance that I like to call The Unpack and Groan.  It's really very simple: you unpack a box, take two steps forward to put the things away and the you take three steps back because there is nowhere to put this crap.

In our old house we had a place for everything and everything had its place.  Here, though there is more space, there seems to be less storage because we have less wall space, owing to the big honking radiators that clutter up the rooms.   Cookie, being a raised in the Midwest these cast iron beasts "ray-dee-a-tors".

But here in "Bawlimer" they call them "raddy-atters".

Whatever you call them, they don't work. And shiver me timbers, inside a masonry house, I am cold.  When it cools down into the 50s, as it has on most nights, you wake up to a freezing cold house.

Why not just turn on the heat, right?

Not so fast.  The house uses a hot-water boiler system to heat the inside - made by, and get this, a company in Cleveland, Ohio.  And the brand-name of said boiler?  TORID HEET.

Neither the husband or I have experience with fuel oil boilers (which are still popular on the East Coast) and despite out best effort, and a quarter of a tank of fuel oil, TORID HEET just sits there doing nothing but moving cold water through the pipes.

TORRID HEAT is a 60 year old green monster (4x8 footprint) that takes about a lot of real estate in the basement, as does the 300 gallon fuel oil tank in the basement that feeds said boiler, which has an efficiency rating of 40% on a good day.  At $800+ a winter (according to the old owner), and emergency switches to shut it down in case of an emergency - all over the house - we knew that we were replacing boiler.

The good news is that the new boiler will be a fourth the foot print, and 80% efficient.  And because its natural gas, we loose the oil tank as well, and thus gain more space.

The bad news is that to do this work we have to move EVERYTHING in the basement so Sexy Rexy (as the local housewives call him) can get in with his demo crew and smash the thing up and get out and then install the one. According to Sexy Rexy, we should have heat maybe today. But if you have ever had an old house, you know how that goes.  I'm betting heat by next Friday at the soonest.

So what does this have to do with unpacking and three steps back?  We are at a point where we can't unpack anything else because (drum roll) has to go to the basement.  So everything waits until Sexy Rexy is through and then we pick up the tempo of this unpacking effort.


  1. At least you have a home and things to put in it!

  2. sounds like you need to cool off with some a/c.

  3. I'm in Love with your Torridheet. Whatever you do, save the nameplate from the old boiler!!

    By the way, at least you will have heat after it is fixed. Here in Taipei, it gets down to the 50's or even the high 40's in the winter, but there is no heat at all in most places, including my apartment.

    Finally, for the coolest radiator ever, at Lake Erie College, please see my post on Painesville:

    1. I have saved it and it will join my "NiAGRA A Forest City Product" plate from the old Columbus furnace.

  4. Be sure to snap a few action shots of Sexy Rex.

  5. Being a Clevelander by inheritance and application, I just adore boilers of every kind, however, my penchant is for boilers of an industrial nature....

    It's A Plum!

    1. Wally - Do you remember the huge old articulated Iron Fireman neon sign on the west side? It scared the Hell out of me. as a kid. And even looking through old magazines today when I see that logo with the "iron" fire man stocking coke/coal it still makes me wonder and remember...

  6. Cookie, I remember that vaguely & yes it was creepy.
    I remember that most of the cool old signs & stuff were mostly on the west side.