Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Great Flood..... or Two

With winter approaching I really needed to get crackin on the radiator work in the master bedroom. I decided to add another closet in the void by the butler staircase, so the original radiator and pipes to the 3rd floor needed to be relocated. The old radiator would have to go to, instead using a shorter radiator installed under the window. The first step was modifying the wall I built, adding a doorway for a closet.

I also removed all the old piping down to the supply and return lines coming from downstairs. Then lots of cutting, threading and piping! The lines split to feed the bedroom radiator and to feed the 3rd floor.

While the system was drained down I headed downstairs to the powder room for repairs to that radiator. 3 years ago a deep freeze and some poor insulation in the crawl space led to a frozen pipe and busted an elbow in the return line. So back into the crawl space, one of my favorite places to work on the house... but first I finally opted to clean some of the debris out! The coal pit here was filled up some time in the past with lots of bricks and trash.

I think this winter I will take the time and do what I should have when I had the kitchen floor open... clean out the junk and seal the sides and dirt floor with heavy plastic. That will take care of any drafts and keep the moisture down. After that, having it open to the basement will not be an issue... and neither will frozen pipes!

Ok, so where does the floods come in?? Well after fixing the pipe and hooking up the radiator I started to fill the system... long story short... forgot the other bedroom radiator was not hooked up! I remembered when water started dripping from the foyer ceiling. Needless to say there is some drywall repair in my future, but not too bad.

Capped off the pipes in that bedroom, fill the system again, and looks like no leaks. Later that day a slow drip showed up in the powder room around the reducer to the union. Usually these small leaks seal themself up, so I stuck a bowl under the drip and checked on it occasionally.

Then... two days later... I come home and there's water all over the powder room! The nut on the union elbow cracked from too much pressure.

I had a hard time hooking up the radiator because the faces would not line up flat to each other. The pipe feeding out of the floor was on an angle leaning towards the radiator and could not be straightened without shortening a pipe. So drain the system, tweak the pipes, drill out the floor holes a bit more and reconnect. This time... no drips.

BUT... as the hardwood floor dried out it has begun to buckle and warp. And of course after 5 years of storing in my garage, I just got rid of the extra flooring a week ago!

Never fails.....

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Oh dear! What a pain.

I often wish I had lovely old radiators like so many other old home owners, but I'm starting to think they're more trouble than anything.

I guess once they're all hooked up properly and then just maintained, they're wonderful.