Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brass, rubber, and foam

Got a few things done Tuesday night.

We managed to find an old double hung window, suitable size, framed and all at the Habitat Store for cheap. This window will replace the perfectly good one in the kitchen by the back door. The kitchen window will be moved to the bathroom, where one of the windows is nothing more than a couple of old storms with no frame, held in by a few small nails. It's drafty in there! The kitchen window is an exact match for the other bathroom window, so it will look good in there. The replacement window that we'll put in the kitchen will give way in a year or so to the rear double French doors project. Timeline is pending on that one.

Then we started attaching all the brass hookups to the furnace. We were stumped the night before because there was no way to screw the pieces on without being stopped by the body of the furnace - the valves protruded too far. We were told to disassemble those ball valves. They came right apart in the vice with a wrench. Fine. A warm windy night, dark, drop lit by the woods' edge, thread tape, pipe wrench. Worked on this until we ran out of thread tape. Just about done with that.

Final project of the evening: sealing up the conduit in which the water pipes run under ground. The last five feet of the trench is still open, where the conduit enters the basement. Since we ran the pipes in two separate 6" drain tiles and it reduces down to one as it enters the house, we had to come up with a way to make this transition from two to one waterproof. Ground water coming in contact with the pipes will quickly whisk heat away. Yes, we insulated the pipes, but we're taking no chances.

Following an idea that Erika's dad had, we procured an old truck tire inner tube and some large hose clamps. We sliced the tube open and set it under the transition point. Some weeks ago, Erika had cut the two drain tiles that we're using as conduits on angles so that they would come together without too much of a gap, so now we wrapped a couple of narrow strips of duct tape around it all to hold them together tightly, temporarily. We used some of the foamin' goo to caulk up the gaps, then we wrapped the inner tube around the single drain tile and tightened up the hose clamp. Our clamps weren't big enough to wrap around both drain tiles, so for the part where there is two, Erika cut another strip of rubber and I tied it on tightly around the inner tube and two drain tiles. I caulked the seams with some sealant, and foamed between the drain tiles and wherever else I could get to. Then we caulked up the hole in the foundation, where the drain tile enters the basement. Super. Now were finally ready to finish filling in the trench!

Next up: finish the furnace hook ups, shim and bolt down the furnace, fill firebox with sand. The excitement must be killing you by now.

- John

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