Sunday, February 28, 2010

Empty shelves....

Ever since moving into this house, I’ve been dealing with the heating system. Some of issues that I’ve been having are extreme water evaporation from the furnace, cracked radiator, incorrect air valves and a steam locomotive racing across the tracks trying to get Marty McFly back to 1995… It’s really not a locomotive, but when the furnace kicks on, steam builds up in the pipes and after several minutes a banging sound could be heard throughout the entire house. It is normal for steam pipes to bang when pressure builds up within them. But imagine a construction worker swinging a hefty sledge hammer against the pipes. Yes that is pretty loud… I normally don’t have a problem with the noise until about 5:00 o’clock in the morning when the furnace kicks on. I’ve mentioned this issue before; however, recently the noise frequency has increased.

Enough is enough; I finally decided to contact a furnace repair person. I had a company look at the problem about a year ago and their initial assessment wasn’t cheap. They had recommended that several pipes would need to be cut and adjusted. A co-worker gave me a recommendation of a person and it turns out that he was awesome.
Ken looked at the system and concluded that the air valves were damaged and need to be replaced.

Rusty hell...

At the time of the repair, Ken didn’t have the appropriate replacement valves however he had instructed me what was needed. Thus the hunt for the replacement valves was on…I first went to the local big box store with the orange sign and found nothing. I then went to two high end plumbing stores in Northampton and yet nothing… I knew then that the search wasn’t going to be easy, however, for a long time I’ve known of a place in Holyoke. It is a place that has always been helpful when the big box stores couldn’t come through.

The name of the company is Holyoke Supply Company on Race Street. They specialize in Plumbing equipment for steam, gas and water. On the day that I went to the store, the rain was coming down pretty hard as I walked up to the door. I noticed a for sale sign on the building. The significance of the sign didn’t hit me until I looked into window. The shelves were completely empty… I walked up to the door expecting to see a sign stating that the store is closed, but instead I found an unlocked door. As I walked in, I notice the entire store was completely empty. However, there was a desk off to my left with stacks of paper on it. Behind the desk was an older gentleman. As he rose from his desk, I noticed his tired eyes. I instantly knew something wasn’t right. I asked, “Are you still open?” I was honestly hoping that he was going to tell me that the company was moving, but instead he stated, “We are closed” We talked for a couple more minutes. But he never mentioned why he was closing… Except he did mention that, “it was easier to close then try to stay open.” I left the store wondering why, competition against the box stores or possibly the economic situation… I don’t know… But it was certainly a sadder day and the rain that fell was truly fitting…

Here is a picture showing the store front….

I was able to find the valves at another store. I went to Haberman’s Hardware Store on High Street.
I began the weekend by removing the wall paper in the kitchen.

Here is the lovely design of the wallpaper and the room layout.

As I was removing the wallpaper, I noticed how grimy the drop ceiling tiles were. I then decided to finally remove the drop ceiling completely and expose the tin ceiling. I mentioned the tin ceiling about a year ago.

Here is a wonderful list of things that I discovered as removing the drop ceiling.

The light fixture was not secured properly to the ceiling.

Over by the refrigerator there was a large portion of tin missing from the ceiling.

The electrical wiring not properly done, nice mounting board.

Damage tin

And finally, A large amount of mouse poop from the drop ceiling..
Yes I said mouse poop… I was so overwhelming that after taking the drop ceiling debris to the dump, I cleaned the entire kitchen until the entire mouse poop situation was removed… So disgusting!!!

After cleaning the floor and washing the dishes once again, I decided to remove all of the wall paper and fix the electrical situation. The main power comes in through ceiling and powers both the main light fixture and a light fixture over the kitchen sink.

The problem was that the wires were exposed for the world to see. So to minimize the cable exposure, I decided to install an external conduit that will house both cables. The conduit is also paintable, thus allowing me to match it to the tin ceiling when I paint it.

After installing the wiring, I then installed a new light fixture.

Now that the light fixture is installed, I plan on adding new crown molding. The problem is that I have to build it out further to cover the damage of the tin ceiling and walls. So that will be an interesting fix… I also have to come up with a fix for the tin damage away from the walls. So I’ll have to think that one out… Anyway, until next, happy building…

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