This is a new photo. It may look a lot like some other photos posted recently in this blog, but there is one secret, invisible, crucial, and altogether charming component in it that you can’t see. I call it “Still Life with Heat.”
Yes. It happened yesterday. We filled the PEX tubes in our basement with 50% water and 50% antifreeze – it’s a kind of pleasant pink color, as seen through the tubes now – flipped the switch, the boiler gave a small sigh and silently, really silently now, the circulator began to hum, and warmth crept around and up and began to radiate through a cold house. Right now the thermostat is set to a balmy 68, which is probably too warm, but we’re feeling decadent. Ironically, though it does feel warmer, it also helps to point out, with some accuracy, exactly where every draft is. And there are a lot of them. But at this point, radiators in the kitchen, dining room, hallway, and powder room are quietly warming it up, Kriss. Casey’s formerly damp laundry is dry, having spent the night draped over a radiator. To give three cheers for our contractor and installers is really too small a thanks – Ron, Josh, Roy, and Glenn… Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
Even though I wish I could spare this blog photos of our basement – it seems we’ve all been inundated with them at this point – I want to show one more. This was from when I was making the final connections in the boiler electrical circuit, and I restumbled onto this old graffiti that I’d found when we first moved into the house, but since forgotton. It’s actually more legible in the photos than it is in person. It says, as I think you’ll see, “1890 May.” What happened in the spring of 1890 to this house? Could the second floor have been raised at that date? We’ll do some research and get back to you on that one. Incidentally, in the photo, you can see some wires and tubes. The one tube coming towards the camera, at around the 3 o’clock position is one of the radiator PEX tubes before it was filled. Also, to let you know the artfulness of the aforementioned Ron and Co., I include this photo of our boiler, and what we’ve learned is called the “near boiler piping.” I submit to you that if this installation were located, not in our basement, but in a posh SoHo gallery it could easily be called and sold as art. Probably for quite a high price. This photo doesn’t really do it justice. Ron, you may want to consider the change of career.
The process is far from over. What we’ve acheived is the installation of 1 of at least four, possibly more zones of heat. That means, among other things, that our bedroom is still a balmy 48 or something degrees at night. Cold enough that it’s probably advisable – as I do – to take your clothes off after you’ve gotten into and warmed up the bed. We should remedy that. Also, we’re still actively accumulating and refinishing radiators, as the Lady in Red at left proves.
So if you happen to run across any radiators that are beautiful, set up for hot water heat and immaculately restored (or not) send them our way. We’ll be waiting with our plaid, down-lined coats, respirators, ear protection and eye protection on. And holding our drills with the wire brush extensions.
In case you’re wondering, we did go see the new Sherlock Holmes film last night and we loved it!