Tuesday, November 18, 2008

warm weekend of installing warmth

I'll spare you more pictures of Dan and I stapling thin fins up in the joist bays, but I just can't get enough of the pretty sparky pictures.

<-- This was me preparing the joist bays for the fins. There are nails sticking down from the floor everywhere in this house! One of 'em got me in the forehead before I got it with the grinder. I'll also spare you pictures of that (it looks like a bad attempt at a little zombie halloween makeup)

<-- This is Dan's new toy, a right angle drill. Neither of the drills we had would fit in the joist bays, and we have a million holes (give or take) to drill in the joists to run the pex through. This is Harbor Freight's version, for a fraction of what the DeWalts or Milwaukees cost

This is Dan's man-with-a-new-toy-about-to-take-on-the-beefy-joists pose

<-- And here they are in action

No sparks, but it cuts through the joists like butter!

And we finally were able to pull out the tubing and run a couple of the circuits.

In theory, you run the tubing through one hole, all the way down the circuit, then back through a return hole, then pull loops of it down into the bays and press it into the channels in the fins. That being the extent of the instructions we got, I searched online until I found a series of illustrations that finally made it make sense.. unfortunately, because the pex is pretty rigid and kinks easily, it didn't work at all. We wound up pulling the loops into the joists as we went, then feeding them all the way down the bays a little at a time.

I'm sure that's about as clear as the instructions were for me.. I'll try to take better pix next weekend to illustrate..

And the pressing the tubes into the channels wasn't as easy as one would hope either.. a rubber mallet worked perfectly, as long as there was enough clearance around the plumbing to swing it. For the spots where there wasn't enough room, Dan cut me a nice whacking stick to hold against the tubing and hit with a hammer, which is in my hand here. That went a lot slower, but was able to get into all the tricky spots.

While I was playing whack-a-mole with the tubing, Dan assembled the manifold, and even got it attached to the wall and a couple of the tubes plumbed in.

We made pretty good progress this weekend.. we got two full circuits done and there's only one room left to staple up the thin fin. With any luck by the end of next weekend we'll be done with this phase! We had a little reprieve from the cold for a few days, but at mid-November it's well-nigh time to turn the heat on.

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