January 26, 2015

Winter Weekend Project

The circulation pump for my hot water baseboards went kablooey this weekend.  This Bell & Gossett pump was installed when the house was built in 1960. To replace this with the same type of pump would be $300.

A friend who does HVAC gave me some advice and we ended up with this. It cost only $85 and does the same work. Also it does not need to be lubricated.

So my friend spent some time with me on Saturday morning and we're all nice and toasty again. The empty pump flange you see next to the new pump is still there after I tore out the downstairs zone and replaced it with electric heat about 25 years ago.

The hardest part was getting on my knees to bleed the cast iron baseboard heaters. They are also 55 years old so most of the bleeder valves were corroded and needed to be replaced. I had to use the gel knee pads and even then it wasn't pleasant.

A half hour after the job was done the downstairs toilet overflowed....


Doom said...

Good job. Did you do that yourself? Especially good if so. I'm trying to learn, but that would have been out of my range at this time.

I have been trying to find more economical solutions, at least since I woke enough to pay attention. It amazes me how much you can save if you ignore the experts and just think about your project and what the real needs are. Not always possible, no one is an expert in everything. But talking to the guys can sometimes pan out.

I like to buy lunch, or a sip or six, in thanks. Some guys won't take it though, too.

Fredd said...

55 year old houses are solid as rocks. Back in those days, they built them to take a hit with a bazooka and still pass occupancy inspection.

Then again. Most stuff in most houses built after that time suffer various degeneration much quicker than in times gone by, mostly the plumbing and electrical stuff. 15 years is the average life span of a dishwasher these days. 10 years or so is the average life of a refrigerator now, unlike the old Kelvinators that would last a lifetime. Not anymore.

Sig, you can't tell me that the sense of gratification on getting that $85 circulation pump to work in lieu of shelling out the $300 for an original replacement isn't worth quite a bit. Doing it yourself is always the way to go, if you have even a modicum of gumption and know that it's: righty tighty, lefty loosie.

sig94 said...

Doom - I replumbed the entire house before I refinished the basement. I really don't like soldering joints and such and fortunately didn't have to do that here. Hardest part was purging and bleeding the system. Luckily my friend's knees are in much better shape than mine.

sig94 said...

Fredd - the house is built like a bank vault, cinder block and brick. But that makes it difficult to make changes. It took two days for the contractor to remove the wall between the dining room and the kitchen. He said he never had to bust out something so well made.