Sunday, December 6, 2009

Insulation and J Hooks

The chimney guy came over at 10AM to inspect the chimneys. I was surprised when he said he had been to our house maybe 30 years ago. That was good for two reasons. First being that he has loads of experience and second he could vaguely remember the house so I can ask him questions when he comes back.

We did agree that the family room chimney needs cleaning before we can burn any wood. He said he will then take a closer looks at the firebox. We also agreed that rather than putting a chimney cap on two of the three chimneys he would install chimney cap dampers. That will kill two birds with one stone since the current dampers are rusty and not functioning properly.

R and I made a quick trip to Home Depot after the chimney guy left. We needed insulation for the crawl space under the kitchen. That was the first area we fixed the ducting. We replaced the collapsible cheap dryer vent that they were using for the furnace inlets with rigid collapsible duct. We also replaced the vent with a new vent that is now straight and doesn't have paint drips all over it. Since we have two furnaces we replaced everything twice.

We also removed trash, wiring, old plumbing pipes no longer in use, and numerous nails, screws, and boards. The crawl space walls were not insulated so today we took care of that but will need to go back to staple the paper backing to the studs. We were out of staples and didn't want to make another trip to the hardware. We will be done with this area once we staple the paper backing on to the studs. One crawl space area down and two more crawl space areas to go.

R realized that the gas line was not supported while he was removing knob and tube yesterday. Today we nailed 4 plastic J hooks in place to support the gas line.

Tomorrow after I get home at 1230PM we will start the duct work under the family room/library. We bought the remaining supplies today. The 7 inch round duct comes flat and needs to be snapped together. We quickly tried to snap it together but it wasn't going together like it should so we called it a day before we got too frustrated. Hopefully tomorrow it will go together easier.

When I was wrenching on a daily basis, I found that the best way to remove a stubborn bolt, part, etc was to walk away before you lose your cool. I found it best to lay down my tool before I felt like throwing it across the room, go get a Coke and come back in 15 minutes. Nine out of ten times when I picked up the tool and tried again.....the bolt or part that was giving me a hard time usually came off easily. Sometimes in your frustration you don't have your tool or your body properly placed and all the force in the world will not remove what you are trying to remove.

A while back I worked with a rather muscular big guy. He was having trouble getting a bolt out that was located in a awkward location. He was working up quite the sweat. I offered to try but he kind of chuckle and said he'd get it. Long story short......4 hours later he still didn't have it out. I asked again and this time he said "have at it". Whenever I need to remove or start a bolt I cannot see, I have a habit of closing my eyes. I think it makes you focus on your sense of touch better. So I stuck my hand down into the access hole on the top of the engine and with my long fingernails grabbed the bolt and pulled it out. I told him "you should have let me do that 4 hours ago and you would be done by now." Over the years my small hand and long fingernails have come in handy.

Tip of the day....always hand start every bolt. This will eliminate cross threading.