Sunday, October 7, 2018

Interesting times

And, no, I'm not talking about politics. I'm referring to the museum. I went wandering in yesterday planning to do some work. It felt a mite chilly in the building (the thermostat has been set in the low 50s since last Spring) so I cranked it up.

I knew it was going to take awhile for any warmth to spread. The building is on a concrete slab foundation, the heating system is hot water, and there's a large volume of air (30 x 70 x ~12 equals what? Over 26,000 cubic feet?) so I anticipated shivering for at least an hour. Well, time passed and the register stayed cold. Totally cold. Inert. No indication that anything warmer than the ambient temperature in the building was flowing through the system. Not good.

Turns out the furnace apparently decided that 25 years of working with no problems was long enough. There is power going to whatever it is that ignites the burner for the boiler but nothing is happening. Fortunately, we haven't had intense cold yet, no freezing temps that drop well down into the 20s and stay there for many hours, so the water pipes are safe for the moment. I do need to run down there later today and start the bathroom faucet dripping -- I was startled enough yesterday by the lack of response from the device that I blanked on keeping water running until the repair guy can get there. And I'll bring in an electric space heater so I won't have to worry about chilblains while communing with PastPerfect.

The good news, such as it is, is that the museum finally had a fiscal year with no major expenditures so we actually are running in the black. Sort of. At the moment. Keep your collective fingers crossed that all the furnace costs us is the labor charge and a relatively cheap part and not a whole new boiler.  If it does, that's when I'll make a strong push for changing the system entirely and ripping out the baseboard registers. Although I understand why "they" did it, every time we deal with positioning stuff up against a wall I am reminded again what a truly stupid design decision they were.

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