Saturday, December 9, 2017

Heat Working Again In Radio Room

And I did almost nothing. I blew the dust out of the thermostat with canned air, and cycled the control through its entire range several times, INCLUDING past the clicky "ON-OFF" detent several times.

Then I set it at 72*, and a few minutes later I heard the popping of expanding metal, and the smell of a long-dormant heater coming back on duty. I'd vacuumed out the baseboard unit just in case it had any stinky stuff in it, but it looked pretty clean.

It took about half an hour, but the wall thermometer stabilized at 73*~74* for the next several hours, so it looks like the heater is functional again.

The only thing I can think of was that cycling through the power ON-OFF detent several times cleaned the contacts enough to wake up whatever dimbulb controller is in use. Most late 1970's home thermostats were quite crude, so it has a very simple mechanism.

I'll have to try and find a model number on the Chromalox thermostat so I can learn more about them.

Anyway, we now have heat in every room, and we'll avoid the dreaded "one cold room" issue that I've read can cause problems with condensation.

Headed up to see the kids on Sunday, and drag back another load of stuff. If the relatives are around, I'd suspect we could get all of it out of there. The last time we pulled more than half out, so this time should be a bit easier.

13 comments:

  1. Thank goodness for simple fixes. You've made progress, and are settling in nicely.

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  2. I don't know if I'd call it a "fix". More like doing some neglected maintenance.

    Whatever....it works, and I'm happy. Makes up for all the idiot things we're (well....ME) fixing as we find them, like loose towel racks caused by improper mounting hardware, other hardware on other fixtures no more than "finger loose", holes drilled in walls for no apparent reason, incredible poor, sloppy job of spackel application, and etc, etc, etc....

    Oh, well....took me about 7 years to get all that stuff squared away in the Long Beach house.....

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  3. You're a handy guy to have around, DRJIM!!

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    Replies
    1. Always start with the simple, easy stuff first. I've lost track of the number of service calls I've done in my career where the breakers was off, or the device was unplugged.

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    2. Oh...and I didn't even need my DMM for this one....

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  4. Heat is good. Fixing things without spending money is better.

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  5. I would have just called the HVAC guy, he would have showed up, butt crack and all, did the same thing you did, and just cut him a check for $300, badda book, badda boom.

    Or, 'dilly dilly.' As you can tell, I watch just too much damn TV.

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    Replies
    1. Me calling for "Professional Help" generally happens 5 or 6 steps after what I did to "fix" the heat....

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  6. Woo hoo! I'm betting they never used that room, so that heat probably hadn't been on in >??? years... LOL

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    Replies
    1. Out of the 20+ homes we looked at, this was one of the only empty places we looked at that had the heat turned on.

      The other places were dead, dark, cold, and in a few cases, damp.

      But I don't remember if the heat was on in that room or not.

      At this point, I'm leaning towards the contact points that control the "ON-OFF" signal being oxidized, and the "wiping" action of cycling them cleaned them enough to restore continuity.

      I still need to learn more about the system, though.

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  7. Heat? Well done!

    I remember a house in Philly without heat as November was pressing in and "workmen" were crawling around the mansion with no result... The 19thC system fired up before the first snow. Wife and kids breathed an icy sigh of relief.

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    Replies
    1. More luck than skill, but I'll take it.

      I hear you! My sister's place in Chicago, that vile den of evil, was built in the 1930's, and has a boiler.

      Every year they pay their sacrifices to The Lord High Boiler Technician to come to their humble abode and pray over their system to ensure another year's faithful service!

      That's one of the reasons I skipped over this property at first. I wanted a forced-air system with central A/C, baby!

      If the juice goes off here, we have a wood-burning fireplace to make a feeble attempt at warding off the chill with. Otherwise we're in the Dark Ages again, but this time with indoor plumbing......

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Keep it civil, please....