Thread Number: 73881  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
How Is Everyone Keeping Warm?
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Post# 975942   12/29/2017 at 03:35 (229 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Theres a Lady on Stage)        

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Who turned off the heat? *LOL*

Christmas eve wasn't so bad, but by Christmas Day temps had dropped down into the 20's. That was bad enough but the wind! Things haven't improved since. They are predicting record low temperatures for those brave (or foolish enough) to attend the Big Ball Drop on New Year's eve in Times Square.

I blame you lot; it was all your talk about thermostats and so forth that did it. *LOL*

Post# 975944 , Reply# 1   12/29/2017 at 05:55 (229 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I know I am jinxing everything by typing this, but since the temps dropped into the teens in this cold spell, the winds have not been too bad; nothing howling out of the north or northwest. Cold is bearable without wind.


Warmest New Year's wishes to all!


Gasoline went up another 6 cents overnight.

Post# 975947 , Reply# 2   12/29/2017 at 06:12 (229 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
15 here

Just a few minutes ago when I came in from work...I LOVE it! Good and warm in our house, old oil furnace running right along.

Post# 975950 , Reply# 3   12/29/2017 at 06:30 (229 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

We have run out of degrees this morning on the open prairie of southwestern Minnesota. Unfortunately, zero will seem relatively balmy by tomorrow and Sunday, when temps dip to -19 with wind chills in the -30's. Morning temps (actual) were -13 and -16 Monday and Tuesday.

On the plus side, my natural gas bill was only $36 for December. Granted, December temps were, until recently, above normal here, but keeping the apartment at 64 degrees (68 when company arrives) costs a fraction of heating the house, which had a far more efficient furnace. Only the north and west walls of the apartment are exposed to the exterior.

Post# 975974 , Reply# 4   12/29/2017 at 09:55 (228 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Same here as Tom said, there has been very light wind since the cold started. The furnace has only run a little bit in second stage while it was below zero which is surprising me a little cuz first stage is only 40,000 BTU's...heating 1,850 sqft with lots of glass. If it were windy it would be a different story.
I dry out like a prune more than ever so I've setup two extra humidifiers to supplement the whole house one.

Now expecting 2-4" today and the forecast keeps dropping and dropping...

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Post# 975976 , Reply# 5   12/29/2017 at 09:59 (228 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Current outdoor is 42F. Predicted high Sat 63F. Sun 59F high with 30F Sun night. Mon 39F/27F. Tue 34F/28F. Wed 45F/31F. Thu 47F/31F. Fri 50F/34F.

Those are revised a bit upwards from 25F I saw forecast yesterday for Mon night.

Difficult to imagine the -Fs. 23F is the lowest I can recall happening down here, although the state record low is -23F recorded in the Panhandle.

Post# 975989 , Reply# 6   12/29/2017 at 11:46 (228 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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With a non union Goodman 96% AFUE gas furnace.

Post# 975990 , Reply# 7   12/29/2017 at 11:47 (228 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

We are 140 miles southwest of Chicago and it is snowing out now. We have an 1897 Queen Anne Victorian house with over 32 windows. I have had 98% of those replaced so that does help keep things warmer. The new furnace helps too and helps to cut the gas bill, but after all it is winter. High utility bills are expected when it is this cold there you go.
My neighbor heats here huge house with a gas fired steam boiler. I love going over there to hear all of the noises that radiators make when the boiler is running. I'll see if I can find a picture of our house. Here is what it looks like in the spring. Gary

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Post# 976007 , Reply# 8   12/29/2017 at 14:25 (228 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Our heat DID get turned off...

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when it was -3 outside at around 1 AM very early Thursday morning!!
The Honeywell RTH221B decided at that time that its aaa batteries were done, despite no warnings at all at 11:30 PM the previous evening. Woke up at 3 thinking it seemed awfully cold inside the house, checked the display, nada info, blank screen. Threw in 2 new batteries and the big, hulking 1955 Williamson Gasaver downstairs (natty gas, original to the '55 house) sprang to life and slowly proceeded to stop our shivering... we love Willie and hope he never dies! But thinking that an older style hard-wired Honeywell might be a good idea! Phooey on batteries!

Post# 976012 , Reply# 9   12/29/2017 at 14:41 (228 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
sort of like rubbing a grapefruit in your face

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It was 81 degrees yesterday...81 today. Let's go out and run through the sprinklers.

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This post was last edited 12/29/2017 at 21:37
Post# 976013 , Reply# 10   12/29/2017 at 14:49 (228 days old) by miele_ge (Danbury, Connecticut)        
actually grapefruit is good for you skin

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acts as an exfoliant I think

Post# 976030 , Reply# 11   12/29/2017 at 16:31 (228 days old) by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

Do you have any pics of your 1955 Williamson? I would love to see it.

Post# 976041 , Reply# 12   12/29/2017 at 19:52 (228 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Williamson, a REAL furnace!

Post# 976046 , Reply# 13   12/29/2017 at 20:31 (228 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Have to say I am getting cold. It's been in the 30's and 40's here in Beautiful Downtown Monticello and with new windows the 1896 mini manse is staying comfortable but it's like the cold is getting into everything. The dishes are cold in the cabinets, the dogs are hibernating and the humidity levels are way low. Next week is supposed to be even colder. I used to like winter but now not so much.

Post# 976048 , Reply# 14   12/29/2017 at 20:39 (228 days old) by moparwash (Pittsburgh,PA -Next Wash-In...June 2019!)        

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I'm going to call Dial-a-Bear for some heat

Post# 976050 , Reply# 15   12/29/2017 at 20:42 (228 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

The best suggestion yet!

Post# 976051 , Reply# 16   12/29/2017 at 20:42 (228 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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Lovely house, Gary.

It hasn't been all that cold here as yet, though it is supposed to get down to 10 next week. By no means a record, but cold enough. I'm hoping it will kill off some of the wooly adelgids (bugs) that are killing our hemlocks. The hemlocks don't mind lie temps but the bugs can't take it.

Post# 976054 , Reply# 17   12/29/2017 at 20:59 (228 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        
Insult to Injury

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We got 5" of new snow today. 


The upside the forecast has improved for New Year's Eve.  Now the low is only -18F vs. -20F.


We had a nice fall and decent weather right up until Christmas Eve...but now winter is making up for lost time.



Post# 976057 , Reply# 18   12/29/2017 at 21:11 (228 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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-19 this morning and high of 2 and going down again for the next week AGAIN. My boiler runs constantly to chew up more oil and I keep in layers and no need of all that crap after a 43 high last year today. Regular heating oil was !.85/gal. when I filled my 2 big tanks in October and now its jumped to 2.85 and still going up. Natural gas has went thru the roof too. What else is new, same old, same old.

Post# 976058 , Reply# 19   12/29/2017 at 21:14 (228 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Our 5 day forecast is still continuing to drop. I just hope it doesn't snow anymore at this point. We got 3-4" today, just enough to make the roads extra extra shitty for Friday rush hour.

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Post# 976067 , Reply# 20   12/29/2017 at 23:15 (228 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
-4 now in the Twin Cities:

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Down to -13 tonight and only up to -5 tomorrow. I don't see any relief in the near term. At least we aren't up to our ass in snow. As far as staying warm I LOVE my Heat-N-Glo fireplace.

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Post# 976069 , Reply# 21   12/30/2017 at 00:08 (228 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

More Americans are now below freezing than were alive any time prior to 1968.


DFW is no stranger to freezing but seldom for 72 hours at a stretch as forecast Sat-Mon.  Could bundle up, sit on the pawch and listen to the pipes break. Codes here ignore extremes, though they occur with regularity.  All our TX houses had days when heat/air ran continuously, not quite keeping up.  If you wanted it warmer or cooler, tough.  Wait.


This 15yo Howard Johnson lookalike retirement poorhouse has already had 3 indoor flood events; two from freezing and one from shoddy construction.  No, they didn't upgrade the repairs.  So it will happen again.  And they don't compensate inma... er, residents, when the building becomes uninhabitable.  Renters insurance might.  Might otta call them.

Post# 976070 , Reply# 22   12/30/2017 at 00:39 (228 days old) by diesirae7 (Central Illinois)        

Warmed up to 14 today, felt great, another 6" of snow on top of the 6" we had over Christmas. Spent the day shoveling, only one of the three snow-blowers decided to start and of course it was the smallest of the three LOL. And now its slowly dropping to 1 degree F by 8am. The 50s Lennox furnace is doing fine, lucky I have a small one bedroom house, easy to heat, just wish I had the wood stove installed about now...

Post# 976077 , Reply# 23   12/30/2017 at 01:59 (228 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

My heatpump chugging away-wish my place had GAS heat for these REALLY cold days!Had to fire up my portable 'Lux heater in the TV room while watching TV.The heat from it felt good!

Post# 976092 , Reply# 24   12/30/2017 at 07:17 (228 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Boiler malfunctions

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I returned from a few days away, to find that my 'combi gas boiler' was delivering hot water to the taps, somewhat erratically. (Why is it always this time of the year - never during the Spring/Summer???)

One emergency callout later - and lo and behold - it appears the 'annual Service Agent' (a different company) hasn't been doing their job properly. The 'combustion condensate drain' was choked with silt, causing the erratic behaviour. This is supposed to be cleared at every service interval. This is the first time I had seen anyone remove this component for cleaning!

It appears that the condensate drain has to be thoroughly clear and clean, else the boiler shuts down. I remember several years ago during a cold winter, peoples' boilers shut down - because in some cases, their condensate drain went through the external house wall, and froze solid - shutting the eco boilers down. Needless to say 'Ye Olde Fashioned' gas-guzzling boilers were still merrily steaming away.

Post# 976095 , Reply# 25   12/30/2017 at 07:43 (228 days old) by Xraytech (S.W. Pennsylvania, near Pittsb)        

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Its been in the teens for highs here with lows at near 0 and looks to stay there through next weekend.

Got cold enough to fire up the big old Englander wood/Coal stove. It keeps the house warmer and it keeps the natural gas 1995 ComfortMaker enviroplus90 furnace from coming on much.

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Post# 976098 , Reply# 26   12/30/2017 at 08:15 (228 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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To answer the topic question ... 14-years-old Carrier 5-ton heat pump, with a Vornado in the bedroom at night and a Honeywell in the office room for occasional spot-heating.

Post# 976101 , Reply# 27   12/30/2017 at 08:19 (228 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Boiler Malfunctions

I hope that your house did not suffer any cold-related damage in your absence. I don't understand about silt in the drain. This is a condensing gas boiler, right? I have never heard of silt in the drain system of a condensing furnace and I am on my second one. The water drains out of my furnace about 5 inches above the floor and into a condensate pump which periodically pumps water up to a standpipe.

Is this silt situation related to dust from the outside being drawn into the combustion chamber and then precipitating out as carbonized particles which they are calling silt?

Hope you stay warm and happy in 2018.

Post# 976107 , Reply# 28   12/30/2017 at 09:17 (227 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Boiler malfunctions

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It appears that the silt is composed of metal particulates, according to this link.

Later models have an improved separator/drain, apparently.


Post# 976111 , Reply# 29   12/30/2017 at 09:41 (227 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Thanks! The house was fine ta, nothing to report, other than decidedly cool 'hot' water. The radiators were operating okay.

Our snowy weather has been absolutely nothing like the deposits in Erie, Pennsylvania - that was something else entirely!

Yet our silly news reporters (BBC, ITV, Sky) have all got to make a 'song and dance' out of a few centimetres of snow falling on the UK - and it's not even the whole country like it was in 2009-2010! Honestly, the way they carry on, it's like it's the end of the World. Basically, they see a snowflake fall somewhere, and they panic.

Mind you, our news reporters and presenters in bygone days simply reported the news. Nowadays they have to act it out too - usually at the side of a busy motorway, where it is impossible to hear the dialogue. That irritates me something awful.

Post# 976112 , Reply# 30   12/30/2017 at 10:13 (227 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

It's getting as low was 35F here at night which is hysterically described as "Arctic" by some people.
Occasionally, there's a mild frost in the morning and a little bit of ice on the car that clears in about 5 mins if you just start the heat.

Perspective is everything!

Also with regard to snow in Ireland and over in the UK, for the last part it's a rare phenomenon and we don't have the gear to deal with it. Hardly anyone fits winter tyres because nobody needs them most of the time and snow chains are virtually unheard of and totally unnecessary.

We are as far north as Edmonton in Canada but without a continental effect and with the warning gulf stream. So we basically never get anything other than cool temperate.

It's do bloody mild down here on the south coast of Ireland moss never stops growing. So you have to be extremely careful of slates and gutters. It will even grow on your car !!

Post# 976113 , Reply# 31   12/30/2017 at 10:22 (227 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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We're keeping warm with a 5 year old Bryant natural gas furnace w/ a 2 stage blower.  Our house has all of the ducts on the inside walls because when our home was built in 1925, it had a coal gravity furnace.  Later on, the coal furnace was replaced with a fuel oil furnace.  When that one died in 1994, it was replaced with a Lennox natural gas furnace.


I like the 2 stage blower (wink) on the Bryant.


Post# 976163 , Reply# 32   12/30/2017 at 15:53 (227 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Post# 976170 , Reply# 33   12/30/2017 at 16:41 (227 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

The house has electric baseboard heat, and I hate to see the bill when it comes! I don't heat the upstairs except for the bath, and have been keeping the door to it shut when not in use since it's been so cold.

Post# 976176 , Reply# 34   12/30/2017 at 17:01 (227 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

The wind kicked up and the temp quickly started plummeting toward 0 around 3 PM. It's currently 2 degrees and falling. 

I did a video for YT and nearly froze to death, and that was wearing my super warm puffy down coat that has kept me warm every day this week on my walk. The wind took it from "It's very cold" to "I'm gonna die". 



Edit: It's dropping so quick it dropped another degree by the time I hit post. 

Post# 976190 , Reply# 35   12/30/2017 at 17:51 (227 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Drinking hot tea

herbal--Celestial Seasonings and regular Red Rose by (what seems like) the gallon, and layering my clothes.

This building is two years old, and the Rheem gas furnace and gas tankless water heater are noisy! Does not help that their closet is across the hall from my bedroom.


Post# 976201 , Reply# 36   12/30/2017 at 19:44 (227 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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It's not easy staying warm... My climate doesn't get as cold as some places, but the cold is damp cold, which feels colder than a much colder dry cold.


Making matters worse, I live in a place that is poorly insulated, and has electric heat. So I keep the thermostat low when I'm up, and even lower when I'm in bed or leave on errands.


Like Lawrence above, I drink a lot of tea (and coffee), and tend to eat warm meals. I wear a warm sweatsuit when I'm staying in. A hot bath, even with a small quantity of water, helps to warm me up. I also keep a blanket in the living room to wrap up in.


When going out, it's easier...since most places I go to are heated better, and so all I need to worry about is the time I'm actually outside...

Post# 976202 , Reply# 37   12/30/2017 at 19:53 (227 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
gas furnace and gas tankless water heater are noisy!

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When first living here, furnace noise was hard to get used to. It's noisy in operation--both a blower, plus some relay that clicks on when it starts up. Making matters worse, it's in the hall very near the bedroom. I think I've gotten used to it--I can sleep through the noise of it running in the middle of the night.


I've lived at least 2 other places where furnace noise is noticeable in my bedroom in the last 25+ years. It's strange, even, to think of my childhood home where the only sound I ever heard in my room was just a hiss of air coming out of the register...

Post# 976210 , Reply# 38   12/30/2017 at 20:34 (227 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        
2 above here and falling

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Typical winter gear

wool/cotton blend socks

kellsport heavy cotton sweats


long sleeve sweatshirt

LL Bean flannel robe


And a wee bit of a dram 'fore retiring for the night.


Also the Electrowarmth bed warmer, it is a true godsend.

Post# 976211 , Reply# 39   12/30/2017 at 20:37 (227 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Theres a Lady on Stage)        

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"I remember several years ago during a cold winter, peoples' boilers shut down..."

Read about that unfortunate situation. Made worse by the fact one can no longer purchase anything else but condensing boilers in UK (IIRC), people felt they'd been done. First by being forced into having the things, then dealing with the aftermath.

City of New York for some time now has been trying to force certain buildings into replacing their old oil (often converted from coal) boilers to new condensing; many aren't having it and refusing.

Post# 976215 , Reply# 40   12/30/2017 at 20:50 (227 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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We have those condensing boilers too, but overhere there is always a drain pipe installed under the boiler to catch the condens water. I have never seen an installation where the condens water is lead outside.

Not that there is a risk of freezing here at the moment. Today we reached 53 degrees F.

Post# 976230 , Reply# 41   12/30/2017 at 23:44 (227 days old) by mjg0619 (Scranton, Pennsylvania)        

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Keeping warm with a vintage Sears electric blanket, an ancient natural gas boiler with enormous cast iron radiators, and a big mug of hot chocolate.

Post# 976242 , Reply# 42   12/31/2017 at 00:30 (227 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
electric baseboard heat

or any baseboard heat: You can improve the effectiveness of it by training a small fan like a smaller, but not miniature, Vornado down at floor level to drive air through the things and pull more heat out of them. It also serves to push cooler air near the floor into the heating units which helps remedy the stratification of heat at the ceiling and cold on the floor that you can get with baseboard heat.

Post# 976245 , Reply# 43   12/31/2017 at 00:54 (227 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
me & my big mouth...

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I've been watching some of the weather reports concerning the bitter cold in other parts of the Country. I realize that although my earlier comment about the unusually warm weather here in the desert was done in good fun, the freezing temps are nothing to joke about. Having lived my entire life in California and never been in zero degree weather I guess I'm not aware of all the problems and obstacles the cold throws at you. Check back with me in the summer when it's 120 outside.  

Post# 976247 , Reply# 44   12/31/2017 at 01:59 (227 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 976248 , Reply# 45   12/31/2017 at 02:09 (227 days old) by iej (Ireland)        
@Foraloysius - UK & Irish Drains are very different!

In most buildings, other than multistorey apartments or larger commercial buildings in these islands the drains (except toilets) run to outdoor gulley traps. They either just point directly into the gully and flow in through the grille, or they enter just below the surface.

In most setups, we don't tend to connect drains from sinks, baths, showers, washing machines and dishwashers etc directly to a sewer line. The gully trap provides a physical and complete separation.

For that reason, you would typically also run a gas boiler drain to an outdoor gulley. There's no real way of connecting them to a floor drain as they don't generally exist.

It's fine in the mild conditions of the south of both islands but because of the small diameter and low, constant, flow rates they can freeze in a way normal drains here wouldn't and you can get temps low enough to do it.

It's an extremely bad design in my opinion. They really should be connected to a normal sized drain pipe not at risk of freezing.

I can't see any possibility of condensing boilers being connected to to an freezable drain in the USA as the temperatures are much more extreme. I would guess that regulations there, used to dealing with freezing conditions, wouldn't allow it.

Post# 976254 , Reply# 46   12/31/2017 at 06:18 (227 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

For Greenville,NC its going to be BITTER cold tonight-at least for this area-14,16 degrees.FUN!!!!BRING IN THE BRASS MONKEYS!!!!!

Post# 976269 , Reply# 47   12/31/2017 at 08:35 (227 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Boiler condensate drain

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I think lessons might have been learnt (by some installers) from the frozen external boiler drain fiasco.

My particular boiler drain setup has the typical plastic 3/4" drain piping (with lovely right-angles here and there!), leading into the bathroom. (The boiler is in a cupboard, in the hallway just outside the bathroom).

The boiler drain piping is connected in the bathroom, to the bathtub drainpipe via a T-junction and appropriate size reduction adapter.

I presume that the bath drainpipe was employed because it is lowest in height, thus assisting in gravity drain/siphoning of boiler condensate. And I suppose that with 'used' bath water occasionally rushing past the T-junction, there might also be a small degree of suction helping to drain the condensate pipe.

Post# 976277 , Reply# 48   12/31/2017 at 09:26 (226 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

Jerry, Now there is an idea, dial-a-bear. If you look at the pictures that Martin posted, there are many from which to choose. Gary

It is -1 here now. Gary

Post# 976383 , Reply# 49   1/1/2018 at 01:16 (226 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        
12F in Music City!

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It's 12F here in the Music City as the music note dropped at midnight. I'm at work but I'd much rather be home.

A few days ago, I was sitting in the living room watching television and noticed a chill in the house. Tony was up fumbling around already so he went to the digital thermostat in the hallway to bump the heat up a degree or two, but it said the heat was already it wasn't. We turned it up to 78 to see what happened...nothing. My satellite dish is right beside the furnace and when the gas lights it sends a couple of lines of interference across the television screen. I had noticed while watching TV that when the furnace combustion fan came on (it's right outside the living room window) I saw the static lines go across as usual. Then a few seconds later I saw them again. In my little brain I took note but didn't think much about it. So...I went outside and took the access door off to investigate. Ran in the house, turned the heat back on and ran back outside. Combustion fan came on, then heard the buzz from the ignition module, but did not see the spark plug fire. It was dark outside so I kept looking around in the cabinet...then I saw it. Just like a spark wire in a car, it was jumping fire to the cabinet and shorting itself out. I guess the insulation had weakened enough that the spark took the path of least resistance. I just wrapped some electrical tape around that spot and moved the wires around a little, turned the heat back on and BINGO, the spark plug fired and the burners lit and we have HEAT! I'm so glad I didn't have to call out a service guy.

Post# 976385 , Reply# 50   1/1/2018 at 01:31 (226 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Small heater here at work-also the boiler is going here-surprised BOTH aren't going.Last time it was this cold-15 both were running.At home-small heaters and the heat pump.

Post# 976394 , Reply# 51   1/1/2018 at 05:23 (226 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Temp 3:30am 34F @ my house. 46F on the car out of the garage, varied 34F to 32F to 33F on the road to work.

Current forecast 40F/27F today, 34F/23F Tue, 49F/27 Wed, 50F/30F Thu.

Post# 976395 , Reply# 52   1/1/2018 at 05:25 (226 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

This Morning.

Post# 976396 , Reply# 53   1/1/2018 at 05:36 (226 days old) by Imperial70 (******)        

-4 here in central MA. I think my furnace is unable to keep up with setting the furnace above 69F. I had it at 70 and it doesn't seem to be shutting off. So I put it back to 69. During normal winter temps I keep it set at 67 and it seems fine.

Post# 976413 , Reply# 54   1/1/2018 at 09:16 (225 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

That also make sense from the point of view of protecting drains too. Boiler condensate (depending on the exact makeup of your natural gas supply) can be mildly acidic and can etch and dissolve concrete, porcelains and earthenware surfaces. It makes sense for the boiler drain to flow into a trap that has a lot of use eg : from a bathroom, a kitchen or best of all a washing machine. A good flush out prevents problems.

I think in the early days of condenser boilers growing use, a lot of plumbers were fairly clueless about the potential issues with the drain lines. Maybe theyre learning!

Post# 976414 , Reply# 55   1/1/2018 at 09:20 (225 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
"come here closer and snuggle up


Checked the high for today in Phoenix. 74 F. They say everyone out west will be moving to the great lakes states for the water soon. If they aren't submerged under water again like after the last ice age.
Jet stream, El Nino, La Nina~, colder ocean currents, who knows. It's as much of a crap shoot to prove or disprove climate change and planet warming.

Post# 976422 , Reply# 56   1/1/2018 at 10:03 (225 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Outdoor temp is reading 32F at 10:00a which is less than at 3:30a. "Official" report is 33F. The thermostat app at work reports 31F (outdoor, not in the building) but there are no outdoor sensors on the units so I don't know what/where is that reference source.

Post# 976423 , Reply# 57   1/1/2018 at 10:08 (225 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

-12 here now, I keep the furnace set at 67 and it seems to be doing ok.

Post# 976424 , Reply# 58   1/1/2018 at 10:11 (225 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

According to one of my weather apps it did reach -8 last night. I'll check the logs in the thermostat when the heat finally shuts off. The downstairs furnace is running continuously in first stage but hardly going into second stage surprisingly. Normally it would be cycling into second frequently at these temps.
I looked out the window and I could see everyone in the neighborhoods furnaces were running, the gas company must love that.

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Post# 976425 , Reply# 59   1/1/2018 at 10:35 (225 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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Waterloo broke the record low for the day, which was only set back in 1974, this morning. And that is air temp, not wind chill, which was hovering in the -40 range.

To say it was a cold NYE here in the Cedar Valley is a slight understatement.

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Post# 976435 , Reply# 60   1/1/2018 at 12:05 (225 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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It's currently 25.  It got down to 18 just before 8:00 when the sun was coming out. 

Post# 976448 , Reply# 61   1/1/2018 at 13:13 (225 days old) by volsboy1 (East Tenn Smoky mountains )        

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Mitsubishi Hyper (Heat Pump) These Heat pumps kick ass . It got down to 9 or 10 here and 67 inside  degrees was nothing for it .

Up here in  the sticks heating has always been a issue. Propane is a pain to deal with so we have always had heat pumps in this house and they used to suck soo bad. 

These things keep working until - 13 F and the air is HOT that comes out of there.


Post# 976470 , Reply# 62   1/1/2018 at 16:25 (225 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

My car said -3 driving around just a little bit ago. Got home and that thermometer says 0. My car battery has just about had it and needs replacing.

Post# 976475 , Reply# 63   1/1/2018 at 16:47 (225 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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I heard good things about Deka auto batteries. 2 neighbors use them and speak highly of their performance and longevity

Post# 976477 , Reply# 64   1/1/2018 at 16:59 (225 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
In Mobile, AL

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the temp is currently 30 and going to go down to 23 tonight.  For us - that's freakin cold.  My house has a gas furnace and can keep up (as long as I can pay the bill), BUT, I have a rental unit which is currently unoccupied and the last (POS) renter moved out last week, after having Alabama Power turn off service on December 11 for lack of payment.  So, the unit sits without power or heat (totally electric).  Power is scheduled to be restored tomorrow, in my name (as landlord) so if I can get the unit through tonight I'll be ok.  I was over there this afternoon changing the lock on the front door and adding security to the sliding glass door, and it was getting a bit nippy in there.  There's a unit on both sides of my townhouse and no plumbing on an outside wall, so I'm hoping tomorrow will be the beginning of something better.


BTW, anyone interested in an investment property in Mobile, Alabama???



Post# 976478 , Reply# 65   1/1/2018 at 17:01 (225 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

Hi John, Thanks for the compliment. One of these days it will be spring and all of this will be forgotten. Gary

Post# 976479 , Reply# 66   1/1/2018 at 17:09 (225 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Wes, I'm quite pleased with my current two stage/multi-speed air handler Trane Heat Pump.  The Ruud that came with the house had to finally be replaced in 2002.  I knew I wanted Trane--I'd had problems with the Ruud.  My sister in Dallas was still in marketing & PR for their electric company at the time.  She told me to select a dealer/contractor that had a certain designation at the time that ensured the highest caliber of conducting business and customer satisfaction.  That's how I selected the contractor I have had since 2002.  I looked for Mitsubishi Diamond dealer/contractor in my zip code and the only one for my area is my current contractor and there's only one in Waco too.  So that right there makes me feel very good about who I've dealt with for the past 15.75 years.  Mitsubishi offers replacement products for ducted air handlers/central system.  So when the time comes for replacement, I can look into Mitsubishi Hyper  products. 

Post# 976481 , Reply# 67   1/1/2018 at 17:15 (225 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

Well it reached a high of 30 about 4:00 and is already back down to 28.  Low of 19 tonight, high of 31 tomorrow, and 17 tomorrow night. The all-time record low for December is -4 and that was around December 22nd to 24th 1989, thus I was living here.  I tried auxiliary heat at some point during that time and it couldn't keep the house at 64 or 65 so I switched back to heat pump mode and it seemed more comfortable.  (probably cost me less that way too). 

Post# 976485 , Reply# 68   1/1/2018 at 17:21 (225 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        

Our 95 Lennox heat pump has run constantly for the past few days. Auxiliary heat has ran a few times today. I try to make as many hot meals using our stove, crock pot, toaster oven, etc. as possible to raise the temp in the house as much as possible. If it really cold in the house I will try to clean to warm myself up. We would love to use our fireplace, but it has a crack in it.

Post# 976487 , Reply# 69   1/1/2018 at 17:27 (225 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
Its about 8 degrees

My lochnivar boiler can barely keep up. Too many drafts in my house. Im getting insulation blown in ASAP. My house was built 1908

I plugged in 2 of my Bitcoin miners in my basement and the temps down there went from 58* to 65 in 12 hours. Hopefully it continues to rise

Post# 976488 , Reply# 70   1/1/2018 at 17:35 (225 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Oh, there's an 80% efficient forced air gas furnace in the crawl. I turned it on in early November, cranked it up to 68 for the afternoon/evenings, lower at night and during day. However by Christmas I had rediscovered my sweater/pullover collection and now the stat is set to 66F, and I feel just fine... most of the time...

What brand furnace? I forget, and I'm not about to go spelunking to find out again. Let's just say it's about 37 years old, and going strong. Yah, I have CO detector in bedroom, it never goes off.

About R45 in the attic (added about 15 years ago) helps keep the warm in (and the hot out in the summer). Have about R20 under most of the flooring, but ran out of it halfway through and don't think I'll be adding more any time soon. I did add extra insulation to the forced air ducting, including the return duct, which helped to quiet it down. And of course I sealed off as many drafts as I could. Major draft was from the kitchen cooktop hood - it had no damper whatsoever. Easy and cheap fix for that. You do what you can.

This was a fairly hot summer in the greater SF Bay Area, and it was quite a transition from short sleeves and shorts, having to button up the house with shades drawn during the days to keep the heat out, to all windows open and fans blasting (hopefully) cool night air through the house at night, to securing all doors and windows all the time and drawing the shades/curtains at night. I only had to run the portable A/C unit for about a week total. It's got a heating mode but it fills up its drain tray after about an hour in that mode, so I don't bother trying to use it to heat.

At least it's not snowing. Some rain would be nice, though.

All things considered, life is beautiful.

Post# 976491 , Reply# 71   1/1/2018 at 17:47 (225 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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What brand furnace? I forget, and I'm not about to go spelunking to find out again.


What?!? You're going to deprive us of this vital information, as well as photos and maybe a video of it running?!?




Seriously, I don't blame you for not wanting to go spelunking.


The house I grew up in had an oil furnace in the crawlspace. We never used--the house was converted to electric heat before we lived there--but we knew that that furnace was down there. I never really thought about it, but when the house was sold, the buyer commented about what a terrible location for a furnace. As he pointed out, oil furnaces need maintenance, and it was less than convenient crawling under the house. As that buyer commented, that furnace--at least as far he was concerned--would never be used again. (The electric furnace we used still worked...but electricity was expensive enough that one might wish to consider other options.)

Post# 976494 , Reply# 72   1/1/2018 at 17:53 (225 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Auxiliary on the Carrier is locked-out (except for defrosting) until (current setting) 20F ambient. It's maintaining 70F and cycling without effort. Runs longer toward continuous when the weather is wet/freezing vs. dry/freezing.

Post# 976499 , Reply# 73   1/1/2018 at 18:15 (225 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Temps today peaked at 3 and sunny. It was below zero just past 4 and already -6 as I type. The downstairs furnace has run most of the day, started running in second stage about an hour ago and back into first stage since the stove has been on.

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Post# 976508 , Reply# 74   1/1/2018 at 19:33 (225 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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The past 7 nights have been below zero, some way below. Not to figure in wind chills. My boiler runs more than it shuts off and the baseboard units keep their constant tick tick and I know heat is coming, Chewing up oil like crazy. This is turning into a winter we wished never happened and its just beginning, then a big snowstorm Thursday, back in the deep freeze to clean it up. Global warming is certainly welcome to come around here.

Post# 976547 , Reply# 75   1/1/2018 at 23:32 (225 days old) by Johnb300m (Chicago)        

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Eeeesh, it's been a rough 48hrs going from '17 to '18.
-10F tonight.
My fairly new variable speed Trane XR80 has been running constantly.
I'm on a cement slab so all all the negative degrees these few days have been radiating right in.
And whatever few little leaks I have, have been severely exploited with little drafts and ICE forming everywhere around the windows and doors. Even on parts of walls near the floor.
I've lowered my humidistat as low as I can tolerate for sleeping.

I've also kicked the fan on RUN because the cycling was getting crazy.
I'll say this, it's been in Low stage for 95% of it! So not too shabby.
I'm still going to fear the next gas bill though......

Post# 976582 , Reply# 76   1/2/2018 at 10:29 (224 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

The XR80 is a single stage 80% furnace with a PSC blower. They have a few models with variable speed blowers, like the XV80, XV95, XC95 etc. So I'm not sure which one you meant to say.

It was -10 by the time I got to bed. According to the thermostat logs it reached -12 between 6-7AM. The run time has increased dramatically between 12/22 and 1/1, and then the total run time for the month of December. That's just the upstairs furnace! The downstairs one doesn't have these logs.

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Post# 976584 , Reply# 77   1/2/2018 at 10:40 (224 days old) by johnb300m (Chicago)        

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I meant XV.

Post# 976586 , Reply# 78   1/2/2018 at 11:09 (224 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

It's been about -10 Celsius here in Nova Scotia. My house uses electric heat but I offset it with one of these bad boys.

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Post# 976588 , Reply# 79   1/2/2018 at 11:38 (224 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I usually set back the thermostat from 69 to 67 when I get up at 3:30 AM and switch the fan from continuous to automatic, but this morning, I just left everything as it was because the house was comfortable and I did not want to do anything to upset the good thing I had going with the ferocious cold outside. The only thing we had going for us weather-wise was that the breeze was gentle.

Post# 976612 , Reply# 80   1/2/2018 at 17:45 (224 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
It was -3

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in Lexington this morning. It's crazy we get that cold with no snow. A couple of years ago we had deep snows and it went down to -18. My water froze at the bathroom sink, which is near on an outside wall. It didn't burst when it thawed, thank God. Our power bills are going to be insane :(

Post# 976635 , Reply# 81   1/2/2018 at 20:24 (224 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Yesterday's high of 1F broke record for lowest high on New Year's Day in Chicago.

Downstate in Indianapolis they tied a record low at -12, Lafayette (90 miles south of here) recorded a low of -19. The same news article said the local utility in Lafayette had people complaining of a hum which they said was due to the extra high demand. Methinks there must be a lot of heat pumps/electric heating down there or something, or perhaps West Lafayette being a college town lots of space heaters. Who knows. Up here just about everywhere has NG so electric demand doesn't go up at all really.

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Post# 976640 , Reply# 82   1/2/2018 at 20:51 (224 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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I've noticed in cold weather that the power lines in front of the house make a singing sound. Not sure how to describe it, but it is higher-pitched than what I'd think of as a hum, and not continuous.

Of course, current draw is very high in hot weather due to AC load, but I don't hear the sound it's a mystery.

Post# 976665 , Reply# 83   1/2/2018 at 22:56 (224 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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My workplace is on a local street down which run high tension power lines (you know, the ones atop big steel towers). During foggy days over the summer, these would snap crackle pop. Never saw any flashes, though.

Not sure what causes power lines to hum. Maybe Tolivac, who works with high power radio waves, can tell us.

Post# 976671 , Reply# 84   1/3/2018 at 00:55 (224 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Moisture in the air-in high amounts can cause the powerlines to make crackling,buzzing noises.At night you may see corona around the lines,too.See this on the 115Kv lines feeding our site on real humid days-at night the corona is kinda beautiful.Tooo see the corona you have to let your eyes get used to the dark and no other lights nearby.

Post# 976672 , Reply# 85   1/3/2018 at 00:57 (224 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Oh yes supposed to SNOW in our area for Wednesday.May get 4 ".Glad I don't have to go to work that night.

Post# 976680 , Reply# 86   1/3/2018 at 02:09 (224 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Fog and Corona

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Oh, well, too many street lights to see the corona outside the workplace, probably.

But maybe some day I'll venture out there at night to take a look see. There's a big PG&E power grid thingie about a block away. It's about the size of a football field. Lots of stuff that would look at home in a Flash Gordon movie.

Post# 976689 , Reply# 87   1/3/2018 at 06:24 (224 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

It was 8 degrees above at 3:30 this AM in Belchville and I just checked and it is  down to 6. Both the Weather Porn Channel and AccuWeather agree on this, but only online. Cable Weather Porn Channel only gives readings from and forecasts for DC now--worthless POS. There is no wind though so it was not a brutal assault type of cold, just the slowly penetrating deadly type of cold.  I think the next two days are supposed to be windy. That is a different matter. It is very cold in our office so I wore my fleece lined Ball Room Jeans and they are not any too warm in here. Imagine that they put about 75KW of strip heat in our air handler several years ago and have not used it in the past two years. People retire from this place and take secrets with them and things don't work right thereafter.

Post# 976691 , Reply# 88   1/3/2018 at 06:41 (224 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Sudsmaster-what oy haveust be a power company substation.These take the HV 69Kv-on up and step it the voltage down to 13/7Kv distribution voltages to serve the transformers in your neighborhood that step the power down to 120/240 for your house or 3 ph power for busnissess.

Post# 976694 , Reply# 89   1/3/2018 at 07:19 (224 days old) by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
Summer down under

It's summer here in Australia.

Today about 20 degrees Celsius. (68 F.)

By Saturday, Melbourne will be 41 C. (106 F.)
We will be a bit cooler at only 37 C. (99 F.)

We have been unseasonably cool since Christmas, my tomato plants are wondering where the sunshine went. They will find out on Saturday...

Owner built, mud-brick, passive solar designed, well insulated, double glazed home...haven't needed heating or cooling for weeks. I expect we will need some cooling on the weekend. Mitsubishi Electric 2.5 kw cooling split system in the bedroom.
In winter we have a Magnum wood heater.

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Post# 976695 , Reply# 90   1/3/2018 at 07:34 (224 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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It just seems odd to me to talk of Christmas during your Summer time!  Of course, I'm sure it's weird to you when it's 100+F here in July and it's winter there.

Post# 976709 , Reply# 91   1/3/2018 at 08:37 (224 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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25F this morn. Could be worse!

Sucking in heat.

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Post# 976719 , Reply# 92   1/3/2018 at 10:00 (223 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
It's been drier than the Sahara in the house, about 15% rh, and the Bionaire humidifier (console) crapped out last year and went to the curb.. But I found this working Kenmore water wheel model yesterday at a thrift store on half price day,, so $12.50. Within an hour or so the humidity was back up to a more pleasant 26%. I like these water wheel humidifiers that just rely on a foam pad rather than having to replace those expensive paper wick type pads.

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Post# 976819 , Reply# 93   1/4/2018 at 09:01 (223 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Still damn cold and now snowing. Winds are supposed to pick up intensely later on today from 40 - 50 mph and keep going for a couple of days with much lower temps? OH come on now. Is every one else in this extended cold spell seeing a large number of house and apartment fires where you live. We have been having a couple every day, causes are heat tapes and space heaters. People have no common sense when using space heaters. Now with this wind coming up people will loose power and no doubt will have a number of people consumed by exhaust from their generators. Hey at least we have gained 6 minutes of daylight since 12/21 so spring is coming.


Post# 976830 , Reply# 94   1/4/2018 at 11:24 (222 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Pete,  I had one of those, Westbend I believe. It would really put out the moisture.

Post# 976832 , Reply# 95   1/4/2018 at 11:34 (222 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        
Powerline hum

chetlaham's profile picture
The current is switching back and forth 120 times a second (60Hz)- Any corona, arcing (down wire) or magnetostriction (hum in transformers) will be at 120Hz audio frequency- what hits your ears. What you are hearing is the actual AC frequency x2.

In fact you can actually turn a transformer or arc into a speaker just by varying the frequency proportionally and accordingly:


Most likely an electrical substation. Smaller ones take 66kv or 115kv and step it down to 12kv (typical voltages for PG&E), larger ones take 230kv and step it down to 66 and 115, while the biggest ones take 500kv and step it down to 230 and 115kv.

Word of note- if you stay for a long time be prepared for a police check. Absolutely nothing illegal about being next to a substation, but since Metcalf PG&E is very anal about security. Lots of driving patrols and cameras. Just tell them its for a public forum, legally they can't stop you.

Post# 976838 , Reply# 96   1/4/2018 at 13:04 (222 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        
Pumping up the moisture

petek's profile picture
Not quite sure how much this humidifier holds, maybe 3 gallons, anyways it requires a lot of trips back and forth to the kitchen sink to fill with a big glass juice jar,, and it's empty in less than 24 hrs Need to find a hose that fits the kitchen faucet, regular size garden hose, have one in the laundry sink , is too big.

Post# 977062 , Reply# 97   1/5/2018 at 22:51 (221 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Apparently we've been having more fires around here too, particularly from people using torches to thaw pipes. Two of them in Cedar Lake, nicknamed Cedartucky by locals due to the not so bright redneck types that live there. So, it doesn't surprise me it happened there.

Post# 977073 , Reply# 98   1/6/2018 at 00:35 (221 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Kenmore water wheel

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Well, you know, Petek, this is a vintage appliance forum.

So one must ask, where is the hand crank for that vintage humidifier? You think you can get away with the easy approach???

Post# 977076 , Reply# 99   1/6/2018 at 00:48 (221 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Humidifiers are not generally needed here in the SF Bay Area. IMHO. The winters are generally wet, and the maritime influence keeps the summers relatively humid (albeit hot and rainless).

In my previous abode I got a humidifier and had it running the living room besides the open stairway to the second floor. All it seemed to do was encourage the growth of mold on some of the walls.

In fact, in the current home, I've taken pains to air out the attic and crawl space as much as possible... due to reading that there's a lot of moisture that enters a home through a dirt crawl space. Put plastic sheeting down over the earth floor of the crawl... added soffit ventilation to the attic... even laid sheeting down between the ceiling joists up there. Although that was probably unnecessary in retrospect. The whole goal was to avoid having moisture collect in the attic and create a mold problem. It's an unfinished attic with very limited head room, so it's not like one is losing any living space up there.

Biggest improvement was from adding fiberglass batts to the attic (it was previously non-insulated). Prior to that, the furnace would run almost continuously on winter nights. After all the insulation and sealing, it runs for just a little bit even on cold nights. I even did a statistical analysis of the gas consumption before/after insulating, adjusted to take into account the average monthly temps, and found gas consumption was cut to a third to a half of the pre-insulated consumption. And the home is much more comfortable. Of course, this being California, the utility bills still go up, since the price of gas (and electricity) seems to rise every year.

Post# 977080 , Reply# 100   1/6/2018 at 01:14 (221 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Once upon a time people did things like:

- leave cabinet and closet doors open where pipes run along exterior walls

- set the thermostat a degree or two higher

- take insulation OFF pipes steam and hot water pipes in the basement

- NOT set back the thermostat at all at night or when the house is empty

- shove some kind of insulating material in the small gap between the water pipe and the exterior wall

- open doors and accessways separating heated and unheated areas

You sort of have a choice: a $50 spike in monthly heating or a $500 plumbing repair.... or a fire.

When I was a kid this stuff was all over the local news whenever there was a prolonged cold snap.

But then again, what do I know? I have some really crazy ideas about heat and heating systems. More than once I've insisted that you can't replace a 24x24x4" hot water radiator with 24" of baseboard and get the same amount of heat. This insistence on my part has often been cited as evidence of my mental confusion.

Post# 977081 , Reply# 101   1/6/2018 at 01:26 (221 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Old radiators...

Back in the 1980's my mom moved into a small apartment in SF. One of its best features (esp since it was on the first floor) was steam heat, with a big cast iron radiator in the living room, which adjoined the bedroom. It kept the place quite comfortable for my mom. It was also rent-controlled, with the cost of heating covered by the rent. Well, you know what happened next. The steam boiler for the building broke down, and the landlord, rather than fix it, ripped out all the radiators and installed small gas fired space heaters in each apartment. Which the tenants had to pay for the gas themselves. Even worse, they put the heater for her apartment in the entry hall, and not much heat found its way to the living room or bedroom. So my mom's usual position in the place in the winter was standing in that dimly lit narrow hall in front of that pathetic gas heater. Oh well.

Post# 977082 , Reply# 102   1/6/2018 at 01:30 (221 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

-14 tonight. I keep the closet door open in the kitchen. The pipes for the bathroom upstairs goes up through the closet. I have never had a frozen pipe here ever. The door for the bathtub pipes is open now too. Just use some common sense about all of this and things should be ok. Gary

Post# 977089 , Reply# 103   1/6/2018 at 02:45 (221 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Transformers as speakers-and iron core chokes,too.In our GE 250Kw SW transmitter the modulator-the stages that impose the audio program modulation into the final and driver RF power amplifiers-the modulator is a push pull audio amp that uses two Eimac 7482 triode tubes .Between these two they generate 150+ Kw of audio power coupled to the RF amp via the modulation transformer-converts the PP audio to single end audio to modulate the driver and PA stages.Stand outside the GE transmitter power vault-the room that contains the power and mod transformers you will hear both the modulation transformer and reactor singing away!!!Just like a speaker!!!And its quite loud.And you hear the hum from the rectifier transformers.One set of rectifier transdformers for the RF power amps-another set for the modulator.The transformers are simply VERY big pole mount transformers-the kind you see on H-frames.And if we get an RF arc on a transmission line or in the antenna switchbay-you get the plasma speaker!!!and that is VERY loud!!!!And a nice BRIGHT arc-blue green for copper---or VERY bright white for aluminum.
The AEG transmitter doesn't have a mod transformer or reactor-but a single tube switching modulator (PDM)that you can hear the audio in its LP filter that passes the audio but blocks the switching frequency.A janitor cleaning behind the transmitter insisted it was haunted!!Had to explain to him-no ghosts.

Post# 977122 , Reply# 104   1/6/2018 at 09:50 (220 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Young people today are not being taught the things about managing a house that we were. There are many and varying reasons from the rich who have people to do that for them to the totally ignorant who don't know anything to pass on to their kids. Some rich kids don't even know how to properly load a dishwasher, let alone cook, because it was done for them. As for how to keep pipes from freezing in super cold weather, that is so far off the knowledge and skills scale as to be laughable. Their ignorance and the use of wood instead of cement in construction makes it frightening and unsafe to live in multifamily housing units. People who don't know basics of safety, like that ignorant woman in NYC who was responsible for 12 deaths and God knows how many injuries because she did not know the basics of fire safety, are being put directly from huts into apartment buildings.

Post# 977129 , Reply# 105   1/6/2018 at 10:38 (220 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
I keep the T-stat at 72 and it's very comfortable throughout the house. The finished basement is even warmer being that the big old boiler is down there radiating heat as well as baseboards down there in the rek room and spare bedroom. I wouldn't say it was wasted heat down there, I keep the door at the top of the stairs open and that makes it way up into the family room and it also keeps the floor of the floor above warmer.

Post# 977149 , Reply# 106   1/6/2018 at 13:44 (220 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I have been keeping the heat at 72 through this cold snap and has been more than adequate to make me forget just how cold it's been outside. Once it goes back into the 30s tomorrow and my sister & 2.5 yr old niece have left I'll probably turn it back down to 70 where it stays at most of the winter.

Today marks the 12th day that it's stayed below 20F in the Chicago area tying a record last set in 1936. We've had far more extreme cold snaps than this but as the records show, haven't had any cold snaps this cold that have lasted this long.

Post# 977155 , Reply# 107   1/6/2018 at 14:31 (220 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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@Tolvic: you have a fun job, thats for sure! :) I know little about the radio side of things but I can imagine its one of those jobs where you learn something new everyday- never a dull moment.

Also thanks for all the info- I did not know the transformers actually played music at a transmitter station- but now I do!

Post# 977158 , Reply# 108   1/6/2018 at 14:41 (220 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

polkanut's profile picture

We use a 1983 West Bend Water Wheeler humidifier.  The reservoir in ours holds 6 ½ gallons.  In this extremely cold weather it needs to be refilled about every 2 ½ days.


I'm wondering if your Kenmore is actually a rebadged West Bend.




Post# 977176 , Reply# 109   1/6/2018 at 17:02 (220 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Tim, it look somewhat the same except the layout of the controls is different. I'm surprised you're getting 2.5 days.. I'm filling this thing every 12-14 hrs. Mind you I do have it set pretty high up on the humidistat and it rarely shuts down.. Possibly because here on the main foor, living, kitchen/dining area it's cathedral ceilings so a lot bigger area to overcome. I have 3 different hygrometers to check the humidity and of course none of them are close to each other in read outs..smh One says 35%, one about 27% and the other is down around 20, all in the same room on the same table

Post# 977192 , Reply# 110   1/6/2018 at 19:16 (220 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

washman's profile picture

I love non-union furnaces, esp. when it is minus 1 outside.

Post# 977197 , Reply# 111   1/6/2018 at 19:45 (220 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
I have no idea who made my New Yorker boiler, union or not. All I know is -13 tonight with windchills around -40. It keeps my house at a constant 65 degrees, although it seems to never shut off and is chewing up oil like crazy. So far this cold started 12/23 and 12" of snow 12/25 and right into the deep freeze since 12/26 when EVERY night since has been below zero. This weather is very abnormal and driving everyone batty too.

Post# 977200 , Reply# 112   1/6/2018 at 20:19 (220 days old) by Jmm63 (Denville, NJ)        

jmm63's profile picture

I'm surprised at how warm most of you keep your house.  I would LOVE to be able to keep mine close to 70 but that's not economically feasible. I heat with oil, and the furnace is new and 85% efficient. Windows are new and insulation has been upgraded.  I keep the house at 64 when occupied and 61 at night.  I run a small space heater in the bedroom on very low and we have an electric fireplace in the family room that is on 68 most of the time.  I just got 150 gallons of oil 30 days ago at $2.79 a gallon ($416) that should carry is through the end of January.  With this cold snap, it's dwindling and I'll need to call for oil next week.  So that means almost $400 to heat this house to 64 for a month..... I could only dream of setting the t-stat to 70.  I wouldn't know what to do.!

Post# 977209 , Reply# 113   1/6/2018 at 20:53 (220 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

We heat with natural gas, have a decently insulated home for modern standards and the furnace that does the majority of the heating is 97% efficient. NG was 32 cents per therm for December and January.
It's affordable to keep it comfortable.

Post# 977213 , Reply# 114   1/6/2018 at 21:16 (220 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

It got to 64 today with a forecasted high of 67 tomorrow.  But the cold will return by the time I wake up Friday morning 28, a high of 45, and low of 29 Friday evening/Saturday morning. 

Post# 977233 , Reply# 115   1/6/2018 at 21:46 (220 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Gas here is $1.29/therm for up to about 64 therms, and $1.84 above that, plus a 6% local utility tax. I keep my thermostat at 66 during waking hours, only occasionally bumping it up to 68. Overnight, it goes down to 63, and when I'm at work. My last bill just for gas was $108.

Electricity is $.20/kWh for up to about 350 kWh, and $.28 above that, plus 6% local tax. My last electric bill was $146.

Welcome to California...

Post# 977238 , Reply# 116   1/6/2018 at 22:22 (220 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

"We've had far more extreme cold snaps than this but as the records show, haven't had any cold snaps this cold that have lasted this long."

I agree and have wondered how subjective this is on my part. It seems like in the last couple of years there've been fewer absolute records broken but many like

"the longest string of days the temps stayed above/below 'X'"
"July had the highest number of days with measurable precipitation than any other July on record."

Or is it just my imagination?

Post# 977239 , Reply# 117   1/6/2018 at 22:43 (220 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)

Well we had another extreme weather related infrastructure breakdown. I smelled that leak real strong about 3 miles from where it originated while driving to the dr and almost called to report it but didn't wanna distract myself from driving.

Interestingly I think that failure was already starting a week ago because the location is right on the bike trail where I walk past all the time. It smelled stronger of gas right at that spot than normal but I figured it must've had something to do with the extremely high NG demand going on.

Post# 977244 , Reply# 118   1/7/2018 at 00:28 (220 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Maybe I'm odd, but I'm totally comfortable with the heat set at 64 degrees.  It takes me about 10 days in the fall to adjust and during that time I"m not very comfortable. but after that I can wear short and t shirts and be fine.  I do keep my humidity up as high as the outside temp will allow.  Maybe it's a state of mind, not sure but the cooler temps do not bother me.


It's been as low as -12 here and I have not heard my furnace kick in to the second stage burner, odd.  It's correctly sized so I guess I'm lucky - I know I still will not like the bill...

Post# 977247 , Reply# 119   1/7/2018 at 00:39 (220 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

The only time 64 is comfortable to me is in the winter when we get a quick warmup and my blood is still thicker from being adjusted to the cold. My chiropractor keeps his office at 63 and I'm stiff as a board on that table. I loosen up as I get warmer. I also may be an addict of solar and thermal radiation.

Matt, your furnace was probably sized with an indoor design temp of 70-72 and you have it at 64 hence 2nd stage not kicking in.

Post# 977251 , Reply# 120   1/7/2018 at 00:46 (220 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Chetleham:For me lately its never been a dull moment.Speaking of heating-something has gone wrong with the fuel pump system for the boilers-guess that's normal when temps here are 9 degrees.We have to fill the boiler buffer tanks manually.Last night the generator tripped off--took the dqy shift to get it going again.One of the 4160V main backup line switches wiring burned up-so the system couldn't go to either utility power or generator.Fortunately the switch doesn't go to a critical component here.Was able to be isolated and the system restored-back on the generator because of utlity load management.Hope th fuel lasts until Monday.The generator can drink up to 400 gal per hour!Then you add the boilers.

Post# 977260 , Reply# 121   1/7/2018 at 02:05 (220 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

Natural gas is super cheap here in mid TN.  My parents keep their gas package unit set for 74F, which I got used to growing up there, so when I got my house I also set mine to the same.  Tony and I used to be on the same metabolic scale and were pretty comfortable at 74F.  Now that he's a hormonal andropausal man having hot flashes we fight over the temp setting.  He will turn it to 72 and I'll be shivering.  When I get up in the evenings I bump it up to 73 which is better but still a bit nippy for me.  I'm in my waterbed room right now, and it tends to stay a degree or two warmer due to the bed itself radiating heat.  But my hands, feet, nose and ears are all cold!  I don't have much insulation on my bones so I get cold quickly.  Some day I want to build a house with hydronic pipes running through the floors.

Post# 977271 , Reply# 122   1/7/2018 at 03:58 (220 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
You folks with cheap energy rates are lucky.

I'm thinking of doing a cost analysis of rooftop solar panels... at these rates it might actually be cheaper to go solar, ditch the gas furnace, and go with an electrically powered heat pump. It could also provide A/C during the brief periods in the summer when it's useful.

The one stumbling block is the capital cost of the solar system. There's also the uncertainty connected to potential governmental changes on tax write offs, utility purchasing excess energy generated, and proposed vastly increased tariffs on imported solar panels.

Post# 977294 , Reply# 123   1/7/2018 at 10:09 (219 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

My cost per kwh is 10.5 cents when under 1000 kwh  and 9.5 cents per kwh. 

Post# 977300 , Reply# 124   1/7/2018 at 11:24 (219 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

Running a Rinnai 556 fa III(2006 vintage),it's only about 33%of the capacity needed for my house,but wanted to see how it would keep up :)got put to the test this past Monday:was -25*and the Rinnai was working hard but not quite keeping up-far bedroom was down to 43*...Mr Slim heatpump can be kicked on,but it is in same room as the Rinnai,and the 2nd heat source confuses the Mitsubishi and it doesn't go to full heat with the Rinnai on.If needed,the 1951 Payne floor furnace with 5 burner rows can be lit off :)I did have a frozen pipe in the unheated basement after that -25 morning,but a hairdryer applied to suspect area took care of it.

Post# 977309 , Reply# 125   1/7/2018 at 11:47 (219 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I've never in my life thought warming up into the 20s felt like spring but here we are. It is 26, very dark and cloudy though. I already want the cold but sunny weather back. I'll take sun any way I can get it.

Supposed to be 50 by Thursday then back into the 20s for awhile. I don't even bother going beyond Day 10 of this 15 day forecast because it changes dramatically every day that far out, but right now suggests it will be in the upper 40s.

The heat is barely running as compared to before.

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Post# 977319 , Reply# 126   1/7/2018 at 13:01 (219 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

got my "spring thaw"yesterday and today:52*right now,68 in the house with the Rinnai idling on low fire.A few people outside are wearing shorts :)

Post# 977330 , Reply# 127   1/7/2018 at 14:50 (219 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

washman's profile picture

gusherb did you get your car battery sorted out?

Post# 977331 , Reply# 128   1/7/2018 at 14:54 (219 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Theres a Lady on Stage)        
Should start warming up here as well

launderess's profile picture
Forecast for NYC area starting Monday call for daytime temps in low thirties, then for Tuesday through Friday we're into low to even some high forties.

Noticed even today heat is cycling less than past week or so. Can tell because the blasted steam heating system clearly announces when boilers have come on by the hissing from convectors.

Post# 977346 , Reply# 129   1/7/2018 at 17:47 (219 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

It's still starting so not yet. I looked up Deka, looks like those are made by East Penn manufacturing which makes batteries for many names including DieHard and Duracell (car batteries).

It's 31 currently and there was freezing rain earlier. So ice formed all over everything and made it even harder to take a quick walk in the park. The upstairs furnace isn't even coming on with the bedroom door open and the downstairs still on 72.

Post# 977381 , Reply# 130   1/7/2018 at 20:18 (219 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
I suspect part of the whole "Jesus! It suddenly got so cold!!!" phenomenon is that one's metabolism will gradually adjust to colder ambient temps by burning more calories, so eventually one may feel more comfortable at a certain thermostat setting later in the winter than one would have earlier in the winter.

This is supported by a report I read of a scientific study back in the early 1980's, in which they found workers in very cold environments tended to burn significantly more calories than those working in warm environments.

Add to that the change of wardrobe, swapping thin short sleeve shirts for thicker long sleeve numbers, etc. But since I was quiet happily puttering around the house and garden today in shorts, sandals, and t-shirt, I think my metabolism has done some adaptation.

Now all we need is our usual mid-winter heat wave to throw everyone off balance again ;-)

Post# 977384 , Reply# 131   1/7/2018 at 20:51 (219 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        
Re: #'s 121 & 130

The idea that by later winter one is comfortable at temps that'd've seemed chilly earlier in the winter matches my experience as well.

However, I suggest that a more practical solution to Askolover's problem would be for Tony to walk around naked. That'd allow both of them to be comfy at 74F.

That's what I do at Eric's. I just add and remove layers as needed and not bother him about it.

Post# 977423 , Reply# 132   1/8/2018 at 00:37 (219 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
It's what sweaters are for...

Post# 977436 , Reply# 133   1/8/2018 at 07:18 (219 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

But I can't put a sweater on my nose!  It's cold right now even.

Post# 977448 , Reply# 134   1/8/2018 at 10:01 (218 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
There's my problem in a nutshell...

twintubdexter's profile picture

Your body adjusts to living in the cold and burns more calories. Makes perfect sense to me. So here I am where it never really get's cold and the sun shines 360 days a year. I can just hear my brain saying "Stop! Don't burn up that box of Entenmann's old-fashioned glazed doughnuts, put them in storage." It's no wonder there are so many commercials on TV for Weight Watchers and Nutrisystems.

Post# 977560 , Reply# 135   1/8/2018 at 23:53 (218 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
It's callled a "Nose Cozy"...

sudsmaster's profile picture
Post# 977566 , Reply# 136   1/9/2018 at 01:45 (218 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
I bow down

stan's profile picture
To most of you!
Born and raised her in wine country, I don't know what it's like to deal with temps more or less below 30 degrees. Don't know if I could stand it. Im freezing here now! I'm gong to Joe's house to warm up! LOL
Gary your old house is just beautiful. Love to see more pics!
Chris Harkin. I think I have the clone to your cat or vs versa.
My old furnice is still going but not all that efficient, and won't heat the whole house. With opening and closing certain doors, I can direct heat to different spots, ceiling fans help disperse a bit.
Old themostate pic is dark but.. Still working

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Post# 977570 , Reply# 137   1/9/2018 at 03:46 (218 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Keeping warm - barely

First winter in the new house and begining to notice the draftiness.
It's an old farm house here, never really remodeled since its creatin a hundred years ago.

Weather near the cost here is generally more tolerable, and today is the first day I am here when temperatures droped below freezing.
Otherwise it has been mostly slightly above freezing, with wind and almost daily rain showers, but these don't change house climate much though.

My room however has a kind of bad location for cool temperatures.

It's a corner room on the older side of the house (the house has been extended in the 50s, and even though none of our flat is actually in the new flat, other parts of the flat are surrounded by new parts of the complex here).
The stairs leeding to my rooms are directly conected to a door leading outside and sadly, as all floors in my part of the house here are slanted towards the same point on the property, all the doors have gaps below them.

I tried isulating the one on the lower outside door with these self sticking sealing stripes you get, but it didn't help much.

Above me is an old attic, which isn't isolated what so ever. That cools down my rooms quite a lot, so all my heaters are running on 2nd highest level.
Oh, and I am on the verry end of the heating loop, which dosen't make things much better, given that I am used to pretty warm rooms.

Our bathroom is luckily somewhat warm. The kitchen however is not.
Both lead to the same stairwell as my rooms, so I know what well sealing doors mean.

Post# 977583 , Reply# 138   1/9/2018 at 05:04 (218 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Nose Cozy - I am totally unsurprised that a place that sells glans rings would offer something like this.

Drafty Houses - Many old houses in the northeastern US are full of "micro drafts" that can be difficult to locate. Sometimes I've just foregone locating them and sealed up all possibilities because it was just faster and easier. Some of the places are:

- Where the wall meets the floor and anyplace molding meets wall, floor, or ceiling.

- Around electric outlets, light switches and CEILING LIGHT FIXTURES. I would bet on this last if there's no insulation above.

- Around door and window frames where they meet the walls. My grandoarents' pre-WWI house had very little air leakage from the windows themselves but quite a bit from where they met the walls.

Here in the US one can buy kits that contain pre-cut foam rubber sheets that are sized for outlets and switches. They are installed behind the switchplates. An alternative is to buy a few rolls of 3M Scotch Tape (the kind of tape one buys for wrapping presents because it's usually invisible when used) and simply cover all openings and cracks with the tape.

Are your radiators recessed into the walls? If they are, seal up the cracks in the housing and insulate the housing with styrofoam sheets.

If the radiators are not recessed, buy a styrofoam sheet (usually ~1cm thick) slightly larger than the radiator and place it behind at an angle. The reduction of heat radiating into the outside wall greatly improves convection currents. This can be augmented by placing a small fan on the floor to blow more air into the radiator. I assume your heat is hot water. Is there any possibility there's air trapped inside the radiators? If you happen to have a steam system you could replace the current air vent with a larger one.

Or do you have baseboard instead of radiators?

Just some ideas......

Post# 977585 , Reply# 139   1/9/2018 at 05:21 (218 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Inquiring minds want to know

Glans Rings? Where did you find mention of those? I went to DuckDuckGo since I did not want Google keeping a record of the search and could not get a search result.

Post# 977591 , Reply# 140   1/9/2018 at 07:11 (218 days old) by Jmm63 (Denville, NJ)        

jmm63's profile picture

It was so cold here saturday that my oil lines froze!  First time in 10 years that has happened.  Woke up Sunday morning to a 50 degree house.  Panic ensued until I got hold of the oil company who was out in an hour and diagnosed the problem.  They torched the lines and the furnace fired right up.  Now that I've experienced that, I know what to look for.  The lines were insulated, but now they are DOUBLE insulated , also there is an electric blanket at the ready should this ever happen again.  I hate winter!


Post# 977626 , Reply# 141   1/9/2018 at 11:10 (217 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Ditto Jim!

Hurry up April. My pipes to the basement shower froze because the duct for the exhaust fan is next to them in the ceiling. I could hear the wind flapping the damper in it. I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't gone down to clean. I thawed them with a hair dryer.

Post# 978582 , Reply# 142   1/16/2018 at 13:24 (210 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
cold morning in belle...

was -22 this morning-'98 k1500 groaned a little,but started right up :)seat was hard as a rock and gearshift stiff...

Post# 978881 , Reply# 143   1/18/2018 at 17:39 (208 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Well the utility bill is here. The period between 12/18-1/17 we used 347 therms and 1,261 KWh's. Total cost for gas: $206.03. Total cost for electric: $188.65.

Kind of wasn't expecting the electric usage to be so high, had no more Christmas lights than last year. I suspect that had something to do with some family visiting insisting on having the can lights in the kitchen on all the time which are halogen and use about 600 watts when not dimmed. Usually make up for that February-May.

The gas usage was slightly less than I expected, I did leave it at 72 after that cold snap as I've been perfectly comfortable with that. Looking back in records going back to 2009 that 347 therms is the second most used next to January '09 which was 441 therms used, the last winter the heat was kept at 72 for that billing period. That was with the old 80% efficient furnace still in place.

Post# 980662 , Reply# 144   1/30/2018 at 22:50 (196 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

supersuds's profile picture
My utility bill is an interesting contrast to GusHerb's. For 12/19-1/19 we used 165 therms of gas and 1685 kWh of electricity. The electric cost $168.19 but the gas cost $178.03.

So 50% more electricity cost $20 less, but gas costs almost twice as much per therm.

Post# 980666 , Reply# 145   1/30/2018 at 23:11 (196 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Your electricity is dirt cheap.

We pay something around 13 cents a kWh after delivery fees etc which is rolled in with the 10 cents a kWh for electricity itself. Getting our usage lower is a practice in futility, so thinking maybe going solar would be a good offset to the usage.

Gas is dirt cheap for us but the utility wants to raise delivery charges a fairly substantial amount.

Post# 980690 , Reply# 146   1/31/2018 at 07:10 (196 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

TVA keeps our power bills pretty reasonable in this area.

Post# 980692 , Reply# 147   1/31/2018 at 07:33 (196 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
We are good and warm

Good old oil heat, In this weather its more economical than a heat pump,and a heck of a lot warmer.

Post# 980693 , Reply# 148   1/31/2018 at 07:48 (196 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

Not CHEAPLY! Our gas bill will be on the rise, in no time... Though no sooner I do voluntarily raise the thermostat, I do turn it back down, but just for it to go back up again, so like I said--...




-- Dave

Post# 980969 , Reply# 149   2/2/2018 at 10:37 (193 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

Our gas bill is figured as per hundred cubic feet.  We used 9600 cubic feet at 0.4993 cents/ the actual gas bill  itself, not including delivery charge, was only $47!  With the delivery fees added, it was $78 total.  Not too shabby for keeping the Tstat set on 73 most of the time.  Plus, the Amana(Goodman) gas package unit is only 82% efficient.

Post# 982018 , Reply# 150   2/9/2018 at 10:46 (186 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Honeywell is doing energy usage reports now. Idk why they just started considering they've been collecting data all this time apparently. Anyway, interesting to see on paper what I already know.
The downstairs usage from January 2017 is actually the upstairs from that time period, and the upstairs used December 2017 since I put the thermostat in last February so there was no 1/17 info from it. The old upstairs thermostat is downstairs.

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