Appliances
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As stuff breaks, we get new stuff. We have lots of new stuff. :-(

And yes, I'm using the term "appliance" loosely here.

 

Central AC and Automatic Thermostat

OK this one was really an upgrade before we bought the house, but it's worth mentioning here. Especially with the fully automatic thermostat that flips between heat and AC without us ever having to touch a thing. We had the work done after we bought the house but before we moved in, and we had the cost worked into the mortgage. It was uber cheap to add the approx $4000 cost into the mortgage, so we did it. I love it because I'm lazy and It Just Works. My father thinks it's nuts that the AC might kick on in the middle of winter because the house gets too hot for some reason. I think if we're cooking a big meal and the house gets too hot, it should cool itself down.

I even bought an add-on external temperature sensor for the thermostat so you can tell what the outside temperature is. It was only about $30 via mail-order and hookup is as simple as two wires going up through the attic and out to the sensor which mounts on an outside wall under the eaves. Now, checking on the outside temperature is as easy as pressing a button in the hall and looking at the screen on the thermostat. We use it daily to check on the outside temp before we go out in the morning, and to do things like see the temp before we go to bed so we know if there's likely to be ice on the cars on those chilly winter mornings mornings. That helps us plan for a few extra minutes to warm them up vs. getting a few extra minutes of sleep. Sleep good...

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Heater

In the dead of winter, with houseguests coming over, the heater died. The first place we called to come look at (Sears) forgot to show up after a whole day of waiting, and the house was getting mighty cold. The next place we called did show up promptly (for a hefty double-fee because it was after 8pm by then), and promptly pronounced the heater dead, with installation scheduled for the next day - also a rush job because it was so late. I ended up paying about $4000 for a spiffy new "90% efficient" heater, but at least it works and the house stays warm. It's also much quieter than the old model. The install was fine, but a bit of a rush, so after they left I needed to re-do the vent pipe to be vertical and not stick up so much above the roof, and add a fresh air intake from outside the house (so I can insulate the garage later and still have the heater have a source of fresh air for combustion), and seal up the hole in the ceiling sheetrock in the garage.

I also took the time to re-wire the main furnace electrical hookup so it was a plug-in with a switch for easy disconnect. This also allows easy plug-in to a generator if the power goes out. I also moved the thermostat wire from running in with the electrical wiring to coming up along the ductwork and in through a separate hole in the furnace case as is usually done. The conduit used previously was just too small for the electrical wires and the thermostat wire, and the wire that got used was all the wrong colors. It was fun to watch the furnace installers figure that out, though.

I also need to add a dedicated external air intake for combustion air that goes outside the house. When the furnace was originally installed, the garage was uninsulated, and leaked air badly enough that taking combustion air from the garage was not an issue. But, once the garage is insulated I must provide a source of external fresh air to prevent depleting the oxygen in the garage and causing various unsavory issues.

Here's the heater, as installed. Note the huge hole in the ceiling and how the vent pipe is run. It's on the wrong side of the truss and runs at an angle. The vent pipe above the roof isn't plumb as a result, and it looks...funky. It's functional, though...

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I finally got around to running the vent pipe properly so it was plumb and not sticking way up over the roof at an odd angle, and I also extended the fresh air intake pipe run into the attic. The capped off black iron pipe coming out of the floor in the corner of the first picture is the original gas line feed to the furnace and water heater. It was abandoned in place when the gas meter was moved to the other side of the house as part of the generator work. It runs all the way out to the side of the house and is capped off there. It got re-used as a an air line to the side yard. The drywall here was patched as part of the work on the garage; that page shows some of the air line work too.

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Washer and Dryer

We had previously been using cheap used washers and dryers, and when we bought the house it came with a set that was matching and in good shape, so we put our others into storage and used the ones that came with the house. Then the dryer died, so we grabbed ours out of storage. Then that dryer died. And it was the replacement for a dryer that had died while we were living in a previous rental unit. The washer was the same first one I bought used for about $40 when I rented my first house years ago and was still going strong. Hmmm. Dryers don't go well with me for some reason, I guess. Anyway, I was fed up with fighting with used dryers every other year, so I decided to go get a new matched set. Deb and I both agreed that we wanted a huge set to be able to wash our king size comforter and pretty much anything else we could throw at it, plus I liked the water and power savings from the new front-loading units. So we bought a top-of-the-line Whirlpool Duet pair. Then Home Depot delivered us the display units by mistake, with the drawer pedestals underneath that we had not paid for. In the end, I negotiated for us to keep the display units with the pedestals for no extra charge in exchange for them not having to make an extra delivery for "new" units and for us accepting the cosmetically imperfect display units. Sometimes you get lucky. I was just sick of fighting with stuff and wanted my washer and dryer again so I could reliably have clean and dry underwear when I needed it.

I also decided to turn the washer and dryer set 90 degrees while I was changing them to make better use of the space and put them under the shelf on the side wall. I had to fabricate an extended drain hookup, as well as buy very long hoses for the water to the washer. The dryer hookup turned out to be easy - the cord was already long enough and the vent was in a plausibly good place either way. One added bonus is that I can now reach the water shutoff valve for the whole house - you can see it in the middle of the new section of sheetrock near the floor, along with the pressure reducer sticking out just above it.

Some time after we got this washer/dryer pair, we bought a gas version of this dryer and had it installed. This was part of the gas appliance upgrades for the generator - with a gas dryer we can wash and dry laundry while we're on generator power, even with a smaller generator. I didn't bother to take a separate picture of the gas dryer because it looks exactly the same on the front and has the exact same functionality. (Well almost exactly, it had one extra mode on it - whee.) It just gets it's heat to dry the clothes from burning natural gas instead of from an electric heating element. You can see some pictures of the gas line work in the area of the dryer on the generator page. This was our first "upgrade" of an appliance we had bought that was still working perfectly fine.

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Refrigerator

It keeled over right before a holiday, and we were restricted to getting one that was in stock. I really wanted black, but I had to live with white because we really needed one ASAP. At least I got a larger unit and one that has water/ice in the door. I did have to run a water line for the icemaker, but that wasn't too hard.

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The first temporary line to the icemaker. I used cheap-o PVC braided hose T'ed off the cold water feed for the kitchen sink, run down under the floor, and back up into the wall. Eventually, I know I'd have to replace it with a real water line, so I just set the drywall back in place until then. Note the spiffy coiling up of the excess water line inside the wall with tie wraps. Very classy...

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Later on (years later, sadly), I replaced the PVC braided line with a dedicated shut-off valve T'ed into the main cold water line under the house and PEX tubing running up to the in-wall shut-off valve behind the fridge. This was my first attempt at using PEX, and wow, is it incredibly easy to use. Yes, you have to buy a special crimping tool, but it's very much worth it, and highly recommended, even with the cost of the crimping tool. It took way longer to do the drywall patching and repainting afterwards than it did to run the water line with PEX. I only had white paint at the time, so that's what I painted with. It's a tad bright and noticeable...

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I picked up some paint that's a bit closer to being a color match and used that to touch things up. Still not perfect, but much less noticeable. It's good enough until we repaint the entire kitchen; this is all behind the fridge, after all...

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Dishwasher

The one that came with the house was original - circa 1976 when the house was built. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. It finally went to dishwasher heaven and we bought a new one. It's much quieter, holds more stuff, and cleans much better than the old one - no more pre-washing! Yay!

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Stove

Another replace-the-original-appliance, but this time it was not under duress. We decided to convert to gas for the range - see our generator page for more details on the gas conversion project. After looking about at the various units, we opted to get a dual-fuel stove (gas range on top, electric oven on bottom) for the perfect combination. Gas works great for a cook top and gets you more firepower and better heat control, and electric on the oven is preferred, especially when you get the convection features - which we did. It looks good and the cookies it makes are excellent.

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Tankless Water Heater

Another upgrade initiated by our generator changes. The water heater was getting old and I knew I wanted a tankless hot water heater eventually anyway, so when I had to upgrade the gas lines and meter for the generator I planned to size this into the eventual plan. When I found a chance to get 12 months same as cash on a Rinnai Tankless Hot Water Heater and get a great deal on all the gas line work inside the house as part of it, I decided to go for it on this upgrade. The never ending hot shower is here! It did require a new outlet to be run so the electronics had a place to plug into, but that was pretty easy to do. The current draw is <1A, so I just added an outlet on the existing heater circuit, which means it's got generator backed power.

One nifty feature is a separate electronic control panel that allows you to easily adjust the hot water temperature from the unit. We set ours for the hottest shower we like to take so that we just turn the water all the way to full hot and use it. That way we've not paying to over-heat the water just to mix it with cold water and cool it back down again. It also prevents scalding, and has the side effect of making the shower immune to the effects of flushing toilets, the washer, and other sudden changes in the amount of cold or hot water being used elsewhere in the house. Other than a slight pressure drop, you don't even notice it. I think that's a pretty neat "feature".

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Hot Water Recirculation Pump and Expansion Tank

I saw the pump part of this on an Ask This Old House episode, and liked the idea so much I decided to add one in our house. The basic idea is that you have a pump that can circulate hot water through the plumbing to pre-warm the pipes so you get near-instant hot water at the point of use, with the recirculated water being pumped back into the hot water heater inlet instead of "new" cold water so there is no wasted water. I'd seen systems like this before (they've been around for years), and they kept the pipes warm 24x7 by running on a timer or straight temp sensor. That's a waste of energy, especially with a tankless water heater, which means higher utility bills. No thanks. The product we selected is a D'MAND STS-02T that uses an activation button and a temp sensor at the pump - push the button and the pump comes on until the pipes are warm and then shuts off. Then you have instant hot water at the faucets/shower/laundry, without running water down the drain and waiting. Also, since it's moving the full volume of water the pipe is capable of moving, you move more water than the normal faucet/shower/laundry can, so the pipes get warmer faster, which means less waiting time. Especially with a low flow showerhead, this can be a big difference.

This system can be installed in two ways. The basic retrofit installation mounts the pump at the furthest fixture from the hot water heater and uses the cold water line as the return line. It does tend to warm the cold water line slightly, though not much. In a new home install, you run a dedicated return line from the furthest point of the hot water line back to the water heater and that way it's all separate from the cold water line. In my case, the water line is basically a "T" arrangement under the house with the water heater in the middle at the base of the "T", and one side of the "T" being the laundry room, and the other side being the bathrooms, with the kitchen near the middle, but slight on the bathrooms side of the "T". To use a single pump, that meant I would need two return lines that came together at the pump, with some valve in case I need to service the pump, and that I can use to balance the flow on each leg of the "T" if needed. I opted to mount the pump in the garage under the water heater for ease of future service. All of the plumbing hookups are already there, and I have ready access to an electrical outlet on the water heater/furnace circuit. I can also run plumbing down into the crawlspace reasonably easily to run new PEX tubing for the two new return lines. It's cheap, and very easy to run.

The expansion tank is to help manage thermal expansion in the plumbing. As the water heats up, it expands. I have a pressure reducer on my water inlet to the house, so the hot water can't push back that way. Normally, with the tankless, the extra pressure goes out the faucets as the water heats up. With the recirculation pump, I'd be putting heat (and thus expansion) into a closed system. To prevent water hammer and excess pressure on the pipes, I opted to install an expansion tank along with this project. Since I was going to install one anyway, I opted for a dual port one where the hot water flows through the tank and then out to the fixtures. This gives me a small 2 gallon buffer of hot water, which pretty much eliminates a phenomenon called "The Cold Sandwich" that is unique to tankless hot water heaters. There's a decent description at http://www.cozyworld.ca/fyi-cold-water-sandwich-effect.html, and a good graphic explaining it at http://www.mattox.com/water_heaters/index.html#sandwich. By adding a small flow-through tank to the system on the hot water side of the heater, it mitigates the cold sandwich effect. Since I needed to add an expansion tank anyway, it's a non-brainer to go with the dual-port tank.

The water heater space pre-install. The pump and tank will be mounted below the water heater. It's basically dead space anyway. Ill expand the switch-and-single outlet that the water heater plugs into to be a switch with three outlets so I have enough for the pump and associated stuff plus the water heater.

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I mounted a piece of 3/4" plywood to the studs to provide a sturdy surface to mount things to, including a small shelf for the pump. In this picture you can see the newly expanded outlet, plus the hole in the drywall near the floor so I can drill down through the base plate of the wall and into the crawlspace for the new return lines. This is also where the PEX lines will come out of the wall and go to shut-off valves. The plywood will make mounting them quite easy. The expansion tank is at the lower left.

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I've started installing the lines to/from the expansion tank. Everything up to the unions is already soldered at this point. The unions are there for ease of future service - if I need to remove the expansion tank for some reason, I can just shut off the water to the house and break the unions, then un-strap it from the plywood.

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More mock-up work. This shows all of the copper work cut to length and ready to solder in place. You can see the lower manifold where the PEX return lines will hook up to, as well as the line on the outlet of the pump that will T into the cold water feed to the water heater. There is a shut-off valve there for future pump service - isolating the pump will be as simple as unplugging it and shutting off all three valves around it, then it can be removed for service.

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A close-up of the pump inlet plumbing. The jar of flux is just there to help hold up the plumbing during mock-up.

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A close-up of the outlet side of the pump and the hookups to the existing water lines. In addition to the various fittings, this project consumed over 6' of copper line. It adds up faster than you think it will...

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Down in the crawlspace, planning for the PEX return line routing. This shows the base-plate of the wall that I'll need to come through at an angle to get into the crawlspace. I may end up chipping out a bit of the concrete to make it all fit nicely and not bend the PEX tubing unnaturally; we'll see how it works out once I start drilling holes in things...

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This is the joist bay the lines will have to run through from left to right. I took these to refer to while planning, so I wouldn't need to keep going into the crawlspace to refresh my memory. Nothing exciting here, just memory aids for me in an easy to refer to place.

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Same as before, now with more soldering and installing of the twin PEX return line shutoff valves under the shelf. At this point, I've done everything I can before 1) installing the return lines down into the crawlspace and 2) breaking into the existing water lines to/from the hot water heater. Courtesy of the unions, I only have one new fitting left to solder, other than where the new work will join into existing pipes. Doing all of this was fairly tedious, but not too bad overall - I just grabbed my mechanic's rolling seat and sat there working away at it when I had time.

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Now, with more PEX! The new return lines are run into the crawlspace and out to their respective connection points at the far ends of the plumbing system. At this point, the PEX return lines are final connected at the connections shown here; down in the crawlspace they are roughed in and not connected. They're all tacked down and ready to be connected, which is worthy progress to note. Unrolling a 3/4" PEX tubing coil in a crawlspace is...interesting.

You can also see the roll of 18/5 thermostat wire that runs alongside the PEX lines down into the crawlspace. This eventually runs to each of the in-wall switchboxes at each of the usage points. Everything connects together in junction boxes in the crawlspace. I'll post a wiring diagram later for reference.

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The holes for the PEX tubing had to pass through a corner of the foundation, so I broke out by monster 1" hammer drill bit and had some fun. A hammer drill and one of these things makes disturbingly fast work of drilling large holes in solid concrete. Normally using the right tool for the job isn't this impressive, but in this case, it's quite the show...

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I've started building the control box for the activation buttons and indicator lights. At this point, I still have to install all of the "inside the box" wiring, the power cord, the wires to connect to the D'mand system, and the wires to the buttons + indicator lights that are already run to each of the usage points throughout the house. I'll post a wiring diagram later for reference. Actually, I think I'll laminate a copy of the wiring and plumbing schematic I'll create later and hang it near the control box to make later servicing easier.

You can see one of the test buttons and the indicator light on the end of the control box. There will be two test buttons - one is the original D'mand system activation button (used to test the D'mand system isolated from the control system) and the yet-to-be-installed button will be wired the same as the remote mounted buttons at each point of use (used to test the control system isolated from the whole-house wiring). The indicator light is part of the control system and if the control relays are working right, it will function from either button as long as the D'mand pump is working right.

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This is the control box with nearly everything installed and wired. The only part not yet installed and wired is the activation button that will match the remote activation buttons. I'll install that when the USPS folks get around to delivering it to me. The wiring is not terribly complicated, but it is a lot of wires in a small space...

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My shiny new pushbuttons arrived in the mail, so I installed one of them in the control box to wrap up the wiring. It was smaller than I expected; I guess I didn't read the measurements closely enough on the website. Meh; it's my fault, but it's not a huge deal. The button has a very nice "feel" to it, and it looks great. Maybe I'll get smaller indicator lights for the point-of-usage hookups at some point. I took a few pics from various angles to capture all the details. Bits are free, and I might want to refer to this later. The white pushbutton is the original D'mand system one, the shiny metal one is the one that runs through all of my added relays and wiring. The indicator light is wired to come on from either one. To test the system, you'd hit the shiny metal button when the pipes are cooled off. If the pump comes on and the light turns on, everything it working right. If that fails, press the white button. If the pump comes on then, you have a problem in the control box wiring. If the light also fails to come in the second button press, but the pump still works, the 24V transformer in this box likely died. If nothing works, start checking external connections to be sure all is well and that the D'mand pump hasn't keeled over. The original D'mand button was free with the system, and wiring it in gave me an extra test mode in case things go south in the future, so I decided to add it.

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The box cover is now on, and it all fits just fine.

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Same, but the box is now inverted to be in it's final mounting position - it will be mounted to the underside of the pump shelf and all you will see is the face of the box with the buttons on it shown in the second picture. I'll have to add some labels on the buttons to make it clear what they do.

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The control box is now complete and mounted (without it's cover installed yet), and all of the wires have connectors installed on them so things are ready to plug in when the time comes. In testing the box, I found out that the pushbutton that came with the D'mand kit is not what the tech support guys described on the phone. It's a normally open pushbutton, but the tech guys said it was a normally closed one. So, the relay is doing things backwards from what the D'mand pushbutton wants. I don't know if the tech guys were wrong, or if the pushbutton is incorrect. I won't be able to sort that out until I get the plumbing work done and fire up the pump for the first time. Either I'll have to rewire the relay a bit, or I'll have to get a different pushbutton from the D'mand folks. My best guess is the tech guys were wrong, but we'll see... Aside from that, everything worked great the first time I tried it.

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The control box viewed from below.

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After getting the plumbing done, I was able to hook up the D'mand pump and control box system, and test things out. My first problem was a huge air bubble right at the pump inlet preventing it from actually pumping anything. I had to slightly loosen the top bolt on the pump inlet flange and let the water pressure slowly push the air out. When I started hearing water instead of air, I quickly tightened the bolt up again, and voila - the pump started pumping water. All of the plumbing changes worked fine first time (no runs, drips, or errors), and the initial test of the system verified that the information I had gotten from the D'mand folks was wrong and the pushbutton they supplied was the correct one. The button is supposed to be a normally open button and pushing it completes the circuit. So, I had to re-do some of the wiring inside the control box a bit so that the silver activation button would work right. It was relatively easy to do and after that, everything worked just fine.

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Before I wrapped up with this project and forgot all the details, I made sure to do a few things. First was to a put some usage labels on the front of the control box for ease of use, and a warning label on the access cover for future reference during servicing. I also created a wiring diagram for the custom control box and a set of troubleshooting instructions, in case the unit ever needs service. I print out the wiring diagram (in color, no less) along with the troubleshooting instructions, laminated them together into a two-sided item, and used a magnet to hang them on the water heater so they'd be near the control box for any future servicing needs.

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The last step out in the garage was re-insulating the existing pipes in the garage that I had to gain access to for working on them, as well as insulating the new pipes that were added into the system. This stuff is not hard, just tedious. I had to do the same thing down in the crawlspace for the various pipes that were worked on down there, but I'm not crawling down there with a camera, so you'll just have to take my word for it that I did it. :-)

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I still need to figure out how to best insulate the hot water expansion tank/reservoir. It can't really do it's job well if it's cooling off too quickly, and it's wasting energy, which translates into more money I spend on heating water, so it's worth it. I Just need to figure out the best way to do it.

I also need to wire up the individual buttons and indicator lights at each point of use and mount them in the blank wall plates I bought.

 

Garage Heater

I want a warm garage to be able to work out there in the winter. The man cave needs some fire, after all. The first step here was to procure a used gas powered heater off Craigslist, and then plot out the install. As part of this, I'm running some speaker wires in the garage so the man cave has rhythmic noise making capabilities. I will also need to insulate the garage to prevent heating costs from going sky-high, and I should drywall it too. That means getting final electrical and other such stuff in the walls before I insulate and drywall.

 

Here are some pictures of the existing gas line work around the furnace and tankless water heater. Since I was having new gas lines run and a bigger meter installed as part of the generator conversion work, I sized the gas lines to accommodate the maximum number of possible upgrades in the future. The plan was to make sure that gas lines for each of these will be stubbed out and/or tie-in locations available for each of these items. I did that for everything except the heater in the garage. As they say, two out of three ain't bad... (Cue Meatloaf here..) So, I needed to un-do a bunch of this and tap into this piping above the ceiling to tee-off a line to the new garage heater, and at the same time I wanted to move the gas lines here to be closer to the back wall and better braced. They were sort of hanging in space and not very well protected, which concerned me.

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The future location of the garage heater gas line.

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Spare tee added above the center of the garage, with shutoff valve. Just trying to be ready for future work, just in case we have great ideas for new gas line work...

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New gas line work around the furnace and tankless water heater. Note that it's strapped down to blocking on the side wall now, and tucked away quite nicely. Kudos to my gas line re-installer - thanks, Jon!

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Gas line to the new garage heater, sans blocking to hold it in place.

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Same as above, this time with blocking and pipe clamps. It's very solidly mounted now.

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Gas Line to BBQ

As part of the work to insulate my floors, I wanted to finish up on any remaining projects in the crawlspace that could reasonably be done in the near term. The will minimize the need to work down there with insulation bits falling on my head. One of the bigger projects was running a gas line extension out under the deck to the BBQ so I could forever end my repeated trips out to get a full bottle, and dealing with the bottle running out (or already being out) at inopportune times. Most of the work was done with the new corrugated stainless steeling tubing (CSST) that's getting a lot of attention these days. It's much easier to run for the bulk of the system - pulls like wore, no fittings except at the ends, and can easily match up to any existing beds in the system. Black iron was used to build manifolds with shutoff valves and for the final stubs for the hookups. I also left an extra shutoff valve and capped off stub in this work for possible future use. It's cheap and easy to do now (about $20 in parts), and much harder to do later.

The box of CSST goodies - two 25' rolls of tubing (one 3/4" and one 1/2"), and four fittings with all of the gaskets and such (two fittings each in 3/4" and 1/2").

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The manifold that will go under the den (two shutoff valves) and the manifold that will go under the deck (one shut-off valve).

The 3/4" CSST will come into the left manifold and have two shut-off valves T'ed into it. One is 3/4" valve to a capped off stub for future expansion, the other is a 1/2" valve that will connect to the 1/2" CSST that will run out under the deck to the grill. Each manifold includes a "crap trap" on the bottom of it to help prevent junk from getting into the equipment. Some gas feeds are really filthy, and this is good practice to put into the system.

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Same, with the hookups that will go on the main gas line that already exists under the den. I had the folks doing the previous work leave me a hookup point under the den when they hooked up the line to the stove. I wasn't sure if it was 1" or 1-1/4", so I got fittings for both. Turns out, it was 1", so I have some spare 1-1/4" fittings...

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The marked out locations where the line to the grill will go through the back "stem wall" of the house under the deck. Gas line is on the left, conduit for an electrical outlet is on the right.

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The dual-valve manifold is now installed to the bottom of the joists, the 1/2" CSST is run out under the deck, and the electrical conduit is run and the outlet for the BBQ hooked up. It has lights in it, so it needs power. And now I have another outlet out near the yard for use doing whatever I need power to do.

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The outlet and 1/2" CSST at the back of the deck. They are safely tucked away under the edge of the deck. The CSST is yet to be hooked up to the manifold and quick-connect fitting that came with the grill hookup kit, so it's left long, coiled up, and the factory rubber cap is still on it to keep junk out of the line until I do the final hookup.

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I had to extend the dual manifold input about 5' to get it close enough to hook up to the 3/4" CSST run. The tubing was only sold in rolls of 25' or 50', and 50' vs. 25' was quite expensive compared to an ~5' section of black iron pipe and a coupler. This was easy, cheap, and worked well. Sold!

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The manifold that will go under the deck for the grill hookup. Note the crap trap, shut-off valve, quick connect fitting that came with the BBQ hookup kit, and the small piece of decking material it's all mounted to. The decking material is a spacer so that the quick connect isn't smashed against the deck support and impossible to use. I'll screw the entire assembly to the deck with four decking screws once the CSST is connected to it.

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This is the existing gas line feed that was put here for the stove previously. The 1" pipe comes direct from the meter connections on the side of the house, and they used 1/2" CSST to make the run over to the stove. I'll be removing the pipe plug from the "bottom" of the T, and adding a stub + T + stub + cap to it. The extra stub + cap on the bottom will be the crap trap, and the T will have a 3/4" outlet to feed a short stub with a valve on it. The 3/4" CSST will hook up to the output of the valve. Why add a valve here? It makes it easier to test the different pieces of the system, and easier to turn things off on this leg of the system if I need to make changes later.

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Future Gas Appliance Upgrades

When I had new gas lines run and a bigger meter installed as part of the generator conversion work, I sized the gas lines to accommodate the maximum number of possible upgrades in the future. These have stubs available to tie into, one in the crawlspace and one in the attic. See notes above for the garage heater and BBQ gas line.

The only possible item left that I might add is a small "portrait" gas fireplace in the den. This will replace the existing huge - and completely unused - wood burning fireplace w/insert. If/when I do that work I can remove the chimney and reclaim valuable space in both the den and in the garage. Woh-hoh!


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Page last updated 01/15/2012 03:42:32 PM