Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

IconProjects, musings about guitar builds, guitar repairs, vintage tube amplifiers, old radios, travel, home renovation, and other stuff.

Turn Off The Heat In Here

With the outlets now removed, I can move on to taking off the old baseboard heaters. There were three of them installed, plus the PO had an additional plug-in floor unit - a total of four.

Now, that seems to me to be a lot for a room of about 160 square feet. There are windows on 3 walls, but it still seems like a lot. I did some calculations and determined that I'd need about 6500 BTU/hr (I think...I am writing this off the top of my head...and you thought I was using a computer!). I selected 2 new heaters that will give about 7800 BTU/hr. And that's just one 6-foot and one 3-foot heater. So I think we're ok.

So we start taking the old heaters off. Remove the end cap and this is what we see. Looks like homebrew wiring. And the closeup shows a coupla 10 watt (!) resistors, a 1/2 watt resistor and a regulator of some sort (the red box with 3 pins on it). On one of the other heaters, there is a dropping transformer wired in, so what's going on is he tapped the 120 volt line to bring it down and then rectified it to DC in order to use a low-voltage thermostat.

Or something like that.

I don't know a lot about thermostats but I think I'm going to be learning soon. My guess is I'll have to do the same sort of arrangement. Maybe. But I'm not that far along yet.

At any rate, the PO used his favorite wire to do this - speaker wire. You can see it in the closeup - it's the clear double strand wire. It's all over the house. He must have scored big on a 1 mile spool or something. It looks Really Tacky and...wait for it...cheap. That will have to go.

Side story: he also used it to run a phone line to the 2nd floor. Part of it goes through the wall, and part of it runs over a door frame...sigh. What a mess. Another thing to fix in the long term. Anyway, when the installer from Verizon came to hook up the FIOS (fiber optic) phone lines, he was running the line into the house and connecting it to a terminal block inside and takes one look at the funky wiring, and then turns to me:

FIOS Man: "You know we don't cover the inside wiring."
Me: "Yes. They did a pretty crazy job on the phone wiring."
FIOS Man: "It looks like speaker wire."
Me: "Yeah, the PO used it everywhere in the house."

During this conversation we happened to be standing in front of my workbench with all my radio repair junk on it so he probably figured Yr Fthfl Blggr knows which end of a soldering iron to pound on - maybe.

After all the hassle with the outlets, the heaters were pleasantly easy to remove. Just a couple of wood screws holding each one on. Disconnect the wire nuts, remove the attachment screws, and poof, we have the heaters off.

Originally I thought I might put the baseboards on Freecycle - I gave away some leftover drywall that way, but these things are just too gross to pass on to someone else. Not that that doesn't stop some people...I saw a Freecycle post for a half-package of cheese slices on Freecycle last summer- no joke. I wonder sometimes how many people pick up a 'freebie' from Freecycle and then turn around and trash it because the item is useless.

If you do have baseboards, you really need to vacuum them frequently, lest you wind up with something really disgusting underneath.

In the one shot above, you can see my Hacker RP-38A "Hunter" radio - playing the lovely sounds of WBJC Baltimore. It's an English transistor set (I hear ya) from the early 70s and it sounds amazing. Good sized Celestion speaker, separate bass and treble. More shots of the Hacker upcoming. Maybe all of my Hackers - I have...uh...more than one.

Earlier in this post, I mentioned the transformer and wire nuts. Not sure I'll be able to reuse the transformer on this job - I'll probably get a new one, but it might be good for experimenting - maybe a stomp box? - down the road. We shall see. I tend to hang on to this old junque, especially the Varietus Electronics.

And for the final bit of this post - the piece of resistance, the cream de la cream, the icing on the cake...one casualty from the dreaded Removal Of The Outlet Boxes. The worst part about this is the bit was new! I think I pulled upward on it while drilling out one of those screws on the outlet boxes and it snapped. Oh well, say la vee.

 
 
 
 

Post a Comment 1 comments:

  • Dan said...
    March 18, 2009 at 5:04 PM
    You make it sound like "tacky" and "cheap" are derogatory.

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