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DFoster

The joy of home ownership

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After this years cleaning we have been informed that boiler in our home is dying and can go at anytime.  Some type of "non replaceable" gasket.  Our hope was to get through one more winter and put in a new one in the Spring.  This week the heat stop working on our second floor.  Most likely the circulating pump and for a few hundred bucks we can get it replaced.  We've made the decision that we are not going to put money into a lost cause.  So now we're taking bids and dealing with Covid restrictions right in front of the holidays.  The company we actually wanted to do the install has a voice mail that states "They are not taking any new work at this time".  I'm not sure if that's Covid related or not.  Sad because they did beautiful work at my wife's uncle's home and were reasonable on the price. 

Sorry I just needed to vent a little.  The stress of home ownership makes me ask if it's worth it sometimes. 

Anyone else need to vent?

 

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That is a bummer, DFoster, but the silver lining is it didn't go in the dead of winter.  Mine did when we had a one year old and a 2 week stretch of weather that never got higher than the teens.  That really sucked.  

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A fellow had his heat pump go out in August, usually the hottest time of the year in SE TN. Had to put fans in all the rooms. This was before ceiling fans became popular. Because of the backlog for replacement compressors, took 30 days before it was fixed. Our hear pump died this summer but it was during a cool spell.

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3 hours ago, niveker said:

That is a bummer, DFoster, but the silver lining is it didn't go in the dead of winter.  Mine did when we had a one year old and a 2 week stretch of weather that never got higher than the teens.  That really sucked.  

A 1 YO and 2 weeks without heat in the coldest part of winter will really test a marriage.  How did you keep your pipes from freezing?  Just me and my wife here though - our 2 daughters are grown and married with working heat.  Your right there is always a bright side.  We do have a couple of electric space heaters and a wood stove in the basement.  Even with out heat the basement wood stove is holding the second floor in the high 50's.  It hasn't been very cold by New England standards so hopefully we can get a system at a reasonable price before the arctic weather comes by for a kiss. 

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2 hours ago, skeet3t said:

A fellow had his heat pump go out in August, usually the hottest time of the year in SE TN. Had to put fans in all the rooms. This was before ceiling fans became popular. Because of the backlog for replacement compressors, took 30 days before it was fixed. Our hear pump died this summer but it was during a cool spell.

Our joke here is that we must have unknowingly built on Indian Burial grounds.  When we have money set aside for something fun the Chief's angry spirit reaches out and something expensive fails.  I've been pouring whiskey on the ground and leaving tobacco about but It seems like he's still p!$$ed.   I'll try bacon, it worked on the dog-

My nephew married a beautiful girl from Tennessee. 

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32 minutes ago, Mark Knapp said:

Wishing you the best.

 

32 minutes ago, Mark Knapp said:

Wishing you the best.

Thanks Mark.  Many people these days are facing far worse.  My wife and I still have jobs though income from my sideline of playing music has gone to zero.  What can you do? You got to have heat.  Well unless you move to Fla like Mike.  But then there’s bugs and snakes lol

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May get significantly better deals if you wait until summer to do the full replacement, I imagine it will probably be at least a break even if the temporary repair is only a few dollars.

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On 11/20/2020 at 8:45 AM, DFoster said:

After this years cleaning we have been informed that boiler in our home is dying and can go at anytime.

 

I've had more than 1 HVAC guy try to sell me stuff I didn't need--I would get a second opinion.

I just looked it up for you--In May, 2012 I was told my AC was aged and it was suggested that I replace the whole system.  I replaced the motor myself and only had to replace a "small fan" since (one that apparently sucks in some air from outside). The person who did the latter  repair, looked at my "coils", and seemed disappointed to have to tell me that they looked great considering their age.

In about 2011, my wife was told by the Suburu dealership that the head gasket was "oozing oil" and needed it replaced at $3600, or so.   I looked at it, and couldn't find any leak at all, so I didn't act on it. At this point (9 years later), it's loosing almost a quart every 3 months or so (I have no "puddles" in my driveway).  Guy who works at another dealership who lives across the street from me told me that "all cars leak oil".

I have more stories of a similar tone..I don't like to think about the the stuff that has happened to me at one auto repair shop. I switched to AutoTire last month, and it was a nice change.  They "upsold" me a bit, but it was much better than the "diagnosis"  I got at the place I have been primarily been going to  (due to having a paid-for "tire contract" with them for rotation/balancing).

In short, it's probably true that "it could go anytime"--and it 's probably true that it might not too! :  )  If you "trust" the person who inspected your boiler--if that has been the person who has helped you with it over the years, that would weigh heavily on my decision.   The price would too, of course, as well as  what I could see with my own eyes.    "non-replaceable gasket" sounds "strange" to my ears.   You maybe need someone clever enough to fabricate a non-replaceable gasket.  Maybe you could do it yourself?   Professionals seem to like to make at least $400 an hour or more.  I assume you might have a couple of hours to fuss with it, if necessary.  You may find something "in a can" that may help your new gasket. I used some on the gasket of my water pump on an older car after half of the 17 bolts broke upon removal.  My repair held up fine.  There are many things you may wish to take into consideration. For instance, whether the boiler in a place where the problem could result in significant property damage.

Good luck fellow homeowner!  : )

Bill

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1 hour ago, Bill_729 said:

 Guy who works at another dealership who lives across the street from me told me that "all cars leak oil".

None of my cars leak or burn oil. If they do I get them fixed. 

 

Finding honest contractors is not easy but easy but there are plenty. What I've learned over the years is dont use a big company that wants to sell you monthly plans or service plans. Those guys will always up sell you.

 

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5 hours ago, Poopdeck said:

None of my cars leak or burn oil. If they do I get them fixed.

I used to think like that.  Now I think about what it costs for the 4 quarts of oil I'll add in a year.  The same car has a broken electric window.  Would you fix that too?   I haven't even asked what it would cost to fix the window... the last time I asked about one of those it was in the neighborhood of $600-700, it's probably more nowadays.   I told my wife (who has possession), whenever she wants to replace it, we'll do it, and we'll even fix the window if she wants to, but in the meantime, every month she drives it it's  like having someone hand her around $350.  And, except for the window she is happy with the car.  I add the oil.  : )

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Just an aside about engines.  The valve stems, sliding through the valve guides, require lubrication.  The piston rings sliding through the cylinders also require lubrication.  Although the amounts are miniscule (maybe a drop of oil every 200 to 300 miles), every engine does burn some oil.

Early engines were expected to lose oil during normal operation.  It's why there's a "low limit" mark on the dipstick.  Then people started to realize that polluting aerosols and gases are produced and engine manufacturers started tightening clearances, etc., to clean up the exhaust emissions.  (EPA restrictions pushed the evolution faster, but the manufacturers started changing before that)

Allowing the engine to burn oil to save a few dollars just adds to the pollutant levels humans are solely responsible for and shows a blatant disregard for the environment.  Not that I care, I don't have any children.  When I die, I won't care what version of Earth is left behind.  

Apologies for hijacking the thread.  Back to "home ownership" and the cost of living in modern times.

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12 hours ago, Bill_729 said:

I've had more than 1 HVAC guy try to sell me stuff I didn't need--I would get a second opinion.

I just looked it up for you--In May, 2012 I was told my AC was aged and it was suggested that I replace the whole system.  I replaced the motor myself and only had to replace a "small fan" since (one that apparently sucks in some air from outside). The person who did the latter  repair, looked at my "coils", and seemed disappointed to have to tell me that they looked great considering their age.

In about 2011, my wife was told by the Suburu dealership that the head gasket was "oozing oil" and needed it replaced at $3600, or so.   I looked at it, and couldn't find any leak at all, so I didn't act on it. At this point (9 years later), it's loosing almost a quart every 3 months or so (I have no "puddles" in my driveway).  Guy who works at another dealership who lives across the street from me told me that "all cars leak oil".

I have more stories of a similar tone..I don't like to think about the the stuff that has happened to me at one auto repair shop. I switched to AutoTire last month, and it was a nice change.  They "upsold" me a bit, but it was much better than the "diagnosis"  I got at the place I have been primarily been going to  (due to having a paid-for "tire contract" with them for rotation/balancing).

In short, it's probably true that "it could go anytime"--and it 's probably true that it might not too! :  )  If you "trust" the person who inspected your boiler--if that has been the person who has helped you with it over the years, that would weigh heavily on my decision.   The price would too, of course, as well as  what I could see with my own eyes.    "non-replaceable gasket" sounds "strange" to my ears.   You maybe need someone clever enough to fabricate a non-replaceable gasket.  Maybe you could do it yourself?   Professionals seem to like to make at least $400 an hour or more.  I assume you might have a couple of hours to fuss with it, if necessary.  You may find something "in a can" that may help your new gasket. I used some on the gasket of my water pump on an older car after half of the 17 bolts broke upon removal.  My repair held up fine.  There are many things you may wish to take into consideration. For instance, whether the boiler in a place where the problem could result in significant property damage.

Good luck fellow homeowner!  : )

Bill

Thanks Bill!  Sadly not all contractors are honest and I too have many stories of fixing the supposedly non repairable.  I'm good with tools and my wife likes to say I can fix a rainy day.  That said I also know my limitations and there are some things beyond repair.  Second opinions on any major expenditure is always prudent but In this case however I tend to believe the HVAC guy.  He is one of several from different companies that warned us the unit is going during the annual cleaning.  It was installed when the house was built in 1992 so that's 28 years which is roughly the life expectancy of these things.  Trying to make it through the winter is risky-  An emergency replacement is significantly more expensive than a scheduled one and there is the potential for water damage.

We'll see where the quotes come in and make a decision then.

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1 hour ago, mikechell said:

Allowing the engine to burn oil to save a few dollars just adds to the pollutant levels humans are solely responsible for and shows a blatant disregard for the environment. 

FWIW, no one said my car is burning any oil--besides that drop every 200 miles that you mentioned.

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17 hours ago, Bill_729 said:

it's losing almost a quart every 3 months or so

Best estimate I've seen online is 18,920 drops per quart.   You said you don't have any puddles, so the loss is internal.  Unless you're driving 1.25 million miles a month, you're burning more than a drop per 200 miles.  😉

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