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My Wife’s Hot Water Problem

Last Friday while I was enjoying my morning cup of coffee, Hope came into the dining room and asked me why her shower water was cold?

Well, I kinda stared at her wondering what was going on.  As you guys probably know, the heart of the matter is in the basement.  I opened the door and immediately heard the problem, “a screeching sound”. The only thing on my boiler that could make that sound would be burned bearings on the circulator pump.  Well, there goes my second cup of coffee.  Hope went to work, wishing me a good day, thanks dear.

I had to shut off the entire water system, drain the boiler and remove the old circulator pump.  You can see the gap in the picture.  I just happen to have a spare circulator pump (well of course I would) that was ready to go in.  The failed pump was 20 years old , it owed me nothing.

Only one problem, check out the condition of the flanges!!! Would you reinstall those.  I thought about, I really wanted that second cup of coffee. So off I went to my favorite plumbing supply house and had a nice chat with my good friend Steve. He gave me all the new parts I needed, I paid my $24 bill, and went on my merry way (with that second cup on my mind). This repair shouldn’t be too bad.

Well, look what happened- the design of the new flanges is quite different from my old ones, they are 2” thicker, the new circulator would not fit.  I thought about spreading the pipes, but that would cause a leak, so I decided to replace the bottom 4” nipple that has been in place for 20 years with a new 2” nipple.  Boy, taking apart pipe fittings that old is risky.  I could heat the pipes, but I was too close to the gas line, no deal.

So, I went to Grandpa Noskin’s 24” straight pipe wrench (which is 100 years old), and it did the trick. Thanks Gramps, I miss you.

New flanges installed.

                         Completed project

Reflection- I always tell my students that the most important tools to use around the house are our 5 senses.  Hope used her sense of feel and I used my sense of hearing to confirm that there was a problem and to diagnose what the problem was.

I treated myself to a Grande Pike Red-Eye, my fav Starbuck’s drink.

Remember, You Can Do It!!!!

Brian TLC

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