The house I grew up in is a large 3 family house. 2 of the apartments downstairs are rentals and we lived upstairs. When my dad managed it, he had the 2 tenants apartments converted to forced hot water heating systems, yet he never got around to converting the upstairs apartment.
After my dad passed away, I was left with the job of managing this property.
The boiler was brand new, as the old one failed several years ago in the middle of a New England winter, so it had to be replaced. However, the pipes were still leaking and had been patched one too many times.
The boiler may have been brand new, but everything that the boiler connected to was outdated and leaked so much heat that not only did we heat our upstairs apartment, but we probably heated one of the tenants apartments downstairs.
So, I contracted with a company to do the job. They just happen to be a 1-800-PLUMBING company and I knew they do great work from past experience.
The first day of work consisted of removing 7 cast iron radiators from the upstairs and hauling them out of the house. Believe me, that was a full days work and then some. Those radiators are very heavy.
The job went fairly smooth and I actually took my mom on a little trip to Cape Cod for a few days so the plumbers could get the job done. Of course in a house that is over 100 years old, all kinds of surprises come up.
So I don't drag this story out too long, I will just comment that it did take them a bit longer than scheduled, but if you want the job done right, something like this you cannot rush. Also, it is a difficult job changing a single thermostat (1 zone radiator system) to a 5 zone forced hot water with auxiliary hot water tank that is connected to the boiler. Running a lot of Pex tubing, thermostat wires, valves, controls, etc. I am quite impressed with how the whole thing looks in the cellar.
(if you want some pictures of the setup, I can find them. I included the radiator picture that I found)
The job took a bit longer and I actually had to re-schedule my flight a couple times. So its the last day about 6pm and when they connected the new thermostat to the old existing thermostat wire, it didn't work. So now they are in the attic running a new thermostat wire. My mom is telling them they have been there long enough and that "they should go home" I guess when your in your late 80's you have your limits. I just told her to let them finish the job.
So there is a ladder in an outside hallway closet where the attic access is.
And the plumbers left the door open....
The cat was an indoor cat and we never let fluffy out. Cats really are
curious aren't they.... So, you know where that cat went? Of course, up the ladder and into the attic... So you know who went up after the cat?
Yes, I did. So now I am crawling through what seemed like 100 feet of attic that is not meant to be walked in, to retrieve the cat. The cat seemed a bit frightened and I think she realized that she had gotten in a bit over her head. If she had climbed a tree, I would have called the fire department, but I decided that I could get her out of the attic. Of course she was all the way at the very farthest end of the attic you could get to.
So, watching my steps, I made it there, got the cat and carried her to safety inside the house.
The new heating system has worked flawlessly for over 2 years now and I am sure the new tenants will like the convenience and cost effectiveness of having a 5 zone system!