.. and then some! This morning as I'm suiting up to go out for my three hour bike ride in the 20 degree cold, dear wife says she smells gas. No, not the kind that I pass discreetly and blame on my son.. the kind that comes from a leaky gas pipe. "Nonsense! I know what gas smells like a lot better than you do, and I smell nothing." So I go off on my merry way and freeze my tookas off riding 55 miles in a little over 3 hours. Little did I know.. Wife and family went out to the mall to pass some time and our neighbor calls Ebru to inform her that the outdoor siren that's hard wired to our smoke detector has been wailing and that there are three fire trucks, an ambulance and two cop cars at our house- and the entire street is closed off. This is explained to me as soon as I return from my ride.. and needless to say, it sounds like the consensus is that it's all my fault! Thankfully, nothing burned.. except for our oil fired boiler. What happened is the low water cut-off failed, meaning that when the water level in the furnace went down too low, it didn't engage the automatic fill valve. Eventually, the water ran out completely (we have steam heat) and the furnace continued to burn an empty cast iron tank.. until it cracked and superheated all the pipes, melting the solder and giving off fumes and smoke. The fire department figured this out quick and turned off the unit, which is now a total loss. Cost to install an equivalent boiler unit? $4500-5000. Oh joy. So whatever money Dubya sends me to stimulate the economy with, I will at least be buying an all-American built boiler with it.. Then again, I am researching and considering installing radiant heat. It's a 1/16" mesh that I can put down over my existing floor and then cover up with wall to wall carpet. Just as expensive, but a lot more efficient, much more even heat, and warm floors which sounds nice.. Check this out: Zmesh.com
I had to go out and buy three more portable heaters to put into the rooms downstairs.. Out of pity for me, the gods helped me find units that were 50% off. Cool. Fortunately we have a propane fueled cast iron fireplace in our master bedroom. Lucky for that I guess. Times like this I wish I had a wood burning fireplace.