Sunday, October 12, 2008

One step closer

We've been pretty busy with non-house stuff the past couple days, so progress has been slow. Jen installed all the crawlspace insulation we bought the other day, and sold two of our old windows, our old movie room lights and some trim we ripped.

We also installed the Watts hot water recirculator, and, boy, does that thing make a difference! We used to wait for at least 30 seconds for hot water, but now it's pretty much instant. I was going to get the version where you install the pump under your sink, but ended up getting one where the pump goes on the water heater, which made for a cleaner install.

If you've never seen these, here's how they work: the pump goes on the hot water outlet from your water heater and runs on a schedule you define with a timer thingie.

Then you install a little temperature-controlled valve on the faucet furthest from your water heater.

The valve connects your hot and cold lines (creating a loop), and opens when the hot water temp drops. If the pump is running, pressure in your hot water line is higher than your cold line, so water from your hot line will be pushed into your cold line, where it will eventually make it back to the water heater. This action draws new hot water into the hot line.

Yesterday, I helped with an Open Water scuba class, and then came home to work on getting the hood installed. Installing a hood isn't particularly difficult, it's just that we didn't add any blocking to support it before we sheetrocked that wall. Our main bathroom is on the opposite side of that wall, and we plan to remodel it eventually, so the best option was to install the blocking from that side. Here's a shot of me in my dive underwear opening the wall with the sawsall:

Once I had the wall opened, it was relatively easy to add a couple horizontal 2x4's between the framing. The only difficult part was that the bathroom vent pipe was right in the middle, but I was able to slip the blocking behind it (on the kitchen side).

With the blocking in place, installing the hood was simply a matter of screwing the hood and the duct cover support to the wall. I had previously laid everything out on the wall so the hood was level and centered over the cooktop cabinet. The laser level I bought the other day really comes in handy for this kind of task when you're working by yourself.

After the hood was secured to the wall, Jen and I ran a new 15-amp circuit first to the outlet for the cooktop, then up to the hood. If we had run the electrical before sheetrocking the wall, I probably would have tapped into the existing 20-amp circuit that the kitchen outlets are on. However, this would have been a mistake because that's a GFI circuit, and the cooktop manual says it might trip a GFI circuit. So, in hindsight, the extra effort is probably going to pay off.

The only other thing to do with the hood is to get the stainless duct cover cut down. The hood comes with two covers that fit together so you can telescope them to the right length. Both of them are too long for our ceiling, so we'll have to take it to a sheet metal shop and have them cut it down with a waterjet or laser or something.

Our plan today is to get a couple little things at Home Depot, then hopefully finish plumbing the fridge, relocate the 220V outlet for the oven, and start setting some cabinets.

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