My dad died before he got a chance to attempt to explain how the complicated and engineering heavy hydronic heating system in the cabin worked. Now, since its failed 2 times already this winter...and since a failure means busted pipes...Its up to me I guess to sort it all out.

Now I’m pretty tech savvy but this stuff is pretty intense. I think I got a handle on it enough to know how to troubleshoot the basic stuff...or at least guess. Thankfully my dad was a big believer in documentation so he has all the original manuals, highlighted with the right codes and his hand written notes on the system in a big binder that i was reading until midnight last night. Learned a lot, for example did you know that condensing boilers produce as a byproduct liquid exhaust gas that happens to be acidic enough to score concrete? NEAT! Anyway, I think I have a handle on what all the major bits and pieces do including the 2 expansion tanks, low-loss header, 2 relay boxes and 9 individual high temp pumps but I am still trying to work my brain around ideal supply temps, optimal condensing temps, and related delta t for optimal heat transfer for a given flow rate and head height as well as heating curves and shifts. Turns out that the problem both times it failed was that someone had turned off the valves to the expansion tanks, effectively depressurizing the boiler (its smart enough not to fire if there is no pressure). Anyway, if there are HVAC scientists out there, my hat is off to you...its tricky stuff.

I also learned that the electro-mechanical clutches in the front hubs of the old big boss 6x6 need some service. It’s neat how they work, but it means more troubleshooting and fixing.

Still, its certainly worth the hassle.


I’ve also discovered that its really hard to find competent contractors these days, but that’s another story. Also found out my mom was en route [driving] to the sea of Cortez [from Utah] with the one armed man she’s met only twice in person on a whim of an invite. I found this out incidentally when I called to see if she could babysit for us. The feels, I have them. Also, I beat Jenga, no moves left. Whats up with you guys?