Thursday, February 20, 2014

the furnace, the discovered aluminium wiring, the next storm

When the furnace was installed, it was discovered there was aluminium wiring from the furnace to the on/off switch.  Aluminium wiring was big in the 60s and 70s.  It was cheap, and sadly prone to causing fires.  We called Danny the electrician to replace the wiring immediately.   Yesterday Danny found that the wiring continues straight into the electrical board.  The job was too big for the remaining hours of light, so he has returned today.

More discoveries awaited.  There is no easy way to get from here to there, so I was called upon to stand in the middle of what was formerly ceiling, now rubble, to take a decision about the direction he might go in order to try to circumvent the firewall, the pipes, the cold air vent, the stairs, and goodness knows what else.  You know there are those mornings when you just don't feel up to being an oracle?

From my office, I can hear him removing vast chunks of basement ceiling.  The Accumulatorium (a.k.a. basement) looked pretty scary before - old chairs, Tupperware boxes of Tupperware, my light table,  Xmas ornaments, luggage, shelving of canned goods and Costco products.  Plaster dust has not improved things in the least.  Fingers crossed that business be good so that we can restore it to some sort of a place where children don't fear for their life.

So much for inside, let's talk about the weather.  The next storm is headed our way - a Texas low and an Alberta clipper are expected to smack into each other in the next 12 hours - we've been warned that we'll have 50mm of rain (I believe that's about 2" - which would have been 24" of snow) - so we must clear those gutters and downspouts!  I'll finish off this post, drink a cup of coffee, before I go out to dig down through 1.75 meters of snow to make sure they're clear.  We'd all hoped for a bit of a melt, but this seems a bit extreme.

Here are a few photos from this past Monday - Kevin and I got over to the RBG Cherry Hill trail with Bart.  So wonderful to be outside in the sunshine, feed the birds, and not have our face fall off from the cold.

You can't imagine the joy of feeling the heat of the sun on our backs through our snow gear.

Some nice parent had pulled their children through the woods making the path nice and even.

Someone had a bit of fun on St. Valentine's Day.

So many good smells.

You could see where folks had taken the path less traveled along the frozen creek.

You can imagine on a grey day that the only colour you'd see would be the red dogwood.

So hard to believe that this will be water and green in another month, or six.

The last view from the bridge.....going to see if I can find a summer one to compare.....just wait.....

here it is:

Could it be that it's not the seasons or our love of them that tie us together as a nation, but perhaps it's our collective ability to forget the winter as soon as we see something green emerge?  Calendar spring is but a month away - may the real one be close on its heels.


Jennifer said...

We had post and tube wiring in our place when we moved in. It's even more vintage than the aluminum wiring and just as dangerous. Hope you get your wiring and furnace issues sorted out without too much further plaster damage!
I am not looking forward to this coming storm. Being right over the water table is never a good thing! They are saying that midway through the rain the temperature is to drop. Our trees still haven't recovered from the last ice storm!
Thanks so much for the info on Gardens North. I put off ordering from Gardenimports last spring (so expensive!) figuring I could get some bell-shaped clematis at Humber. Much to my amazement they didn't have a one. Now I have options. I took a look at the online catalogue and G.N. has a really interesting range. Not sure what I would do with 15 of each plant, but I would love to give them a go. I wonder how hard they will be to grow from seed? Hmm...
Hope you come through the storm warm and cozy with the heating and the electricity humming away perfectly.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

OMG ! Barbara girl !
So sorry about the wiring issue .. our shower rip out starts Monday and I am wondering what they might find behind that wall of woes are not alone girl!! LOL
My dryer is not drying the way it should, so I am unnerved by the potential cost of replacing that appliance if need be ... it is always something ?
Fingers crossed about this next storm .. heaven knows what will go on with that .. BIG sigh !
Another mail order company ?
I have to look into that one!!
Take Care !

Paul Jung said...

I've always imagined a Toronto winter is best enjoyed vicariously, this one we're in doesn't feel anywhere near its end, sigh...

Gail said...

Holy Moly, bad wiring, major work and a winter that won't stop! But, you take fine photos! Thinking of you and hoping you are rewarded with a long and pleasant spring. gail

Jim/ said...

The Accumulatorium. You don't have that trademarked, right? I can start using it immediately. Bummer on the wiring. Mu house was built in 1897 when men were men an copper was king. But insulation? They weren't so big on that back then. Good luck!

Kim and Victoria said...

Pretty pics. Hope spring arrives soon.

Barbarapc said...

Jennifer, our man managed to get everything fixed - although will leave dead wiring in because to pull it out would mean most of the ceiling would come with it. With GN seeds, I usually plant half. And then see what germination is like - when you've got cool stuff started, I usually find it's not hard to find someone to share/trade with!
Joy, Oh no, may the construction/renovation gods be with you. You'll like the Gardens North site - lots of temptations.
Paul, and there's snow forecast for later in the week. Fortunately the liquor cabinet is full and the furnace is operational. And, I've started to order seeds online - I'm hoping the snow will be a little easier to move when I transplant my tomatoes in June.
Gail, thank you. It's one of those winters when over, that we say on a fine spring day, "well we deserve it after the winter we've had" may winter be closer to it's end and spring closer to beginning.
Jim, absolutely, be my guest. Sounds like you've got a lovely old house, friends of ours had a similar situation with cool newspapers in the attic. Great to read, not so roasty-toasty. Our house was from the '50s, but just that one little bit was done in aluminum - and now it's gone. Hooray.
K&V - thanks - fingers crossed my next photos will be of little bits of green poking out of the ground.

Dennis Cannon said...

That must’ve been quite horrible! But it's a good thing you found out about the aluminum wiring right away. Otherwise, you might have encountered a huge trouble in the end. Anyway, I hope there weren't any other issues after you made a thorough inspection. All the best!

Dennis Cannon @ Laird and Son

Tommy Hopkins said...

I agree with Dennis. It would’ve been worse if you hadn’t figured out about the wiring. Anyway, I hope you made it all through the season warm. It can be very frustrating if you have to endure those chilling days without a good source of heat.

Tommy Hopkins @ AccuTemp

John Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Lee said...

When it's about home or small commercial cooling we think about electricity savings.I appreciate this blog to share this information.but in office what is the environment and culture? Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Get all concept of commercial air condition system in office from you are finding human comfort and safety don't forget to get touch with our daily blogs..

John Terry said...

Found your blog. It is full of really good information. Thank you for sharing. If you ever need service on air conditioning repair please visit us at We would love it if you would have a look at some of our blogs and let us know your thoughts.