Friday, March 8, 2013

Boom Truck

Slowly, but surely we are completing the conversion from oil to natural gas. We had a lot of excitement this week with both the oil tank decommissioning and today the HVAC crew was back with a boom truck to install the gas insert for the fireplace. I know I was originally thinking of waiting until the tile was set to have them back out to install, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would be better to have them put the motor in place first rather than having to slide it in over newly installed hearth tiles. On a related not I finally placed an order for the tiles from both Pratt & Larson and Derby! Yay! Only 4-6 weeks to wait so we should have a completely installed fireplace just in time for warmer weather.

I had the tile setters out to review since they were last here in October before I had the demo done and we didn't have the unit on site. They verified my tile quantities. Our final selection is 4x4 Victoria tiles in Amber from Derby for the fireplace surround. (The sample here is in Butternut.) I ordered a few pencil liner tiles in the same finish to fill in an anticipated gap along the top of the fireplace unit. We're just about a 1/2 inch short so I'm hoping using the same finish will make it less noticeable.  The hearth will have the Aidan circles border in Amber with charcoal pencil liners. The hearth field will be P&L 2x6 tiles in the #WV35 mottled Victorian colorway and they will be brick set. The tile setters will set the tiles as closely together as possible to minimize the grout lines so it has a more Victorian look rather than a modern looking wide grout line. I'm very excited!! I've spent endless hours looking at photos of original fireplace tile installations online so I'm feeling confident that I'm making the right choices here within our budget.
 But on the the major excitement for little boys:the Boom truck! Since the chimney is so tall, and our roof pitch is kinda steep, the project manager felt more confident hiring a boom truck to be allow the crew to lower the ducting from the top down. We had a little melodrama first thing, the boom truck arrived right away and the guys determined that I hadn't been sold the correct attachment for a top venting installation. Certainly I should have been sold the correct attachment since she also sold me 40' of ducting so it obviously isn't a direct side vent installation. Basically it was a SNAFU, just like when I was working. The fireplace shop wasn't open yet so I was calling to the manufacturer to confirm the right part we needed. Part of the problem is the online specs which were all I was given pretty much had the correct part listed so it is unclear why I received the wrong thing. To complicate things, Our Little Helper has the day off from school AND I had made cookies for a funeral at church that needed to be dropped of by 9 AM. SO there was a lot of running around between our house and Irvington. I was so tired by mid afternoon, I wondered how I had managed to survive a day like this when I was pregnant the first time and still working. Then it occurred to me I didn't also have two little boys to drag around with me or shush while making dozens of phone calls. In the end the saleswoman realized her mistake and had the correct part in stock.

Here the boom truck is set up and is lowering the box for a passenger. The ducting is also all laid out on the pathway.
The view from below. OLH asked me if the guy was excited or scared to go up on the roof like that. I suggested he ask him afterward. He said he was a little of both.

 Getting lowered onto the roof. There is a flat section in the middle of the roof, so he was able to work up there and have a flat area to lower the box.
 Once out of the box he was able to lower the ducting down the chimney. Everything was so rushed when the boom truck arrived, they wanted to hurry up and finish since they are charged for the time they use. But in hind sight I really should have had them tarp over the firebox opening. The ducting being shoved down the chimney sent cloud of soot into the family room apparently since everything ended up being covered by a thin layer of sootiness.
 Ducting installed and the firebox and hearth area cleaned up. The gas line was added during the work completed in November.
 The Valor President gas insert installed without the decorative cover. We opted for the coal burning look since the house originally had a coal burning furnace and I imagine they may have burned coal in the one fireplace too. We can use it now, but without the outside cover the glass gets very hot so we'll probably only use it once the children are in bed for now.
 After a day of so much excitement an pretzel snack was in order.


  1. We bought a 120 year old four square with a fireplace in the entry. I am searching for some quarter tiles to fill some hole. Enjoyed following your fireplace renos.

  2. Well, that's something to share at a family gathering; being strung up high, that is. They really are many ways to use boom trucks aside from it's intended use. It's so cool we still have these around, though it's not like they are in danger of being lost soon. It's just one of those things that are worth appreciating.

    Bucket Trucks

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