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The Heat is On

          I studied and studied those controller manuals for hours, and just couldn’t find what I was missing. As it happens, the Cap’n must have read more than I had imagined because the changes he made were consistent with the trouble –shooting advice in the manual, but still, the heat was coming on in seemingly arbitrary cycles. That one Friday when my putative suitor was a-wooing, the floors were hot as a tin roof in the sun. The next morning, they were cool as could be, despite my policy of non-intervention in terms of the thermostat. So I studied and I studied, and I tinkered with all the little dials and mixture knobs, carefully writing down each intervention and the vitals (mixing valve output temperature, thermostat settings, boiler temps, etc), as meticulously as if I were still an EMT, working on a patient.

          As you are probably aware, 99% of our best inspirations occur to us when we are a) driving, b) far from a pen and paper, c) in the shower or d) almost asleep. My inspiration fell into the d) category. Of course, as the idea strikes, the eyes pop open and its really hard to not sit bolt upright in bed. What occurred to me was that it was on Friday that the heat worked. Twice. I ran into the control room and swiftly and efficiently (I’m an expert now) programmed the thing for each and every day. The ability to program each day differently was not a feature I was particularly interested in. Nor did it seem important to turn down the heat at night since it takes as much energy to re-heat the slab as was saved nocturnally, so neither I nor the Cap’n had fussed with it. As it turns out, we should have. The system was only working on Fridays – it must have been a Friday when the Cap’n originally programmed it –  with every other day being on vacation schedule, designed to just keep things from freezing. Not only that, but the default night time temperature was 3 Celsius, which ain’t warm.

          Situation: remedied. The patient is alive, warm and, I suppose, happy enough. And I’m very happy to report that I was home during the direct sunlight hours on Sunday, and heard something weird in the control room, so I checked it out, and it was my solar panels kicking in. It was -10 C outside, and those sweetums were putting out +53 C water! I’m impressed, and I hope you are as well. Next time you come visit, don’t plan to get away without a grand tour of the control room, and a boring lecture about all the dials and knobs.

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