Steam Radiator Air Valves 101

Posted by Steve on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:46pm


As I was just opening my eyes this morning I heard a steady hiss coming from downstairs. Anyone who's got single pipe steam heat knows the sound, especially early in the morning when the boiler is working hard to warm the house from its overnight setback temperature.

That's the sound of pressure from the steam displacing air inside the pipes. It's normal. That's what an air valve on a steam radiator is supposed to do. But if it's loud enough that you can hear it a floor away, you've likely got a problem. It often means the valve is stuck open.

I went downstairs and saw that my glass exterior doors inside the mud room were completely fogged up, in fact dripping.


DIY in the Nuclear Age

Posted by Steve on Sun, 01/11/2009 - 9:59pm
House: 


There are lots of reasons to fix up an old house: to restore it to its former glory, to flip it for profit, to gain a sense of satisfaction from a job well done.

Well there's an even more important reason according to the Federal Civil Defense Administration and the National Clean-up, Paint-Up, Fix-Up Bureau. Watch this compelling video, then get those plastic slip covers, people!


More old pictures of my house!

Posted by Steve on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 11:07pm
This summer, as I was standing on the sidewalk talking with a neighbor, a nicely dressed couple, Dorothy and Alec, stopped their car and were staring at my next door neighbor's house. He rolled down his window and said, "that was my grandparents' house until the 1930s".

He had spent a lot of time in the house when he was a little kid in the '30s. Betsy took them on a tour of her place, much of which is still original, and you could tell he was having flashback moments as he recalled the things he used to do in the house and what the neighborhood used to look like. He told several cool stories about what it was like here during WW2, the Liberty ships jamming the harbor waiting to be loaded at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the trenchcoated G men on Second Avenue looking for people taking photographs of the troop deployments, etc.

They sent Betsy a photo of my house taken in 1936.

Troubles for the Prodigal Key Food?

Posted by Steve on Sat, 12/27/2008 - 12:48pm


Ever since the residents of north Bay Ridge lost their only convenient supermarket several years ago, the poorly managed Waldbaum's at 4th Ave and Senator Street, the neighborhood has been anxious for a store to replace it. Then last spring Key Food announced that it was closing its 95th St store which would leave Bay Ridge even more desperate for supermarket options.

But shortly after that disappointing Key Food announcement, there was a brighter one. Bensonhurst Key Food owner, Sammy Abed, announced that he would be opening a new Key Food in north Bay Ridge on the site of the old Harry's furniture stores on 69th Street off Third Ave.

There was much public and political celebration over the news. Finally, Bay Ridge would get another supermarket, and with convenient parking as well.

The "Coming Soon" banners went up along with the building permits and instructions for home delivery from Abed's Bensonhurst store. Although no official announcement was made, the grand opening was supposed to be early 2009.

But since then, there's been very little visible progress on the property.

In September I got a quick peek inside and saw that trenches had been cut in the concrete floor, probably to accommodate wiring and plumbing for refrigeration.

In November I got another quick look inside and saw that it looked exactly the same. Although I've seen one or two workers going into the place it seemed like nothing substantial was happening with the property besides more graffiti on the facade.

My Personal Top Eight Shop Tips (learned the hard way)

Posted by Steve on Tue, 12/23/2008 - 11:47pm


We've all heard Norm's boilerplate at the beginning of every episode of New Yankee Workshop: "read.. know.. safety glasses", etc. They're common sense "givens". I won't belabor them by repeating them here.

But every shop owner has acquired his own set of lessons from "life experience" and I thought I'd share some of mine. Some are safety tips but some are productivity ideas.

Pages

Subscribe to @BrooklynRowHouse RSS