Talk about a steep learning curve! As the stil-wet-behind-the-ears Buildings & Grounds Committee chair, it has been an interesting month. With the cold snap our small oil-fired boiler has been put to the test. Over the summer we had decided to buy some hard to obtain, non-stocked parts. I had scheduled C Albert Mathews in for the semi-annual system maintenance on Dec 29th, so that morning when it was reported that the heat was out, it felt like “wow, sometimes the stars DO align”. CAlbert fixed the pump with the pre-stocked part and viola we had heat. But…….
The service team decided to limit a source of potential leaks, so they closed the valve that ran hot boiler water to the heat exchanger that previously heated the domestic hot water for the building. I probably would have done the same. For no particular reason that we can determine, this caused the system to overheat, overpressure, and shut itself down. ON THE COLDEST DAY OF THE YEAR! So instead of arriving to accolades of my wonderfulness at Sunday service 12/31, i had the awful experience of seeing everyone huddled together in their winter coats in the sanctuary as Don Barker delivered his “death sermon”. I can only hope that it enhanced the power of his service?
Luckily, none of the congregation nor extensive plumbing froze, due to the sanctuary itself is served by a heat pump. While clearly not capable of heating the entire facility, the heat pump did prevent catastrophe. I’m currently having C Albert Mathews check that our boiler heating loops have some antifreeze in them.
I must say i was gratified that so many of you bravely returned to Sunday service the following weekend. We at UUFE are many things, but cold-hearted isn’t one of them.