Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Handles, toilets, and other optional things

Cabinet and drawer handles went on last week.  We went with a simple, functional handle.

The half-bath downstairs is nearing completion.  The pedestal and toilet are in.  Soon we'll put in a medicine cabinet above the sink.

The toilet is of the double-flush variety, so it's got a little flush selector on top of the tank.

Our faucets even pour water into the sinks!

Around the corner in the mechanical room we have lots of activity.  Our cable TV/internet comes in and is split off.

And on the opposite wall the Power-Pipe is in!

The Power-Pipe is a drain water heat recovery device.  It recovers heat that would be sent to the sewers in our drain water.  It's entirely mechanical, with no moving parts and no maintenance needed.  It consists of two pipes - a large drain pipe in the center and a smaller pipe wound around the outside.  The contents of the pipes never touch.  The hot water from the showers upstairs drains down the center pipe.  Water traveling down a vertical pipe flows as a film down the sides of the pipe.  It doesn't just fall down the middle.  Fresh water from the city is traveling up the spiral pipe.  Because the pipes are made of copper, the heat from the drain water is easily transferred into the cool, fresh water.  This pre-warmed water goes into the hot-water heater and into the cold taps on the sinks and showers.

But we're still not done with the mechanical room.  We also have the ventilation system in here.

The black box up there is an Energy Recovery Ventilator.  This is a major component of that makes our house efficient.  It actually works a bit like the Power-Pipe.  In the winter it takes the heat from the stale, inside air and warms the cool, fresh air coming into the house.  In the summer it does the opposite, reducing the need to cool the fresh incoming air.  It is very efficient and can nearly equalize the temperatures of the incoming and outgoing air.  Since our house is so air-tight, we get to make sure that all the fresh air coming in gets pre-conditioned by the air going out.  Our little heat pump will have very little work to do to keep things comfortable.

Stepping outside we have the frames for the back steps.  We anticipate pouring concrete in the next few days.

At the front of the garage we installed the gooseneck lights that Blake made, and they look great.  Thanks again, Blake!

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