We finished the first half of the mechanical room panel last weekend, which includes the water filter and heater and a space the future boiler will occupy. The second half of the panel will hold the manifold, pump, and expansion tank for the radiant heating system. I couldn’t build it until the old water heaters were out which, predictably, required the new water heater.

Before

Before

Tuesday morning, Sarah’s dad Mike and I got the two old water heaters disconnected and moved over to the scrap pile. Then we marked out the location of the studs to attach to the wall. After the door delivery, he and Dean ground the brick wall smooth with angle grinders while I cut the lumber to size. I finished grinding down the wall Wednesday and put up the framing. I put sill gasket behind each stud to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood and attached them with Tapcon screws. I found that in several cases the screws wouldn’t go all the way in, despite using an air compressor and vacuum to remove dust and re-drilling the hole several times.

After

After

I discovered the best solution was to drill the holes as I had been with the rotary hammer, then come back and re-drill the holes with the drill bit that came with the screws. Even though they were both 5/32″, something about the included bit worked better. With everything in place, I came back down after dinner and filled the cavities with spray foam. I just need to cut back any places the foam expanded past the front of the framing and it will be ready for Lester to install the manifold panel.

Spray foamed panel

Spray foamed panel

The only remaining item on my mechanical room preparations (aside from cleaning up the huge mess I’ve made) is to run a short length of EMT conduit from the junction box over to the panel and fish a 15 amp circuit for the radiant system.

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