Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meet the Hood that Could Suck a Small Child Out of the House

Ah, yes, there it is, looking so innocuous in its partially cut-away shipping box.  This is the Viking range hood that required replacing the 7" diameter ductwork with 10" diameter.  It looks a lot like the stainless steel GE Monogram range hood that was there before, but I decided to replace the hood for two very important reasons. 

Number One: The old range hood had a big 8" scratch across the front of it that was there when we moved in.  Ding-a-ling (Bernie's loving pet name for the previous homeowner who was apparently not as "handy" as he fancied himself to be) probably scratched the hood when he installed it himself.  Bernie knows Ding-a-ling installed the previous range hood himself because he used the wrong kind of screws that weren't threaded all the way, so instead of it taking a few minutes to remove the old hood, Bernie had to fight with it for about an hour.  We already knew from the gas company that Ding-a-ling ran the gas line to the GE cooktop he put in all by himself, too, without getting it inspected.  The stove was leaking gas when we moved in and so little gas was actually getting to the burners that it took 40 minutes to bring a pot of water to a boil.  I am so grateful to the nice man from Piedmont Natural Gas for saving our house from blowing up!  We replaced the cooktop, refrigerator and wall ovens when the local Home Depot Exp closed and we were able to purchase brand-new Viking appliances out of one of their kitchen displays at a huge discount.  Anyway, I digress: Reason number one for replacing the range hood was that the scratch on the front of the old hood got under my skin and bothered me.

Bernie getting ready to install the new range hood
Reason Two: The old range hood sounded like a 747 was about to take off in my kitchen.  It was so loud that I couldn't have a conversation with someone standing three feet away from me if the hood was turned on.  What good is it to have an open floorplan so everyone can hang out with the cook if no one can have a conversation while you're cooking?  The new range hood has a 900 CFM in-line ventilation kit -- the 900 CFM part means "Uff da, that's a powerful fan!" and the in-line part means that the motor that sucks all of this air out of the kitchen is going to be nowhere near the kitchen.  Instead, the motor is at the other end of the ductwork, in the crawl space under my house, right before it vents through the exterior wall.  That alone should cut down on the noise significantly.  However, the motor for this fan is going to be a lot more powerful that the previous one, and the vaulted ceilings in my kitchen tend to amplify sound.  I have a low tolerance for appliance noises anyway; even the noise from the fan in our bathroom makes me irritable (we'll address that one of these days when we get back to the Master Bathroom project).  All of the appliances I've selected after taking sound ratings into consideration (the Miele laundry machines, Bosch dish washer, even the new Insinkerator garbage disposal) have been significantly quieter than their predecessors, and worth every penny to me for the peace and calm they bestow upon my home.  With two little blond hooligans running around howling most of the time, we need all the peace and calm we can get.  So when I found out that Viking sells a Vibration Silencer Kit for our hood model that will further reduce the noise by 50%, I had to have it. 
Here's Bernie right after he installed the range hood in the kitchen and connected the power.  He says it was a lot easier to install than he expected.  At this point, he hasn't yet installed the in-line ventilation kit (the motor that will suck small children out through the 10" duct) because he's waiting for the Vibration Silencer kit that hasn't been delivered yet.

...But the hood is connected to the power, so the lights work.  Hallelujah!  I missed having light over the stove!  I'm enjoying the undercabinet lights, too -- we put them on a dimmer switch and they are dimmed in this picture.

Today the Vibration Silencer came; it's that thing that looks like a giant Pringles can.  Bernie seems to find something funny about this contraption.  Oh, and sorry for the vampire eyes -- for some reason the Red Eye Correction tool only wanted to let me fix ONE of Bernie's eyeballs, and I decided that one blue eye and one red one is way creepier than two red eyeballs. 

I don't know when Bernie will get a chance to finish the installation of the ventilation system.  We've been having an Espresso Crisis of Epic Proportions -- ever since my commercial grinder and espresso machine were relocated to their new home in the butler's pantry, with a special sink and all new plumbing added just to accommodate and pamper said espresso machine -- the lattes have had a strong, intensely unpleasant plasticky chemical taste.  I have run the water, I have cleaned and backflushed the machine, and I have investigated online.  Bernie used the same pex pipes that are everywhere else in our home, yes he used the kind for potable water with the NSF endorsement, and no he didn't buy the cheapest stuff he could find, but apparently this gross taste is not harmful to my health (snort!) and will dissipate over time.  So now I have gone to all this trouble and expense only to go from sublime lattes made in my kitchen, to rotten lousy poisonous lattes made in the butler's pantry.  I am so desperate, I could almost -- almost -- drink the coffee at the gas station!

Anyway, Bernie changed out the rubber-lined flexible braided steel hose that runs from my water filter directly to my espresso machine, reasoning that if the chemical taste was originating in the pex tubing it would be removed by the filter before it got to my machine.  We're flushing out the boiler tank on the espresso machine right now and tomorrow morning we'll see if there's any improvement.  Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Ivory Spring said...

Rebecca,

It's lovely to hear from you! :) My wrist is feeling slightly better.

I am really enjoying your remodeling posts. Keep them coming.

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