Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ahi Guy

The Ahi Guy (his name is actually Arvo) came yesterday to talk about the stoves. He and Feliks showed up an hour early while I was still in the shower and the translator I'd lined up was still in Viljandi. So they got to wait around while I got dressed, and then we spent 45 minutes looking at his pictures and not being able to communicate very well. Once Ann (the translator) got here things became much clearer. Arvo explained the difference between the Pliit (cooking stove with a heat wall behind it) and the Ahi (wood furnace with nifty tile radiators in the different rooms). Both connect to the chimney but are otherwise separate units.

The Ahi has a damper which is just a fitted round lid that's placed over the passage leading into the chimney by opening an access door high up in the chimney. After the fire burns down to coals and isn't smoking much, you close the door to the fire chamber and put the damper in place to hold the heat in.



The access door for the damper is in the chimney to the upper left of the Ahi. You have to stand on something, reach in and put the lid in place, generally getting soot all over your hand.


Arvo proposes replacing this manual damper with a sliding-type fitting that you push into place, like this one on the current Pliit.


He opines that the Ahi is in good shape and could last for twenty years. It needs to have the non-heat resistant paint stripped off, the tiles on the exterior patched or covered with new tiles, and then the tiles repainted. The tile "radiators" in the bedrooms are quite nice and we look forward to having them cleaned up and repainted something less drab and Soviet.




The metal door for the fire and the cleanout also need to be cleaned and repainted with the correct black paint.

The pliit has problems. Arvo identified it as a poorly-designed Soviet era installation. It does not seem to be exhausting correctly into the chimney at all. Looking in via the chimney doesn't show any problem, so it must be lower down.



Arvo recommends tearing out the Pliit (shown here last October) and building a new one. I asked for a quote on a plain red-brick unit with cast-iron fittings in the heat wall. His ballpark number sounded reasonable.


Ann was impressed with the house when she took the tour after Ahi Guy and Feliks left.

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