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Dealing with elderly

jhrost
jhrost Member Posts: 57
I would be interested in hearing about how contractors deal with the challenges of serving elderly clients in heating situations. While society has to continue to advance with newer technologies, many older generation can function with appliances and systems they have become familiar with but when presented with a more modern or just different version find it difficult or impossible to adjust. Part of this may be less analytical ability and also maybe just short term memory problems where they may be able to learn but then quickly forget and become confused again. Having some experience with this I think keeping the present device (microwave , washing machine , thermostat or whatever) going as long as possible is the best solution.

Speaking of thermostats do contractors still use the old Honeywell round type (that is enshrined in the Smithsonian I believe) or is it all pretty much keypad or number punching with fingertips rather than turning a dial? I think that some elderly people find it easier to turn a dial rather than pressing a pad, both because it may actually be easier physically but also is more hard wired into their longer term memory. Although the number of elderly people actually living alone unassisted may be limited, there are probably intergenerational families or people being assisted on a part-time basis who may be able to stay in their homes longer if they are comfortable using appliances and heating systems themselves when they need to.

I'm not sure whether this would all fit in the category of ergonomics but I remember reading a library book back in the day when I went to libraries which dealt with the way people interfaced with engineered products. I thought one of the interesting points it made was that things had won awards for their innovative designs but were not actually popular with people because they didn't comport with peoples expectations of what the product should be - example a door handle or shower handle design where some people had trouble actually figuring out how it worked.
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Comments

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,129
    Hi @jhrost , You raise a good and thoughtful question. I quit messing with digital, setback thermostats because many people will not use their functions and when the batteries go bad, they have no heat. Even fully functional people have trouble with them in my experience. I try to stick with analog when possible as it normally works and people are able to use it easily. I don't install complex stuff where the occupants are unlikely to maintain or be comfortable using it. Certainly others will have more to say in response to this good question.

    Yours, Larry
    STEVEusaPAdeedee1234HomerJSmith
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    edited March 15
    Just because @DanHolohan and @Jamie Hall helped @BenFranklin with the invention of the famous stove back in his childhood days, does not mean that you can just write an article busting on his ability to operate a thermostat. He has too many friends on this forum!
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    52 million folks in the U.S. 65 and older, so you bring up good questions. I wonder what % of that group could live happily with a NEST thermostat for example.

    My favorite stat for elderly was the Honeywell T-87 electronic. It has that familiar round look and feel that many are used to, with a large digital readout for aging eyes.

    Electronic card reading gas pumps can be a challenge for elderly, and not so elderly :) After they figure out how to open the door to the gas filler.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    edited March 14

    Interesting set of comments there... son. Perhaps I may be permitted to also comment (since I'm 80... )

    And yes, Cedric is controlled by an old Honeywell Round Thermostat. Mercury...

    ...On my daughter's desk is the dial phone which was installed in 19554 when dial service finally came to my community. Which one can I use to call the power company, the internet provider, or the cell phone company to tell them that there's a tree down or something else is amiss with their wonders? Uh huh...

    ...Don't ever condescend to the elderly. The objection to the new and flashy is not that we can't comprehend it or learn to use it. We've seen it come and we've seen it go.

    I can't agree more with you Jamie, even if you are from the very far future (19554). I also edited my previous post to include you with Dan.

    All in good fun

    Respectfully submitted,
    Mr.Ed

    PS
    I hope Hot Rod Bob is not offended that I left him out. Not sure of his DOB so he may not have been there. with you & Ben.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,260
    Thanks, Ed! 😂
    Retired and loving it.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    All us regulars here stick up for you Dan.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,260
    I’m still looking for my thermostat. Hello?
    Retired and loving it.
    EdTheHeaterManErin Holohan HaskellZmanCanucker
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,742
    Eh? Can't quite hear you -- speak up!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EdTheHeaterManErin Holohan HaskellZman
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,647
    Most of my elder customers have early version of set backs that they don’t use the set back any way or it doesn,t work so I tend to replace w a non programable digitals w large displays , it tends to make life easy for us all . With the one common thread I have w them is eye sight so a display is something that they all seem to like being most of the time they didn’t really know where that slide was or which one did what and what the temp was so it’s a plus . I try to keep things simple and at best try not confuse the customer especially the elderly and myself while doing it . I actually Enjoy most my customers but I really get along w elderly and never mind taking care of there issues when they pop up I find they usually are easy going and usually have a better grip on reality then most who are half there age and are usually quite intelligent and are no bodies fool and they respect some one who offers them quality workmanship ,fair pricing and shows up when needed .
    I haven’t had any older customers ask for any nest or wireless internet type thermostat .some w money in older homes have security systems w temp monitoring for when there away or some use the oldest method by having a caretaker that takes care of the estate , while others already have the full Monty of automation and all the confusing issues and as Jamie stated the added replacement ,repair costs Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    heathead
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,264
    Visiting with a cousin in the HVAC business in the city, we both have noticed that 90% of the programable tstats are set on permanent "Hold".
    These are young people, 25-60 years old. They wanted that energy saver but eventually they just set and forget. Maybe run down at night and up in the morning.

    One 90+ yo guy who had a heat pump would switch it to emergency heat....not good for his bill. It was an analog HG 2 stage stat. I drove nails in the wall so he could not push it over to emg heat. Also so he could not put the fan to "On".
    His "young" 80 yo nephew lived next door if he needed the emg heat.

    Also, just about always run a common tstat wire, so the batteries are not the only source of power. It is awkward to explain that your $xxxx system quit because of 3 dollars worth of batteries.
    ethicalpaulCLamb
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    I do work for my wife's family (an unfortunate section of the unwritten marriage contract). My wife was the youngest of all her cousins. So when the Oldest of all her cousins needed a new thermostat I could not help but install one of these.



    As his children would come to visit, They could not help but "Bust On Old Dad" regarding his choice of thermostats. Really he was in his 60's at the time! That thermostat is still there and he is in his 80's now.

    I believe it is the mercury type (the model before the T87N) and there are big labels on the FAN and Heat*Off*Cool switches. But that's what you get when the entire family are members.


    Yours truly,
    Mr.Ed




    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    PC7060
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,289
    I'm 58,
    I want that thermostat
    EdTheHeaterMandeedee1234
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,742
    I love that thermostat, @EdTheHeaterMan ! But you do mention a point in dealing with the elderly which does need to be considered: not mental decline, although that is real enough and tragic when it occurs, but various physical problems, of which one of the most difficult (and more common) is loss of vision. Your client may not be really forthcoming on this one; it's a little hard to admit even to one's self that one just can't see as well any more (Martha! Where'd I put my magnifying glass?) but a little consideration there can go a long way... and some thermostats are particularly problematic; display too cluttered, or tiny icons or low contrast can be really annoying.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,853
    @Jamie Hall
    Couldn't have said it any better
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,853
    Speaking of elderly customers when I started "73" I worked at an oil company that had old customers and old burners. Petro "NO-Koal " oil burners installed in the 20s and 30s. Oil was still cheap pre embargo and none of them would ever think of a new burner.

    I remember one lady, she was so nice had an old "snow man' or "robot" boiler as we used to call them. I was there to clean the burner and she asked me if I would fix her curtains (which I did) as she couldn't reach them any longer. She said they looked "tawdry"

    48 years ago and I still remember her name and address like it was yesterday because of that.

    Another old guy Mr Callahan called the shop and asked (this was before beepers and cell phones) if I could stop at the store on my way to clean his boiler and pick up 1/2 gallon of milk and some toilet paper.

    Maybe it's the toilet paper but I can't remember if I stopped at the store or not
    PC7060EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    Ed, Ed, Ed.... Those were the days!

    A few years back I had a customer who had to tell me that she was 99 years old. After I finished her tune-up, I had to tell her that she didn't look a day over 98. We both laughed!

    The next year she said "Do you know how old I am? 100!"
    I said you don't look a day over 99. Her reply, " You said that last year!"

    I corrected "NO I said 98 last year!" We both laughed again!

    Can you imagine our grandchildren in their 80s and 90s telling how "when I was a kid, all we had were cellphones and tablets that you actually had to touch to get them to work"
    After walking to school, in the snow, uphill, both ways

    The stories don't change much over time. Just the context!

    Mr.Ed
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,289


    After walking to school, in the snow, uphill, both ways

    BAREFOOT

    EdTheHeaterMandeedee1234
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    @neilc, No, I had shoes, with holes in the soles... but we were in the top 1% of the village
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753

    Interesting set of comments there... son. Perhaps I may be permitted to also comment (since I'm 80... )

    And yes, Cedric is controlled by an old Honeywell Round Thermostat. Mercury...

    ...On my daughter's desk is the dial phone which was installed in 19554 when dial service finally came to my community. Which one can I use to call the power company, the internet provider, or the cell phone company to tell them that there's a tree down or something else is amiss with their wonders? Uh huh...

    ...Don't ever condescend to the elderly. The objection to the new and flashy is not that we can't comprehend it or learn to use it. We've seen it come and we've seen it go.

    I can't agree more with you Jamie, even if you are from the very far future (19554). I also edited my previous post to include you with Dan.

    All in good fun

    Respectfully submitted,
    Mr.Ed

    PS
    I hope Hot Rod Bob is not offended that I left him out. Not sure of his DOB so he may not have been there. with you & Ben.
    Welll back when I was your age, Ed....
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    EdTheHeaterManratio
  • jhrost
    jhrost Member Posts: 57
    I would definitely take that thermostat. Everything should be that clear - instructions on labels, prices on supermarket checkouts etc. It would be hard for people with arthritis to pry off a case to change batteries as well. I guess a yearly checkup of the heating system and replacement of batteries becomes more important for older people. You can't always get someone in an emergency. I feel sorry for those older people in Texas who were caught in that situation.

    One advantage of being really old is that you can call almost anyone young man or young lady , even people in their nineties. I have to admire the good spirits people can manage in their day to day lives knowing they are on the front lines so to speak.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 386
    edited March 15
    I'm going to add my 2 cents but remember that I am so much younger than some of you (76). I had a new system furnace and A/C and the installed a new digital thermostat with available set-back. Wow, just what I needed. My thermostat is set for 72 in the winter and 75 in the summer. I would much rather have my old T87F with the dangerous mercury bulb in it that worked perfectly for so many years. I am also glad to see that when I get "old", I won't be pushed off this site and muted. I can only recommend that when you have to install a new system or replacement part keep it simple and explain just what you are doing and cut out the BS. I always told the customer the truth and not just what I wanted him/her to hear.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    edited March 15
    I heard stories from before my time that customers that converted from coal to oil or gas (using conversion burners in their existing heater) were told to set the thermostat at 72° by the salesman selling the job. Since the coal heated the home to 80+° before the conversion, the fuel supplier would get service calls of "Not enough heat" only to find that the thermostat was set to 72° and the home was 72°. When the service tech explained that if they want to be warmer, just set the thermostat to a higher setting, the customer was apprehensive. "The Salesman said to set it at 72" and they were afraid to go any higher.




    So the savvy service man removed the spot of glue that held the thermometer in place on the thermostat and adjusted the glass tube 5 degrees lower than the numbers indicated. then he recalibrated the temperature selection dial 5 degrees lower also. Now the thermostat was set at 72° and the thermometer read 72° and the customer was comfortable. (But the actual temperature was 77° or 78° inside the house)

    100 years later, my son loves that feature built-in to the Honeywell Pro 6000 and 8000 series thermostats
    select -1 -2 -3 or +1, +2, +3 degree offset. I have always said that thermostats should have A, B, C, D, E for setting the temperature. Numbers can be so restrictive for a lot of people

    Just my opinion.

    and 2 cents was worth a lot more back then... I wonder if the @retiredguy was one of those mechanics in the early days of oil heating who adjusted thermostats like that? ...since he is not old enough to be with Dan and Jamie when they helped Ben Franklin invent that famous stove. (See above for context https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/comment/1650202/#Comment_1650202)
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,742
    I think I've heard that thermostat trick before... but I never really thought about some of the implications, particularly as they relate to us old dogs. It seems to me that a great many people -- and, oddly, I think it may be an increasing tendency, as devices get more complicated and more under electronic control -- accept what the salesperson -- or the device instructions -- say as implying a hard limit of some kind (in the case of the thermostat, "you have to set it at 72". In the absence of an understanding of how the device in question works (and why would they be expected to know?) the statement by an authority figure of you have to do it this way or that way would be taken as a very strong admonition.

    In my not so humble opinion, the salesman is very much at fault -- rather than stating that the contraption be set to 72, he or she could have explained what it actually did,, and that it could be set to make the place warmer or cooler as they liked. The customer would have been delighted with their new flexibility and control.

    Now with the far more complex and somewhat opaque controls on devices (read any thread about how to go about setting outdoor reset curves...) it is more true that although both the salesperson and the service tech. may have some idea as to how changing this display parameter or that one affects system operation, they don't -- and shouldn't be expected to -- know what the underlying computer system is actually doing with that parameter (in some cases and some modes, it turns out to be doing nothing at all...). This does lead to the salesperson pretty well having to say that it must be set to exactly thus and so, and the service tech. having to echo the same information, and neither one having any ability -- through no fault of their own -- to understand, never mind fix, a situation where the instruction required specification is inappropriate.

    This may not be a problem for younger customers. They are increasingly accustomed to a world where in fact no one knows why and how things work the way they do, and thus a world where having found a setting or procedure which does work (at least much of the time) they are unwilling to alter it. For some -- but not all -- older folks, particularly those who have a more rural background, this approach was not true when they were younger, and they may well become annoyed either when someone sells them a gadget which can only be replaced, not repaired, or when they are faced with a gadget which the tech. clearly doesn't understand the workings of any better than they do. It's well to remember that these folks didn't get to be their advanced age by being fools or victims of a black box technology! If it didn't work, they fixed it or found someone who could; if it looked like it was more complex than needed to do the job, they didn't want any part of it. If it looked like it did things on its own accord, they certainly didn't want any part of it -- and still don't, unless it can be clearly explained and understood and, ultimately, controlled.

    I'm rambling, but I think you all get the point...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EdTheHeaterManLS123
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 386
    The older we get the more we tend to ramble. If you don't believe it just ask my wife
    EdTheHeaterManbucksnort
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    edited March 15
    I was 20 when this old guy George Spense (in his late 60s or early 70s) told us about that trick. After the elderly who experienced that adjustment passed away the younger new owner would complain about the thermostat not being accurate. This was something us "new service techs" should look for when answering a service call related to overheating. He taught the oil burner repair class at Philadelphia Wireless evening school. I remember they had about 30 boilers in the basement that were all connected to the actual heating system in the building. Some of the oldest working oil burners in the city were in that basement on Pine Street. Timkin, Williams Oil-O-Matic, Dynatherm, and several different high-pressure gun burners... but It's all gone now.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    LS123
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,853
    @EdTheHeaterMan

    Ever work on a pot type burner? I only had a little experience with 2 of them and they were both bad.

    My sister bought a house back in the early 70s with a "Perfection" hot air furnace with a pot burner. I made them get rid of it the first winter and put a new furnace in.

    The 2d one was a customer of ours at the oil company moved to a different house. Their move was delayed for a few months for some reason so they lived in their old house for a few months and called us to take over the oil delivery to the "new house" The previous owner never told them it was a pot burner that needed #1 oil so we had made a couple of #2 oil deliveries to the "new " house before they moved in.

    Of course shortly after they moved in I got the NH call on a Saturday.

    I have never seen that much soot in my life (an I have sucked down plenty) and hope to never see it again. Another "perfection" furnace with a pot burner and another furnace replacement :):):):)

    The constant level valves scared the hell out of me. A little dirt or sludge in those and the house goes up in flames.

  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 85
    @jrhost I think the book you are referring to is The Design of Everyday Things.
  • jhrost
    jhrost Member Posts: 57
    CLamb thanks. I think that rings a bell. One thing I sometimes remember from that book when I use the stove top was the observation that most people still confuse which nob controls which burner (front or back). I am one of those. There is a little icon indicating which is which though. I guess that is why memory aids like righty tighty lefty loosey are useful for those with poor memories.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    We had a few pot burners under a service agreement. they were being phased out when I was learning the trade. We also had a large number of General Electric downfire boilers under service agreement. They were very easy to work on once you understood the concept. The hardest part of working on the GE was getting the "Space Age" jacket back on the darn thing. It looked like something Buck Rogers might fly in was sitting on your basement floor. After General Electric stopped servicing that product, our service department offered a service agreement and we picked up over 1500 new accounts in Northeast Philadelphia.

    If anybody is interested, there is a company in Pleasantville NJ that has a "New Old Stock", still in the box, Timkin Rotary Oil Boiler. Now that was a very efficient piece of equipment. And if set up properly, it can burn #2 oil. (but it is easier to get it right on #1 oil)
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 386
    edited March 17
    I hated the old S T Johnson rotary burners. They would however burn almost any burnable fluid that you could push through the delivery pipe, even #6 oil.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,853
    @retiredguy

    I worked on all kinds of rotary's, mostly #4 oil but had some #6 oil accounts. I would like someone to prove to me that #6 is not roofing tar LOL.

    The company I worked for sold Petro burners starting in 1920 so we had a lot of those to service. Dependable, yes but that was about it....didn't like them.

    We had a few Johnson's liked them, they would burn #6
    Ray I didn't like had quite a few of those
    Preferred Utilities was pretty good
    York Shipley I liked
    Ace only saw 1 or two of those. no opinion
    Todd there were a few of those around

    Seems like I am missing a few..........can't remember

    Don't miss working on heavy oil, plugged strainers, plugged oil heaters etc

    Industrial Combustion sold a lot of burners in our area the old HEV-E-Oil burner gun burner with the air operated piston. never liked those.

    When I was their we sold Iron Fireman and later Power Flame, motsly air atomizing and comb gas oil
  • Woody_S
    Woody_S Member Posts: 9
    I'm elderly (73) and semi retired. I like the latest bells and whistles. I have a fully commutating thermostat in my new house. But then I may be the exception.
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 386
    The company I worked for in Pittsburgh sold H B Smith 350, 450, 650, mostly with Power Flame burners. They claimed that they sold more of them than anyone else. I put so many of those boilers together I could put them together in my sleep.

    @ Woody S you are not elderly, just semi-retired.

    We serviced almost anything that produced heat using gas, oil, sewer gas, wood chips, coal etc. in schools and hospitals. Being retired the only thing I don't miss is the dirty hands and the smell of oil.

    @EBEBRATT-Ed #6 oil is roof tar and don't get it on your clothes.
  • kenjohnson
    kenjohnson Member Posts: 70
    55 here, definite youngster. I installed the Honeywell T87 digital thermostat in my new home under renovation. Don't need the complexity of anything more, price is right, and my wife can't get it wrong. Nothing in the house will be wireless or internet-enabled except the computers and the TV. Not sure why people of any age make things more complicated than they need to be - the costs are high, things fail more often, and the benefits are rather dubious. BTW, I'm a BSEE by training, so it's not like it is hard to understand it, I'd just rather spend my time on more important things.

    Worst nightmare control/user interface has to be any mini split heat pump. I can't imagine trying to explain one of those to my parents.
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,286
    edited March 20
    Jamie Hall, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one 2 days older than Moses.

    You want me to install a new Mod-Con sys, dang, I have trouble putting my pants on.
    Erin Holohan HaskellLS123
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,451
    I hate my nest thermostat! I have no choice however as the Condo folks changed all the units over to NEST. They also put restricters on the faucets, energy efficient light bulbs it is now darker, and the list goes on.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,853
    @retiredguy

    As I am located about 10 miles from the original Smith Boiler Plant they had all the cast iron business around here locked up tight when I started. You seldom saw another cast Iron boiler around here.


    You must be an expert at renippling mud drums and disconnecting and changing sections on those boilers. That is tough work

    We used to have tons of old 24s, 34s,44s were very popular, 640s etc

    There was another old boiler they had that had the miserable back section with the hump back. They were almost impossible to move.

    I must be slippin can't remember the model # of that one. It was almost as wide as a 640
    Lyle {pheloa} Carter
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 403

    Jamie Hall, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one 2 days older than Moses.

    You want me to install a new Mod-Con sys, dang, I have trouble putting my pants on.

    @HomerJSmith it may be against OSHA working on heating system, especially hot boilers without pants on :D ...

    Actually not a bad thing to try if the boiler room is really, really hot LOL... Just have to be careful with the precious, sensitive boiler parts ....
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    HomerJSmith
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,178
    I just finished changing out a Weil Mclain wgo4 boiler for a Weil Mclain CGA3. The wgo started leaking between sections and was time to go, and the customer is an elderly lady who isn't that concerned as much about efficiency, as she is about reliability. I also replaced her thermostats with digital ones that have a large display on them. If I had a choice, I would only install T87 stats, but that is not an option anymore. And I have had horrible luck with the new digital t87's. My ideal thermostat would be a digital one that only did heat, and only had an up/down button on it, or the one EdTheHeaterMan showed! We don't have any air conditioning up here so no one needs a fan setting, and it is another thing that just confuses people.
    My wife and I moved in with my mother in law to take care of her, and one of the things on my list is to get rid of the digital phone and install a push button phone that I still have. Between the tv control with a multitude of buttons and the house phone, she can get real confused very easily. The next project is to get a tv control that only has, like, five big picture buttons.
    Getting old is not for the faint of heart.
    Rick
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