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    Another satisfied customer of The Wall... (21 Posts)

  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 10:42 PM
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    Another satisfied customer of The Wall...

    Got this in an email today...


    Name: Roy
    E-mail Address:

    Message:
    Mark, I have been to hell and back trying to get a stubborn air bubble out of my monoflow system. I tried purging, bleeding, high temp, low temp, high pressure...you name it. Finally I stumbled on your post about the dish soap and decided to give it a try. I have a decent size system with a coal stoker boiler and a 6-section oil boiler, and I added 3 oz of dish soap to the system. A few hours later I was working in the basement and heard the familar air sounds...then a loud *pfffft, pfffft, pfffft* as the Spirovent did its job and vented the air. Everything is completely silent now, and it only took a little bit of soap.



    thanks for the post.

    END OF EMAIL

    You're welcome Rob! Nice to know we've helped you and others out.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • NYplumber NYplumber @ 3:01 AM
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    Great!

    Great work Mark!

    Wish I knew why it worked though....
    Thanks in advance.
    :NYplumber:
  • Jean-David Beyer Jean-David Beyer @ 6:56 AM
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    What now?

    Do you leave the soap in there, or flush it out (without draining the system)?
    Was that really soap (like Dr. Bonners), or a synthetic detergent, such as dish washing liquid?
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 9:20 AM
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    the DAWN of a new day...

    JD, I prefer the use of Dawn dish detergent. I think any detergent would probably work, but Dawn has proven it works for me over the years. I leave it in. It enhances the pH of the system fluid. We're only talking a few ounces in a large system, not a whole bottle....

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Jean-David Beyer Jean-David Beyer @ 9:40 AM
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    Kodak Photo-Flo?

    Kodak make a wetting agent, known as Photo-FLO. It comes in three concentrations. If you get the usual stuff, Photo-FLO 200, you mix one part of this with 200 parts of water. It is also available in more concentrated forms, 600 and 2100, that are mixed 1:600 and 1:2100. In photography, I use the 200 stuff. It is used to break the surface tension of the water, allowing it to flow off the film and not dry leaving spots on the negatives. It does not have any of the cleaning agents that soaps and detergents have. I imagine the active ingredient is much more concentrated than in the cleaning products. I doubt it would affect the pH of a system unless the heat decomposes it.

    This is not a recommendation, but if I had such a problem, I might use it.
    Remember, I am not a heating professional. It is not available in big box stores, but in larger photo supply places such as B&H in New York City and Calumet in Chicago.
  • Paul Pollets Paul Pollets @ 1:23 PM
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    Gotta love Dawn

    I've used Mark's soap trick a few times, much to the satisfaction of the customer... "Removes Dirt, Grease, and Unwanted Air in Stubborn Boilers"
  • NH03865 NH03865 @ 8:46 AM
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    Why it works

    Most liquid soaps contain a surfactant that breaks down the surface tension of water.  If you break down the surface tension, air bubbles collapse.
  • NRT_Rob NRT_Rob @ 8:52 AM
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    huh

    never heard of that one. learn something new every day around here!
    NRT.Rob
  • Robert Robert @ 12:09 PM
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    Thanks again

    Hi Mark, I was the guy that sent you the email. Things are running better than ever. I have learned a lot from "The Wall" and Dan's books.

    For the other readers, I used the original Dawn dish detergent.

    Thanks again.
    This post was edited by an admin on December 7, 2011 12:11 PM.
  • Gordan Gordan @ 1:39 PM
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    An added benefit...

    You can literally sniff out leaks!
  • neilc neilc @ 6:17 PM
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    so how to ?

    so at the risk of getting adventurous,
    and trying this on a system which sometimes presents an air in the water wooshing sound,
    I do have valves to isolate the building system from the boiler,
    however boiler does not offer convenient feed port,,,,
    how or where would one introduce an oz or 2 ?
    take pressure off the boiler, remove boiler pressure safety valve (top mounted), and inject ?
    or my next guess would be to do same prep, pressure off boiler, and then pump into the boiler drain a premix solution from a bucket,,,, ?
    How to ?
  • billtwocase billtwocase @ 7:11 PM
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    we used to

    add Downy to steamers years ago, but never tried the soap trick Mark. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for sharing the e-mail here
  • WhidbeyMark WhidbeyMark @ 2:10 PM
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    Runtals making loud pffft, pffft, pffft sound

    Hi Mark,
    Our hydronic runtal baseboards also make a load pffft, pffft, pfffft sound when the thermostat turns off - we've been searching this great site for any insights into what may be the cause and came across a post that indicated you had written something about adding dish soap to the lines?

    Can you repost that message by any chance, or do you have any other insights now about what could cause this?
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 5:55 PM
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    I'm sorry...

    But heating is the last thing on my mind right now. I have this constantly changing roaring going on in my ears right now, and won't be able to properly respond for another week, until I get back to the mainland...

    Radiant cooling in Kauai sounds like a potentially booming enterprise to me...

    Here's the view I have been putting up with for the last 6 days, with 6 moRe days to go...

    Pity me, won't you. :-).

    Mahola and Aloha

    ME

    PS, for some unknown reason, I can't attach any pictures, so take my word for it, it's a thing of BEAUTY...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
    This post was edited by an admin on February 23, 2013 5:56 PM.
  • kcopp kcopp @ 6:40 PM
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    tell us...

    more about your system... Boiler? How is it piped? Circulator? Got any pictures? It is possible that it is over pumped and sucking in air.
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 4:16 PM
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    No trick really...

    Just inject about one ounce of liquid detergent into your system and any free air roll right out the air elimination.

    Your biggest problem is going to be getting the soapy fluid into the system. Unless you have a substantial method of pumping, either hand or electric, you may have to call a professional in to get 'er done.

    The noise you describe does sound like an air problem, and it can be caused by other conditions within the system. As Kevin Copp asked, can you give more of a description of the system, and the location of pumps in relation to the expansion tank connections?

    Here'a a picture of the noise I was tying to show in my last post...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
    This post was edited by an admin on March 2, 2013 4:19 PM.
  • Gordy Gordy @ 5:39 PM
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    Mark

    Not to high jack the thread, but the opportunity to ask a question other than the thread arrises.

    Do you find the wave noise soothing?

    Reason I asked when we went to Cozumel the first couple nights were soothing after that it was constant noise to me. Not so soothing.
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 8:02 PM
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    Awesome more than soothing...

    I agree, at first, it was soothing, but as time wore on, and the surf got louder, it was less so. If it had been rhythmic, it might have been but this was constantly changing. The locals said they had not seen surf this rough since, FOREVER...

    Makes on wonder what Mother Nature is up to for sure.

    What really kills me is that electricity is around $0.25/kwh on the island, and no one has ever considered harnessing the tidal energy happening here. Seems like such a waste.

    I understand the native Hawaiians wishes to NOT want to place wind mills, but a good wave action hydroturbine would not even be visible from the surface.

    Awesome power there.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • WhidbeyMark WhidbeyMark @ 12:16 PM
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    Pictures of our Runtal system making pffft noises

    We have asked our installers to give us all of the details on the system that you have asked for and will post their answers here. Meanwhile, here is a link to a series of pictures we took of the mechanical room showing the boiler, switches, pumps, etc.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27602063@N06/sets/72157632907078162/
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 10:53 PM
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    There is supposed to be an air elimination auto vent under the cover of the boiler

    And its cap is supposed to e loose.

    On occasion, they lime shut and need to be replaced.

    I'd have your contractor come back and check on it, and while there, have him inject some detergent into the system to get rid of the troublesome air.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • bill bill @ 1:29 AM
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    Back to awesome or soothing??

    What a place!
    This post was edited by an admin on March 4, 2013 1:43 AM.
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