Joined on July 24, 2003
Last Post on May 24, 2013
@ February 14, 2013 1:07 PM in What business lessons did you learn from the Great Recession?1. The perception of value changes for the consumer. Less work means more competitive contractors and lower prices.
2. The customer sees the "lowest price" as the best deal. Any higher bid costs or add-on alternates are somehow perceived as having little value and simply cost more.
3. Service work for poorly installed hydronic systems rises dramatically.
@ February 9, 2013 2:20 PM in Burnham Fan Inducer ProblemsBoth were unwilling to do anything. Now the customer has to pony up for a very expensive part or replace the boiler. You can be sure that a Burnham won't be a part of the replacement equation...
@ February 8, 2013 3:19 PM in Burnham Fan Inducer ProblemsIt's not a water heater. It's a boiler part. I understand water heater warranties, but if I buy a replacement part for a Viessmann boiler, for example, and the replacement part fails within a year, the company will provide a new part, no charge. Regardless of how old the boiler happens to be.
@ February 8, 2013 2:20 PM in Burnham Fan Inducer ProblemsI have a client with a Burnham SP5NI-G2 (18 year old) cast iron boiler with fan inducer for power vent. The fan motor failed in July of 2012 and a new fan motor was installed. The client called last week to report the new fan motor was very noisy and upon inspecting the fan, it is obvious that there is a loud bearing noise and chatter. Burnham won't warranty the replacement fan, even though it is less than a year old. I've never heard of a company not providing at least a year of warranty on a part. Has anyone had a similar experience?
@ February 8, 2013 12:59 PM in PEX-AL-PEX tubes for antifreezeThis material is not rated for the temperatures delivered by the solar panels. Only copper or stainless steel linesets should be used. The Pex piping will be compromised by the high temps and fail prematurely.
@ February 8, 2013 12:50 PM in Fox news says solar doesn't work here..What a joke!
@ February 5, 2013 6:31 PM in I'm posting this for Bill Brooks.From what I see, the boiler is not piped for primary/secondary. I'd re-pipe an 11/4" loop around the boiler with (2) closely spaced tees for each zone, as required. You'll then get the required flow rates without creating a "thermal restriction" which is present in the existing piping. Or, install a hydraulic separator between the zones and the boiler.
@ February 5, 2013 10:24 AM in Danfoss esbe mixing valves acting up on radiant system, HELPCan you post a pic? 4 way or 3 way mixing valves? I've used these for many years and a repair kit can be obtained with new gaskets and valve stem washers. The paper washer between the valve body and faceplate will need to be replaced and the body and stem cleaned and lubricated with high temp waterproof grease.
It's very unusual to zone with mixing valves, typically they're used to maintain a certain temperature and coupled with a motor actuator to maintain setpoint. Why so many?
@ February 2, 2013 11:35 AM in Radiant Sysytem ProblemsI get dizzy when looking at the pics...I'd re-pipe the boiler with the pump on the supply, rather the the return and properly support the piping. This is a good case to show why not to use Pex piping on the "near-boiler" piping. Hopefully you can find a good local contractor who know's how to do it right and make corrections.
@ January 22, 2013 11:03 AM in IBC boilersToo bad they don't make their product available in Seattle.
@ January 21, 2013 2:25 PM in Copper floor with penniesHmmm...radiant potential!
@ January 21, 2013 2:11 PM in 160 combo-heaters removed from housing projectAhhh, yes. The hydronic experts at Home Depot. You can be sure they'll know what to do.
@ January 20, 2013 11:57 AM in Upgrade of brand new heating system in Long Island, NYYou can bet the home has granite countertops and a Sub-Zero reefer. One of these days US builders will get it and spend another $3-7K for a better hydronic setup that truly reflects efficiency. Nahhhhh..."costs too much".
Yes, pearls are hard to find.
@ January 16, 2013 10:06 AM in My new heatying system Home Owner Job ;)Any Geo system or wood boiler could be tied in with 2 tees on the LLH; if the LLH. sensor senses another heat source, it won't fire the boiler if the external heat source is adequate. Looks like the boiler is tied directly to the radiant....
@ January 16, 2013 9:36 AM in My new heatying system Home Owner Job ;)Nice!! BTW, For the cost of the Tekmar and mixing station, you could have upgraded to the Vitodens 200 (which has all the functions the Tekmar does) and used the LLH in place of the mixing valve.
@ January 15, 2013 7:32 PM in Advice on Conflisting Chimney InspectionsA flue can be inspected with a camera and light. Certain chimney specialists will have them. Damage to the flue tiles are common where I live because of earthquakes. Gas appliances require an aluminum liner and oil appliances a SS liner. A combustion or draft test unfortunately can't determine cracked flue tiles or bad mortar joints. A boiler will always perform at higher efficiency if there's a correctly sized liner. Some codes require an insulated liner if the chimney is exposed.
@ January 14, 2013 1:37 PM in Continuing Education CreditsIn the state of WA., if you want to create a CE course, you must submit the course curriculum and your credentials to Labor & Industries. Most are setting up courses on-line so the recipient doesn't have to travel to attend.
@ January 13, 2013 10:22 AM in Can I get more efficiency from my old boiler?I agree with Chris. The old Burnham needs to be repiped with zone valves and a smart pump, spark ignition and new gas valve, ODR control and pipe insulation. There's probably not a liner in the chimney....The repipe costs would be at least 1/3 to 1/2 what the replacement cost would be. Not such a good investment.
No one can predict the life expectancy of the appliance, but it will be sooner rather than later. That being said, cast iron boilers can live a very long life if there's no condensation, even if they're not very efficient.
@ January 12, 2013 10:30 AM in Buderus boiler pipingThe "near-boiler" piping is incorrect and should have either an 11/4 or 11/2" supply and return header, not 1"
Buderus G215 boilers do not need P/S piping.
I'd be using zone valves and (1) smart pump, rather than separate pumps for each zone.
@ January 8, 2013 11:31 AM in The Tide is RollingI can appreciate your concern, and disappointment....
@ January 8, 2013 9:42 AM in High Velocity Heating SystemUnfortunately, you have a system installed that doesn't work well, uses excessive energy, has a risk of Legionella contamination and makes noise. They were installed because of low initial costs and increased builder's profits. A quality hydronic system will give great comfort (and no noise) but will require some of the walls and ceilings to be exposed to retrofit. Then there is the cost to do it right. I've installed plenty of SpacePak and Unico systems, but would not recommend them for heating unless A/C was a priority. Since we have only 3-5 cooling days yearly in Seattle, and over 240 days requiring a heating load, the decision is sort of obvious. I always recommend wall panel radiators and a mod-con boiler for this type of retrofit.
@ December 25, 2012 9:17 PM in Historic home with radiatorsMod cons will usually work well with existing radiators. Hopefully you can find a contractor in your area that has expertise. I like the Viessmann Vitodens 200 and their VitoCell 300 SS indirect tanks. I use an NTI Trin n Stor, if the Vitocell is over the budget.
When retrofitting a radiator system, we always change the radiator valves to TRV's. The system will perform at highest efficiency when a "Smart" pump (i.e. Grundfos Alpha) is installed on the heating circuit.