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Paul Pollets

Paul Pollets

Joined on July 24, 2003

Last Post on August 11, 2014

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Air vent

@ February 14, 2014 1:05 PM in What is this thing?

This was a common method of air removal before "pumping away" became popular. It doesn't work very well after the vent becomes clogged or fails. Vet is also subject to freezing. Better purge methods happen at the boiler and also use an air eliminator with proper "near-boiler" piping.


@ February 14, 2014 1:01 PM in Cold day

At the very least I'd be re-piping the boiler and putting the pump on the supply header, and removing the attic expansion tank and putting a new- "pre-charged" tank on the supply header before the pump location with CW feeder attached to the exp. tank location. Or replace the boiler.

Alpha pumps

@ February 9, 2014 12:02 PM in How, exactly does

I use the Alpha's on every project and have never had any issues with their performance. I've tested the amp load for comparisons and found the amperage displayed to be spot on.

Design and installation

@ February 7, 2014 1:33 PM in Need some serious help

There are a number of serious piping errors in the "near-boiler" piping that create "choke points" for the BTU's trying to make their way to the heat emitters. The main header should be 11/4" , not 1" for starters.
The design temperature for Plattsburgh is -20 degrees. That means the system should keep the home at 68 degrees when it's -20 outside. If not, someone didn't do their homework.

.35 ACH

@ February 7, 2014 9:09 AM in Radiant Heat in the Northwest

Yes, If you have the economizer package for fresh air on the furnace, it must be on 24/7. Those who can, use HRV's since there are less than 5 cooling days per year in Seattle. Eastern Washington is very hot in the summer, and A/C would be much more common.

It's time

@ February 6, 2014 9:15 PM in obstruction in baseboard hot water system

You may want to seriously consider replacing your boiler. Aside from it's age and reduced efficiency, the existing expansion tank could be waterlogged and prevent adequate fill pressure, even if the fill valve was replaced. It's cold and probably impractical in the middle of a cold winter, but without a repipe, you may get very frustrated.

WA State energy code

@ February 4, 2014 3:12 PM in Radiant Heat in the Northwest

All new homes or any renovations of over 50% of structure must provide ventilation to exchange .35 ACH. (not 4 or 5). Forced air systems typically use an economizer package with a 6" damper installed on fresh air duct with timer to allow fresh air into the return plenum to satisfy the requirement.

Not to differ, but..

@ February 2, 2014 12:47 PM in Happy Super Bowl

I'm thinking Seahawks. All the better!

New Vitodens B2HA

@ January 28, 2014 2:55 PM in New Vitodens B2HA

Just commissioned this system this morning in a N. Seattle renovation. Using the newest generation of Viessmann boilers and controls can be trying, but worth it. The instructions will need to be revised. The black control is easier to program, and is easy to navigate. The only downside was learning that the LON pump control module will not allow the wiring of a DHW Recirc pump, if you are using HC1 and HC2(mixing valve).
The system heats a new basement and entry slab (mixing valve); Main Fl. Staple-up with transfer plates and 2nd Fl. Climate Panels. We used the Uponor EP manifolds, which are very easy to purge. Distribution piping uses Pex-Al-Pex. I was able to design the staple-up circuits and the Climate Panels within 5 degrees of water temperature, and didn't need a second mixing valve. Grundfos Alpha pumps drive the heating circuits. The VitoCell 300- 79g tank is behind the boiler wall and not visible.

Application + Insulation

@ January 26, 2014 1:05 PM in New boiler, Insufficent heat

You don't mention how the MB is heated. Embedded or Staple-up? Climate Panels or Quick Trak? If the contractor used a software program to design the system, (ie Uponor ADS) there are "what-if" queries that can show water temp requirements depending upon floor covering and insulation values. 120 won't do much if there is no underfloor insulation or a staple-up application without transfer plates or insulation. Do it right or do it over!

More info

@ January 25, 2014 12:25 PM in Radiant Heat in the Northwest

If your considering radiant heating, the more you know, the easier it is to make an informed decision. RFH has a higher installation cost than forced air, but will heat your home with extreme comfort and low gas bills. Typically 50%-60% less than a forced air system in Seattle. The system also makes the DHW for a residence.
You'll also have to ventilate the residence to the WA State energy code to provide .35 air changes per hour, but that's another story.
Here's an important read:

If it's fired by Propane..

@ January 19, 2014 2:19 PM in Tight space for boiler system

NG appliances are allowed in a crawl. Propane appliances are NOT!!

Very difficult, if not impossible to pipe in a mod-con with 4 ft or less space. Most units pipe from the bottom making the project a belly-up experience. Expect increased costs for the installation due to lack of space.

Don't know why I'm replying to a 5 year old thread...

NWS Solar in Seattle

@ January 14, 2014 3:25 PM in NWS Solar in Seattle

Here are the final shots of the completed solar DHW system installed at the Northwest School Gym/dining hall. We tied the system into the school's internet "dashboard", but the data logging and summaries have not been finished by the IT guys.

New Viessmann 222F rough-in

@ January 11, 2014 2:42 PM in New Viessmann 222F rough-in

Trying out the first 222F cabinet model condensing boiler with built in 316Ti stainless DHW tank. The unit requires a "side piping package" and in this case, is connected to 8 wall panel radiators, without need of a low loss header. The internal pump will handle the load. Vented with PPE through the roof.


@ January 11, 2014 12:22 PM in Recommended contractor for bathroom renovation in Worcester, MA area?

JV Mechanical.

Blue Atom Bombs

@ January 11, 2014 10:59 AM in Boiler Mate WH-7L

These units have a high failure rate and low recovery rates. I use either an NTI Trin n Stor or Viessmann Vitocell 300 when replacing.

The right way...

@ January 7, 2014 2:56 PM in Expansion tank location

Isn't quite like this. "Pumping Away" shows how to do it. So do the application drawings in Siegenthaler's "Modern Hydronics".

Dual coil tank

@ January 7, 2014 9:20 AM in Dual Coil Solar Water Heater Recommendations

The Viessmann B-79g Vitocell 300 is the best, and the only 316Ti SS on the market. I've seen an electric element installed on the man hole cover,(by installer, not Viessmann) for those wanting electric backup.

Flow rates for DHW

@ December 27, 2013 5:00 PM in Need help with boiler replacement and DHW issue

I 'm not aware of any combi appliance that can produce more than 3.5gpm of 120 degree water when incoming CW is 35-40 degrees. Soaking tubs typically require 5-6gpm. Some tub fillers fill at 7gpm.


@ December 27, 2013 2:08 PM in Need help with boiler replacement and DHW issue

I'd be replacing with a mod-con boiler and an 80g indirect tank. You'll also want to consider a DHW recirculation pump so you get HW immediately to your fixtures. Mixing radiant and DHW is always iffy, and in your case, you have a large DHW load. Combi's produce 3-4gpm of HW. Not a good idea when a soaking tub is in the picture.
My preference is Viessmann equipment, but there might not be a trained installer in your area.

Porch requirements

@ December 24, 2013 10:23 AM in Thought I knew what I was doing.

Porches always have a heat loss 2-4x greater than any other room. Does the application use transfer plates? Is there R30 insulation under the application? I'd say you will need supplemental heat, even if you're using plates and have adequate insulation under the loops. Do a heat loss and confirm the requirements!


@ December 23, 2013 5:14 PM in Ice storm problem - help please

Non-toxic boiler Antifreeze can be pumped into the system using a transfer pump and small generator.
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