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Charlie from wmass

Charlie from wmass

Joined on September 21, 2006

Last Post on April 14, 2014

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Was anyone hurt?

@ December 7, 2009 9:46 PM in acetylene + spark =

We had a guy near us take a hit from a hand held torch set up. Young guy who prefered the ease of the small tank. I like my 15# turbo tanks. Yep I use propane most of the time for soldering. You can tell I am not into refrigeration.

Dennis this is a story of where it reaches a breaking point.

@ December 7, 2009 9:38 PM in Steam vs. Hot water vs. Air

I know every steam system is not worth saving. I also know that one pipe steams were installed to pinch pennies not to provide the best of heat. Gravity hot water was the most efficient heat they had for fuel usage in those days. The size of the distribution piping and engineering to make them work well was more money than to install steam. I stand by my reluctance to convert a steam rad to hot water. Simply because if they were not maintained then they were not maintained. I have just gone through a string of hot water rads that leaked after being sand blasted and refinished by an unnamed expert. The person did a great job and stood by his warranty. I can ask no more of him. What I found was the rads had been brazed many years back. maybe even from the day they were made. When they were cleaned up the brazing fell off and they leaked. This is why we for years took out old rads and simply scrapped them. It was new or nothing for many years. Do we use old rads now? yes we do. have I had to use dual purpose rads for hot water? yes I have. Do I pressure test them for longer and higher than I need to? You better believe it. We always need to measure what can we do to what needs to be done to what the customer can afford. Many steam systems just need a little love. I have seen heating system of every ilk that simply needed a Saw-Zall. While I understand the desire to reuse the steam parts I would try many different approaches to not use them. I am sure you will not get introuble with the all mighty for removing that steam system. To good heat where you can find it.

The tube and column ones always seem to clang.

@ December 6, 2009 12:26 PM in Tighten Steam Radiator Tie Rods ?

Just from the "few" I have seen,  they always rattle if any thing larger than a mouse walks past them. I am guessing this was a reason they are less popular for a radiator choice. If it is not leaking leave them be! If they do leak it probably wll not help tightening them any ways.

I would guess

@ December 6, 2009 12:16 PM in Odd radiator pipes setup

If they were installed for 70 years someone put some sort of bleeder up there, if it is hot water. Get a flashlight and trace the pipes in the crawl space. Is this hot water or steam?

Now I know what I want for Christmas

@ December 3, 2009 5:22 PM in For you Steam Heads

The closest to perpetual motion you can get! Burn scrap wood get steam cut wood get scrap wood...........

Start looking for a replacement

@ December 3, 2009 5:08 PM in Cracked Radiator

The JB weld is fine for a quick fix for a short time. I have not seen it hold for very long, usually not a whole season. Good luck and happy radiator hunting.

what boiler are you putting in?

@ December 3, 2009 5:03 PM in add-on wood boiler piping

Tarm, Kerr, and Buderus are closed systems you can put in the basement with their own dedicated chimney flue. The others that are open need to go in the back yard. A heat dump/ sorage is the way to go with wood boilers though. 2 good hot burns a day will take care of most homes in the dead of winter. This means a need for room and funds to pay for the sorage tanks. They are both closed systems and open tubs.

Dan I am one of 5 Charles Garrity's

@ December 3, 2009 4:57 PM in Duplicate forum nicknames?

Between My father, son and 2 cousins that is just in my family. There are 4 others with in 20 miles not related. Now my second son wants to change his name to Charles when he turns 18, of course his brother wants to change his to Bob or Fred so things will stay even then. lol

well said

@ December 1, 2009 10:01 PM in Steam vs. Hot water vs. Air

The thing people forget is the answer is often "It depends" I will work on converted systems I just will not onvert one if I can make the steam work. I also know that the warm air systems have there place ( not in my house). Humidity control for special enviroments is hard to do with steam.

He could make his own gas?

@ December 1, 2009 9:37 PM in making 170*f solar hot water

There are plants out there that convert the waste to methane in a controlled environment. [url=]

Maybe go the other way?

@ December 1, 2009 9:27 PM in What's the sq.ft. EDR for modern rads?

You can easily get the BTU output for the old rads for a given temp. then compare them to the new ones that way. This would get you to a comparison you could use.E.D.R. is more of a steam figure from what I have seen and since they do not use the new rads for steam they do not have those numbers. At least we do not use them for steam I am sure someone will.

Antler venting maybe called for.

@ December 1, 2009 9:08 PM in Care and feeding of your funky drop header.

You can then put two or three Gorton #2 vents on the cold main.

Any one out there need a boiler your size?

@ December 1, 2009 9:03 PM in Care and feeding of your funky drop header.

Perhaps you can make a trade for two smaller boilers?
We may have our first canidate for a modulating residential boiler here Frank? Mason valves and a modulating burner?

Maybe a band-aid ?

@ December 1, 2009 8:54 PM in Problems with New Steam Boiler

Check the steam vent and drop the steam pressure? Start basic and buy time to get them back to pipe it as the book that comes with it says to. There maybe other issues that are not even clear yet such as returns that need changed and other sorts of things. Best of luck. One last note if the Steam lines above the water level are copper that is also a big no no.

They do make water heaters with built in heat exchangers.

@ December 1, 2009 8:47 PM in Conflict over Heat source.

They could get a new heater and a heat exchanger in a unit designed to do as you want and you will save a pump. [url=]

They have efficent water heaters.

@ December 1, 2009 8:37 PM in Water heater: Indirect versus direct

They even have condensing tank type gas water heaters. The issue is often one of rate of return as far as added cost of units versus added fuel savings. If you have the right water quality and live where the ground water temps on the high side you can go tank-less.

Condition your water

@ November 29, 2009 1:05 AM in W-M indirect

They stand behind their warranty very well. The issue is if your water condition is bad you will need to use the warranty. Not all indirects are the same as with every product made in a factory. I like them but if the water is hard and the customer does not want to condition the water I make sure the indirect goes in with isolation valves and unions at all connections.

I install all types of hydronic based heat

@ November 29, 2009 12:59 AM in single pipe steam to hot water system

I am not a die hard lover of steam and I have seen systems that simply were not worth saving. In these cases often the radiators were also in poor shape. I think the anti conversion mind set is based on the jobs we have come across. My own church switched to hot water from steam. Is the heat better? no it is colder. are the heat bills lower?  They are, but turning down the thermostat and tuning the system would have also saved them on the heat bill. The thing I think of is even the dual use radiators are subject to more corrosion on steam than if they had been used for hot water from day one. The total lack of maintenance on steam systems that get them to the point of needing to be converted also leads me to not trust the old radiators. There is room out there for people to convert steam to hot water and there is work to keep steam as steam.  Just think if your car was built 90 years ago would you hook a turbo to it and race it on the weekends? Sure you could do it many times with no issue. Lots of guys do it so it must be the right thing to do? Right?

The boiler in my ad has 3 hot water zones

@ November 27, 2009 11:51 AM in Hot Water Loop on Steam Boiler

It can be done and is not that involved. Just a matter of getting a person with the correct experience. Dans article covers it well. It would be piped as per your manual for and indirect water heater. Best of luck.

Brian I am sorry you have not had the pleasure yet.

@ November 27, 2009 11:29 AM in single pipe steam to hot water system

But I can say I as have many others seen what does go wrong with these conversions. With the current boiler tech out there why go hot water when steam can run with in a few AFUE's of the steam? If the heat bill is $2 k a year and you go from 64 to 86 percent on fuel efficiency you save a lot. But if you figure the cost of going from 86 to maybe on a really good day getting 90 is it worth the risk and cost? But have your fun and keep your premiums paid up because it is not a matter of if but of when one goes wrong.

Before you shorten them Lower the water temp.

@ November 12, 2009 8:33 PM in push nipples cast iron basaeboard

If the base board is over sized you can drop the water temp and leave them the current size. This will save even more on the fuel bill and even out the heat. This also means putting them all back to the original length.

twist them with my Knipex 12" pliers

@ November 12, 2009 8:30 PM in push nipples cast iron basaeboard

That's all, if I have new ones to go in.