Joined on November 9, 2006
Last Post on September 21, 2009
@ September 21, 2009 8:25 PM in Why the difference between these 2 boiler bids?I have been installing System 2000s for over 20 years. No need for the ODR. It will not gain you anything. I might recommend primary/secondary piping for the cast iron radiator zone if it was large enough. It brings ALL the radiator temps back into line as they were designed to be operated. (When it was coal fired gravity circulation). Ask both of these companies for photographs of their installed systems. That can make a big difference in servicability later. And it is an indicator of the type of work they do.
@ March 18, 2009 9:48 PM in Interesting PUC QuestionThat doesn't say much for our confidence in the electric companies. They are float operated so the water can stay turned on all the time and it only uses water when the float is raised. That would only happen when the primary pump failed or electric was out. City water only (of course). It is said to pump 2 gallons for every gallon that it uses. Ken
@ March 13, 2009 10:41 AM in Explaining how a heat pump works to a HOthat I believe we have a hard time grasping is how a heat pump can heat our house to 70 on a day when the outside air is 30 degrees. One thing that always seems to help in an explanation is that we are not dealing with water. We all think of evaporation at above 200 degrees. Thats fine with water. A lot of energy is required to get 212 degree water to 212 degree steam. We get some of that energy back when steam turns back into water. Most everyone here understands that concept better than the average person because steam heat conversations dominate this site. R-22 (a relic) boils way below 0F in our atmosphere. That makes it hard to imagine what goes on inside a closed refrigerant system. Picture this simple view of a heat pump in heating mode. The compressor pumps gas toward the indoor coil and it runs into the metering orifice (which is really all the way outside in the unit) as it tries to get back to the other side of the compressor. It crushes the molecules together as they all try to get through the orifice at the same time. This friction backs up all the way through the indoor coil (if the refrigerant charge is correct) and produces the heat that heats the house. After the heat is dissipated, the temperature is below the 'dewpoint' of the refrigerant and it is now a liquid. When it goes through the orifice, the pressure drops and it turns into a gas at about -10F. That's when it sucks the 'heat' out of the 30 degree air. There is a 40 degree delta T at that time. The 30 degree gas goes back through the compressor and the cycle starts all over again. I apologize for any generalizing but the concept is what needs to be understood, not the exact science of it all. Ken
@ March 5, 2009 9:31 PM in mad dog needs recom on RO filtrationyou are a legitimate contractor, I will gladly offer my assistance. Ken
@ February 18, 2009 5:24 PM in system 2000 combustion chamberRealizing that you lack some training and fine tuning skills is a MAJOR step toward becoming a great technician. It is the '30 years and still doing it the same way because I know everything' techs who have outlived their usefulness in my opinion. Keep your eyes and ears open and hang here a while and you will be on top of your game in no time. Never hesitate to ask a question (here or anywhere). Where pin boilers get on my nerves is: 1. when they have domestic coils in them. That will cost you at least an extra 100 gallons of oil in the non-heating months, and 2. When they are not cleaned thoroughly and set up properly they are inefficient. The difference in price is worth it if they provide domestic hot water and are installed to maximize energy in the off season.
@ February 17, 2009 10:27 PM in new problembut I'm not Charlie from wmass so I'll give you a decent answer. If you replaced the ignitor, the electrodes should still be adjusted where they were before, but that could cause it. A burner setup with instruments would be in order also since improper fuel pressure and air adjustment can cause your problem also. Efficiency will suffer if the burner is not adjusted properly too.
@ February 17, 2009 9:03 PM in system 2000 combustion chamberCharlie, you nailed it. It saves a trip to the home too. Just tell everyone who calls in with no heat that they need a boiler. Then get them setup with a block of cast iron that will chug along like a model-T. That's progress.
@ February 17, 2009 8:59 PM in system 2000 combustion chamberThe first EK boiler I ever installed was in 1988 and it is still chugging right along. Same combustion chamber, possibly needed a pac-man over the years but nothing else. It's a sure bet that it is a setup issue. (If adding air cleans up a fire than tons of it would be even better). I would suggest finding a service company who gets training and follows the setup routine that keeps those boilers trouble-free.
@ February 4, 2009 9:18 PM in chimney liner and insulation - oil boilerIf you make sure the top and bottom of the chimney is stuffed with fiberglass and air tight, the air trapped inside also acts as an insulator. All you have to heat up is the stainless. I think that will work as long as you have 350+ entering and size it appropriately. If you use a small enough liner, you might not need a draft regulator either. That will help matters too. Ken
@ February 1, 2009 6:13 PM in Need help diagnosing 2 pipe steamIf you need references, I can provide. 28 years HVAC, mostly oil. I emailed you off board. Ken
@ January 30, 2009 12:17 PM in Need help diagnosing 2 pipe steamI only have one picture of a radiator. It was probably reworked at some point because is looks a little odd. It makes a gurgling sound but I can see why if the steam enters the leg and has to pass the condensate that can't get out. All of the other rads have globe valves on the inlet which is at the bottom of almost all radiators and just a union elbow on the outlet. The pictures of the boiler piping show the way they have the dry returns together to vent. The vent is a Sarco 6T. At no time during the 30 minute cycle did I heat hammering (not one of their complaints) but the ends of the condensate returns never even got slightly warm from condensate either. By 20 minutes, almost all radiators were hot all the way across. There is an 8 foot piece of cast iron baseboard and it heated within4 minutes and stayed hot during the whole cycle. It also has no trap and no air vent. If you need something specific, I can return to take more photos. Ken
@ January 30, 2009 10:47 AM in Need help diagnosing 2 pipe steamI looked at asystem today and need some validation before I cut open wall or ceiling. It is a 2 pipe steam system with a1 year old WM gas boiler. I can post pics of near-boiler piping but it looks pretty good to me. The quandry comes with the returns and vents. There are no radiator traps and I do not believe the system is a vapor system by looking at the rad valves although I did not disassemble and look for an orifice. The end of the mains are concealed above a plywood ceiling and behind a wall. I suspectthat there is a F&T trap in there. There is a large Sarco air vent in the boiler room and both returns are tied together and fed to the vent. The radiators have air vents on them and my suspicion is that they were Added after something else failed. Like maybe the traps. Not all radiators have vents. That is suspicious too. The house does heat fairly well but I suspect that efficiency may suffer if some co Pone ts don't work right. I would like some input and help to resolve this for my customer. If one of you would prefer to consult by phone, that would be helpful as I'd like to button this up during cold weather. Ken
@ January 26, 2009 10:26 PM in Another Oil Heat Obituary?what a lack of accurate information can do to perpetuate an argument. The job probably includes an Amish fireplace for those extra cold nights.
@ January 26, 2009 9:25 PM in Dear Old DadHe sounds like a great role model. America needs more role models like that.
@ January 23, 2009 10:54 PM in Anybody know anything about this co.and there isn't any part of it that isn't firmly based on common sense. After 20 years of using them, I haven't seen any of the 'snake oil'. I do see a fair number of poor installs and lack of maintenance on systems before we get involved. My guess is that anyone who attends the EK training, owns a combustion analyzer and knows how to use it, and can read directions, will have the same results I have. I know one local contractor who tells his customers they shouldn't own one because there's no place to see the fire. That is the mentality of contractors who are headed for extinction.
@ January 19, 2009 7:30 PM in Prayers for our boiler tech ...if there is a way for you to get us his info.
@ January 19, 2009 7:26 PM in Ice buildupis a great way to go but keep in mind that in a power outage, outdoor reset won't help you unless you have a backup generator and use it. Glycol will protect you in that case and if you use a 30% mixture and not 70-80% you should not have any adverse problems.
@ January 18, 2009 8:36 PM in Quetion about bottom feeding a tank for 3 unitsIf the lines stay lower than the bottom of the tank all the way to the units, there is no need for 2 pipe or tigerloops. If they go up and overhead, that is a different story. You should be able to tee off wherever you want. The flow rate is relatively low with one pipe. Hope this helps.
@ January 18, 2009 8:27 PM in on watch tool what is itI know EK sells them but I believe you can get it direct if you want. http://www.onwatchinc.com/model51/index.html
@ January 18, 2009 7:23 PM in on watch tool what is itWe don't use ours often but it can be very helpful. It records oil line vacuum, pump pressure, safety control output, stack temp, and cad cell activity. It also monitors voltage to a power venter motor if the system is so equipped. When the burner locks out, you have a pretty good idea why. Even on an intermittent problem, it makes you look like less of a goof if you can't pinpoint it on the second call. That's when we usually will install it.
@ January 18, 2009 5:59 PM in Quetion about bottom feeding a tank for 3 unitsAll the stuff you guys are trying to keep from the burner can be removed with a good filter. Further, you are leaving all that moisture and sludge inside the tank. That is the last place you want moisture. If that tank is pitched toward the outlet, none of that moisture can grow sludge in the tank. That is what you really want. Use an OSV if you want to be safer. A standard felt filter at the tank and 10 micron filters at each appliance and you should be set for a long time. If you ever see bacteria when you change the felt filter, treat the tank for a year with biocide and you will be back in business.
@ January 13, 2009 10:03 PM in CO IN COleast obvious CO facts are, don't use a line powered detector because it will not be powered when the power is out and you have the gas grille in the living room. It also will read a diluted indoor air mix when there is severe infiltration through the outlet it is plugged into. Good luck with the article, post a link so we can read it too.