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Joined on November 22, 2006

Last Post on August 12, 2014

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Get checked

@ August 12, 2014 8:56 AM in Heart attack

I am going to a friends funeral today. Heart attack ! I am feeling lucky as an ECG did not show anything before leaving for Portugal in July. My doc had me make an appointment with a cardiologist. Two weeks ago, I did ultrasound and a stress ECG. I have at least one partially blocked artery. The slightly higher blood pressure is caused by a higher heart rate. I take a half pill every morning to reduce the heart rate plus ibuprofen for a hip pain. After we get back from Europe on September 12th, I go in on the Sunday September 15th to get the sewer rooter through the arteries.

If you start to get sweaty or your hands feel numb at times, get a stress ECG.

CI condensing

@ August 4, 2014 5:41 PM in Condensing cast iron?

I have seen a few installs of the KN and a few in laboratory conditions. There is NO secondary heat exchanger! The burner is along the top of the boiler casings. In the installs that I have seen, they stood up well. Here is the I & O manual:
In my old home, I had a Viking Junior condense for 5 years with no problems! BTW, It is till condensing nearly 35 years later! Installed in 1929!

No! NO!

@ August 4, 2014 5:30 PM in Pool heater

Never, ever pump pool water through a boiler! Most marine S/S brazed plate heat exchangers last just about 3 years. If it is salt pool water, you might get a bit less than two years. You need to get a titanium shell and tube HX. It is the only one that lasts. The pressure drop is not that bad and thus you can use the pool pump outlet on it. I have a daughter of one of the largest pharmacy chains in N.A. that uses the pool with waterfall to the end of November as the son has birthday party around the 28th when it is below freezing and a few inches of snow on the ground.

Heat exchangers

@ July 31, 2014 11:11 AM in Pool heating

Brazed plate HE do not stand up for pool use. We have for over 10 years only used titanium tube and shell HE like this:

Oil tanks

@ July 25, 2014 6:40 PM in Cut oil tank in half, now what?

Most AHJ will require documentation and insurance that the tank is oil free. Most of the time the tank is steamed cleaned. You did not save anything by doing by DIY!


@ July 16, 2014 5:23 PM in Gas Piping

You can steel pipe above ground and poly or copper below ground with a tracer above it. A valve is required before you go underground and once you are above. For such a short run, you can run CSST in a drainage pipe that is sealed at both ends. It is much cheaper.


@ July 16, 2014 5:17 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?

NFPA54 has guidelines for venting cat 1 appliances. The smallest input must be connected as close as possible to the vertical rise and at the highest position of a common vent. Your chimney specialist is the one to turn to and is entirely liable for an incorrect or code violations. A liner is required by our code. If you have a clay tile chimney, you do not need a liner. Code requires that the smallest diameter be used for the combined input of all appliances. So, perhaps you do need a liner or not. The chimney guy is the right guy to use!
B149.1, B149.2 and Venting sub-committee member

earthquake valves

@ July 16, 2014 5:03 PM in Earthquake gas shutoff protocol

we are in a moderate zone but insurance companies are requiring auto shutoff valves in case of an earthquake. We have done many installations in commercial buildings including ice arenas and major high-rises.
 Our rules are that they have to be after the  meter with exceptions, such as multiple meters or meters inside a building. Normally, permission is needed from the gas utility to install the emergency shutoff before a meter. Check with your gas supplier if you can install one emergency valve before your set of meters.


@ June 20, 2014 5:46 PM in Aquatherm piping

We are on of the first to use the PP pipe on heating jobs. We have used it from 2.5 to 4 inch. We had to buy a container full as distribution here was the pits. I visited the plant and labs. We experimented with it to see if it could meet S636 for venting. It did but the market is already saturated with other products.

We bought the fusion devices but you can probably rent them.
It is a very good product that is used even on cruise ships!

HTP ModCon retrofit

@ June 18, 2014 2:32 PM in HTP ModCon retrofit

We finished this makeover a few weeks ago. There were two LAARS 1.3 million BTU piped reverse return but pumping through an old Volcano fire-tube. It was a great way to heat up the mechanical room. There also was a Raypak 330,000 BTU hot water booster.
We removed everything including the incinerator burner, washed and then painted the room. We installed 4 HTP Mod Con 500. One of the boilers feeds a 400,000 BTU brazed plate heat exchanger that then feeds the existing three storage tanks. By removing all the unnecessary vent connectors and pipes and with the new paint, the room is now brighter.

One of the zone circulators was installed at some point,  backwards!


@ June 11, 2014 1:17 PM in Typical venting for high-efficiency wall-hung boilers?

S636 ULC approved PVC venting is essentially grey PVC sch 40 with a different colour and new labelling. They used the standard for sch 40 PVC which is max 75 PSI at 140F! ABS is actually a better material as it only starts to deform at 217F. The best materials are PP or S/S.

Air inlets

@ June 11, 2014 1:13 PM in concentric termination relative to dryer vent

In Canada we have B149.1 that addresses the situation of an combustion air inlet and a dryer or other vents. If you want to block the burner with lint or corrode the heat exchanger and burner, install it within 10 feet. I can garantee that the appliance will not last very long.


@ June 3, 2014 9:50 AM in Should I stock a spare igniter and flame sensor for my Knight Boiler?

We have installed hundreds of Knights. Typicaly, it is an air switch, flame rod or an ignitor that are replaced. The ignitors do wear! Enclosed is an example of massive wear!

Heat loss

@ May 30, 2014 9:35 AM in Heat load calc( to pay, or not to pay)

If you are doing radiant, Uponor will do the design and heat loss for free if you buy Uponor. We outsource the design to Uponor every radiant job.


@ May 16, 2014 8:42 AM in New water heater

I had one. It was a basket case. It went through two boards, two ignitors, two snap discs, one circulator on the coil unit and the coil leaked twice. Then the tank leaked into the combustion chamber. It lasted all of 9 years.

I now have a fully modulating (both fire and fan) York condensing furnace and a power vented gas hot water tank that is sidewall vented. I get plenty of comfort both summer and winter.

Breweries & Kettles

@ May 12, 2014 9:56 AM in Starting the steam education- install in October

I have done several breweries and much work in the food industry. Beer brewing is done with low pressure steam. Cooking food in kettles is done mostly at 30 PSI. You need someone that has engineering experience in the brewery business. He can easily calculate the steam requirement per kettle. There are also tables and formula es in most steam trap manufacturers handbook. You can find pipe sizing also in those handbooks. You have to include also a pickup factor for the boiler sizing which in this industry is at least 50% over the requirement of the process. By building code, the boiler must be in an enclosed room away from any production.
Here is one of my designs:

P & T relief valves

@ May 12, 2014 8:57 AM in Relief Valves:

Here is a good video on why you need P & T valves on hot water tanks. I have seen one that went through the floor into the ceiling above!


@ May 9, 2014 10:15 AM in sizing

If your boiler is 265,000 BTU input and of average efficiency, the net output is around 218,000 BTU. Boiler supply temperature to the tank should be 180F and 30 F DT. The B & G SYstem Sizer shows a 15 GPM flow for 30 F DT.It also shows 1 1/2 black pipe is sufficient 1 3/4 feet pressure loss per 100 ft. Now for a 90 % efficient boiler:
It is 17 GPM and still 1 1/2 black pipe.
The System Sizer is free from B & G. Itis also available online as a free software. I find it also usefull when trying to find out if a heat exchanger is getting blocked in condensing boilers. Capacity of the boiler at the rated fire, then check the DT and use the System Sizer to find the GPM.


@ May 9, 2014 9:57 AM in Oil to gas conversion "direct vent"

Unless there is a kit from Pensotti that is certified for the boiler, you will have a liability issue. If we replace a burner on a boiler here, we are required to get the boiler re-certified.


@ May 9, 2014 9:54 AM in Galvanized pipng for gas

NFPA54 as well as B149.1 permits any ASTM A 53 or ASTM A 106 steel pipe  black or hot-dipped zinc coated pipe. Your AHJ can decide otherwise.

Stay away from high Delta T!!!

@ May 1, 2014 2:37 PM in Fixed Flow Rate and Mod-cons

Dues to the small passages in those mod-con heat exchangers, you need to keep fluid velocity through them in the same manner as flat plate heat exchangers. We went from 35F to 25F as a Delta T after a number of heat exchangers blocked (most by our competitors who used smaller piping and much smaller pumps!). You do not use the same pipe size as the heat exchanger connections. One uses the manufacturers recommendations or proper engineering practices for the flow rates required. GHoing to a delta T that is 35 F or greater is looking for trouble.

Clear piping

@ March 25, 2014 9:53 AM in System Fluid Experiment..

Instead of using glass, you can use clear plastic piping. The Armstrong steam rep here has a whole wall of clear tubing to demonstrate problems with steam systems. It is also a lot less expensive the lab type glass piping. Contact your local plastic distributor for the proper pipe.
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