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Joined on November 22, 2006

Last Post on March 25, 2014

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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.


@ March 7, 2014 10:15 AM in Completed boiler & chiller instal

Yes, VFD


@ March 7, 2014 9:32 AM in Completed boiler & chiller instal

It is an office tower that had two fire tube Volcano boilers. I has actually 8 colours of vinyl covering. BTW, all the pumps have drives on them. The control contract alone was $2 million. There is also some free cooling using a large plate heat exchanger. There are two water towers. I have previously posted pictures of the 800 ton crane loading one tower, the chillers and pumps. We had cut a hole in the roof to remove the old and drop in the new. On a second occasion, we lifted the North side water tower and the boilers. We are presently replacing the water towers and chillers of the Olympic village two residence complexes

Completed boiler & chiller instal

@ March 5, 2014 10:53 AM in Completed boiler & chiller instal

This was a complete replacement of the boilers and chillers in a 32 floor building in Old Montreal. There are 7 colours of vinyl cladding of the insulation of which 3 were special order. I took the pictures last week. One of the chillers was working as the South side of the building was getting sun. There are a 36 Armstrong pumps. It was a 1 year project.

Vent sizing

@ February 7, 2014 1:55 PM in Flue liner size for new gas water heater ?

NFPA 54 Table /3.1 (e) 30 feet, 5 Ft lateral : 4 inch with maximum 78,000 BTU

Vent size

@ February 7, 2014 11:27 AM in Flue liner size for new gas water heater ?

Use only S/S corrugated liner. The aluminium ones can tear during installation. According to Z-Flex, 5 feet horinzontal and 30 ft vertical: 42,000 BTU : 3 ich. A 4inch liner is good for 85,000 BTU.

Sorry Steve, but a PV hot water tank is about 15% more combustion efficient than an atmospheric. The main reason is that there is no pilot and no pilot enduced draft through the tank to cool it down. I have personally run the tests in the lab. You might also look up the ratings of the tanks at a manufacturer's website.


@ January 28, 2014 1:38 PM in Can anyone identify this boiler?

It looks like an Anthes boiler. They use the same boiler for hot water and steam.

Confined space

@ December 29, 2013 11:41 AM in Combustion Air vs. Size of space

Does the boiler room have combustion air and 10% ventilation air from the exterior? Does the combustion air duct end within 6 to18 inches above the floor as required by 8.4.2? We do not approve appliances over 400,000 BTU not having combustion air from outdoors! BTW, B149.1 takes precedence over the installation manual which dates from 2003. There is a new code slated for 2015. We have nearly completed the revisions and will vote on the final in June.
If the boilers short cycle, there can be condensation forming on the heat exchanger and fouling. If the return temperature is below 130F, the same thing can happen.

Ice storms

@ December 29, 2013 11:20 AM in Steam Heat Saves The Day

We had 21 days of no power in the great ice storm of January 1998. While I was at the Natural Gas Technologies Center, we were tasked by the president of the gas utility to find the solutions for a major power outage. We looked at everything and event tested everything including solar panels and generators. I wrote a good part of the report. The finding was that a 12 Kw natural gas generator was the most viable solution. You don't buy a generator from a big box. The ones that say 9000 watts etc are not certified to any standard. You may get 9000 watts for 10 seconds. You have to look at the commercial units that mention continuous and standby power.


@ December 29, 2013 11:08 AM in The effects of condensate

If you want a midnight no heat call, use any of the factory supplied neutralisers. They often block up. We make our one with a Rubbermaid PVC bin and marble chips. The marble chips will last many years. We have not changed any in 10 years and had not one call back for a blocked condensate line. The condensate has the same acidity as lemon juice. Cast iron pipe and all ABS/PVC pipe can take the condensate but depending on local regulations, you might need a neutraliser.


@ December 29, 2013 11:01 AM in Need some options folks

The gas HWT will need to be certified for combo heating to be used for heating purposes. Shame on you Mark! There are code and legal complications of using an unapproved appliance for something that it was not certified for. In the worst case scenario such as an incident of water or fire damage, the insurance could refuse any claim. if there was bodily injury to a third party, they can sue you. The installation of a gas appliance by someone that is not licensed to do so also brings in a host of legal problems.
Get a local professional who is licensed and has experience in doing what you require.
Why your hot air system is not gas fired? You can ad an electric duct heater for colder weather applications.


@ December 29, 2013 10:55 AM in Need help with boiler replacement and DHW issue

One of the biggest problems we encounter in our cold weather climates, is the guy that does not take into consideration the hot water load! The mod-con boilers have domestic hot water priority. Depending how it is programmed, the boiler can provide only DHW for over an hour while providing no heat. In large buildings this is a major problem as building temperature starts to drop specifically in very cold weather (below 0F). Your tub can need easily over 150 plus gallons of hot water since your 80 does not suffice. A 80 gallon indirect can provide 330 GPH or 5.5 GPM of water at 140F. You need a minimum of 140 F in a storage tank to combat legionnella! No instant water heater can give you 5.5 GPM at 140! So, it will take about 20 minutes to fill your tub unless you have 3/4 hot water pipes. So, the DHW indirect needs 280,000 BTU! Before the advent of mod-con and condensing HWT, we used to install a G85-360 in luxury homes that had large tubs or multiple shower heads.
The temperature in your area does drop below 0F so your existing has no safety factor. Here your house would need 162,000 BTU. 50% of the DHW requirement of the indirect extra would be needed for the DHW, so 140,000 BTU. With 5 to 1 modulation your boiler would match the heat loss while being able to fully supply you with DHW. A HTP Elite 301 plus a SSU-80 would work correctly. In 37 years of doing this, I have never made an error in sizing. BTW, we refuse to install combo units with instant hot water since 2004. Why? They don't work in cold climates and our large DHW requirements!


@ October 14, 2013 4:26 PM in Munchkin HX leak---what are my options?

The heat exchangers that we have replaced this past year were discolored and blocked. I have seen many problematic installs that had flow rate problems. They use the same size pipe as the boiler connections. WRONG! One needs to know the flow rate required and size accordingly. They size the pump for a 35 Deg Delta T, assuming they will get better efficiency. WRONG, use a max of 30 deg with the proper pipe sizing for the flow rate. Wrong pipe sizing = wrong flow rates. We see this so often on trouble shooting other peoples installs. Some of them will not fir 100% because of insufficient flow.

The coffee cruds usually happen in propane installs or badly adjusted burners.


@ October 14, 2013 4:20 PM in Picture from a Lochinvar WHN-55 installation

Where you have the street elbow and bushing (illegal) is that a cast T above? Then that too is illegal. I assume the copper line is fuelling the hot air system or another appliance. Also code states that when you go down you need a drip tee/sediment pocket and not up into the appliance. Is that Teflon tape on the gas joints? If so, it is illegal also. We ban Teflon tape because a thread of it can prevent a gas regulator or valve from closing properly!


@ October 14, 2013 4:12 PM in Picture from a Lochinvar WHN-55 installation

1) Why a Rinnai AND a Lochinvar?
2) A pump must 5 dimensions before and three after of straight pipe!
3) A street elbow in NOT allowed on gas piping in Canada. I am a voting member of B149 and B149.2
4) Has TSSA checked off on the install? Who was the licensed contractor that did the install?

Same thing

@ July 21, 2013 4:23 PM in Scottish legionella outbreak

We had an outbreak in Quebec City last year. It was all based on cooling towers. We now have mandatory inspections of cooling towers and water treatment.

We don't discus pricing!

@ July 21, 2013 4:19 PM in on line parts pricing

We do not discus pricing here for obvious reasons! In Canada we have "Allpriser" which will have retail pricing and you have to deal with your suppliers to have your cost. They also put out "Winpriser" which is PC compatible. You can input your various supplier discounts.
Please refrain from discussing pricing and costs!

Street Tee

@ July 3, 2013 8:49 AM in Fitting question

Street tees are are prohibited, as well as nesting bushings.

Prohibited practice

@ July 2, 2013 2:09 PM in Fitting question

We in Canada specifically prohibit street elbows and tees. NFPA 54 does not.

500,000 BTU

@ June 19, 2013 2:11 PM in High Efficieny Gas Boiler Recommendation

Here is one with a KBN500. It does snow melt, radiant in the garage area, domestic hot water, 400,000 BTU pool heater and a heating coil. Here is also the garage with a turntable to turn the cars, Wolfe BBQ and plasma screen!


@ June 19, 2013 1:57 PM in High Efficieny Gas Boiler Recommendation

Mod/con are ideal for the application. You do NOT need to run high temperatures into the coils at all times.
Here is one of our installs of a large house. It has 3 tons of geothermal with a Knight KBN 285. The system provides hot water, heats the pool, heats the duct coil and 23 zones of geothermal.


@ June 10, 2013 10:05 AM in How the Europeans do it?

Here is one of my acquaintances in Austria who designs and installs all over Europe: It is in German but, you just need to look at the pictures to see the difference between here and there. I have some pictures somewhere of a boiler room at the chateau that I stayed in in Ravenna, three years ago. Just lovely the work they do there.

Apprentices generally have to go to school and do "stages" working for a contractor, then go back to school. It is 4 to 6 years depending on the speciality. Even chimney sweepers need to go to school and have a 4 year apprentice program!
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