Joined on November 22, 2006
Last Post on June 10, 2013
@ 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:
http://www.traussnigg.at/ 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!
@ May 29, 2013 2:46 PM in consultingMake sure that you get insurance and that you charge as much as an engineer! I usually charge even more than an engineering consulting firm. I have one rate for consultations and another rate if there is litigation and a court date. You charge for mileage, photocopies, everything.
@ May 29, 2013 2:43 PM in Radiator - can I use for FHW?BTW, Burnham even has a section in their website about converting steam systems to hot water!
@ May 29, 2013 2:42 PM in Radiator - can I use for FHW?Converting to hot water is something we have done many a time with tremendous energy savings. The large luxury apartment building we did last fall, had one leak!
Those rads can be converted.
The radiator sizing in the old days was to provide heat with the windows open. So no problem with lower BTU output. Remember INFLUENZA 1917!
Here we use 1050 hours of burner operation of which 100 is for -20F plus weather. So again, most of the time the systems run much lower temperatures than even 140F. So the boiler condense for around 900 Hours.
The physical facts are that it takes more energy to transform water into steam than heat the water to a lower temperature! You just need to do the math!
Here were it is much colder than Mas, energy savings when converting are over 50%! We did a cathedral in downtown Montreal:
Before 175,808 cubic meters of natural gas
After 68,892 cubic meters of natural gas!
I have the actual copies of the gas bills.
We do perform a lot of repairs on existing steam systems including one pipe vacuum systems. We are about the only ones in the region that can repair this type of system and others. BTW, I first started working on steam heating in 1977 at my dentist house that had a one pipe wet return system. Since then, I have designed and installed systems and boiler rooms for industrial applications where steam is put to good use!
@ May 14, 2013 9:03 AM in Plumbing Forum?Good idea Dan! It would make it easier for all concerned
@ May 1, 2013 7:15 PM in tempering tankAny pre heat tank or piping risk legionella and an assortment of bacteria if your HWT is not at 140F. The energy savings for a residential unit is minimal while the risks are very high of personal injury! The installation costs do not justify any energy savings as this has been tested for many years!
@ May 1, 2013 7:06 PM in Hot Water Recirculation pipe erosionWe have had several customers that experienced pin holes in the hot water and not recirculation outlets. Most are caused by using thin wall M over L and high velocity, IE too MUCH pump! Adding softeners that are not properly adjusted will increase salt in the water and increase corrosion. You just need a few gpm for recirculation and try to get rid of the softener on the hot water side.
@ May 1, 2013 6:58 PM in Rumor has itIt does not work here were winter water is at 33F. There is not one little combi that works here. It works great in Europe (not Scandinavia), the far east and milder US states. But not in Northern areas with 5 gpm faucets! We refuse to install any combi units since they came out!
@ May 1, 2013 6:51 PM in I do not just work on steam boilersThe one in one million times that a BFP would leak, will not spray hot water! It will drip. Remember the system pressure versus street pressure. It is not a safety valve that will pop off at 30 psi or more!
@ May 1, 2013 6:43 PM in CPVCYou are required to use the venting system that is specified in the certified I&O manual. CPVC has nearly twice the expansion of PVC. If in the US, solid core ABS is better as it only deforms at 217F and it expands at less than 1/4 of cpvc! PP is the Cadillac of condensing vents below 500,000 BTU.
Don't worry about the chlorides, if the install is done according to the certified I & O manual! It has been tested and certified to work.
@ April 21, 2013 9:16 AM in Converting steam convectors to forced hot waterWe performed the conversion on a large luxury apartment building, last fall. We kept the trap bodies and removed the seat in them. We drilled and tapped an air vent on each radiator. We replaced some of the return horizontal lines in the basement. We had only one leak on a return riser on the first floor. It was due to be changed anyways. We used variable speed Grundfos pumps on the main loop.
The savings using degree days are enormous. With a 13% colder winter, energy consumption is less than half! All the occupants mentioned that the heating was now much more comfortable and more even in the rooms.
We do at least one steam conversion a year, mainly commercial buildings. It cannot be done on one pipe systems but can on any two pipe. Remember that the cast iron steam radiators were always over-sized. Therefore, there is no problem with lower temperature hot water compared to steam.
@ April 19, 2013 10:02 AM in Burnham Megasteam sizingMaking DHW with a steam boiler is a very energy inefficient way, specially during the summer. Get a dedicated hot water tank.
@ April 19, 2013 9:58 AM in Replacing boiler question?This is the biggest mistake we encounter with mod-con boilers next to improper venting. Those that don't do the math mistakenly believe that the proper size is the boiler connection sizing. It is so far from the truth. Keep your 1 1/4 sizing including the same size strainer. You reduce only at the boiler connections.
@ April 19, 2013 8:43 AM in gpm thru 2\" pipe at 50 psiIt does not work like that! Use the B&G System Syzer. Example: 45 GPM in a 2 inch iron pipe, within normal design parameters can pass 48 GPM with a loss of 4.5ft (aprox 10 PSI) per 100 ft of pipe. I looked up a pressure loss table. At 50 PSI ( pressure loss) per 100 FT, it is a flow of 116 GPM which is entirely unrealistic. It surpases the maximum recommended velocity of 10 FPS! The lenght of the pipe is the most important factor, if you are working either with a pump or city pressure on an open system.
@ April 16, 2013 2:12 PM in Strange residue in Giannoni heat exchangerWe have opened my mod-cons installed by after two years. There are no coffee grounds. We did have heat exchanger failures on installs by others. The cause of several was:
Blocked neutraliser, thus flooding the combustion chamber
Exhaust gas recirculation (somehow the utility repair company did not figure it had a problem when in one case, it replaced a dozen hot surface ignitors!)
PVC or CPVC leaching and the coffee grinds were only found here, in boilers that had improper vent and combustion air terminations. The boiler would suck slightly corrosive and warm gases which would release some chlorides. There is so much restriction in the heat exchangers, there is no way that combustion gases and leached chlorides could end up in the heat exchangers.
@ April 15, 2013 9:14 AM in Burnham Megasteam sizingUse the EDR! An option instead of replacing the boiler is putting a modulating burner. Even if you replace the boiler, a modulating burner is ideal.
@ April 15, 2013 9:02 AM in Pros / Cons of Indirect Water HeaterWe use a lot of Superstore on our smaller commercial installs. No problems and they work as advertised. We have even installed a SSU119C in a very large mansion and it met all expectations.
@ April 4, 2013 2:30 PM in flow through a heat exI have seen excessive flow rates on boilers and heat exchangers. If the flow rate is too high, there is insufficient time for the heat to transfer to the water.
Example 1, a process system for making vegetable oils
The 2 million BTU boiler was running at 50% fire and had a delta T of 5F. The jackets of the large storage and mixing tanks were not getting warm. Excessive flow with the 10 HP pump, yes 10 HP! prevented heat transfer. We throttled the outlet of the pump to get 20F Delta T. Everything works fine.
Example 2, titanium pool heat exchanger
The 400,000 BTU heat exchanger would not heat the pool during cold nights. We had somewhere near 25 F DT on the hot side and single digit on the cold side. The boiler would only run at 40%. After 3 visits by our techs, I went to check it out. I found out where the pool equipment was installed. There were 3 pumps for the pool & waterfall, all pumping through the heat exchanger, We choked the inlet of the heat exchanger to get 20F DT. Since then the boiler transfers 400,000 BTU into the heat exchanger with 25F DT on the hot side. They use the pool all the way to the end of November.
@ March 19, 2013 10:02 AM in Noisy Carlin EZ gas conversion burnersWe try to stay away from Carlin burners as we have had some issues with them. We prefer Fuelmaster burners. Last year, we got stuck using two Carlin burners on Smith 8 Series, one on gas and one opn oil. The gas one was very noisy. It required the replacement of the retention head of another design which Smith provided. That solved the noise issue.
@ February 2, 2013 9:00 PM in Duty of the HVAC technician according to law?Both NFPA and CSA fund themselves with selling codes. None will offer you a free-bee! I had a one in my laptop that crashed. Even as a voting member, I could not get a new venting program or code. I had to wait until we had a new code. I personally do not like to change the natural gas code or 76 other gas codes. The AHJ needs to enforce the existing and not want to make additional changes to make things easier for them! But something as simple of preventing an installer of using the space around a Cat IV vent to vent a Cat I appliance, takes 3 years! Then one has the local AHJ that allows non licensed people do venting because there needed to do something!
@ February 2, 2013 8:26 PM in Actual savings over steam heatingI have personally restored one pipe systems and a number of Dunham-Bush vacuum systems to proper functioning, AKA my dentist and many more condos. People do not read very well. I specifically mentioned that a conversion is not for residential systems only commercial or institutional. Steam in residential, commercial, institutional and more importantly process, is a big part of our business. I have designed steam heating systems that have saved owners more that 35% in energy volume and 50% in actual dollars. Go to www.gaznaturel.com and view some of our steam jobs. As for selling expensive conversions, 95% of our volume is by contacts and word of mouth. We must be doing something right with over 45,000 customers and also servicing the gas utility with more that 66% of the commercial & industrial requests in the Montreal region.
It seems that some people cannot smell the roses and understand that a hydronnic heating system is capable of better efficiencies than a steam heating system, even when fine tuning the steam system. It is just physics and I have provided actual consumptions of energy. If you have a steam system in your home, you are stuck with it and need to tweak it as much as possible to reduce your energy use.
BTW, I use a 96% full mod hot air system with outdoor sensor and with electronic air filter and not a heat pump but a modulating AC. My gas bills are half of my neighbours. My allergies and humidity levels are under control , specially with the STEAM humidifier. The prefilter on the air filtration unit catches all of Oban's (dog) hair! You don't get to smell today's cooking tomorrow!
So no more pissing contest! If you need help, I am available.