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Joined on May 17, 2004

Last Post on January 12, 2011

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EPDM rubber

@ January 12, 2011 9:38 PM in steam valve washers (rubber composition disks)

EPDM rubber is what's generally used for steam service. Second the endorsement of McMaster-Carr

I=B=R & "pick-up"

@ September 25, 2010 3:54 PM in NET I-B-R RATING

I=B=R takes 15% off the gross *output*  of hot water systems for piping "pick-up" and 33% off for steam piping "pick-up".
for more on piping pick-up

I=B=R & "pick-up"

@ September 25, 2010 3:54 PM in NET I-B-R RATING

I=B=R takes 15% off the gross *output*  of hot water systems for piping "pick-up" and 33% off for steam piping "pick-up".
for more on piping pick-up

Vycor or quartz

@ March 21, 2010 2:51 PM in fire chamber viewing port material

Corning Vycor 96% silica  (vs. Corning Pyrex or other borosilicate) or quartz (100% silica). both are higher softening point & lower thermal expansion than borosilicate glass.



@ May 18, 2009 5:57 PM in Cleaning oil burner nozzles?

address wear to the orifice, though it might clean it if the right cleaner or solvent was used, and given that they're only a few bucks each wouldn't be worth it anyway.


@ May 5, 2009 6:02 PM in steam radiator

only 14 in from top of sight glass sounds low! Also steam pressure may be too high too, not to mention a host of other possibilities. Pictures?

wouldn't it...

@ May 5, 2009 5:56 PM in CONVERSION BURNER

it be/require a double acting (gas type) barometric, not a draft diverter for a gas power burner/conversion burner? Always learning.

@ April 30, 2009 2:35 PM in Radiant Cooling

could be slick in the Southwest or other dry hot climates though, if not humid Northeast to Southeast US.

looks like it needs more air

@ April 27, 2009 6:16 PM in Help interpreting test results

CO is high! Oxygen & excess air are low, therefore CO2 is high. Should be perhaps 10 to 9.5% CO2, (~15-20% excess air & ~3-4.5% oxygen). CO should come down a lot! Boiler/burner is over sized by about 3X for space heating by both measured input vs. calculated heat loss and by run time near/at design conditions, but that's an issue to be addressed at replacement.

it's possible...

@ April 24, 2009 4:05 PM in Gas Water heater is off

the gas hot water heater's tank has developed a leak, or that the burner ass'y, thermocouple, sheet metal housing, etc. have been compromised by the water (coming from elsewhere, on its way past the non working sump pump) and the water heater needs to be replaced outright. Bummer! Fortunately, in the global scheme of things, gas hot water heaters are not that expensive, though it still stinks if you gotta replace it.

WM HE-6 burners not firing

@ April 22, 2009 5:10 PM in WM HE-6 burners not firing

"I have already invested a bunch of $$$ into parts & service that didn't cure the problem." Sorry to hear that. I'd guess it's time to cut your losses and go with a service contractor who knows what they're doing. Have you tried "Find A Professional"? Otherwise call around and ask some questions till you find someone who seems to know W/M gas boilers.

If you're in the northeast...

@ April 22, 2009 4:59 PM in Gas or Oil for steam heat

Oil probably wins hands down, farther west and south you go the better natural gas prices probably look. Propane's likely more than oil anywhere. Look at several winters of data if you can. This may help for oil & propane: their natural gas data tend to be city gate wholesale prices, not delivered retail prices. Approx gross heat values: 1 Gal oil = 140,000 BTU, 1 Gal propane = 93,000 BTU, 1 Therm NG (~100 Cu Ft)= 100,000 BTU Be sure to adjust for for combustion efficiencies. Oil prices will be more volatile than NG, also NG will tend to lag the market, both going up and coming down, at the utilities will contract ahead of time for deliveries at fixed prices and must await DPU price hearings to adjust for changing market conditions, whereas oil wholesalers will track the current market. Fixed price contracts or capped price contracts for your oil needs are also an option w/ oil too, though can be risky as occurred last winter when prices plummeted, or helpful, as was the case a few winters ago when prices spiked in the northeast in February.


@ April 16, 2009 3:53 PM in What's wrong with these pictures??? (ME)

call their HVAC contractor to fix it, but that's fine, long as it got shut off.

Plastic jacketed...

@ April 13, 2009 1:02 PM in Subfloor Pex and old Romex

Type NM cable ("Romex" and other brands, pre mid-1980's) were 60C (140F), Type NM-B cable (post mid-1980's) is 90C (194F), the change was made primarily for greater reliability at incandescent light fixture connections. I'm not sure what the 1950's vintage woven jacket style "Romex" non metallic cable (or metal jacketed "BX" cable) was temperature rated for, certainly not more than 60C though. They also generally had smaller gauge (or no) bare ground wire than the insulated conductors.


@ April 9, 2009 6:09 PM in No Heat From Gas Furnace

lack of gas pressure at the street/meter? :-)


@ April 9, 2009 5:05 PM in anode in buffer tank?

it's a magnesium anode. Can't see it hurting or helping either way, guess I'd just remove it and plug the hole anyway though.


@ April 9, 2009 1:05 PM in No Heat From Gas Furnace

not a blower problem but a burner problem. could be a bad gas valve, bad ignitor, pilot blown out, bad thermopile, bad flame sensor, bad regulator, plugged burner orifice, any number of other things...

boiler type?

@ April 7, 2009 3:05 PM in Pex recommendations for in-floor gypcrete

Iron or steel? Use the aluminum oxygen barrier PEX!

I=B=R derate for temperature

@ April 7, 2009 3:01 PM in Steam to Hot Water

Burnham has a derating table for CI radiators for temperatures lower than the standard 215 for steam. See (page 5, top), note 2000 lb/hr water = 4 gal/min, 500 lb/hr = 1 gal/min. If you can find the steam SF or the radiation then you can de-rate for your design water temperature. Getting everything to work (including having the right type of radiators) without leaking at the higher pressures is a whole 'nother trick!

it should...

@ April 6, 2009 12:21 PM in Steam heat problem

for hot water demand, shut off before it gets to steaming temperatures, say in the 160-190 range, well below the 212-214 range required to produce any steam. Something's amiss -- likely the aquastat, but could be a bum T-stat or something else. It may have been this way awhile, but went unnoticed as T-tsat also called for heat in the colder weather of the winter past and/or hot water use wasn't heavy. Have your service guy check it out.


@ April 3, 2009 4:11 PM in Big old school needs two new boilers....

Original was a redundant pair of 260 boiler HP boilers, replaced by a single (marginal?) 150 HP boiler (installed by a eunuch, since the urge to oversize is stronger than even the urge to have sex?)? I'm no expert on boilers this size (other than to know you can't fit one into a cape or ranch (in case they do that addition) even with a crowbar, but: If the replacement's fully modulating (what's the turndown? Should be pretty good for a system that size). Why not install one 175-250 HP boiler (actual size depending on actual connected load), vs 2 100-125 HP units?


@ April 3, 2009 1:58 PM in need a favor

Actually Milwaukee's about 45 mi north and Chicago's about 50 mi south. Since where he's looking, just over the Illinois line, they're almost equidistant, (and he's from the boonies!) we should cut him some slack. Can't help though, but to warn him it gets cooler in the winter there.
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