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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on August 15, 2014

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If the system works other than the very coldest months of the year

@ August 15, 2014 10:06 AM in Geothermal vertical loops

Before I threw the well drilling cost into the equation I'd look at methods to augment the supply water temp. What about installing a boiler with a buffer tank to help out on this. All he needs is about 20* or so temp rise to get the HP in operation.

The comments on poor heat transfer in rock is correct. Years ago there was a big geothermal project in the Reno area. It was a "hot rocks" project. It worked fine until they had depleted the rocks temperature. The heat transfer to the cooled area was glacial in pace. End of project. In a well of this type you also have to look at the "flow gradient" across the well. Klamath Falls, OR has geothermal resource and everyone heats their homes with a hair pin of pipe in a well. That same system in Calistoga, CA where I lived would not work. The hot water in Klamath Falls flowed underground, and replenished the resource. Calistoga is on a lake of hot water and the water has to be pumped.

I wouldn't't spend the money on the wells. It may be good money chasing bad.

The first time I saw this

@ August 13, 2014 12:46 AM in Rinnai cycles by itself

I thought there were ghosts. It was in a catering business. Having secured all faucets, bibs etc myself every few minutes the unit would pre-purge, fire and shut down immediately. After throwing the bones, offering a blood sacrifice and doing doe see does on one foot I realized that there was no check or back-flow preventer on the building water supply. Occasionally the flow in the street main was great enough to pull a negative pressure on the lateral feeding the building. Once the pressure in the main became neutral the water would surge back into the building causing the water heater to do its thing.

Confirm the "balance point"

@ August 12, 2014 11:46 PM in Boiler with mini split for heating

That Z speaks of. The manuf has the outputs, and associated electrical inputs, at various temps. Most of the multis that I am aware of are not as efficient as the individual units. For instance, my dual 12 unit is 16.5 seer and 9.5 HSPF, while my single 12 is 25/12. Those a 5 yr old systems and the numbers may have improved on the multis. It makes a difference. You can run the numbers, but net/net every system and building has a personality. You have the excellent options. On a cold day you will quickly decide what makes you comfortable, and when it is cold, that is all that matters

If the Rinnai's are not throwing an error code

@ July 28, 2014 8:23 AM in r85 rannai problem

I'll say that they are "functioning correctly". Faint praise under the circumstances, but lets look at it. Your drawing is incorrect. Yours is a "series" lay-out where, for high capacity you want the "parallel" piping.

I believe you have the MSA control on the 85 to join the operation of the two units. With this control the units function as one, modulating together and rotating the staging automatically. This can be an excellent lay-out...depending upon the configuration of the plumbing system. If the bathrooms and kitchen are widely spaced it is frequently best to split the units up. One on either end of the house.

I think what you are seeing is a flow issue. The R85 will fire at a flow rate of .4gpm and fire as low as 10kBTU. It will hold operation down to .25, I believe it is. I'm a bit rusty on that unit, but I think those are correct numbers. When the MSA control,is added, the minimum flow rate goes to, I think it is .6 gpm

Get your install manual out and look at the page that discusses the sequence to read flow on the controller. You are going to put your track shoes on as you need to read the flow rates by each fixture. By doing this you can develop a schematic of the system and exactly what is going on. As well, how far away are the fixtures from the water heaters? Consider both the length and rise in this calculation. Do you have a recirculation line on the hot water system? Do you have a basement or an easily accessible crawl space? I would suggest that you also check out

Oh, and also, turn off the supply valve on one unit and run all the time and temp checks that way too. These flow/time checks should be done with cold water through-out the system. So, turn the 85's off and run cold into the system. Turn them back on and do the flow check. Tedious, but necessary to understand your system.

How many baths room, kitchen, high flow fixtures do you have in the home? Curious why two units are installed. I apologize for making you do all this, but with this information we will all have a better understanding of what you have. Only then will we be able to understand the solution.


@ July 27, 2014 7:08 AM in Sanyo-Panasonic Rep

You are in the Northeast it would be Stamberger Sender. 800 747-5705

No, it will not use the gas

@ July 23, 2014 10:07 AM in Rinnai E50C

Required on a tankless. It is a max 50kbtu. I cannot answer your gas supply and CA requirement issue. You have to calculate that and provide it regardless of the product you choose. 3x the hot water is excess capacity when you need 1x the hot water. The 2.1 gpm at 75* rise will mix to about 2.5 at use temp. In a 1-1.5 bath place that should be sufficient. Also, within the 4.6ft head the E50C does not require PS piping. That means you use the provided boiler pump to drive the system. You don't need the second circ, relay control, parts and labor to do the p/s job. You have 2* temp increments! not 20*. A robust ODR included. 96% eff. It comes set up for PVC venting, but you can adapt it to the poly prop concentric (5"OD) if desired. That is the right way to eliminate CA issues. Personally, I like outdoor air for everything. I've had tremendous success with Rinnai products over the years and one of the keys to the reliability has been sealed combustion direct venting.
Do your due diligence and let us know which way you go.

It will

@ July 22, 2014 10:15 AM in Rinnai E50C

Fire 13,500-50,000. Hot water 2.1 gal @75* rise. You do not have to p/s if the heating loop is 4.6 ft head or less. LLH is available as an option if it is.

I give up...

@ July 20, 2014 10:18 AM in No end of aggravation

Another of the Brass Craft ips angle stops cracked at the brass nipple. This one was all ready replaced. In the master bath, I replaced the cracked stops with the compression model. I have several other fixtures to do. As to the failed ips units, I have to look at it as over tightening, at least on the originals. On the replacements I was very careful to not over tighten. Maybe it is the new lead free formulation coupled with the thinner body of the valve. Live and learn!

Reminds me

@ July 16, 2014 7:26 PM in Trap on 4" sewer main in basement

of the time my Mother-in-law, a wonderful girl, was screaming from the upstairs bathroom. Something about the "beady little eyes" of the dead squirrel floating in the toilet. Freaked her out!

When I was an apprentice I worked on one of the vet school lab buildings at Cornell. There was a 12" building trap at the bottom of the riser. There was a nipple and plugged valve on the bottom of the trap. I don't think anyone had ever pulled that plug, so...I did. I got just a tad under 2 qts of mercury out of that trap. Can you imagine how many thermometers were broken in the lab sinks over how long a period to get that much mercury.

Have you checked the

@ July 14, 2014 7:57 PM in Not Cool:

Static pressure on the both sides of the equipment. I'm assuming a .5" external static. Just because they changed the ductwork doesn't mean it is correct. I used to use(pre-digital worl) a Dwyer 100-5 incline manometer for these tests. Today the UEI digital units do really well. I think your problems could be the duct system. Yes?

I'm assuming this is an end wall and therefore

@ July 14, 2014 7:46 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?

Exposed chimney. Your chimney contractor is correct. The other guy making the BS accusation is in fact full of it. NFPA 211 which regulates chimneys requires a liner. NFPA 54 the gas code also states that Category I appliances which you have will require a liner. You can get condensation out of the chimney.

Being generally of the insensitive persuasion...

@ July 14, 2014 4:19 PM in nuisance lock out of mini split

I have to say that I am touched by those kind words. I had a great time in the Rep business and I miss the work, but most of all I miss the people.

Now, we have to change a couple of words in that testimonial. Where it read, "was THE manufacturers rep", it should now read "WAS the manuf rep". ;)

I hope things are going well for you!

Sorry to have ruffled your feathers, Ed

@ July 12, 2014 11:50 AM in nuisance lock out of mini split

But I got those calls in a six state area. There are a lot of topics on this site that "Jack from the internet" won't touch. This one I will. Mini-splits are great equipment and I use them in my home, but they aren't intended, necessarily, for this type application. That so many of them work well in server rooms speaks to their versatility. The manuf I represented wouldn't take responsibility for these type systems saying it was mis-application. I don't know how Samsung will view this.

My suggestion is that you contact Samsung directly for their solution. If you are having issues, especially in a critical application, you need the best information available, and that will come directly from Samsung. I say that because you may not like what you hear from them. They may bless the application and have a solution for you but you need to know their view right away. Otherwise some nitwit on the internet will aggravate you no end.

I do apologize for offending you and in re-reading my original post I see why you have taken offense, especially so when you are in a jam. I hope everything goes well for you on this.

As long

@ July 12, 2014 11:19 AM in Suggestions for new forum

As you don't use non-barrier tubing, cast iron circ, pipe it with CSST or vent it with PVC, I think I'll stick around...if you don't mind.


@ July 11, 2014 1:15 AM in Mixing valve on Tankless...?

To hear it worked out for you. So many times folks don't come back with the resolution of issues. Thanks for posting!

While many mini-split systems

@ July 11, 2014 1:11 AM in nuisance lock out of mini split

Are used in IT rooms they are not necessarily the right product for the application. They are chosen because they are much less cost than the Leibert system designed for these applications. My mini splits restart automatically when power is restored. I would say that the contractor should have known this could have been an issue. Then again, as important as it is, so should you.

And given this,

@ July 11, 2014 1:04 AM in Lightening Strikes

How do you advise clients?


@ July 10, 2014 11:02 AM in unico suppy duct leakage

"DOE Duct Leakage" and read for a while. According to the DOE the average home is loosing between 18-42% of it energy in duct leakage. Put in a new 90% eff furnace on the median duct system (30% leakage) and 90X.7= 63% system efficiency day one. Many states are requiring duct testing today and I believe it will go nationwide soon. Certainly it should. Here in CA for either new construction of retrofit the maximum leakage allowed is 6%. On commercial work if you don't pass the duct pressure test, you don't get paid. Residentially, there has been no requirement for testing and the existing stock of ducted systems in incredibly deficient. I spoke with a contractor who did a 12 outlet single story raised ranch duct repair. Two men 1.5 days, $2500 and then the homeowner had to buy the new equipment. Another contractor up in Nevada repaired a big houses duct. He said it was over 10 grand.

I've felt for a long time that this is the "crazy Aunt in the back room" that the industry never talks about. The unitary manuf can put all the technology they want in the box. They just can't deliver it because of the incredibly poor duct work. This is an enormous black eye for the industry.

I don't think

@ July 10, 2014 10:30 AM in Looking at Split systems

You are going to find a non-inverter unit in these ranges. All of the technology and inventory has been invested in inverters as they just do a better job. What kind of tonnage are you looking for and what do you think your available power supply will be? Also, I would not say that a non inverter unit is necessarily easier to service. Installed correctly the better brands of inverters are really reliable.

Also while the city multi is a great system you might be better off looking a a series of 36kbtu individual units. Bring them on as you need them. I'd be interested in the cost comparison of that type system.

Also, for heating supplement with the mini-split I look at the Rinnai ES-38. At this point consider it for load sharing on the heat side. It is a good combination.

I've made them up to 4" PVC

@ July 10, 2014 10:11 AM in Looking to make condensate neutralizer

Whatever length you want to use. A cap at the bottom, a female adapter with plug at the top. Drill and 1/2" pipe thread the double wall of the cap/pipe and pipe/adapter and 1/2" by barbed fittings to whatever you want to do...or you can pump it over to your neighbors tomatoes. Tomatoes like the acidity;) that would work on blueberries too.

Back in the mid eighties I had a guy call me to go look at a condensing oil furnace he had bought and installed. He only put a supply air plenum on it strapped to the floor joist. There was no return air or condensate drain. The condensate ran onto his new concrete floor. I got the call at the end of the heating season and ran up to check it out. The homeowner met me at the door and told me he would only accept a new furnace to replace the defective unit. The bottom 12ga base and 4" or so of the cabinet was just gone. As well, his new 4" slab was about 2-2 1/2" thick about a 5' radius around the furnace. The aggregate looked like it had gone through a rock polisher. At least he had strapped the furnace to the floor joists so it didn't fall over. Gas condensate is about 3.2Ph where oils is about 2.8-2.9Ph. Pretty hot!

Lightening Strikes

@ July 10, 2014 9:56 AM in Lightening Strikes

Having just read the CSST thread I want to pose a question about equipment replacement/repair after lightening or near lightening strikes. I think a house that takes a hit and has electrical/electronic equipment damage is in most cases not worth repairing and becomes a homeowners insurance claim for replacement. The reason I say this is the board may be fried and the equipment "may" operate after the board or component is replaced but you've had so much energy zipping around the rest of the unit that premature failure of other components may likely require equipment replacement at the owners expense after the insurance claim could have been made.

Don't worry about telling me I'm nuts. I've heard it before. How do you advise customers in this circumstance?

That is what I used

@ June 21, 2014 8:09 PM in No end of aggravation

I ran them to a brass nipple. The chrome nipples were pricey. Grrrr.
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