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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on July 22, 2014

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Not sure where to go on this...

@ June 3, 2014 12:28 PM in Rinnai boiler corroded in less than two years

Johnny, thanks for the shout-out, but I am waiting to hear the official take on this one. All the previous posts are really helpful, but I can't pin this one down from here. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd pin this one if I was there. I haven't seen one in this condition before.


@ May 26, 2014 12:55 AM in Rinnai RL75e DOA

I would suggest a call to Rinnai. The 800 number is on the side of the case as well as being on install manual and sales literature. They know how to take care of your product. When installing a tankless water heater it is always good procedure to, as you are backing off the job, with the water piping, gas and venting correct to run hot water as you pick up and clean up. Your last job prior to leaving, having flushed the water lines/system is to shut down the water , relieve the pressure and pull & clean that pre-filter. It is not uncommon once a system has been de pressurized for it to "cough up" debris which is then caught by the filter.

My experience is that it is certainly not impossible for a flow control to be bad out of the box, but it is exceedingly rare. You seem to understand some of what is happening. I am curious why you wouldn't ask the company for help.

Do not adjust tHe charge

@ May 19, 2014 12:46 PM in Mitsu Mr. Slim line set length question

For the shorter line set. The unit is built to function perfectly up the stated limit with the pre-charge. One thing to look for however. Does Mitsu list a minimum line set length and if so have you met that requirement?

Seems to me

@ May 12, 2014 10:10 PM in Rinnai trouble shooting

That the flow control is the issue. It is possible that it could have been damaged in a freeze up. I would think that when you get that much damage (we fixed "all" the leaks) to a unit it is time to bring in the Homeowners Insurance involved, if available.

Once you get it repaired I would suggest that you advise the homeowner how to shut down and drain the unit in the winter months when the place is unoccupied. You should probably give Rinnai Tech Service a shot at helping you 1 800 621-9419. That number is printed on the side of the cabinet

In my apprenticeship

@ May 9, 2014 5:00 PM in Galvanized pipng for gas

we were instructed to avoid it due to flakes getting lodged in the gas valve. Using galvie fittings to "cover up" a sand hole? I think I would prefer to have the sand hole make its presence known right away other than 30 days after I am gone.

Having failed in the contracting business

@ May 9, 2014 4:55 PM in So far behind......

I have a great deal of respect for those who do it and do it well.I could design it, sell it, install it and service it. I could do everything but run the business. I will say that probably the least expensive and most useful help is to get someone in the office to handle that end of things. that keeps you out in the field, selling, installing, servicing. There are plenty of capable young Mom's who would love half days and can keep things in order for you. I never liked working with my wife. Not her fault, all mine. I need separation between church and state. When she worked with me in the little down time she would make a work comment I'd be back "on" again.

In my case, I couldn't have worked any harder. I also couldn't have worked any dumber. I've had over 30 yrs to think about it and both the above statements are true. I too was doing the 7/12-16 thing and ultimately just said to heck with it. I burned myself down! A few years after that I ended up working for a rep and ultimately had my own business again. More successful and better suited to my talents. I think a lot of reps would do better if they hired out of the trade. The 20+ yrs in the trades made me a better rep. There are other opportunities in the industry should you choose to go that way, ala HR and ME and others.

A lot of good advice here. I like Ice's post as well as others. The family has to come first. Ultimately it is all you have and you are certainly all they have. It is hard when you are blasted minute by minute to look down the road, but you must do it and it is a good thing to include your wife in the conversation because she has bought into whatever you are doing and will appreciate the opportunity to have some input. I see installation as a young(er) mans game. Yes, you can do it, but you will also feel it.

One of the things that got me out of the business was the people I hired. In fairness, I can't blame them completely because I was running around with my hair on fire all the time. That was when I had hair.

On a more positive note, you are busy. Congrats, not all can say that. Question is, are you making money? Are you making enough to make it worth while?

I enjoy your posts. I wish you well and hope your sons health improves! As Dan says, hug your kids...and I might add, your bride! Happy Trails!

Not sure where the Unitary manuf

@ May 8, 2014 8:22 PM in Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pumps

are on this. Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and Daikin are all making heat pumps that will operate down to -15F. The thing about this is that you have to check each manuf model and it specs for that unit at the desired temperatures.

Sediment filters are fine, but...

@ May 7, 2014 10:59 AM in main line water filter

make sure you put iso valves on both sides of it and a valve on the by-pass you install around it. What I've seen is that once installed the homeowner thinks it will last forever without any attention at all. then they cannot understand why you did something to their water supply when the filter is so packed up the pressure declines precipitously.

I was going to put one on our newly re-piped house, but until I convert the well pump to a constant pressure system I'm not going to do it. As it turns out, I haven't had sediment issues over the last six months withthe new system.

Vent free

@ May 7, 2014 10:49 AM in ventless gas fireplace insert

appliances are fine when USED CORRECTLY. In Ma you have to get a permit from I believe it is both the fire dept and building dept. YOu have to have CO detectors. I'm a vented heater guy by training and inclination, but withthe lines I represented I have a lot of experience with VF. They are supplemental heat, not primariy heat. Where you get into trouble with them is when people run them like primary, as in all the time. You need ventilation and they must be kept clean. Without either of those you end up with those aldehyde odors. Personally, I can walk into a building and know if there is a vent free heater operating. Most people are not that sensitive. they are in fact very safe withthe ODS pilot set-ups. VF fireplaces MUST have their logs set precisely as directed by the manuf. Otherwise you have flame impingement and problems. I'm not a fan of the VF fireplaces but there are a LOT of them out there, so all those people must be wrong;)

Move to MA

@ May 7, 2014 10:38 AM in Can license and hours transfer to MA?

I moved to MA in '85 and we moved back west in '11. Both the kids are out here. I have nothing but good things to say about our time in MA and New England. Public schools in our experience were excellent. We lived in Westborough. It is a big move for you, but a great place to live. Ice has laid out the format. They do have requirements, but they are fair. You just have to go through the process. Good luck!

Stenty, Will the E50C make enough hot water...

@ May 6, 2014 11:33 AM in List of small mod/cons

Given the input rating max of 50kbtu the hot water is limited. That said, it will make 2.1 gpm at a 75* rise all day long. At use temperature that will make approx 2.5-2.7 gpm. The owner/tenant decides whether it is sufficient and how it is used. That is the issue with combis. Frequently, the first question is how much hot water do I need? You compare high hot water output to how upside down that makes you on the heat side by the time you have a large enough combi to deliver "enough hot water".

The first week...

@ May 5, 2014 1:35 PM in releif valves

of my apprenticeship (Local 109) they showed the film of the water heater blowing up, reaching sub-orbital status and blowing the house down. It is an image that does stick with you.


@ May 2, 2014 10:41 PM in List of small mod/cons

I heat my home with Rinnai Energysaver Direct Vent wall furnaces. I have two units that will each modulate from 8200-20,500 btu and modulate on the fan as well. Simple install, highly reliable. Under 40kbtu, they are hard to beat. I understand that most here are "system" guys, but these should be another tool in the tool bag.
When I put that strong a pitch out I have to acknowledge my bias as I represented them for over 20 yrs and still consult with them, but I've also heated my homes, basement and garage with them for all of that time. Anyway, they are worth consideration.


@ May 2, 2014 10:34 PM in List of small mod/cons

Is the Rinnai E50C combi. 13,500-50,000

...A solution in search of a problem

@ April 29, 2014 10:37 AM in Mixing valve on Tankless...?

we went through this in VT several years ago when they legislated the 140 and tempering valves on all water heaters. They relented on the 140 for tankless and allowed 120 with the MV/TV. A year or so later they pulled the 140 requirement. I don't recall the model they spec'd but it added probably $250 to each water heater install. The 140 requirement was abandoned but the TV was not. So, you installed it and set the tankless at 120 and the valve at 120. The tankless is more accurate than the tempering valve. Some guys would install the valve and put a by-pass around it. Others dug in their heels, fought it and refused. It was an interesting time. I'm not sure where it is now having been out of the area for a few years. It would bleed over the border into NH though, occasionally at least.

The Mini-splits are a great idea

@ April 20, 2014 10:01 AM in Central air vs mini split?

Retrofitting duct work to a building is like the Texas Chainsaw Murders. Mini-split heat pumps are an ideal compliment to a hydronic system. Carefully check the specs on each model of each manuf you consider. I would stick with Fujitsu, Mitsubishi or Daikin. I have a single 12kbtu mshp that cools my entire first floor here in CA. As well it provides excellent heat. In your circumstance you would probably run the mshp in the shoulder seasons and not run your boiler until you have a bit of a load on it. Your choice. Do your research and get the best experienced guy in your area.

I did a combination of mshp's here. a multi for the bedrooms upstairs (16.5 seer, 9 hspf), Downstairs, where we run it much more frequently I have the 12 (25 seer, 12 hspf). With the new remodel and kitchen addition I installed a 15 in the center. Depending upon air flow this summer I think I'll end up pulling the 12 and installing at at my daughters. We'll see.

Actually you can do that

@ April 20, 2014 9:43 AM in Can we split tankless on-demand hot water unit for hydro air & domestic hot water?

It is the only type system Rinnai approves their tankless for. As well they have a DHW priority switch available. You need an AH that will operate the pump on a regular basis. Rinnai will not allow a "closed" loop system application with their tankless.

A Combi boiler is the better choice, if it has the hot water capacity.

11 & 12

@ April 4, 2014 7:07 PM in Rinnai tankless woes

11 means it tried to fire and failed to do so. 12 means it achieved ignition but couldn't hold operation. 11-no gas, no spark, combustion blower not turning, etc. As noted 12 is where you need your fast ball. That can be air related, dirty blower wheel not supplying enough air, grass clippings in fan, vent pipe separation allowing comb gases into fresh air pipe, did someone move the garbage can in front of the unit so it is recircing flue gas, dirty flame rod, inadequate gas pressure or overdrawn system. Same thing I guess. Bad gas valve. General system being dirty which could lead to lazy flame. Dirty burners. Could be a board, but that is unlikely.

After 7 years and then a problem, it is time to get a tech in there.

I once did a pool heating system

@ March 30, 2014 1:16 PM in Radiant Roof snow melt ??

with tubing in the concrete pool skirting. Not only heated the pool but allowed the folks to be able to walk on the concrete during the day.

On the ice melt, I used my tankless on my home in MA. We had serious build-up and everyone was losing their downspouts, gutters and associated damage. It took 3 1/2 hrs of hot water, but the roof and gutters looked like a summer day when I was finished. The run-off melted the ice in the driveway. All Good;)


@ March 25, 2014 10:07 PM in It's good to be a Plumber...NYT

I'm in the country and have just recently signed up for the NYT on-line. It's been wonderful getting the news.

Ice, I agree on the Presto-lite. I figure one of the next class actions will be from Plumbers who have gone deaf with turbo-torches.

Alan, I just received the 2012 edition of 54 and was surprised to see that they allow an exclusion on the 18" lift requirement..."unless listed as flammable vapor ignition resistant." How long has that been in there and does that include all direct vent sealed combustion units as well? Tim?

The "Reach of Asbestos"

@ March 23, 2014 5:05 PM in are asbestos risks overblown?

On a different tack concerning asbestos, I was named, or more accurately the company was named, in an asbestosis/mesothelioma suit from the family of a 92 yr old ship fitter who had died of mesothelioma. My business partners Uncle had represented a company in the 50's that did have asbestos in its products. When the attorney's did their discovery they found my business partner had the same last name as his uncle and so we were written into the case 50+ years later. Fortunately we had liability insurance and they had and to defend us in the case. This was a completely frivolous case as it regarded us, but it took 3 years for us to be dropped from the suit. Asbestos can come at you from odd angles. I have been around a lot of asbestos, working in shipyards, powerhouses and just generally in the trades. I thought it was rather humorous all things considered. I do feel badly for the man who suffered through it all.

"A lot cheaper than radiation"

@ March 22, 2014 4:36 PM in are asbestos risks overblown?

Ha! I was very concerned when they came out and said asbestos was not good for you. I was kinda obsessed with the idea of asbestos health issues. I worried and fretted and finally decided to treat this mathematically, you know, where two negatives equal a plus. So I began working on nuclear shutdowns. Not sure if the dosage of radiation was sufficient but they tell me I do have some cobalt in my thyroid...and my fingernails glow in the dark (oddly, my toenails do not). I now have a half life of my own. Only time will tell how this goes!
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