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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on September 1, 2014

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@ 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.

No end of aggravation

@ June 21, 2014 12:08 PM in No end of aggravation

with the angle stops I used at my home. Now, I learned the plumbing trade beginning back in the late 60's. We always used a chrome nipple our of the wall to a 1/2" angle stop. Good enough. It always worked. I haven't worked with the tools, daily, in a long time. So, last year we remodeled the house. New Bathrooms, kitchen, laundry. I go with what I know and don't want to use the compression stops. It is all good. Over the last 6 months I have developed leaks on the stops. They didn't leak right away. They crack, over time, on the threaded portion of the stop so I only find it when the base of the cabinet is soaked. The body of the stops is so thin it is incredible. The first one I figured I overtightened. The next three I'm smokin'. The thing about these ips stops is they have to face in the correct direction, so you sometimes need that extra half turn. Some times you get it in the stop, sometimes in the nipple. I've done a boatload of these over the years and know how it is done. Since beginning to have this problem I've looked at stops in assorted hardware stores and supply houses and they are all the same. Thin, thin, thin. I understand the desire to reduce cost, but you still have to make a product that will survive and do the job for which it is designed, or so I thought. I guess I'll write the manuf.

When I'm in this fix

@ June 21, 2014 11:47 AM in Union installation on 2.5"

I drag my mig rig to the job. Mine is a Miller 211. It is 120/240 v machine and makes short work of this. Most times when I'm done it even looks like it is supposed to be there. this whole process is commonly done on sprinkler work. Hole saw, sled-o-let and Bob's your uncle.

In this configuration

@ June 21, 2014 11:41 AM in Ductless Split Head Placement

you need to look at the orientation of the windows in the LR. If that is W to NW glazing you just get slammed in the summer with that low direct sun. It is, or can be, a load booster. IF, you go with one evap in this I'd suggest making sure you have one with a 4 way air sweep. You will need the horiz air distribution. You might try one of the mini air handler type units in the entrance. If there is an opportunity I like to use multiple evaps just to get the air circulation. Given that they modulate down so low you will not be getting hurt with 2-9's. If I was going with one unit I'd go with a 25 or so seer 12. But, what is the orientation?

"Not buying 10'"

@ June 12, 2014 8:56 AM in concentric termination relative to dryer vent

On a dryer vent 10 ft is a minimum. Arbitrarily moving the dryer vent will likely affect the performance of the dryer. Once you start adding 90's to a dryer vent the performance falls off. If you move it I would strongly suggest using AL pipe, not flex, to reduce the pressure drop. The boiler likely has more range vent wise and may be the better choice to move.

Not buying it and leaving it may be ok. Then again, it may become your biggest nightmare. It can certainly become your customers biggest nightmare. You have to see a couple of appliances that are affected by a dryer to believe how far away you WANT to separate the vents

"The oven runs a max of 3 hrs"

@ June 9, 2014 10:01 AM in gas range,no vent?

Everyone thinks it is eating the turkey that makes you sleepy on Thanksgiving. Actually it may be the CO levels.

I just remodeled the house with a new kitchen and I put in a Zephyr hood. 6' pipe up thru the roof. I've never had one vented outside. I like being able to cook bacon without it smelling up the kitchen all day. My biggest problem with it is when it rains (which it never does here. The neighbor across the street lost their well last week and it is happening to many others in the area as well) the flat cap on the roof is like a drum. I went up and glues a piece of rubber roofing on the cap to quiet it down. I also have a damper in the exhaust.

Oldaker 763-6

@ June 8, 2014 3:01 PM in Servicing Mini Splits

Very sharp ends that are replaceable. Weapons grade when you are in a tight spot and get a little careless. I've been using these for the last 20 yrs and they are excellent. As the electronic connectors get smaller and smaller you need good pins. I see guys go down the face of the connector at times and have seen that create more problems than they have identified/solved by spreading the internal connector.

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".
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