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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on September 1, 2014

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It can absolutely cause a problem...

@ August 15, 2010 9:12 AM in condensate dilemma

But, the "out of sight, out of mind" view prevails at times. Years ago I got a call to look at a job. A homeowner had gotten hold of a condensing appliance I was working with at the time. He installed it for temporary/construction heat. At the end of the winter when I got there his new 4" slab was about 1 1/2" thick in about a 12' circle surrounding the furnace. The one thing he did right was suspend the SA plenum from th12e floor joist, which was a good thing as the bottom 2-3" of the furnace was gone too.

My point is that if you punch through the floor I would suggest a large enough core drilled hole to be able to run a small well point a few feet into the subsoil to allow the condensate to get below the floor far enough to eliminate the errosion. Going below the floor is kind of a "hit & hope" deal. Kinda like my golf game

You might want to check out

@ August 5, 2010 8:38 AM in 2-story home, "out of the box" question from a homeowner

the Airshare by Tjernlund. It is a room to room/floor to floor fan. It's a problem solver. I represent Tjernlund so bias noted, but it has helped me in installations of mini-splits in Capes for instance. Two small upstairs bedrooms would typically require an evap in each room, but this is just expensive and oversized. By installing an Airshare between rooms it allows, in some circumsatnces, the elimination of one evaporator and actually brings the equipment sizing more in line.

Best practice

@ August 5, 2010 8:28 AM in Removing boiler from external chimney

Is to line the chimney anyway. An exterior chimney jsut about never warms up enough to draw well. As well, the ignition and initial draw of the chimney is poor. This is especially so in the event of signficant oversizing and therefore short cycles.

over the last few years

@ July 23, 2010 8:42 PM in an unusual A/C service call

my customers have lost three just like that. The problem with a snake in this case...I think... is they get hit with the voltage and start rolling and keep moving even when they have given it up. It's that cold blooded thing. One snake will blow every board in the unit as it rolls. That is conjecture on my part and I'd like your opinion on this. It is one of the main reasons I strongly push contractors to use the wall mounted Airtec brackets. It keeps the unit off the ground and allows better drainage in the heating/defrost cycle. As well, I can't see using a ground mount condenser pad as all the homeowner does is blow grass clippings and dirt from the leaf blower into their really neat high efficiency heat pump.
I was at a job in Natick, MA last year where, when I walked around the end of the house, the ground seemed to be moving. There were hundreds of garter snakes in the grass and in the bushes. The homeowner loved it. I was seriously creeped out. The condensing unit ended up having to be replaced.
Please let me know how the repair goes. How far did you have to take the component replacement? Thanks! BTW, how was lunch?;)

maintenance is always a good idea

@ July 21, 2010 7:40 AM in Goodman Mini-Splits,,

When the fan blades load up you get decreased efficiency. Goodman should have a disassembly procedure for this. Once you get the blades cleaned off I think you will see a substantial gain. I have a heating unit that had just a bit of "roughness" on the leading edge of the fan. The blades did not appear to be really dirty. As it turned out the roughness was enough to really impact the air flow. Upon cleaning the heating output of the unit increased substantially. High efficiency fans seem to load up on that front edge rather than filling the whole curve of the vane with debris.

on the Mini-splits

@ July 14, 2010 2:31 PM in Ac In decision

What I typically say is that the longer you live with them the better looking they become...because they are quiet, save money and they work. I went thru this at home and my wife was more than a bit opposed to the high wall evap. I put it in any way and she is thrilled with the comfort and quietness.
You do not have to put in high wall units in the ranch. You can do a multi and use the small ceiling cassettes, either 9, 12 or 18 kbtu. I have another place I am putting in two of them in a couple weeks to handle the second floor and I'll go high wall on the first. 22 1/2" square. They work very well.

My house has a whole house fan

@ July 13, 2010 6:44 PM in House Fan Controls?

While you could make any number of controls for it, I prefer the manual mode. I kinda gauge when the sun has delined enough to bring the temp down by operating the fan. I may then go around and close some doors and/or windows to direct the air where I want it. 18yrs later, I've kinda got it down.

I am frequently asked this question

@ July 13, 2010 6:40 PM in tax credit question

by my customers and I advise them to not promise any tax credit to the homeowner. Neither I nor the contractor are tax accountants and as such it is best to refrain from promising. I advise that the product "qualifies" for the credit, but that the consumer and their acct are the only ones who can say if they will get it.

So, whats for lunch Dave?

Here we go

@ July 9, 2010 9:33 PM in ventless gas fireplace? bad idea?

Vent free appliances are safe. They are consistently oversized in the fireplace configuration. There are DOE sizing guidlines for vent free. VF are space htrs and as such should be sized for the space they are in. The sizing guidlines have three col. For loose, average & tight construction with each having t'stat and non t'stat col.

The average, t-stat unit in zone 5 ( way north, like New England) requires 3.85 btu/cuft according to the sizing guidelines. So, lets look at a 20X20X8 room of 3200 ft cu X the 3.85= about 12kbtu. Most VF fireplace are a min of 25 kbtu. Why? Well, because flame effect is what sells. Make a 12 kbtu vf fireplace and it will look like two Bic lighters on low.

VF units are "supplemental" heating. That means 4-6 hrs/day use. The problemis that people get them, they are cheap and they run the wheels off them. You then can have moisture issues. Personally, I can walk into a vast area with a VF unit running and I instantly know there is one in the space. It hits me right in the back of the throat, immediately. That does not happen to most people.

Tim is correct in everything he said about them. He is so darned boring...he is always correct...but I keep watching him;)

Apply and use them correctly and they are fine. It is just like everything else. Training, training, training. Tim is right there too!

I'm your me

@ June 25, 2010 8:54 PM in rinniai issues

617 834-8751. Tues am?

A couple things

@ June 24, 2010 7:16 AM in rinniai issues

First throw dip switch 1 to the off position to compensate for the longer vent length. Given the method to vent I'd assume nothing is correct. Check your entering gas pressure.
Did you inspect the top of the hx when you replaced the vent? was there debris on the top of the hx fins? Drop the inducer motor and look up inside to see if the combustion air diffuser is clean. Make sure when you do so that you re-insert the tab on the inducer and then lift it into position. I've had guys miss that and the back of the motor hangs and the unit is not happy. I'd order a new sparker flame rod and gasket just to get back to square one.
Rinnai's number is 800 621-9419. Call them from the job and they will walk you through the checks. Where are you located?
Finally, do look up the original installer and...%&(*%#$.

Don't change....add!

@ June 12, 2010 7:25 AM in house heating upgrade advise

Do tune up your steam system and see how it does, unless required repairs get really pricey. Then you have to do a full evaluation.
I'd suggest that you buy a mini-split heat pump. It will heat efficiently and provide AC and Duhu. You did not list your location. If you are far north the hp will not be your sole heat source, but will contribute a high percentage. The way to make your steam system really efficient is to run it less. The hp will likely qualify for tax credits and local incentives
I'd suggest tankless for your hot water. Again, tax credits and local incentives are likely available.
As always, I must note my bias. I represent a hp manuf as well as a tankless. Having said that, I know they work. Good luck!

Seems to me...

@ May 25, 2010 6:51 AM in Hypothetical question...on short cycling

that the best thing to do is take the hit and sell the oversized unit and buy the correct boiler for the application. Anything else you do is a band aid, and further complicates the intial poor equipment selection.
I'd suggest running the numbers on the material/labor to fix the unfixable vs what it would take to get in and out with a change-out.

While I applaud

@ May 24, 2010 6:36 AM in Trade Organizations

your efforts to improve the "brand", I still think you need to have the wider view of your industry. They say that all politics is local and I can see why you must focus on local issues as you develop your new group. I think your new group will be better if it can follow and contribute to national trends, especially given that it is an energy efficiency, new technology, focused group. The right organization can contribute to the national debate and that is always a good thing. Having said that it is very difficult to run the business, contribute to the local group and have outside the territory influence. Only so many hours in the day.

After many years

@ May 22, 2010 10:51 AM in Trade Organizations

I say you need a combination of resources. Certainly it is good to have a local organizations to keep your eye on local issues, but you also need to belong/follow the national organizations for their unique and broader perspective.
I don't think local organizations drive contractor business today. It is mostly web based or becoming so. Right, Dan?

Where are you going in NCA

@ May 22, 2010 6:41 AM in Foraging in the Woods (OT)

I have a place in Nevada City. Haven't had the chance to explore a great deal yet, but did the CA portion of the PCT, let's see....37 yrs ago and would like to do it again. Love the Sierra's !

Other benefits

@ March 21, 2010 8:57 AM in Modulating is it efficient?

to modulation...when correctly sized, are much reduced starts and stops which in turn leads to better component reliability and seasonal efficiency. I don't intend this as an ad, but I've sold over 200,000 pieces of modulating Rinnai equipment over the last 20 years and when I first began living with the DV wall furnaces, I'd look at it operate and try to figure out, " now, why is it doing that?" My dv will start and stop on the t'stat in Sept and Oct, but by late Oct there is sufficient load to meet the 8,200 btu minimum fire. Last year the unit fired continuously from late Oct to March 24th. It simply modulated on the demand. It did not shut down in that period of time. It has done this for 12 years with no more than blowing off the fan blades and pcb area to keep dust off it. What, to me, is important is not how high a unit will fire but how low it will fire.Oversizing impacts the whole equation negatively.
What affect on efficiency does constant ignition have? The many propane companies who have installed these have said it is a dramatic reduction in usage for the customers as well as a dramatic increase in comfort. I can't offer the science you are looking for Tim, but this is my experience.


@ March 20, 2010 8:40 AM in condensate neutralizers...

If you go under the slab, the condensate will be perfectly happy to eat your slab from the bottom up.

Interested in

@ February 16, 2010 6:44 AM in New Rinnai Condensing as back-up for off-peak system

how the set-up on the Rinnai has gone for you. Many programming options. Are you using the concentric poly-prop vent?

Don't use the combi

@ January 31, 2010 12:59 PM in baxi luna plate exchangers and hard water

unless you treat the water. Are these all one boiler/per condo or a central system. Ithink they would be money ahead to do a central treatment system. That kind of hardness goes after everything in the place. dish washer, faucets, etc.
Does 10.5 gr meet the federal secondary drinking water standards?

I was there

@ January 31, 2010 12:55 PM in ASHRAE

I thought attendance was quite good. Better than I had anticipated. I had all day sales meetings Sat/Sun and then was there for all three days.


@ January 31, 2010 12:48 PM in New Fireplace user

You have the friend do it, and you decide to run the gas part, go get a new smoke/CO detector first.
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