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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on April 20, 2014

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I think you might want to check

@ September 15, 2008 7:10 AM in Laing electric heater circulators

Size of liner

@ September 11, 2008 5:04 PM in Building a chimney ?mortar between flue tiles?

You are correct that coal is very aggressive. One thing that iwll make it slightly less aggressive is to properly size the chimney flue. What is the breech diameter of your coal stove? Make your chimney liner the same size. I pretty much say that a masonry chimney is a marvelous architectural device but a terrible mechanical device. That has been my experience and I feel more strongly on it as time goes by. NFPA is the proper reference for you. You should have an airspace around the indder tile or SS liner The tile should be cemented with a refractory cement. Portland cement melts there, not from temperature but from acidic condensation. I would suggest a good quality CO detector for your coal unit.

Buying a tank...

@ September 11, 2008 6:02 AM in Propane pricing

A good part of the equation in any liquid fuel purchase is the cost of the storage for the fuel. If the LP compnay owns the tank, which you effectively rent from them, they have to consider the cost/size of that steel in your yard. They have to size it adequately to supply you but not so large they loose on the cost of the steel vs your consumption. That balance typically gets you deliveries on a fairly frequent basis, which means that you are taking smaller loads at potentially higher cost. If I was heating with LP I would get a 500 or better a 1,000gal tank and bury it in the back yard. The more storage you own the more in control of the buy schedule you are. As well, you are less susceptible to short term supply disruptions and can negotiate better rates. BTW, a LP undergound tank does not have the same environmental problems associated with undergound oil tanks.

For a tank that size

@ September 7, 2008 6:33 AM in Building my own copper coils in storage tank

I'd throw a 50'coil of 3/4" soft copper into the top of the tank for DHW. If that is inadequate you can put two in parrallel.

The Rinnai

@ August 31, 2008 6:37 PM in looking for instantaneuos

will modulate based upon flow and temps. It will work fine with the solar system

Rinnai Energysaver

@ August 27, 2008 5:29 AM in third floor heat in dorchester, ma (pronounced dahhh-chest-ahh)

Don't know the lay-out but these are perfect fro these applications. Simple to install, DV, 84%, modulating gas valve and blower. Check it out. at

Jefferson Airplane

@ August 21, 2008 5:41 AM in What was your first concert?

I think it was 67. I got to help set-up the light show, which was about 50 individual slide projectors. This was back in the day when nothing beeped at you. last

@ August 15, 2008 8:08 AM in Cell Phones (off topic)

I've had Blackberry's, an early one. I've had a Treo 700W for the past couple years and I just last month got the iphone 3G, so I've had some use from it. I use the Jawbone ear piece, the best of them in my experinece, with my phones. Without the earpiece, I am a menace on the hwy. I'm a rep, on the 3000min plan and I use them. I had "push email" on my Treo and it was great. The same on the iphone, only greater. I do a lot of contractor training and with the screen size, resolution and speed the iphone is going to be my primary training tool, so when I speak with a contractor on the job or at the counter I can get excellent resolution for my lines web sites. For a contractor, I cannot imagine a better tool to get specs or troubleshooting info. Attachments load easily. I haven't put any music on it, but I hardly ever use my regular ipod. I'm so nosey that with head phones on I'm always afraid I'm going to miss something. Those who know me will attest to the fact that I am rather...dim! You might want to remember that to respond to some of my other postings. I need a piece of equipment that is easy to operate and to just deal with. I had a heck of a time with both the Blackberry and Treo. They were very capable machines. I was the weak link in the chain. The iphone is very well supported with online tutorials, but simple enough that I haven't needed to use them very much. Handling email is delightful on it. Photos can be emailed simply, which is nice when I visit job sites. The keyboard is taking some getting used to, but it is okay and if you want to compare it, try typing on a Treo. I could do better with the old full sized B-berry, but on balance, the iphone is better for me. I wish the keyboard would go into landscape mod. That would be a big improvement. I've been waiting, not very patiently, for a long time for a handheld device that I could really USE. The iphone is it. As well, in January I changed my laptop to a Mac. It hasn't crashed once and has been really nice to use. Interfacing with the iphone is just easy, and again, that is what I need. All the technolgy in the world does no good if you cannot access or understand it. In the final analysis, while I am admittedly dim, nosey, obviously opinionated and startling impatient I am also absolutely way to cool not to have one!

two stage

@ August 13, 2008 7:35 PM in Any thoughts on the 2 stage Thermopride Oil Unit?

I tried to get some information on Riellos site prior to responding. I would think they would be howling about a two stage unit but I had difficulty getting anywhere on it other than finding the commercial sizes. Likely operator error. Two stage is vastly superior to single stage. I sold a few tens of thousand Rinnai wall furnace two stage gas units before they went modulating. Simply saying that you have two stage isn't adequate. The key to comfort and economy is how low the low range goes. If you have a 100kbtu max input the low rate will be best in the 30-40 kbtu range. Having a 70 and 100, for instance, while an improvement won't give the returns of the lower rate. What is the range on this. As for Thermopride, I'm sure they will do well with it and support it well.

\"Being There\"

@ July 13, 2008 6:10 AM in Funniest Movie Ever

Peter Sellers an Shirley McLain

You could use the

@ July 11, 2008 4:18 PM in Remote sensor for thermostat - averaging?..............(Starch)

Braeburn 5300/5400. You can use 1, 4 or 9 sensors, not 3. I'm not sure of the electronics on this but it has to do with the power wave signal. Check them out at

Yes, it was one of those

@ July 8, 2008 6:35 PM in heating pool with pool deck

"Let's take a flyer on this" and see where it leads us. We had a client who was on board. It did work well but took some time to get started in the late spring and ran out of gas in early October (N CA). There are cetainly more effective options but we tried all kinds of things. Some were pretty neat, some, well, ahem...we can discuss another time! Maybe!

I did this

@ July 8, 2008 5:09 AM in heating pool with pool deck

on a system 28yrs ago and used pvc piping and circulated the pool water thru the system. Basically I made the parallel grid of a solar collector out of pvc and reversed returned the six grids I made. I made two grids up each side of the pool (you decide based upon the dimensions available) and one at each end. It worked well. Make sure you have really good exposure and not a lot of shading. To my knowledge the system worked for many years until the property was purchased and a new mega-home was built.

There was a time

@ June 30, 2008 7:26 AM in I need to learn how to weld

I could make about any welding test anywhere. Those days are long gone. I love tig but having been away from it for many years, my hand eye co-ordination is just not there and I am just not going to invest the time to try to get it back. As well, the eyes...Anyway, I'm selling my Miller Synchrowave 180 (Stick/tig)and going to get a good Mig machine. Teaching yourself to weld is an ambitious project. Time, practice and material are necessary. As noted the Miller/Lincoln sites are excellent resources, but I think you will be ahead in both tme and quality if you go to the local voc tech and invest a semesters worth of instruction in conjunction with those aids. Rod angle, travel speed, penetration, tie-ins, whats good and why. It's all about confidence, eh? Get the best machine you can afford. I also have a Miller 135, 110V mig that is a dandy little machine. Only 10% duty cycle, but for auto body and brackets, etc around the house it is great, and portable. 10% duty cycle means that for every hour I can burn wire for 6 min. Yes that is low, but you are not doing production welding with this type machine. Most of yur time is set-up and positionoing anyway so a high duty cycle is frequently not necessary. Get a good auto-dimming helmet. Take care of your eyes. Work in a clean area. You will be surprised where those sparks can get. The reason welders wear those funny caps is to prevent sparks from dropping into your ear. Well, and to be cool of course! I worked a lot of power houses, refineries and pipelines. I was a good welder, but man, I saw so many better than I was. I'll never forget a kid from Oklahoma laced a P5 horizontal cover pass on a 24" main steam riser that was at shoulder level as you passed. It..was...perfect! Not many times you can say that about something.

Skip the indirect

@ June 23, 2008 6:34 AM in DHW high load

Go with multiple Rinnai's. For a short term use appliance it makes no sense to maintain any large vvol of water to meet that demand. Try to put them as close to the fixture as possible. The advantage of the 3 untis it takes to do the 15gpm is that you have the comfort of use of the fixture when you want it but you have no energy consumption when the fixture is off. As well, if junior washes his hands the system will modualte to meet only that demand.

Just like everything else

@ June 21, 2008 12:41 PM in Soalr Pool Heating

You build it to suit your local needs. The ability to drain is always positive.

I used

@ June 20, 2008 6:36 PM in Soalr Pool Heating

the concrete pool shirt. Put some piping into the slab and y0u can heat the pool while cooling the concrete.

Mini Split

@ June 5, 2008 9:03 PM in advice on heating and cooling a sun room

I would use the Fujitsu mini split (because they are more efficient, less money and I represent them). I don't have the book handy to check how often it gets below 17, but we have a 24RLXQ model that will go down to zero F with a minus 13F cut-out. If another model is chosen, be careful as the lower limits vary by model . Some go to 5 some 14. As a backup I'd recommend the Air-Share by Tjernlund. It is a transfer fan which could pump houose heat out to the other room. Only 75 cfm but effective and short money.

I used to...

@ June 4, 2008 4:15 PM in Geothermal heating and cooling

run the loop to the swimming pool and heat (reject the house heat) the pool in the summer. Don't cover the pool at night and the heat will typically radiate to atmosphere. This was in the late 70's and in N CA so the degree days were about a push. We'd use a glazed solar system to heat the pool, with a good insulated pool cover and use the pool as the water source. You could also put a small cooling tower on the system to reject heat. Lots of options, have a ball!


@ May 27, 2008 5:44 PM in Possible to power vent nat gas boiler up chimney?

Power venters are typically negative pressure devices on the appliance side of the venter. Conversely, the outlet is positive pressure. Without specifics on the size of the flue, boiler breech, firing rate, etc it is difficult to say what may be suitable for your install. The problem in getting a suitable, safe system is getting the negative pressure flue (the chimney) to act as a conduit for the positive pressure metal liner. You can get positive pressure pipe. It is spendy and you will have to work with the PV manufacturer to see if they will authorize a positive pressure outlet connection extension to the factory built unit. I honestly can't magine why they would do it, liability issues being what they are. It will exceed their listings at the venter outlet/pipe connection. I represent Tjernlund and they do have a commercial grade venter which mounts on top of the flue and creates a total negative pressure system for you, which is what you need...and want. I think they look great, but some do not think them beautiful.

Cool, Gene

@ May 20, 2008 8:53 PM in unit sizes

I just sent an e to Fujitsu today recommending they have the local guy contact you. If you get a chance sometime please give me a call. I'll be at NAOHSM again tomorrow. 617 834-8751 M.


@ May 19, 2008 9:13 PM in unit sizes

read all the specs on a unit. I represent Fujitsu so I'll speak of their "Heat Pump Disclaimer". It is featured prominently in each brochure and on the web site. What it says is "In some climates a heat pump will handle all of your heating needs. However, this system usually requires some other addititonal source of heat to satisfy heating requiremants in colder environments. Almost all of Fujitsu's heat pumps use inverter technology and as such offer a wider operating range and more heat capacity than a standard heat pump but will not provide adequate heating if improperly sized or operated outside of its operating range. Specifications vary by model; please consult your contractor before choosing a heat pump as your only source of heat." My recommendation on these systems is that in many cases there is a perfectly good, but older furnace or boiler in the basement that has several years left on the system. It actually does a pretty good job...when it is cold out and has a load against it. Where you get killed on these systems is in the shoulder seasons. Sept, Oct, Nov, late March, April & May. Firing 1 gal to deliver a small amount of heat is not the right way to go. Rather than replace the central system, add the mini-split. Get the comfort of the cooling and dehu and run the heat side when it makes sense. Use all available resources for seasonal efficiency. That makes sense in any environment...well, to me anyway. It is great technology...oh, and the 3 ton condensing unit is 33x36x13. You can get several of them in your regular van and one man can handle them. But, please, read the specs, all of them.
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