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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on July 28, 2014

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Bob pretty much has it....

@ January 9, 2009 6:42 AM in Chimney size

but a couple other things to consider. Basic physics, when a gas expands, it cools. Do not oversize. A masonry chimney follows the old adobe principal. Masonry never saw a btu it wasn't willing to absorb, which exacerbates the first point. Essentially, in todays world, for todays equipment, a masonry chimney is an excellent architectural device but a very, very poor mechanical device. Personally, I would never pay to build a masonry chimney.

Variable speed

@ December 30, 2008 3:59 PM in New furnace advice

Assuming the air can move the through the ductwork at the proper static pressure, the variable speed unit will deliver better comfort and less temp swing in the home. When you say variable speed, are you talking a "manually adjustable" speed or an "automatically modulating" fan? If it is going in my house it will have a modulating gas valve with a modulating fan. That is the best comfort and best long term economy. Has an actual inspection of the underground duct been done to confirm its integrity. There are companies that can run a scope through the duct to determine its condition. I'd make certain that everything is ok before I put nickel one into the system. Now that you are adding the ductwork, and the system will be able to operate at a proper static you can now put on a high quality filter and humidifier as well. Good luck and Happy New Year!

Another angle

@ December 19, 2008 6:20 AM in Condensing vs. Traditional

to this. You could install a Rinnai Energysaver Direct Vent wall furnace in each apt, 83% AFUE, modualating gas valve and blower. Cool to the touch. Nice! Sub meter the load to the tenants. Hot water with an R50LSi Rinnai direct vent water heater. Everything will be new. To assist in moving air from one room to another check out the Tjernlund Airshare. I have done several tens of thousand Rinnais over the years and they work exceedingly well. My normal disclaimer applies here. I, fortunately, represent Rinnai in New England! Happy Holidays!

Ummm, Tim...

@ December 12, 2008 6:03 PM in Power Vent Boilers

a "power venter" is not a positive pressure device. It is why they are located at the terminus so the suction side of the venter (the vent connector)is negative. Are we talking the induced vent that we were poking around a while back vs a power vent?

I did a few of these

@ December 11, 2008 6:18 PM in GEOTHERMAL

in 78-82. It was in the Napa Valley and the heating and cooling degree days were about a push. The pools were not indoors. We would use a glazed solar system to heat the pool and use a good pool cover for the pool. Collector efficiency was very high with the low temps and we would supply the pool water to either a water to water or water to air HP. For cooling we would reject heat to the pool and not cover it at night so the temp would radiate to atmosphere. The engineering spec gets a bit tighter with an indoor pool of course but I like the idea of the cusotmer putting the money into an indoor pool rather than a couple wells. I'd be interested to hear how it goes for you.

You can run....

@ December 2, 2008 6:48 AM in good ductless split system

The Fujitsu's heat effectively down to 20F. They will work below that but outputs diminish. For output info on each model and low temp limits, which vary by model, go to Careful here, as the low temp limits vary by model (0, 5, 14F). Also, if you register in the contractor section, the username and password are "installer" and "1ton12kbtu" you can find output temps by model at temps dwon to I think it is 5f. Prior to the introduction of the inverter units and the 410A equipment, if you told me you were buying a heat pump I would have said, "what are you, nuts?" Today, if you don't buy the heat pump I have to ask, "what are you, nuts?" There has been that big a gain in performance and technology. If you are in New England you can go to and run some numbers. I represent Fujitsu in New England. If I can help you, let me know.


@ November 15, 2008 8:26 AM in Common Venting of Condensing Boilers

You state, "Now we know I will certainly not get a blessing from Viessmann on this one, there is nothing in there literature that but I am thinking that says I can do this, but..." This is the perfect nightmare scenario. Maybe it will work, but is it right, long term? Build it to the manuf specs and you have their support. Do otherwise and the problems may go up and down the line. My suggestion would be to follow the manuf specs, make your profit on the job and leave with a system that you have confidence in and can defend your decisions. Common venting is almost always a compromise even when allowed. You end up with reversion issues that may have subtle effects but long term can impact the gear. I'm assuming that the reason you want to put in two units is to stage them. If so, and the 2" is the right size for the one unit you are going to pump it into 3" which has almost 3X the cross sectional area of the approved 2". Is the single unit operating alone 80% of the time going to be happy with this? If it works well, then good for you, but this is also how you create PITA jobs for yourself, the manuf and your client. Ask me how I know;)

Step one

@ November 15, 2008 7:47 AM in Large Scale domestic hot water

IN my opinion is to deal with the water quality issue. You state that you think the current equipment problems are in large part water quality related. Regardless of the type of material used in the newer system, poor water will rapidly deteriorate performance of high quality materials through scaling, etc and while you will be happy for a while, it won't last and it will end up costing more, sooner than you thought. Listing the equipment types in no way provides the information needed to size your system properly. How many apts in the building? What type fixtures and flow rates from those fixtures? In any hot water design you want to look at water conservation steps as a part of the design. Can you do that? It can have profound affect on the system design. Can you provide that information?

Tjernlund has

@ November 7, 2008 5:52 PM in Crawl Space Impact

a crawl space ventilator you might look at.

Wire in series

@ October 30, 2008 9:26 PM in Power venter service issues

When Tjernlund introduced the UC1 board we had many of the same call you are getting. The two timers were not exactly cooperating with each other. The fix was to have the aquastat call the SS1/II, have the prepurge on the venter operate and when satisfied release the call to the burner. Give Tj a call at 800 255-4208 for additional info


@ October 27, 2008 9:20 AM in DC pump for SDHW

I know you referred to this in the 120V unit but generally on units which require a transformer I always prefer to see an outboard mounted $20 transformer rather than the PCB mounted transformer. They do it to cut costs but you end up replacing entire costly pcb's as opposed to replacing the $20 transformer

HR, can you elaborate a bit more

@ October 27, 2008 6:44 AM in DC pump for SDHW

"Also consider a solar controller, even for a PV powered system, it really helps the amount of control." Assuming I move forward with this, what do you like for PV and SDHW controllers. For the DHW I still have a couple IE C-30's (remember those) from the 70's in the basement. Now if I can find the proper sensors. I know I have them. It is, where!


@ October 25, 2008 7:57 AM in Which is the best of the tankless water heaters (on demand)

I'd like to talk with you about this. Would you please give me a call on my cell at 617 834-8751?

I looking into a SDHW and a PV system

@ October 23, 2008 5:13 PM in DC pump for SDHW

for my house. I would be looking at a net metered system for the PVs but it would also be nice to have a dc pump for the SDHW system to run off pv power while the sun is out and the tank is calling. Suggestions gratefully received!

We don't...

@ October 23, 2008 3:06 PM in Which is the best of the tankless water heaters (on demand)

They don't need an anti-scald valve. Rinnai's are built to maintain +/-2f. If they exceed 6f above setpoint they will cycle off. You can check out the exiting hot water temp on the touchpad dispolay by hitting and holding the Down arrow and then hit on/off and release both. My experience is that they are vbery accurate. You need three things in an on-demand unit to make the correct temperature. 1) a flow control 2) modulating gas valve 3) a cold water by-pass to meter the appropriate amount of cold into the hot outlet line to precisely regulate th output temp. I know there are some on-demands which need a tempering valve, because they do not have these components, but Rinnai's do not.

The way I answer those flow ?'s

@ October 23, 2008 7:33 AM in Which is the best of the tankless water heaters (on demand)

As I represent Rinnai in New England, I'm frequently asked by distributors and contractors how many bathrooms, etc I can run with one Rinnai. The answer is that, well, that depends on what kind of fixtures you have. It is incredibly disconcerting to install one unit for a 2 1/2 bath house and walk in and see a cascading shower head with 4 body sprays and a handheld that are all running simultaneously. It is, shall we say, a scalding experinece! I always look at the flow/temp rise chart and say that an R75LSi will, at a 70f temp rise, make 4.3gpm, 24 hrs/day. That is a hard number and I have a solid base to work from. You can then start working the fixture flows around that, but again, you have a hard number to work from. If you have a higher or lower temp rise you will have a proportional increase or decrease in the output, but those numbers are on the flow charts. Using the hard number allows you to better explain exactly how they work to a builder or a consumer.

Work Coats

@ October 17, 2008 4:46 PM in Work coats

It's about that time of the year. For the past couple winters I've had a Duluth Trading Post, Force Nine coat. It has been a great work coat. I wear it with a vest underneath and I good. I'm no longer working with the tools but lived in Carharts for years and basically always felt that by the time I had enough clothes on to be comfortable, I was so bundled up I couldn't do the work. I haven't worn it while stick welding but I don't do to much of that these days either. The Force Nine is an excellent wind stopper. Has a fleece lined collar, a long tail, plenty of pockets (Which damned pocket did I put that in?), gusseted shoulders for really good flexibility, etc. The one thing I haven't liked about it is that the two large flap pockets have so much velcro on them that you have to use two hands to open the pocket flap. A little razor knife fixed that problem. I have no affiliation with Duluth other than that of a customer, but they have been an excellent vendor in my experinece. YMMV, but this is a good garment.

Both methods will work

@ September 16, 2008 6:44 AM in Plasma cutter?

The plasma cutter will need significant amount of compressed air. Do you have a compressor available. If it isn't large enough you will wait and wait for it to catch up. As well, if there are a lot of deposits internal to the tank you will jsut get a lot of blow-back unless you have a powerful plasma machine. I'd start with a small angle grinder. You can get the thin cut-off wheels or go with the thicker wheels. If you cock one of the cut-off wheels it can come apart. I'd get my sawzall into the mix also.

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.
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