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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on September 1, 2014

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@ 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.

Just curious...

@ May 17, 2008 2:06 PM in unit sizes

What are the customers reactions to these units?


@ May 10, 2008 7:35 AM in WWII

As in so many things in life, time gets in our way of doing the things we know we should do and want to do. Case in point, my father and father-in-law. My Dad (Marines) was Peleilu, Eniwetok and Okinowa. My FIL (Army) was Guadlecanal, New Georgia, New Guinea and the Philipines. Through my life with Dad and the last 35 with my FIL there was never a lot of talk about what they had gone thru. I spoke with them about going to the Memorial last year about this time and regardless of help, they were just to infirm at that point to make the trip. So, if this is something you want to do, get it done today because there is no tomorrow for the remaining few. My FIL is a tremendous reader and if you are looking for a good read on the Soth Pacific service in WWII, Henry recommends, above all others, William Manchester's, "Goodbye Darkenss".


@ May 9, 2008 5:27 PM in Best Live Concert You Ever Saw

Woodstock- Everybody Watkins Glen- The Band, The Dead and Allman Bros Tempe, AZ '74- James Cotton Blues Band, Lynrd Skyner, Marshall Tucker (this was about when their first albums had come out), Boz Scaggs, headliner-Steve Miller (he stunk) Elton John was in the crowd and played. LS and Marshall Tucker swept the field

Absolutely...line it!

@ April 30, 2008 6:05 PM in chimney liners

You can use aluminum flex, insulated Al flex, which would be better in an end wall chimney, a Stainless steel liner or you could look at condensing appliances that vent with PVC. Personally, I'd forgo the use of the chimney and put in the highest efficiency unit you can find for your application and vent it with PVC.

Another view

@ April 27, 2008 2:25 PM in cooling, not heating

depending upon where you live. If you are in the northern part of the country what you need more than "cooling" is dehumidification. An oversized AC system will give you a cold, wet climate. A system which is not running is not going to dehu. Not knowing the property I would ask if you have any particular "direct gain" areas such as lots of skylights or late pm sun exposure which would require the larger system. I represent Fujitsu in NE and must acknoldge my bias prior to going ahead, but I would strongly suggest you look at mini-split air conditioners before going ahead with the hi velocity. Spend some time at You will find very high seer (cooling efficiency) and eer (heating efficiency) ratings, especially compared to hi v. They are full inverter and therefore total variable speed. For single systems the Seer rating is as high as 21 seer. For the "multi type systems the rating are 15 and 16.5 seer. Being heat pumps you can also do a good job with heating. Where I live (MA), I would not suggest year round heating but you could do a fine job in the fall and late winter/spring. If you live further south you could run them year round. This way you do not run your single stage furnace/boiler until it has a load against it and can run efficiently. What I am saying there is that it makes no sense firing a 100,000btu appliance to deliver 10,000btu of heat, which on spring/fall days may be all you need. On the multi units there are also concealed air handler units which can be used if you object to the exposed high wall evaporator (indoor unit). And, this system will operate more quietly than a hi V system.

Ah, space heat...

@ April 6, 2008 11:49 AM in Tankless water heater plus Tank?

The tankless/tank combos I've used have been for commercial hot water for special design circumstances. I like the tankless hot water heater for hot water. I think that for space heating you are better with a boiler.

I've done a bunch of these

@ April 5, 2008 7:51 AM in Tankless water heater plus Tank?

I prefer the heat-flo tank for this application as it has four tappings. Cold in, hot out, pump suction to the Rinnai and hot into the tank. As well, it has better spacing of the tapings. You don't need an indirect. Pay attention to your pump sizing. Feed the cold first to the tank to prevent pressure drop. Give a big enough spread (20f)to your aquastat that the system can satisfy. You can mount the Rinnai (I represent them so I'm a tad biased) above the tank for efficient use of space.

Just don't

@ March 29, 2008 1:52 PM in DHW sizing question

let the homeowners and GC's problem become your problem, because that is the way these things tend to go. Regardless of whatever equipment gets used I would suggest that you layout the options, both from an equipment standpoint and a necessary location standpoint and insist on a meeting with the owners and GC to discuss the good, better and best options and come up with a firm agreement on what, where, when and who pays! Not having that meeting increases your exposure. Again, Good luck on this!


@ March 29, 2008 9:19 AM in DHW sizing question

Then you will need four. The bigger issue for the customer is the monthly operating cost. Remember they cannot write off their monthly utility bill but they can finance the equipment cost in the mortgage. Assuming two people are using this fixture per day with all the holes running how long are they going to actually have that high flow tap open. With the on-demand they can run it all day long, so they gain the comfort of the big cost/flow fixture. When the system is off, and I don't care how much you like your shower, at some point you have to get out of it and go pay for it, the system will draw no energy. As well, it will modulate across its firing range throughout the day giving excellent operational efficiency. Remember, they picked the shower. Now they have to feed it and allow you to provide what is necessary to confidently do so. I would suggest that you start looking for other locations for the system which will provide you with adequate space/performance. I know that is easy to throw out there to you but again, you have to be able to give them the system they need even if they "Won't give you any more room". They put you in the position of having to perform without adequate facitilites to do so. They will not remember that you didn't have the space when they run out of hw. It will not be their fault;) I was on a job recently where in a very large house they put the Rinnais up in the attic (there are attics and then there are attics and this one I could live in), built a small insulated enclosure around them, vented with short vents thru the roof, cut a register in the second floor ceiling to provide gravity heat to the enclosure and downfed the individual vent stacks. Pretty cool. Good luck on this. Let us know which way you go!

I once

@ March 24, 2008 7:16 AM in Power Flame high pitched whine - how to stop??

worked on a power burner that was incredibly noisy. I took a piece of pipe large enough to connect to the air intake, put a 1 ft piece of pipe on the inlet and it quieted right down. Don't know if this will help but, I was surprised how effective it was.

Back in the day, I think '74...

@ March 24, 2008 7:13 AM in Here's the best way to bend 12\" pipe =)

I worked at Todd's shipyard in Seattle. I used to enjoy watching the old timers on the bending beds do their thing. It was fascinating. They worked on a large perforated deck with assorted rose-buds and come-alongs and would stroke their chins and put a little heat here and there along with a little cold rag and just walk the pipe into some fantastic shapes...and they would fit. It was great to see what they did, but what was perhaps best was the way they worked. Slow, cool, deliberative. They had it, knew it and didn't flaunt it

Daikin owns McQuay

@ March 20, 2008 4:00 PM in Diakin vs. steam

So I guess they are for real this time. They have left the American market the way the Baltimore Colts became the indy Colts...twice. I'm assuming that you are talking about their large variable speed multi-ton units that can handle many interior evaporators. They are piped in kind of a primary/secondary arrangement. I represent Fujitsu, a competing product to Daikin. We are not offering that type system in the US currently but I have replaced them in specs with our 2 and 3 ton multi evaportator units quite effectively from a]both performance and cost. Should you choose go with the the mini-split style Fujitsu you will not be in the "scorched air" situation. These are all inverter drives and give variable speed operation in heating and cooling mode and are really excellent from a performance and technology standpoint. In your area they can be used as a primary source of heat. In New England, where I live, they are a supplemental heating source and give excellent performance in the dehu/cooling and shoulder season heating market. Depending upon the lay-out, which you refer to, they can be an excellent option for you. As well, there are new interior evaporators for the multis, which can be completely concealed. You have many options there. Check out Then again, perhaps the guys will take a road trip to SC There are


@ March 12, 2008 12:48 PM in voiding warranties

some manuf specifically exclude their products being used as a construction heater. As previously noted, construction debris, and especially sheet rock, can severely affect warm air equipment. You can, and I have, see condensing sections that are absolutely packed with dust. I once got a call from a homeowner who got his hands on a condensing furnace I was representing at the time. He installed it in his basement with no duct other than a supply plenum. He did strap the plenum to the floor joists with perfed metal tape. He let the condensate run out onto the new concrete floor. Come spring he call and said he needed a new furnace as the one he bought in the fall was no good. I went up to look at it and the bottom four inches of the furnace were missing. The condesate consumed the bottom of the unit. What really blew me away though was that his nice new 4" slab was approximately 2" thick in about a 12' circle around the unit. The aggregate that remained looked like it has been run in a rock polisher for a couple months. That was my fault too. I kid you not!

I finally

@ March 12, 2008 6:54 AM in For those who don't like Windows Vista (o/t from Steamhead)

gave up. It seemed the key I was most hitting was "do you want to send an error report". I always decline. They know it. I bought a Mac laptop and it has been as solid as a rock. By the time I open it the available network has been found. I run Office on it and there are no problems. Among the many things that challenge me are "intuitive" computers. I've also been looking at the iphone. Much of what I do is training. I've not made the move yet but this summer they are bringing out a new model which will work on "exchange" for email. As well the screen graphics are good enough that I can train on the phones screen. My treo is ok but the screen is so small that it is hard to do anything with a schematic view. The iphone will answer the bill imho. I think a contractor could load up his favorite schematics as I will and be able to use it with customers. Anyone doing it?

Have you reviewed

@ March 9, 2008 7:33 PM in tankless WHs

your customers heat bills against degree days, heat loss calcs?

Had this very problem recently

@ March 9, 2008 10:22 AM in Hot water

Plumber, a good guy installed a new Rinnai and got hot water in some faucets, cold in other HW faucetts. With side by side lavs, one would get hot water and one wouldn't. It was magic. Weird magic, but magic none the less. At this point, just prior to jumping out of that third story bathroom window I went in and turned the shower valve handle and suddenly all the problems were resolved. It was an older Delta with the two "center mount" dials. One was for setting temp and one was for on/off. The unit was cross piped in the wall and had given these types of problems for a long time. Depended upon where the homeowner left the temp dial. Beyond that, turn off all the CWS under all sinks and work it back one by one.

Nice work

@ February 29, 2008 5:39 PM in Blue Flame Buderus Install (Ray L)

I've not seen the boiler up close but when anyone tries to compare the blue ray technology to todays technology I simply look beck to the auto industry. Until you had the proper electronics to control it you could not have really good fuel injection. With the proper electronics precision is possible. I have a couple old cars, one with a weber carb and one with mechanical fuel injection. Fiddle with those for a while and you get an appreciaton for EFI. That Blue Ray was almost 30 yrs ago. The technology has to have advanced. Again, nice work!

I was on a serivce call

@ February 29, 2008 5:22 PM in Truck caught fire

with a contractor a couple months ago and he ran out to his van to "burn out" with his propane torch a gas burner which had some spider webs up in them. He placed the torch back into the truck, brought the burner back in, we reassembled the unit, fired it up, thanked the homeowner and walked out to his truck. Maybe 30 mins, because I'm a gas bag. I was just getting into my car when he opended the side door on his van. A cloud of black soot/smoke came billowing out. No flames. Turns out that his off, but hot torch tip came into contact with a black plastic 5 gal bucket and kinda smoldered and turned into fine, fine soot. The whole bucket was gone. I swear I have never seen such a mess. Every surface in the truck and its contents were covered in a couple MM of soot. It was perfectly uniform in its dispersion. The seats, windshield, headliner, stock, racks, lunch, everything! I think if it had been my truck I would have thrown a match into it and hoped it caught. Boy, I felt bad for him. How do you clean something like that out?

this on the closed loop side...

@ February 29, 2008 5:06 PM in ground source heat pump heat exchanger plugging with sediment.

correct? If so either the system has trapped a mass of particulate which is not carrying through on to your flush point, but is perfectly happy to go to your HX in suspension. Put a prefilter in front of the HX and see what happens. Plate HX are kind of a pain to clean in my experience. Otherwise, If the system is clean and there is no debris in the lines, you have to be "galling or eroding" some material in the piping which is moving to the HX. What is the material?
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