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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on September 14, 2014

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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".

The first week...

@ May 5, 2014 1:35 PM in releif valves

of my apprenticeship (Local 109) they showed the film of the water heater blowing up, reaching sub-orbital status and blowing the house down. It is an image that does stick with you.


@ May 2, 2014 10:41 PM in List of small mod/cons

I heat my home with Rinnai Energysaver Direct Vent wall furnaces. I have two units that will each modulate from 8200-20,500 btu and modulate on the fan as well. Simple install, highly reliable. Under 40kbtu, they are hard to beat. I understand that most here are "system" guys, but these should be another tool in the tool bag.
When I put that strong a pitch out I have to acknowledge my bias as I represented them for over 20 yrs and still consult with them, but I've also heated my homes, basement and garage with them for all of that time. Anyway, they are worth consideration.


@ May 2, 2014 10:34 PM in List of small mod/cons

Is the Rinnai E50C combi. 13,500-50,000

...A solution in search of a problem

@ April 29, 2014 10:37 AM in Mixing valve on Tankless...?

we went through this in VT several years ago when they legislated the 140 and tempering valves on all water heaters. They relented on the 140 for tankless and allowed 120 with the MV/TV. A year or so later they pulled the 140 requirement. I don't recall the model they spec'd but it added probably $250 to each water heater install. The 140 requirement was abandoned but the TV was not. So, you installed it and set the tankless at 120 and the valve at 120. The tankless is more accurate than the tempering valve. Some guys would install the valve and put a by-pass around it. Others dug in their heels, fought it and refused. It was an interesting time. I'm not sure where it is now having been out of the area for a few years. It would bleed over the border into NH though, occasionally at least.

The Mini-splits are a great idea

@ April 20, 2014 10:01 AM in Central air vs mini split?

Retrofitting duct work to a building is like the Texas Chainsaw Murders. Mini-split heat pumps are an ideal compliment to a hydronic system. Carefully check the specs on each model of each manuf you consider. I would stick with Fujitsu, Mitsubishi or Daikin. I have a single 12kbtu mshp that cools my entire first floor here in CA. As well it provides excellent heat. In your circumstance you would probably run the mshp in the shoulder seasons and not run your boiler until you have a bit of a load on it. Your choice. Do your research and get the best experienced guy in your area.

I did a combination of mshp's here. a multi for the bedrooms upstairs (16.5 seer, 9 hspf), Downstairs, where we run it much more frequently I have the 12 (25 seer, 12 hspf). With the new remodel and kitchen addition I installed a 15 in the center. Depending upon air flow this summer I think I'll end up pulling the 12 and installing at at my daughters. We'll see.

Actually you can do that

@ April 20, 2014 9:43 AM in Can we split tankless on-demand hot water unit for hydro air & domestic hot water?

It is the only type system Rinnai approves their tankless for. As well they have a DHW priority switch available. You need an AH that will operate the pump on a regular basis. Rinnai will not allow a "closed" loop system application with their tankless.

A Combi boiler is the better choice, if it has the hot water capacity.

11 & 12

@ April 4, 2014 7:07 PM in Rinnai tankless woes

11 means it tried to fire and failed to do so. 12 means it achieved ignition but couldn't hold operation. 11-no gas, no spark, combustion blower not turning, etc. As noted 12 is where you need your fast ball. That can be air related, dirty blower wheel not supplying enough air, grass clippings in fan, vent pipe separation allowing comb gases into fresh air pipe, did someone move the garbage can in front of the unit so it is recircing flue gas, dirty flame rod, inadequate gas pressure or overdrawn system. Same thing I guess. Bad gas valve. General system being dirty which could lead to lazy flame. Dirty burners. Could be a board, but that is unlikely.

After 7 years and then a problem, it is time to get a tech in there.

I once did a pool heating system

@ March 30, 2014 1:16 PM in Radiant Roof snow melt ??

with tubing in the concrete pool skirting. Not only heated the pool but allowed the folks to be able to walk on the concrete during the day.

On the ice melt, I used my tankless on my home in MA. We had serious build-up and everyone was losing their downspouts, gutters and associated damage. It took 3 1/2 hrs of hot water, but the roof and gutters looked like a summer day when I was finished. The run-off melted the ice in the driveway. All Good;)


@ March 25, 2014 10:07 PM in It's good to be a Plumber...NYT

I'm in the country and have just recently signed up for the NYT on-line. It's been wonderful getting the news.

Ice, I agree on the Presto-lite. I figure one of the next class actions will be from Plumbers who have gone deaf with turbo-torches.

Alan, I just received the 2012 edition of 54 and was surprised to see that they allow an exclusion on the 18" lift requirement..."unless listed as flammable vapor ignition resistant." How long has that been in there and does that include all direct vent sealed combustion units as well? Tim?

The "Reach of Asbestos"

@ March 23, 2014 5:05 PM in are asbestos risks overblown?

On a different tack concerning asbestos, I was named, or more accurately the company was named, in an asbestosis/mesothelioma suit from the family of a 92 yr old ship fitter who had died of mesothelioma. My business partners Uncle had represented a company in the 50's that did have asbestos in its products. When the attorney's did their discovery they found my business partner had the same last name as his uncle and so we were written into the case 50+ years later. Fortunately we had liability insurance and they had and to defend us in the case. This was a completely frivolous case as it regarded us, but it took 3 years for us to be dropped from the suit. Asbestos can come at you from odd angles. I have been around a lot of asbestos, working in shipyards, powerhouses and just generally in the trades. I thought it was rather humorous all things considered. I do feel badly for the man who suffered through it all.

"A lot cheaper than radiation"

@ March 22, 2014 4:36 PM in are asbestos risks overblown?

Ha! I was very concerned when they came out and said asbestos was not good for you. I was kinda obsessed with the idea of asbestos health issues. I worried and fretted and finally decided to treat this mathematically, you know, where two negatives equal a plus. So I began working on nuclear shutdowns. Not sure if the dosage of radiation was sufficient but they tell me I do have some cobalt in my thyroid...and my fingernails glow in the dark (oddly, my toenails do not). I now have a half life of my own. Only time will tell how this goes!

One of the best

@ March 12, 2014 3:07 PM in Boiler replacement, tankless

JV Mechanical (508) 943-3222

Wish I could have been

@ March 12, 2014 3:00 PM in What's wrong with this?

a fly on the wall watching him while he was trying to figure out what went where. Can you just see that picture? HMMM, scratching his chin...

Let's use this post as a short term reading list

@ March 11, 2014 1:01 PM in Dans Reading List

I read mostly history and biographies. Just finished "The Patriarch" by David Nasaw. It is the biography of Joseph P Kennedy, JFK & RFK's father. Excellent history

You might look at

@ February 28, 2014 2:15 AM in Reducing mod/com output with multiple stage gas valve

The Rinnai Energysavers. Model EX 08 will modulate from 3-8 kbtu.


@ February 24, 2014 8:59 PM in New Seminar on AIR!

When are you coming west. I met a psychometric once. It was in a dark alley. It came upon me suddenly. Scared me half to death! Good luck with the eastern swing of the nationwide tour.

Wrong specs on the RH180

@ February 23, 2014 12:13 PM in Rinnai RH180 or 100 Gallon Atmospheric?

The RH180 has a 90,000 btu tankless on the 40 gallon tank. This is a "Hybrid" tank/tankless unit. There are a few things to understand about it. Unlike a true tankless where temperature is guaranteed at the expense of pressure, when flow rates exceed the ability of the 180 or 199 kbtu burner to deliver hot water, The RH180 is a different animal. The cold water supply is fed to the tank. The built in a-stat and pump will make on cold water introduction to the tank and run until the stat is satisfied. At 3 gallons or less of flow it will make hot water all day long, but it is a tank and if you have a high flow rate, (6gpm,10gpm?) you can deplete the hot water just like in a standard hot water heater. You will have higher recovery though because of the 90kbtu burner. Also, unlike any other Rinnai water heater, all of which are sealed combustion, on the RH180 you have to pay attention to combustion air requirements as it is a Cat I appliance.
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