Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall


Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on August 30, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 28 »

...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.


@ February 21, 2014 9:46 AM in How to vent oil

We were in a hurry!
It was easy!
Why won't it work?
Even this was more than we wanted to spend!
It's going to cost how much to fix it? We did it for much less than that!
You guys are trying to rip us off!
That paint should have held up better than that. I won't use that brand again!

You just can't dream this stuff up! Keep us posted on the outcome.


@ February 19, 2014 3:35 PM in geothermal vs. airsource

I worked on the Geysers geothermal power plants ,in Healdsburg, CA back in '77. A bunch of dry steam wells would be piped to a small power house. It was great because rather than on a nuke where you could work on 1" ss piping for a year and never find out what was going to go through it, on the geo plants a couple dozen fitter and welders would build a plant that you could see coming out of the ground. Check out the Geo Heat Center at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls for some high temp geo info.

On residential systems we used to also use a ditch witch to trench and install poly solar collectors on edge and bury them with sand. Drip irrigation on top to keep up the heat transfer. I think it was Sola-roll we used. Of course that was in the Napa Valley and you didn't have to worry about freezing ground.

The other thing about geothermal systems is you had better have an A1 guy do it. Wells and piping, ductwork, HP and controls. Not for the faint of heart,imho!

Geothermal is great...but

@ February 18, 2014 5:13 PM in geothermal vs. airsource

It is very pricey. The day the enormous tax credits go away is the day that business evaporates over night. Basically, they are selling tax credits. That was what happened to the solar business. Better to look at mini splits which are tickling the COP/HSPF's of the geo for a fraction of the cost. Also, I think the max output on the geo water to water is not above 140. Correct? Back in the 70's I was doing geo with a glazed solar system heating a pool and driving the hp with pool water. Had to be careful on the cooling side though. Also, I think you have to look at pumping costs as well.

Years ago

@ February 17, 2014 1:19 PM in Wood heat transfer

I built a wood boiler for my Dad. We piped it through the baseboard and put the pump on constant operation. We also built a sheet metal plenum around the whole thing and ducted it up to a large floor grill, ala, a floor furnace tupe grill. It was a straight gravity system on that side. The basement was tight and no radon problems and for a retired guy this worked out great. When he sold the house I took the cutting torch to it and went back to the oil boiler. You can do wood in all kinds of ways. He had the windows open most of the winter;)

It I was going wood I would not do a furnace. Joining the system duct work is kind of a pitn. I think it better to go with a wood boiler and put a hw coil in the furnace plenum. You can get hot water that way too!

Tile liner is not the problem

@ February 17, 2014 1:08 PM in chimney condensing issue

The original mason screwed the original owner by shorting him a complete tile lined chimney, but we can assume he is long gone. The problem is the flue gases are cooling and condensing. Install an insulated vent connector first and see if that helps. Then if needed insulate the SS liner. Is there a block off plate at the top of the liner to prevent cold air from running down the chimney. I bet this could have been done with 5" too.

Don't change, Add!

@ February 17, 2014 1:01 PM in is it worth converting from oil to propane ?

Install a mini-split heat pump. Use it in combination with your oil. I have a friend in a big old VT farmhouse who runs his mshp down to 20* and then turns his oil boiler on below that. He has been doing this for several years and says he sees anywhere from 60-70% $ to$ savings. You also get excellent cooling and dehu.

If you go LP, the way to do it successfully is to own a 1000gal tank and not have to fill during the season. That carries you thru the issues today.

Single stage, two-stage and multi-stage, which one

@ February 15, 2014 3:12 PM in Single stage, two-stage and multi-stage, which one

This is a follow-up to the "Condensing Furnace" thread. I've been selling modulating heating since '91, and have done so very successfully, but it was with Rinnai's Wall Furnaces. Net to the space in other words. Tim's preference for single stage and his reasoning make sense in the scenario he describes, but what, on a clean sheet of paper design, would you prefer? On a retro-fit of 2 stage or Variable speed, what problems have you encountered and how did you fix them?

Tim, thanks for that

@ February 15, 2014 3:06 PM in Condensing Furnace questions

but again, this comes down to perpetuating the mistakes of the original low cost bidder. This one should have another thread on the single stage, two stage multi-stage discussion
« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 28 »