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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on August 26, 2014

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As far as how....

@ February 14, 2014 12:12 PM in Heating Help for Fireplaces?

To fix it...I guess it is just reorinting the joints unless you feel you need to replace the bricks. FYI, I tore the old fireplace put of my home to open up some space. It had good brick, or seemingly so, but once the base brick were removed you could see the charring in the wood sub-structure. The place didn't burn down, but it wasn't for a lack of the previous owners trying.

"Sliding Curves"

@ February 8, 2014 9:55 AM in mini split heat pump install in wi.

SWEI, that is actually a really god way to look at it and describe it. If you don't mind, I'm going to use that phrase...with attribution of course. The 410A inverters have altered the landscape. Back in the R22 single stage days if one of my customers said he was going to buy a heat pump in the New England area I would say, "What are you, nuts?" Today if someone says they are not going to buy a heat pump I have to say, "What are you nuts?" It is rare that you see such a profound change in technology.


@ February 7, 2014 6:53 PM in mini split heat pump install in wi.

I just installed a Fujitsu 15RLS in my newly remodeled kitchen which opens into living room, dining room. It was 15* the day I turned it on and it was blowing 130* air. I also sold several thousand of these in ME, NH & VT. They might not be the sole source of heat, but my pitch on them was don't change your system, add! A friend of mine in a big old VT farmhouse overlooking Lake Champlain run his multi mini split down to 20* and only then does he fire up his oil radiant. Dollar for dollar reductions of 70%. That is a very common application in the north.

They work very nicely N of the MD line. You have to understand the specs of the individual model/manuf of the product, but there are models running well at -15* too.

First things first

@ February 7, 2014 6:42 PM in Condensing Furnace questions

You should pressure test the ductwork. Google "doe duct leakage" and read for a while. Once the duct is tight I would always go for a two stage at least, modulating if you can. You end up with longer run times generally and with the blower at lower speeds you have a better comfort level and better uniformity of heat, again, if the duct work is delivering the air to the space. You know how so many say they hate warm air because they are either to hot or cold? That is because the furnace is typically way oversized and single stage causing overheating and then no air and drafty living. Then another cycle and it gets old.

Keep in mind that the furnace is being sized for the coldest day/temp of the year. With the exception of this year that is a very small percentage of the year. I guess you can say we size our equipment for the 100 yr storm and then live with what it gives us the other 99 yrs.

Perhaps I am a bit behind the times...

@ February 7, 2014 4:40 PM in Congress seeks to jack up fees on home heating oil in midst of frigid winter

But agreeing that current building methods have our heat loads tumbling down, where is the affordable burner/boiler that can modulate its fire from 10-50kbtu? Most boilers I am familiar with if a tech goes in and has a .5nozzle and the system is giving problems will likely leave that job having installed a .65 or up firing 30%.

Oil is great heat and a great industry, but at $4.65 a gallon and what I think are Ice's correct comments we are looking at a sunset industry. This is exacerbated by the regional nature of the business too.

Also, storage volume is a problem. Several years ago we were looking to increase the amount of oil you could have in your home. Does the current 31 allow this. I haven't seen it so do not know. For me, I am burying a 1000gal LP tank and using efficient modulating equipment (I think the benefits of modulation largely offset the 92-140kbtu discussion...yes/no?). That carries me past the mid-$eason fill-ups and makes LP the better choice. YMMV;)

Insulating an external chimney

@ February 7, 2014 4:19 PM in Flue liner size for new gas water heater ?

Is no guarantee that the flue gases will not condense. If you choose to go this way I would suggest running B-vent from the draft hood to the chimney and I think I'd go B-vent all the way up the flue. Years ago when Rich Krawjeski and John Strasser of Brookhaven ran the numbers for venting that became Appendix E in NFPA 31 I was talking with Rich and he was surprised at what an insulated vent connector could do for a flue. He said that in all their modeling, inside, outside flue, lined or unlined, no matter what, the thing that had the most positive impact was an insulated vent connector.

That said, for the cost of the liner/labor you are in the neighborhood of a tankless water heater. Masonry chimneys are excellent architectural devices but very poor mechanical devices with today's equipment.

Btw, going into that larger flue exacerbates the problem. Basic physics. When a gas expands, it cools. Take a nice 3" vent connector at about 7.1" cross sectional area with all those hot molecules and throw it into an 8x8 tile...approx 56 sq" nominal, if memory serves me correctly(which is happening less and less it seems) and your heat dissipates quickly, along with your draft.

check out Airtec

@ January 29, 2014 10:30 AM in mini split heat pump install in wi.

mini-split brackets. I have two wall hung and one roof mount at my home. You can wall mount them to get them off the ground. You should elevate them to avoid the drifting snow. Also, while you think it will be used primarily for heating, which I get, you will also be using it quite a bit for the dehumidification. They can work indoors, but you need very large spaces (warehouse) to do it properly.

AHR attendees, What did you see?

@ January 25, 2014 11:04 AM in AHR attendees, What did you see?

What caught your eye? What is new? I'll go first...
I saw a new evaporator at Fujitsu that is low wall pin up, H/C dual fan so heat at the floor, cooling out the top. I think the seer was 25 or so and HSPF 12.5. PTACs beware.

In the software aisle I saw a pretty cool app from an outfit called Mypointnow called Venture. Quote schedule and bill as well as other functions from your iPhone/android.

I really enjoyed NY. I got in a couple days early and walked the city. In 2days I must have done close to 20 miles. Once it snowed, the first day of the show, traffic got kinda weird, so I kept walking. Chicago next year!


@ January 12, 2014 11:35 AM in Recommended contractor for bathroom renovation in Worcester, MA area?

Joe and Victor are excellent people and do fine work. I hope to see them at AHR.


@ January 2, 2014 12:02 PM in Rinnai Recall from 2008!

Call 1 800 621-9419 and tell Rinnai the model and serial number (on the gray strip on the lower side of the unit) they will pull up the number, arrange repair and pay for the repair. If there are more of these in the building Rinnai will want to do the same with all affected units. If so, please let your landlord know.

The serial number can be hard to read depending upon position. I find having a flashlight helps.

While I haven't used them on big stuff

@ December 29, 2013 11:31 PM in Large adjustble Monkey or Spanner wrench for boiler and pipe fittings?

as long as we are talking about cold and useful tools I have to put this up.

I have the 6 & 9" versions and cannot believe how well they work. Good tools aren't cheap, but once you start with these you will not believe the quality & value.

Simply amazing...

@ December 20, 2013 11:23 AM in Dan

I have these scrolling issues too. Now I don't. I just find out more and more about these machines all the time. They say you can save stuff on them too, but I'm not sure about that.

you can get

@ December 19, 2013 10:30 AM in Combi boiler dhw and heat or dhw or heat

"proportional" priority on some equipment. The boiler will make heat and on a call for hot water will shed some of its capacity to hot water. As the hot water load increases the heating side diminishes until it is all DHW priority.

Dan, don't mean to be putting words in your mouth, but...

@ December 14, 2013 7:46 PM in Hey Dan and my fellow wetheads

I think what you meant to say was, "Glad the Big hose is out, man"
Hmmm, that was fun!

Best wishes for a speedy recover and Happy Hoildays! David!

The manual

@ December 12, 2013 9:22 PM in Rinnai tankless woes

Is available at Select water heaters/model/documents and there it is. 10 indicates a high entering air temp. Could just need a cleaning. I'd suggest you call a dealer who has been trained by Rinnai to pull a service call.

In your area

@ December 12, 2013 11:30 AM in New install: choose propane or oil?

There are a couple tens of thousand Rinnai Energysavers doing precisely what you are wanting to do. I'd suggest that you look into that option. I think you will find it to be very cost effective and provide the comfort your tenants are looking for.


@ December 1, 2013 8:22 PM in Rinnai tankless woes

The flow control valve. Just inside the filter location is a snap ring. Remove the snap ring and with needle nose you can VERY carefully pull the turbine assembly out. There are two sides forming the body and the impeller itself. Take pictures or at least carefully note the layout of the impeller and two body parts. It's amazing how I have tied myself in knots putting those back together. Re-install and try it. If it isn't that get on the tech line. Number is on side of the cabinet.

The purpose of

@ December 1, 2013 12:27 PM in Rinnai tankless woes

the inlet filter screen is to keep water borne debris from stopping the turbine wheel from spinning. The turbine is a precise measuring device. It is contained in the Cold water inlet valve immediately above the filter assembly Essentially it has an electronic pick-up on it that reads rpm and the units logic converts that to flow and combustion requirements to arrive at the set point temp.

The turbine "in" the cold water inlet valve

@ November 30, 2013 5:44 PM in Rinnai tankless woes

Is the likely culprit. If the turbine turns and the unit will not fire then the unit would code out 11, tried to fire and failed. Either the turbine is stuck or the flow control unit is bad.

Sounds to me like the

@ November 29, 2013 6:18 PM in Rinnai tankless woes

Turbine on the cold water inlet valve is stuck. Do you have debris in the inlet filter? If dirt gets into the turbine it is possible that the turbine wheel isn't turning. Everything tracks off that turbine

Oh, and the other cause may be cross connected H/C piping. It happens all the time.

"I called the manuf...

@ November 29, 2013 6:13 PM in Indoor Pool HVAC

And they don't recommend that application" the problem is they are simply not designed to operate and survive that chemical content in the air. I'd strongly suggest you heed their warnings. They won't last.


@ November 29, 2013 6:04 PM in Carbon Monoxide Issues - HELP!

I remember when Tjernlund designed the SSII power venter. One of the original goals was to take it to manuf and let them test it to be used without a barometric for their particular systems. That idea ran right into the time when all those manuf said they didn't need a supplemental venter. They could do it all with the burner. Sometimes it works well, sometimes not. I guess like everything else.

My suggestion to you is that you get a Buderus Rep in there with the technician. You are in MA and they have excellent representation there. Insist upon it. Make sure the guy coming out has his fast ball too and ask specifically for that "right guy" on this model boiler.

If you decide to build a chimney for this I would strongly vote for a factory built chimney. Do not use masonry. Masonry chimneys are 11th century technology venting 21st century appliances. Use as small a chimney as you can get approved by the manuf, and your local code official. I bet 5" would be just fine on this.
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