Joined on March 1, 2007
Last Post on June 13, 2013
@ July 22, 2012 11:30 AM in chain supply houses rantI certainly understand frustration with distribution, but I also think the contractor has to look ahead and communicate with a dist to get what he needs on the shelves. When business was roaring it wasn't difficult to get items in stock. In the last few years getting new or deeper stock of a line on the shelves is a different matter. Contractors have been in survival mode. So are distributors. Every post on this thread has validity. I think what has to be remembered is this is a supply "chain". You know the weakest link theory. If you want a distributor to stock product locally, buying on line or at HD only weakens the distribution link and the problem is exacerbated and there are more of these threads.
Good distributors bring new information and training to the trade. You work with a company or branch and you find the guy in there who knows his stuff and he becomes a resource for you, not just a source of product. No one knows it all and frequently the guys churning thru the lines they stock have a great deal of information and understanding. You have to support that knowledge base or it goes away, to the contractors and the industries detriment.
Just as there are A, B & C items for stock as Chris points out, there are A, B & C contractors and distributors...and I may add, reps;) Ice, I know who you are talking about and I completely get what you are saying. After 35 yrs of business that company will go to the wall for you! To my mind, you have it right. Find the local place that provides the stock, pricing, information, training and can get you the support from a manuf when you need it. There were countless times in my years as a rep that the distributor went to bat for a contractor to get warranty support on something that the dealer did not deserve, but the distributors leverage made happen. You have to earn and deserve that support.
Find the local people who help you support your family, communicate with them and support them.
@ July 14, 2012 10:00 AM in Thinking of replacing Burnham MPO147TB with GasYou want to do the whole house with gas and that you have natural gas available, I'd make the change in a heartbeat. Oil is great heat, but there is no more volatile heating fuel $ource. Prices are heading down as Steam noted. They only seem to go up from Oct-April. One "World event" and oil is through the roof. Contact Nat'l Grid and see what conversion programs they are running. Keep us posted on your progress/decisions.
@ July 9, 2012 11:53 PM in Fujitsu ductless minimum line set runsPutting the line set in a coil like that will trap oil and toast the compressor. Should be laid off in a serpentine fashion
@ June 29, 2012 10:09 PM in Rinnai tankless woesBut the lack of response is not discouraging me. It does however piss me off. I think that if you decide to drag up an old post I just think it is respectful and polite to follow-up. I get what you are saying though.
Again, it did and has given me the opportunity to remember Al, so maybe I shouldn't complain. Thanks for the kind thought Ice!
@ June 28, 2012 1:34 AM in Rinnai tankless woesYou post with a problem where you are getting no help...and disappear! What is going on? Is it fixed? What is/was the problem?
@ June 28, 2012 1:27 AM in The AWESOME power of Mother Nature...To all affected by these calamitous events. Today on NPR I was listening to a show broadcast from the Aspen Institute. On it they were interviewing scientists and lifelong Colorado farmers on the tremendous changes in the Colorado River and it's affect on the entire SW. Chilling!
Massive tornados, wildfires, floods, droughts. At least we can all take heart, that it is only weather and not climate change!
@ June 24, 2012 12:10 PM in Rinnai tankless woesThis type of situation where you feel you are not getting help from tech service you need to do two things. Ask for a service "supervisor". As well, this is when you get your local manuf representative involved. Call them and get them out there. What is your case number?
Scanning down the list of posts I was delighted and saddened to see a post from Al Letelier. What. Fine man! I miss Al!
@ June 24, 2012 11:52 AM in Fujitsu ductless minimum line set runsWhat you should be doing is using the oil as a back-up to your mini-split. I think you will find you will save a lot doing so.
@ June 24, 2012 11:48 AM in foreign copper on A coilsLack of QC by the equipment manuf in whatever market they are sourcing their components or manuf/selling their products. As well, it is easy to blame the commodity when it may be a process failure in manuf, either welding/brazing or bending. Btw, don't feel like the lone ranger here. I hear it is happening across brands. The goal seems to be, "Yes, we can make it cheaper!"
@ June 21, 2012 11:22 PM in Fujitsu ductless minimum line set runsYou cannot disconnect one evap on a dual system. If you are remodeling, build the unit onto a temporary but secure support or leave this until the end. The condensing unit is looking for both evaps and will fault if two are not connected and recognized. Wait til you run it for heat;)
@ June 21, 2012 11:16 PM in How offen do you see thisA pic of the vent pipe when you take it apart. That should be interesting
@ June 14, 2012 8:56 PM in tankless with solar pre-heatthat the tempering valve ahead of the tankless is a waste of both gas and solar energy. As well, pick the Rinnai with the .4gpm and 10kbtu minimums. That is why you put the 3 way between the tank and the tankless. Max solar contribution of high temp water and only call the tankless when tank temp drops below the threshold...of comfort. You do have to work at the break point temp and Rinnai set-point temp to arrive at the best compromise.
@ June 7, 2012 11:39 AM in tankless with solar pre-heatBut, Paul, the deal with any tankless, Rinnai or otherwise is the GPMxDeltaTx500=BTU. Push those numbers around based upon the min flow and min btu to initiate operation.
I do not like to supply the water from a solar tank to a Rinnai or any other tankless, as all you arei doing is giving superfluous operation and cycles to the limits, when the solar waters very hot. I think a limit is a safety device and as such should not operate except in a safety control situation.
I have seen people put a tampering valve ahead of the tankless. That works, but does not maximize the solar contribution. It is simple, but kinda crude.
My preferred application with solar is to put a 3way between the solar tank and the tankless, controlled by an aqua stat in the top of the solar tank. When solar hot is available you divert the water directly to the house thru the tempering valve. When the water in the tank drops to X* (you have to figure that one out) the 3way diverts to the Rinnai. This is where you have to "play around" on the set-up as the above formula comes into play. You want to pick the the tankless that will give you the lowest flow and btu input. That way your approach temp is lowest.
Hot Rod, I think it was you who first told me that Caleffi makes a 3way suitable for this application. For another option I like the Bonomi 3way. They have the lowest turning torque in the business (that I'm aware of) and therefore you can use the small elec valve actuator..
@ June 5, 2012 3:17 PM in Daikin Altherma/Low Temp BaseboardBack in the 70's, in the first iteration of the solar business I ran into folks taking an Olin flat plate solar collector only, no glazing, insulation or box. They would hang the plate under the porch and pump refrigerant to it and call it a "Solar Heat Pump" to qualify for the TC. I think the refrigerant would flash at about 52f, so, sure why not??? The plate never saw the sun.
@ June 1, 2012 10:25 AM in On-demand with pre-heated hot waterin these apps with tankless is: You will be sending some rocking' high temps to the unit from the solar tank and wood stove. So high that you can be driving the limits on the unit. I like to by-pass the tankless when the tank has sufficient temp to supply the demand. Then when the temp drops to 100 or so you bring the water to the tankless for peaking. I think Caleffi makes such a unit. Your other concern is to get a unit with the lowest flow requirement to initiate operation and the lowest btu input. I'm a fan of Rinnai, so bias noted, but you can get a unit (R75) that will fire down to .45 rpm and 10kbtu. Given the "warm" water temps you will be supplying to the tankless you need those low minimums. Power consumption on these is quite low...as long as you install it so the freeze protection circuit is not actuated. That means a side wall vent with several feet of pipe grading down to prevent cold air spillage into the cabinet. Properly done these are great systems.
@ May 31, 2012 11:06 AM in Fujitsu ductless minimum line set runsWe were introduced to the min line set length. I was representing them at that point. We were told initially that the line set had the min of 9' for those systems 15kbtu and under & 15' for 18 and above. We asked why this was the case and were told that with the minimums not met you could possibly create a resonance that would turn the evap into a speaker, and you might not like the song it sings. Digging further with one of the engineers we asked what created the noise and he replied that it was the compressor stressing out.
I'd suggest you recover the refrigerant and do a serpentine coil up the wall behind the condensing unit to achieve the minimum. DO NOT coil the line set as it will trap oil and that won't be pretty either.
They are pretty neat systems!
@ May 29, 2012 10:20 AM in Duct pressure test?I've been speaking with a lot of contractors here in the west about what they do when a customer looses their furnace and it must be replaced. Out here, CA and NV, they are having to do duct pressure tests and repairs. One contractor said it cost $3,200 to repair a 12 outlet single story homes duct work. It was all crawl space work. Another in NV said he just looked at a large house that was going to cost between $10-12,000 to repair the duct system. That is pretty much all labor. As far as I can see, this is the deal for the unitary manuf. They can put all the technology in the box that they want. They just cannot deliver it. They are strapped over poor duct systems. It seems that a 90% eff furnace/heat pump on a 70% efficient duct system gives 63%, or so system efficiency. There isn't a lot of new residential construction being built which would meet the tighter standards, so I figure about 99% of the existing homes are way sub-standard and that is what I am being told. What is the situation in your area? Are duct pressure tests required on replacement? If not, why not?
@ May 28, 2012 12:04 AM in rinnai rl75i-code-12you sent me earlier this morning. NA. Ice is correct. Contact your homeowners insurance carrier. In the bottom 2" you hit parts of the pcb, sensors and perhaps most importantly in this case, the gas valve. At the very least you need to have a discussion with tech service from Rinnai 800 621-9419. You likely need parts. Be straight with them and let them know the units history. Code 11 means that the unit tried to fire and did not achieve ignition. 12 means that it fired, cut could not maintain operation. Low micro amps, improper gas valve operation, inducer malfunction. 12 is the one where you need to have your fast ball and appropriate diagnostic tools. I'll try your number again in the am. I'm in CA so a bit behind you.
@ May 16, 2012 8:22 PM in heated drivewayCheck out www.rehau.com. They have their snow melt design info on their site. Plenty of good info there.
@ May 4, 2012 10:32 AM in Critical article on Tankless water heatersAs you know, I've been affiliated with Rinnai for about 22 great years. Although no longer their manuf representative I am working with them on a consulting basis here in the CA market. My support of tankless is not deterred by this report in the least.
Tankless manuf did not develop the EF flow tests. As a result they are not using a "ploy" to pull the wool over your eyes. They were granted, they earned, these EF's based upon the test they had to meet. This report was based upon other data and I'd expect it to have different results. From a .82 EF to the .70 represents a 12% reduction. .61 to .49 represents a 20% reduction. Regardless of anything else it is difficult for me to think the industry embraces anything that is .49.
Currently we are looking at the lowest NG costs we have seen in a very long time due to an "overproduction" of NG. We have developed methods of extraction that I think will have a very long tail and expense related to pollution of ground water, but, hey, gas is cheap. I'm a tad cynical about these issues as I remember when I was a kid in grade school where we were told that we had so much oil we wouldn't be able to pump it all. As well, back in those days the word was that with nuclear, power would be so cheap you wouldn't even have to meter it! How'd that work out? We are enjoying the cheap NG glow right now, but do you really think it will last and do you want to support energy products that get us all the way up to .49EF?
Years ago Rinnai made a deal with the late, great Paul Harvey to promote tankless water heaters. This relationship was initiated by Mr Harvey. He had a tank water heater fail and damage was done to his home. He said to his plumber, "There has to be a better way"? After living with the Rinnai tankless for a while Mr Harvey requested a meeting with the head of Rinnai. In his meeting he said, "when I look at my energy savings with this tankless and look at the potential savings on a national basis this is good work to do". He also said, "I may be an old man, but I can still make tracks in the sand". And did he ever! This conversation was told to me by the representative from Rinnai who met with Mr Harvey.
I've lived with tankless for the past 14 years. I had one in my home for 11 years and changed it out when I remodeled. It was in fine condition but I knew I was going to be selling the house and it was a pre-production unit for test, so I had to put in a current approved model to sell the house. I didn't touch that water heater the entire time it was installed. With my Rinnai tankless my gas consumption went from 36-44 therms/mo to 10-13. Currently living in my new old house I am re-modeling the bathrooms and kitchen...as soon as the boss tells me what fixtures I'm using. Since moving into this house last summer I have had a tank water heater and frankly, I cannot wait to get rid of it. Two showers and you are bingo hot water. I'm going back to a tankless with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.
In the trades, you get to make choices on what you want to support. Tankless is or should be "another tool in the tool bag" ;)
@ April 30, 2012 5:03 PM in one mini split for entire floor....I've had a lot of experience doing this in the heat side. The key is to "allow" the air to circulate. You will end up with a 2-3* differential in the spaces. Cut a register over the door or in the corner of the bedroom high up in the corner and short cut the door to allow some convective air movement. These units are variable speed and with the longer run times will project the air into adjoining spaces much better than the old single stage equipment.
The post on the HFI system is correct as well. There was discussion of Fujitsu allowing the Concealed Ceiling Evaporators to be able to connect to a single condenser. I don't know if they did this this year. Static pressure capabilities are very low so duct work must be spot on. With proper location of the evap you could cover all three bedrooms with one evap.
Your other option for getting air into a room is to check out the Tjernlund Airshare. It is specifically designed for this purpose and does an excellent job.
@ April 28, 2012 11:00 AM in The Propane industryfor folks in my fathers generation, depression era/wwII and after to get a job and keep it. Today, you have a kid talk to someone who worked at the same place for 40 yrs and you can see it in their eyes. "What's is wrong with this guy staying at the same place for 40 yrs?" There was a bit of social compact with employees, the good ones at least. Along come the 70's and shareholder value trumped all. Employees cost money. They are an expense to be minimized and production must grow. That is correct, but a bit heartless. That is why the kid feels as he does. Why should he care about a company that will throw him off without so much as a fare thee well. I think Bain Capital is a good example.
I met Tim when he was still with the gas company. He is correct, it was an excellent outfit providing great service, safety, etc. I remember when Tim told me he was "no longer with the gas company". We both knew what was ahead. To Tim's credit he made the best of it. Many never did. This deregulation and getting utilities out of installing equipment was good for the trades. Sometimes it was good for the consumer, sometimes not. That depended, as always, on who was handling the wrenches.
We are capitalists. We are hungry. We are in a competitive world and there are, to my mind anyway, no "American" companies. The big ones are all mulit-national in a world market and have zero concern for anyone or any nation beyond their "market value", period! You only have to look at the corporate taxes paid to get that sense.
As to the lp industry. I built my business in the early 90's largely on the independent lp industry. Tim's view on the consolidation is correct, but once these guys become so large it creates fertile ground for the new crop of independents to start, grow and flourish. The big get big, big, big and cannot be concerned for their customers. Some guy working for those companies gets pissed off and decides he can do it better. Smaller, but better! The consumer imho, craves the attention and care they cannot get from the big guys. Our industry is still a belly to belly business. You have to meet people and build relationships in order to build your business. There is always opportunity!