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Joined on March 1, 2007

Last Post on April 20, 2014

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I tried to call the number

@ May 28, 2012 12:04 AM in rinnai rl75i-code-12

you 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.

I recently went thru this....

@ May 16, 2012 8:22 PM in heated driveway

Check out They have their snow melt design info on their site. Plenty of good info there.

Another tool in the tool bag...

@ May 4, 2012 10:32 AM in Critical article on Tankless water heaters

As 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 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" ;)

Yes, you can...

@ 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.

It was not uncommon

@ April 28, 2012 11:00 AM in The Propane industry

for 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!


@ April 21, 2012 9:57 AM in Chimney: Is B-vent on top of masonry chimney possible?

This flue can be downsized, depending upon height of flow and whether the vent connector is insulated. I believe that once you start dickering around with that flue it should be brought up to current code, and I am unaware of any code that authorizes simple extension. Maybe it will work, but I don't think it meets the code.

Whenever you get into a venting re-model on an old appliance you have to ask if you are throwing good money after bad. I would suggest that you look at the cost/benefit of upgrading your system. Now is the time, before you spend a pile on an old system that it sounds like you are band-aiding together. Get the whole picture before you move ahead.

Perhaps Tim will chime in on this. I'd like to hear from him on this one.

Was speaking with a firend

@ April 19, 2012 5:33 PM in rinnai 75 combi mod range

and he suggested that you power it down and then up. The first thing that will show on start-up is the software version and it will show a 1 for ng or a P for propane. While unlikely perhaps there is a mix of orifiice/chip.

Min/max setting is parameter 3. Reading is in kw, so X 3414 for btu.

Another thing...

@ April 18, 2012 7:33 PM in rinnai 75 combi mod range

Check the min. Input setting in the set-up procedure. Perhaps the min setting was re-set to a higher number.

First off,

@ April 18, 2012 7:29 PM in Tankless diagram needed

Rinnai will void your warranty if you hook thie R75 up to your heating system. Lots of very good reasons for doing so. I cannot imagine why you are running your system at 140, or 130 for that matter. I run mine at a max 120 and the system performs better than at high temps. Thinking that higher temps will "improve" your hot water systems performance is "thinking like a tank". What you need to do is reduce the set temp. That will increase the hot water percentage of delivered water. That purges the hot water pipe more quickly, giving faster hot water delivery. If you look at the temps you actually use, max 105* for a bath and 110-112* for a shower you can see that higher temps will delay delivery. Beyond that, if the delay is to much the unit is improperly located or not piped correctly. Look at a Metlund design recirc system.

How are the gas pressures?

@ April 17, 2012 2:55 PM in rinnai 75 combi mod range

Aaron is correct on the chip/orifice, but gas pressures enter into this as well. Was this unit factory supplied as NG or converted?

Let's see...NO

@ April 8, 2012 2:47 PM in Wood and coal stove, venting flue, flue sizes, and flue HELP needed

It won't work. To much horizontal and fittings. The barrel with only one baffle will completely kill and velocity. Each of these individually would kill the draft. Your concrete chimney will kill any other draft just by absorbing the heat. You might try punching straight up thru the top of the container. Pipe diameter is the least of your worries here.

The Masters

@ April 7, 2012 11:00 AM in The Masters

It is always good to see manuf in our industry advertising to the mass market. I enjoyed the bump from Rinnai when they advertised with Paul Harvey, NASCAR, etc. I was watching the Masters yesterday and saw Mitsubishi ads featuring Fred Couples. He is a tremendous spokesman and they get a big bump from him being co-leader going into the third round.

Yes, Gene

@ April 7, 2012 10:57 AM in Vac pump oil

I bought this system a few years ago and intended to install it in the MA house. Then I sold the business/house and moved west, so it came with us. Glad to have a spot for it. Going forward, I cannot match that deal.

Thanks, guys

@ April 6, 2012 4:54 PM in Vac pump oil

My daughter bought a house in LA. What that means for me is that I now have another house to take care of;) it is only 450 miles away!!! Mine is a once used vac pump and that use was probably 3yrs ago, so hence my brain cramp. The house is only about 1000sq ft so I'm popping a 24 kbtu Dual Fujitsu with two 12k evaps in for her. Tore all the duct work from the old system out last trip. I haven't bought a line set in a long while. Holy Smokes...I was blown away at the price of copper.

Vac pump oil

@ April 6, 2012 10:33 AM in Vac pump oil

Having a brain cramp here this am. Does a 410a system vac pump require any special pump oil or is the standard stuff ok?

You are totally committed

@ April 4, 2012 10:34 AM in I can't get the leaky relief valve to come off the boiler - what do I do

all ready. Shut off and drain the system. Put a torch to the fitting holding the RV. That should soften, loosen, expand the fitting holding the relief valve in place allowing you to "do what is necessary" to back it out. Your other alternative if that doesn't work is to cut the main and section it back in giving you the needed access. Maybe you can get in there with a smaller pipe wrench and a cheater.

I guess your situation is why we build them so we can service them! Good luck!

I just don't get it!

@ April 2, 2012 2:34 AM in Water Furnace pump failures

I was installing them back in the late 70's where we used a glazed solar system to heat a covered pool, which provided the drive. Could not keep the equipment together. Gave up then. When I look at the output numbers from the mini-split heat pumps I cannot see spending the money on a gshp. To much to go wrong vs, simple install, net to the space, great zoning and much lower cost. As well the leaders in all the technology you say you are looking for. As far as I am concerned they are selling the tax credits.

I heard from one of the manuf of gshp this week and he said there is a big announcement coming on them this week. Wouldn't elaborate. Guess we will see.

the minimum spread

@ March 31, 2012 11:23 AM in venting tankless water heater & weil Mclain Ultra 155

between the two vents is 12" inside to inside, as long as they are at the same elevation. The Rinnai vent is concentric 3 & 5". Go to and pick your water heater model. open details/documents and look at the installation manual for details

Thanks Mark!

@ March 31, 2012 11:18 AM in Electric radiant...ugh!

I really don't like the thought of anything electric, other than my mshp ;), Oh, and maybe, in view of your recent post, radiant windows. Since posting it appears that the remodel is expanding so other options may come in to play once she tells me what I'm building. I am replacing every window in the place. I may need an Airstream to live in for a while

Actually, Tim

@ March 31, 2012 11:11 AM in Latest from Rinnai

They have been using the poly-prop since the introduction of their condensing models and boilers. It is the 3/5" concentric. When Rinnai Japan (RJ) was designing the condensing units we told them we need a PVC vent. RJ Engineering took one look at the PVC and said no way! Emphatically I might add. We wanted it for competitive purposes. They wouldn't allow it for liability purposes. It is not approved venting material! Rinnai took the high road on this issue and I think it has hurt them in the market, but they are correct! The poly-prop is clearly superior, safer and IS a vent system.

One of the reasons

@ March 29, 2012 4:07 PM in Opinions on window A\C install

to put supports is also to anchor the case to the frame so it provides a bit of security as well. I'd suggest that you look into a mini-split heat pump for this as you can then enjoy the window, be b=more comfortable and save money in the operation, and it will heat!


@ March 29, 2012 4:04 PM in Electric radiant...ugh!

I guess everyone agrees with that;)
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