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Steve Paul

Steve Paul

Joined on November 18, 2003

Last Post on August 10, 2005

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@ August 10, 2005 11:58 AM in How do you figure static fill pressure for this system?

To avoid super high pressures on the lower system components, how about using a heat exchanger for the buffer tank to be heated from a submerged coil in the boiler. That way you can safely maintain 45-50 psi in the coil and heat exchanger but not have a great pressure on the boiler, the buffer tank or any of the attached heating systems.It would require 3 seperate pressure regulators, 1- for the 45-50psi to the coil and heat exchanger. 1- for the buffer tank and lower systems (set at10-12psi) and 1- for the upper boiler (set at 10-12psi). The boiler water feed regulator can connect to the coil/heat exchanger lines.

Clothes dryer exaust

@ August 7, 2005 11:38 AM in ClothesDryer Exhaust

My son lives in a high rise Condo in Brooklyn. He just got permission to install a stackable washer/dryer combo. For the life of me, I can't figure out what to do with the dryer exhaust! The condo association will not permit him to chop through the wall to the outside. He was told by a "Genius" neighbor to vent into the 4" sanitary vent stack--- I WON'T PERMIT THAT". Do the "Water Pot" dryer exhausts really work? I just can't see dumping 1-2 gallons of condensate into the apartment from every wash load. Help a Dad out here guys.

Re-fill failure

@ July 27, 2005 7:47 PM in Refill Pipes with Water

Sometimes when we shut the water supply off for service, the pressure regulating valve goes south. The proplem is mostly from accumulated dirt and built up rust. This seems to happen mostly on older systems with iron body PRVs. not much you can do about it except to change the PRV.

Cast iron steam bomb

@ July 23, 2005 7:49 AM in Radiators/BTU's/Watts

Bill: Do you have a death wish? You are about to create a steam bomb. Water heater elements are meant to be installed in water heaters! There, they are Supervised, controlled and protected by, DISCONNECTS, THERMOSTATS, HIGH TEMPERATURE LIMIT SAFETY CUT OUT SWITCHES AND TEMPERATURE AND PRESSURE RELIEF VALVES. In addition they also have a constant supply of water to prevent dry firing. What you are suggesting is extremely dangerous and shows a lack of education, experience and knowledge. DON'T DO IT!!!

Burnham Heating Helper Typo

@ July 18, 2005 4:24 PM in BurnhamHeating Helper Typo

My heart is broken! I loved my Burnham Heating Helper. I trusted it with all my soul and being. Low and behold, Chapter 13-Miscellaneous has a typo in the gas pipe capacity chart. In the pipe length column 90 feet has been replaced with 30 feet.

flat and value added tax

@ July 16, 2005 10:19 AM in Working Mans Blues

Ron, Don't bet on a simplified flat tax appearing any time soon. The people who benefit most from complicated tax laws, are the very same lawyers, accountants and corporate hacks that we are stuck with voting for. They will never make things easier or less complicated. The flat tax and added value tax works well in Europe and the rest of the world. But our polititions take the same position as uninformed contractors do about flat rating. " It won't work in my town."


@ June 21, 2005 1:39 PM in Refrigerant leak detectors

This may be a little out of the realm of Hydronics, but I know that this group is the best informed bunch when it comes to heating and related subjects. We are trying to determine what is the most practical and cost effective but above all the most dependable and sensitive refrigerant leak detector for use with air conditioning systems. Should we be looking at the sniffer types or are there better alternatives? Two units suggested to us were the TIF brand- TIFXL-1A and the 5750A. Are there better models? What do the experts say?


@ June 10, 2005 12:27 PM in a heating puzzler (sort of)

Temperature is the culprit. The surface of the car outside of the carport is cooler than the one in the carport. The surface is reaching the Dew point and forming condensation from the miosture in the air. The car inside the carport is being kept somewhat warmer from the building radiating heat from normal heat losses and from acting like a heat sink - absorbing heat during the day and radiating at night.


@ May 23, 2005 10:30 PM in piping water heaters in tandem

Michal, The mechanical drawing is very nice, typical of most architects plumbing drawings. The only problem with it that I can see is the piping for the T&Ps. It shows the piping to be 12" AFF. The code requires no further than 6" or closer than 2" AFF to avoid splash/scalding.

Working for free or cheap

@ May 9, 2005 6:48 PM in Gas Piping

Why is it that perfect strangers are eager to pay you to perform your craft and earn a decent living for your emediate family? But relatives, friends and nieghbors expect you to do them a "Favor" and work on the cheap and lose money for your family. Dan Said (I am parphrasing) Never work for your relatives, friends, nieghbors, church or synagauge" STEVE PAUL

metering BTU's

@ May 1, 2005 11:54 AM in BTU Meter

The usual rounded off number for BTU's in a cubic foot of nateral gas in most areas of low pressure delivery is about 1,000/cubic foot. Why couldn't you install a gas meter at the boiler to moniter the cubic feet used and multiply by 1,000 to determine the BTU's consumed?

Copper Steam piping

@ April 6, 2005 6:11 PM in Speaking of copper and steam......

While I realize that this may offend the purists here, I will tell you that we have installed many steam replacement boilers and repiped many steam jobs with Pro-Press copper fittings and "L" copper. Not one joint failure to date. No flux problems and the fittings take up the expansion. Even when we used copper pressure fittings and 95/5 solder we had joint no failures. True, the copper lacks the beauty of old time black pipe and steam fittings but if performance and efficiency is what you are after, copper with Pro-Press is the way to go.


@ April 2, 2005 9:22 AM in Plumbing help

Take a look at this, it may be what you need.------------------------------------------------------------------------------ FloodStop I for Washing Machines Washing Machines can leak and hoses can fail or rupture at any time. Avoid extensive property damage and expensive repairs. Features Washing Machines are one of the most damaging appliances within the home. Washing Machine related flooding can happen at anytime, from hoses with ruptures or cracked fittings, to internal failures from clamps, valves, pumps, drains and failed switches. Whether at home, at work, or on vacation these flooding events can go undetected for hours or even days. FloodStop I automatically shuts off the water supply to the Washing Machine and sounds an alarm, leaving all other household fixtures and appliances operational. Easily installed in ten minutes. Each kit includes two inch solenoid valves (hose threaded with union), a simple control unit, a water/leak sensor and an AC power adapter. Prevent Flooding from Failed Washing Machines & Hoses! model Floodstop I

DSL or Cable?

@ March 24, 2005 12:56 PM in DSL or Cable?

We are still using a 56K dail-up modem. We want to switch over to the 21st century. We can get either Verizon DSL or Comcast cable. What are the pros and cons of each. Speed, reliability, relative cost, features, security etc.

Amtrol fix

@ March 22, 2005 5:08 AM in Amtrol Boiler Mate Problem

Marty, you made the correct repair. The part that fell off is the cold water inlet diffuser. It directs the incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank. Without it in place the cold water will shoot towards the top of the tank and short circuit directly to the hot water outlet. Similar to a tank type water heater with a broken or missing dip tube.

losing water

@ March 17, 2005 6:23 PM in Losing water fast

Try a simple test. Shut down and overfill your boiler to a point just above the top of the boiler. If water starts to drip on the floor, the boiler is leaking and must be replaced. TIME TO CALL KEN.

In the Japanese style

@ March 17, 2005 6:15 PM in customers and shoe removal

We will remove our shoes at the request of the customer. But if we have to go down to an unfinished basement or into any area under construction, renovation or potentially un safe footsy wise we must put on our shoes. We do this as a courtesy for the customer to protect their carpets. But we won't allow our people to risk injury in areas that are not carpeted.

spitting faucets

@ March 15, 2005 7:02 PM in Leaky DHW tank?

The air that is being discharged from the hot water faucet is most likely because the water being heated is giving up the air and gasses that are disolved in it. Ever notice that a glass of water when left to stand around developes bubbles clinging to the inside wall of the glass? This is whats happening to your hot water. If you are on a well, it can be even more severe than on city water. And yes to your idea of using your boiler to power an indirect water heater. It would be the most economical replacement over time.

Solar with indirect

@ March 12, 2005 9:38 AM in Solar integrated with a condensing boiler

I have been running my Amtrol 40 Gal. indirect water heater with my State, 3 panel,120 gallon storage tank as a pre-heater for the domestic hot water. The elements in the tank were never connected, strictly for storage. The result is that whatever solar gain is achieved is used to pre-heat the cold water supply to the indirect Amtrol. Some times in the warmer months my boiler will go on just once or twice a day for only a few minutes. My gas consumtion was drastically reduced when I installed this set-up. I can't quanitify the exact savings, but I am sure it amounts to at least 30-40%.

Amtrol Boilermate

@ March 11, 2005 8:54 PM in 40 Gallon Amtrol Boilermate

My Amtrol has been installed for about 18 years. It just started to show signs of decreasing recovery about 3 months ago. We no longer could take our luxurious 30 minute hot showers without having to slowly advance the shower control to hotter and hotter water. Following Amtrols reccomendation, I bought a gallon of Phosphoric acid liquid ice maker coil cleaner at Johnstone Supply (about $42.00). Turn the aquastat to the highest setting, when the aquastat is satisfied, (you may have to raise the boiler high limit) shut off the boiler water supply to the Amtrol, shut down the cold water supply, drain out about 15 gallons of water, make sure the coil is covered. slowly pour in the acid throught the T&P valve tapping. Let it sit for about 1/2-3/4 of an hour. Thoroughly drain and flush out any residual acid. Replace the T&P, re-fill the tank, re-set the aquastat and turn the boiler water supply back on. DONE! My Amtrol recovers like the day it was installed. It was amazing to see the crap that flushed out with the cleaning.

dryer vents

@ March 8, 2005 8:07 AM in venting dryer --which way exhaust go??

The large duct that you want to use to vent the dryer was most likely put together with sheet metal screws. The code specifically prohibits using piping put together with screws. Lint will catch on the screw tips and create a fire hazard. DONDOIT!


@ February 28, 2005 10:41 PM in Roll out switch for a boiler without one?

Are you sure you mean a rollout switch,(ROS) or a blocked vent switch (BVS)? The ROS is usually installed in the boiler vestibule outside of and above the burners. It shuts the gas valve down in the event of a flame rollout into the boiler cabinet. The BVS is installed on the draft hood and will shut down the boiler if the flue is blocked and over heats. Each switch is a great safety feature for detecting heat where it should not be. But I would be very reluctant to try a retro-fit on a boiler that was not engineered with these controls. You will most likely void all manufacturers warranties and god forbid anyone is injured by fire or CO, the liability issues you can raise are all on your head. Check with the manufacturer and find out if they have a retro fit for what you think you require. If they tell you to leave it alone, leave it alone.
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