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hot rod

hot rod

Joined on August 27, 2007

Last Post on July 31, 2014

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fairly necessary

@ July 3, 2014 5:37 PM in True RMS

if troubleshooting modern HVAC controls and equipment. I know the output from the triac relay on many solar controls cannot be read accurately with a non RMS meter. Worth the extra bucks I think.

A good RMS explanation here from Extech

for what reason?

@ July 3, 2014 12:53 PM in Pump Exercise

do you want to exercise them? To prevent them from seizing up over non-use seasons?

I know Grundfos has a little "tickler" built into the pumps to help wake them up after long shut down periods.

Usually the biggest cause of stuck rotors is bad water quality, in closed loop applications it is best to use a cleaner, good water, and a hydronic treatment chemical. That would protect all the components in the system valves, pumps, boilers and heat exchangers.

the issues

@ July 3, 2014 9:41 AM in Is kiteck the next Entran

and lawsuits dating back to 2006 had to do with fitting failures, dezincification of the high lead content brass, as I understand it. Nevada and Washington state seemed to be the areas where lawsuits started.

I do get pictures of the tube failures from time to time. It either shows delaminating or bubbling inside. Like Entran it seems to be limited to certain batches of the tube?

I don't see installation or handling being the cause? Product or manufacturing glitches?

Kitec to pex couplings?

@ July 2, 2014 5:05 PM in Kitec transition

I think I could work up some compression to compression couplings. We use to supply the brass manifolds to WarmRite/ Kitec so I know our PAP fitting was approved and seals well.

Our fitting has a captive isolation washer. Some feel the aluminum barrier failed due to electrolysis at the brass to aluminum if that washer was not installed. They also have dual o-rings for inside, and a nose o-ring to seal to the coupling or manifold.

All of our fittings are designed to fit tube that is out of spec ID or OD, or even a slight oval shape. Both our inside and outside fitting pieces are tapered to handle some small out of tolerance issues. Hense the "universial" fitting name.

Do you need 1/2 and 3/4" I'll need to round up the center part of the coupling, I know we have the tube fitting that fits manifolds.

how large of a space?

@ July 2, 2014 4:47 PM in Slab Sandwich

pouring a basement in an exisiting home? How much headroom to work with?

For a small area that CreteHeat product is pretty slick. Foam, tube holder, and vapor barrier all in one.

I'd go with 2" also. I wish every job I have done would have been 2", it does make a big difference especially with slab on grade jobs.

Remember some sort of edge insulation/ expansion joint detail.

Slabs poured within 4 concrete walls have a tendency to crack when they heat and expand. They call it external restraint cracking.

Concrete supplier shops have a special foam strip expansion material. Then you slide on this plastic H cap. After the pour, zip the top of that H and fill it with a polyurethane caulk to seal and allow expansion.

Here is a piece of it. I use it between garage slabs and the driveway slab. Allows some movement and a bit of a thermal break. Use foam adhesive to glue it against the basement wall up to the slab pour line. After the pour, zip the top 1/2 off and caulk. Leaves a nice clean detain without an exposed, raw foam edge.

My other wish, looking back would be tighter tube spacing to allow 100- 120F supply temperatures. That allows condensing, solar and heat pumps to work efficiently.

always use heat transfer paste

@ July 1, 2014 1:18 PM in TT Smart 80 & Prestige Solo 110 Summer Gas Usage

many times the sensors are not controlling accurately due to bad thermal conduction.

quality mixers

@ June 30, 2014 4:12 PM in Water Tank Temperature After Shower

the life expectancy of a mix valve, on DHW systems is directly related to the water quality. Water with a lot of minerals, lime, calcium, grit, etc shortens their life. 95% of the mixers we get back are locked up from hard water deposits.

The hardness, but also the temperature of the "hot" water. The hotter the more the minerals preciptate out of solution. Installing a thermostatic mixer on a tank of 160- 180F makes a huge difference in the service life, before cleaning is required. Also the amount of water that flows thru the valve determines how long before cleaning.

Catch 'em before they get too much build up and vinegar will clean them out. If they sieze tightly you may rip an o-ring taking them apart.

Very simple inside a 3 way valve, o-rings, a plastic spool, and a wax cartridge.

To make an accurate valve that meets the strict ASSE standard takes tight tolerances. Tighter tolerances = more maintenance.

That being said, look for a brand with a large body, this allows larger components inside and better flow rates.

Not all thermostatic valves get along well with tankless heaters, the pair tends to fight one another as the tankless ramps up the valve tries to close down and response times between the two get them at odds. There are special thermostatic valves built for tankless heaters, used in Europe where tankless are the main DHW source. They are low Cv and not really adaptable to US markets, however.

I'd also suggest a tankless with a small tank built in, this minimizes the "cold slug" and behaves better with thermostatic valves, as the valve doesn't see wide and quick temperature changes.

The other big problem is improper piping when mixers and recirc systems are combined. Either the valve will drift hot, or lock cold if it does not see a constant supply to the hot port to allow it to respond. ideally a 25-27 delta T between hot in and mixed temperature out, to be 100% accurate, that is part of the ASSE test standard.

As far as I know those "extender" type valves do not have the appropriate ASSE 1070 or 1017 listing and could get you in a bind should someone get burned.

? on the RadPad ap

@ June 30, 2014 1:24 PM in Help with radiant floor in shop

we need to check with Mark to see if this is a project in the works at the RPA. Sure would be a handy ap.

An Apple compatiable HDS would be great also.

need toi know more

@ June 30, 2014 1:22 PM in Help with radiant floor in shop

as Dave mentioned, what other devices are in the circuit? If it has a 3 way thermostatic mix valve, for example, those can have a large pressure drop if they are not specific to radiant.


@ June 30, 2014 1:17 PM in Glycol disposal

most auto supply places NAPA, O-Reillys, AutoZone, etc will take it in small quantities. Quick Lube and others will take it also. Check with your city or county recycling, they may have drop offs.

Large quantities, like 50 gallon barrels can be taken to, or picked up by Safety Kleen, they do charge however.

EG and PG does get mixed all that time as many cars and trucks now come with PG fluids and the auto shops don't know which they are draining and flushing.

It all ends up at a recycling stop where they filter, RO, add new inhibitors and color and see at automotive supply shops.

vertical air purger

@ June 30, 2014 1:09 PM in 2 Gallon electric water heater.

A vertical air purger would be ideal, and add a hygroscopic vent on the towel bar if there is a connection.

Could be that small circ is not providing the 2 fps to get all the air back to the vents? Save those vents for high point applications, they are not a replacement for an air separator.

Maybe pull the circ and be sure that the impeller spins and is not partially plugger and not providing enough flow, it's about the only thing that may have changed.

4 loops, 400 feet long

@ June 29, 2014 11:42 PM in Help with radiant floor in shop

18" on center with a 97,000 load. Looks like 2.5 gpm per loop and 14' of head, according to a quick RadPad calc. A Grundfos 26-64 would work. or a mini Magna if you want an ECM.

sorry to hear

@ June 29, 2014 11:28 PM in One of the greatest heating tech' has passed away

I'll keep him in my thoughts.

fixed speed?

@ June 29, 2014 9:44 AM in ECM circulators

Hi Wayne, I know the Grundfos Alpha have 3 fixed speed modes, add a flow meter as the display for GPM on any of the ECMs is not always accurate.

Also the B&G Vario is a basic ECM circ, the Armstrong Compass also.

Be sure to add a magnetic separator with ECM circs, especially old iron systems, and non barrier tube jobs :)

tank performance

@ June 28, 2014 2:33 PM in Water Tank Temperature After Shower

Here is a good article Dave Yates wrote for Contractor magazine, from their online archive. . That 85% number that Dave refers to seem to be close to what I have measured also.

Keep in mind the performance numbers and standby heat loss can be somewhat misleading. Knowing the test conditions is important.

One indirect tank manufacturer tested around 30 of their competitors tanks to see how the number related to reality. Then they changed the conditions until they got the tanks to perform to the advertized numbers :)

In one case to get the "less than 1 degree per hour standby loss" the tank needed to be in a 70° room with 120° tank temperature. So if you do not have the test conditions it's hard to trust, or believe tank performance numbers.

warm the floor

@ June 27, 2014 4:35 PM in Cast Iron baseboard clearance question

before you set the new tile. I've used this product, even sent some to my sister to install as she had her kitchen floor tiled. Tape or use a hot glue gun to "stick" it to the current tile. A notched plastic trowel to spread the thinset and stick the tile.

Nothing beats a warm tiled bathroom floor.

Electric radiant

@ June 27, 2014 2:20 PM in Adding hot water heat to a small bathroom

is ideal for small areas like that, glue it down, tile over it. There are plenty of cable and mesh options for small rooms like that. No need to fire that boiler to keep a nice warm bathroom floor. Nice control options also, setback, floor and air sensors,etc.

how much?

@ June 27, 2014 2:16 PM in Cast Iron baseboard clearance question

if you are just adding 1/4 tile in a thinset above the current floor, I doubt you will notice much output difference. Does the room heat well currently?

If the subfloor below the bathroom is solid and in good condition structurally I would not rip out a good solid mudset tile job, consult with a pro tilesetter for guidence.

There are a number of good closet flange extender products, "google" closet flange extender. I used a couple FTS-4 on my own home to extend a flange that was connected to old 4" cast iron, they have served me well.

I agree

@ June 25, 2014 9:23 PM in Thermal break at overhead doors

With the detail Mike shows. There is a foam strip with a H shaped plastic cap to protect it. After the pour, zip the top portion and fill that space with a polyurethane caulk. I like the detail where the door sets down 1" from the slab. That keeps water from driving under the seal. If a tube is within 12" of the door it will not freeze closed

check on discharge side

@ June 22, 2014 5:24 PM in Hot water first floor, luke warm water second floor

of the pump? it should be. Also a spring check with a cone, or soft seat is better.

Swing checks need a lot of flow to open fully, high Cv valves. They are prone to water hammer due to long travel distance, best for debris laden water like sump and sewage pumps.

Check valves SHOULD be sized by flow rate, not pipe size.

A swing check needs some back flow to shut tightly, a spring check is closed as soon as the pump stops. Consider a properly sized recirc pump with a built in check.

3 way mix valve?

@ June 20, 2014 11:24 AM in Hot water first floor, luke warm water second floor

in the piping?

keep an eye

@ June 19, 2014 10:06 PM in Can the boiler be the air scoop?

on that boiler, I don't see any return temperature protection. It looks like a lot of mass and water content if the building is piped with big steel pipe. That boiler may operate in condensing mode for some time at startup.
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