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Mark Eatherton

Mark Eatherton

Joined on November 10, 2007

Last Post on April 19, 2014

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I agree...

@ April 19, 2014 7:33 PM in PEX pipe split (hydronic)

In most of the cases where I have been involved, the tubing ends up on the bottom of the slab profile. Even with rebar and or mesh on chairs, it still ends up close to the bottom at points.

I suspect that in this case, the tube was near the bottom of the slab, and the slab was on XPS insulation. When the tubing finally got to the freeze solid point, the expansion of the fluid in a tube will generate pressures in excess of 20,000 PSI. The insulation gave way when the tube pushed downward due to expanding ice. Had it been more near the top, it would have caused the top of the concrete to spall, showing exactly where the tubing was located.

I have to ask though, who in their right mind would NOT evacuate the tubing after the pressure test. Technically speaking, it is against code to use compressed air for pressure testing plastic pipe (UMC, USEHC, UPC) due to possibility of a catastrophic failure. We attempted to get the use of compressed air approved for codes, but got resistance from the plastics industry.

I have seen PVC and CVPC break in a pattern similar to this, but in most cases, by the time they get done doing "jack hammer surgery" to remove PEX from a slab, there's not much left of the tubing to diagnose anyway.

Honestly can't say I've seen PEX fail in tis mode, but just when you think you've seen everything, you find out you have not seen jack squat…

ME

Thanks Wayne...

@ April 19, 2014 11:43 AM in CPVC in hydronic heating system

I love it when someone causes me to think in different ways and to do some research.

From MR. PEX' web site, I found:

What was the result?
What does DIN 4726 actually say?
The last page of the standard includes explanations, so the basis becomes clear. Following is a translation of the section describing their considerations: “Experience from heating systems have since long established that corrosion levels in hydronic systems with ferrous metals are acceptable at the level one exchange of the system water (to fresh water) per annum. This corresponds to an oxygen amount of 0.05g/(cu.meter * day). An “allow- ance” of doubling this amount is given (allowing for measurement inaccuracy) to make the “tightness require- ment” to be 0.1 grams (per cubic meter and day). Plastic tubing shall meet this requirement after having been thermocycled between 70°C (158°F) and 20°C (68°F) for 28 days while tightly coiled, and a final permeability measurement then carried out at 40°C (104°F) (repeated 3 times). Typically, non-barrier plastic tubing allows about 5 grams to enter; 50 times more than allowable. For tubing that does not meet this permeability require- ment either of following measures must be taken:
• corrosion-resistant components must be used either in the
whole system or at least in parts which come into contact
with water flowing through the plastic pipes.

Here is the full article: http://www.mrpexsystems.com/pdf/Diffusion.pdf

So, if my interpretations are correct, CPVC does allow significantly more oxygen into a system than would a barrier oxygen product, and all wetted components should be dealt with accordingly. This will require a regular and continuous monitoring and adjustment of water quality (corrosion inhibitors, oxygen scavengers, pH etc).

Even though the code says it's OK to do it, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Remember, most codes allow the use of open combination space heating/DHW systems with a single fluid…

Thanks for posting the information you did.

Let's ask superdave. What KIND of problems are you seeing in the field that brought this to your attention? Corrosion, joint failure, pipe failure, pipes sagging, leaks?

ME

Really?

@ April 19, 2014 9:28 AM in CPVC in hydronic heating system

Wethead7, I am hoping there was a typo in your statement. To the best of my knowledge, there is no oxygen barrier PVC or CPVC on the market.

Got reference articles/stories?

As others have said, it is not a standard practice, and I suspect there are economic rea$on$ as to why. It looks to me like a handyman took on the job and didn't trust his soldering skills, but knew how to do plastic fusion/solvent welding.

I see green pumps, which are cast iron. I suspect that rust never sleeps on this job…

ME

Fine with me...

@ April 18, 2014 3:20 PM in Glycol

ME

Pumpin' the hump...

@ April 18, 2014 9:40 AM in Glycol

Alan, If you don't know for sure how much fluid is in the system, it is best to purge with compressed air into buckets, keeping an inventory of what comes out. As HR said, use only glycols developed for solar thermal applications. Glycol, when exposed to stagnation conditions (350 F ) breaks down into a glycolic acid. It likes to eat copper at that point, which is not good. Solar fluid has a more robust corrosion inhibition package than conventional hydronic glycnoids. Use the lowest ambient temperature, and add 20 degrees F to that for proper freeze protection, but don't go less than 30% in order to provide minimum corrosion inhibition. The less glycol the better, to a certain point (30%)

You will need a pump with enough head to get the fluid to the top of the system, and maintain enough velocity at the return to develop a siphon on the downcomer. I find that a sewage lift station/foundation dewatering type of pump has this capacity and won't cost an arm and two legs… Velocity needs to be above 5 FPS at the top of a system, and that depends upon the size of pipe the downcomer is.

Once you know capacity, premix your glycol at a slightly stronger rate than you want to see, and when you have the system filled with the premix, you can use city water pressure to top off the system to its normal operating pressure. Dilution due to the use of straight water for pressurizing is negated by the fact that you overcompensated glycol concentration in the first place. If you have a good hand powered hydrostatic pump, then go in at recommended concentration and use hand pump to top off.

Don't even think about doing this process during full sun. Or you will learn the steam generating potential of stagnated solar panels, and having been there and done that and still having scars to prove it, you do not want to go there. If need be, cover the array with tarps to keep it from seeing the sun.

If there is an automatic air vent on the top of the system, make sure it is closed tight during the filling operation or the bubbles will NEVER come out of suspension, and establishing a siphon will be next to impossible. Learned that trick the hard way as well…

When pumping fluid in, run the system pump, and it will add its capacity to your charge pump, making filling, establishing siphon and sweeping air back down to your charging buckets much easier.

Lots of buckets filled with premix will keep you form having to start and stop. Once through, in and out, and get 'er done. And use short washing machine hoses for making the connections between the pump, the system, the system and the buckets. Keep the return hose submerged in the bucket, and during post fill circulation, when the bubbles stop rising up from the end of the return hose, you are completely filled and ready to top off. Once completely charged, open AV on top, and start and stop pump numerous times, giving any air you missed to vent thru the AV. I've put a ballon on the outlet of the AV so I can see how much air is still coming out.

Don't forget your safety gear whilst on the roof :-)

ME

Interesting read...

@ April 16, 2014 8:28 PM in Better Business Bureau

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_Business_Bureau

Personally, I have no faith in them. I've seen people who list themselves as "Members" who have horrible business ethics and practices, and a long list of complaints, but none of them show up when you check the BBB list.

ME

Smoke stick versus IR….

@ April 16, 2014 8:10 PM in Thermal Imaging

Having spent three days in a BPI class, I was exposed to the use of smoke sticks. They do work great for checking leaks around windows, doors etc. But to look at can lights on a vaulted ceiling, or something similar, IR stands out hands down.

Maybe a remote extension handle smoke stick???

Knowing how much infiltration is absolutely important information, but knowing WHERE it's coming from is important too.

ME

Yes…. and no.

@ April 16, 2014 4:25 PM in Thermal Imaging

A good energy conservation contractor carries one with them, but in order for it to be able to "see" the points of infiltration, there has to be a BIG differential in air temperature between the inside and the outsides of the home. You also need a blower door to compound the infiltration in order for it to show. If the inside versus outside air temperature differential is zero, then you will not be able to see any thermal traces of where the infiltration is coming from.

Just like you wouldn't be able to see any thermal leaking on the exterior of the building if it were 70 degrees F outside while looking at the exterior skin of the building.

In order to SEE a difference, there has to BE a difference. The IR camera is only looking for differentials.

ME

The Fall class could be in your living room too...

@ April 15, 2014 12:19 AM in So you want to learn how to be profitable in retrofitting hydronics eh...

It will be one of the classes we are offering at the RPA University College of Hydronic Knowledge. But it won't be free, but I guarantee you that if you put HALF of what you learn to use, it WILL pay for itself.

More on this and other offerings later.

THanks for continuing to learn.

ME

It's in your living room...

@ April 14, 2014 9:13 PM in So you want to learn how to be profitable in retrofitting hydronics eh...

if that's where you keep your internet connected PC. It is a webinar, held at 12:00 noon Central time. Oh, and by the way, it's free for EVERYONE.

So yes, it IS in LI NY :-)

ME

So you want to learn how to be profitable in retrofitting hydronics eh...

@ April 14, 2014 6:14 PM in So you want to learn how to be profitable in retrofitting hydronics eh...

How to Sell Retrofit Hydronics PROFITABLY

A FREE webinar Lunch -n-Learn brought to you by the RPA.
This is a pre-cursor to a class that I am putting together in much greater detail for delivery this Fall at the HeatSpring/RPA College of Hydronic Knowledge.

Here are the details. Sorry for the short notice, and if you can't make that time, it will be archived for viewing at a later date.
Title: How to Sell Retrofit Hydronics PROFITABLY.
URL:  [u][color=#0066cc][u][color=#0000ff]https://iapmo.webex.com/iapmo/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=661656543[/color][/u][/color][/u]
Time: 12:00 CDT
Date: April 16th
Cost:  Free to RPA/IAPMO members
Presenter: Mark Eatherton
Description:  In today’s environmentally conscience world, many people are looking for ways to retrofit their home to not only make it more cost effective to condition, but also more comfortable. Mark has 38 years of experience in this arena and will show participants some of his “trade secrets” to selling these wonderful systems to the end users for more money than your competition is selling them for. This course will introduce you to some methods of determining your direct costs of doing business, as well as show you how to build an eye popping contractual proposal that will let your customer know that you are serious about getting their business and making them spend less and enjoy comfort more.

Thank you for the use of your web site for getting the word out on this webinar Dan.

ME

So you want to learn how to be profitable in retrofitting hydronics eh...

@ April 14, 2014 6:12 PM in So you want to learn how to be profitable in retrofitting hydronics eh...

How to Sell Retrofit Hydronics PROFITABLY

A FREE webinar Lunch -n-Learn brought to you by the RPA.
This is a pre-cursor to a class that I am putting together in much greater detail for delivery this Fall at the HeatSpring/RPA College of Hydronic Knowledge.

Here are the details. Sorry for the short notice, and if you can't make that time, it will be archived for viewing at a later date.
Title: How to Sell Retrofit Hydronics PROFITABLY.
URL:  [u][color=#0000ff]https://iapmo.webex.com/iapmo/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=661656543[/color][/u]
Time: 12:00 CDT
Date: April 16th
Cost:  Free to RPA/IAPMO members
Presenter: Mark Eatherton
Description:  In today’s environmentally conscience world, many people are looking for ways to retrofit their home to not only make it more cost effective to condition, but also more comfortable. Mark has 38 years of experience in this arena and will show participants some of his “trade secrets” to selling these wonderful systems to the end users for more money than your competition is selling them for. This course will introduce you to some methods of determining your direct costs of doing business, as well as show you how to build an eye popping contractual proposal that will let your customer know that you are serious about getting their business and making them spend less and enjoy comfort more.

Thank you for the use of your web site for getting the word out on this webinar Dan.

ME

I saw one take out 10 square city blocks of power...

@ April 13, 2014 5:52 PM in But he's SO cute

I was working on a low-high rise (14 storie's) and just as I was walking out the mechanical room into the alley, there was a BRIGHT flash, like lightning, except it was a severe clear day. All of the lights in the building went dark, including the elevator. Shortly thereafter, I could hear a sizzle coming from down the alley, and people were looking up and pointing, so I walked down to see what was up, and there was Rocky J, right across two primaries, just off a transformer… The local power company showed up (along with numerous fire vehicles to rescue people stuck in elevators)

I asked the guy from the power company what the resistance value of Rocky J was, and he smiled, looked up and said "Enough to trip big circuit breaker…"

I concur. Tree rats.

ME

I figured they already had HArvey...

@ April 13, 2014 12:15 PM in What do you think of when somebody says Hydronics?

Refrigeration waste heat recovery was a hot item back 25 years ago when I first got involved with the dairy industry.

They have full condensing tanks which take even more than jus the super heat out of the refrigerant. Have had since forever. That is one tough market to break in to. Lots of very established full service companies available to the industry.

ME

Additional energy savings...

@ April 12, 2014 12:43 PM in What do you think of when somebody says Hydronics?

Harv, good on you for seeing the obvious (fphx pre-cooling) . Now if you can take the additional refrigerant waste heat from the final cooling operations and stick that heat into the hot water production program you will save additional money on energy used for washing (cow udders, equipment washing etc). It can significantly increase cooling efficiency, and the equipment is available off shelf.

Dairy farmers, in fact farmers in general get all of my respect for their knowledge of ALL mechanical systems, and their resourcefulness.

A small solar thermal system would have a high degree of utilization as well, assuming the radiation is available...

ME

I've used all of them...

@ April 9, 2014 11:48 PM in Problems with Open radiant floor system

They all work on the principal of running water through a magnetic coil field.

The last one I installed at my mountain home was a clear wave,

http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/electronic-water-softener.htm

I've spoken with people who have said they could TASTE a difference. I don't drink the water from up there, but can tell a big difference in the way water comes off of dishes etc. It sheens off whereas before it just stuck to the dishes and dried leaving a hard water mark… There are still lime marks if you don't hand dry (we do), but they;re real easy to get off.

Thanks for contributing. And thanks for the thanks. I'm here to help.

ME

Start with the Daikin rep...

@ April 9, 2014 9:50 AM in Looking for residential installer in Denver, Colorado

Shamrock Sales, three zero three-399-9181

Are you absolutely sure it will work? There are limitations on the temperature output of these ASHP systems that may not be compatible with your system design. Baseboard is typically designed around a 180 degree F average temperature.

ME

No expertise in water treatment on the potable side...

@ April 9, 2014 9:21 AM in Problems with Open radiant floor system

But I am aware that if a UV light is used, that it can and will ENHANCE certain algae blooms. Make sure the one you buy has a "bulb wiper" assembly, which will allow you to physically clean the light bulb of any alga that has accumulated on the light emitting surface.

Filters are also going to create a pressure drop you didn't have before. With a municipal water system, it shouldn't be a problem, assuming you have decent water pressure to begin with.

I have successfully used magnetohydrodynamic water conditioners for treatment of limescale, which is sounds like you are dealing with. I have been publicly chastised for stating so, and quite honestly, I DO NOT CARE. If it didn't work, I wouldn't have suggested its use. I've used them all over this country, and with the exception of some :glass water" conditions, typically found in Texas (silica calcification versus lime calcification) they work as designed. Are there some bogus hocus pocus devices out there? You betcha, so make sure you are dealing with a reputable organization, like Chemtune.

The only thing I use to do for water treatment was to remove sodium ion exchange softeners due to the health hazards associated with its use for people with a propensity to have high blood pressure from ingesting sodium.

ME

Report it to the utility purveyor...

@ April 8, 2014 8:46 AM in Contractor kicked out of house for doing CO test

THEY are on the hook for having had provided the fuel in the first place, and they also have the authority to enter, notify and if ignored, sever service to the affected building(s).

We can probably thank 60 Minutes and all of the other sensational contractor entrapment shows for this marked change in attitudes. Wonder how THEY would feel if some one gets sick or worse from a true condition.

Remember, you touched it last, and therefore you OWN the problem, regardless of whether the consumer accepts that facts or not. The long arm(s) of the law will eventually find their way to you and your pockets. Trust me, been there, done that, have scars to prove it.

Travek safely and tread lightly.


ME

Response to MTC.

@ April 6, 2014 10:22 AM in Problems with Open radiant floor system

Sorry, life got in my way… Thanks for the kudos. I try and be as reasonable as I can, regardless of who or what is being tossed out. This forum is about people learning. I am here to share my knowledge and experience.

Information from CDC is somewhat misleading in that ti doesn't give you the required time of exposure to completely eradicate the dangerous pathogens in the water, Also, the bacteria have the ability to shield themselves with numerous defense mechanisms. Hospitals have proven over time that the acceptable scald sanitization temperatures are inadequate, requiring them to do a long term and regular flushing with outlet temperatures at the spigots at 180 degrees for at least an hour. Yes, your temperatures are supressing the bacteria count, but complete eradication requires a lot higher temperatures for a lot longer periods, and flat plainly and simply stated, there are no guarantees that it will be completely effective in corralling the bacteria and killing them completely off. Isolation with a heat exchanger is the only guaranteed way of limiting a known exposure to a know hazard/source.

As it pertains to biofilm/bio slime, unless you physically cut the tubing, you will not realize it is there. It is in ALL of the plumbing water lines. Its presence in copper is less noticeable than in plastic. Plastic represents a perfect growing medium. Copper is a natural suppressant to the growth of bacteria. Copper sulphate is commonly used to control algae growth in ponds etc. Trust me, it IS there, and it is an ideal growth medium to enhance the amplification of bacteria. As it pertains to potability, our water (North America in general) is substantially much better than most of the other water of the world. Without the methods we use for chemical sanitization, our population would be MUCH worse off than we are. If you think a well source would be better, remember that one mans leaching field is another man's surface water source. Also remember that the bacteria is in the dirt, therefore its in the water. CDC has done numerous studies, and continues to update the data. Most people who drink water are exposed to the bacteria, without harm. It is when your immune system is depressed, and you inhale the bacteria deep into your lungs that it becomes an issue. Once into your lungs phillia (small hairs) it is in an ideal growth consideration and begins amplification and infection. Unless you can guarantee that you can kill 100% of the bacteria, which you can't unless you are willing to run MUCH higher temperatures throughout your WHOLE system ALL the time, you have a potential. Studies have found bacteria still inside of tanks maintained at high temperatures due to stratification layers which occur within the tank naturally.

Re: tube condensation, under your current method of operation, you've not run it long enough to see sweating. Hook it up the way they recommend with the bypass, and start irrigating your homes lawns, and you WILL see condensation production. It's not the first, and won't be the last time its' been seen. The only good thing about mold growth, is that if you take away just one critical required element, the bacteria ceases growing. The bad thing is, as soon as that missing element is reintroduced, it comes back. Moisture is key.

Internet peddlars have a tendency to be material intensive designs. They are dealing with DIYers, and DIYer's rarely know how to properly solder, so they configure them with as many non soldered connections as possible. Pumps cost a LOT more than zone valves, in initial price as well as the cost of operation, hence your pumps. Mechanical items are subject to potential failure. Timers fail, pumps fail, check valves fail, and then a bacterial colony gets a foot hold. It is an acceptable method, but the use of zone valves is also done, and there is not a controller on the market that will open zone valves and purge zones. Trust me, I've already researched this item for proposed code changes.

My exposure and contraction came from asimple 30 gallon LP self contained water heater tank in my second home. I was trying to save propane so I wouldn't have to move a full LP tank, and was turning the tank to PILOT during the week when I was not there, and when I was there, I kept it set just above vacation low, again to conserve LP. And yes, regular DHW systems DO represent a substantial point of exposure, and yes we are fighting an uphill battle to get it addressed, and it is being addressed in the codes, but due to the open consensus process, will most probably get shot down in the end by water heater manufacturers. The solution is higher hold temperatures, less dead branch lengths, and anti-scald mixing valves at the source of supply and the points of use in some cases. Research continues on an acceptable method of sterilization, but immediate relief on the horizon. The reason that the CDC can't definitively point their finger at DHW heating systems is because it is not required to report cases of bacterial pneumonia, which is the first diagnosis. In my case, I had to ASK to be tested after exposure. My MD didn't want to test, but instead wanted only to treat. Same thing with associated deaths. For example "Poor old guy passed away. What'd he die from? Pneumonia. Oh, too bad. Oh well, he had a good long life…" If additional research had been done, they would have found the infection. It is THE most common misdiagnosed disease in the WORLD, and domestic hot water heating systems, and extended systems like your own are known hangouts for the bacteria, and in certain cases are considered ideal conditions by which the bacteria can amplify.

The scale you found in your pipes also acts as a house for the bacteria. They need this stuff to colonize. The bio-slime is universally coating the insides of the pipe. Next time you have the system open, use a Q-tip and wipe the insides of the pipe. You will see it. It exists every where in the water. Your system has a LOT of moving parts, and unless you hug your heating system every day, all it takes is one component to fail (i.e. timer of pump or check valve) and your exposure to the bacteria increases significantly.

Quite honestly, the CDC has not specifically studied this type of system for potential issues. Their research is primarily based on the noscomial (hospital) settings, and they know if its there, where prescriptive avoidance is being done, and still isn't effective, then it is fairly safe to assume it is in your system and systems line theirs. If it were as safe as people say t is, and proven, then I'd have no issues with its use. Unfortunately, those studies do not exist.

Lastly, your assessment is correct. The new lead free laws must be adhered to. The new lead free "copper alloy" fittings are a royal PITA to solder,so good idea to go with threads. I suspect that long term, we will probably find other "issues" related to the lead free fittings that will cause us to look back and say "What WERE we thinking with that move???" But only time will tell. Sometimes, our government does things to us in the name of protecting us, without looking at all of the side consequences, but that is a topic for another place,and another time. Thank you for acknowledging that this system should not be recommended to just anyone. Even under perfectly ideal considerations, there still exists a potential of inadvertent exposure, that can quickly accelerate into bacterial pneumonia.

It sounds as though you have a substantial background in the trades. You are not the norm that attempts to do one of these systems. Our primary concern is peoples health, not the potential loss of business associated with the DIYers of the world. Most of the people who frequent this site are DIYers to one degree or another. I am. But I have had enough exposure (38 years in the trades) to know that I am comfortable doing the things I do. I am also the first to admit my lack of knowledge and or skill and will hire qualified person to take care of those tasks for me.

Thanks for keeping this conversation civil.

ME

MTC...

@ April 3, 2014 11:07 PM in Problems with Open radiant floor system

You and millions of others have been misled. I know YOU don't want to hear it, and you obviously consider yourself an expert in all things legionella. So, you can take from this what you want, but it is my intention to keep other less qualified people from making a deadly mistake. As a matter of fact, besides myself, I know of two other people who had your exact system installed in their home, who were reasonably healthy, who got infected with Legionaires disease. Both of them were running higher storage tank temperatures, both had the "cold water" flush, and both had circulators with timers on their systems.

First off, having high temperatures is one thing, but in order to completely kill ALL bacteria, there is a time/temperature exposure thing in order for scald sanitization to take place. You would have to have the WHOLE system maintained at temperatures above 130 degrees in order to completely kill all water born bacteria, of which Legionella is only one. Look up the term Legionellosis for more information. Also, it is physically impossible to get extremely hot water throughout every part of the system.

The bacteria is in the water to begin with. Actually, it is omnipresent in the dirt, therefore it is in the water. "cold water flushing" only insures that there is a constant supply of fresh oxygenated water, carrying additional fresh bacteria and food to your legionella amplifier. In addition, during certain parts of the year, your cold water flush, and their alleged "FREE" cooling system is causing the tubing to condense, which can create unsafe conditions associated with the production of black mold and a whole other bunch of nasty diseases that your insurance company will not cover your home, or your loss of health for. Radiant cooling, done right, requires constant monitoring of the dew point (a moving target in and of itself) and adjustment in order to avoid the production of condensation.

The use of pump timers is really not a legitimate means of avoiding any issues, and in fact, it is an extremely wasteful means of trying to appease the code authorities. How much sense does it make to pump hot enough water through the floors during the cooling season,in order to provide a feeling of false security, and allegedly eradicate any water born bacteria? Really? Based on the potential waste of energy, this deadly practice could be outlawed on this flaw alone.

The simple single zone, single pump designs that the internet pedalers push are woefully short of a reasonably designed installation, and if a person decides they want to put in zone valves to provide one of the many reasons why a properly installed hydronc system is considered so efficient, unless the zone valves are open, and trust me on this, there are NO controllers on the market that will open the zone valves during a pump exercising period, there is virtually NO fluid being moved through the system. Even if there were, it would only serve to flush large quantities of bacteria back into the storage tank, thereby exposing an end user in the shower to a lung full of deadly bacteria.

As for normal chemical methods of sanitization (chlorine) it would require constant exposure to concentrations of chlorine around 10 times stronger than the normal required minimums. When that quantity is exceeded, bad things happen to plastic pipes (embrittlement and failure), metal pipes (chemical erosion in copper) and human pipes. They are working on some other methods of chemical sanitization (silver and copper based products) but it is going to be a LONG time before they get their approvals.

Over in Europe, where hydronics was invented, it is ILLEGAL to have an open system of this design in place. In fact, they require a scald sanitization of the potable hot water tank, and the distribution systems in order to reduce the potential exposure to the deadly bacteria.

If you want some "official" information, I'd suggest that you go to the CDC web site and enter the term Legionelosis into their web search engine and see what comes back. Legionairres disease, according to the CDC is one of THE MOST misdiagnosed diseases in the WORLD. Commonly misdiagnosed as bacterial pneumonia.

As it pertains to the codes allowing this, there are numerous movements under way to make this practice against the code without having a plate or other type of heat exchanger to isolate the space heating water from the potable water. In fact, depending upon WHO is interpreting the codes, it is already a violation of the code, because the water becomes water of "questionable character" as it sits in the heating system during non space heating periods.

Most of the people (I am a a licensed Master plumber) who contribute to this forum are licensed plumbers, and as such are charged with the protection of potable water supplies and the health of the people who use them, and we would be in violation of some strict ethical requirement provisions for keeping and maintaining our licenses. With that said, don't expect a lot of advice condoning what it is that you have installed in your home.

As a survivor of Legionairres disease, I can tell you that this is something that I would not wish upon my worst enemy.

You can do what you want to do with this information and advice, but thanks for bringing the subject up, which allows us to educate other consumers who may have also been misled into thinking that the practice is safe, when in fact, it is not.

By the way, I use to have this very same system in my own home, and when I took it apart, I saw some things (bio slime) in the tubing that I realized that I would NEVER intentionally expose my family or my customers to. This is where the bacteria hangs out and amplifies.

By the way, it is illegal to use bronze or brass components in a potable water distribution system effective 1/1/14. so your only potential fix is to use a stainle$$ $teel check valve, and regardless of wether you go swing or spring, this problem (fouling) will raise its ugly head again, so best provide an easy means of isolation (ball valves) and removal (unions).

Good luck in your adventures.

ME

I agree with SWEI...

@ April 1, 2014 3:03 PM in Hydronic radiant heating subtleties

I wouldn't attempt to use hydronic radiant for a porch. If yours system is set up correctly with ODR, it would take the panels FOREVER to respond due to lower water temperatures on the shoulder seasons.

I'd still recommend a twist timer AND a line voltage thermostat for the gas fired radiant heater. Mine makes me TOO hot, so I have to do the rotisarie method of temperature control (turn….. turn…. turn…).

Make sure you install it per the manufacturer as it pertains to clearances, etc.

ME
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