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The Wall
nicholas bonham-carter

nicholas bonham-carter

Joined on November 24, 2007

Last Post on July 31, 2014

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Recent Posts

once again intrusion by the bots

@ May 19, 2008 1:15 AM in more intrusions by the \"bots\"

they are back in the post in front of this one with plenty of clickable links to tempt the unwary. will we ever be rid of them?? they are like the first mice of winter--so hard to get rid of!! --nbc


@ May 16, 2008 6:54 PM in Peerless or Smith? Any Reviews or Recommendations? or why wouldn't this sort of valve work as a hi-lo-hi vave? i know the boiler manufacturer doesn't offer it but then they really don't know about the importance of LOW pressure steam for heating either.would it be worth a try?--nbc

boiler choice

@ May 16, 2008 5:48 PM in Peerless or Smith? Any Reviews or Recommendations?

no matter which one you choose--make sure the representative for that make is close are unlikely to need any parts--but just in case. also get a vaporstat [0-16 oz.] right off the bat with a low pressure gauge so you can see ounces of sense in just having a standard presuretrol and then throwing it away--better not to have bought it in the first place. there may be an option for a hi-lo-hi burner so give some very serious consideration to that feature which will allow the maintaining of a few ounces of pressure more constantly without the burner on--burner off method. there is more difference between the different boilermen than there is between boiler makes [gross oversimplification ?] good luck--nbc

geothermal ice melt

@ May 15, 2008 1:18 PM in geothermal ice melt

COOL!!--no it's hot nbc


@ May 15, 2008 10:46 AM in Dial Thermometer

some oven thermometers have this range and could be checked for accuracy and more important have a nice large face [made by taylor ,i think ]--nbc

old joe

@ May 8, 2008 11:32 AM in God speed, \"Old Joe.\" (Dan H.)

i see that he wrote a book on steam heat--do you have it in your archives? that's always a good sign when an expert can write [or even describe ] what he intends to do to the nonexpert. when i studied automobile engineering years ago ,we had to describe the working of such things as a differential on the really gives you the whole brain workout.--nbc


@ May 8, 2008 7:57 AM in Van graphics survey

they talk about "eye-catching graphics" when they should be concerned with information and legibility from a distance and neither van is particularly good in that respect. think about the comercial vehicles you see while driving and what makes some of them stand out as adverts for the owner. better test all proposed graphics on people without teenage eyesight here on the wall!!--nbc

now here is a race for you!!

@ May 6, 2008 11:44 PM in Energy Policy? i don't believe any one of these teams have had any enormous government subsidies but look what they have done both here and [of course ]in europe. just making it "cool" to go so far on 1 liter is a great psychological boost for the rest of us--nbc

energy policy?? what a joke!!

@ May 6, 2008 12:27 PM in Energy Policy?

what sort of transpotation energy policy would put a higher tax on the most heat efficient fuel [diesel] and provide money for research into hydrogen which will take a long time to make into a practical fuel no matter how much money is spent on it ?--nbc

1-pipe steam boiler change

@ May 5, 2008 12:20 PM in Transition from Oil to Gas with one-pipe Steam System (Resid.)

our 1885 1 pipe system runs better than ever with our new peerless 1,050,000 btu boiler. i now wish that i had taken care of the following at the time of installation in stead of 2 mos. later when it was already very cold.some economies are certainly false. changing all the main vents. near boiler return piping was incorrect and not well sloped contributing to a time lag in condensate returning back so for brief periods the boiler was unable to fire due to low water for 15 minutes or so. i wish i had ordered the hi-lo-hi burner right off the bat as it does seem to be a benefit for this type of system. make sure you get a vaporstat--[dont bother with regular pressuretrol] and a good low pressure gauge 0-3 psi. we donot have any condensate return pump and will try to avoid it as it is 1 more thing maybe to go wrong in a few years. once you have found a competent steam man[not neccessarily the same as plumber]you can be his eyes and ears for any problem diagnosis. hope these observations have been helpful.--nbc

revenge of the giant boiler

@ May 3, 2008 12:03 AM in Oversize steam boiler

i wonder if any steamies here would consider the posibility of using a modulating burner in this situation to even out the disparity between boiler size and the edr of the rest of the system. when in doubt--modulate!!--nbc

warren webster

@ May 2, 2008 2:54 PM in warren webster #DO23 vent traps.

i think warren would turn in his grave if he knew one of his components was running at such a high pressure. maybe if you crank the pressure down to ounces it will work without rebuilding. i suggest you get a 0-3 psi gauge from and try 6 OZ. on the vaporstat and it may start working again.--nbc

safety regs

@ May 2, 2008 2:07 PM in Plumbing: New mandated gas stove shutoff valve location?

this looks like a feature which should be incorporated IN THE STOVE. imagine pulling pots and pans out of a cupboard next to the stove [that's on fire!!]only to discover that the gas stop valve is on the OTHER SIDE!! a large red button should be on the stove top ready to be pushed in an emergency. i am certainly in favor of safety regs ,but let's have them well thought out. i am sure that all of you can think of other well-meaning but ultimately ineffective [or dangerous] regulations.--nbc e]

steam heat

@ May 1, 2008 2:09 PM in STEAM HEAT

it seems like your choices range from making do with what you have to complete replacement.did you tell us what your boiler was? why not check over the summer the following things: 1] is this boiler the correct size for your radiators?--dan's book [available here] will aid you in calculating this yourself. 2] is the water clean and at the right level? 3] are the steam mains insulated all the way to the returns?are the near boiler pipes properly installed? 4] is the gas burner clean and burning "blue"? 5] is your thermostat functioning properly [i got a honeywell vision pro and it seems to improve the temperature constancy]. 6]is the pressuretrol set as low as possible [under 16 OUNCES is best] all of these things can add up to fuel wasteage like frozen brakes or a dirty air filter on your car.any other system of heat is going to cost some $$$$$$$$$$ to run ,so before you throw out the old system make sure it is really unrepairable. consulting one the pros listed on this site might be a good idea ,although you can do most of the above your self and get a real sense of accomplishment [and warmth !!] when its all done.let us know how it turns out--nbc

loud vents

@ May 1, 2008 1:43 PM in Too loud venting valves - help!

sounds like still too much pressure and dirty water to me.try going chemical free and skimming the boiler. what is your pressure anyway?should be less than 16 OUNCES measured with an accurate 0--3 psi gauge [from ] mounted on a clean pigtail.--nbc

B & G sliding downhill?

@ May 1, 2008 9:53 AM in bell and gosset quality control

it's ironic that B & G are featured on dan's latest newsletter.i wonder how they would respond to these reports of declining quality and reliability. for that matter if you were the B & G ceo,how would you respond?--nbc

summertime heating

@ May 1, 2008 8:39 AM in Steam Heat System in the Summer

i don't see how a 1-pipe steam system would have any reason to fire in summer unless it is making hot water,but you would have mentioned that in the post if that were the case. possible cause could be a faulty thermostat or other burner control. this raises the question as to what is best for summer storage on a steam boiler without DHW --overfill ,or leave at normal waterline?--nbc

a modest proposal

@ April 28, 2008 9:01 AM in Snow melt

what about a "green" compromise here? years ago the state of colorado installed some geothermal ice melt systems on high mountain roads [they called them heat pipes] were they ever effective? what about a ground loop supplying 40 degree liquid to the driveway with heat applied only when badly needed. the most important benefit would be prevension of freezing the ice to the concrete making easier for those kids to shovel. what happens anyway when the melting snow runs down to the street--does it cause an even bigger problem??--nbc


@ April 27, 2008 3:47 PM in microwave technology

also very good for washing machines--nbc

the wall of appliances

@ April 26, 2008 11:35 PM in hard water issues

check out this site for dishwasher [and more appliance ] repair info. just like the wall i learned enough to deal with the same problem you are having.the parts needed [wands etc.] are not expensive to replace and i never was able to clean them except as a temporary fix.nbc

bots caught on camera

@ April 25, 2008 11:21 AM in bots caught on camera!!

here they are--next they will be delivering your new boiler to the jobsite!!as you can see they are getting pretty close to where most of you work.--nbc

radio frequency

@ April 24, 2008 7:59 AM in Radiator will not stop whistling - even when it's off!

wow !!can we really listen to the news on our radiotors? this i would like to know more about-nbc