Joined on January 2, 2008
Last Post on November 7, 2013
@ November 7, 2013 5:46 PM in Honeywell T7400 thermostatI have a Honeywell T7400 Thermostat serving a portable class room. The thermostat controls a Temspec Unit Fan Ventilator with electric elements for heating - serves to ventilate (using some outside air/damper) as well as heat the space. There is an enthalpy controller with no real markings on it inside the unit venitilator with 4 contacts labelled 1, 2, 3, & 4, which connect to terminals 1, 2, 3, & 4 (respectively) of the above mentioned thermostat. Before I go jumping things to see if the thermostat is the culprit to the problem that the heat doesn't seem to be controlled properly, I want to know if these are just 2 sets of dry contacts (how do they correspond to todays thermostat terminal letters)? I have contacted Tempsec who is looking for a manual for me on their ventilator/wiring which is designed with this thermostat as standard equipment.
@ August 22, 2013 2:54 PM in Navien NR-240-A Combustion Analysis?Hey guys - I've sent Navien an email about this but I want to see if anyone in here knows as well. I've read through the instruction manual included with the unit and other then recommended gas pressure range, I can not find any combustion (analysis) specifications. Anyone know? (I'm a Class 'A' Gas Fitter in BC Canada commissioning some of these at work - I WILL be putting an analyzer on it).
@ July 9, 2013 2:33 AM in combustion analyzerDo I get a Thank you now that you are actually following my advice?
@ July 9, 2013 2:30 AM in Viessmann Vitodens 100 vs 200?The Vitodens heat exchanger, has a stainless steel casing around the heat exchanger which seperates the wet flue gas/condensate, that has moved from the combustion zone through the heat exchanger passages, from the intake air in the boiler cabinet. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but IF the air temperature in the boiler cabinet is less than 130 F say, condensation should (if it did not occur on the heat exchanger for some reason i.e. higher water temps) occur on the walls of this casing (where it would run down to the condesate drain) and transfer the latent heat to the combustion air, correct? (effectively raising the combustion air temp a bit causing slightly increased efficiency in the combustion process). '
NOW, would there not be any room for Viessmann to put a second, plastic, casing around the stainless heat exchanger casing with a space between the plastic & stainless layers, and a large opening at the top, and have the combustion air pull it's air from this area? That way it's sucking the hottest air possible from the boiler cabinet, air that has had the latent heat from the flue gas transferred to it? Basically air comes from intake pipe into boiler cabinet, air from cabinet gets sucked into this area as a small pre-heat where the latent heat of combustion is transferred to it before getting sucked into the combustion fan intake/swirl chamber?
OK - perhaps this is not much in the grand scheme of things, BUT, if it increases combustion efficiency 0.005%, and you do that accross thousands of boilers, that's a lot of fuel saved.
@ July 9, 2013 2:17 AM in IBC's VFC 15-150 boiler - Improvements & 10 year anniversaryIBC's VFC 15-150 (10 to 1 turn down, modulates from 15,000 go 150,000 BTUH) has been out since 2003, with the same easy to use & set up digitial controller (with a few software revisions since). I have serviced a couple original 2003-2004 15-150's that were around 7 years old at the time and hadn't been touched and with the exception of requiring a little heat exchanger cleaning, they were running like tops and the heat exchangers were still a ways away from even being closed to plugging up (they have a patented downfiring water coil heat exchanger on the 15-150 and 45-225). IBC has been in the condensing boiler business since 1994 in North America, and they're still the only residential boiler manufacturer other than Viessmann, to use 316 Ti in some of their heat exchangers.
Anyways, IBC has made a few improvements to the 15-150 - they now have a removeable cover and removeable refractory section on the top of the heat exchanger to better access & clean the heat exchanger. Before you had to pull the burner out and try and work through the burner hole, which wasn't bad for most, but this improvement to date has definately made a big difference in the ability to clean & service the heat exchanger.
There are also some PP-R fittings available now that work with the downfiring termination of the flue that comes out of the bottom of the IBC heat exchanger. The heat exchanger in the IBC 15-150 is a 95 pounds alone, and you will be hard pressed to find a more efficient heat exchanger accross the breadth of the firing range as this large mass of all the coils just soaks up the heat.
Another thing worth noting is IBC is having a 10 year anniversary promotion if you buy one of their 15-150's, 45-225,'s, or SL80-399's. Note - the anniversary is not celebrating IBC being out 10 years, it's celebrating the fact the 15-150 has been out 10 years - IBC itself is due to celebrate it's 20th anniversary next year as a company that produces condensing boilers since 1994.
Also, I've been told by some in the know, that IBC has something, or some new product(s) on the horizon in the coming monthes. It's an exciting time if you're in the hydronic heating business. With this, and the new Vitodens boilers, theres some cool stuff out there for mod-con boiler junky's.
@ July 8, 2013 12:28 PM in New Vitodens 200 Specs Online now:Did you guys notice the increased range of the Lambda Pro combustion numbers. They now have a lower and higher range with oxygen percentages (down to 3.8% from 4.4% and up to 7.3% from 6.9% oxygen) (and corresponding increased/decreased CO2), probably to accomodate the higher modulation ranges offered. Also, Viessmann has a 6.75 to 1 modulation range on the 19,000 to 125,000 BTUH. I guess manufacturers are pushing the limits now a days and the old days of 5 to 1 are gone perhaps? Are the certification agencies bending the rules or was the numbers changed?
@ July 7, 2013 10:44 PM in Are heat exchangers a viable way to heat swimming pools?If you COULD convert to a gas condensing boiler, spend a little more money and get as large of a heat exchanger as you can afford (within reason of course). The bigger the heat exchanger heat transfer surface area, the lower water temperatures you can run with a condensing boiler, and subsequently the more efficiently things run (as long as it doesn't end up meaning you have to use a larger pump of course due to potential increased head loss of a larger heat exchanger).
Heating a pool with a boiler seperated from the pool water with a heat exchanger is done more commonly than thought and is an excellent way to heat a pool.
A couple things - if you have a chlorine pool you'll want a stainless shell & tube heat exchanger. If you go salt water you'll want a Titanium heat exchanger, which is SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than a stainless (you can also use Titanium with chlorine which will last longer). If you go ALL Titanium fully welded shell & tube, which is the best case, but most costly, it will be about 10 times or more the cost of a stainless, BUT, it'll give you less installation headaches (many titanium heat exchangers that are shell & tube have a composite portion with threads that can be a PITA to install as sometimes the composite splits on you if you're not careful). I've heard of some guys use plate & frame titanium heat exchangers to bring down costs as well as eliminate having to deal with the breakable composite threaded connections on some titanium heat exchangers. But plate and frames often have smaller passages which could potentially plug up earlier.
IF, you are heating a Hot tub with a heat exchanger, make DAMN sure you have a manual reset high limit on the HOT TUB WATER SIDE, set just slightly above (maybe 2 degrees max) the hottest water you would expect to soak in (it would be located on the return before the heat exchanger so it is sampling the actual temperature of the hot tub water). I heard a story that happened around 10 years ago in a high end home - the maid was told to go turn the hot tub temperature up - she went into the mechanical room and pressed the wrong buttons (or something along those lines). One of the kids came home from school, jumped in the hot tub, and just barely made it out, with serious burns to her body. It's not a bad idea to put a high limit on the pool side too although most boiler set ups often do not have the BTUH's to juice a pool high enough to cause burns as there is usually way more water in a pool to heat. Again though, not a bad idea either.
Make sure your disinfection medium (chlorine, saltwater, etc.) is downstream of your heat exchanger. This will ensure the heat exchanger does not get lambasted with chemicals which can shorten it's life span.
@ July 7, 2013 10:21 PM in Viessmann Vitodens 100 vs 200?The Vitodens 100 does have the capability to do higher water temperatures. Not a big difference but worth noting. The Vitodens 100 can do up to 176 F for space heating vs 167 for the Vitodens 200, and the 100 can do 172 (fixed) for DHW production (I believe it does 176 for the combi plus DHW kit but 172 for an indirect if you close the DHW dry contact) vs 165 for the 200 for DHW (I know the 165 is adjustable if I recall from reading but how much can it adjust above 165 if possible?).
Check out the new BH2A specs of the Vitodens 200 online - they just put them on their website the other day: http://www.viessmann.ca/en/Residential/Products/gas/Vitodens_200_B2HA.html
I like the low end of the 3 smallest boilers - 12,000 to 67,000 input, 19,000 to 100,000 BTUH input, and 19,000 to 125,000 BTUH input. And the heat exchangers are all the same size so that to me says the 12,000 to 67,000 BTUH input should be a bit more efficient with a larger heat exchanger to soak up the heat.
@ July 7, 2013 10:13 PM in New Vitodens 200 Specs Online now:The new Vitodens 200 BH2A - Have a look: http://www.viessmann.ca/en/Residential/Products/gas/Vitodens_200_B2HA.html
@ July 2, 2013 1:24 PM in Viessmann Vitodens 100 vs 200?By the time you outfit a Vitodens 100 with the accessories neccessary (KWE Pump module, Como OT controller) to control a few extra pumps (or with relays, etc.), and have some decent level of digital control, you are in the neighbourhood of the 200 price wise. The 200 is so much more intuitive and easier to control (aka stand on it's head) on top of the new 200 boilers that are coming out in a few monthes have an App that allows you to control them with your smart phone. I wouldn't worry THAT much about fluctuating gas quality however, at least in North America although Lambda Pro is nice to have (but it's no substitute for proper boiler/burner serviceman checking your burner out regularly). The Vitodens however is a nice simple, basic boiler with the same heat exchanger at the 200 just way less integrated control on board. For me the upsell to the 200 is easily worth the slight increase in cost if you're going apples to apples for a system that does more than just basic heat only.
@ July 2, 2013 1:16 PM in combustion analyzerYou just didn't get the answer you wanted to hear since it requires further investment in proper training and/certification along with time & financial resources on your part to master.
We WERE all there at one point, and I'm telling you, you NEED someone to show you, and train you in person, on top of doing some serious background reading so you can understand the consequences of what everything means along with what improper adjustment can do if you don't know what the numbers and readings are from your analyzer. The questions you asked tell me you don't have a clue. What homeowner on this site would want (err Pay) you to use an analyzer on their appliance if you are asking those types of questions?
@ July 2, 2013 12:47 AM in combustion analyzerBased on your questions you are NOT qualified to use this tool and if I were you I WOULD NOT even THINK of using it until you receive either a certification (Gas Fitting, Chimney sweep, what have you) OR, if you are certified, some gas appliance training (Timmie McElwain on this site provides gas appliance training if you wish to sign up) as well as perhaps some instruction on how to set up an appliance using an analyzer in person from someone that knows and is certified to do so, and perhaps some instruction from the analyzer manufacturer on how to use their tool on an appliance specifically. When you start getting into using an analyzer to set up an appliance if you do not have a clue what you are doing (and your thread leads me to believe this is the case - please do not take this the wrong way - I just want to make sure no one gets hurt) you CAN and PROBABLY WILL KILL SOMEONE.
@ June 25, 2013 1:15 PM in Strange residue in Giannoni heat exchangerInteresting -a quick search does indicate some manufacturers are using 304L S/S Giannoni heat exchangers. I believe most in the USA that use the Giannoni are 316L though (correct me if I'm wrong). I know the 316L is supposed to be better than 304L in general but we still don't know where the accumulation is coming from.
I know on Vitodens heat exchanges, and IBC heat exchangers, they see the same or similar type of accumulation over time (although I've never see one that plugged or that bad as the one pictured). It would be interesting to have this debris compared to see what differences there are between boilers/types of heat exchangers as some use different variations or types of stainless (439, 316ti). If it is the same chemical make up then it points towards combustion or condensate related impurities or issues, perhaps Mercaptain, or sulfur, where some reaction is occuring that creates it. Or is it indeed a stainless steel phenomenon and not present in aluminum heat exchangers like on the Buderus?
@ June 20, 2013 9:33 PM in Strange residue in Giannoni heat exchangerWas that above boiler vented with PVC or cpvc? Do they have PVC or cpvc in the UK for venting?
@ June 20, 2013 10:50 AM in Strange residue in Giannoni heat exchangerHas anyone sent these heat exchangers (when they fail) to a metallurgist for investigation? The Giannoni heat exchangers if I'm not mistaken have 0.7 mm thick tube walls so theres not much beef there to deal with any corrossion issues.
If I recall correctly from training a few years ago, IBC sent a 12 year old heat exchanger (downfiring water coil design made of 316ti Titanium stabilized stainless steel, Giannoni's use 316L stainles steel) to a metallurgist for analysis to assess how it was standing up and it only came back with only some micropitting which is basically the equivilent to virtually nothing.
@ June 20, 2013 10:45 AM in Strange residue in Giannoni heat exchangerI know on IBC and Cleaver-Brooks Clearfires that after burner shut down and a regular post purge the fans go into super slo-mo post purge mode for around an hour to 90 minutes. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this is to keep any humid/condensate laden air from going back into the fan, as well as to slowly drive this humid air out so conditions are more favourable for the next burner ignition. This is supposed to really help reduce fan failures over time apparently. Do any other manufacturers do this?
@ June 19, 2013 10:55 PM in Fingerprints on Vitodens CabinetSo I'm installing a couple Vitodens WB2B-105's right now. There are some magical finger prints on one of the beautiful bright white enamelled Vitodens Boiler cabinets that don't just rub off. I'm wondering what the best way is? A method or chemical (or both) perhaps?
@ June 16, 2013 1:32 PM in How the Europeans do it?It's just another ticket to learn. How much you learn or if you even want to continue learning and better yourself as a tradesman and person is really up to you. My problem is I saw and installed my first wall mount boiler, conveniently forgot any real interest in the plumbing side of things that I had (hot & cold water lines, drainage), got my hydronic systems design certification, and my industrial gas ticket, and I've been almost exclusively doing boiler/burner installations & service work ever since - from small wall mounts to a 47,000,000 BTUH Nebraska Steam Boiler with Natcom Burner, and everything in between.
I've invested some moolah in manuals, texts, books, etc (many from this site) to better myself along with training. I consider myself a true student but definately still have much learn but sometimes you forget how much you've learned as well. No matter what I won't attach my name to sh*t and if you create enough doubt in my mind....
@ June 16, 2013 1:12 PM in How the Europeans do it?I should have distinguished a bit better between the idea that in Germany they have people who can enter your house unannounced to check your heating equipment and the fact that they take clean air and safety seriously as far as checking whether your appliance is burning correctly. There are other ways to do it as far as not stepping on toes from a legal issue (i.e. privacy, amendment rights, etc.), but the fact their heating equipment must be checked 2 or more times per year by a certified individual to ensure it is burning correctly to me strongly reflects a commitment to safety and clean air. Who does it or how it is done if something like that were ever done in North America is another issue.
@ June 16, 2013 10:43 AM in Personal Gas Detector (CO, etc.)Shouldn't be around CO Monitors.....LOL
@ June 16, 2013 10:39 AM in How the Europeans do it?I read an old "DAN" article about Chimney sweeps in Germany that have (or now had) the right to just show up unannounced to a house, walk in, and put an analyzer on your boiler and make sure it's burning cleanly, as well as show up and clean your chimney (if you have one). They would do this a couple times a year, and should you refuse entry, the police will show up and force entry. You had to pay something like 60-80 Euros per year for this service, and if your boiler is dirty, you have 2 weeks to repair it, and if you don't, your boiler is taken away. The 8000 Chimney sweeps in Germany perform this task. And they apparently have 0 carbon monoxide deaths per year because this from heating equipment compared to something like 300 per year in Belgium.
Apparently as of Janaury of this year they no longer have a monopoly and you can rely on 3rd party sources to do your chimney sweep functions. But it's almost like they've kicked themselves in the foot because now you have to pay a company to do this, which drives up costs.
If you were wondering what the chimney sweep button (manual on) was on your Viessmann boiler, now you know.
Apparently chimney sweeps and their monopoly were brought in in 1935 by Hitler as he could use them as spies for the government while they performed their task cleaning chimney's in exchange for their set wages and job security.
It's too bad we don't take clean air, or safety, as seriously as they do.
@ June 16, 2013 10:31 AM in How the Europeans do it?Toyota studied Henry Ford's assembly line and found many inefficiencies with it. This lead to the creation of the Toyota Way, which is known to the world as "LEAN," or Lean Manufacturing. Lean Manufacturing and Lean Concepts are responsible for turning many companies around as these Toyota strategies are introduced into all sorts of work environments. Even Ford, GMC, and Chrysler to the best of my knowledge have adopted many Lean Manufacturing concepts to help them improve themselves.
As far as the "Kool-aid" - I think the "hype" is more real than you give it credit for. Europeans have had to adapt quite quickly because they have significantly increased fuel costs and electrical costs. The Vitodens Heat exchanger is one of, it not the best heat exchanger in the world and on paper right now (since mod-cons haven't been around that long) it's the one in my view that will go the distance - this is critical for real payback. If you look at the actual construction and design features of this heat exchanger and compare it to the competition you will see the difference.
Because we have low fuel prices and relatively low electrical cost there is very little requirement for people to change their ways in North America. Subsequently, there is no reason for people to give up their furnace or other forced air emitters. When fuel costs drastically go up (one day) then will people consider hydronics, and hydronic technology more and more to save money. At that point maybe we'll see the larger breadth of European technology make it over here where the increased cost of technology actually makes sense from a payback point of view as the reduction in fuel consumption can really be measured. We only have, in my opinion, a small sampling of what these European manufacturers have to offer and there is little incentive though low utility costs, or government regulation, to really drive change.
Perhaps its fair to say their tradesman may not be better than ours on average, but they are probably (from what I've heard) more specialized in most cases. As above their knowledge is deeper but over a smaller breadth. But let me ask you this - if you could take your car to a guy with intimate knowledge of your car, or take your car to the guy who has limited knowledge but who works on all types of cars, which one would you take it too? Yeah sure, the guy with deep knowledge may not know every car, and if you had a Honda and a Ford in your driveway he might know the Honda well but not the Ford, but he'd sure as hell do a great job on your Honda right? He would probably do all the little things that contribute to a better repair in the end. It's the same reason I take my car to the dealership. In North America I am struck, at least in hydronics, by the number of contractors who just install whatever the wholesaler puts on the heat loss sheet and whatever boiler is cheapest. I personally can not understand this as I choose the equipment that I choose to represent my name very seriously - at the end of the day it's MY installation and how it performs and lasts represents me, so I want to do all the little things, combined with quality equipment, that lets the customer see a real payback and effectively take me and my equipment for granted. I build up a relationship with the manufacturer to learn the equipment intimately as well as for product technical and sales support, and I do all the little things, and then I build up a relationship with the client over the years after the installation, servicing, and maintaining their equipment to factory specs almost like a mobile dealership, effectively leading to a steady service revenue/work stream that builds up year over year as more installations. Better yet, better word of mouth advertising as well. Look at all the guys that just slap a boiler on the wall and leave without a care. And they have 18 different brand boilers on various walls and they don't service or maintain them. Look at what they are missing?