Joined on December 20, 2004
Last Post on December 10, 2013
@ December 10, 2013 10:28 AM in This is interestingWell, I agree John. NCI only sells to contractors who have taken day one of their Cert. course and require them to sign a paper saying they will personally install each one and not sell cash & carry. George Kerr sells them to anyone off his CO Experts website (his price has gone waaaaay up!). I heard he was going to market his monitors through Graingers but I don't see them on their website.
The gubbermint introduced legislation (HR1796, which passed the House) to outlaw the manufacture, sale or distribution of unlisted CO alarms. That's why these are called "monitors". The big alarm mfrs. are in bed with the fire chiefs, IFSTA, etc. who don't want low level accurate CO alarms. You see, fire depts. are the ones typically charged with emergency response to CO alarms and it eats into their budgets. It's always follow the money. The bldg. codes all refer to UL2034/ 2075 alarms. Fine, install the junk then install a low level monitor that's going to protect you from CO poisoning. Listed alarms are designed to alert only once you already have CO poisoning-5% COHb level. They are for acute catastrophic exposures but do nothing to protect day in, day out against lower levels of CO poisoning. The UL listed junk usually state on their own packaging you may need "additional protection" for infants, elderly or those with certain medical conditions. Then the gubbermint outlaws that additional protection!
@ December 8, 2013 5:54 PM in Removing furnace from gas ventAccording to the 7x rule, you can leave an appliance with a 3" vent collar vented into a 7" but not 8" vent. However, if it is a 4" collar, you can vent that into a 10.5" vent. Doesn't make it a great idea and certainly doesn't guarantee performance but under the gas code, it is acceptable if all else is.
Now, venting a 40mbh WH into a cold exterior 8" vent even with 4" vent connector is a recipe for condensation and/ or backdrafting.
Consider replacing it with a power vented WH out the side and be done with it.
@ December 5, 2013 12:46 AM in Pressure relief valveVerify the correct size for your thermal expansion tank. Undersized tank can result in overpressure and discharge.
@ November 29, 2013 10:00 AM in Gas Conversion/ Deteriorating Smoke PipeIf any portion of the chimney is exposed to the outdoors below the roofline, it is treated by the codes as an 'exterior' chimney. When switching fuels, you should have had a Level II chimney inspection, which undoubtedly would have called for a listed chimney liner and replace whatever connector is going bad. Combustion analysis would then tell the tech what he needs to tweak the firing. He may be able to set the burner for a 3-4 min. post-purge to correct condensation in the connector but if its doing that there, what's happening in the chimney?
If it is unlined, it must be lined at once. If it has an old tile liner a level II will show failures most likely but you also have to consider a cold stack and being oversized in most cases. The listed liner will take care of most of these issues as long as its properly sized.
@ November 29, 2013 9:54 AM in Carbon Monoxide Issues - HELP!CO2 is what you are exhaling. You want an unlisted low level CO monitor-not an alarm. There are currently only two I'm aware of available in the US:
The NSI is available only through certified contractors and they are currently backordered into Jan.
George has raised the cost of the CO Experts recently so check his web site for pricing and discounts.
NCI uses 100ppm as the max. an appliance can be emitting into the flue gases. They do not allow more than 30ppm in the room based upon various national stds.
Listed CO alarms are designed to warn only against CO death--not just poisoning. The fact you had a CO alarm alert means you were poisoned. Most any fire marshal would red tag this installation and shut it down or force you out of this house.
@ November 29, 2013 1:27 AM in Carbon Monoxide Issues - HELP!A CO detector or alarm listed to UL 2034 is junk that will not protect you against CO poisoning. It is designed to alert only once you have a carboxyhemoglobin level of 5%. If your alarms have alerted then by definition, you have already had CO poisoning.
Get a pro in there who is NCI certified in CO. Also, you cannot vent under positive vent pressure unless the venting is listed to UL 1738. No homemade junk with joints gooped with red RTV silicone.
Do Not operate this appliance until corrected.
@ November 28, 2013 12:40 PM in big nipple trays?http://www.biggerbras.com/m-large-cup-bras.shtml
Ok, I'll behave. Take a board and screw onto it wooden dowels spaced sufficiently for about 6 pipe diameters plus wiggle room.
Begin stacking nipples over each dowel by size. When you get to the last one, drill a hole and insert a long framing nail or brazing rod sufficient to retain the nipples with one end peened or bent and the other with a push on spring nut to retain the nail/ rod. You can drill holes down the dowel so that as you remove nipples, you can lower the retaining pin. If you put an eye bolt or handle on the endgrain of the board, you can then mount them up on a wall or hook with the nipples standing out.
@ November 24, 2013 12:35 PM in 80% gas furnaceClass 'A' chimney is considered "all fuel". Actually, it must be listed to UL 103HT in the US to meet that class as solid fuel requires a 2,100f rating whereas regular factory chimney carries a 1,700F rating. You are allowed to increase a gas vent up to 7x. With a 4" vent at a cross-sectional area of 12.56 " square, you could legally vent that appliance into a 10.5" vent if everything else is ok.
the sizing charts in the gas codes, which were provided by GAMA, start with a 12" rise off the appliance collar. While it may be allowed, it certainly is not a good idea. Spence was correct in his info. A single walled connector for gas carries a 6" clearance to combustibles. This work is best left up to a pro.
@ November 21, 2013 12:52 AM in Combustion airThe code does allow for "engineered" options. Putting a powered MUA unit in is one version. He can install an inline duct boosting fan run off a rheostat. Dial it in to the lowest speed that gets the job done as proven by combustion analysis. You can slave it off the primary on a call for heat. Note that a cold intake pipe will sweat and condense. If it is not stainless steel or aluminum, it will rot out. When not in use, it can have a modest backdraft damper that swings open when the fan energizes or you can wire in an automatic damper. If you duct it down into a large bucket that will tend to minimize cold air infiltration a little bit at standby.
@ November 21, 2013 12:45 AM in Heating Help for Fireplaces?The code is not prescriptive so you are allowed various choices in materials as long as they are non-combustible and acceptable to the AHJ. Tiles are fine for ex. but the mortar used is a problem here. These do appear to be standard face brick laid stretcher in a Portland cement containing mortar. Most codes would require a refractory mortar for the firebox. You must ensure all the joints are well sealed esp. across breast where the facing meets the front edge of the damper frame. Take a telescopic mirror down the ash dump and see if there are combustible forms under the hearth. If accessible, look for combustible forms under the hearth extension. You need to know which model code you are under but when in doubt, you can refer to NFPA 211, which has a free online read only format. Too many inspection points to detail here. My level II inspection reports typically run 10-12 pages. I'm a FIRE Certified Fireplace and Chimney Inspector, fyi. Caution with that Hearth dot com site. The admin. has been known to give out advice in blatant violation of codes and stds. so caveat emptor. Any more pics of this fireplace?
@ November 19, 2013 11:12 PM in FLUE DRIPPING CONDENSATEAt 30ft., code requires the chimney to be a min. of 40 ft. vertical (75%). Also, at 1/4" per foot, you'll need a min. 7.5" vertical vent rise from offset to breaching. You should have B-vent connector due to the high losses from the stack. That's also a lot of support needed. The furnace should be verified by combustion analysis for proper operation. A 3-4 min. post purge would go a long way. Insulating the liner may help a little esp. with an exterior chimney. Combustion analysis should be considered with delta T, plenum temp., fan speed, firing rate.
Thirty foot offset is ridiculous. The furnace should be relocated or a CAT IV furnace should have been installed.
@ November 14, 2013 12:10 AM in Testing a 15psi pressure safety valve on my boilerThe Hartford Loop should have a close nipple where it connects to the equalizer. You may be prone to water hammer with this setup.
More pics of combustion venting?
@ November 2, 2013 10:11 AM in CSSTGood thread. Just to remind everyone any gas control that has been submerged should be replaced. Ideally, the equipment will get replaced as it is difficult to properly clean out many burners plus everything else and now you may have rusted out components and so forth that void the warranty and listing. I know electrical wiring that was submerged is being replaced in NJ as is ductwork and all equipment. I did one house for a friend in a crawlspace. Just know that you're crawling around in an area where sewers backed up so take precautions and wash well even one year later. The soil can harbor all sorts of goobers, mold, and in my case, asbestos.
The good news is, a lot of really scary systems are being discovered and corrected/ improved. The bad news is, a lot of systems are being made scary by unqualified/ unethical contractors. Most of the work at the Jersey shore is going on un-inspected.
@ November 2, 2013 10:04 AM in Cant reach the vents on my radiator.The gas cock should be before the sediment trap-not after.
Any more pics?
@ October 28, 2013 12:32 AM in Gas conversion burner of choice for a Burnham V-905?The mfr can advise you if this unit is approved or not for a gas conversion burner. Note that often a mfr. will not list a gas conversion not because it is a problem but they didn't want to spend the money to test it. Unless a mfr. issues a written warning specifically forbidding gas conversion then it may be allowed. Technically, you are supposed to present your documents to the AHJ and have him sign off. As for the liability, yes, there is liability with everything you touch, even where the mfr. tested, listed or otherwise approved it. As one who works in product liability, let me just say that a listing is not a guarantee of safety or performance and a testing lab can issue a listing even when a unit fails-trust me.
To reduce your liability the most while affording the most protection for your client, perform combustion analysis.
@ October 17, 2013 10:49 AM in high carbon monoxide levelIf a UL listed carbon monoxide alarm is alerting, get everyone out at once and call 911 ! Those things are set to alert only once you already have CO poisoning. They are a last ditch effort to keep you alive. They do NOT protect against CO poisoning . If it is not actually CO but a 'false positive' the first responders can tell with professional equipment.
You will need someone certified in carbon monoxide and combustion analysis to diagnose the problem. You can Not tell from flame appearance. What do you consider 'high' CO reading?
What kind of water heater is supplying 16 units?
You may also have a chimney/ venting issue.
@ October 14, 2013 7:07 PM in Gas fire pit will not stay lit......There was no listing for these appliances until 2008 so many are cobbled together. I've seen some really crazy stuff incorporated into their designs. I would refuse to work on them and only remove them as I have done before. There is so much that can go wrong with them and they do not have a sterling track record. Even with wood, you still have concerns with a wind shift causing flames to shoot 3-5 feet horizontally where they can burn people or ignite nearby combustibles. The listing is ANSI Z21.97-2012 and is now referenced in the IRC and IFGC.
@ October 11, 2013 5:13 PM in This is interestingSaw this on another site. They are apparently going for a UL listing but not there yet. It seems they are more worried about how to conveniently silence false alarms than in making a device with a reliable sensor and setting alert parameters that actually protect people. For those who don't know, alarms listed to UL 2034/2075 are NOT designed to protect against CO poisoning but merely CO death. They are intended to alert only once you've reached a COHb of 5%, which means you must already have CO poisoning before they are supposed to alert. I say supposed because they are also notoriously unreliable.
If they would change the alert program to a low level unlisted monitor they might have something. Until then, I'll just have to remain cynical.
@ September 26, 2013 1:03 PM in nfpa 54/common vent sizingYou use the common vent sizing tables for B-vent with either single walled connectors or under B-vent connector depending upon which you're using. Pay special attention to your manifolding and support as well as the 7x rule.
@ September 20, 2013 2:22 PM in unit heater ventingAre these units set up with the option CA mechanical exhaust blower or true gravity/ natural draft? What is your input BTU rating, the size of both appliance collars, the total vent rise to the common vent and the total vent height? Single stage or two stage gas valve?
@ September 16, 2013 8:24 PM in Are you allowed...Per both major gas codes, copper is allowed IF your local utility confirms your local gas has less than 0.3 grains of hydrogen sulphide per std. 100 cubic feet. That goes for LP and NG.
@ September 10, 2013 8:04 PM in Wall of Shame. B-Vent SealerJoe, it looks like they taped 5" upper section into a 6" lower section, right?
Good catch. If you show this to the ones who did it they'd probably come back with some nonsense such as they used the Tyvek tape because they were all out of foil tape as if that was any better.