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Harvey Ramer

Harvey Ramer

Joined on March 30, 2008

Last Post on July 25, 2014

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Sorry about your bad luck.

@ July 25, 2014 5:42 PM in New Boiler Install

Before you put a new boiler in, the same way the old one was, perhaps it would be a good idea to determine why the old boiler failed. That way you can make the appropriate changes when you install the new boiler.

Where did it leak?
Was it a cold start?
How does the interior walls of the iron pipes or heat exchanger look?
Was the system frequently purged?
Is there a lot of rust debris in the bottom of the fire box?
We're there any chemicals in the system, glycol...ect?
Is your DHW tied in as well? If so, how? A separate zone or and indirect coil?


Looked at them before.

@ July 24, 2014 1:04 PM in Noraire air to water HP

But I never installed one. I think it's a conventional compressor, if I remember correctly, and will require a buffer tank.

Try it and let us know how it works.


Not so hot.

@ July 17, 2014 9:18 AM in How Long

The outcome of placing the coil in the return duct would more than likely reduce the but output of the AC unit. If you have abnormally high return air Temps and the coil doesn't bring the temp below 70, it would be viable. Parallel would be better, but only if the duct supports the increased air volume which it probably doesn't. Another option would be to use remote terminal units. They make some to use with water that look just like a wall mount minisplit head. Strategically placed, these could prove to be the cats pajamas, in your situation.


Long Pipe

@ July 16, 2014 7:12 AM in How Long

I would make sure I got paid to do these calcs. An engineer would, why shouldn't you?

I have found the method that Mark described to be quite effective in the past. If you want to take it a step further, grab a cheap electric boiler, spa heater, or something of that sort. Hook it up and monitor the supply and return temps. You already figured out the flow rate so it is an easy matter, at this point to accurately calculate the btu dissipation rate from the loop. It will give you a good point to start. You would have to extrapolate to compensate for seasonal changes and heat saturation.



@ July 12, 2014 4:27 PM in Radiant cooling

That looks like a solution. IAQ in one neat package for Radiant Cooling and heating.
Do you know anything about the manufacturer? Are they building their own stuff or is this a labeled product?


Water Heaters

@ July 9, 2014 10:08 PM in Getting into mod/con business

I have a long winded explanation of the phenomena that can occur when using a conventional gas water heater as a boiler. Problem is, I am quite to lazy too type it all right now;-)
I will say this much. If you have a heat load that comes close, or matches the btu output of the burner accompanied by a system with some mass, that poor water heater doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell. It has to do with the way the heat exchanger is built and the location of the burner. Upon start up, the flue gasses are condensing at the top of the hx running down the tube to the bottom, evaporating again because the burner is directly underneath. More air is drawn in, introducing more water vapor. You get my drift. Burning water isn't cheap! I witnessed a water heater burning continuously for two weeks without getting the water temp above 75°F.

Yes I installed it.
Couple of reasons.
I had to prove a cabbage head and all his relatives wrong. They knew it would work and I knew it wouldn't. They were so insistent and persistent that I figured well, I might as well get paid twice. And I did. 2 weeks after it was in I get a phone call. A whimpering voice at the other end of the line said that they are ready to listen and I should do what ever is best.
So I did. Haven't heard a complaint since.

The other reason was scientific curiosity. I got to watch the melee unfold before my eyes. I found it quite interesting to say the least.



@ July 4, 2014 4:40 PM in True RMS

Out of all the multimeters I have used, Fluke brought home the bacon on many different levels.


4 Big ones that will kill a ModCon

@ July 4, 2014 7:13 AM in Getting into mod/con business

Short cycling.
Improper venting.
Inadequate flow through the heat exchanger.
Poor water quality.

There are obviously some more pitfalls, but most of the failures I see are a result of one of the above.


PS. I also am a fan of Triangle Tube and the Fire Tube HX.

Heat Pump

@ July 2, 2014 6:29 PM in Heat Pump

Serviced this unit a while back and didn't catch anything then. One day it cools the house decently. One day it doesn't. I messed with the 4-way a bit but no change.


Heat Pump

@ July 2, 2014 5:06 PM in Heat Pump

AC mode. Suction line picks up 5degree going through 4-way reversing valve.

Too Much??

Low pressure a little high and high pressure a little low.


It certainly does.

@ June 28, 2014 9:50 AM in Current relay/potential relay

Thanks for the help guys!!!


Current relay/potential relay

@ June 27, 2014 9:18 PM in Current relay/potential relay

How best to test these miserable critters while the compressor is dry docked? Don't want to be wasting any start caps.



@ June 25, 2014 7:09 PM in New boiler?

The single biggest problem is Tankless Water heaters (the whole lot of them) are designed to be run with a wide temperature difference between the supply and the return. That is the nature of DHW heating. It comes in cold and goes out hot, normally 70° difference. It takes a very large burner to accomplish this. 3-4 times the size required by a (for example) 2,000 sf. single family home.

The nature of a typical heating system is a lot less difference in the supply and return water temp. Normally, american systems are designed anywhere from a 10° to 20° delta-t. In real life operation they often drop below this design. A typical heating system requires more flow than the heat exchanger in these units is designed to deliver. A typical pump rated at the flow required for the heating system, will only produce a big enough pressure differential to get a pathetic trickle going through the heat exchanger of one of these units. Remember, in DHW you will typically have around 60 psi pushing on the one side of the heat exchanger and an open faucet on the other side. That is what they are built for.

If you put one of these units on a heating system, one could expect a multitude of failures. The one you experienced no doubt came from rapid heating and cooling of the heat exchanger due to a grossly oversized burner and not enough flow. Thermal stress is a killer to almost any given heat exchanger. A modulating unit of this same pedigree, might give a little bit better performance on a heating system, but I wouldn't expect much! After all, the water heater's built in temp sensor is not in the heat exchanger but directly after. I would expect burner surging and the same thermal stress occurring on the heat exchanger. This burner on a heating system is like a cat playing with a mouse. It's just too big.

I'm sure someone will read this and say, I have one and it heats my house just fine.
I'm not arguing that point, I'm trying to give you some insight on why it will break.



@ June 25, 2014 6:30 PM in The history of the toilet

I'm a sucker for the darker beers. I like them right around 55°F


Pretty cool!

@ June 24, 2014 7:02 AM in The history of the toilet

Off to replace a water closet of the current century. I used to think about baseball while I was replacing one, now I can think about medieval castles!

Thanks for sharing.


Brick pathway.

@ June 20, 2014 10:57 PM in Brick pathway.

Bought a box of bricks and they just went ahead and paved a pathway that led me over to the RPA.
What's up with these bricks? It's like they have a mind of their own ;-)



@ June 20, 2014 10:23 PM in Aquatherm piping

Everybody wants to say, hey we carry that!

Oh you do, do you? Where?

Oh, it's at another branch but give us your order and we'll have everything here for you.

Calling from jobsite. Hey I need a couple more fittings.

Ok, they'll be here in three days.

What!! Why so long?

Well that's when our branch to branch delivery truck goes. But we can have them for you tomorrow. We'll just UPS it over, there will be shipping charges.

I hate you.

I get blessed with ridiculous shipping charges all year long.



@ June 20, 2014 7:25 PM in Aquatherm piping

I can't really attest to that because I didn't do overhead laterals. I will tell you that pushing together 2" all day long, separates the men from the boys. Saddle welding is awesome too and it goes quick! You can saddle weld soo long as the branch is half the size of the main or smaller.

I sometimes use the saddle welding to quickly and Inexpensively build my own hydrolic seperators.


I like it.

@ June 20, 2014 6:46 PM in Aquatherm piping

I have had good luck with the product. Up to 2" I can push it together without the jig. Makes the job go super fast. It definitely saves a whole lot of time in the boiler room.

Like SWEI said. The fitting adapters are expensive. I try to keep them to a minimum. Also, I think you have to use the Aquatherm pipe clamps. I haven't found any generic ones that fit correctly.


Thanks Dan

@ June 19, 2014 11:40 PM in Thanks Dan

For the good housekeeping.
Much appreciated.


Load Calculations

@ June 19, 2014 9:43 PM in Ductless Split Head Placement

Looks like you have a lot of glazing, especially over there in the living room. I don't know how you did your loads but a situation like this is where it becomes very important to know your customers habits. You have to know what kind of blinds they have and how they use them. Do they want to sit in there with the windows 100% uncovered? Do they cover 50%? Is the foreground of the windows grass, concrete, asphalt? Depending on how they like to operate you may need two heads.

Solar gain can really "fog up your smarts". Had it happen to me once in a similar situation, never again!


Don't have the time now but.

@ June 18, 2014 11:11 AM in 95% Efficient Condensing Replacement Boiler

Topics you should study.

The Universal Hydronic Formula Gpm = but/h ÷ (▲t × 500)
Injection mixing

We will continue this conversation later when I have more time. Your current way of thinking will get you in a whole lot of trouble sooner or later. Definitely worth your time to dig a little deeper.

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