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joseph annon

joseph annon

Joined on July 27, 2008

Last Post on October 1, 2013

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@ October 1, 2013 9:45 AM in Changing Grumman sunstream 332a SHW collector pipes

Generally tilt is your latitude plus 10 degrees.
Biggest thing with drain back is that all piping slope back to drain back tank and that there are no low spots or bellies that will hold water and stop the draining of the collector and the piping.

As for usefulness in winter someone with experience in the north would be better able to tell you about heat gathered.  I know that there is a lot of solar in places like New Hampshire. Germany also has a lot of solar and I believe they are near your latitude.
My thoughts on that are that it is at least some heat you have the system so use it as much as possible.

A question what are you planning on using the solar heat for?


@ September 29, 2013 9:09 PM in Changing Grumman sunstream 332a SHW collector pipes

The pipes are soldered to to the absorber plate and brazed into the headers removal would be difficult and then your absorber plates won't match up size wise to new pipes.
Most collectors I know have including the Grumman collectors run just fine on drain backs with existing piping. There are several large arrays that I have worked that used Grumman collectors in drain backs.

Pv Direct pump

@ September 30, 2012 7:56 PM in Solar water heater electric backup overheat trip

I will look at putting in a switch to interrupt the PV power to the pump.
There were problems with T&P weeping. solved that issue with a higher quality T&P. Same temp and pressure rating just a higher max BTU rating also about 5X the cost of basic T&P.

Solar water heater electric backup overheat trip

@ September 30, 2012 2:37 PM in Solar water heater electric backup overheat trip

I have a customer with a SDHW system.
It is a 80 gallon tank with a 4*8 flat plate collector.
System is 6 yrs old.
Problem. From beginning the customer has complained about the reset button on the thermostat for the electric backup thermostat popping.Company that installed the system went back and installed a control to run the pump in the evening to cool the tank. This does not appear to have helped.
I replaced the thermostat and that solved the problem for about 4 months.
It has started up again.
Any ideas on solutions?


@ August 7, 2012 4:54 PM in Baseboard Heating and Electrical Outlet

It is the State of New Mexico electrical inspectors that are requiring the no outlets above or below baseboard.
Being a plumber I am only working on what the electrical contractor required us to do.
I agree that it does not make sense to me.
But he had failed inspection on two different jobs previously.
As for inspectors here if I can show where I am working from in the code book they will pass the job.

Outlets and baseboard

@ August 5, 2012 11:23 PM in Baseboard Heating and Electrical Outlet

Just did new construction and had to break baseboards up on long runs to accommodate electric code. Can't have outlets above baseboard and can't have floor outlets in front of the baseboard. I would recommend talking to your local electrical inspector about it.

Life of Grumman Sunstrams

@ May 16, 2012 10:24 AM in Grumman Sunstream Solar System-Life Expectancy?

I have found that the Grumman collectors used in my area are all copper and the collectors have proven to be very durable and if there are leaks they are usually repairable.Just be careful when removing the glass. Getting a couple of inexpensive suction cups makes this really easy. Maybe ten percent of the collectors I have found are not worth repairing and most of those are because of the cost of repalcewing broken glazing. The two biggest challenges I have found is in getting replacement water side pumps. UP15-18SUs  And making sure the HX is clear of mineral buildup. once those HXs are completely plugged they are very difficult to clear. If the tank has failed I will use a tank with a heat exchanger and use the collector pump and control from the Grumman unit. 

air and expansion tank

@ March 8, 2012 10:25 PM in air in glycol

The location of the expansion tank and the charge ports affects how the flow goes through the loop when charging the system. The best place for the expansion tank is right after the input charge port, That way when you build pressure in the system the expansion tank helps with the surge to move air bubbles out.
It can take up to an hour to purge small bubbles out of the glycol depending on the size of the array. Doing the charge when the system is cold makes easier for the bubbles to come out. I have sometimes had to let the bucket sit and wait for the air to come out the charge the system until the glycol in the bucket gets foamy again.

pex and solar

@ February 25, 2012 8:01 PM in New solar install with flaws!

Did a job where the customer insisted on using pex on a ground mount array for money reasons.
Had a problem with the pump and the pex which was about 20' from the collector was superheated and failed. It also means that you will have to careful when charging the system to make sure that the temperatures in the collectors are cool enough for the pex.
SO as long as there are no problems and everything works perfectly you will have no problems.

Anchoring pex to floor

@ February 5, 2012 5:58 PM in pres

On a remodel we drilled anchors into old floor and set anchors use single hole galvanized clamps every couple of feet. I don't remember how thick the finish slab was but not much more 2 inches. No problems with floor.


@ January 11, 2012 10:54 PM in feedback on product quality

They had some issues a while back when I installed(pre 2008) them don't install now as the supplier quit carrying them. They did supply replacement on defective parts but no labor paid for repairs.


@ January 11, 2012 10:31 PM in Taco EBV

I have installed a lot of these and have found the best solution would be to update to latest version of their valve and problem solved. There seems to have been an issue with the capacitor retaining enough charge to close the valves. Sometimes cycling them will correct the problem for a few weeks.


Madison form for solar panel install

@ August 20, 2011 4:38 PM in inspector issue

Hi Hot Rod
I just read your posting and was wondering if you had a copy of Madison's form handy.
I have looked on their site and can't seem to locate the solar form.
I am part of a committee in New Mexico trying to get a form the local inspectors to use for roof mount of solar panels. This sounds like it may be of use for us.

Water leak

@ December 23, 2010 9:14 PM in Best question of the week.

Double post

Water leak

@ December 23, 2010 9:14 PM in Best question of the week.

Customer. I want you to come locate a leak.
Me. I will come out with leak detection equipment and locate the leak for a fee and then can give you an estimate for repairs.
Customer. Oh My that's expensive but I am not sure I even have a leak.
Me. ????

Drain back

@ August 1, 2010 11:50 AM in Drain back solar.

Very helpful Hotrod.
The drain back tank is installed. I believe that it is an atmospheric bulk tank of  200 gallons under the mechanical room. I am waiting for specs from the owner. The piping we will install will be below frost but the  piping coming out of the building is probably only  a foot or so below grade. I was planning on insulating and sleeving all the piping to maintain the structure of the insulation. So will there not being an airbubble in the system affect the drain back? How long will it take to drain down? I don't see how I am going to avoid steam for at least the first moments.

Drain back solar.

@ July 31, 2010 1:19 PM in Drain back solar.

I have a question about how to provide air relief in a drain back solar system that a client wants. The problem as I see it is that the run is more horizontal than vertical with a couple of steps in the piping. Slope will be pretty good about 1/2"+ per foot for a majority of the run. Length is my concern we are running about 125' horizontally under ground. Most of this run is on a slope and we can get below frost line. Total elevation from tank under house to collector high point is about 22' I am concerned that the pipes will not allow air into the collectors quickly enough to prevent freezing and that I will have to install a relief at the collectors to allow air in to drain the piping but then that eliminates the siphon for the flow of the water meaning I have to keep the larger pump running constantly. 
I am tinking about using a spring check on the high point in the collector bank and set it so that it opens to allow air in. I know that there are vacuum breaker for pool collectors but this system is going to hotter than the breakers can handle. I tried years ago to get  large drain back array working but the airvents seemed to create problems and the collectors constantly stamed through the air vents.

@ July 23, 2009 10:03 PM in biggest loser - revisited

Was 245# at beginning of year down to 220# now working to get to 200# I have done it mostly by changing what I eat for breakfast and lunch. Dinners are pretty much the same as before. Homemade protein shake with lots of berries some fruit protein powder and tumeric(supposed to change the way your stomach digests) and a handful of spinach. Looks horrible tastes great. For breakfast and I am not hungry until noon or later. The recipe was given to my by my family doctor. Lunch cut out the sodas and candy bar. Now I try to have something better than that. The other thing I did was leave the table a little hungry two or three days a week. Joe Annon

Tide tank heat dump

@ March 30, 2009 1:06 PM in Solar heat dump question

There is a system designed by Zomeworks that uses what they call a tide tank to provide overheat protection. The system is not pressurized but is sealed and uses glycol mixture and a 10 watt pv pump to move the fluid. The system is designed to dump heat when the fluid expands to certain level and then runs through gravity drained fin tube. The fin tube was sized at 10' per 4X8 flat plate collector. I have serviced several of these systems and they work well once set up correctly. That is the catch. System needs to be set when it reaches the dump temperature by filling the "tide tank" until it overflows through the drain tube that is at the same height as the fin tube outlet in the tide tank. How the tide tank works; The tide tank (a 6" dia black iron pipe with caps welded on and about 16" long) The collector hot and hot to storage come in level with the bottom of the tank the over flow is set about 6" off of the bottom. When the system fluid gets to operating temp of 160F the fluid level overflows into the fin tube loop and cools the fluid. The top cap has a 3/4 black iron coupling welded to it for a tapping for pressure relief valve. I hope I did justice to the explanation of this. I do not think they are manufactured anymore. Problem is getting the fluid level correct. Joe Annon

used paloma tankless

@ March 14, 2009 11:35 PM in looking for used tankless...

Well not heavily used. The had problems with altitude (elevation 6500') would cycle a couple of times then quit. It is set up for propane. Use time is very low. I think that are are several extra parts for the unit. Attempts from the rep trying to make the unit function. It is from a customer I looked at doing work and am waiting to hear back from them on the bid for work. If you are interested let me know. I can get model #. Joe

@ March 5, 2009 6:12 PM in Does anyone know

Solar window is approximately six hours. ie 9 am to 3 pm with the collector oriented true south. There is some minimal solar gain outside those hours but it is because of the angle of the sun. The air temperature also affects output of flat plate collectors. Joe


@ February 20, 2009 2:31 PM in any Solar Demo trailers out there?

has a solar trailer check here Joe
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