Joined on January 7, 2004
Last Post on August 4, 2010
@ August 4, 2010 10:00 AM in 2-story home, "out of the box" question from a homeownerHi Guys - I'd like to hear your opinions on this.
I went to look at a job yesterday - two story home with small 2nd floor and approximately half the 1st floor's ceiling vaulted all the way up to the roof. The heating system is a 15 year old Bard high efficiency gas counterflow furnace. Slab floor with no access to any ductwork. Main return on the first floor, in the hall ceiling. Another main return on the second floor whose ductwork IS accessible. Supply ducts for the second floor are all individual branch runs (5 total) up the walls from the main trunk in the floor of the first floor. All 2nd floor branches are unaccessible without ripping walls apart. With me so far?
Homeowner wants to add cooling. The second floor is always uncomfortably warm in the summer time - much warmer than the first floor. His concern is that just adding central air will not resolve the issue of a hot second floor, and I agree with him. Adding a zone control system is not feasible due to lack of duct accessibility. We talked about the benefits of variable speed furnaces using 'constant fan' to provide constant air circulation. Then we talked about ductless mini-splits - maybe a dual zone unit with wall units upstairs and downstairs (my personal preference).
His question: Is there a way to install an auxiliary fan in the return duct serving the second floor? In his mind, he sees this forcing more cold air upstairs when the blower is running. I'm trying to wrap my mind around this idea, along with the resulting air flow patterns and subsequent comfort conditions. I'm not having much luck. Would this fan improve the comfort by "sucking" more air into the upstairs return? What would be going on inside the duct system and what other effects on air distribution would this have?
I would appreciate any feedback you may have!!!
@ August 3, 2009 6:00 PM in I must be Monday! Wall hung toilet has........Jim, for the reply. I sent the photos to my trusty wholesaler, who forwarded them to the Zurn rep. It turns out to be a Z1280 carrier (don't have the paperwork in front of me at the moment, but there is a part number extension indicating it's a copper connector) and the broken part I found today is actually a Zurn part! It does indeed sweat into the 3" tee as I suspected. The new "copper collar" (I believe is what they called it) is on its way. The fun part will be unsweating the old one!!!! Been awhile since I messed with soldering 3" dwv fittings!!!
@ August 3, 2009 9:39 AM in I must be Monday! Wall hung toilet has........that was leaking at the wall carrier connection. When we pulled the toilet, this is what we found (see attached pics). The drain line is 3" copper. There is a 3" tee RIGHT AT the concrete floor level, and the toilet flange appears to be soldered right into the tee. I've never seen one like this before. Has anyone??? It's a Zurn carrier. Does anyone know if the flange piece is replaceable??? TIA Starch
@ August 2, 2009 9:29 PM in Plumbers - do you do drain cleaning?As usual, the Wall comes through! Leo - I'm intrigued by your idea. Subbing the work had never occurred to me. The biggest challenge will be to find someone I know will be reliable, especially on the weekends. It's something I will definitely look into. I have considered buying a machine, as well, and may have to revisit that idea. I was interested also in everyone's opinion on whether a service call fee was warranted in my situation the other night. Thanks again, Starch
@ August 2, 2009 10:40 AM in Plumbers - do you do drain cleaning?...like sinks; I'm talking about 3 and 4 inch main drains. We don't have a sewer cleaning machine. I had a call last night for a toilet leaking around the base - turns out the main line was plugged and water leaked out around the toilet when the washing machine pumped out. I gave the homeowner the number for a drain cleaning guy and left. The dilemma - I don't feel like I can bill him for the service call since I didn't fix his problem. It's not as big a deal if I'M the one responding, but if one of my employees is taking the on call duty, I have to pay him overtime for HIS time, but can't bill the homeowner? What is your policy for situations like this??
@ July 30, 2009 3:39 PM in What are you cutting back and saving money on?I have been a non smoker since May 20!!!!!!
@ July 22, 2009 2:43 PM in 2.5 ton coil, 5 ton condenserThis unit has a single fan, not two. Maybe it's not 5 ton after all?? The nameplate was very hard to read, but I THINK the model number is CB57PR1-C. Next to that is F37-312797.
@ July 21, 2009 11:17 AM in 2.5 ton coil, 5 ton condenserIt's not a Lennox unit. I don't even know for sure what brand it is. The building owner found a bill from 1973 for the installation of a "johnson furnace BTL160 with 5 ton AC unit." It's a horizontal discharge, and the name plate doesn't list a manufacturer, but does have a weird little logo that looks like a J and an F written together, so perhaps it is a Johnson brand. I was able to find some info on the furnace, and it appears that the blower MIGHT be able to handle 4 tons (but this would be a real stretch) if esp is below .3. Not much of a duct system, so that actually might be achievable.
@ July 21, 2009 9:38 AM in 2.5 ton coil, 5 ton condenser...the metering device is an orifice at the coil. I'm still scratching my head!
@ July 20, 2009 4:11 PM in 2.5 ton coil, 5 ton condenser...found the other day. The coil was frozen. We thawed it and restarted the system, but I can not for the life of me understand how it EVER worked. I believe the outdoor unit is a 1973 vintage, and the coil was installed with a new furnace around 2001. I will be doing a heat loss and quoting the proper equipment, but I'm just curious how the installer got this thing to function at all. It was a reputable local firm who did this, too!
@ July 20, 2009 1:59 PM in Mothers (Dan H.)I am so sorry for your loss. May she rest in peace!
@ July 19, 2009 2:15 PM in 20 years for me...a non smoker for two months now!!!!!!!!
@ July 19, 2009 2:12 PM in A good friend has lost his Dad....so, so sorry, Chris. I lost my Dad in 2000, and I still think about him every day. I remember like it was yesterday the comfort I got from my fellow wallies at the time, too. This too shall pass, and time will ease the pain. Just remember that your dad is in a better place now, free from any pain and suffering, and is looking down on you proudly. We are all here for you, my man! Starch
@ June 4, 2009 4:24 PM in A question to plumbers,,....worth repairing, we'll repair it. Moen, Delta, and American Standard all are generally fixable. American Standard provides lifetime parts and finish warranty, so we get the parts replaced to us by the factory. I think Moen will do the same. The "junk" brand faucets we typically throw away and replace with a quality brand.
@ May 30, 2009 10:24 AM in Prestige 110 vent supplement?"Vent terminations must maintain the following clearances: a. At least 6 feet from adjacent walls b. No closer than 5 feet below roof overhangs c. At least 7 feet above any public walkway d. At least 3 feet above any forced air intake within 10 feet e. No closer than 12 inches below or horizontally from any door or window or gravity air inlet f. Must be at least 4 feet from any electric meters, gas meters, relief valves or other equipment. Never terminate the vent above or below any of these itiems within 4 feet horizontally g. A maximum of 12 inches beyond the exterior wall
@ May 19, 2009 9:40 AM in ATTENTION Ohio employers!...................(Starch)...participate in the Bureau of Workers' Compensation 15K medical only program? There are new reporting requirements being implemented by Medicare and Medicaid. Supposedly you have to "register" with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by June 30. I've tried to figure out how to do it and can't!!!! Has anyone in Ohio had any luck figuring this out? Starch
@ May 12, 2009 4:43 PM in Water valve question - never saw this....but maybe the valves were installed to facilitate "winterizing" the houses????? Just a guess!
@ May 12, 2009 4:40 PM in $1500.00 rebate/tax creditI have been tempering my explanation of the tax credits to my clients with a similar disclaimer!!!!
@ May 12, 2009 2:18 PM in $1500.00 rebate/tax creditI understand that, but am I correct in assuming that the credit applies to the TOTAL INSTALLED COST (which includes labor)? Or does it only apply to the EQUIPMENT COST (excluding labor)???
@ May 12, 2009 1:07 PM in $1500.00 rebate/tax credit...that the tax credit applied to the total cost of qualified equipment installation, including labor. This morning on the radio, I heard someone say that it applies to the "cost of the materials." Does anyone know which is right????