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John Mills

John Mills

Joined on October 12, 2004

Last Post on August 28, 2014

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Something needs to be done

@ August 28, 2014 12:13 PM in Stupid is as Stupid does.

They hit my church last week. Linesets. 4 units, 7.5 to 10 ton, only ran about 10' each. Left the 5 ton units alone, didn't take coils. Luckily didn't find the 50 ton's lineset or we would have had a steamy service Sunday! 20' off the busiest road in Indy. 


@ August 27, 2014 2:14 PM in Scorched Air vs Hydrocoil

Humidity is lowered by cold air coming in and being heated. Doesn't matter how, what temp it was heated to, etc. The house I grew up in was built in 1911 with a converted gravity system. In the winter, 2 console humidifiers couldn't keep it above 20% in there. My current house has scorched air but is 25 years old, well insulated, great windows. I have no humidifier nor need one.

Doesn't matter what temp the air is heated to by hydro coil or heat exchanger, it's what the temp is where the humidity is measured that counts. The furnace or coil does not dehumidify. There is no condensate drain under the coil or the heat exchanger.

Double mike has it right that getting rid of open combustion heating equipment is what makes for lots higher humidity. Those old low AFUE natural draft boilers  and furnaces used a LOT of house air for combustion AND dillution. Seems to me the figure was 30 cu ft of house air for each cubic foot of gas burned on those oldies.

And the argument that hydronic heat dries less due to not having duct leakage is also valid - if the duct system is outside the conditioned space like so many around here.


@ August 26, 2014 12:01 PM in Reduced hot water pressure

Going tonight to investigate. 

Reduced hot water pressure

@ August 25, 2014 2:51 PM in Reduced hot water pressure

Sis is complaining that all of her hot water faucets in the house have reduced pressure all of a sudden. She has a generic gas 50 gallon tank about 10 years old. She tried closing and opening the valve and also draining a bit. I'm going over tomorrow, suggestions that I look at? Disconnect supply & hot pipes to see if crud is blocking the male fittings? (that sounds like work )

I didn't know

@ August 13, 2014 12:30 PM in kicking the city steam habit

Citizens Thermal had homes on the line. They seem to have about every major building downtown on it!

We usually refer people to Baker Mechanical (formerly Baker Boiler) for a big steam job or repair. So far no complaints from the customers we referred.

They are here!

@ July 28, 2014 4:13 PM in upside down furnace

Our neck of the woods they are very common. We have a lot of homes on crawls or slabs and until the last few years, that's what they got.

More recently builders decided it was cheaper to install an upflow and put a tangled mess of flex in the attic to absorb attic heat and put out heat at the ceiling so you are cold sitting in your easy chair.

other choices

@ June 9, 2014 11:55 AM in Help with RTU replacement......

There are choices whose donuts are between Daikin and Trane.  I made the suggestion of a Lennox K series or a Rheem that should fall in the middle and be decent products. 


@ June 6, 2014 2:58 PM in mini-split use advice

Do you know if compressor is variable speed or not? 

Read in the news

@ June 6, 2014 2:51 PM in ac problem at basketball game

overheated circuit breaker.

1 frigging breaker would shut down the whole system? Must have been to the building automation system. Gotta be oodles of air handlers, multiple chillers. Saw on a satellite view of the joint there's 4 big towers beside it. Gotta be oodles of breakers to cover all them.


@ June 3, 2014 1:28 PM in Help with RTU replacement......

Personally I'd skip a Goodman made RTU. Since you're using a curb adapter anyway, you can use just about anything though some matches make for some pretty hideous curb adapters. American Standard and Trane have some pretty premium packaged units and will be pretty pricey.  At 7.5 ton I'd want a 2 compressor unit for staging and humidity control. I'd look into a Lennox K series for a mid priced reliable unit. Rheem RTUs aren't too bad either. 


@ June 3, 2014 1:09 PM in Air handler with DX A/Cz and hydronic heat.

Some heat pumps, especially Mitsubishi, have amazing capability at heating even below zero. They don't fall off like you'd think. But they are pricey. PTAC or PTHP can be DIY if you can cut a hole in the wall and run electric to it. 

Those crazy things

@ May 23, 2014 12:59 PM in Next CO alarm recall

If you've worked on many Nest thermostats, you are thinking "what next"?

Minor correction

@ May 22, 2014 4:19 PM in Next CO alarm recall

The detector is a NEST. Same people who make that pesky thermostat that drives a lot of us crazy!


@ May 20, 2014 4:12 PM in Wireless thermostat question

Emerson 1F98EZ-1621 is pretty basic but does the job.

If you get into the Honeywell Red Link system, you get a lot more capability plus internet accessible. The new Vision Pro with an EIM will communicate wirelessly. You can add the wireless remote for even more control. The internet gateway will hook to a router so they can access the system while away. They can hook things like emergency pan float switches to the EIM and get a message that the pan is full for example. One option is a remote temp sensor so they can average between the 2 floors, the remote and the built in the stat.

At a glance

@ May 1, 2014 12:58 PM in Heat Load assessment different from quuted Boiler Size

Looks like an awful lot of house for that small of a heat loss. Did you get the type of windows & insulation level right?

Some dealers like to oversize. When my Aunt was getting quotes to replace a 335K boiler for an old 2 story, on dealer wanted to put in 2 200Ks, 1 per floor. The dealer that got the job went with my suggestion of a 210K for the whole house!

PVC pipes

@ April 12, 2014 8:44 AM in Burnham Alpine

Did I understand that you are running the exhaust up the chimney as a chase but the intake out the basement wall? Not sure about boilers but many forced air furnaces won't run that way. Both pipes have to be in the same pressure zone, in other words - together. 

What are you replacing?

@ March 29, 2014 10:15 AM in two 2.5 ton heat pumps for one 5 ton heat pump

You are replacing something  but not the blower? 

0 & B

@ March 12, 2014 1:34 PM in Trol A Temp Replacement wiring

That old panel relied on the stat telling it whether it was set to heat or cool by the signal on the O and B terminals. Rare to find a modern stat with both. Last I knew, the White-Rodgers 1F80-361 was a digital programmable that did.

Probably is time to get a modern panel, make sure it can handle the dampers which are likely powered open & powered closed. A new panel with a discharge air sensor that is ADJUSTABLE lets you cycle the equipment by the panel not the furnace limit.

If you replace the panel, you'll need to replace the other stat with a model that can select heat or cool manually otherwise the system will never shut off.


@ March 5, 2014 12:43 PM in Gas furnace v hydro-air in remodel

Trane 60K 95% furnace will be GROSSLY oversized for 1000 sq ft built like a tank. I have 1000 sq ft stand alone house and heated at -15° out with high locked out or firing at 36,000 BTU. Friend with a foamed 1600 sq ft house had a Trane 60K 2 stage and it would only fire on low with 2 zones calling, She never did use the basement so the zone panel wouldn't let the furnace go to high. So if you go with a gas furnace, find the smallest you can get or you'll short cycle so much you lose efficiency. Or another selling point for the hydroair. 

2 or more!

@ February 26, 2014 1:58 PM in Single stage, two-stage and multi-stage, which one

We've sold 2 stage furnaces for 30 years and modulating since Rheem came out with theirs. Customers love them. Never heard customers rave about a furnace til the Rheem mod on the matching stat. It is NOT gone now, just not available in the downflow and horizontal at this time. The new line they haven't brought out the multiposition mod yet. AFUE rating issues I hear. We put all of our 2 stage on 2 stage stats.

Only thing I'd worry about with 2 stage and mods is ceiling vents. Since almost all of ours are floor, even with downflow equipment, we haven't had complaints about comfort on low fire. As these new junker homes with ceiling vents need new furnaces, it could become an issue.

As for blowing cold air, since most furnaces start blowing as soon as a hint of warmth builds up in the HX, that likely will be an issue with any high efficiency furnace. A properly sized 2 stage with 2 stage stat will have long run times on low in bitter weather eliminating a lot of the cycling from the older, likely oversized single stage furnace.

How to vent oil

@ February 19, 2014 4:05 PM in How to vent oil

New owners of an office in an old house. Took down the chimney venting the furnace. Got b-vent, stuck it out the side wall of the basement and terminated below the eave. This is what we found!


@ February 19, 2014 4:03 PM in atmospheric boiler for coach house?

Never heard of that particular boiler and if it says don't put in a garage, it shouldn't be put in a garage. In our area, in a lot of parts of town, most equipment is in a garage regardless of what it is. No new boilers are being installed but the average smaller new home gets an 80% furnace and thousands are replaced each year. Many 90s in garages don't have outside air for combustion. Not putting an open flame in the garage may be a local code but if it is acceptable in an area I can't see how a contractor is risking his license doing it. Same with water heaters. Now they have the flame safeguard but are still using garage air for combustion. 
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