Joined on November 8, 2004
Last Post on February 24, 2012
@ January 16, 2007 8:29 AM in Ford truck auto startA little off topic but it was driving us crazy and thought if we could save one other company from going loopy. We have a 2002 Ford explorer sportrac that we use for running parts delivering bulky ductwork etc as well as estimates. THis truck as well as many of our other trucks has a dealer installed AutoStart. As time has gone by there has been an ever increasing occurance where the truck failed to even start. Time of day, Outdoor temp etc did not add intothe equation. Bottom line after several trips and lots of $$ it was finally figured out by our own staff here. IF you try to do an auto start while one particular cell phone is plugged into the cig lite outlet for charge, it will cause the truck not to start. Even after removing the phone, the truck will take several days to "mend" itself, then it will start with no problem for quite a long period of time!. charging the phone after the truck starts has no effect. Other phones have no effect if left to charge on the same charger cord. Its only the one phone! Put this out here for you to see that its not always the obvious causing little problems. Like the time I had zone valves causing TV interference. wasn't the zone valves after all, only when there was a call for heat. It ended up being the 24v 40va transformer! always think outside the box as well as inside. Good luck
@ December 25, 2006 12:49 PM in Anybody Speak Polish?Reminds me of this chineses man I was working for called his daughter in china then handed the phone to me passed it back and forth as she translated for us. Expensive repair for them?
@ August 24, 2006 8:14 AM in Revisit DIYersJust a comment Did you ask for a complete heat loss calc? Did you ask for a detailed estimate? Recently I have scheduled 5 estimates for people that called me on the phone. Of those 5 homes/families that I had scheduled my time for, 2 were not home and one said that the Hubby had to run out so could I come back at another time. 3 out of 5 appointments for nothing. 3 -6 hours (including transportation) and no income to show for it. Ball park over the phone? Let me say that it will be between $3000 and $13000, depending. Yup, depending. I have stopped all estimates unless the Homeowner is willing to pay $100 cash for the time. What do you get, You get the written estimate. A heat loss calc has been done and you will receive that AFTER the job is fully paid for. I used the heat loss calc for the sizing of equipment. Oh and by the way, local building inspectors now require it when pulling the permit. I have even gone as far now as to have the homeowner pay for permit fees upfront and in cash. After I had gone to the building dept 2 times in 2006 on diffrent jobs only to find that another contractor had pulled a permit on the same job. After calling the original contractor found out after the permit was pulled the job the homeowner had canceled the job for one reason or another. Estimates are exactly what you are willing to pay for them. You want 3 estimates for comparison, be willing to pay for three estimates or you will have what you paid for, 3 business cards with prices scribbled on the back.
@ May 6, 2006 8:34 AM in Taste Great / Less FillingJohn, In your recent post,GREAT TASTE LESS FILLING, you words are beyond any of your previous works. I was just able to stare at your post, wanting for more.
@ May 1, 2006 12:08 PM in control selectionI a customer that has the need for adding a high temperature manual reset aquastat to 4 boilers. The best solution would be a manual reset device. Is there such an item? I can find manual reset stuf but not in strap-on. assistence would be appreciated
@ April 29, 2006 7:14 AM in Oil Burner Comparison & DifferencesYour question is an interesting one. I find it entertaining when someone compares apples and oranges. I can purchase two Beckett burners and put them side by side, these burners will both do the same job. BUT ... Options son Options. Motors, Oil pumps, Ignition style, Primary control, and Delay solinoids are a few of the parameters that will decide prices and reliablity of an oil burner. Select the wrong burner and it may never pull the oil from your underground tank. Select the correct options and your Pager or cell phone will call you at work to inform you the Primary control has tripped out on safety. All 3 burners you mention are quality built equipment. All three have their place in my heart. I had a customer that called around for estimates for a new boiler. One company was doing a swap out. Another a floor to ceiling replacement. One had a steel boiler the other a cast iron. Of the 7 estimates he got he had no two using the same combinations of boilers and burners. He told me that the High priced guy was a crook and that the low priced guy was a fly by night guy. After reviewing the entire job I found they were both right on with their estimates and my estimate was in the seven. The customer failed to state what equipment he was looking for and what he was trying to accomplish. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Cast, or Steel, Oil delay and/or two stage, PSC or old school motor. Its all preference and options. As far as Riello, Carlin and Beckett? I like and use them all. I find consumers spend countless hours on selecting a car, TV or computer, but spend no time in selecting boiler or burner options. Unrelated but equally as important, how many gallons of gas do you run through your car in a year? About the same gallon of fuel usage for the heating system in your home? The STATE requires you to have you car inspected to keep you safe on the road.That way you have the basic safety equipment to help you from harming others. I cannot wait until the state requires you to have and PROVE your heating system is inspected annualy by a qualified testing agency or service. THis might keep people from harming them or their children with CO or scalding burns etc. (sorry for the rant) Jim
@ April 23, 2006 7:38 AM in A lego kit for hydron-aholicsIs anyone able to give an update on this drawing aid ? I am very interested. thanks
@ April 23, 2006 7:37 AM in A lego kit for hydron-aholics> selection of hydronic symbols and drawing tools.
> HydroniCAD should be available in the next few
> weeks. A stand alone program with drag and paste
> components. This will be a great design,
> presentation, documentation, and even a
> troubleshooting tool.
> I can see how this could
> work better than a digital camera to record and
> pass along the details of a problematic system.
> Build a system via your laptop at the job, and
> with the press of a button, or two, send it via
> cyberspace for all to see. Use the drawing and
> get advice, or revised drawings, from other
> HydroniCAD users to revamp or add on to current
> system piping.
> Draw up your systems after
> completion and laminate a copy to hang with the
> boiler docs. A great "map" for the next tech, on
> the job, to follow and understand.
> Use it as a
> sales tool with you customers presentation
> Replace your Tetris game and play
> HydroniCAD during slow times :)
> Price not yet
> set, but it should be about what a hydronic pro
> charges for a couple hours labor :) I can forsee
> a one or two job payback on a tool like
> Next we need one of those 3D copy
> machines that would squeeze out an actual model
> of a boiler and piping system,from the CAD
> drawing, for those true "touch and feel" types
> hot rod
> 144&Step=30"_To Learn More About This
> Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in
> "Find A Professional"_/A_
@ April 19, 2006 8:00 AM in oil-fired water heater - safety valveThe Watts 100xl is rated at 100,000 btu The Watts 40xl is rated at 200,000 btu Use the 100xl on Elec and Gas 30 gallon water heaters, Use to 40xl on 30 gallon Oil Fired hot water heaters
@ April 18, 2006 7:27 AM in oil-fired water heater - safety valveIf you have a water heater fueled by oil you have to pay particular attention to the safety valve you choose. Most of the Electric or gas 30 or 40 gallon hot water heaters are approx 33k to 45k btu's input. But if you have a 30 - 35 gallon, oil fired hot water heater, firing at the rate of .75gph at 100psi OIL pressure, you have an input of 105k btu's. Many MANY people grab the same T&P valve for the elec/gas units and expect them to work in the oil fired units. These valves are rated 100k btu. The correct T&P valve for the oil fired hot water heaters are many times more $$ than the elec/gas T&P valve. (since I am not in the van I will use my memory, I think the Watts model of valve is the 40XL but check WATTS for sure) I have seen this problem 3 times in the last year and in each case I was the second guy in. The correct valve is much more costly but it does the job just fine.
@ March 22, 2006 7:09 AM in Help! Oil dripping from Beckett AFGOn a new installation I would suspect an adjustment is not correct. Nozzle size vs pump pressure, Z dim, of burner to the boiler, Loose end cone, Oil bleeder loose, Oil line flare dirty or burred. On an older job all of the above and also several other items. Its in your best interest to get an Oil burner Tech there instead of a plumber.
@ March 22, 2006 7:05 AM in Help! Oil dripping from Beckett AFG> I just built a new home and the plumber put in a
> Weil McClain Gold Oil Boiler with Beckett AFG
> burner - I noticed a few drips of reddish oil on
> the ground below the burner. I had them come back
> and they tested the oil line and found no leak.
> The dripping continues, a couple of drops a day
> and it appears to be coming from the motor
> (right) side of the burner, not the left side
> where the oil line and pump are. Any advice would
> be appreciated, only thing I can think of is that
> electrical motor leaking from a bad seal? Can
> this be repaired or should it be replaced.
@ March 7, 2006 2:50 PM in Taco 007One thing to check is if it is circulating water. I was called to a new job of another contractor because he could not fix it. He was not circulating water, circulator was hot, but when you put a screwdriver to it as a stethescope you heard humming not water movement. This was caused by a glob of solder that had worked its way thru the baseboard and jammed up the rotor. The other guy refused to think that the circulator was not circulating.
@ February 16, 2006 6:33 AM in honeywell partsCirca is the latin word for about. The Honeywell controlers were used in the control of the entire system. They are not hooked in any way to the boiler or its temperature control. The boiler runs on its own, banging off of the high temp limit.
@ February 15, 2006 6:31 PM in honeywell partsCalled to my church to resolve an issue with the parish hall. I was told it never worked correctly and that it is not working at all now. Original Hot air heat by electric elements circa 1973. Someone replaced the elect elements with a Hydro coil off a gas boiler. circa 1989. Controls for Occupied and unOccupied are done by a mish mash of timers relays and Honeywell W7500 control parts. circa unknown. Does anyone have info on the W7500 controls and the various boards for those boards in the 3 modules I have? Got the boiler up and running but since the spill switches were removed and hanging away from the draft hood it was evident that there was a problem with the flue. Once we turned the blower on the room developed a serious neg pressure and all products of combustion spilled into the mech room. Boiler all runs fine with good draft prior to blower running. determined the blower is from the old electric coil system and the hydro coil is reducing air flow from the HVAC return ducts. THe speed of the blower is not matched to the cfm of the reduced air flow. we are looking inot VFD's for the blowers. We could really use the Honeywell information so we can get the system to power up in Auto mode. The less fingers and the more automatic the better. thanks
@ February 14, 2006 7:18 AM in Concrete wallsIn my application it's simply drilling two 2.5" holes for the Oil tank supply and vent. I use an SDS with a core bit. When figuring the Estimate on the tank Job I add $75 for each hole I have to drill for the install. I tried to depend on another company to do the drilling and we waited 3 hours for them to show up on our install day. They were suppose to be there the previous day. No one is as dependable as yourself. I did not buy the most expensive SDS but a flexible model with a Jacobs chuck as well.
@ February 1, 2006 7:50 AM in It is about respect.......Does it matter to Mr/Mrs customer that I work in a dank dark hole in their house. I've had customers tell me, "it's down their, I don't do basements". Was in one basement last Saturday and when I opened the outside bulk head door I could see why they might not like it down there. Over 5 snake skins curled up on the steps! We work in some poor working conditions. In the military they called it hazardous duty pay. What about that nice clean uniform I leave here each morning in. By the end of the day, and sometimes 2 uniform shirts later, I could look like a soot monster. Why so dirty? Because the acidemic (sp?) doesn't put any value in having a clean running heating appliance. Only calls, (as one guy here phrased it), the grease monkey, when the thing doesn't keep him warm. I thank all my customers for the new van they are purchasing for me, and for paying my son's tuition, and for this nice computer and, and and......, should we go on? Do what you want, do it right, give value to your customers, Fire the loads, and the money will be there.
@ January 31, 2006 7:43 AM in It is about respect.......John, Your writing on respect that tradespeople or craftsmen deserve makes me think back years ago when during a family gathering I heard several family members almost snicker at our trades. Nurses paramedics etc are "professionals". I ask what makes you more of a professional than me? The answer they thought was simple," If we make a mistake as a health care professional, we can harm, cripple, mame or kill someone". I got a good laugh, I said that I must be an oil heating professional. Except I must be a higher grade than you. They looked at me and kinda laughed. I said, " OK then if killing or maming someone makes you a proffesional then I can do an entire school or apartment complex if I do not have the correct training or if I make a mistake". Funny thing is they have never spoke of their proffesion again in front of me. They do talk about their jobs though. I guess I made my point. BTW, I have just bought my 4th income home and I am presently planning my spring vacation. They have not been away for years. I feel I am adequately compensated for my efforts.
@ December 30, 2005 6:23 PM in A call to arms...Mark, cool idea! Problem is, seldom does anyone read the manual. How about this, insurance companies should ask for proof that the heating appliances have been cleaned and tested in the last 12 months. Funny how people seem to get their car state inspection done to avoid a ticket, but they do not get their boilers inspected. Without getting into rates or fees, if it was cleaned and tagged by some company in the last 13 months charge $xxx.00 If the last time was over 14 months its $xxx.00 x 1.5 = big bucks.
@ December 30, 2005 6:14 PM in ExperimentThe situation I have mentioned was when the recent decision to ship equipment with higher than 100psi oil pump settings.approx late 1990's Boilers were being sent out with the nozzles for the 100psi pump settings and the pumps were being sent out set at 140psi. (22% more fuel!!!) After sitting on the bucket and trying to tune in another companies install (it was producing soot so they called me for help) I found that the burner could not meet my desired readings. After trying to open the air all the way it hit me to Re-check the nozzle. After pulling the assy out it hit me to recheck the pump pressure. After determining the problem I went back over all my own installs and had to correct about 25% of them. Iffy readings kept me up at night. All of the boilers were set to the mfg specs, even the nozzles were the nozzles spelled out in the literature. The oil pumps were set at a higher than spec'd pressure. I dropped the nozzle size and the boilers stopped roaring and the Efficiency came up. Excess air also came into what I felt was more exceptable. After calling the boiler comanies they pointed the finger at the burner companies and after talking to the burner companies the told me they ship what is asked for. I was able to get someone from each burner company to commit to me that they would follow through on the discovered situation. My suppliers next batch of boilers were set up correctly. Testing saves fuel and LIVES. Period. The reason for testing is to save, lives being the most important.
@ December 30, 2005 7:43 AM in ExperimentCombustion testing should be done after EVERY annual tune-up. Yes EVERY tune-up. Build it into your charge or charge additionally for it, but you cannot find some of the problems we have found without instruments. . If speaking in round numbers, if it costs $1000 to heat a home, and you were able to find 3% more in efficiency by tuning a residential boiler, you just saved the homeowner $30.00!!!!!! Estimate that you only find 1.5% ON AVERAGE per home, and you do 100 cleanings and tuneups per year. If you charges $10.00 more per cleaning because you tune and test every appliance. Thats $1000.00 more in your pocket and on average $500.00 more for your customers. SOME customers sae even more. When a boiler is set up from the factory, it is set up with the nozzle and air settings for MOST applications. I have found from 4 boiler companies and the two burner companies that the average set up was not correct out of the box. I had notified all of the six companys and they all pointed the finger at each other. It was Beckett and Carlin that listened in the end and assisted in straighting the problem. I would have never found the problem without instruments. I have read it here on the wall before, TEST EVERY job!