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Joined on October 13, 2004

Last Post on November 29, 2008

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virus?

@ November 29, 2008 10:03 AM in login?

When trying to view the wall in firefox, I get a little box that says it is 'heatinghelp.com's the wall logon' and asks "are you Cool site goodluck? :)" with a yes and no box, which do nothing if clicked. IE is fine, and I have never seen anything happen this way in firefox before.

@ June 23, 2008 9:24 PM in Beckett Z Gauge

Is it worth buying?

@ June 23, 2008 1:10 AM in Beckett Z Gauge

I have seen the Beckett Z Gauge years ago at some show i cant recall at the moment. And I was wondering if using it really saves time. thank you in advance, chris

re

@ April 7, 2008 2:33 PM in open radiant systems

Just because something doesn't kill ALL of the people who use it does not make it a good thing. Even cigarettes don't kill everyone. once you are educated, you need to give it up. You are simply being stubborn

re

@ April 7, 2008 2:01 PM in Excess BTU required for parked equipment

Of course the truck will have around 1000 lbs of mass that will be up about 160f , since it was running when it came in there, so I think the point is unimportant. Also, few expect garage space to be +or- 1deg F even when working there.

re

@ December 5, 2007 11:10 AM in Our FIRST residential radiant window project (ME)

Thinking well above my pay grade here, but what if the effect that is seen here is because the warmer interior temp is effectively stalling the convection. IOW, the river of cold air rolling down the window isn't happening, making net transmission into the room inefficient. Convection between the panes is still happening.......... Also did I understand that the tests were done with a plywood box? wouldn't a ~R20 box be a better simulation, and wouldn't one want to do a loss test on the box without the window as a reference?

Question To Mark A.

@ April 3, 2006 12:07 AM in feed water to boiler

Which low pressure cut off switch do you use and who is the distrubitor? Thanks For Your Help, Mike

two-zone system

@ January 6, 2006 9:11 AM in Wiring for multiple zone

My boiler is currently serving two heating zones, Zone 1 and Zone 2. For various reasons, I'd like to set it up so that whenever Zone 1 is calling for heat, it automatically calls for heat in Zone 2 as well. However, when Zone 2 calls for heat, it will only trigger Zone 2. I'm fairly familiar with electronics and wiring from a non-heating background and know that I can do this by simply buying a 24V SPST relay, but I was wondering -- does my boiler already have some sort of built-in support for this feature? I have a small Burnham Independence and a green box which I've never opened that says "Taco" on it. Thanks.

I tried testing in my own home

@ January 6, 2006 9:06 AM in Setbacks for One Pipe Steam

I basically measured fuel usage on days with a steep steback (roughly the same as yours except that I had it at 70 degrees at the high points, and I wake up later than you do. . . ), and then turned off the setback and measured the fuel usage. I did this for about a month half with setback and half without, correcting for degree days and so forth, but eventually I stopped because it was fairly obvious that setback was saving me a lot of fuel, and I didn't want to pay the additional fuel cost to experiment. Of course, it was more noticeable in my home since it has basically no insulation. -Michael

continuous hissing

@ December 22, 2005 9:38 AM in Air vent maintenance?

You're right in that the vents should shut off. To check if the vents are leaking steam, you can try holding piece of tissue paper over the vent while it's hissing and checking to see if it gets wet. If it does, you'll need to either clean (boil in water and vinegar) the vent, which may or may not work, or just replace it. As an aside, this happened with one of my smaller vents last year, but it could only vent a small amount of air, which wasn't sufficient to keep the boiler from shutting off on pressure. Of course, my boiler is oversized and it was a small vent. . . it did of course cost more in fuel, too, since the boiler run times were longer than they ought to have been. -Michael

local supply store

@ December 22, 2005 9:34 AM in Maid-O-Mist valves

Home Depot/Lowes doesn't carry them as far as I know. You can try www.pexsupply.com. I bought stuff from there and usually get it on the next day, though of course their warehouse isn't very far away. -Michael

Vents

@ December 14, 2005 12:14 PM in General rules for air vent size?

The vents control how fast the radiators get hot, but can't control their ultimate heat output. If all of the radiators are heating all of the way across, or rather, at the same rate (which is the appropriate way for things to work), then you'll need to look elsewhere to fix your problem. Fortunately, elsewhere isn't that far away. You can, for example, get TRVs for the upper floor radiators. These interpose themselves between the radiator and the air vent and will shut off flow to the vents once a certain temperature is reached. The effect of this is that it stops the radiator from receiving steam prematurely so as to avoid overheating. -Michael

Seems to work fine

@ December 9, 2005 11:24 AM in Cost of an oversized steam boiler

My steam boiler, while piped well and vented well and so forth, is too large. It's rated for around 280 or so sq feet of steam, which overpowers my 160 sqft of radiators by a good margin (and that's after all of the pickup factor corrections). Anyway, I haven't yet noticed any fatal flaw from this arrangement -- I put a bunch of lettered Gortons (that is, Cs and Ds) on my radiators and probably more main vents than I need, and the whole system gets the radiators hot in a hurry. In fact, the radiators get hot so fast (they heat across in a few minutes, well before the room starts warming up) that they tend to overshoot the thermostat. Not that I mind, of course -- I set my thermostat to 70 degrees but if I didn't feel so bad about the fuel cost, I'd set it to 73 or something. I like warm. Anyway, there's no short cycling (it triggers the pressuretrol fairly quickly, but not before heating all of the radiators all the way across), and it seems that my venting is sufficient to vent out the steam as fast as the boiler makes it (at least, no pressure builds up until the radiators are hot), so I'm left to wonder, where is the downside to having the oversized boiler? -Michael

I thought this might be interesting

@ November 21, 2005 5:37 PM in Oil prices

Don't know if you guys have seen it already, but it has some oil prices (as quoted by the dealers themselves, I believe) for the New England area. The prices, of course, may or may not be legitimate, but I did find my dealer on the list and the price for them, at least, is correct. http://www.newenglandoil.com -Michael

As a renter

@ November 21, 2005 5:34 PM in banging radiators

You can probably check the pitch of your radiators themselves (make sure they're pitched towards the supply pipe) as well as making sure the supply valve is open. The rest, you may not be allowed to make changes to, even if they would be a good idea. I suppose the other thing you could do as a renter from your apartment is to call the landlord and complain. . . -Michael

heat loss

@ November 16, 2005 4:23 PM in Main vents +heat loss

The venting sounds fine. I'd estimate the heat loss on the pipes is in the ballpark of 210-220 BTU/h per linear foot, or around 0.9 EDR/foot. This is in spite of the fact that a linear foot of 2" pipe is actually more like half a square foot in surface area, but I think that's not really important. -Michael

Also

@ November 11, 2005 12:43 PM in Water Hammer

Definitely you want the main venting; that's a big deal. With regard to the overfilling, that's a lot of additional weight being added to the pipes -- definitely more than intended. I'd check the pitch on all the pipes (as well as the radiators) to make sure that extra weight didn't cause any unexpected sags or reverse pitches and so forth. And also, yes, that amount of water floating around in the radiators probably unearthed a bunch of junk, so you might want to flush them a bit. -Michael

smaller vent

@ October 31, 2005 4:01 PM in Radiator pitch

My guess is that it needs a smaller vent. That is. either the radiator or the supply pipe is perhaps too small to handle the rate at which condensate is being generated (pitch notwithstanding), and so the water keeps getting pushed back into the radiator by incoming steam as it tries to flow outward. As that incoming steam condenses, you get a bit of boiling going on because of the quantity of water that can't escape. -Michael

If your returns are below the waterline

@ October 31, 2005 3:57 PM in Main vents at end of dry return vs. at end of mains?

Then you don't have any dry returns anyway. Following the pipes from your boiler, you should see, with the bracketed items being potentially not there: Boiler -->
Header -->
Main (generally fatter than the returns) -->
[dry return] (generally skinnier than the main, after the last radiator, and still above the waterline as it returns back to the boiler) -->
[wet return] (generally skinnier than the main, after the last radiator, and below the waterline) -->
Boiler (via hartford loop and whatnot) In my basement, as an example, I have about a 20' main of 2" pipe, which turns around (without really dropping much in height) into a dry return (1" pipe), which goes the 20' back to the boiler. It then drops down to the floor for the span of about 6 inches forming a nominal "wet return" before rising back up into the hartford loop and into the boiler. My vents should be placed at the end of the main before the dry return, since there's no point venting the return portion. However, it's not a terribly big deal (though it's not ideal) to put the vents at the end of the dry return, keeping in mind there are more bends in the pipe and more air to vent. Other systems commonly run: Boiler --> header --> Main --> wet return --> Boiler In this case, the piping drops down to the floor right after the last radiator. In this case, you have to put your vents after the last radiator. -Michael

If your returns are below the waterline

@ October 31, 2005 3:57 PM in Main vents at end of dry return vs. at end of mains?

Then you don't have any dry returns anyway. Following the pipes from your boiler, you should see, with the bracketed items being potentially not there: Boiler -->
Header -->
Main (generally fatter than the returns) -->
[dry return] (generally skinnier than the main, after the last radiator, and still above the waterline as it returns back to the boiler) -->
[wet return] (generally skinnier than the main, after the last radiator, and below the waterline) -->
Boiler (via hartford loop and whatnot) In my system, as an example, I have about a 20' main of 2" pipe, which turns around (without really dropping much in height) into a dry return (1" pipe), which goes the 20' back to the boiler. It then drops down to the floor for the span of about 6 inches forming a nominal "wet return" before rising back up into the hartford loop and into the boiler. My vents should be placed at the end of the main before the dry return, since there's no point venting the return portion. However, it's not a terribly big deal (though it's not ideal) to put the vents at the end of the dry return, keeping in mind there are more bends in the pipe and more air to vent. Other systems commonly run: Boiler --> header --> Main --> wet return --> Boiler In this case, the piping drops down to the floor right after the last radiator. In this case, you have to put your vents after the last radiator. -Michael

If your returns are below the waterline

@ October 31, 2005 3:57 PM in Main vents at end of dry return vs. at end of mains?

Then you don't have any dry returns anyway. Following the pipes from your boiler, you should see, with the bracketed items being potentially not there: Boiler -->
Header -->
Main (generally fatter than the returns) -->
[dry return] (generally skinnier than the main, after the last radiator, and still above the waterline as it returns back to the boiler) -->
[wet return] (generally skinnier than the main, after the last radiator, and below the waterline) -->
Boiler (via hartford loop and whatnot) In my system, as an example, I have about a 20' main of 2" pipe, which turns around (without really dropping much in height) into a dry return (1" pipe), which goes the 20' back to the boiler. It then drops down to the floor for the span of about 6 inches forming a nominal "wet return" before rising back up into the hartford loop and into the boiler. My vents should be placed at the end of the main before the dry return, since there's no point venting the return portion. However, it's not a terribly big deal (though it's not ideal) to put the vents at the end of the dry return, keeping in mind there are more bends in the pipe and more air to vent. Other systems commonly run: Boiler --> header --> Main --> wet return --> Boiler In this case, the piping drops down to the floor right after the last radiator. In this case, you have to put your vents after the last radiator. -Michael

listen to the above

@ October 31, 2005 11:28 AM in Unbalanced steam system

and definitely don't shrink the size of the supply pipes. The diameter of the supply pipes is designed to support the load of steam and/or condensate flowing through them; while there is generally room for more radiators, shrinking the pipes willy-nilly will likely cause a steam-condensate traffic jam in the pipes, which will likely be audible in no uncertain terms. Even if the resulting supply pipe is still large enough, all you've really done is lessen the air removal requirement for the front half of the building, which would result it in potentially heating faster than before. . . ! -Michael
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