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Joined on August 13, 2009

Last Post on September 6, 2014

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@ February 22, 2014 10:04 AM in geothermal vs. airsource

The actual amount of water going through the Geo is 4-1/2 gpm. With fresh water you only need 1-1/2 gpm per ton. Close loops are double that. I was just saying that my well could easily feed the geo unit and all the house usage. No need to dig another well.

Cupronickel is offered by all manufacturers as an option, cheap insurance as well water can change over time.

I also filter the water with one of those centrifugal sediment removers, they work well and are very easy to blow out even when the units running.

The pipe going to my stream is only a couple of inches underground but pitches continuously toward the stream so it drains down when finished. Never had any trouble even with sub 0 weather.

I dont cool with mine...chilled water is a pain to insulate and pipe. Ductless mini inverters are to good to waste your time and money on chilled water. So you wont need a desuperheater option, they only work in ac mode. If you want to make domestic hot water you can pipe it like a boiler with an indirect water tank.

Here are some complete systems

@ February 22, 2014 12:55 AM in geothermal vs. airsource

water to water

@ February 22, 2014 12:39 AM in geothermal vs. airsource

I heat my home with a water to water heat pump. I had a well that was clocked at over 32 gpm and 5 ft from the surface.I also have a stream aside of the house for discharge. Water temps remain constant at 55. Hydronic separation with a 40 gallon buffer tank controlled with a tekmar reset control usually running 100 degree water through radiant heating system. COP depends on water temp discharge which changes with outdoor temp. Water from well #5 ph so cupronickel exchanger was used and seems to be holding up well.
The downside is noise, unit is 36000 btu and compressor is in attached mechanical room. Very annoying. Compressors dont seem to get quieter with age.
It works well and is very cheap to operate. Invested in a inverter constant pressure pump to maintain correct flow rate but will replace with smaller pump and cycle stop valve to get same results with lower pumping cost.
I have seen some of the systems that use closed loops and wells and have heard the prices people pay for them. To me it doesnt make any sense. Air to water heat pumps will give the same comfort and the money saved will put an entire array of photovoltaics to run it. Efficiency becomes moot at that point because the air to water system would run for free. Photovoltaics have been dropping in price and I really like the plug and play convenience of micro inverters.

I agree

@ February 21, 2014 7:53 PM in mini split heat pump install in wi.

Would be much better to run a multi unit for the heat load and only use half the units for a/c.  Also I would like to correct my last post. Google air to water heat pump not vise versa.

David...I hate to tell you this but

@ February 20, 2014 11:10 PM in mini split heat pump install in wi.

These 410 inverters work great at 0 degrees. I work in Reading Pa and our design day is 15. We hit alot of design days this year and much lower, below 0.
These mini spits worked great. I was called in to repair a steam system in town, when I got there the owner of the little bodega was heating with a heat pump I installed for A/C a year ago. I walked under it and it was blowing very warm air on me. I stood there in amazement, I couldnt believe it. It was below 0 when I got there.
Most people think heat pumps stop putting out heat at some number usually 32 degrees but this is not the case. The truth is in the past heat pumps were sized to the cooling load, of course they were otherwise they would have been to big to dehumidify.
Without looking I would assume somewhere below the Mason Dixon is where the the heat gain and loss are pretty much equal. Today we are no longer bound by these rules, we can size the heat pumps for heat load on design day and in the summer they will just modulate down to the proper size for dehumidification. Daiken even makes a unit , the Quaternity that turns the top half of the evaporator into the tail end of the condenser so dehumidification can take place without temperature change.
Of course for many of us warm water aficionados the ideal system is a air to water heat pump, they just are having a real problem releasing those systems here.
Daiken has the Altherma but Fujitsu and Mitsubisi plus several other are making and selling these things all over Europe. I believe one of the biggest problems is they usually stop at 130 degrees which makes them only suitable for low temp radiant systems or revamped low temp baseboard systems, something we dont have enough of to make it profitable. Just Google water to air heat pump and you will see them all as your directed to a European site.
I personally have come to the conclusion that these are the future, after being fooled again with the promise of cheap fossil fuel...Propane and after feeling the wrath of some of my customers who are now paying 4 dollars a gallon because of some fake shortage. Only electric heat can be created by the end consumer using photovoltaic and with the newest microinverter panels it can be done reasonably over time.

Deionized water

@ February 19, 2014 12:30 PM in How serious an issue is water quality?

I guess it all depends on the quality of the water to begin with. If you have a system with 300 gallons of water and 20 grains of hardness it would probably be prudent to remove the hardness but using a water softener would introduce a substantial amount of salt to the water which also harms stainless steel on the other hand using the water straight would introduce  close to 3/4 lb of calcium.
If you have a system with 30 gallons of water and 10 grains hardness its going to leave you with less than 20 grams hardness in the system.
De-ionizers are quite common for car washing and fish tanks, both 2 tank and mixed bed units and everyone on YouTube has a way of regenerating them.
I think that it is a good idea to isolate the boiler and install flush valves like we do on tankless water heaters and clean the exchanger while we do the yearly service.
As far as rusting pumps, I cant say I really ever had that trouble.

Problem with wireless stats

@ February 3, 2014 4:19 PM in go wireless or not

is they take batteries. Several times this year I had to give a service charge to people who just forgot to check their batteries. I wish the change battery was a bright flashing light instead of just small print.
Anyway, by running a common to a wired stat you dont need batteries and its one less thing in your life that will catch you at the worst possible time.
Just a thought

Oversized boiler

@ January 11, 2014 11:11 AM in Oversized boiler

I went to look at a job that was put in a few years ago, its got everything, cast rads in the old section, baseboard fin and radiant in the new. Complete disaster!
The boiler was installed a few years ago also, Burnham cast iron 170k ,its about a 100k over sized. Question is ...How do you guys feel about removing burners to down fire this beast. PROS...CONS AND TECHNIQUES ?

FlashShield vs Counterstrike

@ January 7, 2014 7:20 PM in FlashShield vs Counterstrike

Question for those using these piping systems. I know Gastite FlashSield the fitting must bite into the polymer coating and contact the aluminum layer but I am unfamiliar with Tracpipe Counterstrike.
Must it also bite into the plastic covering or is the covering stripped back beyond the fitting?

Reading PA

@ January 7, 2014 8:16 AM in Did someone say Design Day?

Its 0 degrees.

Navien would like to see the horizontal

@ December 29, 2013 8:39 PM in Navien boiler

penetrations 12 inches apart and then a 90 turned down on the air and terminating 12 away 41 CH-ASME Installation Manual_201

That being said, unless your getting big snows that are blocking the vent, I doubt that is your problem.
If you open the front of your ch you will see a removable screen on the air supply pipe. Take a look at it and make sure its not blocked.
The Navien air pipe is open to the boiler enclosure, it is not directly connected to the blower assembly. It uses the enclosure as a plenum. This type of setup makes the system much less sensitive to pressure imbalances.
If you are having error codes thrown without snows literally blocking the vent I would look a little deeper elsewhere.
One other thing I would like to point out, if you are using the Navien CH on a high temp system like baseboard or radiators you must use cpvc schedule 80 or PP venting. Looking at your pics, you have neither.


@ December 23, 2013 5:26 PM in New HydroPulse install....??

no significant pressure drop through a Hydro-pulse. No need for pri-sec

Air Infiltration

@ December 20, 2013 7:33 PM in low humidity

There are many things in your home that can suck out your humidified air and bring in fresh dry air.
Bathroom vents, kitchen vents, clothe dryer vent, barometric checks and open air inlets on boilers,water heaters. If your air handler is in the ventilated attic and the return is not sealed, you can easily be bringing in more dry air than you are humidifying.
People are always saying" wood heat is dry heat" as they stand in front of an open fireplace moving 500 cfm up the chimney or the woodstove drawing inside air for combustion with the little ornate pot of water on top, an exercise in futility!
Look around and start to control your house's infiltration. Whatever lets a foot of air out also lets a foot of air in. I would close off the vents to the air handler and use a couple of smaller ultrasonic humidifiers. If you don't...when you finally get your humidity up it will condense in the cool ductwork and drip back down.
When you take a shower dont turn on the vent. Use one of those dryer box diverters on your clothes dryer and put that moisture back in the house. If all that fails bring in a couple of big dogs, their breath brings that humidity right up   LOL.

We have installed two of these units

@ December 17, 2013 7:45 PM in High Efficiency Gas Furnace

and both had to be removed because of high CO and faulty exchangers. Company did not want to pay replacement cost.
Stay away from these units at all cost!

Water clean it

@ December 10, 2013 10:45 PM in Any good ideas how to clean this heat exchanger?

Pipe the vent off the back so you can open the top of the boiler and start it. Use a small sprayer and shoot water down the sections after the boiler is near temp. Dont flood it.
All that crap will steam off and go right up the chimney.

Dont do that

@ December 9, 2013 9:49 PM in trying to combine fireplace with heat pump

you would be building a bomb. Second, you would be losing heat faster than your making it. Fireplaces typically use 500 cfm of indoor air. The only heat you get from a fireplace is radiant when standing in front of it.
They do make fireplace inserts that have efficiency approaching 80%. Forget about making hot water with it. That would be your best bet.
Google...quadrafire or Jotul

Inverter question for Eugene

@ December 8, 2013 8:47 PM in Inverter question for Eugene

I have noticed that most if not all mini splits use a rotary compressor. Why is that?
Why not use a scroll?

Oil tank

@ December 7, 2013 9:28 AM in Used oil after vacuuming?

I have a 300 gal skid mount tank that I painted with epoxy and sits outside the shop. I put all my waste oil in there and when it fills up there are a number of guys who will come pump it out and give you 50 cents a gallon. It will take 5 years to fill it and I dont have to run around getting rid of small amounts of oil. Plus I get 150 bucks when its full.


@ December 5, 2013 4:48 PM in Navien ch 240

Dont waste your time, this argument is old and the answer is obvious. You are correct.

Daiken Quaternity

@ December 4, 2013 10:41 PM in Indoor Pool HVAC

it has the ability to dehumidify and heat simultaneously.

I have been waiting

@ December 4, 2013 9:12 PM in Altherma

for the other manufacturers to release them. They all have them in the european market but not here. Fujitsu said they were going to release it here last year but it never happened.
I think part of the problem is most american systems are high temp and these units stop at 130.
Also they are really nothing more than a ductless unit with a plate exchanger and they are way out of bounds pricewise.

Just got a call this morning

@ December 4, 2013 8:53 PM in Navien ch 240

On one I put in a little over a year ago. Customer said it was working but making a noise.
Raised the stats and sure enough, when the unit hit high fire it was making a screeching noise, almost like a bearing getting ready to seize. When it kicked down to a lower firing rate the noise disappeared.
Called Navien and they were very helpful, we ran the entire gauntlet of test and procedures but to no avail, turning this thing on high fire produced this sound.
After about an hour maybe two, Navien gave me a number for a new unit.
No labor included, Im going to have to eat this one.It should be a fairly simple exchange though.
Have any of you had this problem?
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