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Joined on August 13, 2009

Last Post on August 28, 2014

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So Far So Good

@ September 27, 2009 8:03 PM in Navian

I have a few of them in including one in my own house now for 14 months, they have all worked flawlessly, The A model with the tank uses a little energy for standby but one of the returns is that you dont need a minimum flow. The pump can be recirculated internally or used for a circulation line. They seem to be very clever, the price is right and the warranty is 15 years.Try it I think you will like it. They also make a nice repair kit with all the pieces that can fail. Worth getting after you start to get a few in.

Siggys hydronic know how 2

@ September 27, 2009 10:05 AM in Siggys hydronic know how 2

I recently purchased Johns Hydronics Know How 2. I am having trouble installing it on a HP computer running XP. Actually I have 2 HPs and I get the same failure on both. I then installed it on my daughters laptop which is running Vista and had no problems. I talked to John about this and he sent me another copy and offered a refund but so far I havent been able to figure this out. I told John it was time I upgraded to Vista anyway but now I see Windows 7 is coming out next month. So I figure I will wait even though they are offering the free upgrade if you buy the computer now, I would rather buy the computer preloaded. So here I am with XP for another month and this disk here that I would love to review. Question is... Has anyone else had this problem and found the fix?


@ September 24, 2009 9:18 PM in small packaged pump and heat exchanger

heat box

It should be

@ September 21, 2009 9:16 PM in joda

Replaced with a standard aquastat. Otherwise the boiler will maintain a minimum temp.

Separate the tubing

@ September 21, 2009 11:12 AM in Non 02 barrier tubing

with a properly sized stainless flat plate exchanger and use a stainless pump on the tube side. 

I use Arcoaire

@ September 20, 2009 5:07 PM in Contrast Furnace Brands

They have Excellent equipment and I have very little trouble, good parts inventory. They also have a no-hassle guarantee that doesn't just replace the exchanger but rather the whole unit. As far as Trane goes, I have to disagree with Clammy. The stuff they are selling at home depot and some of the installs Ive seen don't lead me to believe they are anything special, they just spend a lot on advertising. The payback on a 95 percent unit is quicker the further north you live just as the a/c is the further south you live, But condensing furnaces are not that  much more than non condensing and usually vent out with 2 inch pvc,so they are not much more to install. Plus depending on the shape of your chimney, it may be just what your looking for.

Thats not uncommon Gordy

@ September 16, 2009 7:50 AM in Had lunch today with some plumbing contractor

I know contractors here that if they even think one of their journeyman is going to take their masters test, they lay them off right away. I assume because they are afraid they will take their customers. Also they are always trying to come up with some reason why someone shouldnt be able to take the test.

Reverse return is an excellent system

@ September 16, 2009 7:43 AM in TT-110 to p/s or not

because it deliver the same temperature water to every radiator. Most guys Ive seen, when they size baseboard use the 170 degree water temp to figure how much board they need in each room. This is only true when using a reverse return, when using a monoflow or loop system they neglect the fact the water is getting consecutively cooler and cooler as it exits each radiator and never figure this into their calculations. Reverse returns get the bad rap that they cost more in pipe to put in, when in reality if you have to keep adding more and more cast iron board to each room, at todays prices it gets alot closer. When I use to do school work they were always piped in reverse return.

Had lunch today with some plumbing contractor

@ September 16, 2009 12:06 AM in Had lunch today with some plumbing contractor

friends and I brought up Heating help .com. They started to really give me an earful about how we help out homeowners for free. They said, did you ever see a lawyer have free lawyer help. Or doctors that sit by their computers to diagnose your heath problems online or any other professional, I said I never really looked! I was listening to this, kinda dumbfounded as they went on to lecture me about how it took 25 years to get here, starting with cleaning crappy sewers and all those things we did as apprentices. They said your either really generous or really stupid. This is the first time I ever heard anyone talk down about this sight. Anyone else ever hear this?

Are they single handle faucets

@ September 14, 2009 11:55 PM in Hot Water Hotter at Bath Faucet

 I have seen some cartridges leak through

I would install

@ September 13, 2009 3:25 PM in TT-110 to p/s or not

a TT  Prestige, just like your doing, piped right through. The prestige has alot of parameters for you to adjust but the factory wont give you the control supplement unless you go to their school in NJ. I dont know if you have ever been there, but it is really worth going.  It usually cost about 150 bucks for 2 days. That includes the hotel and the food. A limo into Philadelphia for a feast... the whole deal and then they give you 100 bucks off your next prestige. They really go over all the parameters and they have working units on the wall. Anyway its well worth it. But anyway radiators on old gravity systems were never made to run at 180, usually 140-150 on design day is enough, so set your outdoor reset accordingly and that thing will be condensing on all but the coldest days. Also a couple of well placed TRV;s in some rooms they want a little cooler can save bucks. Show some pics when your done. Take care

From the boiler follow

@ September 13, 2009 8:08 AM in TT-110 to p/s or not

the supply to the T and out of the T, any side you like, until you come to the first T that feeds a radiator, follow the line to the radiator, through the radiator and then the return line from that radiator back to the main return. If that return main goes directly back to the boiler, the same distance as the supply did, it is a 2 pipe direct return. What you really want is a 2 pipe reverse return. Water is lazy, if it can go 10 feet through the first radiator hook it through a big cast iron radiator and right back to the boiler, there really isnt any reason for it to go all the way back to the last radiator. Ideally want you want to do is make it equal distance to and back from each radiator, you do this by reversing the return. First radiator to get water is now the last radiator back. Because you have Ts bullnosed off the boiler I am going to assume the boiler is centrally located near the middle of the home. You probably have 5 radiator in the front of the boiler and 5 in the rear. When they are like this the problem isnt so pronounced as it would be if the boiler was in the front of the house and the mains extended all the way to the rear, this is when the rear radiators dont get hot at all. If all the radiators get hot in your case and no one is complaining about cold rads or overheated rooms you can leave it, but to really make the job right you should reverse the return so the flow is balanced. This can be a hard sell when the customer doesnt feel the problem. Usually depending on the job I will break out the bullnosed Ts and put ball valves on either side to balance the flow between mains. In Dans book 'PUMPING AWAY' he has a ladder diagram of a direct return and reverse return system. 

The system was probably

@ September 12, 2009 6:32 PM in TT-110 to p/s or not

gravity and is piped in 2 pipe direct return. The rule of thumb for converting pipe size is 1/2 the pipe size and drop one pipe size. So 2"= 3/4. So your 1' will be more than adequate. Your boiler is only 100,000 out so you only need to move 10 per minute max at 20 degree delta t. You dont need 2" pipe to do that. Is this system still direct return or was it coverted to reverse return?

With 2 inch mains and

@ September 12, 2009 10:33 AM in TT-110 to p/s or not

cast iron rads. Im sure you will have no problem with the grundfos 3 speed supplied on the unit.

No need to waste electric

@ September 12, 2009 8:52 AM in TT-110 to p/s or not

that is one of the benefits of the TT.  Pump right through, Lower temps in the boiler for better condensation and half the electric consumption. 

Gravity systems are piped

@ September 12, 2009 8:47 AM in Gravity Hot Water

with a 2 pipe direct return arrangement. This means the first radiator to get water is also the first back to the boiler. Like electricity, water takes the path of least resistance which means you wont be getting much flow to the furthest radiators. There are several ways of dealing with this. First you can replace the radiator valves with thermostatic radiator valves. This is the best option because it gives each room its own setpoint but can be expensive. Second ,you can reverse the returns by following your return from the boiler to the first radiator T, Remove that piping and plug the T, now follow the return to the end and break out the last 90, replace with a T and run copper back to the boiler, copper size is one half diameter then drop one pipe size(2-1/2 =1") now your first radiator to get water will be the last back. This also can be backbreaking and a pain if the returns are in crawl spaces ect. If you can weld, a threadolet can make this easy. I have also seen orfice disk put in each radiator valve, but I have never done this. Your air vents are fine. Hope this helps.

I didnt look close enough

@ September 10, 2009 9:09 PM in Boiler or piping issues

At first it looked like the auto fill was going into the back of the pump. When you pump toward the exp tank, you move water with a negative pressure and piping into the back of the pump where the pressure drop can fool the feed valve into letting in a little water, but you didnt do that, my mistake. The  zone valves on the supply will stop hot water from migrating by gravity to zones that are not open. The way it is now, no matter what zone calls for a boiler start, hot water will travel by gravity into some of the other zones. It isnt always noticeable but it can overheat other zones.

Nice looking copper job

@ September 9, 2009 1:21 PM in Boiler or piping issues

But here are a few ideas for next time, if you dont mind me saying. Move your pump to the supply side pumping away from the expansion tank. Dans book 'Pumping Away' will explain why. Move your zone valves to  the supply and you wont need flow valves. The way you have it now you may blow the relief valve because you are piped into the back of the pump with your auto fill. You can skip the air separator, The boiler is your best separator where you have the air vent, just put aT there and pipe the bullnose to the exp tank. You have 4 zone valves there. You need to control the flow through each valve, get a copy of Caleffi idronics 5 and figure your best option. Flat curve pump, Pressure bypass, ECM Pump. Those are the basic things, There are other points that will be made here that are debatable such as boiler protection so I will skip it. Your workmanship is neat and the job looks nice. I am not trying to be a prick here, just pointing out things that will help you in the future.

That sounds better

@ September 9, 2009 9:37 AM in I didn't think they could do it

I thought they were using a lambda sensor. These boilers are so close to the upper end of squeezing out every btu that its at the point that one service call on these things will wipe out any fuels savings for the next 2 years. So dependability is a major issue now, more so than another 1% efficiency. 

Oxygen sensors are not that amazing

@ September 9, 2009 7:32 AM in I didn't think they could do it

or new. I was going to close the injection loop on my bike this year with a with wide band O2 sensors and ecm because it supposedly keeps the bike at peak all the time. I went to a bike shop in MD who specializes in these things and ask about how well they work. He went to the trash can right in front of me and said here... its the eighth one we removed this year.  It is really something you have to look at and decide how much more efficiency you are going to get compared to the cost of the sensors when they fail. Will it really be cost effective. Probably not.  But I guess you could say the same for a pilot over electric ignition. It will probably happen anyway.

Siggy wrote a good article

@ September 7, 2009 8:02 AM in radiant heat with no insulation under slab

on this subject a while ago in PM magazine. He gave the formula and the math. Using 2 inches of poly board instead of 1 had a payback in 3 years. The loss was quite substantial. I have to buy that disk of his articles as they are then searchable.

Go to the shop

@ September 6, 2009 8:34 PM in Reaching out for help:

link at the top of the page.
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