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Alan (California Radiant) Forbes

Alan (California Radiant) Forbes

Joined on August 14, 2009

Last Post on July 6, 2014

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@ February 15, 2014 11:15 AM in Ken Secor's contact info?????

These are old notes I have for Ken:

"Ken Secor;; Go to He hangs out over there."


Ken Secor, CEO
Palmer Heating, LLC
1044 Elm Terrace
Rahway, NJ 07065

(732) 388-1794=phone
(732) 388-4632=fax

Sorry, nothing for Rick.


@ February 14, 2014 1:26 AM in coupling questions

Wow! I guess you're not a plumber. These are basic questions. Not trying to make you feel bad, but...........

You really shouldn't need any couplings if it's a new installation, but they are always good to have on hand in case of a boo-boo. Normal couplings are a dime-a-dozen; the ones without stops are more expensive because they are used less often and considered a speciality. At our (West Coast) supply houses, they are called, no-stop couplings or repair couplings and they are also good to have on hand in case of a boo-boo where you can't move either side of the pipe.

Your items #1, #2 and #3 are all a description of the same item and you can use any of them for your project. Item #4, I'm clueless.

Just a suggestion, you may want to pick up a couple of C x C sweat unions; whatever sizes you are using. They are not cheap, but it will become evident to you when you need them and how valuable they are as a time saver and a way to avoid frustration.

Looks like

@ February 10, 2014 6:53 PM in zone circulators or zone valves?

you have a 2-pipe, direct return system and yes, changing it to a 2-pipe, reverse return system is a good idea.

Zoning with pumps or zone valves is a personal preference. I like zone valves, preferably Caleffi or Danfoss. They seem to last longer than others. And the controller for pumps is going to be different than for zone valves. The excellent Taco brand offer "ZVC" models for zone valves and "SR" models for pumps.

Design Temperature

@ February 3, 2014 10:10 PM in Rule of thumb for btus

Design temperature is NOT "the friggin' coldest it's expected to get in your area". It's the coldest average temperature for your area. The key word is "average" which means that when you're doing your heatloss calculations to design square feet of radiator sizing and water temperatures, there may be some historically cold days where the owners need to throw on a sweater.

But to Mike's defense, who wants uncomfortable customers. I usually over design my systems with hotter water temperatures or larger radiators. Our design temperature here in the East Bay is 36F (yeah, read it and weep), but I design for 32F. It means more gas usage, but fewer nagging customers.

Only after you calculate heat losses for your jobs over time and in your area will you get a feel for rule-of-thumb numbers.

Just my 2 cents.


@ January 31, 2014 8:49 PM in Can anyone identify this Radiator?

Between Frank and Gerry, it was a no-brainer. Very impressive.

Make sure

@ January 29, 2014 5:30 PM in smaller rads not heating

the valve at the radiator is fully open to allow the condensate to drain back to the boiler.


@ January 28, 2014 10:50 AM in "Ruster buster"


Thanks, everyone!

@ January 27, 2014 9:25 PM in What's the best way

Great suggestions.  Mr. Lane's suggestion of the Liberty transfer pump caught my attention - I like fast - and I ordered one.  I also like the idea of emptying a water heater in 10 minutes.

What's the best way

@ January 27, 2014 11:57 AM in What's the best way

of adding a corrosion inhibitor or glycol to a hydronic system?I used to have a long, brass hand pump that was expensive and worked OK, but it's disappeared. 

Please do.

@ January 24, 2014 7:42 PM in Superstor contender piping ?

I'm on pins and needles for an answer to the disappearing BTU's.

Forget Google

@ January 23, 2014 8:14 PM in Nest thermostats

and build your own Nest thermostat:

Closing the

@ January 23, 2014 2:58 PM in Superstor contender piping ?

water valve at the water heater will turn off the hot water to your faucets, just to make sure there is no hot water being used.

Where are all those BTU's going?

@ January 23, 2014 1:24 PM in Superstor contender piping ?

I really don't think things would change if you changed the piping to 1" and switched supply/return piping.  And that check valve is not effecting anything either.

I'd be interested in finding out if you get the same thing happening with the cold water valve to the water heater turned off just to make sure the domestic side is static, i.e. no hot water was being used even though you may think all the fixtures are turned off.

Do you have

@ January 23, 2014 11:04 AM in Superstor contender piping ?

a hot water circulating system connected to your Contender? If you have a long, uninsulated pipe coursing through your freezing basement, that would draw off enough heat to cause symptoms that you have, no?


@ January 21, 2014 11:34 PM in Hate these things

Flair zone valves are power open, power closed so maybe that third terminal is needed for the alternate operation.


@ January 21, 2014 10:57 AM in Hate these things

I can't tell if it's a W-R or not, but I have a copy of the installation instructions and wiring diagram of the Type 1311 zone valve.  If you want a copy, send me your email address.

Edit: It turns out to be available online here:

Add on for indirect.

@ January 20, 2014 4:24 PM in Boiler Correct Size

I think most of the professionals on The Wall agree that you don't add anything to the boiler sizing for an indirect.  I don't.

When replacing an igniter,

@ January 17, 2014 11:52 AM in Polaris water heater

you cannot touch the black igniter material. Doing so will leave a deposit of schmutz on the surface leading to igniter failure.

Did you touch the igniter surface?

I'd use

@ January 17, 2014 12:27 AM in How many BTU old radiator puts out

the same output as many of the other 5-tube radiators - 48 square feet EDR x 170 BTU per square foor = 8,160 BTU's.


@ January 16, 2014 11:50 AM in Manometers

Thanks, Mikey and others. That's exactly what I wanted.

Go Niners.


@ January 15, 2014 11:30 AM in Manometers

I have a bunch of manometers but have somehow lost the connectors to the gas valve and don't remember what they look like.  Are these connectors available by themselves?

Eternal on-demand water heater

@ January 9, 2014 9:39 PM in Eternal on-demand water heater

Installed an Eternal GU 145S in 2011 and now has an error message: "E27" - mixing valve issue.  Tech support says the mixing valve has gunked up and needs to be replaced.  Has anyone else had problems with these?
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