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Alan (California Radiant) Forbes

Alan (California Radiant) Forbes

Joined on August 14, 2009

Last Post on April 17, 2014

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Radiant

@ April 15, 2010 12:32 PM in Ideal temperature for radiant heat?

Yes, Chris: I thought your suggestion of a floor sensor was the best idea and that is why I brought it up again.  The hard part is finding a place to install it in a finished room without wires showing.

And Charlie: I've never done that, but it certainly makes sense.

Alan

Victaulic

@ April 15, 2010 12:25 PM in what do I call this?

I'd look into using Victaulic couplings and hire a fire sprinkler contractor to do the work.  They would need to cut out a 1-2 foot piece of pipe, cut-groove or roll-groove the two ends, fit a nipple in between and couple it together.

If the dresser coupling is intended as an expansion joint, then the nipple needs to be replaced by a grooved expansion piece which is made of braided stainless steel.

Summer Maintenance

@ April 15, 2010 12:59 AM in Steam boiler - summer maintenance?

Keep the boiler full; drain the low water cutoff once a month instead of once a week.

We lost Coany!

@ April 12, 2010 3:10 PM in Ideal temperature for radiant heat?

He was in a tough predicament and we got side-tracked.  We need to get back and try to solve his problem. 

The problem areas are the 2 zones of radiant where the owner has expectations that the floor should be warm.  We don't know if the tubing is in the floor sandwich, staple-up with plates, or suspended tubing in the joist bays; I'd say the latter from everything that's been discussed.

I'd say he needs to start with a thermostat that has a floor and air sensor to be able to control and attain a minimum floor temperature.  If this doesn't work, he needs to talk to the owner about giving up on the idea of warm floors unless he wants to re-work the tubing

New "Lead Free" Law

@ April 6, 2010 11:12 AM in New "Lead Free" Law

Oh, joy..............California has a new "Lead Free" law that reduces the amount of lead allowable on wettable surfaces from one-half of one percent to one-quarter of one percent. And this law is COMING YOUR WAY.  It's already law in Vermont.

It's a good law since lead does nasty things to our bodies when we ingest it, but for those of us heating and plumbing contractors in states at the forefront of the movement, very little is available on the suppliers shelves that conforms to the new standard.  Our suppliers have us signing releases when we buy cast fittings, valves and pumps, saying we will not use them on potable systems.

I wanted to buy a Taco X-Pump Block for a job.  I can buy an "old" one, but my supplier doesn't even know when "new" ones will be available.

And all that old stock on your shelves waiting for a job?  Better start using it before the law comes to your state.

WM

@ April 5, 2010 3:23 PM in WM Steam boiler install

A supply and return off 1 tapping. Sweet!

WM

@ April 5, 2010 12:41 PM in WM Steam boiler install

Nice work!

How would you wire the hot water aquastat?

Manifold Actuators

@ April 4, 2010 7:59 PM in Manifold & Actuator Question

are normally electrically operated (24 volts) by a thermostat.  So, to answer your question: yes, they are (indirectly) thermostatically controlled.

F00 Fighters

@ March 31, 2010 5:12 PM in Munchkin F00 Error Message

I didn't try to jump T-T, but I did jump the high limit and still got the error message.

The boiler is a few years old, so I don't think the problem is with polarity, but bleeding voltage may be happening.  If the Munchkin is able to "see" a different voltage coming back when the end switch closes, it may be the cause.

The Indirect

@ March 31, 2010 11:53 AM in Munchkin F00 Error Message

There is an indirected connected to the system and as soon as the T-T leads were disconnected, it started making DHW.

Munchkin F00 Error Message

@ March 30, 2010 6:20 PM in Munchkin F00 Error Message

I've been serving Munchkins for awhile now, but this was a new one. 

"No Heat" call from a new customer.  F00 error message which translates to "high limit exceeded".  This error message persists after the 925 controller is reset and when the boiler is cold.

HTP tech. support tells me to remove the T-T connection to the boiler at which time the boiler comes on.  He says the problem is not with the Munchkin, but with either the zone valve controller (Taco ZVC 404) or zone valves (Taco ESP or EBV style) which makes total sense.  Turns out the owner has been having problems with the zone valves.

So, what is it in a zone valve or controller that would make a Munchkin 925 controller come up with an error message?  The Munckin sends out one leg of 24 volts to a pair of isolated contacts that close on a call for heat.  What goes wrong?

I like Buderus as well,

@ March 25, 2010 9:19 PM in Secret life of low temp panel radiators ?

but they have limited sizes.  For more of a selection, check out Runtal:

http://www.runtalnorthamerica.com/commercial_institutional/index.html

Even though they are called commercial/institutional, we still use them in homes.

It may be one of these:

@ March 25, 2010 3:45 PM in Help IDing Radiator

http://www.oldcastironradiators.com/CastIronBaseboards.htm

Pressure drop

@ March 19, 2010 3:05 PM in Sizing Pump for Hot Water Radiators.

If they are old-style column-type radiators, the pressure drop is minimal since the passageways are large. 

Figure your pressure drop through your boiler and piping and then add a couple of feet of head.

Selection

@ March 19, 2010 1:16 AM in Efficiency: Combi Core Vs. Boiler and DHW storage tank?

The boiler is more expensive until you figure the replacement cost of the CombiCor boiler.  All the ones I (and many others) installed fail at the heat exchanger within the first few years. I'll be in San Francisco next week to replace one with a regular water heater and an external heat exchanger (Taco X-Pump Block).

I've had very good luck with the Triangle Tube Excellence combi boiler:

http://www.triangletube.com/TriangleTubeProduct.aspx?CatID=1&PID=19

And talk to Paul Pollets; he's in the Seattle area and know his stuff.

Out West

@ March 15, 2010 1:26 PM in OT rain ,flooding how bad

Lots of rain here in the Bay Area; something we haven't seen in quite a few years.

This would have been normal 35 years ago. 

Start-Up

@ March 12, 2010 12:25 PM in New to steam - need help with start up

Looks like someone came in and removed the water supply line, maybe for scrap copper?

For a start:
- Provide a water feed with a valve to the boiler
- Fill the boiler to the "water line" and make sure it shows up on the sight glass.
- Pipe the low-water cutoff (LWCO) drain valve  to a drain, open the valve and let the water run until it's clear.
- Get a copy of the installation manual; I'd say it wasn't installed per mfg's. instructions.

Wow!

@ March 11, 2010 7:47 PM in Bookmarking

You did that for me?  I just changed my will.  You get half of everything I own when I croak.

Bookmarking

@ March 11, 2010 10:52 AM in Bookmarking

Hey Dan:

It's just a small issue, but I've noticed a few times that the URL for different forums will change; most recently, the old URL ending: "THE-MAIN-WALL" changed to "THE-WALL".; Strictly-Sream" changed to "Steam-Heat", etc. so when I go to my old bookmark, I get an "Oops -  You have attempted to go to a page that does not exist." message.  You messin' with us?

Nice tool

@ March 11, 2010 1:27 AM in cutting copper tubing with shears

But the movie clip on Youtube pits the tool against a minicutter.  Minicutters are slow; why not put it up (legitimately) against a regular tubing cutter?  Kind of lame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvIHQxqJBC4

Re-Pipe

@ March 9, 2010 9:48 PM in Re-piping Job

Nice work, Bob.  Looks like you made many improvements to her system and she will be enjoying a quality heating system for years to come.

My only comments - if you don't mind me saying so and these are just my personal preference - are that I would have used cast fittings instead of malleable and I would have used a bullhead tee at the take-off and brought the 3" main down to it.  It would have slowed down the steam a bit more.

I like the fact that you took extra time to install a drop header.

Unless

@ March 8, 2010 12:12 PM in Thermostat or not?

the boiler is perfectly sized to the heat loss of the building, you need a thermostat.  Without the thermostat, the boiler has no way of knowing how warm it is inside the building.  Without the thermostat, the rooms will overheat.

The heat loss of the building is dynamic; low heat loss when outdoor temperatures are mild and a high heat loss when it's freezing outside and the thermostat (in your case) is the only way the boiler knows what it's like out there.
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