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Joined on February 27, 2010

Last Post on August 17, 2014

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@ August 17, 2014 9:41 AM in New heating system

No, not at all. A hydro-coil is still a forced-air system. The best heat available is steam or hot-water with large radiators...exactly what you have now.

Forced air

@ August 17, 2014 7:31 AM in New heating system

I don't like tomatoes. Give me a red tomatoe, a green one, cover it in cheese...I still don't like tomatoes.

Adding variable speed blower technology does increase comfort and efficiency by a certain margin, but it's still forced-air, and it still feels the same overall.


@ August 16, 2014 8:30 PM in New heating system

Have you ever lived with "forced-error" heating? If you haven't, you'll be in for a big surprise, Also Known As disappointment. If you are truly deadset on removing the radiators, don't let them go to a junkyard. We may know somebody in your neighborhood who can salvage them for use in a deserving system.

Orifice plates

@ August 13, 2014 6:38 AM in radiator steam traps vertical pattern single union

We install orifice plates in almost all of our two-pipe systems with great success. They can be installed in unions as well as supply valves. They allow you to remove the traps, which need to be maintained and replaced every 10 years or so. The size of the orifice is very precisely calculated. The sizing charts are top secret, though. Talk to TUNSTALL and they can make them for you.

Heat loss

@ August 12, 2014 9:10 PM in Choices on gas conversion equipment

A heat loss needs to be done before anything else can be decided. Both contractors have chosen their boiler size with completely wrong methods. You do not measure the baseboards to find the boiler size, and you never trust the size that is currently there. If neither of them can perform a proper heat loss (the most essential factor in a boiler replacement) then what else are they not going to know or do?

Where are you located? We might know somebody in your area.


@ August 12, 2014 9:06 PM in Boiler with mini split for heating

Is the boiler installed correctly? Was an outdoor reset sensor installed and programmed correctly?


@ August 12, 2014 9:05 PM in Indirect heating system

Do you have measurements of the enclosures, or pipe sizes?


@ August 12, 2014 8:21 PM in Contractor in Suffolk, LI. NY

Any luck finding a contractor? If not, I can offer my consultation services to make sure the job is done correctly. Call or email any time. My info is listed below.


@ August 12, 2014 7:38 PM in engineer

Here's the answer you hate to depends. Can it be rerouted? Can it be converted into a dry return?

Power Vent

@ August 12, 2014 7:37 PM in Operating noise in a Burnham Indepence PV?

Most any power vent system will have the unavoidable noise and vibration. A lot of it can be contained with proper suspension and vibration eliminators. You can install a fair length of pipe with the power vent, so you could pick a spot in the house that's far away from common areas and bedrooms.

I'm personally not a fan of Burnham. If installed properly, any manufacturer can be used with a power vent.


@ August 12, 2014 7:34 PM in radiator steam traps vertical pattern single union

Instead of spending a lot of money on trap upgrades, you could remove their elements and install orifice plates in all of the radiator supply valves. If you do want to change that many traps, you can look at Barnes & Jones or Tunstall for parts.


@ August 12, 2014 7:28 PM in 2 Pipe Steam System - Water Hammer - No Trap - Some Side Vents

We finally did some work on this system.

We installed orifice plates in every radiator. There were no existing orifices or return traps of any sort. Steam must have been running through the entire return, causing a lot of water hammer. The system ran for 20-30 minutes without a single sound.

We also installed a 2-stage gas control valve to help smooth out the nearly 90% oversized boiler. The pressure hovers around 4oz.

Can't wait to see how it runs this winter.


@ August 12, 2014 6:18 AM in One riser or two?

According to my charts, I would agree with the 4" header. But, 2.5" risers come up short on capacity for me (180K BTUH @ 20 ft./sec). I would go for two 3" risers. Either way, the manufacturer's suggestion are always much smaller than they should be. I would disregard almost all of their piping sizes.


@ August 11, 2014 6:32 PM in Choices on gas conversion equipment

I would prefer the Lochinvar. But more importantly, have the contractor's performed a proper heat loss of your home?


@ August 11, 2014 6:27 PM in Indirect heating system

Icesailor hit it right on the head. These systems WILL work very well with modulation. I would never even consider putting a cast iron boiler in that house. I would also keep the outdoor air ducts the way they are. If you pull return air from inside, you may not have enough of a temperature difference to create the proper draft for good air circulation. And, you may wind up with a negatize Combustion Air Zone. So, a cast iron boiler would definitely spill exhaust into the basement. NO GOOD.


@ August 8, 2014 2:02 PM in Burnham has tested Beckett gas burners in oil-fired boilers

If you can't beat the competition, confuse them!


@ August 7, 2014 8:44 PM in Burnham has tested Beckett gas burners in oil-fired boilers

I just read through the CG4 manual. Looks very similar to the EZ-Gas burner. I do like the ability to mount the gas train on either side of the burner, and the orifice discs instead of Carlin's orifice tube. Our supplier said it would run a little more expensive than the Ez-Pro. Maybe we'll try this burner on a future job.


@ August 7, 2014 8:38 PM in Burnham has tested Beckett gas burners in oil-fired boilers

Their non-commitment to the approval of a gas burner is the biggest reason why I don't use Burnham. Like Steamhead said, if that changes, I might decide otherwise.

My guy-behind-the-counter at our local Sid Harvey's had some interesting insight when we talked bout the CG4 today. He mentioned that Petro is installing Burnham boilers and Riello burners exclusively so that nobody else will be able to service them in the future. This is obviously bad for Beckett. So, what can Beckett do? Well, they can manufaturer a gas burner that will be packaged with Burnham, forcing Petro to use more of their burners.

As always...politics (appear to be) > than customer's best interest.


@ August 7, 2014 8:08 PM in Mouat system boiler replacement

I shy away from unneccessary parts, like resevoir tanks. However, it may become neccessary if the condensate produced by the radiators is more than the boiler and returns can hold. I wwould personally install the new boiler without a tank, but add a clause that it may be needed in the future.

There's no need to remove the old Direct Return Trap. Just leave it there for somebody else to enjoy in 100 years. It's a cool part of heating history. You can see a job we did on a Trane Vapor system with a similar Return Trap. We installed a new sight glass on it for historical integrity.


@ August 6, 2014 6:51 PM in How many heat zones can I afford?

Without getting into exact numbers, TRV's are going to be more expensive than just a few zone valves. How much more? Let's just say that each TRV is close to the same price as one zone valve.


@ August 6, 2014 6:37 AM in How many heat zones can I afford?

Your ability to properly zone starts and ends with a heat loss calculation and accurate boiler ratings. The smallest zone should be no smaller than the lowest firing rate of your boiler.


@ August 5, 2014 8:03 PM in Need help on a complete system overhaul!!

All of those big radiators and pipes are keeping your system at the highest efficiency possible. Swapping all of that high-mass material with low-mass pex and baseboard my severely drop your system's total efficiency. AAre you deadset on removing all of those items?
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