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Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on April 23, 2014

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@ April 23, 2014 10:13 AM in A little help deciphering.

That's because you're an adult. Adults don't see what little kids see. Little kids don't see what adults see.
Unless they are born "Old Souls" and they see lots of things that you MIGHT see but they see.

Heat Loss Sizing:

@ April 22, 2014 6:37 PM in Boiler sizing based on Heat Loss Calc and Length of baseboard

Whether you have a total of installed radiation of 10' or 1,000', it doesn't matter how much or how little. The boiler must be sized according to an accurate and comprehensive heat loss of the structure.
I understand that Slant-Fin still offers their free heat loss program. Heat loss Explorer or something like that. It is based on one of the oldest methods around, the IBR H-22 heat loss guide that was part of a course to teach Wet Heads how to design and install hydronic heating systems.


@ April 22, 2014 12:26 PM in Electric VS Indirect

If you can figure out how to look back on my postings here, there are numerous photo's of how it is done. Your Burnham V-8 4 section boiler holds between 5 and 7 gallons of water in the block. That's all the water you are heating up.
Rebates are a funny thing. I just replaced the 20+ YO AC system in our home in FLA. I went from a 10 SEER (or less due to age) compressor and evaporator. to a 14.5 SEER. I would have gone to 16 SEER or higher but there was a space limitation. With the $137.00 FLP rebate, the bill was still over $3,300.

You need to understand "Druggie Math" to figure out what the best deal is.
With the history of V-8 boilers, I'd be checking to see if it is leaking yet. That becomes part of the Druggie Math equation.
When was the last time it was cleaned and did they take the side plates off or just brush the kibbles and bits into the bottom of the chamber to act as insulation?

Childish Imaginations:

@ April 22, 2014 12:03 PM in A little help deciphering.

Very young children often develop an imaginary friend to share their experiences and thoughts with. Sometimes, the imaginary friend is a teddy bear or a blanket. Sometimes, you can't see their friend. They go nowhere without their imaginary friend.
We bought a horse from someone that because of its breeding, you had to use the first letter of the mare/mother's name, Luna Xl. Their grown son had had an imaginary friend named Labiza who lived in his bedroom closet. He had his friend Labiza for a very long time. Labiza would walk with him to the bus stop to see him off to school. Sometimes, Labiza went to school with him. But Labiza was always waiting for him to come home. One day, when he was much older. Labiza wasn't there to meet him at the bus stop. Labiza went and found another child to keep company and help them sort out early life. The horse was named and registered as "Labiza". When asked what it is? "The imaginary friend of a little boy".
Sort of like in the song "Puff, The Magic Dragon". One day, Jackie Papers didn't come anymore. Puff was sad until Puff found another child to go exploring with.
I'd consider yourself blessed to have the child share their inner thoughts with you. The world of big people is terrifying to a little kid.

For what it is worth.


@ April 22, 2014 10:48 AM in Tiger loop

In the time it takes you to drag a worn out pony pump into a cellar and start it. I can have the piping drained. With no left over water in the system. My small portable air compressor became the most important power tool I owned. I always had room for it. Do you remember to bring ear protection to protect your hearing from the screaming bearings of your pony pump?
You must run into these "roll down the road" houses that are pre-plumbed and have all the baseboard installed including the second floor. Where all baseboard is series looped from baseboard to baseboard, under the floor, with only a supply and return going to the second floor. And a zone in the cellar. I have blown out the entire houses (two family, Duplexes) for years. Not a single broken pipe any where.
I took on an old house (1800's) that had radiators (Monoflow System) installed in the 1950's. Another zone added to the back of the house with copper baseboards, series looped as one zone on two floors. The original plumber gave it up as too much of a PITA and time consuming. He was downsizing. I inherited the customer through another customer. To drain the Series Looped part meant I had to slip a small pan under a cap and open the drain, catching the water and sponging it out into a bigger pan. "F" that, I installed isolation valves and a purge valve on the return, would blow out the whole system including winterizing the whole t bath house in less than two hours. We don't discuss prices. But, say I charged $100.00 per hour and charged him $200.00.
When I gave up all my customers, his Caretaker called some friend of his that told him that the system had to be Antifreezed. The bill was over $1800.00. to the late widow of the owner who died last December.
I've blown out houses that were connected in the ground from one house.
Using air compressors to their fullest advantage is sort of like that kid on TV where the father is trying to make him eat Asparagus. He makes all kinds of faces just looking and imagining how awful it will taste. Once he tries it, he finds out how good it tastes and LOVES it. He probably becomes concerned about the smell of his pee. Old English men's clubs had rules about asparagus and peeing. It was frowned upon.
For less than $200.00, and weighing 38#, I'll take the usefulness of this one over a Pony Pump with boiler drains sticking out of it to connect hoses on and more weight.
Can you pump up a flat tire with a pony pump? Can you blow out all the cat dander inside a oil burner? Do you want me to think of more ways that an air compressor is the most useful tool to us when we stop and use our imagination?
P prefer Hot Dog tanks but they don't make the narrow ones that have Nuts anymore.

Indirect Electric:

@ April 22, 2014 10:24 AM in Electric VS Indirect

Buy the 50 gallon electric, connect the potable cold and hot to the water heater, connect the boiler coil with the outlet (hot) going into the cold/top of the tank and pipe from the bottom drain of the water heater to the boiler "In/Cold) coil. Put a Taco 006ST circulator in this loop and pump FROM the bottom of the tank and into the indirect coil in the boiler. DO NOT connect any 240 volt wiring to the water heater. Disconnect any wiring from the bottom thermostat and use it for a switch leg to turn the circulator on and off. Set the High Limit on the boiler control at 170 degrees and the Low or operating setting to 140 degrees.
I've installed between 50 and 100 of these or some variant without a single complaint. Electricity is the slowest, most expensive way to heat water.
Anyone who tells you it is cheaper to install a dedicated indirect and cut into the boiler piping hasn't done the math. If you have a oil boiler with a tank less coil already there, only needs a storage tank.
But some are smart. I'm not.

Compressed air:

@ April 22, 2014 12:56 AM in Tiger loop

You have no idea what I am talking about or how I do it.
You're Nitrogen tank. You have a regulator on it so that you can accurately control the pressure?
That CO2 bomb you and I have, does yours have a regulator so you can control the outlet pressure? Do you know how many #PSIG it took to clear the obstruction?
There is a gauge on the compressor which is on the regulator. In fact, there are TWO gauges. One shows the pressure in the tank, the other shows the outlet, regulated pressure. I can have 140# PSIG in the hot dog tank and the regulator set for zero. My compressors have all weighed under 50#. I can plug them into any standard outlet without blowing the breaker. I have quick connect hose connectors on the compressor and hoses. I have a "rig" I made with nipples, a valve and a gauge and a boiler drain on one end with a 1/4" hose adapter that can connect directly into a 3/8" air hose or the air compressor. I have adaptive fittings I made up to connect air to anything I could come up against. Anything I do like gas piping, heat or potable water piping, I can test it immediately with air to test for leaks. If I have to fix a water leak somewhere, it is the fastest way possible to blow the whole system with air and then look for any other leaks. When you get done blowing the water out of the system, there will be absolutely no water running back to interfere with soldering.
I used to drain around 100 houses per year. over 45 years ago when I started, we had handy pumps to drain water heaters. I used compressors starting around 1995. Sometimes, it tool almost an hour to drain a 50 gallon electric water heater of the white plastic drain O-ring was bad and you couldn't get suction. I can connect my compressor to an outside sill cock with the compressor and a 9' double hose connection, put a hose on the water heater and start draining. I can go upstairs and open some faucets and pump ot a toilet. The water heater is already drained.
The only time I ever used utility pumps was to pump anti-freeze into a heating system. If I needed to drain a Potable water system, I used air. You have no idea how much water is left in a properly pitched and drained potable water system is.
If you ever used a light weight, cheap portable air compressor (I never paid more than $200.00 for one) and found all the things you can do with one, you'd be having one in every truck.
As soon as you replace a boiler or whatever, you can test the whole system in 20 minutes. If you have good hearing, you can hear a "hiss" from across the room. How long does it take to dump air? How long does it take to drain a new system that you filled and then found a leak?
That CO2 Bomb. I bought one. I never EVER cleared a line with one. Even using 3 tubes. I got out my compressor, made some adapters, and found that it 15# PSIG blow the obstruction and after one minute or so, no more plugged line. Especially after putting two Spin-On's on the line.
One time I was getting a flat tire. I drove to the supply house and plugged in the compressor and blew up the tire and stitched it. More than once on a job, someone had a flat. I blew up the tire.
How's your hand nailing with a hammer? Mines excellent with one of my air nailers.

PVC/CPVC Cleaner:

@ April 21, 2014 11:26 AM in CPVC in hydronic heating system

And cleaner is non-existent. You can tell in an instant if the pipe was cleaned. Most of what I see here isn't cleaned and what I see where I now live has never seen a cleaner brush. Just slather some purple glue on wet and dirty pipe and shove it in so the purple glue sticks out on the pipe.


@ April 20, 2014 11:43 AM in Tiger loop

A Tigerloop IS a two pipe system and is covered by all the rules of two pipe delivery systems. Take out the by-pass plug in the pump and a Tigerloop will absolutely not work. Although it might somewhat if the oil supply (tank) is above the pump, Leave the by-pass plug in on a one pipe/single suction oil line and as soon as the oil hits the pump, the pump shaft seal will immediately blow.
A Tigerloop is a pump. Someone doesn't agree with me but if you understand how pumps work, it's a pump.

War Stories:

@ April 20, 2014 11:32 AM in losing heat

We could have a few beers and swap stories.
You are blessed with situational awareness and the ability to connect things together that most others can't connect. You must be ADD.
One of my many analogies for people like us. Like, Johnny does OK in school. Never gets 100% on a test but does OK. Never seems to be paying attention in class, always day dreaming about something. The teacher is always trying to trip Johnny up with a question, She never can. One day, while giving a lecture, she noticed that Johnny is particularly distracted. She calls on him suddenly for an answer on the lecture. He blurts out an answer that is about 95% correct. She is outraged that he could give a correct answer, but DEMANDS to know what he was doing or distracted by. Johnny hems and haws. Finally blurting out, "A cockroach climbed out of that radiator pipe and crawled across the floor. It finally climbed into Sara's bag. where it is right now". Sara jumps up screaming and dumps her bag on the floor where the cockroach runs back down the pipe. The class is giddy with glee for the distraction, the teacher is BS at Johnny for disrupting the class and Johnny is sent to the office for detention.
The question becomes, who has the attention deficit? No one else in the class saw the cockroach but Johnny and he could still answer the question. A true "Multi-tasker".
Know anyone like that?

Mass Oil Lines:

@ April 20, 2014 11:13 AM in Mass Regs for Oil Line Protection - Does innerduct count?

I always used to put my oil lines in 3/4" NMT blue flex PVC tubing because it would bend nicely and not kink. You didn't need to cover it with concrete/cement. There was some discussion back then about covering it and I don't know if it was a misinterpretation by AHJ's that said you couldn't cover it. It is definitely better with it covered. But if it is an issue, and the oil line is inside blue NMT flex tube, just take a hammer and whack the concrete. It will easily break up. No matter what, the oil line must be inside the NMT tube. The only reason to have it uncovered is that there is a Hackaroo out there that would save a buck by putting a 1" piece on either end and claiming that the whole oil line is inside conduit. When it isn't. An inspector could make that point.
When this first was instituted, the fire departments were supposed to get a copy of the permit. The oil companies are supposed to have a copy of your approval or they are not supposed to deliver oil. Your oil company should know. The Fire Department should be on top of it.
If you chose or are ordered to remove the concrete cover, go to an electrical supply house (NOT HD or Lowes, they won't have them) and purchase some 3/4" HW (Heavy Wall) one hole conduit clamps. They fit over the pipe perfectly and you can jam the tubing into the wall. Drill plastic inserts into the floor, put in the screw and clamp and you will be covered.
I personally think it should comply. There are a lot of varying opinions among untrained fire/oil safety inspectors at local fire departments. Trying to call the DPS to get an answer is like calling the Man in the Moon for an answer.
In my experience and opinion.


@ April 20, 2014 9:15 AM in Tiger loop

There is no burner control that can't be jumped to run. The 602000 is no exception. Unless it is some monster fired at over 20 GPH. You have to take both "F-F" terminals off and replace them with a jumper like you would if you are following the instructions to test the control. start the burner, and as soon as it starts, connect the other side of the F-F terminals. The control thinks it is "seeing" a flame when it is not. Wise techs have a spare universal jet line with 3/16" or 1/4" flare ends to connect the outlet of the pump and led into a puke can. Then, you don't have to worry about a warm kiss from the Dragon. If after a few minutes of running, the puke can isn't filling, you have another problem.
Heatpro, if you don't have a Mitco "Kwik-Chek" pump tester, it takes the place of your home made line and will test the pump for proper operation too. You just might need to make an adapter to adapt around the obstruction of the solenoid on "Clean-Cut" pumps. Another bright idea by French Vulture Capitalists to steal more money from American manufacturers for higher profits. What do you do when it is 10 degrees out, no heat, and the solenoid on a clean cut pump has failed? Replace the pump. Hopefully, you have one in the truck. If it is a PeterPaul or Honeywell, you just by-pass the valve and go home. That bed was really warm when I climbed out. Not another all night'er to get someone heat. This only happens at 2:00 AM on Christmas morning. That only happens with a long time customer who is notorious for slow pay.
As far as those Push-Pull pumps, I bought one years ago. I never ever used it. My air compressor did a far better job of clearing sludge from lines and had so many other uses that I stopped counting them. I had one of those CO2 Blow Gun things. I still had cartridges from when I first bought it. You know that they develop 2,000# against a serious obstruction on a small short line? I can connect my air compressor and set the regulator at zero and slowly open the regulator. I've never had it above 30# that I can remember. Once the obstruction goes, the pressure will drop to zero. I crank in the regulator and let that air scrub that line clean, back into the tank or into a puke bucket. Whichever is convenient.
But, don't be opening the bleed screw on a two pipe pump set up or a Tigerloop. It says so right in the pump instructions and in the Tigerloop instructions. Doesn't anyone check the operation of flame controls by jumping the FF terminals before you turn on the switch to see if it starts? Get it running and pull a FF wire to see if it stops in the allotted time? That's more important than scrubbing the Kibbles & Bits out of the inside.
The Dragon will just LOVE to give you a warm kiss on your face if you're looking. Especially if Sparky put the service switch on the ceiling or away from arms reach.


@ April 20, 2014 8:27 AM in losing heat

"" " I was told that the new washers come with a check valve that screws on the hose inlet before the hose, so it must be a common problem, I mention it because if not for my thermal imager I would have had a hard time finding the issue... "" "

That's a serious issue and IMO, rates right up there with the GM key switch. Someone seriously F Up designing that valve. Now, the manufacturer of the valve is sending a check valve to correct the problem if someone figures it out. Or, they junk the machine or it wears out. Dole, Eaton or whatever vulture capitalist investment corporation that now owns them, surely has a large team of highly placed and paid lobbyist watching to stop any hint of the public being informed of this serious safety issue.  Ask any of your appliance repair friends about if they know about a cross connection with the new 3 solenoid washing machine valves. I'll bet they don't know. Service managers don't read the service bulletins, they just put them on a wall for the techs to read, and they don't allow "on the clock" time to read them. If there's a problem and the machine is over 5 years old, they try to sell them a new one.
Its like that Korean car ferry that rolled over and sank. A canoe has more stability than that ferry. The Japanese designed and built it. It is narrow at the bottom and wide and heavy at the top. It must have been one pukey ride in a seaway. In one photo, it had a stabilizer vane that looked like a right whale flipper it was so big. To stop the rolling. The Koreans bought it and added more weight to the top. It rolled 60 degrees within  less than a 1/2 hour. Ever try to walk up a 12 pitch roof without roof brackets? That's 45 degrees. Imagine if the floor was not almost a wall and you could walk on a wall.
We find 'em, and fix 'em. "THEY" deny there is a problem. They're smart, we're not.
I know a criminal type who shared with me his words of wisdom to live by.
Demand PROOF.


@ April 20, 2014 8:06 AM in losing heat

" ""I didn't mean to start an appliance debate, just sharing one of my experiences"" "
Don't look at it that way. No one ever learned anything by keeping quiet and not participating with their experience. That's a really interesting observation you made. That has the same potential of being a design screw up like the GM key switches that turn off the ignition while the car is driving down the road. 
There is either a design flaw in the water  passages after the solenoids or a restriction in the outlet hose. Up until the last to years or so, all washing machine solenoids had two solenoids and a three position switch on the console of the machine. Hot, "Warm" and cold. For hot, one solenoid opens. for cold, the other one opens. For warm, both open. With the new 3 solenoid valves. and all the in-between settings, one or both hot solenoids must open. But the only way the cold can get to the hot is if there is a restriction in the water going to the tub. If the hot water pressure in the house at the machine is much lower than the cold, the cold will force its way up the hot water hose to the wall valve and into the system. The whole idea is some form of Green Energy savings. That valve must work with Solenoids #1, Hot and #3, being Cold and #2, being cold but as a  restriction in it that always allows hot water to pass through the valve, When it is in the cool mode, the solenoid is closed, but still passing a small amount of hot water. When it wants a hot or hotter/warm water, the #2 solenoid opens fully. They wouldn't need a sensor to mix it, just a script on the module to match the temperature setting.
You're lucky you found an appliance repair person that knew what they were doing. Although you had already DX'ed the problem. Appliance repair is the worst business to be in with a failure rate up there with restaurants. Unless that's a common problem, and no one is talking about it (like GM key switches), there wouldn't normally be one of those valves inventoried in the truck. So, it is a two trip call. The two service calls and the cost of the new valve is close to the replacement cost of a new machine. When the customer gets the bill, they go ballistic and want to negotiate the price.
The only way we find out about these Queebs (glitches) is when we talk about them on Forums like these.

Starting Tigerloops:

@ April 17, 2014 11:18 PM in Tiger loop

If you filled the filter canister, and jumped the FF terminals after the burner started running, you just wait until it sucks it around. DO NOT TRY TO PURGE OIL OUT OF THE OIL BLEED SCREW ON THE OIL PUMP!!!!! You don't do that on a 2 pipe fuel system (I hope), you don't do it with a Tigerloop. Because the Tigerloop IS a two pipe system.
Some have an obsession with the issue of lifting oil up a few feet out of a tank, to a ceiling and to a burner below. Once the oil gets to the top, it runs down hill and equalizes. Oil weighs less than water. You're not lifting heavier water, just lighter oil. If the oil pump is filled with oil, and you have a vacuum gauge on the filter, the vacuum will go up somewhat, then drop when it fires off. It will never be as high as it was when it sucked up to the ceiling. But you didn't need to do all of what you did.
Read the instructions with a AV Suntec pump. When connected as a 2 pipe, you DO NOT use the bleed screw. The Tigerloop takes the place of the bleed screw by sending the air back through the return line and into the Tigerloop. Always has, always will.

3 Solenoids:

@ April 17, 2014 11:02 PM in losing heat

The three solenoids are so they machines can control warm and hotter water. If a solenoid is leaking bye, it goes into the tub. There are still only two water connections. Two washing machine hoses. The only place there can be a cross over is still through the valve and the pressurized water will go out and fill the tub. Causing an overflow. If the washing machine valve on the wall that the hoses are connected to works, and you feel both hoses are hot, when the machine isn't running, there is something that is not seen.
If you're looking for a hot water issue like a potential cross connection, turn off the laundry box valve or whatever the hoses are connected to. If it is a Symmons #400, with the horizontal lever on top, they are notorious for the cold not completely closing. But, they are not physically connected through the valve. I don't believe that a washing machine valve that can cross connect like that can get a NSF rating on the valve. It would be an illegal design valve.
I wasn't saying that you didn't see what you saw, just that you might have misinterpreted what you found. If I found a bad valve, I told the customer to call their appliance repair person. Let them deal with getting a new valve. My plumbing stopped at the valve.

Loosing heat to cross connections:

@ April 17, 2014 10:58 AM in losing heat

There is absolutely no way that a washing machine valve can cause a cross connection. The hot and cold water seats are separate and can only be crossed if you take a "Wye" hose connection and connect the Wye end to a washing machine valve and the other end to either the hot of cold of the washing machine solenoid valve. If both washing machine hoses ace connected through a washing machine valve (like  Watts #2), they are still physically separated to the solenoid. If one or both solenoids are leaking, the water flows into the machine. Without equal pressure on both sides of the washing machine valve, the water can not cross connect.
It may have appeared to that it was the problem but you probably solved it somewhere else and didn't know it.
The only way I have ever seen it and it is often is when the "wye" connector hoses are used on cheap washing machines that get connected with one hose. Like in really cheap apartments.
It can't be done.

Telemarketing, BBB style:

@ April 16, 2014 11:16 AM in Better Business Bureau

The person that called you is working for a Telemarketing company and gets a commission if you join.
Years ago, I belonged to a business trade group that claimed to have me in mind as a small business. They still claim that. But all the lobbying they do in Washington isn't about me, it's about "Them" who want to make it harder for me.
The BBB isn't your friend.

Rated Delivery

@ April 15, 2014 8:54 AM in Hot Water Tanks and Sizes

"" "a buderus sst150 is a 40 gallon tank that will provide 181 gph continuous. " ""
181 gallons of water weighs 1500+ pounds. Unless the boiler is rated at way above 150,000 BTU;s, I doubt that it will heat the water you want.  

Another way:

@ April 15, 2014 8:46 AM in Hot Water Tanks and Sizes

There's another way to do what you are doing, that will make the AHJ happy, or if not, he/she will be wrong. IMO.
"Jetted Tubs/Soaking Tubs" use a huge amount of water. That 40 gallon Buderus SST150 40 gallon tank isn't big enough, no matter how hot you make it, and at 160 degrees, the tank won't last very long.
Add a 50 gallon water heater tank (I always use electrics because they are cheap) and use the SST150 as a heat source like a side arm heater. Use that heater to just fill the tub. You don't have excessive demand, 24 hours a day, just occasionally. So, storage tanks work well. Like peak shaving in power generating.
If there is any kind of a hand spray in the tub, it must be fed with a mixer. We usually set them under the tub with check valves so that they were always set to deliver legal water.
It will be a lot more effective to add a storage tank to increase available hot water than to get into a urination contest with the AHJ's. You'll never win.
In the late 1980's I did a 5 bath house with a 2 person jetted tub in the master bedroom. Spec'd by a designer. I installed a 50 gal. State Direct Vent gas water heater. I never heard a complaint. Two years later, I saw the owner and he told me that he needed a bigger water heater because he couldn't fill the tub without the water going cold. Everything else was fine. He wanted at least a 100 gallon heater. I told him I could add a storage tank and he would have 100 gallons of stored water. I installed a 50 gallon electric WITHOUT CONNECTING THE 240 VOLT and just used a Taco 006B. Never another complaint and still running after more than 25 years.

Draft Control:

@ April 13, 2014 10:45 AM in Slab house/Boiler in kitchen

If you're not planning on doing any combustion testing on the finishes installation, that's a good way to go.
However, just because someone else did it wrong, doesn't mean that someone replacing it the same way, will make it right. It has a UL Listing that calls for a barometric draft control. Make the vent come out of the optional top venting on the boiler and make another hole in the chimney. You can get the boiler closer to the wall and install a draft control. It needs the control for proper efficiency and adjustment.
If it gets inspected, an inspector isn't doing their job if they pass it.

Vietnamese cattle:

@ April 13, 2014 10:27 AM in What do you think of when somebody says Hydronics?

I'm interested to see dairy cattle production in Viet Nam with a farm of 32,000 head of milking cattle. With Viet Nam being 10 degrees above the equator and 30 or more in the North, I can't see Holstein Cows very happy there unless given a lot of Monsanto GM feeds and Antibiotics. African cattle aren't known for milk production. I think that if Americans knew what is in Viet Nam milk or the milk products used for consuming, there would be some griping. Until Monsanto has a law passed that it is a proprietary trade secret and no ones business.
How much milk does an Indian cow produce?
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