Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall


Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on September 1, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

1 2 3 4 5 ... 207 »

Atmospheric Pollution:

@ September 1, 2014 6:50 PM in two different metals

If you didn't know this, Oxygen was the first atmospheric pollutant. The Atmosphere was CO2. I guess there was O2 in water, Hydrogen and Oxygen, but on the first Continent, Gonwandaland, Now Australia, green slime and Stromtalites appeared and started converting CO2 through Photosynthesis and the by-product was Oxygen. The other by-product was calcium grains that turned into (over time) Coral Reefs and mountains. Limestone is a compressed byproduct. If you want to know where all the CO2 is locked up from the Atmosphere, take some limestone, put it into a heavy plastic bad, and pour acid into the bag to mix with the limestone. Put a lit candle on the floor and open the bag up. Don't pour out the liquid but hold the open bag near the open flame. Pour the heavier than air out of the bag. The candle flame will go out. No O2 left.

Somewhere recently while wasting time watching Youse Two's Videos, there was one with this scientific woman discussing water and how a single molecule changes water from one thing to another. Bicarbonates of one thing or another.


@ September 1, 2014 6:36 PM in Boiler leaking

Sounds like a plan. A good learning experience.


@ September 1, 2014 3:44 PM in two different metals

All water has Oxygen in it. If it doesn't, it isn't water.


@ September 1, 2014 3:40 PM in two different metals

Nuts? Or Bolts?
They still sweat from Condensation. And you can torque a SS nut or bolt a lot more than an aluminum one.


@ September 1, 2014 3:32 PM in major problems with new carrier system

Of interest might be that I had a new system installed to replace my old 1996 AC Rheem unit. It was replaced with a brand system that rhymes with railroad equipment.
All went well with what I consider a quality install. Except that it didn't cool well when it got hot, and right out of the box, the blower was so loud that I had to turn up the TV just to her it when it runs. My energy bills went way up. There was never much, if any any temperature differential at the compressor or the AH.
One Friday afternoon, after 5:00 PM, the system had a bowel movement in the bed. It was over 100 degrees outside. The installer came and got it going. I swear what it did is like what you are all describing, the valve closed and wouldn't open.
I'm not an air head. This Railroad Unit has a FM Board (Freaking Magic) that runs the whole show. The Tech puled off the sensor wire that went to control the EEV valve through the FM board. Once he pulled the teeny weeny plug off the FM board, and cooled down the compressor, it ran fine. It even cooled better. He checked out the pressures with his FM gauges, and was puzzled that all was fine. There must be some issue because when he came with the parts, one thermostat wire was too short. They moved the FM board from a space where it could get air after the coil blown on it to a lower place where it was before the inlet to the blower. The Railroad Company didn't seem to understand that they had moved the location to another place so they insisted that the Tech had the right part. I showed the Tech this posting here. I mentioned this because he couldn't figure out why everything on his FM gauges said everything was fine, I told him from MY experience with FM boards on gas furnaces, that something was probably wrong with the board. That when he de-powered the thermostat to the board, the valve went fully open and worked. That it was probably a Normally Open Valve and the FM board, with info from the Thermostat, made it throttle, He checked the thermostat and said it Ohm'ed out correctly.That didn't compute to my Pea Brain. I suggested that he get another board. He did.
When he finally got the parts, with the proper length theromstat wire, he also replaced the board. He wasn't taking any chances.

Funny thing, with the new board, the AH works better, cool better, and the Locomotive is almost whisper quiet. Does that FM board also control fan speed? Because with the thermostat disconnected, the fan was much louder.
I'm just pointing something out. I don't know nothin'. But it wouldn't be the first time that the poorly paid schmucks in the field had to do the engineering for the well paid suits.

Watchful Police:

@ September 1, 2014 3:02 PM in Stupid is as Stupid does.

Constitutionally, I don't think the Police can interrogate you for what you have unless you are non-white. In which case, all bets are off.
When you go to a licensed Pawn Shop to sell or pawn stuff, they are required by law to keep records of who sold what. So, if they find stolen things, they can trace it back to who they bought it from.
There was a criminal who was going around stealing rare books from library's and selling them to rare book dealers. The Library's didn't even know the books had been stolen. They caught the creep just the same. He was a former neighbor of mine.


@ September 1, 2014 2:55 PM in Boiler leaking

It MIGHT seal. And it might not.
Its like warranties. A water heater usually comes with a 6 year warranty. Therefore, it will start to leak any time after the last day of the warranty, 6 years from the date of installation. How long after? It will last "indefinitely". From five minutes after I leave to it might outlast both of us.
I once replaced a 80 gallon stone lined electric water heater that had been in service for well over 40 years. I replaced it not because it was leaking, but because an element went and I couldn't get it out without it leaking.


@ September 1, 2014 2:49 PM in hot water demands

I never suggested using 5 -120 gallon indirect storage tanks for the 25 GPM shower.

All I was saying is that if you pick a Veissmann Vitodens 100, and think you can hook it to a 25 GPM shower system, you might want to check your math.


@ September 1, 2014 2:39 PM in hot water demands

I think I once worked for that contractor guy. All of his poor planning constituted am emergency on MY (and everyone else's) part. Especially when he had a Sept 15th start date, a June 15th deadline, he didn't start work until November 10th, and he, his girlfriend and their three children spent 3 months in The Grenadines, drinking rum coolers. Come April 1st, came the big push. Sometimes, you just have to wish people health, happiness and LONG distance.
The Contractor had a 60 day rule. If you sent him a bill, and it was for work in the prior month but he got the bill on the 28th of the month, he considered it received on the First, so he had 30 days to consider it. 30 days to submit it, and 30 days before he paid you(me) AFTER receiving payment which was after the first. He (legally? claimed up to 120 days, even if he submitted the bill before the first when you first submitted it, and was paid the next day. Then, he asked for a discount for prompt payment.
Sometimes, for personal entertainment in June or July, I used to go find a source of good entertainment. Which consisted of watching a fully graded and ready for sod lawn, being sodded by landscapers, who were also planting trees and bushes, while the Irrigation contractor was taking up fresh sod to run irrigation lines to water the new sod lawn and bushes, while the electrician was taking up sod and burying wire for the walkway lights. The trucks of everyone are parked all up and down the dead end road to the site, guys are walking around in their stocking feet because some floors are being sanded and others are being finished, while the painters are doing touch up, and the plumber is setting fixtures. The decorators are coming on the night boat with a 50' moving van that won't fit down the driveway and the head decorator wants running water because he won't share the Blue House with anyone else. I almost forgot. A big truck was backing down the almost finished driveway. Because the location was almost in a wetland, they had to put the Septic Tank on the edge of the driveway. The driver was good at going forward but was lacking in his back up skills, and broke through the top of the Septic Tank that was supposed to be spec'ed for driveway and parking lot use. The load of Blue Stone pavers was too much weight causing the truck to break the top of the tank and the truck to fall into the newly installed tank. They had to get a big gang of Central American Amigo's to hand unload the bluestone, and use a really big loader to get the truck out.

You can't make this stuff up. The old WW ll term FUBAR (Frigged Up Beyond All Reason) comes to mind. Or, the other old WW ll one. SNAFU. Situation Norman. All Frigged Up.

I do miss the sources of entertainment. I don't miss being part of the show.

That Contractor went through a lot of plumbers until he ended up with the most miserable MF that ever walked the face of the earth and didn't give a rats red rectum about anything. They worked well together.

Salt Water Holiness:

@ September 1, 2014 10:46 AM in SUBMERGED Boilers and Water heater. What absolutely needs replacing?

It isn't the salt water rusting holes through the Cast Iron, its the sotting away of section seals and that you can end up with no tightness of the boiler. I've seen "Salty's" that when I went there, I could see reflections of the flame through the burned out covers.
Its a personal decision that shouldn't be made hastily. If the owner is someone driving a Caddy Esplanade and has three waterfront cottages on the Joisey Shore that went for a swim, and the owner lives in Philly on the Main Line or Fairfield Connecticut, I'd be wishing him Health, Happiness and Long Distance. If it was some retired guy in his later years, I'd be making a judgment. I prefer not to participate in someone's cheapedness. Someone else can do that for me. I'll give then a list of names of my favorite competition. And call them

Underwater Boilers:

@ September 1, 2014 10:38 AM in SUBMERGED Boilers and Water heater. What absolutely needs replacing?

I had a customer who had a Weil McLain 68-7 or 8 section boiler go swimming in the No Name Storm of 10/20/1991, "The Perfect Storm". When I got there, someone else had changed all the circulators and cleaned up the burner. It wasn't totally submerged but close. I left it as was/is. A few months later, it was flooded again but not as high. I replaced the circulators, burner and controls, and turned it back on. The system was full of antifreeze and it is always flooded under the house. The boiler was installed between 1985 and 1989. In the Spring of 2013, I replaced the burner because it went swimming. The boiler is still running although I told the owners it needed to be replaced because of age and other considerations. Like being constantly flooded.
It was a hack install, in a space that was way too small for the install. If and when I would have replaced it, I would have had to raise it above the 100 year flood level. Left alone, it didn't need to be raised. Or so it was ruled.
I proposed a direct vented wall mounted gas unit. Way too much consideration on the part of the owner. I got it going for their $30,000 July monthly rental and left for Florida. Someone else's problem.

Rusting Steel Bolts:

@ September 1, 2014 10:21 AM in two different metals

CJ, The rusting of the steel bolts are because of exposure to the air and is caused by the moisture in the air and the dew point. If you create a condition where moisture laden air can not come in contact with the fasteners, the rusting should go away. Does the plate get condensation? Cover the entire plate with Armaflex sheet with holes cut out for the nuts and additional pieces to cover the nuts.
Steel nuts are much harder than stainless steel nuts and can be torqued to a far higher number than Stainless Steel without Galling. Especially if the studs are stainless steel. In MY experience. They make special thread lubricating compounds for Stainless Steel and Aluminum. Aluminum without copper. Which standard Never-Seize  is a primary ingredient.

Submarines: (SIlver Brazing)

@ September 1, 2014 10:10 AM in two different metals

Submarines are a different animal altogether.
I define Submarines as a huge enclosed can that sinks that is a platform for a huge 3 phase generator(s) that can fire projectiles while under water, with a huge storage battery inside. A potential source of all kinds of problems, None of them good.
If you don't keep that 3-phase well balanced, you can sink the boat.
We had a discussion a while back on soldering techniques. About the importance of heating from the back to front of fittings so you are sure that the whole fitting is hot for the rod material to properly flow. The Submarine Thresher that sank off Cape Cod in 1963, was blamed on improperly brazed sea water lines. Not properly filled.

Aluminum Boats:

@ September 1, 2014 9:59 AM in two different metals

For interesting examples of electrolysis and corrosion, trot on down to your local salt water Marina and look for any aluminum sail boats. You will notice at some place on the boat, a wire running from a fitting on the deck, looped over the safety lines, and the wire in the water. With a big zinc plate on it. Salt water is a wonderful battery solution. If you are looking for a nice lightweight aluminum skiff for your salt water adventures, always check to be sure that someone didn't paint the bottom with copper anti-fouling paint. It will dissolve the aluminum boat and it will leak like the "Leaki-Tikki on that old TV series with Gardner McKay, Adventures In Paradise.
Another place to notice fine things happening, is an unskilled welder who backs his welding truck up to a steel boat, docked next to a wharf with steel sheathing. Connect the ground clamp to the top rail next to the dock, and go into the engine room or some other far away place to commence welding. If the stars are aligned and all the moon is in the Seventh House, and the ground cable is on the ground, the closest way to complete the circuit (if the ground clamp isn't a good connection) is for the current (dc) to go back to the welder through the easiest way. Which might be along the water line, across the water, through the steel sheathing, through the ground, inducted through the ground cable on the ground, and back into the welder. The problem is often noted when they notice the boat is sinking because the current going back slices a line along the water line of the hull, allowing water in. Happens regularly. Always put the ground clamp as close to the source you are welding for the best and safest connection.
The only good ground is a better ground.


@ September 1, 2014 9:39 AM in Boiler leaking

That was/is common for Weil-McLain 68 series oil boilers when run as cold start boilers. the Kibble & Bits fall between the sections and over time, pry the boiler sections apart. If you fire off the boiler and maintain the boiler at 140 degrees, it will stop leaking. At least so that you notice. They have EPDM gaskets for section sealing. Do NOT put in unapproved boiler stop leak in the boiler. If it has any Petroleum Distillates, it will destroy the seal rings and the boiler will turn into a drip irrigation device in its present location.
Many of us often noticed this when going on a "No Heat" call where the system went way below the room temperature of the house or froze up because no one was around. Peerless JO/JOT's are also known for this but they have steel push nipples.
You must have had a tankless coil in the boiler for your hot water. If you had installed the new water heater as a storage tank, you would be using less money for heating DHW, had more of it, and not be replacing your boiler. Set the "LO" on the boiler control to 140, the "HI" to 160 or 170, and turn the boiler back on, once you have gotten the water out of the chamber. See if the leaking stops when the boiler is hot.
Start saving your Sheckles.

Chimney Lining Installers:

@ September 1, 2014 9:23 AM in Code or Best Practice for connecting 2-appliances to Chimney Liner

Bob Harper,
In Massachusetts, (I'm not a code "expert") I don't think that the liner must be installed by a licensed plumber or gas fitter. It will need a building permit and overseen by someone with some form of Construction Supervisor's License. But, the licensed Plumber or Gas Fitter is responsible for the legality, permit and inspection of the vent connections into the newly installed. permitted and inspected flue.
There was a serious problem with HVAC installers installing modulating direct vent gas boilers where a gas provider or installer was doing the legal gas piping, but the HVAC person, who was unlicensed to do gas, was installing the venting. Where I worked, every HVAC company did their own venting. One LP gas provider did the majority of the gas piping installs. I saw all kinds of illegal vent terminations by one company that also did all the plumbing to storage tanks unpermitted. No one cared. I used to tell one of the principals of the LP company that they couldn't do that. That they were assuming responsibility for someone beyond their legal control to do work for them. That just because someone else vented it before they got there to gas pipe it, if it was wrong, they were responsible. And if anyone was ever injured, they would be responsible. Of course, that continued my unblemished string of @$$hat of the month. Until, that same HVAC company vented a modulating 90+ gas/AC furnace under a deck with a window under the deck and there were sleeping quarters in the cellar. They left the window open, and many people down in the cellar were exposed to CO. After the Fire Dept. and the Health Department were done, attention was noticed by all. I was still a @$$hat. Money changed hands.
Ever serviced a Heatmaker ll installed in a crawl space, in front of the foundation access with the exhaust vent directly over the opening, an inside corner 12" away, the electrical meter and LP gas regulator all jammed into that small space in the corner, with the prevailing winds blowing exhaust gas under the house where you are working? That's why I bought my personal CO detector. So if and when it went off, I could leave the area. And gas installer wasn't responsible. The HVAC installer was. And not the responsibility of the AHJ inspector who approved it.


@ September 1, 2014 8:52 AM in hot water demands

The ideals are to use boiler ODR modulation for the heating load. Then P/S piping. Modulating boilers do it with ease. IMO, just don't go nuts with trying to pick one with turn downs so low that you can't get enough nuts from the hot side of the primary boiler loop.

As far as the DHW load is concerned, it is a sliding load. From the beginning of a heating season, to the deepest, heaviest load, and into the end. Like a big "U" curve. The DHW load is every day, 24/7/365. Design a heating system for a maximum of 10 days per year or a potential 24/7/365 load.
Some people used to call me for their WTF moments for help. A company had changed a small, 10 YO oil boiler in a garage apartment shop. It worked fine for 10 years. I never saw the old boiler, it was already replaced. It was replaced with a W-M WTGO-3. The old boiler was probably an equivalent to a Peerless WBV. No storage tank. It was September, no heat load. They could only get continuous warm water out of the brand new boiler/tankless. It was a good install except that the Watts 70A wasn't heat trapped and there was no flow restrictor installed. (Who installs them?) When you had the control set to 200 degree HI and 180 Operating, and the boiler was maintaining 180 degrees, turn on the DHW and it was hot, slowly going to warm. The boiler just didn't have enough NUTS to heat the boiler water with enough energy for the transfer to the DHW. Not anywhere enough for a shower. The I/O manual said to use a 2.5 GPM flow restrictor to get the rated performance from the boiler/coil. I showed the installer how closing down the cold water feed into the tankless did what the flow restrictor did, slower flow allowed more contact time for the tankless coil. He installed a flow restrictor as code requires, and the world again became a beautiful place.
Another 24/7/365 load attended to.
Where I used to live and work, I figured that there was no heating load for five months or more. But the DHW load never left.


@ September 1, 2014 8:14 AM in two different metals

Historically and in practice, it is far safer in a heating system than compared to jumping out of airplanes with a parachute.

65 RC-TC's

@ August 31, 2014 1:49 PM in Is buying a used threader risky?

That is a fine threader, almost bomb proof. If the dies are worn, it is not difficult to change to new ones. 65 R-C is handier than the TC which means that it is "True Centering. I found that the 65R-C did a better job of holding on to the pipe. Don't get cheap dies, get the good, more expensive ones. They don't cost that much more and last many times more over.
If you are going to thread pipe, but a used Power Drive. You won't be sorry. After threading a few 2" IPS threads, you'll be buying a machine.
Sometimes. it helps to wire brush the debris out of the rear jaws that hold on to the pipe. That always stopped any slippage for me.


@ August 31, 2014 1:40 PM in Code or Best Practice for connecting 2-appliances to Chimney Liner

If both are professionals, you shouldn't have to be worrying about "Gaps". The "Gap" you show is more like a Breach.
Inspectors are not responsible for anything that they miss. Because someone did it wrong, doesn't make it right if an inspector misses it.
If I did that, ant you mentioned that to the inspector and left the photo, I wouldn't be PO'ed if you did. I FU'ed and have no one to blame but myself.

I doubt that there is anything in the Mass Gas Code or the National Code that they also follow, that would think that connection is fine.
I also question anyone who connected a flue like that, in that way, knows who to properly size that vent with the additional water heater. There is a method to it. If either are Massachusetts Licensed Plumbers or gas Fitters, and have been since they instituted the CEU requirements, that issue was covered in Session 3 or 4. If they didn't complete the courses, then they aren't licensed. The Board sets the requirements for the courses. That issue was taught. No orphaned flues and no 3 sided chimneys. And especially no too big or too small flues.

50 Gallon WH's:

@ August 31, 2014 1:29 PM in hot water demands

Everything said, I can't disagree with.
The "plumber" who told your customer that a 50 Gallon WH is OK for what you describe is either a fool or just plain doesn't know what he/she is talking about.
So many here just go nuts over Indirects and how fast they recover. If you want to get the listed recovery, you have to put a lot of NUTS (energy) into being able to make that hot water. A 150,000 BTU boiler will make one heck of a lot more hot water than a 75,000 Boiler. There's an old song that I will think of all the words later about getting there. About how some people drive a Model A Ford, some people take a jet plane, They get there faster, but the Model A gets there just the same.
Many "Heaters" are CLUELESS how much energy it takes to heat water, Take a house with a 150,000 BTU boiler, and calculate the heat loss down to 75,000 BTU's and it will HEAT the house. With all those simultaneous showers and body sprays, and you quickly discover that most of (if not ALL) of that 150,000 BTU's were going to heating water. Look at the manufacturers ratings for Indirects. If you don't install the recommended size boiler for the size of the indirect chosen, it can be way below the rated output. It simply can't be done. It is no different than the Ford F-250 HD I bought to tow a horse trailer with the 351 engine, rated to tow the maximum weight of a loaded trailer. Without the trailer, I could drive up and down hills at 70+ MPH, almost anywhere. Towing the trailer with HALF the maximum rated load for the combination, I couldn't get up even small hills without a running start to keep the RPM's and Power up. I had a 2001 GMC Top Kick 5 horse van with a 360 HP gas engine. With just ONE 1200# horse, it barely made it up hills unless it had a good running start so I didn't have to downshift. The engine in a heating system is the boiler. You MUST have enough NUTS to carry the load. I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree on The Wall, and I'm not the most experienced because of the limitations of where I lived and worked. But I doubt  that there are many who have more experience than I at resolving domestic hot water issues. What I say is from hands on experience. It CAN'T be done and CYA. If you get away with it, you're just lucky. Want an example? Two dedicated Bock 73E oil fired water heaters, fired at the rated output of 1.75 GPH, recovering 220 Gallons Per Hour, each at 100 degree rise. It worked as it did for 6 years. that's 440 gallons per hour. Commercial application. The High Limit was 160+ or whatever it would maintain. The water that was used for humans was tempered to 112 to 116degrees. I replaced the 1.75 GPH nozzles with 1.50 GPH nozzles. It IMMEDIATELY started running out of hot water. The water heaters were actually too small for the application.

You can put a 50 gallon water heater in and it will work, part of the time. Its the other part of the time that they call up and rag on your @$$ and tell their friends you are a fool.
A better solution is to use the biggest indirect or storage tank you can get away with and run hotter water in the tank. Then temper down the hotter water to a safe and usable level. Raising the tank temperature is the same as theoretically installing a bigger tank.

Sometimes, customers think it is normal to be running out of hot water. If they are already worrying about running out of hot water, you better plan well. You better explain the problems, or else let the ignorant "plumber" prove his ignorance. If it doesn't work for you, the customer might be insisting that you pay to repair it out of your own pocket.
If you insist, do what I did when I had the chance. Give them multiple choices with detailed explanations of why and the cost. From the least to the best. Let them choose. That way, it is their choice.
If you don't believe me, put a garden hose on the outlet of your water heater and turn it on slow. Time how fast it runs out of hot. Then, turn it down slower and see how long it takes to recover. Once recovered, put the hose in a 5 gallon bucket and time the flow. That's your recovery flow rate. Add up the shower heads. Can you keep up with it? Doubtful.
My 40 gallon electric (recovers way less than 18 GPH because it has 3300 Watt elements)is fine for two showers. Don't try a third.


Heat Loss Calculations:

@ August 31, 2014 11:57 AM in Weil Mclain ECO 155 gas piping design question

If you're not doing a complete and accurate heat loss calculation, you might as well just stick the biggest CGI, draft hood boiler you can afford and forget about efficiency. Doo it quickly before the energy/EPA codes change for 2015.
Oversized high efficiency boilers are a waste of the initial money and a waste of operational money. And if you don't read the I/O manual and install it just like shown, you might throw more money away on a quicker boiler failure that isn't covered under warranty.
You wouldn't want a 600 HP engine in your commuter small car. It would be un-drivable.
1 2 3 4 5 ... 207 »