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Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on April 17, 2014

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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?


@ April 13, 2014 9:29 AM in What do you think of when somebody says Hydronics?

If it wasn't for Government "Intervention", there would be no affordable milk or any other food commodities. The Wall Street Crime Syndicate and the Futures traders would all be broke, we would be in another depression and people would be using soup stones in their very thin stews.
There isn't a Wall Street Bankster that does as much work in a month as the average successful farmer does when he gets out of bed to put his boots on.
On another note, which you seem to know, you can not ever get too much water into animals. My wife and I have had horses for many, many years. We have had horses that won't drink cold water. Milk production and water are important. What is more important to milk production is proper digestion. Which can't happen without enough proper water. Water management with pets or livestock is critical. Same with humans. If you can't throw down a glass of ice water or chew ice cubes because your teeth hurt, think about a ruminant like a cow, goat or sheep with sensitive teeth trying to drink ice cold water in the winter. Animals can't talk. So you have to be aware.
Read a book, Guns, Germs & Steel", The fates of human societies. By Jared Diamond. If it weren't for ancient Farmers, we wouldn't be here typing on computers. What few of us, would be out hunting and gathering food.
If you want something interesting, find some "Farro" (Spelt) wheat grain. AKA Einkorn. one of the very first domesticated grains in the Fertile Crescent. Right tasty.


@ April 13, 2014 8:53 AM in But he's SO cute

One of the few good uses of Coyotes. They can catch squirrels. They do it in pairs and catch them between trees. Fun to watch if you can ever see it.

Pumping #6:

@ April 13, 2014 8:32 AM in Need help heating/pumping Six Oil

First off, have you checked with your liability insurance carrier to see if you are covered for a project like this? It's like roofing or painting off of ladders.
A 250K gallon tank is no small tank. In New England in January, it becomes an asphalt tank. I don't understand how they could get product consistently out of that tank when it is 10 degrees and blowing 40 MPH from the NW without heat. Was there some form of powerhouse with a boiler that burned that stuff in a big boiler? I did a lot of work in a power plant that had stationary diesels that ran on #6 and all the storage tanks had heaters so they could get cold product to day tanks where they really controlled the temperature at the pour point.
We all love a challenge. Challenges are how we learn. We also learn that challenges are risky. There are companies who specialize in this stuff. What is the extent of what they want you to do? Who is going to cart off the oil? Who is going to clean up the mess in the tank? Is there a "roof" in the tank to stop evaporation and loss of product? If there's one of those in there, you really have a mess. Did you talk to any tank salvage companies? They are experienced in this. It is really a specialty task.
Please let inquisitive minds know how this plays out.


@ April 13, 2014 8:09 AM in High Vac Readings caused by BioFuel 20

" ""The cost of natiural gas is not going to stay as low as it is now but oil will get more expensive too; the demand for both is just too great for prices to drop."" "

The "demand" is driven not by consumer demand, but the demand that the Wall Street Crime Syndicate pay off their Masters with more cash. The Banksters have stolen everything else, they need more sources of revenue.

Fuel suction:

@ April 13, 2014 8:04 AM in High Vac Readings caused by BioFuel 20

That vacuum difference is about like the difference between a ice cream Frappe, made with a little ice cream or a lot. Of one of those things they sell you at Burger King or Mickey D's that you eat with a spoon when you get it, or wait for it to melt for a while and you drink it out of a straw.
If you are reading from a Garber Restriction Gauge, it shows green, yellow and red areas. As long as the needle is on the green or yellow, don't worry about it. When the pump is off, take a magic marker and mark a line where "0" (zero) is. Then, when you fire it off with a new filter, mark the running point on the plastic glass.
What's more important than anything else is that the filter traps anything that is coming along. Because if it gets past the filter, it won't be stopped by the pump strainer, but WILL be stopped by the nozzle strainer. And THAT will make it run badly, if at all.
If you put two spin-on's, the first will trap all of what can be trapped. The other one acts as a nozzle strainer but keeps the pump and nozzle clean.
IMO, don't even bother putting a garbage can with a bolt in the top as a primary filter. When the Garber/Spin-on is plugged, the garbage can will be totally plugged. With the garbage can and no spin-on, the nozzle will be plugged.
My old dead boss used to say to never to trust a gauge. There is no such thing as a trustful gauge that you pay under $10.00 for. $30.00+, maybe. I had two vacuum gauges with zero out screws and I checked them on shallow wells. I knew they were accurate. I kept them in a special place for special occasions. Minor vacuum pressure is not a good reason to switch to gas. You're only looking at the suction restriction in the piping.


@ April 13, 2014 7:38 AM in But he's SO cute

Arboreal Rodents/Tree Rats.

All due respect:

@ April 11, 2014 6:10 PM in New Lead Free ball valves

When the solder is molten, it is bright and shiny at the face. You can hold the pipe in place while it is shiny. If you move it, it might be a leaker because there may be setting spots in the joint. Which may leak. If you watch the shiny molten solder, it will suddenly turn dull. That's when it solidifies. All the wiping should have been done by then. If you haven't done any soldering or "wiping" lead, you need to. To develop the feel for that space between molten and set.
I'm sure that you are a fine man with a torch. Anything I write here is to possibly help improve their skills. You heat a lead free ball valve with a flame thrower from the face back and to the other side next, you will lunch the ball seal, or not completely solder it.

Puss some old stuff apart that wasn't leaking and see what I mean. On 1" and larger, there will be all kinds of voids in the back of the fitting or the end of the tube. The solder didn't run there because part of the fitting was too hot and the solder ran out like water, while a back part was almost hot enough and would have taken solder if it wasn't all running out somewhere else.

Exceptional Taco:

@ April 11, 2014 5:50 PM in New Circ Pump Flange 90 Degrees Off

Your Taco isn't the exception, your B&G EcoCir Vario is the exception. It has a rotated flange, rotated from what is considered a standard flange.
You probably bought it on-line and the Internet Sales person is clueless about what they are selling. Here is a Taco 007 PDF. Your 007 model # should show "007 FS" for standard flange. If it had been bought with a FR designation, it would be the right way. Although B&G only shows their EcoCircs as right angle flanged, they must offer reversing flanges that go either way with the same flange set. The person who helped you doesn't know his product. They should have asked you about flange direction.

Circulator Flanges:

@ April 11, 2014 5:07 PM in New Circ Pump Flange 90 Degrees Off

Taco, B&G and WILO are made with the flanges aligned with the centerline of the motor and at 90 degrees to the centerline. There are add on, aftermarket flanges that rotate for just that reason.

Cooling Valves:

@ April 11, 2014 2:41 PM in New Lead Free ball valves

If you wait until the solder sets and then wipe it, you won't be able to tell if the fitting was hot enough. Lead free solder melts at under 500 degrees. Map Gas flame throwers won't silver braze easily but are well over 1100 degrees. If you overheat lead free, you ruin the joint and solder. If you solder a 3/4" copper tee, and it is still hot and melting solder 60 seconds after you moved the heat away, it was too hot and overheated. If, after 10 seconds, you can't wipe molten solder around the whole tee, it wasn't hot enough. Especially if you have a grape hanging off the bottom that won't wipe away. If you solder a pressure tee with the run in the vertical position and the branch in the horizontal, the bottom socket will hardly ever leak. The branch might leak on the top and the top fitting will leak anywhere along the top.
If you ever take apart 3" copper drainage fittings where the fittings are cast bronze (so as to get the best price for the pure copper), notice how much the copper tune isn't completely soldered at the back of the pipe or fitting.

Required Schooling:

@ April 11, 2014 2:22 PM in Mass Oil Burner Exam

If it isn't, it will soon be.

Taped & Doped:

@ April 11, 2014 2:17 PM in New Circ Pump Flange 90 Degrees Off

If the flanges are taped and doped, they should easily come off with two large water pump pliers. Or a couple of 18" pipe wrenches.

I don't know what is so special about your circulators of choice but most circulators (like Wilo) come as circulators with the flanges cast at 90 degrees.
Wilo also has flanges that rotate to any position and also use wide gaskets. You CAN"T use those POS red rubber ones that were phased out 50 years ago but some still try to use them. I switched to Wilo from Taco for that very reason.
I've been too tired for too long, replacing hard red rubber leaking gaskets that were the wrong gaskets.
Another trick not mentioned with the saw through the flange is that when you get really close to the threads, take a beater screw driver, back up the opposite side of the flange with a 10# mall, stick the beater screw driver in the saw kerf and beat it with a hammer. It will provide a little spread and make it easier to unscrew the old flange.

#1 Rule:

@ April 11, 2014 1:55 PM in By special request.

99,9999% of intermittent water leaks through a ceiling with a bathroom above it is from some form of water getting through the walls around a tub or shower or a leaking shower valve.
Never take down a ceiling unless there is water steadily leaking through the ceiling.

Mass oil burners:

@ April 10, 2014 7:40 PM in Mass Oil Burner Exam

You'll have to take a test.
You'll have to show some experience. You probably need some classes.
I took mine in the 1970's and where I worked, was pretty much wide open. I had to go to a Department of Public Safety and they asked me some questions. Today, its more organized.
Personally' I'd be spending my money on gas training. If you're a licensed plumber in Massachusetts, you must be doing your CEU's. 1/2 (3 Hours) are on gas. I'd be trying to hook up with Tim Mc Ilwaine for his gas training. If you can go gas, you can do oil. Not so much the other way around. Firedragon is the considered man for oil. But he's scaling his oil training back for gas.
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