Joined on September 13, 2010
Last Post on March 10, 2014
@ April 1, 2011 10:09 AM in Fill Valve Location PressuresI leave the AAV's closed after venting now. When they leak, I closed them. If open and the Extrol tank is bad, they suck air. If they are way above the boiler (second floor), they will suck air if the PRV doesn't maintain pressure and the Extrol tank is bad or undersized. IMO, better an over sized Extrol than an undersized one.
I find leaking 30# relief valves an indicator of a flooded expansion tank or an undersized Extrol tank. Whenever I find a leaking relief valve, after changing it, I always check the Extrol tank pressure. If it is at 12# or above, I think the Extrol tank is too small. If it is below 10#, I add air with the thought I may be back. If it is significantly below 10#, like 5#, I replace the tank. If 0#, I definitely replace the tank.
@ April 1, 2011 9:56 AM in Can't get warmHow many returns do you have in this system?
Do you have a separate return for the first and second floor or are they all combined into one? If the one is at the bottom of the second floor stairway, running the first floor could just suck the cold air from the second floor because it is easier for the cold air to fall down the stairs. Close all the doors upstairs and run the first floor and see if it improves. The zone duct dampers may not cover the whole duct and they allow air to pass by.
There's a lot of really screwed up duct work out there. You may have some.
@ April 1, 2011 9:39 AM in Small Zone TroublesYou don't need a buffer tank with radiators. Radiators could be considered buffer tanks because of all the water they hold compared to 3/4" baseboard.
I'd change the well before I started in on something else. Do the radiators get hot in the cellar zone? I've never heard of anything like this. Something stupid is going on. There's a wiring issue with the new zone. Something is over riding the high limit. It's a wiring issue in the end. Or a piping issue. Have any pictures of the boiler piping?
@ April 1, 2011 9:16 AM in indirect or not?Where did the 50% more load come from?
If you have a WTGO-3 and you are running it as a clod start, and you don't ANNUALLY open the front after cleaning from the top, and clean the black kibbles and bits from the chamber, you are wasting energy. And that includes removing the rug and scraping all the cementious material UNDER the rug and scraping up the sides between the sections. WTOG's run no lower than 135 degrees operating and 170 high limit will have a fine brown ash after a couple of years. You don't need a soot saw to get it out. Just a small fluffy brush.
I think that someone has played fun with numbers in the past.
I have a WTGO-3. I sat in my living room one Sunday and my burner never once came on in 8 hours with the clock thermostats down 10 degrees and the temperature only dropped 7 degrees when it was 12 degrees out. Where's all this stack loss?
With just a tank less, and no storage tank, you are using 100,000 BTU's to heat whatever small or large amount you use on demand. With a storage tank, the circulator only uses the stored latent heat in the boiler water.
This cold firing is just a really bad idea. Now, the Mod/Con boiler manufacturers are recommending annual servicing (cleaning) of their appliances because of water/condensing problems. That cuts into the cost savings.
The complete exhaust system on my 2001 BMW 325 XI wagon has a complete stainless steel exhaust system It has 130,000 MI on it and it is still original. My 2000 Ford E150 with 100,000 Mi had the exhaust system replaced at 95,000. The after market system that the dealer installed will be toast by 120,000 MI.
@ April 1, 2011 8:34 AM in Fill Valve Location PressuresI know that you didn't didn't install this but why the fixation on putting PRV's on the supply side of a system AFTER the boiler?
I never saw a PRV installed anywhere else but into the bottom or return of a boiler until the late 70's or early 80's when they started showing them on Amtrols. Everything I do is set up on being able to purge the system. I have a lot of systems that I drain annually and turn back on in the Spring. Most and myself will set the whole thing up so I can purge the whole system when it is running, from one place. Because you are sending hot water into the system during the purge, you are replacing it with cold water, being heated by the boiler. An isolation valve on the return and a drain above it, the water runs cold, then runs colder, then warms and gets hot. It's purged. Open the valve and it continues to get hot.
I fill anti-freeze the same way. Pump into the bottom of the boiler and return into a 5 gallon bucket with the pump suction into the bucket. When the bubbles stop, open the valve. if the hot return doesn't start getting hot, purge some more until it starts to warm. When it is getting hot, on to the next zone.
You show no drains in your drawing and the boilers are all piped backwards which may have a reason. I just never would have put the PRV on the supply like that because it makes it so hard for me to purge. And if it was on the return, you wouldn't have a need to ask your question about the location.
@ April 1, 2011 7:48 AM in Vitodens LLH SensorI don't understand your logic of not using the Veissmann LLH. I just installed a Vitodens 100. I looked at LLH'ers, Spirovent and Califfi, and could find no compelling reason to use any LLH but the Veissman. They even offer an insulation kit for it. If it was cost, the Veissmann comes with the sensing port installed on top of the LLH. If you must add a fitting to the array, it costs extra for material and the labor time to install it. And the "others" don't offer the insulation kit.
They (the Veissman) must be popular because my supplier is all out of them. I need one and they are waiting for a shipment from Veissmann.
@ March 31, 2011 5:23 PM in Removing a boiler plugI've dismantled about everything you could imagine. I'm into the low energy removal process. I've found that brute force isn't usually the best way to go. Too easy to get hurt. Because I always work alone, I have had to develop strategies that will work for me, alone. I have removed more rotted nipples from boilers than I could ever remember. I've removed them from water pumps. I have never resorted to any brute force. When I worked for someone else many years ago, we had some bruisers that could pick up some awesome things. I worked with a guy that could pick up and move anything. He never broke out a sweat. He just carefully and methodically, got the job done.
If you're dealing with CI fittings, it is really easy to crack them when you back it up with a big pipe wrench. I've cracked more than one. If it is in a critical place, I never put a wrench on it if I can't get it out with two 3' pipe wrenches. I get out the sawzall.
If you all don't know that you can drill a hole in a CI plug with a hole saw, you need to learn. Those hole saws drill through CI and steel like butter. A little oil is nice.
When I am roughing in and there are nails around, I use hole saws. They drill through the nails and keep right on going. I save my auger bits for the serious drilling. They are like razors.
The key to getting pipe ends and plugs out is to cut slots in the nipple or the plug, make a narrow piece that you can whack easily with a chisel and heavy hammer, and knock it out. Then, you relieve the compression tension on the nipple or plug. Then, you can unscrew it at your leisure.
Next time I need to do one, I'll post it.
I live in fear of breaking a piece out of a boiler when using an impact wrench.
@ March 31, 2011 5:01 PM in Boiler Noise?I've seen it a lot. Just not to the degree you are writing about. It usually makes a racket after it shuts off.
@ March 31, 2011 7:30 AM in Heating the ground under a commercial freezer......Years ago, I read a book by Farley Mowat called "The Siberians". He got in trouble for writing about Canada's largest neighbor an a nice light. He pointed out (in 1969) that the Russians had a lot of experience with building in Attic areas. The southern most city in Russia is North of Montreal, CA. That when they built buildings in the Arctic tundra that were heated, they sunk into the permafrost. So, at first, they added stories as the lower floors sunk into the ground. So, they started building the first floors off the ground and insulating the heck out of the first floor floor.
Why not build the freezers off the ground and avoid the problem of needing to heat the ground. You get a few months of really cold weather and the rest is warm. I'd be trying to think of a way to use all that cold and cool a building in the summer. Or, recycling that cold air for refrigeration use. Either way, the Russians raised the buildings to stop the problem you describe, only their problem was the reverse.
@ March 31, 2011 7:18 AM in Boiler Noise?sand and other solid debris in the bottom of the boiler and when the burners come on, the debris traps water and makes it boil like what happens with domestic water heaters. Have you tried flushing out the boiler and trying to get any crud out of the boiler? It will act like low flow.
@ March 31, 2011 6:05 AM in Removing a boiler plugtale a 1 1/4" hole saw and drill a hole through the middle of the plug. Take a sawzall and CAREFULLY saw to the edge of the threads of the plug. Saw slots at 12: O'clock, 4: O'clock, 8 O'clock and then one between 4 and 6 O/clock. Take a big screw driver and knock the piece out between 4 and 6. Then, the other pieces. Don't worry about minor scratches on the female threads. Teflon tape (That stuff that some hate but others find irreplaceable. Put lots of wraps of T-tape and use Rectorseal #5 or Rectorseal #100.
It's never failed me. I don't have an impact wrench or a compressor large enough to use a wrench on.
@ March 30, 2011 10:20 PM in Can't get warmI assume that the two zones are first floor and second floor.
Close the doors to the second floor rooms. Don't let the downstairs heat get into the upstairs rooms.
Where is the first floor return(s)? Be sure it isn't covered up.
Get a HVAC person that knows what they are doing to look at it. It should have been working from the beginning. If not, it had a problem that wasn't resolved. These things don't just appear for no reason.
@ March 30, 2011 9:44 PM in Cast iron radiators instead of baseboardNot like that. You can't connect radiators like baseboard with a series loop. They have to be connected in a way that all radiators receive hotter water, all at once. "Reverse or Direct Return". Or some way in which a small amount of the heated water goes into the radiators and a small amount comes out. "One Pipe System".
You'll probably need a 1' Main with Mono-flows and 1/2" risers. It can become complicated.
@ March 29, 2011 8:48 PM in Curious as to whatI'm not any kind of expert on this subject but I know that the Veissmann Vitodens 100 tell you in the manuals to combustion test with equipment when you first fire it up and write the numbers down on a special page. That CO2 for high and low fire be 10.8%. Then, they recommend that it be serviced every year and you write the numbers in the next set of spaces. It is especially important to test if you convert to LP. Why did they put those special test ports for us?
It seems that a shocking number of installers think that the manufacturers manuals are to be left in the folders and taken away with them when the job is done. I was talking with an electrician yesterday about a wiring issue and I asked him if he or the installer had read the instruction manuals. He said that the manuals were still in the blue plastic package. I asked him if he had a separate boiler pump, connected under the boiler into the return like in the manufacturers drawing and wired so it ran whenever the boiler had a call. No. Well, he didn't read the manual. He's going to have a problem.
How many times has someone come here, posted a picture of the problem equipment,and it is piped wrong? Too often.
@ March 29, 2011 8:11 PM in Key vent replacement questionI'm sure that I am in the minority here. I only put air vents on baseboard emitters to keep nosey mouth's shut. Whatever I do, whatever I pipe, I always plan how I will purge it. I always use "Jet Tees". With the caps.
I do a lot of loop over the top of the baseboard and feed supply and return on one end. No mater how hard you try, it is difficult to get enough air out to get flow going. So, I always have a place on the return where I can connect a hose with a valve below it for purging. Put a ball valve on the return end of this loop with a boiler drain between the valve and the return side of the upstairs loop. To purge the air, just close the ball valve, take a 5 gallon bucket, a short hose (I use a double hose connection like a 6' washing machine hose) and let it go in the bucket. I put the PRV bypass on so it fills past the shut-off point. If you try this, you will need to refine your techniques.
You must be sure to keep the pressure up in the system. I go for 12# to 15# with an emphasis on 15#
@ March 27, 2011 9:52 PM in fluctuating oil pressureThere was probably nothing wrong with your electrodes. You have a fuel delivery problem. You may have a clogged fuel filter. Did you change the filter and pump strainer? If the pump strainer is dirty, the fuel filter is worse. You need a Spin-On filter with a vacuum restriction gauge on it. You can't test one (pressure) without testing the other (Vacuum).
@ March 27, 2011 9:40 PM in air separatorIf you are on a municipal water system, you have always needed a back flow preventer. The installer was trying to save a buck. Or else, they are smart and the rest of us are not. Taco does NOT recommend that their wet rotor circulators be stood on their heads. Air will get in the head and no water will lubricate the rotor assembly. In fact, NO wet rotor circulator manufacturer of circulators allows it. At least Grundfoss and Wilo have vent plugs on the ends to get the air out. But that is in the horizontal position. Not vertical
@ March 27, 2011 9:22 PM in Legionellae articleI have (for quite some time) been adding Sparco/Honeywell mixers to water heaters so I can run them hotter and temper the hot down to legal levels. The AMX-101 unit has a check on the cold water side and you do not need a heat trap. Though I always install one. I've been concerned about LP for years.
In MA, we are required to set the limit stops on shower valves to limit it to code temperature, 120 or 125 degrees. I set them to a temperature that I know that someone can not stand without scalding themselves. I use only Symmons S96-* valves and set the limit stop so that the handle stops pointing to 1:00 O'clock. Never had a complaint.
I read an article a ways back about women getting sick from some bacterium in aerosol showers that get into lungs. Women were more sensitive. They hadn't really identified the bacterium. It must be LP. If you set the DHW in the tank to 140 degrees, and turn the valve to as hot as you can get it through the shower head, you should be able to improve the situation.
@ March 27, 2011 8:55 PM in BSPT X NPT Adapter:Thanks all. I'll just crank it some more. I have plenty of Teflon Tape on it and it shouldn't have leaked. I'm not one to over tighten things. When I took off the factory plug, it had an O-Ring on it. It didn't come out easily. It took a socket to do it.
The Veissmann LLH is nice because they offer the insulation kit for it. Which I used.
I knew that BSPT stood for something stupid. Stupid me for not figuring it out. Old age setting in.
@ March 27, 2011 8:45 PM in disassembly of cast iron radiators?In over 40 years, I don't remember ever dismantling a radiator to take it out. When they were brought in, new, they were in one piece. You need a 2 wheel appliance dolly and your friend Manuel Laborour to help you get them (the radiators) down the stairs and out of the house. I have one that has big fat pneumatic tires and goes up and down stairs easily if you have someone on the lower end that knows what they are doing.
Do you have a plan for plugging the holes in the wood floors where the pipes came through?
@ March 27, 2011 12:28 PM in BSPT X NPT Adapter:I just installed a Veissmann Vitodens 100 boiler. I used the Veissmann Low Loss Header. It comes with all the fittings to do it. The header comes with a plug in the bottom which comes installed. They give you an adapter to connect into the port where this plug is. The plug seems to be 1/2" but it has an O-ring to seal it. The adapter is described as a "BSPT X NPT adapter". There is no shoulder for the O-ring. I put 5 wraps of Teflon tape and used Rectorseal #100 Teflon tape on the threads. It leaks even though I cranked on it.
What's the story on "BSPT" threads?
@ March 26, 2011 9:46 PM in Legionellae articleA question: What would purging the hot water system with hot water, over 140 degrees do for helping remove the problem?
Maybe it hides in a bio film but if the bio film is too hot, it can't. It would seem that is hospitals, which can generate large amounts of hot water, couldn't flush their hot water systems with ultra-hot water periodically.