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Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on July 27, 2014

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Magical Occurences:

@ January 13, 2012 9:18 PM in Peerless Pinnacle blown fuse

Which fits in perfectly with my point. With all those things able to align, it could be anything.

Munchkin Fuses:

@ January 13, 2012 9:06 PM in Peerless Pinnacle blown fuse

It's my experience that fuses sometimes blow. Sometimes, it seems like FM.
* Magic.
Sometimes, the Sun, Moon and a certain star must align along with a Neap Tide. Then, due to the special energy generated by this phenomenon, the fuse blows. It won.t happen again until this Perfect Storm occurs again.
Those of us who do a lot of troubleshooting, are aware of this odd occurrence. If you wonder why you didn't get any responses, its because we feel we might look foolish trying to explain the unexplainable.
I know I'm foolish but at my age, I really don't care anymore. So, in a few words, it's unexplainable. Especially with the information provided.


@ January 12, 2012 11:41 PM in Problem Pinnacle, need some help

Pinnacles are Munchkins in a green beer cooler. Sounds like a bad brain or control. They are made by HTP. Does it have the 925 controller or the board?.

Cross Connections:

@ January 12, 2012 11:33 PM in I am stumped....

You will have fun with that one.
Symmons mixers have the balancing spools inside the cartridge. Moen's and Kohler's are outside. I don't remember where they are on Powers. The place I honed my cross connection detective skills has a few Powers valves but I don't remember that they gave me trouble. You can usually tell if they are outside the cartridge if you slam a lav faucet and you hear a "click" behind a shower valve. They will have check stops on the valves. A bad check stop will cause a cross connection. If you run low temperatures, the shower valves won't pass hot enough water to allow the valves to mix properly. Find a cold bathroom, turn on the shower and see if it gets better. The cross connection is near bye.
Mop receptor with soap dispensers and hoses with sprays on them.The soap sales persons put those on. Abandoned showers with hoses on the shower heads are another good source.
A really great one. T&S spay units. Years ago, they had check balls. The balls get lost because someone doesn't know what they are for. The newer ones have the check in the cartridge. The check cartridge is $40.00. Without, maybe $12.00. The cheapskate, going for two replacement cartridges is quoted $80.00 for two and goes for the $25.00 value. They never wonder what that springy thing is on the old cartridge. If needed, I'll think of some more. Ive never looked for one that I didn't find. There's a valve open somewhere.

Good luck and good hunting.
And remember, it may have always had a problem. You may be looking for an old problem that they are telling you is new.

Positive pressure Carlin:

@ January 12, 2012 8:16 PM in carlin 301 crd

The 680 M/M is a positive pressure fired boiler and the Carlin 301CRD is designed for such. Is it set up with instruments as per spec's?\
Did you call Carlin Tech Support?
You may have other issues. That's a very reliable and trouble free combination when set up properly. Proper set up is the key.

Beckett Vs Riello:

@ January 12, 2012 8:09 PM in 10 yr old Riello burner or new Beckett end cone/tube/flange

I would go with the Beckett parts unless you find that a Riello is approved for your furnace. The Riello is a very hot burner and may byrn right through the HX. The Becket won't. If it came with the furnace.

Running Pinnicle:

@ January 12, 2012 7:43 PM in Problem Pinnacle, need some help

Are you saying that the blower is running when there is no call for heat? That it runs all the time?
Call Tech Support at HTP. That's where it came from and they do a lot more of them than Peerless Pinnicle.

Purge It:

@ January 12, 2012 7:34 PM in Only one baseboard in zone working

The PEX zone is the one that doesn't work. You said that it was hot at both ends? Supply and return? Trace that back and mark them with red and blue tape. Red for supply, blue for the return. Your supply is the side with the circulator on it. The return has the zone valve. Turn the PEX zone thermostat all the way up. Turn all the other thermostats down as low as they will go (Off) Check to see if the lever on the side of the valve goes easily all the way down. Close the valve where the return goes back into the boiler and put a short hose on the draw off. You need a 5 gallon bucket. Check the pressure reducing valve/fill valve. Check the system pressure. If it isn't 15 #, it's too low. Raise the bypass lever and raise the system pressure to 25#. Open the drain valve and drain the water into the bucket. Put your hand on the copper pipe. You should feel the temperature changing. If it starts to get cold, you are being successful. Let it keep running with the bypass open. When the water starts to get warm, you should hear rumbles and thongs as the air bubbles come. When the water starts to get really hot and the hose isn't dancing, close the fill valve bypass and close the purge drain. Open the ball valve and the pump should make it flow.
Someone mentioned a Tee. If it is split, only one side may work. If you have that problem, write back.
If the pressure in the system is low, like around 10#, raising the pressure to 25# might make it start working. It needs a good purge.

Improving Comfort:

@ January 12, 2012 5:59 PM in Couple of quesitons on a gravity hot water system

Without some considering me an asshat, I would consider this. Because I have done this and was extremely surprised at how well it worked. Or at least a variation of what you have.
Your gravity system when designed and installed, depended on coal as a solid fuel to heat the water. If you haven't had a circulator installed to pump the system, it depends on the flow of warm water to heat the structure. The thermostat is only to turn the burner on. The high limit shuts it off. The heat loss to the outside controls the system temperature. What you really need is to pump the system with outdoor reset. That way, all the radiators will get to the same temperature. Regardless where they are and how well they flow. Your wife will be more comfortable because it eliminates the hot spots from hot radiators.
If its already pumped, put a 4 way mixer like a Taco I series valve with outdoor reset. You can keep the boiler hotter or whatever and the system at whatever temperature the controller decides. It really makes a comfortable house.

Expansion Tanks:

@ January 12, 2012 5:28 PM in Embassy Boiler, AXIA 29E (cosmogas)

They'll be putting external Extrol type tanks on these boilers to solve this problem. Get a #30 tank and connect it to the system with a double hose connection. If the problem stops, you have a leaky tank.
Another expensive cost cutting idea gone expensive.

Expansion Tanks:

@ January 12, 2012 5:28 PM in Embassy Boiler, AXIA 29E (cosmogas)

They'll be putting external Extrol type tanks on these boilers to solve this problem. Get a #30 tank and connect it to the system with a double hose connection. If the problem stops, you have a leaky tank.
Another expensive cost cutting idea gone expensive.

No Flow:

@ January 12, 2012 5:17 PM in hot water radiator

Are you sure that the circulator works? Does the main curcuit to the third floor get hot? If it doesn't, why?

Pictures please.

UL Listings:

@ January 12, 2012 1:21 PM in Field vent damper concern.

You are correct in what vent dampers do but not in making them ineffective.
The "appliance" is "Listed" with UL and will have a raating and listing. If the "listing" includes a vent damper, it must have the vent damper in place and working to keep the "listing". If one removes the vent damper or relocates the damper to a place that isn't specifically in the manufacturers approval to get the "listing, it is no longer "listed" and becomes an unlisted appliance. The approval by most AHJ's, require a UL listing. It then becomes an unlisted appliance. If there is a problem, and someone has modified the "listed appliance", someone could be on their own as far as liability insurance is concerned.
If you call the appliance manufacturer and ask them if you can remove the the part, they will tell you absolutely not.
Or how my insurance company and a lawyer told me long ago.

Not Unusual:

@ January 12, 2012 8:56 AM in cracked radiators

Not that unusual.
Three years ago, I bought a Makita battery drill set with Li-Ion batteries (2), a frill/driver and a charger. I doubt that I had 25 charge cycles on the batteries. I went to drill some holes and stuck a battery on the charger, The battery was bad but still working. It just wouldn't charge. I tried the second battery. It wouldn't charge either but the yellow light was on. I tried it on another like charger. One battery e=was bad, the other charged up. I can get another charger from Home Depot for $100.00 and another battery for #75.00. I should have bought a Milwaukee.
Post pictures of the cracked radiators. We will be interested to see them.

Soot Sticks:

@ January 12, 2012 8:09 AM in Blue Leaker:

There was a guy who passed years ago who cleaned and serviced oil equipment. He was the #1 user of Soot Sticks with the wholesaler I use. Since he passed, 20 years ago, they stopped carrying Soot Sticks. No one uses them.
What is unusual here is the sealant used between the sections on these old blue boilers. It was a brownish putty like substance. I have cleaned a lot of these blue boilers in my time and never had one where I broke through the sealant between the sections. It was like powder. Where the clean-out cover on the top is, the sealant was missing from underneath the cover. I had to fill the spaces so gases wouldn't leak out from under the cover.
Maybe it is leaking worse than I realized. I just remembered that I hadn't used my Fyrite Insight for a week or so. I ran it before and after I cleaned it. I always pull the probe out and let it suck until the O2 goes to 20.9 and the CO goes to zero (0). While I was waiting, water started running down the probe and was sizzling. Perhaps it was sucking water. I didn't look to see how much water was in the bowl.
Trust me, there was way too much crud to be from a soot stick.
The burner (Riello) was running fine. Just a routine servicing. Whenever I find a blue or a yellow boiler with a Carlin or Riello, and it is a warm start, there is just a fine layer of brown dust after two years of running. I think more and more, it's a leaker. I wish I could find the string about the leaking gaskets. It must have been on the Steam area.


@ January 12, 2012 7:51 AM in Help Tim!!!!

Isn't that sort of like asking if one can get 10# of cow chips in a 5# bag? The first 5# goes easy. After that, it gets harder and harder.

Not the issue.

@ January 12, 2012 6:51 AM in Gas Piping Volume Question

Not the issue. If the gas distribution in the building is properly sized and the 3/4" supply too and from the meter can't supply the proper amount of gas, the gas supplier will need to address it. If you pipe the whole system with 3/4" and you needed 1 1/4" at the beginning, and it isn't working, the VERY first thing the gas supplier will tell you is that you have piped the building undersized.
Try this. Get an extra thick frappe or whatever they may call it, and tale a couple if 1/8" pipe nipples and make a straw by using a 2: nipple with 2"X1/8" reducers and use it as a straw. Suck on the frappe. It doesn't come up the pipe. Take a 3/4" nipple and try drinking the frappe through that.
'nough said.


@ January 12, 2012 6:41 AM in cracked radiators

Either age or they froze.
Send pictures of cracked ones. It has to be cold for quite some time for them to split from ice.

Blue Leaker:

@ January 12, 2012 4:24 AM in Blue Leaker:

Someone mentioned recently with an off hand comment about a blue brand of boiler (discontinued) that had a problem with leaking O-rings between the sections.
I went to clean one yesterday that I had never cleaned before. It was installed in 1995 and had been regularly maintained by someone that had a good "eye" for a flame. No holes in the exhaust. It had the white powdery stuff coming out the joints. I figured it was a cold start. No tank less and an indirect. I pulled off the cover on the top and instead of black kibbles and bits, they were white and the sections were mostly plugged with this white powdery stuff. There was a lot of it. It came out easily with a soot saw. In an area on the front section, opposite the tank less port, it was completely plugged but when I sucked the loose stuff off, it was smooth and almost looked like water had been flowing over the crud. As I was "sawing" the crud from between the side section, the soot saw went right through that putty sealant they used. I've never ever had that happen. I had to pull the side off and seal it up with furnace cement.
Before I started cleaning it, I tested it to see how it was running. It wasn't bad and the stack temperature was 420 degrees. Before I left ( to finish it in the AM, I tested it and the stack was 570 and still climbing. I didn't really notice all the other measurements other than the CO2 was at 11.5%.
This boiler ISN'T a cold start.
Is this think leaking slightly and the boiler heat is evaporating the leaking water? 


@ January 12, 2012 3:55 AM in Only one baseboard in zone working

From the photos, there is no reason that the system wouldn't run. Venting air at the heat emitters is a waste of time. It needs a good purge by someone who knows how to do it.
However, make sure that the zone valves are opening all the way and they start the burner and circulator. That boiler and install isn't all that old. Is the boiler high limit set too high and because that circulator is placed in the location Du Jour, did it "lunch" from hot water and need to be replaced?
If the fill is in the location Du Jour, and you purge it, and the fill water doesn't go through the boiler, you will never know when it is purged and hot water is coming back. When you "purge", you can ONLY have the zone valve calling on the zone you want to purge. If another zone is open, it will take the path of least resistance and you won't get the air out.

Air on one side/Flow:

@ January 11, 2012 7:08 AM in air on wrong side

I don't think that you have enough flow pressure on the coil and it is possibly piped wrong. Is there anything else piped on the circuit? Is is piped as a direct return when it should have been a reverse return?
Mark Etherton has a great analogy about his foolish relative who goes around in circles.
Post pictures of the piping and such. And how much system pressure are you running? Maybe it needs to be higher. Is the gauge accurate? I changed one yesterday where the gauge was reading 10# when it was actually zero. The owner had replaced the circulators twice because they didn't flow. The Extrol tank was also shot and had no air. The upper floors would get air-bound and the pumps would run hot until they were toast.

Mono-Flo/One Pipe Fittings:

@ January 11, 2012 6:56 AM in Only one baseboard in zone working

Venturi Tees go back way before your house was built.
More than likely, the loop was split and the other non-heating loop isn't able to be purged or vented properly. Unless the piping is wrong, there is no way it shouldn't work.
I think that the above person needs new eyes to cast their vision upon the problem. Obviously, the installer doesn't know how to resolve it or what is wrong with it.
What is that definition of "Insanity"? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?