Joined on September 13, 2010
Last Post on March 10, 2014
@ February 26, 2011 1:40 PM in Jury Rules That CSST is a Defective ProductFor what it is worth, You use a bonding clamp in the FITTING, bot the CSST tubing. What is what most electricians thought you had to do. it was never suggested that you do that. If you took a CSST course to be certified, and you had to be certified to install whatever brand you were installing, they taught you how to ground it. And it was the electricians job to do it. When the big issue of lightning strikes came up, and they finally got it re-approved in MA, it was some wiring inspectors who wouldn't allow it because there was nothing in their big NEC code about bonding CSST. Even a diagram showing how to do it didn't sway them. The company (WardFlex, TightFlex? Whatever) that came out with the black CounterStrike brand has a high carbon cover and an aluminum screen inside the cover that makes for a continuous ground.bond. You still bond it WITH A CLAMP ON THE BRASS FITTING!!!! Not the CSST tubing.
Other than being only .010" thick, stainless steel is a terrible conductor of heat. If something is a terrible conductor of heat, then it is a terrible conductor of electricity.
If you are in a house that gets a strike, a really good strike, things are toast. Most houses have no really proper amount of grounding, Let alone, bonding. A lost art or unknown science.
@ February 26, 2011 1:16 PM in I commentedAnother thing. it doesn't matter the size piping of the coil into an indirect. If it is 1/2", 3/4" or 1". If you use a 60,000 BTU boiler on it, whether it is a 30 gallon indirect or a 100 gallon indirect, it only recovers as much hot water as the boiler is capable of delivering. Look at the specs of SuperStor. To get the high recoveries you need a high output boiler.
It's either long and slow or fast and furious. Not both. One or the other. If you want hot water, you must provide a means of making it.
@ February 26, 2011 1:09 PM in I commentedME,
Very well said.
The best way I have found to get the most out of hot water is by the use of hot water thermostatic mixers. In MA, we are supposed to keep domestic at 125 or 120 degrees at the outlet. That's not a lot of stored hot water in a say 40 gallon tank. And thermostatic mixing shower valves do not work well with incoming water at 120 degrees. The hotter the incoming water, they better they work due to the ratio of hot to cold water for mixing. Hotter water requires more cold to give you the same temperature. But if you raise the tank temperature to a higher storage level, theoretically, you have increased the size of the tank because you have more available water to mix. Use a thermostatic valve and you can overcome a smaller sized tank. You can run 150 degree water if you need to and not worry about scalding.
So you'll understand, do the math. In heating, you deal with 20 degrees. 150 degrees going out and 130 degrees coming back, The boiler has to deliver enough to recover the water back to 150. A gallon per minute, times 8.33# X 60 times 20 degrees= BTU's per hour. With domestic water heating the water is 50 degrees, X 75 degrees, times 2 or 3 GPM X 8.33# X 60 + how many BTU's per hour to heat the water?
And that load is 24/7/365. And telling them to wait while the hot water is getting hot doesn't cut it because someone will run to the tap and run it for 5 minutes to see if it is hot yet. And waste the hot water you just made.
The same men and women who drag race across an intersection when the light turns green so they can get ahead of the person beside them, will be the one crabbing about saving money while turning their boiler down to save money. I guess to save up enough money to pay for the extra gas they just used.
@ February 26, 2011 12:45 PM in I commentedWhat will be the ideal situation is like the computer systems on cars.
A computer that knows what the loads are. Heating, and/or domestic. Run through a temperature a computer actuated valve where the exhaust temperature is set for maximum efficiency and pollution control, the water, one part going to the heating load at whatever temperature needed and the other for the DHW load. Priority DHW sucks because if you get up to a cold house and use setback thermostats, the bathroom and house doesn't get warm while you are making hot water for the shower. If my wife got in the shower and the room wasn't as warm as she likes it and the water isn't as hot as she wants it, life as I know it is very uncomfortable.
And funny how I find most priority switches, off.
A boiler is just a heat engine extracting heat and power from a fuel. Like a car engine or a reciprocating engine in an airplane. Except that the car has total computerized engine controls. All adjustments are done automatically by an on board computer. The FAA will not allow at this time, computerized engine controls on reciprocating engine aircraft. Even ones that are turbocharged and fuel injected. The pilot sets the prop speed, fuel flow and fuel mixture. The mixture is determined by the exhaust gas temperature and manifold pressure. With EGT, too hot is bad, cold is inefficient but in the middle, hot is just right and the most economical. And a cold engine is warmed up until it is in the green. Millions of cars are manufactured every year with these controls on them. Why not for heating equipment? There's a breakthrough out there. This cold stuff goes against what is understood. If cold is so good, why are cars supposed to warm up as fast as possible with exhaust gas recycling to get the intake mixture as hot as possible for the cleanest burn?
You tell me.
@ February 26, 2011 12:22 PM in I commentedWayne,
You understand the problem better than most. I'll give you my experience with an account I have.
A 44 bed nursing home. It has three W-M WGO-7's I replaced in 2000. They are fired at 2.25 GPH each. The original boilers were three Hydrotherms fired at 3.00 GPH. It is primary, secondary with outdoor reset. A heat recovery system for outside fresh air. In downsizing the boilers, I have had no problems with the boilers heating the building and as far as I know, the system temp. has never been over 170 degrees. That's the heating. Now, the domestic.
They have two Bock 73E 70 gallon oil fired hot water heaters. They recover 220 gallons per hour. The burners (Now EZ-2's from the original Waynes) are fired at 1.75 GPH (adjusted). That's a recovery of 440 gallons per hour. We all know that things are over fired so I decided to drop the nozzles down a notch to save them some cash. I dropped them to 1.50 GPH. The next day, they were running out of hot water. I replaced the nozzles and life was and continues to be good. You have no idea how much hot water you are using until you start to run out. There are three users of the hot water. The commercial kitchen that makes the food to feed the clients, the laundry where they wash the clothing, and the clients personal needs. They have two huge whirlpool tubs they can put the clients in to bath them. Every morning, they bath selected clients from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM. They can suck the hot water system cold in an instant. Same with the laundry, and same with the kitchen. I have them on a schedule of who and when can use the hot water. I put the tub rooms on Noritz instant gas water heaters to feed the tubs only. Taking that load off. 100% improvement. The kitchen fills their triple bay pot sink before 6:30 AM. Everyone gets a shot. Everyone is happy.
I have another account. A large private club with a restaurant. When I started working there in 1991, they had a 100 gallon oil fired water heater to provide hot water to the club. It was fired at 1.25 GPH. I think it recovered less than 100 GPH. It ran out of hot water but it wasn't my problem. There was an oil guy that dealt with it. The heater needed to be moved and I did the moving. I recommended a Bock 73E and a 120 gallon storage tank, piped in my way that everyone says doesn't work but it does. The oil fired unit is the heater and the storage tank is the supply with water circulated through the tank and hot water circulation through the building. It works great except when the Chef calls me and tells me they are out of hot water. I ask him if the kitchen help is outside washing the rubber floor mats again with hot water again as it is 8:00 PM and they aren't supposed to do that until 10 O'clock after the dishes are done and they have finished serving. Sorry. That's what is wrong.
My point is that the hot water load is so much greater than the heating loads, that it will bite you in the butt.
The supply house guys know what they are talking about when it comes to hot water. The plumbers who under size hot water heaters are in deep do-do.
I was once asked by someone who wanted to grow shellfish, how he could heat a large amount of water. I asked how much water. 20,000 gallons of sea water. I asked him how much time did he need to heat the water? An hour, a day, two days? Because if he had to heat 20,000 gallons of water in an hour, do the math. Water weighs 8.33# per gallon, times 20,000 gallons times the temperature of the water you want to heat and to what temperature you want the water to go to, in an hour. One huge boiler to make the hot water. On the other hand, if you can do it in a day, divide that amount by 24 for 24 hours. That cuts the boiler size down drastically. He said in two or three days. After telling him how to do it, he found someone to do it for labor. It was for a good cause I guess.
Making hot water is like driving a car. You need far more power than you need. Except when you need more and there is not enough there for you and it gets dangerous. I had a 1986 Volvo 240DL wagon. It had plenty of power for a 4 Cylinder. Except when I would drive my daughter up to U-Mass Amherst with my wife, daughter and her "stuff" in the car. Then, it became downright dangerous to enter a highway because it had no acceleration nor would it go up hills. Down wasn't a problem. It just didn't have enough power.
That's what happens with an undersized boiler. It is like putting the wife, daughter and "stuff" in your heating system in the winter and trying to maintain speed. You must give up something.
Remember, when a customer calls up and starts crabbing about running out of hot water, that is the final call. They have already crabbed to at least 10 others about running out of hot water, how much they paid for the new high tech system, how they are running out of hot water, and what a lousy job you did in not giving them enough hot water. There goes your reputation.
Sorry for being so long. I'm never brief.
@ February 26, 2011 11:21 AM in Oil mist in blast tube? Time for LRFB?Going from 1.25 GPH to .85 GPH is a serious down fire in that boiler. Just because you got the stack temperature down, doesn't mean you made it more efficient. I'll bet that this thing will be filled with Kibbles and Bits by next fall. And with that burner, my most important tool in my box is an old Mill-Rose 3/4" copper fitting brush that I use to brush the carbon off the end cone, so common is that problem with that burner.
The burner manufacturer spent a lot of R&D time on deciding the best burner kit and nozzle spray type and GPH. I have never found that any reverse engineering I tried was as successful as what was done before me.
And if it was a Carlin EZ-1, you could have down fired it to your hearts content and only needed to change the head positioning bar. Because this is not an adjustable head burner, you can't mess with the spacing between the nozzle end and the end cone and easily increase or decrease the static pressure of the air through the retention head. Because the boiler is so big, rated at 1.25 GPH, and you down fired it to .85 GPH, you probably have too much draft through the boiler, sucking the flame away from the end cone/retention ring. Did you look at it with a flame mirror to see if the flame is tucked tight against the cone or is it wandering away from excessive draft? Combustion test? Ohms on Eye readings?
There's a limit on how much you can down fire a burner into a boiler. I tried that 20 years ago when I first got my Bachrach Fyrerite kit. It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now.
I've taken brand new boilers, out of the crate. Installed them and fired them off. Combustion tested them. They were as high as I would ever want them, running at their rated efficiencies. I down fired them and the efficiencies went down. The lower I fired them, the worse they became. The lower I fired them, the cooler the stack temperatures became, and the lower the CO2 went. If the CO2 is down, it isn't combusting as well as it could.
The title of this topic is "Oil Mist In Blast Tube". That topic if it is what it is, to me signifies a leaking oil pump shaft seal if there is oil residue in the tube. Is there and oily residue around the pump shaft where it comes out of the pump? That will do it also. But I think that this boiler needs more restriction to slow down the draft or needs to be up-fired. Or serviced by someone experienced in such things.
@ February 26, 2011 10:09 AM in Purple PrimerTom,
I HATE purple primers. I don't think it works as well and it isn't easy to wipe off. Though I like your idea about adding a little purple primer to clear primer.
If you properly clean and prime pipe and fittings, and wipe the excess off with a clean rag, you can always see it. All PVC pipe must have the manufacturers info printed on it and you will clean it off when you clean. In fact, when I clean, I always make it a point to clean that off. If you look at it after it is joined, you will always see the cleaning.
The example on this site where four water heaters are common vented with PVC are obviously not cleaned. You can see the printing go right into the socket. It was never cleaned. If you don't clean the pipe, you didn't clean the socket. If you don't clean the pipe and socket, you didn't de-burr or chamfer the end of the pipe. Making the end of the pipe like a squeegee. Wiping the cement out of the socket and an improper joint.
I was looking on Google for CPVC pipe and fittings. Sch.40 and Sch 40 long sweep pattern 90's. Read the install instructions on how to join PVC and see if that's how you do it.
@ February 26, 2011 9:50 AM in HARPERI'm not a Steamer, but a wet head. If you had asked me to look at your system, I doubt that I would have suggested you do what you are asking about. I would have first done a complete heat loss of the house and the system. It's possible that there is nothing wrong with your system other than it needs long neglected servicing.
Most wet heads are not all that familiar with steam. I am and know that it is another field. A lot of "new" wetheads now, have no practical experience and the only thing they seem to know is Mod/Com Gas and converting all to their latest ideas. The fact that they suggested converting to a Mod/Con and using the existing radiation shows to me a lack of understanding that there may not be enough radiation in the building to do the job and the danger of running 18# water in a system that has never seen any pressure.
The guy (like me) who goes into your house and does a complete heat loss on the building, room by room, measures all the radiators and lists them room by room, etc, will probably be the highest price quoter. It takes time(money) to do all this work. The guy who doesn't, doesn't know what he is doing.
Whenever I personally have been confronted with a situation such as your, I always give all the choices. From what you suggest here to replacing the boiler with a modern, efficient boiler and doing needed efficiency improvements to a complete re-do of the system like you mention. After the customer compares the cost, I've never done a complete re-do. People just won't spend the money.
I personally would rather be paid to improve your system and be paid for my work than see you get prices to do something so expensive that you don't do anything. I loose from lack of work and you are stuck with no improvements.
And I am constantly amazed at how careful people are with their money, clipping coupons to get small items they don't use when the larger item is the far better deal, and their willingness to spend potentially huge amounts of money on heating system improvements with little pay back unless factored over many, many years. When the house may be sold in 10 years.
@ February 26, 2011 9:21 AM in No heat/hot water this morningLike said, it's a "Guess Gauge".
The green flashing light means that it's a R7184 Honeywell control telling you it went out on lock-up/safety.
Put 10 gallons (two 5 gallon cans) of diesel oil and prime it. It's not easy priming with that control because the wire connections are under the control and you need to remove the control. If it was a CCT *02000 series control or a Honeywell R8184 its easy. If it latches up after a few tries, you will have a giant PITA getting it going. It's possible if you know what you are doing but it's long to explain it.
@ February 26, 2011 12:18 AM in Fully SootedIs it allowable in California to have a gas appliance in a bedroom? It isn't in Massachusetts and it wasn't in California before I left almost 50 years ago.
Something about Carbon Monoxide in sleeping rooms being a danger to the sleeping occupants.
@ February 26, 2011 12:09 AM in Cast Iron Mono-Flow TeesI get copper ones right off the shelf at my wholesalers, Plumbers' Supply or FW Webb,
@ February 25, 2011 11:56 PM in Is it worth it.Changing Boiler might work for you. I've never seen it work under the conditions you describe but it might work for you.
One of your misconceptions you get from all the crud you read about hydronic systems is that the stuff is written by heaters and not plumbers. In August, you don't even need that boiler, only when it is cold in January. Except that that boiler is a WTGO-3. The "T" stands for "Tankless" heater coil. That means you get your domestic potable water from a coil in the boiler. That hot water demand load is 24,7,365 days a year. The domestic hot water load is greater than the heating load. When yoiu get in the shower and want hot water, you need all that boiler will give you. And maybe more. There are certain parameters that oil boilers work best in. The boiler is rated to a certain output. .85 GPH is the firing rate input that the boiler can fire efficiently. . When new and properly adjusted, or older and properly cleaned and adjusted, you will get 84%+ efficiency. And plenty of DHW. You can downfire it but go too much and the efficiency will go down. If the stack tempreture goes below 400 degrees gross, it won't burn as well. Too cool and it really goes down.
It isn't broken so don't fix it. Just use it like it is.
Are all the pipes for the heating system insulated? If not, insulate them. You will get far greater fuel savings if you do things like that. Therrs plenty of things you can do before you need to screw around with firing rates.
@ February 25, 2011 6:24 PM in Retrofit Boiler ControlsAl said it well.
And beware of the ones that will only let you do half the job and do the rest later. They may be shopp0ing for the answer that they want to hear. Someone else may have been there before and told them what they didn't want to hear and they let them do a little. Not a lot. Now, they want you to figure out how to make it better.
"There's never enough time to do it right but there's always time to do it over."
You may be doing something over that someone else started.
@ February 25, 2011 6:08 PM in Riallo Burner QuestionThat's probably part of my problems with that thing. If you can't set the draft with the big Bachrach draft gauge, it will be too susceptible to draft variations. Where I work, it was gusting over 60 MPH today and blowing a steady 30. What do you set the draft at? Right now, it is almost calm. In a while, it may be gusting over 60 again.
The Big Blue I saw yesterday with the 5" exhaust, venting into a rebuilt/relined chimney and there was a big note on the RC saying "Leave Draft Damper Closed" and the weight was removed. What's THAT all about?
I have installed two "RC's" more often to quiet down draft.
@ February 25, 2011 5:59 PM in Riallo Burner QuestionSure, why not? They are cheaper and American made. And I use American burners on them.
I give everyone a choice. I wouldn't give them a choice of a dark metallic boiler that has a history of cracking, and the Orange/Silver, and the blue one are considerably more expensive. The customer makes the choice. They are paying the bills.
I always try to buy American unless it has an aluminum block.
I like those Gold colored things. Wet base with a rug in the bottom. Awesome
@ February 25, 2011 5:45 PM in Smooth but noiser 1st 15 secondsI've noticed it for years.
I've never been able to make it go away.
It never seemed to bother anything.
It only happens during trial fire/ignition and stops when ignition drops out.
It doesn't do it on constant ignition.
No one I've asked has an answer or a solution.
If there's a solution, I'd like to know it.
@ February 25, 2011 2:14 PM in Riallo Burner QuestionThe off Yellow (Gold) ones are pretty nice to. And they have a blanket in the bottom from the factory. Vent them out the back rather the top and they are quieter, and they work really well and are quiet with that EZ One.
@ February 25, 2011 2:02 PM in oil leakThe oil company should have liability insurance for this.
Ask them if you should contact YOUR attorney for advice.
Some of us treat all disconnected oil lines as live and leaking. So, we put flare plugs of valves on any line we disconnect for fear of a valve leaking by when we aren't looking.
@ February 25, 2011 1:57 PM in Tankless coil systemDo this:
Make sure that the levers on the zone valve are "up" and off. The lever must be at the top of the valve body, like the one in the picture. Turn off ALL power to the boiler. I see electricians wire the zone valve transformers outside the burner circuit. Turn it off in the panel. After the power has been off for 5 minutes, go to the valve head and try to push the lever down. If the lever is at 1 O'clock and it is closed, it will be open at 5 O'clock, pushing the lever down to two O'clock will be easy but you will meet hard resistance. With force, you can push the lever down to 5 O'clock. With the levers at 1 O'clock (off), turn on the power. Check the levers. They should be the same. Turn up both thermostats. After three minutes , check the levers. They should easily go to 5 O'clock when you push them. The pipe through the valve should get hot. The valve is opening properly. Turn the thermostats down all the way. After three minutes or more, check the levers. They should be at 1 O'clock and when you push them, they should hit resistance at 2 O;Clock.. If this is so, the valves are operating properly. With the thermostats off for an hour, both pipes through the valve should be cold. If one is not, disconnect the three wires on the valve. Take note how they are connected. Many of us will wire it with three wire thermostat wire with Red on #1, the top, white on #2, the middle and a green on #3, the bottom. If the whites are on 2 and 3, it becomes complicated because of the wire coloring.
Let us know how you make out. We'll walk you through it.
OBTW, the levers are always at the top unless you need to by-pass the valve and open it manually.
@ February 25, 2011 1:35 PM in Oil Filter CartridgesThe reason you don't see paper pack filters on any type of vehicle and that's cars, trucks, ships and airplanes is because the spin-on threaded type are so far superior, it isn't open to discussion. Has anyone seen an aftermarket kit to convert your auto or truck filters to the F4B or General type?
Even (I find) that the spin-on's are not all created equal. That the short "R" models, which are 10 microns, filter better than their competing filters. One comes with a Ultra Tigerloop and it will pass crud to the Tigerloop where the brand name stops when and after you change it. My experience.
With the burners of today that fire under 1.00 GPH, if fine crud gets through the cheap filters, it will go by the pump strainer and end up clogging the outside of the nozzle strainer. Which will cause a 140# pump pressure at the nozzle strainer, to make the nozzle orifice "see" 100# or less, changing the air/fuel ratio and under fire the burner.
Fifty years ago, the auto manufacturers required oil changes every 1000 miles. Today, it is up to 15,000 miles. What changed? Quality oil filters.
Why do some insist on putting 50+ YO old filters on modern oil burners? It is beyond me.
Since I switched to two Spin-On's using the spin on brand name filters, I have had NOT ONE shut down due to clogged pump strainer or nozzle strainer.
One free service call-back due to crud in the filter strainer will be paid for by the use of spin-ons. And those black and red ones? I stopped using those after the third one where the element was fused to the inside, the wire screen pulled out when I pulled on it with a pair of needle nosed pliers and had to dig out the rest with a big screwdriver. Then clean the rust and slime out of the bottom with my fingers and a rag. Now, I just "Spin and Grin". Drain it out overnight and dispose of it.
@ February 25, 2011 1:09 PM in Venting questionAssuming that the structure had plumbing drain, waster and vent installed as a "system", the system depends on the other parts to work properly. Just because you have decided what the fixture drainage unit requirements, doesn't mean you can eliminate parts of the "system". The cracked soil pipes are usually old 4" that is over 70 years old. If it is cracked, you should replace it. I replace it all the time.
Were you planning on leaving the cracked soil pipes in the wall and connected to the DWV system? How will you keep sewer gas out of the structure" Usually, the cracked pipes are the soil stacks and not the vent stacks. Vent stacks don't leak water like soil pipes do.
The pipes are what is the weak point. They crack. The fittings are usually very thick and of better CI quality.
Don't do a HA job. Fix it right or don't fix it at all and get someone who will.
@ February 25, 2011 12:47 PM in Riallo Burner QuestionBill,
there's a third way. Put a Lynn Wet Blanket in the bottom to reflect heat energy into the bottom of the flame instead of the cold cast iron of the floor, cooled by the incoming return water allowing the floor to become wet with unburned oil. And the combustion process flame becoming unstable from the erratic burning of the cold oil until it gets hot. That worked for me.