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


Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on September 2, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

Air Vents:

@ February 9, 2012 8:55 PM in flow valve passing

You may have air vents on the first floor. If you have auto air vents on the second floor, it is far more likely that the air is coming in through the second floor vents. The pressure in the system probably isn't high enough. If you have a thermal expansion tank and it needs to be recharged with air, that will cause problems. If you have an Extrol type tank, it may not be working properly.  You need to know that the system pressure is high enough. Don't trust the gauge on the boiler.
Carefully trace the newer added on pipe to the monoflow loop. You might have a connection in the wrong place. That's why i always use zone valves. They are motorized flow checks. They CAN'T leak by. Circulators with Internal Flow Checks $uck. They always suffer from Ghost Flow when you don't want or expect it.

Pumping Heads:

@ February 9, 2012 8:36 PM in why are pumps calulated in Heads?

What didn't he explain that you didn't understand?
I can give you a low knowledge comprehensive explanation but I need to know what you don't know or understand.

Wet Minchkins:

@ February 9, 2012 7:34 PM in Munchkin wet controls

When you cleaned it, did you notice if there was a high tide line inside the burner chamber? Did you take an old credit card and run it between the sections and get them all clean"
And are you sure that the drain is totally clear? I had one recently that seemed to be draining fine but was actually quite restricted. On a cold start-up and a long run, the condensate would overwhelm the drain and fill the chamber.
Stick your combustion analyzer inside the outside vent. See what kind of CO you are getting.
You can also frill and tap a 1/8" brass plug in the outlet because they are almost always Sch 40 PVC.


@ February 9, 2012 7:23 PM in Natl grid mandating that skim port be attached to header

More like one half wit, listening to another half wit, who heard a rumor about something that they know nothing about. Then, passing it around as fact.
I've called boards on more than one occasion about some recent code change, and told that what I was hearing was absolutely not true.
When in doubt, go to the source. Don't spread falshoods.

Multiple Mixers:

@ February 9, 2012 7:16 PM in Does anyone know of any piping method

Multiple thermostat mixers and very complicated piping.

Maybe so.

@ February 8, 2012 9:43 PM in Munchkin 199 Circulation problem

Maybe so.
F-09 and F-11 are a prelude to needing a thorough cleaning if it keeps going on safety.
If you put the Laptop on the brain, you could find out that it has ben going off a gazilliion times but re-trying and keep running. Your shut downs could be the tip of the iceberg.
If you say so, it's fine. If you say that it is normal for your thermostat to work so closely, it's fine.

Combi units:

@ February 8, 2012 9:35 PM in Hydronic Coil Air Haindler

Sadly Nugs, 'taint so.
The AHJ's fought it but lobbying from the development and spec builders along with the few water heater manufacturers that went along, the legislature was lobbied, and the legislature made the boards go along. A good consumer idea, don't you know. In Massachusetts, the water heater tanks are supposed to be approved by the board. Plumbers don't install them. They are usually installed by HVAC guys who get a licensed plumber to get a permit for the plumbing part, if a permit is gotten.
There are a lot of them out there. I think that all parts of the system are supposed to meet NSF conditions. I'm sure that a lot of Hackaroo installs don't meet that criteria.
It has been mentioned that David Yates and someone else fought this hard. And failed. It shows how the rights of a few, get to screw so many and the few can get away with it.

Heating Water

@ February 8, 2012 6:36 PM in Bypassing hot water storage tank after flat plate heat exchanger.

Maybe this will help you with the concept of what you are trying to do and the difficulties.
A Marine Biologist came to me with a problem. How could he raise a large amount of water rise in temperature so he could make bay Scallops spat. He wanted to do shellfish propagation. How much water are you trying to raise? 20,000 gallons. What is the temperature you are starting within what is the finish temperature and how fast do you need to do it. If you need to do it quickly, you need one mother of a boiler. But, if you can do it over a longer period of time, you can do it with smaller equipment, He needed four days to raise the water. I told him to do the math. How much dies 20,000 gallons weigh in pounds. How many degrees do you want to raise it, and how long. He used a small boiler. I didn't do the install. That usually happens. I'm too free with information. It was for a good cause though.
You would be surprised at how much water may be in that pool. And how much energy it takes to heat the water. 

199 Service:

@ February 8, 2012 6:12 PM in Munchkin 199 Circulation problem

Did they take the burner cone out and clean out the coffee grounds. And clean between the coils with an old credit card? It is a boring and time consuming project to clean and properly service the boiler. Not something like some do for an oil burner. A 45 minute brush and buff.
Did they do a combustion analysis on it when they serviced it?
Look on the Munchkin Installation and Maintenance manual. Look in the back on what you are supposed to do for a proper servicing. If you don't have the manual, I'll send you the link.
I'm just concerned about your fault code history. Those incidents usually mean that something needs to be seriously cleaned. I had one recently that was getting water almost up to the burner cone. Water was draining out the drain. But not fast enough to drain the water out of the burner chamber. That's all.
And every one of those Weil-McLain indirects has had a problem with that thermostat, doing exactly what you said. No hot water, turn the knob one degree hotter and you have dangerous hot water temperature in the structure. There is a long capillary tube on the end of that thermostat. There might even be a service bulletin on it.

Air Handler:

@ February 8, 2012 6:02 PM in Hydronic Coil Air Haindler

The problem is that the potable/domestic hot water heater is feeding a heating coil. At one time, it was absolutely prohibited. Lobbying by tract/spec building groups pushed this through over the objections of every plumbing board that I know of.
Massachusetts allowed it with restrictions. One being that the copper in the coil or baseboard along with ALL piping had to meet potable water specifications. That means, Type "L" copper tube.
This was a bad idea in the early 1960's. Every installation I ever saw, failed due to premature tank failure and the fact that you could never heat the structure with the water temperature used when it got cold. There wasn't room for any more radiation. The water turned rusty red, and the tanks started to leak.
And that was before we knew about Legionella. There should be a big consumer warning on every install of this type.

Type "L" and "M" Copper Tube:

@ February 8, 2012 5:41 PM in type L or type K copper pipe for water heating?

The only time I have ever seen Type "L" used for heating is when it is specified to be used in the bid specifications. The only time I ever used Type L tube in heating was when it was specified in the plan/contract specifications. Or I ran out of Type M tube and needed a short piece to finish and I had a short piece in the truck. It was cheaper to use the short Type L than to go on safari to get a length of Type M.

Bronze Volutes:

@ February 8, 2012 12:20 PM in Hydronic Coil Air Haindler

I had a Grundfoss with a brass volute and it wasn't flowing. Like this one is being described. The motor ran fine. My magnetic thingy said it was running. When I took the wet end out of the vulute, the impeller was inside and not connected to the motor.

Thermostat Problems:

@ February 8, 2012 12:17 PM in Munchkin 199 Circulation problem

Most ALL of the W-McL. indirects like that I have had, had thermostat issues. Just like you described. No hot water when set at whatever, say "medium", turn it one degree more, and it clicks on and the water is 160 degrees or higher. Turn it back ever so slightly and there is no hot water after the thermostat "clicks" off.
You still need to address the fault codes. If the drain is restricted, you could have a high tide line inside the burner chamber and it will wreck the refractory. It will be an expensive maintenence. If it hasn't been serviced since the install, it needs to be done now.

Wireless Wi-Fi Honeywell Thermostats:

@ February 8, 2012 12:02 PM in $250 for a Thermostat?

But Honeywell does have a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat system. I have a friend who has one and there were three on the store managers desk that had been ordered for someone. They are out there and available.

Air for Combustion:

@ February 8, 2012 7:00 AM in air for combustion

I haven't found a positive way to do that other than knowing that from my Massachusetts Continuing Education for my licenses, there is almost never enough to meet code. So, from there, assume that there isn't enough and go from there.
I have found that if the appliance is in a closet with no ventilation, I can put my Fyrite Insight into the exhaust with the door open, and check the CO while running with the door open. If I close the door and the CO goes up, it needs more make-up air. My EUI CO71 remembers the highest number so if I leave that in a room with the door closed for a while, and I get a reading, I know that there is an issue.
You touch it, you may own it.

Soot Mess:

@ February 8, 2012 6:51 AM in sooted up gas boiler

Good for you to be astute enough to recognize a lack of combustion make-up air.
A pox on the hackaroos that don't have the inquiring mind to figure out why the first boiler sooted up in the first place. Those companies are some of the ones that we who have invested time in education and money in equipment to do a proper diagnosis, don't get the work.
Say what you may about Massachusetts. But any and all licensed plumbers, gas fitters and LP installers are taught from the beginning, and reminded in our annual CE classes, make up air is important. And so is a chimney inspection when installing new equipment.
Every time a consumer gets worked over by a Hackaroo, it reflects on all of us and costs us too. In new and foolish regulations that never bother the Hackaroos, but just us.
Also, in Massachusetts, if you do a new Install of ANY gas equipment, you must to have a CO detector installed for compliance. No CO, no pass inspection. Had there been a CO detector where that equipment is, the chirping of nasty birds would have been overwhelming.
Do you carry a personal CO detector with you? You should. If you are smart enough to recognize that there was a make-up issue, you should know that there is almost always CO around bad running equipment. You could pass out and die before you realize you are in trouble. If you do service, and you run into direct vented equipment, and you hear it running, stick the instrument into the exhaust. It will give you a very quick way to judge how it is running, Twice, I have had the instrument lock up at over 1200 PPM. Then, you will want a digital combustion analyzer.

Domestic Water Heaters & Coils:

@ February 8, 2012 6:27 AM in Hydronic Coil Air Haindler

First, the circulator is probably broken. I've found quite a few broken impellers in circulators when piped into the bad idea you have for a cheap way to heat your house, and an expensive medical condition if the moon and stars align in the right house.
That "Armstrong" circulator looks like a re-branded Grundfoss pump. It must be a bronze or Stainless Steel pump. They are not cheap. Do not use a cast iron pump because it is cheaper. It won't last more than 6 months, probably less.
When the water heater starts leaking, replace it with a Mod-Con boiler and an indirect water heater. Protect the health and safety of you and any family you have living in the house.
There is not one thing about that set-up that is safe or efficient. The only ones that gained were the hackaroos that installed it.
They really are bad.

Thermostat values:

@ February 8, 2012 6:15 AM in $250 for a Thermostat?

With the Honeywell, you get a lot of equipment and it does a lot of stuff. I'm guessing that the other thermostat is a "Nest". It only does one thing. Control the heat or cooling or whatever. To compare a "Nest" to the Honeywell listed is like comparing avacados to bananas. Both grow in the tropics.

199 Problems:

@ February 8, 2012 6:09 AM in Munchkin 199 Circulation problem

The piping flow issues are one thing. The fault codes are another more important issue.
The boiler needs to be serviced SOON. The drain may not be working as well as it is supposed to. Condensate water can be backing up into the chamber. There could be "coffee grounds" blocking the spaces between the tubes. F-11 is seeing a flame when there isn't supposed to be one. Never a good sign. F-09 is flame going out or not being established. Both show a need for service. Do it soon or it could get more expensive.

Early Crane:

@ February 6, 2012 8:02 PM in Crane LIne pump-motor shaft coupling

And it would really save money with a new burner. A burner with a 3450 RPM motor. Not a 1725 RPM.

Under Baseboards:

@ February 6, 2012 7:56 PM in Carpet placement with radiant baseboards?

It must be raised a minimum of 3/4". Have a pine strip made that 5" longer than the given length of the baseboard. if it is a 8" (96") baseboard, add 5" to the strip, now 105". That's 2.75" each for the end caps. Set the back panel in the strip. The end caps will fit to the end of the strip. Cut the baseboards back carefully and when done, you will have a neat fit. The carpet installer will run the carpet up to the front of the baseboard against the strip. It will be a very neat and professional looking installation.
That's how I do it.
I never just set 3/4" blocks to set the height of the baseboard heaters. Like ME said, stand back and you will see under the heater. It looks SO unprofessional.

That's a bad one:

@ February 6, 2012 7:45 PM in Replacing Open Hydronic System

Some of us think that that is one of the worst ideas to ever come along.
Others may disagree with me.
I personally would install a Mod Con boiler, boiler only. Connect the heat zones through a Low Loss Header/Hydraulic seperator, and install a brazed flat plate heat exchanger and turn one water heater into a storage tank, fed with the FPX. That will be the most cost effective thing you can do. If you want to spend more, use an indirect. But you already have the water heaters.
Many are excited about Combi units. I've already seen expansion control devices fail under warranty and the potable water sides fail. Maybe with more time in the field.
I have an account with a Potable instantaneous water heater that goes through a flat plate to heat an air handler. It doesn't work well that way. If it was a Mod-Con boiler, heating the building and heating the potable water with an indirect, it would be fine.