Joined on September 13, 2010
Last Post on December 11, 2013
@ November 19, 2010 10:44 AM in Fan ConvectorBrad,
Nice answer and explaination.
@ November 19, 2010 10:39 AM in Backflow preventersJDB,
Lets see if I can cover it all.
Your darkroom may have a Symmons valve. I believe they have internal checks. Because they are known to be :on" all the time, they need to have the checks to not allow hot and cold pater to flow through other.
Laundry tray usually have a cheap faucet that had a 3/4" male hose fitting so you can but a short piece of hose on it to fill a bucket. The problem arises when you put a male hose on the outlet with a shut off sprayer fitting and don't shut off the hot and cold on the laundry sink. You now have a direct closed loop connection between the hot and cold. The same you would have on your photo mixer without the checks. The pressure between hot and cold isn't equal because it only takes a 7.5 degree rise in temperature to cause circulation.
The check valve on your Kohler faucet is in the spray hose or the handle/spray. You probably noticed that there isn't a lot of pressure in the faucet. If you unscrew the spray handle and turn on the water, and the strainer thingey isn't there, you have a lot more pressure. Look into the inlet of the handle. You will see that something covers most of the hole. That is the check valve. If you remove it (it isn't easy) you will see a remarkable improvement in water flow.
As far as outside faucets with back-flow protection, if you have a frost proof design, it will be on top, behind the handle. If it doesn't have it, there will be no plastic cap behind the handle. If you do not remove the hose in winter, freezing weather, the cap and check assembly may blow off. The ones without the device with the hose on will just break inside the wall in the house and when you turn it on in the spring to use it, you will have very little pressure and the water will be flooding the inside of the house. Remove the hose.
The old kinds do not do this. But, they have a screw on device that goes on the end with a screw you must tighten to keep from removing it. It breaks off flush when you get it tight. They are a PITA because my place in Florida had them on it when we bought the place and they both leaked. I had to cut them off because the hose bibs were soldered in to the copper pipe rather than use adapters that you could change.
There is stuff around that you don't even know about. It is set in our codes. Like GFCI in bathrooms and grounded outlets. Some things we take for granted but we don't know what they are. Like being safe.
@ November 19, 2010 10:10 AM in weil mclain gv gold lockout problemsGood point Slim,
I've had oil burners that didn't run like they once had and wouldn't deliver the air they once did. I took the fan/squirrel cage out and cleaned the INSIDE of the vanes of their accumulated crud. Like a aircraft propeller, having the leading edges of the fan covered in crud will wreck havoc on the air pressure. I was truly amazed at the amount of crud and the huge improvement in performance. I will have to mention this to my friend, the gas service guy. I've heard him speak a lot of things but not this.
@ November 18, 2010 9:10 PM in high Co2 readings, wet testerJDB,
You may have missed my dry sense of humor in writing. I have a electrician friend who uses that expression to cover such things as the unanswerable questions.
It isn't that some of us don't know what we are doing, it is that some of us are overwhelmed and perplexed at what some do that we have to go against.
I'm sure that you, like me have in your time seen a really impressive fluster kluck done and the only comment could be "Oh My God!!". Well, the only way to reconcile that is to say, "They're smart, and we're not". They must know something that we don't know. Or like I said to someone once who had this great idea for something simple but had plans. "you know, that might work for you. I've never seen it work for anyone else but it might work for you." If they want to do it like that, go to it.
As far as doctors go, I told one, a friend and customer, "We use the same process of elimination, diagnosis and treatment. The only difference between us in the treatment is that I can go to the supply huse and pick up what I need to fix your problem. You don't have a supply house to go to and do a trial and error scenario if needed."
If a doctor screws uo, someone may die. If we screw up, we may not get pain or asked back. But no one dies.
@ November 18, 2010 4:45 PM in Burnham Series 2 problem -- water sounds in pipesProf,
For the sake of discussion et-al, your idea of cavitation and mine are somewhat at odds. In a sense. Conventional wisdom (CW) now is to put the fill valve at the pressure (Extrol) tank tank. The old way was to put it at the bottom of the boiler so the cold fill didn't interact with the hot water. AND you could tell when purging, that you had all the air out when the water got hot. But saying you must "pump away", you have the circulator AFTER the extrol tank, pumping away. That makes the fill valve "see" lower pressure, Putting the circulator between the boiler and the tank, makes the tank "see" a higher pressure. If you feed the system at the extrol, and you set the system pressure for 12#, and you have a pumping differential of 5#, the fill (PRV) can see and add water. Overfilling. To me, it doesn't matter where it goes because if it is on the supply, and you design for a 20' drop, the return will always be 20' colder than the supply. Not a bad thing. But circulator in a closed loop heating system just pushes out one side and sucks in at the other. It isn't like the system goes negative. Wet rotor pumps suck when it comes to fine finishes on the vanes of the impellers. Nuclear submarines have the finest designed and finished props that money can buy. They cavitate at depth. That's what a sonar-man listens for. Each prop has a signature. It is identifiable. Slow down the RPM, go deeper or both. To be quiet.
I see all these incredible heat jobs here. Miles and miles of 1/2" PEX. Pipes increase as do their squares. It takes 4 -1/2" pipes to equal a 1" pipe. We had tables that said that 15,000 BTUs were all that you could put through a 1" pipe. That 60,000 or 65,000 BTU's could go through a 1" pipe. Now I see 600' loops of 1/2" PEX on floor loops with high head circulators to push it through. We did monoflow jobs with 1" mains. The branches were 3/4" and 1/2" with the main tees rolled on a 45' and long sweep 90's to keep the restriction down and the flow rate up. What happened?
The other day, I spoke with a friend about a boiler. He was having a problem getting air out of the one he was dealing with. To a pool heater arrangement. The gas boiler was rated at 400,000 BTU's per hour. Did you do it primary, secondary? Sort of was the answer. What size is the primary loop? 2" copper. I thought about it. Maybe 2" isn't big enough. Seems like it should have been 2 1/2" or 3". That maybe there isn't enough water flowing through that loop to absorb all the energy at full throttle, 400,000 BTU's and his air is a byproduct of steam. Have a M-80 Munchkin with the primary pump stopping and the secondary pumps working and see how fast it steams.
Steamhead has a nice picture of a boiler he replaced here, But upped the outlet size to 2 1/2' from 2" I know why. Less restriction. But all that 1/2" PEX?
I'll keep my runs short, with more. My holes large with sleeves to stop rubbing noises and I'll be able to purge through the boiler while it is running, with a ball valve on the return and a drain above. When the water gets hot after the bubbles leave. I'm done. And I won't hear any creaking and banging.
And no cavitation
There's a lot to be said about those old dead guys that Dan speaks of and what they did. I'm not dead quite yet.
@ November 18, 2010 3:31 PM in overpressureProf,
The grey tanks have a liner also. They just have a max precharge of 30# and come set at 12#.
When the tanks fail, you can often blow the water back into the system with a air compressor. If nothing happens, it unscrews easily. Right up until the last thread. Then, it will drop like a stone and it weighs more. Anything below it will be crushed. Like your foot. I usually tie a 5 gallon bucket to the piping and let it drop into the bucket. The blue ones for wells come with a 30# precharge which you set to the pump range pressure. Those, I drive a screw driver through and let the water flow out if I can't blow it.
@ November 18, 2010 3:20 PM in high Co2 readings, wet testerJDB,
I can see that you just do not understand.
They are smart and we are not.
They have been looking at flames for so long, they can adjust them in their sleep. Me? 40+ years and I STILL don't know what I'm looking at. I even have to use a ohm meter to pick up the really subtle changes in flame color because I wasn't born with Superman eyes.
I don't see smoke in the flame unless it is coming out the chimney so I must use this thingy where I put a piece of paper in this tube that looks like the pump I use to pump up my bicycle tires and pull it 9 times. Just to see if it is black.
Oh well, you know the drill. They are smart, and we are not. I accepted that a long time ago.
@ November 18, 2010 2:58 PM in old flow checkI can't remember the brand, maybe Thrush.
But, the "closed" position had the lever all the way down and it wouldn't allow the check to pass water. The "winter" position allowed the check to sit on the seat and stop gravity circulation but would allow circulation when the pump came on. The last setting "Open" meant that the disk was all the way off the seat and water would flow through the system by gravity. Or, could run back to the boiler through the supply if you drained the system.
I haven't seen one in a long time but they are out there.
@ November 18, 2010 11:21 AM in I want to let everyone know I am recoveringPainful, painful.
Damn chicken pox.
Get rid of the stress and get well.
@ November 18, 2010 11:18 AM in Backflow preventersJBD,
I am from MA and our codes are very specific about backflows. I don't have a code book with me but darkroom/photo labs are very specific and need special protection. Because you can leave the wash hose in a sink where the end of the hose is "below the flood level of the rim". And that is the key in much of the backflow world. That the water that flows out of the faucet, into a receptable must pass through free atmosphere before it can enter a fixture that COULD be full of water from an unknown source or quality. On photo labs, it may be just a backflow preventer on the hose at the valve, NOT the end of the hose.
Pull out kitchen sink faucets have vacuum breaker.back flow devices inside them.
The mix valve for washing should have checks on the hot and cold so you do not get cross flow between the hot and cold water.
You need a backflow device on outside hose hydrants. If you put a chemical sprayer on the end of your hose, it could end up in your house.
Come up with any plumbing device and I will try to tell you where the backflow device is or should be.
Some places are down right nasty. Like mortuarys or dental offices. Slaughterhouses, butcher shops, heating systems with anti-freeze in them. You wouldn't want that stuff backing out and contaminating your or someone else's house.
@ November 18, 2010 9:10 AM in Backflow preventersWashing Machines have a air gap built in side. Same with dishwashers. Faucets on fixtures have a air gap usually over 2.5 times the diameter of the outlet pipe. Whirlpool tube with subnerged fillers must pass through a air gap fitting. Trap re-sealers must pass through a air gap fitting.
Everything in plumbing is to protect the safety of the potable water system.
@ November 18, 2010 8:57 AM in Backflow preventersMark,
All that you say is true and the conventional wisdom of some.
My concern against is my over riding belief in the laws of intended consequences. That no good deed will remain unpunished.
In MA, ALL water heater tanks MUST have a approved vacuum relief device installed on the cold water inlet. Because if there is a fire near by, and the guy on the fire truck does not keep an eye on his gauges, he can easily pull a vacuum on the system. Which can collapse a tank. Easily.
If "AHJ" is "Authority Having Jurisdiction", then the easiest way around these problems is to require all buildings to be backflow protected.
I'll tell you something I have seen quite often.
Where I work, they have a public water system. Depending on altitude, the system pressure runs between 45# to 65#. There are many lawn irrigation systems. They all have some sort of a Watts 800 back flow device. When they drain them in the Fall, they blow them out with air. Usually set at 100# with a compressor. There have been a number of occasions where someone did not shut off the right valves and when they air pressurized the system, the air backed out of the building through the underground service, through the mains and went into other houses in the area.
If something can go wrong, it can.
And they shouldn't be using 100# PSI air pressure to blow 80#PSI poly irrigation pipe. It makes splits. Seen that.
@ November 18, 2010 8:36 AM in Backflow preventersThis is coming from the Feds/EPA. They are trying to protect public water systems from cross contamination. There are many forms of cross contamination. They can come from anywhere. If the potable water system isn't protected from backflow, and there is a breach in the systen where the pressure drops, water can flow back into the systems from any place. System integrety depends on water flowing out, not back in once it left.
Which can cause the next problem, overpressure. Most fixture manufacturers do not warranty their fixtures when operating over 75#. And a shower head delivering water at 75# hurts. Hence, pressure reducing valves on potable water systems. Less blown washing machine hoses and floods. Then, you need a Extrol like tank for water expansion to go. Like the expansion in a water system from a water heater heating.
New water systems or old ones, that install meters, will be required to use meter hangers/setters that have built in check valves on the outlet side to stop water from backing out.
If you install a water softner or any other type of water treatment where anything of an unknown quality is put in to the potable water of a building, it can not, by law, be introduced into the public water system. That is why you can not under any circumstances, have a private well/water system, piped in any way where you can turn a series of valves and switch from public or private water systems. They MUST be physically seperated and inspected.
And if you have a irrigation system, or any system wherebackflow can occur, you need a special double check system that must be inspected annually for proper operation.
It is all to protect the public drinking system.
In the 1960's, over 90 of just over 100 of the Holy Cross college football players came down with infectious hepititis from drinking contaminated water at a drinking fountain. The only players who didn;t get sick had not drank from the fountain.
Backflows keep you safe and well.
@ November 18, 2010 7:52 AM in Burnham Series 2 problem -- water sounds in pipesIron,
I know that it is a "rule" that pumps must be on the supply side of the system and not the return. The hotter the water, the greater the cavitation. There is a difference between the whole impellor having a giant bubble around it and just the tips having bubbles.
I see this happening on warm start boiler/systems like my own houses. It all has to do with temperature and pressure, plus or minus.
The house I live in now, has the circulator mounted as it comes out of the supply side of the boiler. Like W/M shows and the guys who installed it, did it. I didn't plumb the house. It cavitates like heck. I always install the pumps on the return. I never get that cavitation because of the cooler return water.
@ November 18, 2010 7:30 AM in high Co2 readings, wet testerRock,
Interesting point, but, in my experience, whenever I had Co2 readings that high, I had smoke because of imcomplete combustion/lack or air/oxygen. When I have found these high levels on equipment I normally service, I have no smoke, and I close the air shutter down slightly, and immediately start showing soot on my instrument. Going back to the old setting, the one I was at when I started, shows no smoke. If I clip my ohm meter to the FF terminals, I see the difference. If I start adding more air, the draft over the fire goes up and the resistance # goes up. Same as when I get smoke.
What is interesting is that "others" have seen this. Not everyone does combustion testing.
@ November 18, 2010 7:19 AM in Water heater stops when boiler firesBruce,
If the filter was dirty on the water heater, and you changed the filter on the water heater to a new one, that is what caused the problem. Remember that a vacuum is just lowering the atmospheric pressure locally. If the pump on the boiler needs say 10 (out of 100, say) units of suction to suck from the tank, and the dirty filter provides 12 units of restriction that the vacuum must overcome. The boiler pump must overcome that 12 units or it will get product from the tank. If you clean and change the filter and it then only provides 4 units of restriction, the boiler pump will apply 10 units of suction to the whole pump. It will then allow atmospheric pressure to enter the suction system by any way it can find, Usually through the water heater pump shaft seal.
At least, that is how I figured it out.
@ November 18, 2010 7:02 AM in Burnham boiler - oil fired smokeySteamer,
My comments are and always to things that are difficult for the "average" tech to service and DX. Some of us are better than others.
As far as ABC things are concerned, I found them to be quite "touchy". Years ago, before I was self employed, the boss would get W/M 62 series package boilers with ABC burners on them. Because no one in the crew wanted to get oil on their hands, I was the chosen one. We never had the equipment then that "I" have today. I had one that ran REALLY badly. I finally figured that the retention ring/cone had been welded on to the electrode/nozzle assembly at about 3 degrees off from verticle. No way it was bent. There were three square SS rods holding it in place. Bock used them for years on olil fired water heaters. They finally changed because although no one complained about them, if given a choice, no one ever asked for them. They switched to Carlins and Riello's.
I guess it is a case of the "Druthers". If I have a choice, I'd druther work on something else.
@ November 17, 2010 9:22 PM in Burnham boiler - oil fired smokeyIs this the same "Old Smokey" that is the subject of this discussion? If it is, you should have said something earlier. If not, here goes.
Yes, cold return water has an effect on combustion. A lot. That's why they put refractory mats in the bottom of wet based boilers. To reflect the heat of combustion back in to the flame. Otherwise, the bottom of the flame is cold and will smoke. BADLY.
Your car runs badly when it is cold and pollutes. When it gets hot, it is efficient and runs well. Same with boilers.
This boiler was piped and installed improperly in the beginning. No amount of "fix" will stop it from smoking until it gets hot. With 120 degree radiant floor water, the boiler will never get hot and will condense until it dies. And I don't think manufacturers will warranty a set up like this.
Installing a mix valve on the floor panels will pay for itself in fuel savings and boiler replacement.
@ November 17, 2010 8:57 PM in Well McLain Gold GV-4 Series 1 misfiring?Tim, a question for you:
Does this unit have a ignitor that doubles as a flame sensor/rectifier? If it was cracking or was cracked enough to pas power for the spark, and was cold, could it not start the first time but when hotter, make a connection?
If it is a combo unit, you couldn't put a ohm meter on it. If it is just a flame sensor, could you put a ohm meter on it and does it have a value? I had a oil burner that gave me fits. It ran fine but would stop while running with a great appearing fire. I finally put a ohm meter on it and because of excessive overfire draft from a powerventer, the "eye" saw less flame than it needed. The controll would lock out at 1600 ohms and the unit was running at 1200. When I got it down in the 700 to 800 range, it stopped.
Kind of like blood sugar, and diabetes.
You can lie to yourself, you can lie to your doctor, but you can't lie to your meter.
@ November 17, 2010 8:38 PM in high Co2 readings, wet testerRock,
Have them come back and test it now that things have settled down. I'll bet that they aren't 18% now. If they aren't, it proves what we/I said.
If they are still high, ask a guy on another oil burner site. He won't believe it. Then, ask Bachrach about it. Or Worrel or Testo. I'd like to lnow why. I've seen it too.
@ November 17, 2010 8:33 PM in burner keeps going out on safty evry 5to 6 hoursSlo is right.
Additionally, when the burner is getting ready to go out, goes it whine a lot? does it sound different after it is running for some time than after you reset it?
It needs service. You shouldn't be hitting the reset button. Call a service person. If it is a plugged filter, you are damageing the fuel pump.
@ November 17, 2010 8:29 PM in air in oil lineBill, for my way of thinking, a oil line under a floor WILL be replaced on any job I do or I will get a disclaimer from them stating that they will not let me replace the oil line under the floor and they WILL get another person to get code compliant. Then, a Tigerloop so I can run the covered/protected line overhead. If I can't run along the floor. Where I prefer to use 3/4" blue NMT plastic conduit. You can do some nice sharp bends without kinks. Screw them in place with one hole 3/4" HW conduit clips. Makes a nice neat install.
OBTW, the oil company where I work will not deliver oil to ANY account that is not code compliant. They sent letters to every customer. Per requirements of their insurance underwriters. And they will also inspect it for compliance.