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Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on August 1, 2014

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@ December 28, 2011 7:00 PM in Unidentified pipe

I didn't finish what I was saying because they called my flight.
After reading the posts again, it is a shallow well. It's 1 1/4" galvanized pipe with a 1 1/4" X 1" Reducing 90 with the remains if a 1" union. The inside of the pipe is (whatever) as far as could be seen. Rust, iron build up from the iron in the ground water. The switch on the wall that is cut off and disconnected was the power to the pump.
When was the house built and was it in that area alone before water mains were laid in the area?  How far above sea level is this building?
The Island of Long and Cape Cod have something in common. They figured out way back when that if you ran municipal water, you could have smaller house lots. You didn't need big well and septic system separation. When was the house built? Reciprocating water pumps had a 1" inlet. They pumped 400 gallons per hour regardless of the lift. 5' Lift, 400 GPH. 25' lift, 400 GPH. They just knocked a lot louder when lifting at over 25;.
Put a ground clamp on the pipe and run another service ground/earth neutral from the well to the panel. My last house was hit by lightning, twice in six weeks before I had a lightning suppression system installed. The only thing that saved the house was my 2" galvanized water well pipe under the cellar-way stairs. After the strikes, the water would run red for 15 or 20 minutes.

Unidentified pipe:

@ December 28, 2011 4:41 PM in Unidentified pipe

If I saw that pipe sticking out of the floor where I work, I'd have thought it was a well pipe. For a reciprocating shallow well water pump like a 1909 meyers pump

Purging Your System:

@ December 28, 2011 7:08 AM in purging a system

I doubt seriously that you have been purging your system properly.
First, there's no fast fill by-pass on that Taco pressure reducing valve. And the system pressure is probably set too low. It needs to be 15# to 18# if you have a second floor. and are having a problem.
You are probably putting the hose on the bottom of the boiler and purging through the boiler and by-passing the system. If you are not, and using the drain above the circulator on the return, the ball valve below the drain needs to be closed so that you force the water being drained, and replaced by the fill valve, to run through the radiation and purge the system. I doubt that the valve will fill fast enough to give you a good purge. If the fill/PRV valve was fed into the bottom of the boiler, it would be purging hot water. When the water comes back from the system, and gets hot, you know you have come around and probably purged it. The way it is now, you will only get cold water back from the system.
If you do not have enough pressure in the system, all the air vents in the world will not vent your system. In fact, they will let air in when you open them. And any air that is dissolved in the water will come out of suspension when it meets the vacuum of the top of the system.
If you can figure this out, take a double hose connection/washing machine connection and connect it to the bottom drain on the boiler. Connect the other end to a cold water drain that has street pressure. Take another short hose and a 5 gallon bucket. Open the by-pass feed to the boiler watching that you do not over pressurize the system. Don't let it go over 25+#. Make sure that the yellow handled by-pass ball valve is closed. Open the drain and let the water flow into the bucket. Make sure that the end of the hose is in the bottom of the bucket. Within 30 seconds, you should hear an eruption in the pipes and the hose will dance. Hold your hand around the return pipe. After the bubbles come, the pipe will start to get hot. When all is quiet and the pipe is getting really hot, shut off the by-pass hose to the bottom of the boiler and the by-pass/purge hose. Shut off the drain/purge hose and open the by-pass ball valve. If the circulator is running, the pipe will get hotter and hotter. Leave the system at 18#-20#. It should be working.
Replace the fill valve. If you try to adjust it, it will start leaking bye and will over pressurize the system.
Drop the system pressure to zero and check the expansion/Extrol tank pressure. It should be at least 12#.
I have never been able to purge a two story system with 12# pressure alone.
I haven't opened a vent on a baseboard in so long, I can't remotely remember when it was.

Overloaded motors:

@ December 28, 2011 6:42 AM in Overload Relays

Are you sure that you don't just have a bad motor?

Unknown Pipe:

@ December 27, 2011 7:11 PM in Unidentified pipe

Any photos of this pipe and what is around it?

Solid Flushes:

@ December 27, 2011 7:06 PM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

If it flushed when you bought the house, and it flushed in the near past, and it stopped taking solid flushes, there's something in it. Like a toothbrush or a comb.
There's a photo of the sink next to the toilet. There's stuff on the counter. Any of those things could fall into the bowl and get flushed. Especially toothbrushes.
Are you absolutely, proof positive that there isn't something in the bowl? Put the bowl, upside down on some towels, and run a quality toilet auger through the bottom. See what comes out. You can buy small inspection mirrors. Look inside from both directions.
Did you get the proper flush assembly?
Is the chrome tube ell inserted into the bowl too far? If it is in too far, the flow may be restricted.

Heat Exchanger/Sulpher

@ December 26, 2011 8:26 PM in Methods for Heat Exchanger Cleaning?

That heat exchanger looks like a cold start oil boiler running non-low sulpher oil.
Is this what you are getting with condensing boilers on Nat Gas?


@ December 26, 2011 8:09 PM in Anti-freeze

And most Refractometers will do both kinds of anti-freeze and lead acid batteries.

By passages:

@ December 26, 2011 7:25 PM in Low mass boiler and cool return temps

You take a low mass boiler. Put a boiler pump and pump through the boiler. Put two properly closely spaced tees in the primary loop connected to the 4-way. Connect the secondary supply and return in the other side of the 4'way. Put a system pump wherever you prefer. Connect the outdoor reset on the 4-way, the system temperature probe on the supply out to the system, and the other on the water returning back to the boiler on the boiler side of the system, set the system reset to what you want, and if you have boiler reset, set that higher, and you are good to go.
Stop condensation in boilers


@ December 26, 2011 7:09 PM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

Toilets don't get "pitched" They sit on the floor.
Lets start at the beginning.
When you bought the house, did the toilet work?
How well did it work?
When did it stop working?
Did changing the flush valve make it better, the same or worse?
That bowl was made almost 30 years ago and has been in place for 25 years. It must have worked when it was installed.
Are you sure that nothing fell in it and isn't stuck in it?
There's standing water in the 4" pipe under the floor. Does the floor pitch away and is it out of level?
Take a small mirror and a strong flashlight. Put the mirror in the pipe and shine the light on the mirror so It shines down the pipe. Orient it so you can look down the pipe with the mirror and see what you can see. Does the standing water get wider? If it does, the pipe is pitching back to the flange.
I've seen where leaking closet flanges/bowl waxes break a vacuum seal and cause slow flushing. And the plastic horn on that bowl wax gets restricted and they improve when removed.
Make sure that there isn't anything in the bowl trap-way

Low mass boiler, high mass systems:

@ December 26, 2011 6:45 PM in Low mass boiler and cool return temps

A better choice for you would have been a primary/secondary with a Taco 4-way "I" series valve. It gives you outdoor reset in the system so you can make it run at whatever it needs to run at and the system temperature will settle out and run continuously at some Delta T. The boiler will not be subject to all that crazy flow because the 4-way is always modulating the boiler and system temperature. It offers boiler protection by sensing boiler return water temperature and gives you two dip switch temperatures.

Old T87's

@ December 26, 2011 3:03 PM in New T87

Are the old T 87's even available anymore? Every time I need a new T 87, I'm a quandary about what to do with the old one and the mercury inside.
I agree with setting the anticipator to 1.2 amps. But, do any of you all ever put an "Amp-Mate" meter to see what the control amperage is running through the thermostat? I found that with Taco 571 zone valves that draw .09 amps, if an old style mercury T 87 thermostat is used, they come set at .04 amps and if the power was sent to the T 87, the heat anticipator rheostat would almost instantly burn out. Only to short cycle forever, no matter what you set it at later.
Just curious.

Fitting toilet:

@ December 26, 2011 10:10 AM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

What I've tried to tell you is that Gerber doesn't make a toilet like that anymore. It is because they can only manufacture legal 1.6 GPF or less toilets. They and all manufacturers of toilets, had to redesign bowls to flush at 1.6.GPF. That's why you can't find 14: rough bowls. It was cheaper to take a standard tank and make it fatter with a 2" piece in the back.
Without looking back, I think that the bowl he has will fit a 17" rough in. The outlet is too far away from the wall for a normal bowl. Take the rough in measurements of the bowl, and take the measurement from the center of the closet bolts and the front of the bowl. Measure that out/forward. That's how far the bowl will stick out into the room. You will be able to walk behind the toilet with a new bowl.
If you want to make it right with an option, Toto has a few models that have an adjustable outlet that will go to 18" from the wall.  

CA Adjustments:

@ December 26, 2011 9:56 AM in combustion analysis

I understand what you are saying about gas adjustments. I have done only oil and we have total adjustments. The old gas I see has almost no adjustments. Now, with the newer stuff, there are no easy adjustments to be made. I see equipment all the time that has been installed by installers who wouldn't know a CA if they saw one.
Oil guys should really understand draft. Some don't. I'm being forced into gas testing. I saw two 2002 Munchkins last week without the 925 controllers in a duplex. One was running 90 PPM of CO and the other was 400+. What to do?
If it wasn't for Tim McIlwaine and others here, I'd be in a quandary.

Setting Toilets:

@ December 26, 2011 9:16 AM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

Is that water in the bottom of the waste pipe? Does the floor sag? Is the waste pitching the wrong way?
The seal was leaking. Did you clean off the bottom of the bowl? It should be black like the old wax seal.
Without the seals on the bowl, set it in place. Does it sit flat on the floor or does it "rock"? If it does, it will need to be shimmed with a shingle and grouted underneath when you set it later. Take the toilet bowl, hold it up and shake it. Is there anything inside? Hold it upside down. There may be something caught in the trapway. I've taken a lot of unusual things out of toilets. The most unusual is a screen that one uses to strain urine to see if there are stones in the urine. It was dropped into a wall hung public toilet and flushed. I once took a bowl that stopped flushing, took it outside and put it on saw horses upside down. I put a hose and ran water through it. I looked in both ends. I used a mirror. I saw nothing. I stuck my fingers in and was feeling around when I cut my finger. There was a broken clear glass perfume bottle stuck in there. It would flush if plunger. You could get a toilet auger through it. It would flush with clear water. A wad of TP and it wouldn't flush.The sink top is only a few inches away from something dropping off and into the toilet. If there is soil in it, no one will stick their hand in it. Flush it away. Out of sight, out of mind.
Run a toilet auger from the bottom to push out anything.
Those two extra holes in the bowl need closet screws in them to stabilize the bowl after it is set.
Take one regular seal and put it flat side out/down so that the tapered part is in the horn. Center it and take your finger and spread it over and against the horn. So it is sealed. Put the other wax, flat sides together. Set the toilet.
It probably has something in it. Try to find out if it does and get it out.
Contact Gerber with the numbers of that toilet bowl and find out what it was for when it was made. It still may be what I suggested in the beginning, that it was a bowl for a 2 piece, flush ell toilet.
If there was a time when the toilet flushed properly, it has something caught in it.
I have found, that the plastic horns can restrict the flow on poor performing toilets. When they are removed, they often improve.


@ December 25, 2011 7:53 PM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

If you DO have a 3.5 GPF flushometer, and the toilet was always there, it must have flushed properly at one time. whether the piping leading to the second floor may be restricted. But usually, like Steamhead said, they were used in high end houses. If you have what once was a high end house, it may have been in fact, a flushometer driven toilet. If you check the Sloan website, you find this:
Look at the top three, all water closets, not urinals. See that they only list a 3.5 GPF r4pair kit. But below, see "Note". They list an "A1102A" repair kit and an "A1038A" repair kit. The note says that both will work on the 4.5 GPH toilets. You need to special order the A1102A but if you have a true 3.5 GPF, you have an A1038A. When you take the top off of the valve, and pull the plastic cap off the flush mechanism, you will see a plastic ring under the diaphragm that is loose. It may be black. It says on the chart. But the note says to remove it. It governs the flow through the valve. If there is enough pressure, it should flush.
I would contact Sloan and ask the factory what they recommend for this. If, again, it was a flushometer type, Sloan provided a valve for it.
That looks like a very old tile floor. The toilet is bolted to a cast iron flange. If someone gives you grief about replacing it, respond by asking them where you can get a 17" rough toilet bowl for a flushometer.
It looks like a 2" spud reduced to 1 1/4" tube. The original wasn't plastic. It was brass. There were stops to keep the tube from inserting too far. If the tube is in too far, the flow may be restricted. It may need to be checked..
Steamhead wrote about the pressure. If you have the cold water running full force in the sink, and you flush the valve, does the water in the sink completely stop or just slow down? If it only slows down, it may not be that restricted.
Last, did you take up the toilet? If you did, did you replace the wax seal? Did you use one with the plastic ring that is supposed to extend the horn into the waste? If you did or have one, TAKE THE GD THING OFF!!!!. It may and will restrict the flow in some cases like yours. Use two regular waxes,
Good Luck. 


@ December 25, 2011 2:41 PM in Add A Rad Pipe Sizing

Wonderful things can happen when you insulate pipes.
Almost like magic.
Use the Mini-Split as a back-up in the cold weather and AC in the hot. A true win-win situation.


@ December 25, 2011 2:02 PM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

See those two deficits in the wall behind the toilet? One to the left of the outlet pipe and one beside the 1" brass nipple? That's where the tank was mounted to the wall. You need a plumber to look at the other side of the wall because there must be access to the pipes there. Otherwise, those two holes wouldn't be there and patched. Any tank with no mounting holes in the bottom will work. If there are any salvage yards that take old plumbing fixtures may have one. Just make sure you get a cover that fits it. It may not be cheap. Antiques never are.
If you can photo the back of the wall, someone may tell you what you need to do. It's difficult from here to know what kind of mess was made. You can purchase all new parts for the tank. If you find one, all the rubber parts are shot. Repairing two piece toilets is an art form that most plumbers are not willing to take on. The bowl spud and spud gasket are the biggest problem. There are different size spuds and holes. The tank part isn't as bad. The 2" flush ell is easily available. Crest-Good in Soyosset, NY has all that stuff. Most flush ells can be 6" X 8" or longer to fit all applications. You will need to keep your eyes open for a tank.


@ December 25, 2011 11:55 AM in combustion analysis

I bought mine from my Wholesaler for the same price you got it from on E-bay. I hope that you don't have a problem with it because E-bay is a bummer on Warranty service.
Mine came with the printer, the inlet hose. printer paper, filters, the program for transferring data to a laptop and a DVD on how to operate it. Including case.


@ December 25, 2011 11:48 AM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

None of the Gerbers will fit.
If you want to make it right, you need to get a Toto with the adjustable flange outlet. They will go to 18" Center or more. No other toilet will fit.
This is beyond a DIY project with help of Orange House employees.

Water Closets II:

@ December 25, 2011 11:44 AM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

The two nut heads on the front and sides of the toilet, they are over 14". Maybe 16"  from the back wall. There is probably a significant structural floor member below the toilet. There should be screws in the back holes. Or else, the bowl isn't screwed down over the outlet. If the front holes are over the waste pipe, the back holes keep the toilet from flopping over if a bariatric user leans left or right. Either way, the toilet needs a lead wiping flange because it isn't bolted to the flange, it's screwed to the floor. It's already leaking because of the black staining around the back.
Was the previous owner/mechanic trying to make a 1920 period bath suite? The failed. That pedestal lav you have there which you will then next be trying to connect will really put you over the edge. Unless there is a wall mounted drain, you can't drain that with a full "S" Trap through the floor like original.

Water Closet:

@ December 25, 2011 11:27 AM in Problem with Gerber and can anyone id this toilet

Maybe it was when you bought the house. It wasn't there when the house was built. Guaranteed. The previous owner was  Rubin Goldberg or he hired his cousin Myron Goldberg to do the conversion.
If the water service entering the building from the street isn't a minimum of 1" ID pipe of copper tube, and doesn't rum un-reduced to the second floor to the toilet where it comes through the wall, it wasn't original.
If you measure from the center of the closet bolts to the back wall, it will be, 14" +/-. That's why you have enough room to get a 1" IPS ball valve in as a shut-off when there is a shut off already.
I doubt seriously that you will find a Gerber or any other flushometer bowl that will fit that. It was in the beginning, a tank type toilet. It needs to go back as a tank type.
Hopefully, it doesn't have a 4" lead bend, flanged over the wood floor and closet screws holding the bowl to a rotten wood floor. That's another fix that requires a "Wiping Flange". You will look long and hard to find one and even harder to find someone who knows what it is. Let alone install it.
(Hint: You have to solder the brass flange to the lead pipe,)
Also, I know of no china manufacturer making 14: rough bowls. They all use 12" bowls with a tank with a 2" extension on the back of the tank.  Toto makes an adjustable flange toilet but they cost Mucho Dinero, $$$$$$$$,