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

icesailor

Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on September 1, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

Carbon Crud:

@ February 5, 2012 12:06 PM in intermittent lockouts

That's the stuff I'm talking about. But did you put your finger on the outside, the side facing the combustion chamber? That's where I find the crud. And when I find one like yours that stops going off for a period, and starts again. it is the crud.I also find that with that burner, you MUST use the nozzle brand, spray pattern and angle that the boiler manufacturer suggests. It is almost always a Delavan. It is almost always an 80 degree spray angle and a "B" (Solid) or "H" (Hollow) spray. Most of the ones I find that are problems have some odd nozzle in them. The problem goes away when I go back to what is recommended. I have always considered a "B" or a "H" to be a Delavan.Billtwocase may suggest otherwise. He sees far more of these old clunkers than I do. What I say has worked for me. 

What nozzle brand, type and spray are you using?

Lazy:

@ February 5, 2012 11:42 AM in Clogged nozzle

Lazy, lazy, lazy.
Would it have been too much exertion to blow out the oil line to get rid of the crud?
My old High School auto shop teacher used to say "You can't buy a mechanic in a can." Any time I have ever walked away from a dirty oil line, I was back to blow it out or replace it.
ALSO, You said that you live in Southern Massachusetts. This should be a new oil line due to the new oil line law. If the line hasn't been replaced, the oil company isn't supposed to deliver oil, and if it doesn't meet code, the tech(s) that serviced the burner, should have brought the line to compliance. You should NOT have a dirty, sludged oil line.
How many times and how many ways do I have to say it. A "clogged" nozzle IS NOT clogged in the orifice, it is clogged in the strainer. You can set the pump pressure to 200# and have 200# at the strainer. If the strainer will only allow 50# of pressure through the strainer, the orifice will ONLY see 50# pressure.
Prove it????  Take the strainer off the "bad" nozzle and screw on a new strainer from a new nozzle. If it runs fine, then the old nozzle was clogged. NOT the orifice.
Hackaroo Techs are ruining all of the heating industries. If you don't know what you are doing, take classes and learn. Or get the heck out of the industry and let those of us that do, do our jobs.  

Lazy:

@ February 5, 2012 11:41 AM in Clogged nozzle

Lazy, lazy, lazy.
Would it have been too much exertion to blow out the oil line to get rid of the crud?
My old High School auto shop teacher used to say "You can't buy a mechanic in a can." Any time I have ever walked away from a dirty oil line, I was back to blow it out or replace it.
ALSO, You said that you live in Southern Massachusetts. This should be a new oil line due to the new oil line law. If the line hasn't been replaced, the oil company isn't supposed to deliver oil, and if it doesn't meet code, the tech(s) that serviced the burner, should have brought the line to compliance. You should NOT have a dirty, sludged oil line.
How many times and how many ways do I have to say it. A "clogged" nozzle IS NOT clogged in the orifice, it is clogged in the strainer. You can set the pump pressure to 200# and have 200# at the strainer. If the strainer will only allow 50# of pressure through the strainer, the orifice will ONLY see 50# pressure.
Prove it????  Take the strainer off the "bad" nozzle and screw on a new strainer from a new nozzle. If it runs fine, then the old nozzle was clogged. NOT the orifice.
Hackaroo Techs are ruining all of the heating industries. If you don't know what you are doing, take classes and learn. Or get the heck out of the industry and let those of us that do, do our jobs.  

Zoning:

@ February 5, 2012 11:26 AM in Copper ceiling radiant

Jeff, maybe it isn't practical to zone. But on the floor above the ceiling, there is usually a place to balance the circuits. The combined circuits were usually a split loop so you could get even flow on two sides, After the manifold with the balancing cocks, where it turned to 1" tube is where I installed the zone valves. It just gave me the ability to have better control over the floor. It was a cheap fix. Cut in a Taco 572 zone valve and some wireless thermostats. It was so easy, it was stupid. And it solved a problem that existed from 1963.
I was just sharing an experience I had. Maybe it won't work for you or your customer. But it might for someone else.

Pump orientation

@ February 5, 2012 9:03 AM in Low Delta T between boiler Supply and Return

I think you misunderstood what was written. And that is for Grundfoss pumps.
If you look at the Taco instructions, they deal with what you have. And they are Taco 00* series pumps. Taco says that any orientation is OK but the motor body placed on top is the least desirable. But allowable as long as the system pressure is kept above 20#. There must be circulator instruction sheet there for those Taco circulators.
When in doubt, read the manufacturers installation instructions.
Note this submittal sheet for 00* circulators:

http://www.taco-hvac.com/uploads/FileLibrary/100-1.8.pdf
If you aren't running 20# at the circulators, you may be hearing air. And the bearings grounding.
That site you pointed to is not a professional heating site like this one. It is a home inspectors advisory site and giving non-professional opinions to lay persons on some topics they have no business giving.
What you read here in answer, you can be reassured that advice is correct. Or else, someone will call the person out for being wrong.

Delta "T's"

@ February 5, 2012 8:55 AM in Low Delta T between boiler Supply and Return

Never seen it said better.
A cool, condensing exhaust is a fine thing. Unless it leads to domestic potable water not being heated as needed. All that condensing exhaust can be put in a dark place when loved ones are in the shower with wet hair full of shampoo and only cold water to rinse it out with.
I turned my boiler water down slightly because it didn't need to be so high on the high limit and lowered the operating control to 135 degrees. I have a storage tank. I NEVER run out of water. The next day, my wife was complaining that the water wasn't as hot in the shower. Raise the limit stops on the shower handle or move the operating control back to 140 degrees.
I turned the boiler back up.
I have tried about everything that one can try. Tightening up the structure is the #1 best value. Clock thermostats on low mass systems (copper baseboard) is next and insulating the heat pipes is third. All else is a distant also ran.
While everyone is swooning over Mod-Con boilers, our market is going to hell in a hand basket. By the time one gets done adding all the crap to the system to make it work in the perfect world that some try to get it to, the price goes through the roof. So, when prices are compared, the scorched air installers get the job  and the customer gets a third world system and AC.
I work in one of the wealthiest counties in the country. In the last 15 years, it has gone to almost all scorched air, Air handlers and AC. It's cheap. Flex duct and duct board.
Cheap, cheap, cheap.

Heat Loss:

@ February 5, 2012 8:18 AM in Supply & Return Both Very Hot, Minimal Heat from Baseboard

Proper emitters is a given. No mention was made of the unit being too small. The carpet issue came up in the beginning. If the carper is installed improperly in relation to the baseboard emitter, then that neess to be fixed before anything else. I personally would have done  heat loss calculation on the room to know what I am dealing with. I've seen this happen way too many times.
Cast Iron Base Ray baseboard was always installtd on a solid floor. They had a diagram on how to install if a rug was being used. To put down a wood strip tp raise the baseboard so air could run up behind the baseboard. If you installed it on a wood floor, it set on the floor and was fine. I got quite a few calls in the past where a room wasn't heating properly. I'd find that the carpet installer had run the carpet into the bottom space and stopped all air flow through the back of the baseboard heater. The other PITA was with Sunrad radiators. The rug was run under the radiator and the front grill no longer fit. And cutting it down made it so it wouldn't fit.
Hackaroos.

Rugs and Baseboard.

@ February 4, 2012 7:51 PM in Supply & Return Both Very Hot, Minimal Heat from Baseboard

You really need to look at that carpet, carefully. Its really a very common thing. They nail the tack strip in front of the baseboard and run the pad to the carpet strip. They can not get the tack strip under the heaters. They then fold the carpet under the baseboard and usually run the carpet as far as it goes by where they cut the carpet. I've seen carpet right up to the bottom of the front cover.
Carpet installers are not the bulb at the top of the tree. One once split and ripped out the wood strip I installed the heater on. All he had to do was fit the carpet strip to the wood strip, and tuck the carpet. But because he only knew leaving the pad out, and sliding the carpet under the baseboard, he ripped out the strip.
Go Fig're

Locked Out:

@ February 4, 2012 1:25 PM in intermittent lockouts

Those things are the bain of my existence. I'm totally convinced that they were designed by some hateful person to make my life miserable. But, I'm still happy.
I've never seen this trick mentioned but I do it to every one of those hateful things and it usually stops these problems if all else fails and the head is carboned up. It is only on the ends. Take on old 3/4" or 1/2" copper fitting brush with a handle. Stick it down the burner tube (your hand will get very dirty) and scrape the carbon off the end cone. You can't always see it looking down the tube but if you run your finger over the end, you will feel it. A judicious scrap with the fitting brush usually fixes it. It seems that carbon, being a conductor, sometimes will allow the spark to go to ground upon start up. I can usually tell if I don't hear the spark at first, or I never hear the spark. But can pull an arc across the buss bars of the transformer.
There can be other causes. I just haven't heard that one mentioned. I keep a few old worn out fitting brushes in my burner box for just such occasions.

Copper radiant:

@ February 4, 2012 1:06 PM in Copper ceiling radiant

Where I work, there a number of homes that have the type of radiant that you are describing. It works very well. It is all 1/2" OD tube and stapled to 3/8" gypsum Rock Lath. It was plastered over with standard US Gypsum "Structo-Lite" plaster, two coats, scratched and finished with a white hard hydrated lime hard finish plaster. They have lasted well.
A house I take care of, has these ceilings. I took care of it way back, and was gone for 20 or so years. I'm back now. The previous "heater" replaced the HB Smith boiler with a W-McL WGO7 and eliminated the blending valve. All the ceilings were supposed to crack but they haven't.
It is a standard procedure for the plastering. The Structo-Lite is somewhat soft and maybe allowed for some movement. The biggest danger is carpenters with nail guns and handymen with chisels looking to cut holes in the plaster to find a leak from a bathroom above. 99.99999% of the time, it is leaking around the tub and not a water pipe leaking. But they are not deterred. They chisel away and finally cut a hole in a pipe. THAT is hard to fix.
If you want to become a hero, the connections are always in a closet/space on the floor above. If you carefully figure out what was done, you can install zone valves and get better control of the heat in the house. I used Honeywell "Red Hat" wireless thermostats and a Taco ZV controller. It was a brick 1800 Century mansion. You can have fun with the system if you try. And make some ca$h while at it.
Where are you located? If you are in Southern New England, many of the systems were designed by the same engineer who did the design and sold the systems. Whose name is on the mechanical drawing?

Carpet Munchies:

@ February 4, 2012 10:45 AM in Supply & Return Both Very Hot, Minimal Heat from Baseboard

Oh, glad that came up.
ME is absolutely correct about flow and other things.
About carpet. Look to see if the bottom of the Fin tube baseboard back cover is sitting on the wood sub floor and the carper is on top. Whenever I do baseboard, before carpet goes down, I lay a 2 1/2" strip of flooring,wood, 3/4" in thickness and install the baseboard on top of that. The carpet installers MUST use a tack strip in front of the board, and the baseboard has the proper, designed opening. It is really bad when they run the pad under the baseboard and the carpet on top of that.
I've raised up the whole baseboard to stop the problem. I still don't understand the bottom being cooler than the top though.

Delta "T" and the brain:

@ February 4, 2012 10:34 AM in Supply & Return Both Very Hot, Minimal Heat from Baseboard

Sometimes, some get Delta T on the brain.
If the supply to the baseboard is through the element and returns over the top (as it should), it is physically impossible for the top/return to be hotter than the bottom, the supply. Unless it is piped so that the supply is on the top.
How are you measuring this Delta T? If you can feel that one pipe is hot and the other is cooler, and the temperature measured someplace is very close ( as you say), you must be measuring it in the wrong place. You may have a piping problem where flow is going where it wasn't designed to go.
Delta T doesn't mean squat unless you know what the pressure change through the loop. Unless it has a dedicated circulator for the zone in question with gauges on either side, the flow is just an uneducated guess. If you pipe 50' of 3/4" fin tube baseboard and pipe too and from with 1/2" tube, you will get a much higher difference on temperature between the supply and return. Because you can only get so much water through a 1/2" pipe. Change it to 3/4" pipe and you will see the return temperature go up.
If the room gets warm, what is the problem? If the room doesn't get warn, then, why? Delta T is just an indication of a problem that may or may not need to be addressed.

Bubble Wrap: The Greatest.

@ February 3, 2012 12:28 PM in straighting out a system ,what to do?

Jamie,
I see that you just don't understand about Bubble Wrap. It is the greatest insulation on a roll ever devised for the Air Heads that have gotten into radiant. Years ago, I was told by one of them that 1/4" of bubble wrap was the equivalent to R-13 Fiberglass. Now, some air heads rip out insulated duct board duct and replace it with metal duct wrapped with bubble wrap. One was at the supply house trying to get a line on a new "double insulated" bubble wrap that you pull apart for the double insulation.
I gave up arguing because to do it properly, the cost goes through the roof. So, some "expert" comes along and puts a mess like this in. For some reason, I enjoy figuring out WHY the system doesn't work, and HOW to fix it. If it can be fixed.
The person asking the questions has done a very good job of diagnosing the problems. I would suggest to the customer to look into what I am saying to see if it is true.
I have a customer that has under-slab heating in his cellar. I turned it on and in two days, the water was barely coming back warm. It was flowing because the return was cold. I told him to turn it off and never to turn it back on unless he was willing to pay the cost of the LP fuel. He wasn't.
But the bubble wrap was the old stuff. Far better than 1" foam board that should have been used but wasn't. I guess.

Moving the Steam:

@ February 3, 2012 12:03 PM in thin tube radiator top heating?

I'm not in any way, an expert on Steam. If someone says that this won't work, they are right.
I've done this with hot water radiators more than once. But I put the pipe in the end with the valve and run it out to 3/4ths of the sections. 12 section radiator, stop in the eighth section.
It's a lot easier to get the valve/union apart, and flop the radiator on its side so you can get a radiator/spud wrench inside the radiator. You want to get the largest pipe inside the radiator. You are trying to get the air and steam to the farther end of the radiator. The water has to go down the same hole that the steam come in through.
I can see and understand where the problems lie, But nothing tried is nothing gained. Can the vent be moved to the other end of the radiator? Will the Steam Pros suggest drilling and tapping the other end of the radiator? That seems like it might be helpful.  

Legionnella in potable systems.

@ February 3, 2012 11:42 AM in Legionnaire's fopund at Luxor in Vegas

I've been following this for as long as anyone and am not going to profess an answer. But I too have an observation. I don't see any way to easily get rid of it by 100%. But, you can make it better.
I personally feel that pumping extra hot water or chlorine through the piping is slow and inefficient. But, if it is the slime that is hiding the bacteria that is worrying you, consider this.
I have been draining/winterizing houses for over 40 years. Pump out the water heater and open the low point drains. About 25 years ago, I started to see systems that the installers thought that a "low point" was a bad point in their life, that "pitch" was a musical term, or that a "drip" was a spurt under pressure.
Try draining a series looped baseboard system that is looped between the floors with a finished ceiling and no drains. Installed with the misguided belief that PEX won't split (except where the fittings meet the PEX.
I started blowing everything out with compressed air and it doesn't take a lot. I had houses that I drained with not a single problem in years. When I started draining with air, I was astounded at how much water was still in the system and not causing a freeze up split or push out. In the Spring, when I re-fill the systems, it is amazing to see the nasty greenish schmeg that comes out of the water pipes. 
So, IMO, if you want to do a better job of getting rid of the environment for bacteria, drain and blow out the system with air. Legionella is an anaerobic bacteria and can not live in air or oxygen, It is NOT an aerobic Bacteria. If you introduce air into the system, it will not survive. The swirling of the air and water through the pipes will clean the inside of the pipes. If you are into chlorination, blow it out first, introduce the chlorine with water and blow it all out. Sometimes the air/water vapor/mist that comes out of the system when being blown by air is really astringent and nasty.
I know that houses that get drained annually, will have less Legionella hiding in the pipes.
The bacteria that you get from shower heads are in the aerosol spray from the shower head and are inhaled into the lungs from the contaminated water droplets.
FWIW

Sunny Thoughts:

@ February 3, 2012 10:46 AM in Indirect water heaters

How well does that work once the sun goes down and before it comes up?
Like designing heat loss in a room facing the south and allowing for Solas Gain, when it is coldest in the middle of the night and the moon is up. No wind and radiational cooling.
I'll need the scraper on the windows of the truck tomorrow.

Indirect Power:

@ February 3, 2012 10:39 AM in Indirect water heaters

AMEN !!!
Like bringing a pocket knife to a gun fight.

EZ-2

@ January 30, 2012 6:59 AM in burner size change can I

You can't fire an EZ-2 any lower than 1.50 GPH because the burner is designed to fire at over 1.50 GPH or higher. And it doesn't run as well as it could because it is at the bottom of its range. An EZ-1 fires up to 1.65 GPH and will run better at 1.50 GPH or lower.
 
 http://www.carlincombustion.com/products/ezoburn.htm

If you want to convert it to an EZ-1, you need to call Carlin. Website and numbers are above. But you need professional help with this.
You can replace it with an EZ-1 burner but I have found that the 99 FRD is a nicer choice and is more adjustable in range. I just don't know what Carlin Teck Support has to say about it.
There are other things you can do first before getting radical with the burner. Set the high limit control to 170 degrees and see how it heats the house and how the domestic hot water is. Then try 160 degrees. If it gets really cold out, and the house doesn't maintain temperature, turn the high limit back up.

Pumping Away and Air:

@ January 29, 2012 9:55 PM in 2 radiators on hot H20 get cold a day or two after bleeding now; Help?

Cavitation from the impellor and cavitation around the impeller. And the water doesn't need to be all that hot. Plenty of friction from the spinning impeller going no where.
The same scenario as with ejector "Jet" water pumps. If the pressure drops, and the flow is restricted, friction causes cavitation/steaming and the longer it runs, the more air it makes that goes into the system.
I saw it again the other day. Someone wanted to know if an in-line 3 piece circulator would work better than the 007 he was going to have to replace for the third time. I looked it over and decided that the problem was that the system pressure wasn't high enough. I raised the pressure and it came without purging but a lot of air. The relief valve was dripping on the floor. He kept the fill valve off. And the Extrol tank was shot. All pumps depend on a flow of liquid to keep the pump cool.
Its kind of like your lazy brother in law and the tow boat. If the boat is heavy, and you have a high speed prop on it, when you try to jerk the BIL up on the skis and you wind up the motor too fast, the prop may cavitate and over rev the engine. Back off the throttle and let the prop get back its bite. You don't want to over rev the motor or you will blow it. Put on a "Barge Prop" and try to pull him up, and you may over stress the engine from the excessive load.
Put a stethoscope on the pump body of an over pumped zone. If you hear a "guush, guush" noise, it's cavitation.

Conditions:

@ January 29, 2012 6:07 PM in 2 radiators on hot H20 get cold a day or two after bleeding now; Help?

And under the right adverse conditions, here is a situation where the circulator on the supply, "pumping away" will cause air in the system that ends up in the upper floor radiators.
But no one will believe that.
The system pressure is wromg, the pressure gauge on the boiler must not read correctly, and the Extrol tank is broken. If it is a regular expansion type tank, it is waterlogged or way too small. And the supply temperature is too high.

That's

@ January 29, 2012 5:47 PM in why the plumber connected the supply and return ends together

That 'il git 'er dun.

Utility Pumps:

@ January 29, 2012 5:43 PM in How to drain boiler without a floor drain

This pump will do you fine. Some of us have used these for years for doing about anything you can imagine.
http://www.homedepot.com/Plumbing-Pumps/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbqlb/h_d2/Navigation?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&Nu=P_PARENT_ID
I use one of these for pumping anti-freeze into systems and anywhere I need to "suck" something out. Otherwise, I use an air compressor. If it were a hot water boiler, I would drain it with my air compressor. You can't do it with a steam boiler unless you block all the air vents. And that isn't practical.