Joined on September 13, 2010
Last Post on March 9, 2014
@ November 28, 2010 2:05 PM in attaching building heat loadMore likely, it was gravity converted to forced hot water with a circulator than steam. If the pipe sizes to the radiators are the same size on both sides of the radiators, it was probably gravity hot water origonally.
@ November 28, 2010 11:29 AM in what is the proper way to size a replacement boilerHVHECHCCA,
You forget that your boiler is always oversized until you reach design outdoor temperature. You are doing what I do by manipulating the outdoor temperature with boiler water temperature.
If someone doesn't have $10,000 in spare cash hanging around and they want to improve their system to save ca$h, they will go with what they can afford.
I get the majority of my work by giving customers choices. From doing nothing to the most. Somewhere in the middle, I will find a good place. In your comment, I see the words "not much more" over and over. It's like the person who goes into a kitchen and bath store to re-do their kitchen. They start with all they want. Then work their way DOWN to what they can afford to live with. All those "not much more's" will add up quickly.
Don't think I am opposed to technology for technology's sake. I'm putting a Veissman Vitodens 100 in next week. The ONLY thing the customer will accept for heat emmitters is in the floor powered fan coils units. There isn't enough floor space for radiant floor. But you dance with the one who brung you.
Did you ever hear of a Cost/Benifit analysis? Everything I do uses them. I've never seen these "add-ons" help that much. When I might loose the job to someone who doesn't do anything high tech and makes a mess. In which case, I may be back to try to fix it.
Then, I see a lot of the ones that are hopelessly messed up. Like the one on the board here with the exhaust vent in a corner with an entrance door on one corner and a window on the other. Totally illegal. I KNOW that that is in the install manual under "venting". On hat alone, the CEA should have failed the install. Where I work, the chances are zero to none of ever getting that passed. Nor filled by the LP provider.
You can't fix stupid.
@ November 28, 2010 11:07 AM in CSST bonding...Mike,
There is another part to the CSST equation that is never, ever mentioned. And that is the conductivity of Stainless Steel. It $ucks. Silver wire is the best but too expensive. Copper is the best practical but expensive. Aluminum is a good choice but it doesn't have the conductivity of copper and so you must up-size the wire size for the same load as copper. Whatever carries electricity well, also transfers heat or cold well. Copper coils with aliminum fins. Steel fin tube radiation has a much lower BTU output ber foot than copper fin tube of the same size.
Stainless steel is a terrible conductor. They came out with SS CTS tube in the late 60's and a lot of guys used it on heat. You could hold your hand thre inches from where you were soldering and not feel heat. The solder didn't stick and the back of a fitting wouldn't get hot. Hence leaks.
It is a terrible conductor of electricity. Ever see overhead SS wire?
Lightning likes to travel on things it likes. I'm not questioning the bonding requirements. But judgeing its poor conductivity and being insulated, I wonder about the kerfuffle.
Besides, I always thought that the NEC required that anything connected to an electrical appliance had to be "bonded" to the electrical system. A gas stove, connected to a 3 prong outlet doesn't constitute as "bonded" if the gas piping system isn't bonded to the grounding system.
My new home (2000) has a hole drilled through the concrete floor with a rotary hammer and a 10' ground rod driven into the ground. Under the 200 Amp panel with the panel ground run out the bottom of the panel and directly connected to the ground. Connected to the neutral bar in the panel. How easy is that?
@ November 28, 2010 10:40 AM in Long thread on metallurgy/mod-cons?"Metallurgy" shows no results. Another search string?
@ November 28, 2010 10:36 AM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"In Massachusetts, we are required to have 6 hours of Continuous Education with an approved source to renew our licenses. Inspectors do more. I think they do monthly classes with the State Board of Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters. The Board is very serious about ALL the inspectors being on the same page as our code book. An inspector is not supposed to be able to say "I like to see it done THIS way." when the code book clearly says you can do it another way and you did it that way. You can now call the Board for an instant determination. It' made it a lot easier if you work in different towns. They also have "Depity Dawgs" sneaking around that can write you up for an insta violation. Like unsupervised apprentices on a job or worse, unregestered apprentices.
The Continuing Education is worth every penny.
@ November 28, 2010 10:27 AM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"A sepeate HW line to a DW and clothes washer is acceptable in all jusisdictions as far as I know.
If 125 works for you, by all means, use it. It is when you have very small water storage tanks that run out of 125 degree water where you need higher temperatures. Or you have thermostatic single lever valves that need higher hot/cold differentials (hotter hot water) to work where you need it.
Whatever works for you.
@ November 28, 2010 10:14 AM in what is the proper way to size a replacement boilerJDB,
Here is my conundrum on outdoor reset. You are at whatever you have "set" the temp. curve. It is a 20 degrees outside. The brains have decided you need 140 degree water to maintain the inside temperature at 70 degrees. Life is good. Susie teenager and her little sister get in the shower for their 1 hour each morning shower. The tiny "effecient" hot water indirect comes on to heat the domestic hot water. The priority takes over. You have no heat in the house until the priority is satisfied. As the house cools to 67 degrees or less, it equals lowering the outside temperature to 17 degrees or more. But the brain trust can't figure that out. When the priority is done and the brain trust comes back to heat the house, the water temperature drops to 140 degrees but it should go to maybe 145 degrees or more. Meanwhile, you have a cold house. Unless you set the thermostat up and the brain trust knows what you did, it will take more time to heat the house back up. If they made inexpensive potentiometer thermostat, outdoor reset could work. I don't know of any. I'd go for it in a minute. A flaw in the ointment IMO.
Think it doesn't happen, it does. I've seen it more times than you can imagine. If you ask the client, they may not realize it is happening. Ask the right questions and you will find out.
That is why you can not use set back thermostats with outdoor reset. You are manipulating the outside temperature with the inside temperature.
My home has setback thermostats. I get up at 4:30 AM. Four zones are set at 55 at night. 3 come on at 4:00 AM. I get up at 4:30 AM. They shut off again 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM and shut off at 9:00 PM My high limit is set for 165 degrees. It is warm in the bathroom when I get in the shower. It wouldn't be if I used re-set. I know. I've done that before. It wasn't satisfactory. The one with the longer hair than mine made an untimatum. "Turn that thing back up. It's cold when I get up. Or when I come in from outside." I did.
If clients don't understand this concept, they will think you screwed up. And blame you for a poor job. The next person along may know less than them and agree. There goes your reputation.
Been there, done that.
It's no different than with excessive infiltration in ceilings with recessed lights and soffit vents. It's cold.
@ November 28, 2010 9:42 AM in R Value of stoneYou have a difficult building to do an accurate heat loss on.
2' of stone is basicly uninsulated. It isn't much different than a poured concrete wall. A 8" wall equals 0.670 and a 12" wall equals 0.560. Therefore, there is some factor of resistance to the other foot of thickness. A 12" brick wall is 0.33. But brick has more resistance.
As far as "horse hair", that is most likely in the plaster. It was used to bind the lime/sand plaster together. What I have seen in some New England is eel grass, placed in bags and stitched together to form rolls and rolled in like modern fiberglass insilation. Burns good too.
You can use the IBR/GAMA H-22 heat loss guide to walk you through but I wouldn't recommend using it for a first try. You have a very difficult building to do a accurate heat loss. The new guide is not as easy to use as the old one.
@ November 27, 2010 10:07 PM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"Ron,
If the 2.5 GPM flow restrictors are in place in the shower heads, that's 150 gallons per day for showers. More if the restrictors are removed.
@ November 27, 2010 10:03 PM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"Phil,
Here's the poop.
Massachusetts led the way and now all code authorities deal with scalding in the same way. I don't know how CEA's deal with it in your area but, in mine, to get a final permit on plumbing installs, like a bathroom or water heater replacement, the CEA always checks the temperature of the hot water. It seems to go up and down but I think at the moment, it is 125 degrees. If the water coming out of a shower head is over 116'F, it is a failure. If the water coming out of a hot water faucet is over 125'F, it is a failure. Back when, electric was king and they wanted you to use all you could, it was determined that a 80 gallon was the best for family use. They started with 50's, switched it to 80's and had to drop back to 50's because they had origonally allowed the 50's. Their worry was running out of hot water. But, if you take a 50 gallon water heater and raise the tank temperature, you theoretically increase the size of the tank. If you think that this will do for a family, 50 gallons of 125' hot water, you will be surprised. They run out. But if you turn it up, you will fail. So, if you turn up the temperature in the tank, you increase the size of the tank, in theory. But if you install a Sparco mixer, on the water heater, and mix it back down, you can pass the 125 degree requirement and have more available hot water in the tank. A lot of places only have 40 or 30 gallon electrics. Electric's with 4500 watt elements only recover 18 gallons per hour. Regardless of the size of the tank. The Sparco/Honeywell unit is nice because it connects directly to the top of the water heater and has checks. Plus, it has a recirc. port.
As far as dishwashers are concerned, they don't use that much hot water and the amount they use isn't all that much. And the cold water detergents work very well. If you let the heater heat the wash/rinse water, turn off the drying. The dishes will dry on their own from latent heat from the dishes and machine.
Do the numbers. Pick your rise differential and the weight of the water. How many BTU's per hour to heat it. Say 2.5 GPM. Then, take the same in a heating situation. A 20 degree rise at 1 GPM. A domestic hot water heating load is way above residential heating. I have a customer that has 2 Bock oil fired #73E's that are rated at 244.000 BTU's each at 1.75 GPH. They run out in an instant is not careful.
Remember, you do not recycle domestic hot water. Like you do in a heating system.
@ November 27, 2010 7:58 PM in Another Bad RadiantBob,
It's a gravity job. Couldn't you tell?
@ November 27, 2010 7:51 PM in Vibrating Munchkin boiler???Mark,
I hear more stories about first time ice sailing disasters. It's kind of like some of the disasters here.
There is more to sailing than making a set of skates, putting a sail on and taking off. For one thing, it is usually blowing too hard when these trips are started. And putting a soft water sail rig is way too powerful for ice.
Check out , New England Ice Yacht Association. We are the largest ice boat group in New England with over 250 members. We have a Yahoo Group. If you want to see something really awsome, go to YouTube and search "iceratz". Jeff Brown, a good friend. He shot some videos and posted them there. We had some awsome sailing at Lake Winnipasaukee, NH last February. We had around 100 boats over three days on a plate that was about 7 miles long and 5 miles wide. It was awsome. There are two videos. Winni #1 and Winni #2. Two is better. Then, there is one on Free Skates on Waquaket Lake on Cape Cod. These are sailboards/snowboards with skateboard trucks and skates instead of wheels and a sailboard sail. Jeff holds the world "iceboard" speed record of 62.+ MPH. We all carry pocket GPS's to keep track of our speeds.
There's a lake up in CO where some guys sail but from what is reported, the ice is good (sailable) seledom and it blows like stink most of the time. Not fun.
The boats are all home made so what you see is usually made by the person sailing them. I built my DN in 2007. The hull weighs 42# and has not one screw or nail in it. All expoy glue. The whole boat, skates, sail, mast etc weighs 147#.
Someone describes ice sailing as "The most fun you will ever have with your clothes on". I agree.
@ November 27, 2010 6:43 PM in Combustion AnalysisWohler and Testo 327's seem to be the most popular. You only need to swap a part to rebuild them.
A oil company I deal with has a stack of Bachrachs they used and needed the "pile" to have one available while broken ones were being serviced.
But, taking a class will help. But no substatute for experience handling the equipment. I do oil and I'm still learning. The new electronic models like above have moved everything to a new level.
@ November 27, 2010 5:32 PM in Another Bad RadiantThis is why I don't even bother doing a work up on this stuff. To do it right, costs$$$. Someone will come along and quote a "Air Price". Something pulled out of the air.
I can tell you that it will cost a lot of money to fix it and I can't tell you how long it will take, And when done, it still may not be acceptable.
And you would never get away with venting that thing like that in Massachusetts. Here's the one thing about Massachusetts. The person who takes out the gas permit is legally responsible for the venting. YOU CAN NOT SUB IT OUT TO THE PLUMBER Unless that person is legally (by code) employed by you. Where I work, it is all LP if you want gas. The main LP supplier would not EVER, fill a tank when it is vented like this. It doesn't meet any code I was ever examined on.
Crap like this gives the whole profession a bad name.
And we don't need no damn code and inspections. Let the buyer beware.
Sorry for the rant. This affects all of us.
This belongs over at www.HVAC-talk.com on their "Wall Of Shame.
@ November 27, 2010 5:19 PM in what is the proper way to size a replacement boilerMaybe someone in your company is more experienced than I. Honestly, I don't know that much. I need a crutch.
Me personally, I first, before anything, do a heat loss of the total building. That's room by room. Then, I do each room and the installed radiation. Then, I compare the installed radiation with what the room needs. This is 99% lower than what is installed. Usually. Then, what is the heat. Steam or forced hot water. Gravity hot water is the same. If it is FHW, I size the boiler for the load. Plus 1/2 again for domestic hot water. Or the not the smallest boiler that will fit because that one may run like crap and the next one up will run better. I hate explainations if things don't go well.
Steam is another matter. I add up all the heat emitting units (radiators and size the boiler to that. It is my understanding that a boiler with not enough nuts to fill them with steam could be unacceptable. A 50.000 BTU house with 100,000BTU's of radiation will no work with 60,000BTU's of boiler nuts. Well.
I don't do steam. so I don't need to worry.
With FHW though, insulation and other factors may have been added since the origonal install. Not to worry. That means you have pleanty in reserve. Besides, the domestic hot water load is the major load. It is a peak load, 365 days of the year. It may often, in normal residences be much higher than the heating load on the worst design load day.
Take the IBR course if they still have them or one like it. It's fun and easy to learn. And you sure will know what the heck you are doing.
That guy that figures it "from experience" will hate your guts because YOU know something that he doesn't and doesn't care enough to learn it. You do.
Go out and have fun. You won't regret it for asking, trying and learning. Like those of us here who gave enough about a rats red rectum to learn it.
If you get the Slant Fin free program, that is the easiest to learn. An idiot can use it. Learning the IBR thing will explain it.
If you get the IBR/GAMA H-22 heat loss guide and the #250 advanced design manual, and teacjh them to yourself, you will know more than most guys who work in the supply house. And your competition.
That's what I did.
@ November 27, 2010 11:34 AM in Vibrating Munchkin boiler???Is this thing on LP or Nat. Gas?
Does it cycle on and off AND viberate?
It could have a "Swirl Plate" plate problem.
I don't want to get into that unless requiired. That is a combustion issue. I'll see what is said and I'll see what I want to say about it. The age is right. It's complicated and I have my own ideas if this is the problem.
@ November 27, 2010 11:28 AM in circulator issuesYour confused?
B-1 and B-2 are the burner connections. The "damper" whatever it is shouldn't be connected there. It should be on the primary burner control (orange) so that if it locks out, it stops. The "Z" terminals are "ZC", Zone Control, and "ZR", Zone Relay. they are either powered, or not. Either or Or. One is powered when the other is not. One sends power to the burner through the high limit and the other sends power to the addidional circulator(s). I don't think it should be jumped. Something isn't right.
This is an oil system? Or is it a misapplication of this control. It's pretty straight forward except for the XC/ZR terminals.
@ November 27, 2010 11:18 AM in circulator issuesDo you have multiple circulators? I am questioning the use of the red "Z" connection. The ZC/ZR terminals are for additional circulators that when powered, will start the burner and stop the circulators. Many mis-use these terminals if they use them at all. For lack of understanding on how they work and functions.
It is a thing of wonderous beauty when they are properly used but a disaster when not.
There shouldn't be power on the terminal coming back from the circulator or C-2. That is the neutral. Hot neutrals are often an indicator of something seriously wrong.
@ November 27, 2010 11:12 AM in circulator issuesThe tick tracer shows presence of "any voltage". Now, you need to find out how much and if there is any amperage. You need a Amp Clamp. You may have voltage but no current draw. If no current draw and voltage, the motor is toast.
At least, that is how it usually works for me.
@ November 27, 2010 11:08 AM in Radiators on the basement levelSystem pressure has nothing to do with radiators in a cellar. Second floor maybe in some cases but not here.
Tell us more. Did this just happen or has someone done something to the system recently to cause this?
More info needed.
@ November 27, 2010 11:04 AM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"Ron, in a sense, agrees with what I am saying. One that 70a's $uck. And maybe now, Watts is setting them to not go over 120 degrees because that is a new code standard fordomestic anti-scald hot water.
However, if you do what he suggests and you aren't careful, if you get a call with a cold start, and the domestic hot water pump comes on without being wired to stop on cold, like a "low Limit" circulator setting would, you can "suck" all the hot water out of the hot water tank and it will be used to heat the house. Or, it is "transferred" to the heating water from where it had been stored for later use as domestic hot water.
This is why you have "priority control" on these controllers. So you do not "suck out" all the stored hot water in the domestic hot water tank. if they both come on together.
When you want hot water the most is in the AM when you get up, shower and get dressed, cook breakfast, do a load of clothes and run the dishwasher. And go off to work or school. AND you want to be warm and toasty. If during this time, any of these demandsare not met, because "The Cheapest" of the ones in the home want it so, will quickly find that "the one that desires the most comfort" will rule and all these techie ideas will be put to rest. Or at least when that person occupies the living space. I find that person to be the one with the longest hair, delivers the children and offspring of the same gender. There is nothing like the scorn of a woman in a cold shower with wet hair and soap that won't come out because of lack of cold water.
As I have said before, Watts 70a's $uck. Maybe this is another reason they do now more than ever.
@ November 27, 2010 10:47 AM in reflector in atticH. Rod,
There are trade offs in life. What may work in a chicken house may not work so well in a residence. I've not seen a lot of 100 year old chicken houses but I've seen a lot of 100 year old homes with failing roofs.
A 24'X48' ranch home is 1152 square feet. That comes out to $518.40. You can get a nice fan and thermostat for that.