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


Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on April 20, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts


@ January 23, 2011 10:59 PM in nozzles

All nozzle brands are not the same.
I strongly suggest contacting the burner manufacturer for what they recommend when they were spec'ing Hago's. The cost of a phone call is cheaper than a free service call.


@ January 23, 2011 10:52 PM in CPVC and Air in the System

Ah Mark,
that'just a trifling thing. It will be working when they leave. It's for "others" to worry about it. And the first one to tell them it is wrong will be labeled an a$$hole and they will hire someone else to tell they did good.

Water Pressure:

@ January 23, 2011 10:21 PM in water pressure

You have more issues than a water booster system.
What kind of a well pump do you have?
What kind of well do you have? Is it a 4" casing with a submersible pump with the pump in the casing or is it an ejector pump with the pump on the ground with line(s) going down the well.
How far to water.
How many GPM's does the well produce.
It's important because it determines whether you can use a booster pump or just need a different pump. Actually, you don't need a booster pump.
Give me the information and I will tell you what you can do. 

Bad Oil/#6 Oil:

@ January 23, 2011 3:12 PM in Bad Oil??

I just noticed that this is #6 oil. Are you sure it is #6 and not asphalt? Even if it is #6, you know that you must do a lot of different things with that stuff. Maybe it isn't hot enough. I don't remember if there's a difference between #6 oil and "Bunker C" but I think that Bunker C is a poorer quality fuel. I'd be calling the oil company and asking for some answers.
That's a really specialized product.

Hago Nozzles:

@ January 23, 2011 3:01 PM in nozzles

Here's the Hago/Danfoss Website.
Ask them.

Hago Nozzles:

@ January 23, 2011 2:58 PM in nozzles

It's my understanding that Hago nozzles were bought out by Monarch or Danfoss. If you want Hago nozzles, I am told that they are available but you must special order 192 (16 dozen) nozzles of the same size.
I would suggest that if you have an application that the manufacturer is recommending a Hago nozzle for your application, you contact them for assistance in what they recommend in their burner. Most of Carlin and Becketts suggest Delavans.

Firefighter Madness:

@ January 23, 2011 2:46 PM in Oil Burner Madness

The Volunteer firefighter should stick to putting out fires and leave the rest to Pro's like those of us who try to make a living doing such.
The guy who told you that a used oil tank was cheaper than a new one must be a firefighter, New oil tanks are cheap. If the oil filter is outside above the tank, it doesn't belong there. It belongs snuggled up to the oil burner. Right next to the heating appliance. A old, dirty tank costs money from a shortened life and crud in the tank. Causing more service calls.
The new oil piping should have been a two pipe system. Then, the oil is always cold and gels the filter. If a one pipe system is used, then you have vacuum issues. A vacuum leak will break the syphon. A Tigerloop is the only solution and the correct install for this equipment.
If the tank could have been installed inside, it should have been installed there. Oil tanks don't belong outside if it can be helped.

System corrosion:

@ January 23, 2011 2:18 PM in CPVC and Air in the System

I don't know about PVC and CPVC but the Taco circulator has the wrong gaskets installed. I don't know about the rest. Those red rubber gaskets aren't OEM, the black square cut O-rings are. If the manufacturer wanted you to use red rubber gaskets, they would put them in the box. Does the fact that they only sent the black square O-rings tell you anything?
Using PVC and/or CPVC in the heat side of a hydronic heating system sounds like a bad idea gone worse.


@ January 23, 2011 1:55 PM in A little survey

I haven't seen anytrhing I needed that was cheaper on the Internet than it was from my supplier. In other words, it's cheaper to buy from a Mechanica Wholesaler. My wholesaler selss products bought directly from the manufacturer or a Manufacturers Rep. I get a warranty. Not so from Internet suppliers. Internet suppliers find wholesalers who will sell them products on the cheap.
If Weil-McLain, HTP or Veissmann start selling on the Internet at the prices I pay, I'll stop using their products.

Oil Burner Madness:

@ January 23, 2011 9:09 AM in Oil Burner Madness

Your idea of "new" and replacement aren't the same. You said you replaced the old outside tank with a "used tank". Used tanks are usually full of sludge. Just waiting to be cleaned off by new oil. Did you use a canister type filter like a General or a Fulflo F4B? Change it to a Garber Spin on and use the restriction gauge on the filter to see what the vacuum is. Did you use flare fittings on the copper or compression fittings.
If you need to bleed the fuel system after it goes off, you have a vacuum leak. Did you use a two pipe oil system to go into the top of the tank? If you only used one pipe, how did you connect the dip tube into the top of the tank? With a union/coupling?
You need a Tigerloop.
The reason you can't find any oil burner techs to service your burner is because you have tried to save money and either done it yourself or hired handypersons to do your installs. No one likes to follow up after a $&&& job and fix what is wrong. So the oil tech doesn't get the work and then then don't get the experience.

Loop not heating:

@ January 23, 2011 8:47 AM in 1 radiant loop not heating

I may not be telling you anything but, if you can get into the return piping of the loop, take an air compressor and blow it backwards. If it is possible, you might blow out the obstruction.
I recently was called to a high end house that had just had an addition. The contractor moved the cellar wall out and there was a 1' space outside the wall for the submersible well casing. The roof had an overhang, covering a deck. Under the deck was the well casing. accessed by a hatch. The outside grade was brought up to the bottom of the deck so there was just one step to grade. The grade under the deck was left alone and there was 2' from the grade to the bottom of the deck joists. Water running off the roof ended up going under the deck. Flooding the under deck. A week of rain really flooded it. Muddy water went over the well cap. The water drained into the screen that lets air into the casing. The screen filtered the water only allowing very fine sand into the well. The pump pushed the sand all through out the potable water system. I was told that I was the third person called. I blew it all out with compressed air. Even the toilets wouldn't fill. The owner had bought all the high end fixtures off the Internet. No support or availability of parts.
My portable hot dog tank air compressor is my most important tool in my truck.


@ January 23, 2011 8:15 AM in Exploding Zone Valve windings

Sorry, I used the wrong term, "phasing". Same thing though. If the system worked until the 501R was installed, I would be looking for a wiring issue.
I'm not an electrician and only self taught from needing to resolve problems "others" couldn't. Terminals #1 and #2 have another transformer load. #2 and #3 have a transformer load. Where and how they meet is where the problems may arise. They meet at Terminal #2.
I've never seen a Taco 5** zone valve head do that in 40 years of using them. If the motor can't "push" the plunger down, and can't switch the power off, maybe it could do this. But you didn't say that the valve didn't work after changing the head. So, something else is causing it.
Loose connections can cause things like this.

Backfeeding/bypassing boiler feed:

@ January 22, 2011 9:31 PM in low pressure american standard boiler

Buy a washing machine hose. AKA "A Double Hose Connection". If you get a long one, you connect one to the bottom of the boiler and the other to a street pressure hose connection. If it is a long way, add a garden hose. A "Washing Machine Hose" has two female ends on it. Add water until the pressure on the gauge reads at least 12#. If you have a tank type expansion tank, now is a good time to drain it.

1 radiant loop:

@ January 22, 2011 9:12 PM in 1 radiant loop not heating

If you can't see the manifolds, or get to them, how do you know that you purged the one not working? If the manifolds are under or in the crawl, you should call the idiot who did the install to come out and help you purge it as punishment for doing something as stupid as that. If it has never worked, maybe that's why it doesn't work. It's never been purged.

Exploding windings?

@ January 22, 2011 9:04 PM in Exploding Zone Valve windings

None of us know it all.
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
You may have checked the voltage but did you check it when the thermostrat was calling and the boiler and all the controls were working? I think that when the new 501R control was installed, it caused a phasing/voltage problem. I think you may be seeing more than 24 volts. Like maybe 48 volts. If the 5** Taco zone valves are wired the "old" way and have their own 24 volt transformer, the transformer could be bad. If you have a "Amp Mate" that will tell you the amp draw through the thermostat, it should be .9 amps. I usually wire or see them wired with three wire T stat wire with the red, white and green going to 1, 3, and 3 terminals. Take the red top #1 terminal off and connect the AmpChamp. With the thermostat calling, it should read .9 amps. Put the red wire back and try the #2, middle white wire. It should show .9 amps. Try the #3 wire/terminal the same way. The wires to the thermostat should come from the stand alone transformer. #2 and #3 should go to the TT terminals on the 501 relay. There's two sets of TT terminals on that relay because it will replace a Honeywell R832 or an R845. Because that relay will replace any relay made, it is probably wired for the wrong application and you are getting the wrong voltage.
Be EXTREMELY careful when TS'ing the power head. It's a "Wax Motor Valve" and if it overheats, and the full open switch doesn't open, the expanding wax can blow through the side of the cylinder. The only thing containing it is the coil windings around it. If the wax gets on you when it blows, it can cause serious burns.
Also, while you have the head off, take a big pair of water pump pliers and manipilate them so you can squeeze the valve open. It should open easily. It should pop closed easily. Squirt some Kroil on it if you have any. If there is any rust  around the top metal plate where the piston comes through, the piston may be sticking and causing excessive pressure to open the valve, Though, usually, it is the other way around. It sticks open.
The problem started when the relay was changed to a 502R? Look there.

Oil Tank in Garage:

@ January 22, 2011 12:55 PM in tank in the garage

You should pose this question at Firedragon. George is knowledgeable on these codes. He specializes in New England but oil things are covered under a NFPA code. I just don't remember which one. That's probably what they want. These codes are usually based on some NFPA code.

Loop not heating:

@ January 22, 2011 12:44 PM in 1 radiant loop not heating

The other thing if it has always been a problem from the beginning is that something is stuck in the tube or there is a kink under the floor. It may not be easy but I personally would figure out a way to get my air compressor on that loop an blow it back. Blow all the water out of it and see what kind of a blast of air you get back. You may have a way to close off the other loops and purge with air, that loop. If the water comes back slowly, there is something wrong in the loop.
I have a very old copper radiant plastered ceiling job that I split the second floor zone into two so I could get two thermostats. In the master bedroom, there is a circuit like this. The heat in this room has never worked properly. I know that there is a problem in this loop but I don't dare try to fix it.
I found this problem with a infra-red heat thermometer gun. Perhaps, if the loops are close to the floor, you could shoot the floor and find the loops. Then, look for the one that isn't working. You may find where the problem is. 

Impossible buffer tanks:

@ January 22, 2011 12:32 PM in Simple System, Impossible Problem.

You know, that buffer tank, piped like it is is like a DHW heater is really piped. The dip tube on the cold inlet outs the cold water to the bottom and the heated water rises. If you feed the hot water in the top and take the hot water out of the bottom, the hot water rises to the top and as the hot water goes in, the hot level drops vertically to the bottom, there it finally comers out hot. Like ME said, it is like a bubble in the line.
What I have to say to you though is that no matter how experienced an installer is, they may have no idea how flow works. They just pipe by rote and follow the dots on the plan. Had you gone there, you would have started closing and opening valves. Like you did. Like I do. There's something about getting close to the beast and feeling it work.
My old boss used to say to never trust a gauge. It might be wrong. I always like to put gauges on either side of a circulator and take the differential pressure.
Glad you found it. 

Sounds in pipes:

@ January 22, 2011 9:45 AM in Burnham Series 2 problem -- water sounds in pipes

Don't be too hard on the HVAC company. This problem with cavitation is difficult to understand and difficult to overcome on occasions. If there is a lot of restriction in the piping system, it may set up the conditions for it to happen, It can also be the design of the impeller. All impellers are not equal.

Nuclear submarines cavitate. Why not your impeller. A sub prop is the same as the prop on your outboard. I'm surprised that it didn't stop. I have a second floor zone that seems to bubble slightly when it first comes on in the AM when the clock thermostat starts up the zone. It goes away after that.

Thermostat Up/ :

@ January 22, 2011 9:18 AM in thermostat up/ temp is down

A probable cause of this problem could be that the return ducting on your WA system is too small. Or, it is being blocked by something like a rug over a return grill.grate. The furnace depends on cooler, returning air to keep it from melting down. Just like a hydronic boiler does the same. The radiators remove the heat and the cooler water comes back and picks up more heat. So to does the WA furnace. There was a time that WA systems had a supply and return in every room. Now, to keep costs down, there might be one big return somewhere.
From what you describe, the burner/furnace is going off on high temperature limit. The fan still runs, cooling the furnace HX. The fact that it did it before, in the past tells me that the system is probably working as it should, it just isn't delivering the heated air needed into the structure. Have you checked the filters and changed them? If they are dirty, that will cut down the flow. If the filters are dirty and the flow is restricted, and the burner is cycling, you could burn out the HX.
The other possibility is a bad control but normally, that would shut down the gas burner. I think you have a ducting and air flow problem.
Check the outlet air temperature at an air duct. Here is a third world way to do it. Take a kitchen meat thermometer and stick the probe end in the supply grill. Pick one that is as close as possible to the furnace. I can't tell you what it should be but over 120 would be reasonable. Higher is possible. I think that 140 or 150 is the high limit setting to stop the burner. Take the thermometer to the farthest duct and test it there. That will show excessive duct loss.
This is probably more than you wanted to know.


@ January 21, 2011 10:46 PM in Simple System, Impossible Problem.

I installed a Munchkin a couple of years ago. My son needed some work so I let him pipe it up because I was busy. He had been working for a HVAC guy doing all his hydronic boiler installs. My install was exactly like you have except yours is radiant and I had three zones of baseboard with zone valves. I drew up a diagram of how it had to be done. There was no question about how it had to be done. There was no other way. He understood what to do and how to do it.
The owner mentioned that the water was very hot at times. I looked at it and found a tee on the wrong side of another tee. When the heat zone was running, it was sending hot water into the SuperStor. Sometimes, the only way to find a problem is to cast your eye upon it. It took me a while to find the tee. It took me even longer to take it apart and re-pipe it.

Basement heat loss:

@ January 21, 2011 10:20 PM in basment ceiling insulation

Before you attempt to insulate the ceiling, plug ALL the drafts. Each and every one. Cold air infiltration is far worse than loss through a wall.
I don't know where you are or how cold it gets but when I calculate heat loss in a cellar, there are two numbers used. The wall above ground and the wall below ground. The wall from grade up is exposed to the outside air temperature. As cold as it is outside, that's your heat loss basis. From grade down, it is an average but the bottom of the wall may be 50+ degrees up to 32- at grade depending on the frost. The floor is 50 to 55 degrees. If you want to get something done and the wall isn't too porous, foam insulation from the sill down to below grade will stop the drafts. If you have drafts in the cellar, you will have them upstairs. Blowing out of wall sockets and out of ceiling lights.
In Massachusetts, on new homes, you must insulate the under floor/cellar ceiling. But if you just do the edge, back 2', or just use a 4' batt, you will stop the biggest part of edge loss. Make it as thick as you can and cover the whole thickness of the rim joist. It's nice to have warmth in the cellar but insulating all the heat pipes will pay for the cost of insulation because you will not be loosing heat you can use in the heat emitting units. If you make the cellar really air tight, you won't be having frozen pipes. And I've fixed a lot of frozen pipes.