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icesailor

icesailor

Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on July 24, 2014

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Trailers:

@ July 16, 2014 9:26 AM in need help and ideas with tiny home floor

Sounds like a lot of money to spend on a throw away trailer.

Asking for help:

@ July 15, 2014 11:24 PM in Bouncing Gas Pressure

If you are pointing at me, sometimes in the REAL world, you get in situations where you've exhausted all hope of help, and they have basically left you to your own devices. Someone once said that the best bilge pump for a sinking boat is a guy, up to his knees in water with a 5 gallon bucket. When you are given a situation to resolve, and nothing resolves it, and everyone you ask has no solutions, where do you turn? You turn to yourself. By that time, it is hoped that you have enough experience to know that you have to turn off pressure to any and all appliances.
You do what you have to do. Or you tell them to call someone else. "Someone else" may know less than you. But they will never call "someone else" being you ever again. In this case, you or I aren't there. We can't use that intuition we develop with experience. If you have a supply issue, the supplier will deny with their dying breath that there is anything wrong with their supply. Until you overwhelmingly prove they are wrong.
"Water in the air that I could put into the gas line and cause rust?" I have an air dryer that I can quick connect to my compressor. You can't have water vapor in the air when you use a paint spray gun. Water specks in the finish paint. If there is a water trap pocket, where did it come from?
Some times in life, all the fancy tools don't solve it and you have to do like the old dead guys did. However they could.
As a plumber, someone once said that no matter how old you got, you still need a shovel in the truck. Because you will need it. Even "Old Man Bartlett" in his 80's needs  one and uses it.
Or like my old dead boss said, when you get to this level, you're supposed to know what you are doing.

Sizing:

@ July 15, 2014 8:46 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?

Before you get too carried away, I'm quite sure that whomever installed the second boiler didn't properly size the chimney flue and the total of the three appliances can't be vented into that flue. And when they install the liner, they will reduce the size and venting capacity of the chimney. That MIGHT be a 20" X 20" chimney with a 12" tile. If no tile, it will be a 12" round corrugated liner. That looks to be like a 40' chimney. Remember, part of the function and size is for the flue to get hot and stay hot in a certain period of time. If the 3 or 4 sided chimney is too long, it won't get hot and that is why it is illegal.
Me personally, I quake at the thought of patching the place where the chimney was if you take it down. Someone will always know where it was, no matter how hard you play with the stucco. If the appliances are all gas, the gas code is very specific about venting into masonry chimneys. Someone may not know and tell you that you are fine. Someone else might come along and tell you that it can't be done. Just because some chimney liner installer says it can be done, doesn't mean he is correct. I'd be sure that all the AHJ's bless it 3 times before I went ahead. Massachusetts made 3 sided and long 4 sided chimneys illegal for upgrades. Flues can be too small AND too BIG.

Electric heat baseboard:

@ July 15, 2014 8:33 PM in Electric Baseboard Vs Hydronic Electric Baseboards

Are you sure that the 72" electric heat baseboards are 120 volts? That's unusual. 72" baseboards are usually 240 volts. They should be wired with #12 wire. Where are the thermostats now? On the units or on the wall?
You really sound like you need a qualified electrician to figure out your problems. If you have single pole breakers in the panel for each of the 4 heaters, you have 120 volt heaters. But if they are run as "Home Runs", it is possible you can use the white wire as the other leg of the 240 volts. But you can't have shared neutrals. What is the rating on the rating plate on the heaters? How many Watts/Amps?
If the whole house is electric heat, you can add a boiler and just replace the electric baseboard heaters on the first floor. Just replace the electric with equal length hot water baseboards. DON"T rip out any wooden baseboard. The equivalent FHW baseboard will be greater than the output of the electric baseboard. Leave the 2nd floor electric heat baseboards in place and connected. The first floor will heat the second floor. You can use the electric on the second floor if it gets too cold.
It worked for all the electric heat conversions I did. And you won't have to rip out any walls to run pipes.

Sidewall Power Venting:

@ July 15, 2014 8:16 PM in Looking for a direct vent oil burner -

There may be balanced draft, direct vent oil burners that work. They don't work in all places.
My limited experience is that sidewall power venting was far superior to a chimney that had poor draft characteristics.  If you install a decent properly sized sidewall power venter, it is far better than a leaky 3-sided chimney of a long unlined one. If you are in a location where draft can have extremes, you're better off with a Sidewall Power venter.  At least you will have consistent draft. The ones that have problems are usually not properly set up with analyzers.
Some people are so conservative, they would rather die than change. Yet, they jump to PEX, truly garbage. But it works. Side Wall venting works too. Sometimes. it will be your only option left.  

My intreptation:

@ July 15, 2014 6:14 PM in CO deaths because someone cut off the exhaust:

It was my original interpretation was that no permits were taken out to move the exhaust. I don't know what the regulations are in California building codes are but where I was from, disconnecting gas vents is considered a "modification" and needs a permit and inspection.
That all may be true, but how many times have I seen things taken out and re-installed by unlicensed and untrained workers with out licenses and permits.

Leaking Flashed Chimney's:

@ July 15, 2014 1:00 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?

The only thing harder to stop from leaking is a French Door.
I had a saying I used for years for guys that had French Doors they couldn't stop from leaking.
Jesus Christ was a Carpenter. Even HE couldn't stop a French Door from leaking.
I'd add 3 sided masonry chimneys flashed in to a stucco wall to that list.
Did I read that the house was built in the 1920's? The two sided lead flashings with one side behind the stucco and the other side held against the brick will pull away when the sun hits it. Letting the water in. You live in the Chicago area? In the winter time, it will blow the @$$hat off a cow. Like where I lived in New England.

WHAT IS ????

@ July 15, 2014 12:47 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?

That last picture, showing a section of all fuel pipe going into the chimney, what is that back inside? It looks like a piece of smoke pipe or liner blocking off the lower flue.
You have a 3 sided chimney that turns into a 4 sided chimney. Even if you lined it, I doubt that it could be made legal There's just too much exposed chimney. It is a hack job since the beginning. It looked nice on some architects plan. If you add up the total BTU input of the appliances and then take the size of the flue and length, it is probably an illegal chimney. It must be all gas, You can power vent the equipment through the side wall and leave the chimney. If you are having water issues, the easiest way to solve the water problems around the chimney is to remove it. To me, that chimney is calling out to every rain drop in the area. "Come to me. I'm here". Just by looking at it, I can tell you every place it is leaking. And it is down the whole side(s) of the 3-sided part. The 4 sided part just leaks into the flue and comes out wherever it wants to. I'll bet that there's 10 coats of waterproofing paint already on the chimney.

Pressure Testing with water:

@ July 15, 2014 12:00 PM in How Long

If you try to use water only to pressure test, you run the risk of over pressurization or contraction due to thermal expansion. You're way better off using compressed air for testing. Because water/liquids aren't compressible, I always figured that in Hydraulics, the difference between 0# pressure and 1,000+#, was a drop of liquid. You can compress a gas into a liquid but you can't compress a liquid into a gas. You can only decompress it into a gas.

Water removal by air:

@ July 15, 2014 11:54 AM in How Long

ME, some of us didn't have access to expensive State of the Art equipment, We had to use the third world methodology.
You have no idea how effective compressed air is at removing water from pipes unless you have been blowing out pipes with air for winterization of houses. For the last 15+ years, I drained over 100 houses per year using $200.00 portable hot dog air compressors.
If you can purge the air out of a heating system by using standard procedures and practices, you can purge all the water from a system using air. The secret is that the air is turbulent. The turbulent air will swirl and pick up water/moisture and continue to pick up more moisture. When the air at the other end comes out with no water vapor, the pipe will be dry. I found when I started draining houses with air, that there were large amounts of water left in the systems at low points that developed after time. Nothing broke. Then, there are modern installers that think that "pitch" is a musical term, "Low Points" are a bad time in your life and "Drips" are something that comes out of a faucet in need of repair or an old time slang term for someone who is stupid or a little "Ta-Ta".
A little warning about testing old PE pipe. Be sure to find some pressure rating of the pipe. Whatever the working pressure of the pipe is, test it to no more than that. Less is safer and better. Nothing excessive. If it is connected to a boiler that has a 30# relief system pressure, test it to 30#. If the pipe is 100' down, don't worry because the outside water pressure will be higher on the outside of the pipe than the inside. If you exceed the rated pressure of the poly pipe, it can split. There is a lot of 30-40 year old Poly pipe that is defective and will split with cracks so small, you can't see the cracks.
When the pipe is in operation with (say) a 12# operating pressure, the internal pressure of the pipe will be much higher than 12# at 100' below the surface, but it will only be 12# higher than the outside pressure. Whatever test pressure you choose, leave it full of air for 24 to 48 hours. If the pressure drops appreciably, you probably have a leak. It may go up or down because of temperature changes. Just be very careful to not over pressurize it. If per chance it is 100# pipe, it is very easy to blow it. Irrigation installers use 80# poly pipe. That stuff REALLY blows.

Two Hundred and eight points:

@ July 15, 2014 11:17 AM in Height vs SubCooling vs Freon Charge

The isolated place I worked only had 208 volt 3-phase, 220/240 volt single phase. I can't remember how much equipment I say that was ordered as single phase, because no sales person asked or checked if the building had a 208 3-phase service in the building and sent 240 volt single phase equipment. Then, when you had high power use and voltage drops, you could have appliances (dishwashers, electric water heaters) running in 185 volts.
Kept that water heater recovery on the low side and electric motors running REALLY hot.
They don't call the electrician when they are running out of hot water. Usually.
Its not all that difficult to go outside and count the wires on the service drop. 3 wires and it's probably single phase. 4 and it is probably 3 phase. But you still need to check. Ask me how I know.

Insulation:

@ July 15, 2014 11:03 AM in Not Cool:

The original insulation is some form of chopped up fiberglass that was blown in. When new, it was probably all fluffy. It might be 6" because the bottom chords of some of the long span wood trusses are probably 2" X 6". There are no Fiberglass batts over what is there. The insulation that I put up was 9" thick X 24" wide is over the exposed ducting in the unconditioned space. It was just to stop heat gain into the flex duct and distribution boxes. The original owner who we bought from had an alarm system installed. It appears to me that in the process of rooting around in the attic to run wires, he/they moved a lot of fluffy insulation around. It isn't all neat and tidy. There's  one of those so called "Florida Rooms" that has pull down stairs. It was renovated at sometime. The alarm system probably went in before the pull down stairs. The area in the attic ceiling where the access in the closet has no insulation. Like where someone had to start crawling. I'd like to think that in my career, I always returned insulation I took up, being returned EXACTLY or better than before I took it up to gain access. I'd be lying.
The system always worked right. But my wife was only here from November until April or May. I stayed up North to work in comfort and go sailing. The system worked fine last Summer when we moved here permanently. There were a couple of pieces of Flex-Duct that the outside covering had split and come off. The insulation falls off. I could see the clear plastic duct inside. I decided to change the duct work. My first experience with that stuff was the R-2 that was notorious for splitting off like a shrink wrapped boat. I asked for R-8. I got R-6. Which is what I had. A potential customer specifically asks for something that cost more money and you discourage them from using it when it isn't something that will cause you more time to install? Really? And you're in business to make money and someone wants to spend more money? That's  like someone wanting to do a new bathroom over and asks for a $5,000 jetted tub. But you talk them into a $200.00 regular steel tub because they are easier to install. Sometimes, they call "someone else" and they sell and install the $5,000 jetted tub. And all the other work related.
If you had a steam heat system that had un-insulated pipes, and it was pounding like a jackhammer. And you replaced the boiler and it didn't change, but you heavily re-insulated the pipes, and the pounding went away, did you need a bigger boiler or insulated pipes.
I'm ranting. Sorry.
I'll have to find someone to insulate the attic properly. Thanks for the reply.

Measuring:

@ July 15, 2014 9:11 AM in How Long

It would be easier to adapt pipe fittings to the two ends and fill the pipe with water (to be sure that it is full. Then with a standard portable air compressor Like they sell for air tools like nailers, to adapt to the pipe fittings on the poly pipe, and blow the water back into 5 gallon buckets and compute the volume of water. If you know the inside diameter of the PE pipe, it's an easy conversion to how long the pipe is based on how much water fits inside of a 10' length of the Poly Pipe. While at it, you can also test the pipe for tightness. You can also make flow tests to see how fast the water runs through the pipe and clean the pipe. You can also measure the temperature of the water going IN to the pipe before it goes into the lake, and what it is when it comes out. If you can accurately vary the flow, you might even be able to get an "estimate" of the available Delta T of the lake water circuit. All kinds of fun stuff. Something some environmental engineering company wouldn't figure out how to do but would charge big $$$$$ to do. And you'll do for nothing because they expect you to do it for free.
Adding dye can be problematic because the dye starts mixing and you never know where to stop measuring from. Ask how I know.

Temperature and humidity:

@ July 14, 2014 5:11 PM in Not Cool:

Maybe we're reading different pages.
I don't know how accurate those digital indoor/outdoor thermometers with humidity readings are, The temperature on the thermostat and the indoor/outdoor (inside portion) match closely. When the A/H is running for any length of time, the humidity is always below 50%. It is 86* OAT with 66% RH. Inside on the same thermometer, it was 77* IAT and 42% RH. If I take it outside, the RH will go up. When I bring it back in, it goes down. That's worth something.
It fits in with the numbers at PBIA at this time. 87*F, 63% RH and 73* Dew Point. If you have a inside rise in temperature and a rise in humidity, you have infiltration. If you have a rise in temperature but no rise in humidity/dew point, you have something transferring heat. I guess that would be convection/radiation. You'd be surprised at what you can tell with a IR thermometer gun. The ceramic tile floors are all 75/76*. Some places on walls near the top are 80+*, others are 78. On closet ceiling (one that I know has an insulation problem) is 88 degrees. Remember, I come from a place where 70 MPH wind speed was a "normal" North Easter. That last big draft we had back in March or April, it gusted over 95 MPH. No trees blew down. They have all been wind pruned over the years. I can't change windows and doors. It doesn't blow around here like it does where I came from. All tight single pane windows and slider doors. It might be 3+" fiberglass insulation in the walls. All the places I have worked on in the last 15 years had a minimum of 9" in ceilings. 12+ in the newer. Do something about the chimney can lights. Its over 150 degrees inside them when they are on.
I'm sure learning a lot.
I hated the saying old timers often said. "I've forgotten more than he will ever know".  Some of the people I've worked around fall there, Guys here have forgotten more than they will ever learn. And that's not much judging on the extended knowledge base here.

OAT designs:

@ July 14, 2014 8:56 AM in Not Cool:

Thanks for the information.
I try to never ask questions of someone without some clue about the subject.
So according to the ACCA/ANSI data, where I live (West Palm Beach), and Miami have the same design loads, 90 degrees. I have a moderate swing but Miami has a low swing. Therefore, if it is 90 degrees out, the unit should run continuously. If the indoor temperature is designed to be 75 degrees. Or a 15 degree Delta T? So if the OAT was 95, the indoor moves to 80 degrees. Unless you have extra capacity. So, on a day when it is 95 degrees out, if the system was designed to just provide cooling for 75 degrees inside (IAT) with 90 degree OAT, it will only maintain 80 degrees inside. Its too bad that some don't do their homework and should just stick to changing filters and parts. Leave design and replacement to those that have more than a basic understanding. It isn't like the information isn't available. "Have you ever seen any Web Site like HVAC-Talk.com or heatinghelp.com? There is an incredible amount of information available?" No, I haven't turned on my computer in over three years.
It shows.
Don't cop an attitude or get  face on if the customer asks you difficult questions.

No matter the effect of decreasing the size of the AH outlet, the heat gain will remain the same. If I have the outlet increased, I still have the same gain. My money is always better spent on lessening gains. So, my first money should go to more insulation in the largest cooling loss load in the area, the ceiling. Its like insulation DHW and heating pipes. You don't realize how much it will improve things until you do it. Massachusetts requires all DHW and heating pipes to be insulated. Great work for the insulators. I could hire an insulating contractor to insulate water pipes for less money than I could buy just the insulation.
So, what do you think of my thesis that improving attic ventilation has the unintended consequences of increasing heat gain or heat loss due to infiltration?  

Blown Air:

@ July 13, 2014 11:49 PM in Bouncing Gas Pressure

You would be surprised at what you can do with a small air compressor. You can use as much or as little air and pressure as you want. The air doesn't burn or smell.

Heat Gain:

@ July 13, 2014 11:41 PM in Not Cool:

I think that the way that the attic is insulted, it might as well not be. Just the ceiling temperature during the day when it is hot out is bad. If the thermostat is set for 79, and the room temperature is reading 79, and a IR thermometer gun says the tile floor/slab in 75, but the sheetrock ceiling is 85 and it is 95 outside, you have a serious heat transfer the wrong way. I think that the new and improved attic ventilation is helping with unintended consequences. I knew a few that thought they were pretty hot moving the air around that would get that Deer In The Headlights look if I asked them about that higher SEER doesn't do humidity as well as the lower SEER one. I'm a guy that never looked at a heating job that I didn't do a complete heat loss calculation and radiation count. Even if it was just a boiler change. Like everywhere. Everyone wants to train and license installers to install the latest high tech equipment. It doesn't mean anyone will use the best training and practices. To make sure that the consumer doesn't get screwed. Then, they can't even do a simple check to be sure that the new equipment is sufficient? I couldn't imagine how they would connect in the closet. Its a small closet. But they took 5" X 21" off one side, room they already had in the ceiling opening. So is the plenum box smaller than the original one?
Are you one of those like me, who does it yourself because someone you hire to do it for you will screw something up? When I need help, I call me.

My #1 saying about work.
There's never enough time to do it right. But always time for someone else to do it over.

PVP 40 F Water Heater:

@ July 13, 2014 6:46 PM in Ruud 40gl Water Heater Power Vent Error Code?

They didn't leave the owner/service manual with the water heater when it was installed? How quaint of them.
This might be the missing manual.
The "code" you describe isn't listed. There really isn't anything that owners can do for it. What you describe usually means a new brain/control.

http://cdn.globalimageserver.com/fetchdocument-ru.aspx?name=power-vent-power-vent-use-and-care-manual

Unintended Consequences:

@ July 13, 2014 6:22 PM in Not Cool:

First of all, I really want to thank any and all of you that have taken the time to respond. It is deeply appreciated.
I found this about the Sensible heat ratio,

http://seedengr.com/Making%20the%20Sensible%20Heat%20Ratio%20of%20Air%20Conditioning%20Equipment%20with%20Building%20Load.pdf
X
More firmly than ever do believe that anything that someone tries to do better, the laws of unintended consequences will come to play in your sand box. That no good deed goes unpunished.
So, it seems that if you go from an older, less efficient AC unit to a better and more efficient unit, AND YOU DON"T CAREFULLY UNDERSTABD WHAT CAN HAPPEN, you might want to put in the next size larger. If you have a 3 ton unit, you might need a 4 ton unit to get the same performance.
Or, you make the building loss smaller. The stories I can tell. The people dying in cellars in New England with portable de-humidifiers that had to open the windows because it was so hot and humid so they had to open the windows to cool off. I'd tell them to put in a Mini-Split. You have no idea how many Mini-Splits I sold for others to solve humidity problems. Installed by people that knew as professionals, far less than I did as someone that isn't in that trade.
Getting back to my problem, so I now have a technically smaller system than I did before. So, I either change the system, or decrease the cooling load. Which can be done by increasing the insulation and heat gain through the ceiling. Easy to do. If you really want to know that SHR ratio, you could use Miami and Atlanta as a comparison. I'm closer to Miami than Atlanta so it gives you something. It says in the article that the standard comfort level for cooling is 75 degrees. We're perfectly comfortable with 79/78 degrees.  
Plenum's: The old AH had a 16" X 20" opening. The new one has a 16" X 16" opening.
Oh ship. When they made the new supply plenum to replace the two piece  old one (part from 1982 the other part from 1996) they reduced it on one side by 5". So, now it is 21" on one side but 10" +/- on the other. Less the inside dimensions. Like the new common practice of running 1/2 CTS PEX (5/8" OD, 3/8" ID) in place of 1/2" nom. Cop Tube (5/8" OD, 1/2" ID). I think they made the box to match the original from 1982 that they had added on to in 1996.
Moisture goes to dryness and moisture also goes to coldness. The vapor barrier is supposed to be on the warn side of the equation, in the prevalent season. If the moisture gets into the wall it can condense in the wall.
(( Moisture goes to dryness and moisture also goes to coldness. The vapor barrier is supposed to be on the warn side of the equation, in the prevalent season. If the moisture gets into the wall it can condense in the wall))
And a adult beverage in a glass with ice condenses water on the glass unless you use one of those Kozee things.

So, in Florida, the faced/vapor barrier side of batt insulation should face the outside because the outside is warmer than the inside. The inside being cooler (because of AC) can cause mildew growth on the back of the sheetrock or the back side of the fiberglass insulation. In the North, the mold in on the plywood.
I guess I'll have to find someone that does blown insulation in in July. Not me. I'm so rickety that I have visions of me falling through the ceiling when I tip over.
(long) Sigh, Mother will not be happy. The other one was working fine. Just the moisture on the sheetrock. From more airflow in the attic for ventilation. And I still have moisture on the sheetrock.

Sunrocket:

@ July 13, 2014 3:05 PM in Anyone else getting unwanted calls from Angie's List?

Sunrocket?
I get junk calls from them all the time. Have you been trying to call me? The reason you haven't gotten through is because if I see your name, "Sunrocket" on the Caller ID window, I never pick it up.

Airheads revenge:

@ July 13, 2014 1:32 PM in am i hallucinating or did there used to be a subforum for forced-air furnaces

I'm not an Airhead, but a dedicated, dyed in the wool Wethead..
I've always considered air systems as a form of FM, Freaking Magic. Because I see old systems, balanced with a supply and return in each and every room, to some old ones where there was a supply here and there and you left the cellar door open because there was no back for the return on the furnaces. Then, there are all the modern ones I used to see with a supply in every room in a two story house, zoned, with a common return at the front hall over the furnace in the cellar. Then, there is The Octopus.
I read once that it takes bigger ducts to run scorched air to supply heating for a building, but if you designed it for cooling only, they would be smaller. How do you figure that in?
I also look at air systems like a hydronic system that pumps all the supply water into a big pool when it is done going through the heat emitters.  Once in the pool, another pump has to pump it back to the energy source. If the return pump is smaller than the water going into the pool, it will overflow. Unless it is a closed pool. Then the pressure goes up. Or something.
Increasing fan/air speed doesn't usually solve a problem. But a free flow with little restriction can go a long way. In a closed air system, you're really depending on the vacuum of the fan, to "Pull" the air back. If you have a leaky air system and the ducts are oversized, you have a real problem getting balanced circulation.
You always need a bigger pump if your boat has a bigger leak.
Kind of like raising the pressure in a steam system. Raising the pressure just raises the temperature. Why do vacuum systems work so well when they are tight and have no restrictions?
Just my thoughts. Worthless at best.

Photo's & Sizes:Unintended consequences.

@ July 13, 2014 12:49 PM in Not Cool:

I don't have a camera that I can take pictures with and post them. My old camera was stolen.
As far as the outlet size, it is full size as far as it can go into the attic space between the reducer at the ceiling, and between a bottom truss chord. Without measuring it, I could estimate that it might be 4' from the top of the unit to the top of the plenum box in the attic where the take-offs occur. Including the reducer.
But I think we have figured out the problems. And like you said, maybe they were here all along. How much cooling can a 1200 sq. ft. building with 8' ceilings need?
3 tons equals 36,000 BTU's? Granted, there isn't a double paned window in the whole entire house. The front faces North, the side faces West. The East is a common occupied wall. The attic is what it is.
When we bought the place, it looked fine. No peeling paint, the place looked well taken care of by an old retired Jewish widow. Who drove a car until she was 92 and sold it to us so she could move in to an assisted living facility. 3 or 4 years ago, they replaced the roofs. The roof/attic ventilation was provided by full length soffit vents on the overhangs and 4" round/square vents through the plywood a few feet below the ridge. So, all the ventilation of the hot air came from the two or 3 square roof ventilators. Now, they have full length pubic hair ridge vents to help with ventilation and cooler attics. Which I doubt are any cooler. You now have many times the amount of air flow of hot moist air. HOT, MOIST AIR!!!. So, the entire place except for the two bathrooms (small) have "pop-corn" ceilings. Sprayed on to a latex primed Sheetrock. The primer is probably some of that Spec(ulative) grade builder grade white primer that they get in 55 gallon drums. The whole place was sprayed with the stuff with an airless sprayed. Even the edges of the concrete floors. Before I tiled the floors (ceramic tile), I only had to spray it with Krud Kutter and scrape it with 3" sheet rock trowel. Wipe up the rest with warm water and a sponge. The kitchen was the first place I tackled. They had wallpapered the walls and ceiling with Vinyl wallpaper. The ceiling was falling off. It wasn't like that when we bought it. The quality primer was everywhere. The wallpaper came off the ceiling in sheets once I ripped the vinyl off. Spray the primer and It came off with a sponge and a scraper. The ceiling was quite hot during the day. I replaced the entire ceiling with a white 1/4" PVC  beaded board that I glued and nailed to the Sheetrock. End of that ceiling peeling. I painted the two bathroom ceilings that were painted with minor peeling here and there. It wasn't peeling in 2005.
Modern/new vinyl paint has a vapor barrier in it, they claim. That garbage Contractor primer doesn't and nor does the paint that holds the "Pop-Corn" particles in place. After 30+ years, it looks like it was sprayed yesterday. But, if heat flows to cold, and dampness flows to dryness, how much moisture is migrating through the Sheetrock and adding to the moisture in the room? Probably a lot. And the symptom is the condensation on the coldest ceiling registers, closest to the Air Handler. And brought on by the increased new airflow in the attic airspace with more hot moist air that is supposed to keep the attic space cooler. I'll bet that if I had a way to measure moisture, the moisture content 2" down from the ceiling, it is much higher that 12" down. Ever see a building after a fire and the smoke patterns on walls and ceilings?
What I need is a whole lot more insulation on the ceiling of the attic.
I asked the AC guy if his company had anyone that they worked with that did insulation? He said no, they never got involved in that kind of thing. REALLY.
So, you sell someone new equipment so they can save money with the efficiency, and it still uses the same amount of energy? The customers think you are a pirate. Tell them about tightening up the house AND changing the equipment, and they save big time. And you are a hero. AND, you sold new equipment. They will never tell you that they didn't save anything. They WILL when you get them to do tightening up expenditures that make it look like you really fixed them up. If they chose not to tighten up, and the cost of operation doesn't go down (like mine hasn't), you have something to blame it on. According to my thermometer, the humidity is 47%. According to my Honeywell Humidistat, it is around 54%. NOAA says that the RH ay PBIA is 63% and the Dew Point is 74 degrees. 5 miles away.

If I am at design limit, what do I do to lower/raise the limit? Cut down on heat loss/gain. I can't change windows and doors. Or insulation in stucco walls, But I can add to attics.
Of interest to me is, why might a 10 SEER cool better than a 14 SEER 3 ton unit? They are both supposed to put out the same amount of cooling energy.
I'm teachable.
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