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Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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@ July 13, 2014 10:41 AM in Not Cool:

The AH is a GAF2A0A36M32SB. The number I gave you before must be a number for the instruction manual.
The Compressor unit is a 4TTB6036A.

I had all kinds of really cool and accurate temperature measuring devices that I left behind. I never thought that I would be needing or using them here.

Junk Calls:

@ July 12, 2014 10:09 PM in Anyone else getting unwanted calls from Angie's List?

I look at Caller ID. If it isn't someone I know, I still usually answer it unless it is someone really gross. But I pick up the phone. I say hello. I pause for a moment. If no answer, I hang up. The call was from a phone bank with a computer call. If I have to wait for someone to answer the light, they're too late. If it was important, they'll call back.


@ July 12, 2014 10:00 PM in Not Cool:

Its hard not to intimidate people when you know about their trade. I try to keep to myself. This guy and his company don't make me feel like when I have gone to some dentists down here. Opening my mouth is like opening my wallet. And they all want to grab what's there. For example, in the world which I worked in, if someone asked me about R-8 flex duct and I always used R-6, I would have been on that like stink on horse ship. I'd be giving a price for the entire job in R-6, and an additional increase amount for the R-8. You already know what you need and it isn't going to take you any longer to install it. Like taking Manna from Heaven. Not in Florida. We don't do that. Why be in business if you don't want to get every dime someone is willing to spend.
Last October, when I had it serviced, I knew nothing about AC. He was checking pressures and he mentioned a 10 degree Delta T. We discussed that up North, we use a 20 degree Delta T as a target. I had no idea that you could tell the temperatures by the pressures on the gauges. Knock me in the head. I asked him yesterday, "So, is it the purple scale or the green scale you're reading?" Purple. Says he. He said the pressures were OK. 7 years ago, it wasn't working properly and someone came recommended by someone. My wife called the company. They sent someone in a beater truck. The driver looked as beat up as his truck. Image is everything. It was low on gas. He told me I had a leak but he couldn't find one. That I needed to replace the lines. They went under the floor, like all the other 240 units do. We left two days later for MA and he was supposed to come and replace the leaking line. He never came back to change them.  It hasn't leaked a drop in 7 years and is still running on the same line set.
The Rheem had a lot more room inside the blower housing. The blower was all metal and the housing. This one is all extruded plastic. I could see that it might need some breathing room.
There's a formula for how much louvres cut down on a size. Maybe I need to cut them all off. They are behind the 16" X 16" filter. I took all kinds of temperature measurements with my Multimeter but I discovered that one probe stopped working and the other is way off.

Refer heads?

@ July 12, 2014 9:31 PM in Not Cool:

ReferHeads? Don't they smoke the Kind Bud? As opposed to drinking the kind Bud.
"Reefer Madness". That campy old terror movie done in the 1930's by the tobacco companies. One hit and a week later, you were dead with a needle in your arm.

Air handler:

@ July 12, 2014 9:29 PM in Not Cool:

Well, I can't give you all the information you want, but maybe this will help.

The air handler is a Trane 18-GJ52D1-3 3 ton air handler. They came together. I doubt that the compressor is part of the problem. The installation for the air handler shows that for a vertical installation etc, and heights above electric water heaters etc, that you can use side entrances for the return. There isn't any information. It faces a metal louvered door. They must have bought a kit to convert it to a side inlet. There is a bottom metal plate that covers the bottom, sealing it off. There is a side louvered plate that takes the place of the lower blower cover panel. It has a tray to put a filter in and a clip to hold in the filter. I know that plenums are important. There was no kind of plenum before, and none now. Before the filter was on the bottom. Now it is on the side. The blower assembly is much wider and fatter on the front side against the filter and there isn't a lot of clearance between the left side and the sound insulation.
It seems like it is a air flow problem and it isn't removing moisture like it could. And bad airflow because there is enough moisture left in the air to condense on the cold surfaces of the grills. It doesn't do it on every grill, just the ones closest to the Air handler. And its not coming out of the vent.
Its not running 100% at the moment because there is some sort of motorized valve as part of the expansion valve and it stopped working yesterday. Which made a low pressure control drop out and it caused a fault, overheating the compressor outside. It is supposed to be running wide open like the valve is wide open. Or so I was told. Before, the liquid and vapor line were not far apart in temperature, Now, the liquid line is the same but the vapor line is cold. Not freezing but cold. They are coming with a new part on Monday. That hasn't changed the long running times.
I've seen a lot of installs. This is a nice install and far better than the one they replaced. It sure sounds like a air flow restriction to me. I can't post photos since someone thought my camera was fanny pack and stole it to get the wallet. Which wasn't in there. I haven't replaced it yet.

Not Cool:

@ July 12, 2014 6:02 PM in Not Cool:

Be kind. I'm not an Airhead nor a chilled wet head. But I have questions.
Where I live now in Florida I bought in 2005. The AC was replaced in 1996 to replace something that was installed in 1982 with some sort of hot water recovery HP unit that had failed. Same usual slam it in system. Louvered door in a closet where the AC is, supply ducted to an unconfined attic space with flex duct. Someone lived here year around (from 1982) until we bought it in 2005. There were no signs of water damage to the ceilings around ceiling grills. If there had been, I would have noticed it. After a few years, I noticed a wet spot on the ceiling above and in front of the unit. I went up into the attic and wrapped it with more insulation and covered the duct work with more batt insulation. Which mostly stopped that. There was never any ceiling wet staining around the ceiling grills until last June (2013) when we moved here. I noticed the ceiling staining, but no worse where I had originally seen it. In other words, it wasn't leaking. At over 100 degrees the old unit would cycle on and off all day with the cooling at 78 or 77. We keep it at 79 mostly. Last Fall (October), I had it serviced. It was fine. I asked them about replacing the attic duct because of the wet spots, it was falling apart, it was 30 years old, and I wanted it upgraded. I asked them to use R-8 duct but they told me that no one around uses it and it had to be special ordered from the supply house. They used R-6 like everyone else. Turned out what I thought was R2 or R4 was actually R-6 anyway. They replaced all the flex board boxes with bigger, better and thicker ones.

While I have the money, and not wanting to face a expensive replacement 5 years down the line on a 15+ YO system, I asked them to replace it. They did a fine job. There was an issue with the new unit inside. The old unit had the intake on the bottom. Its above a water heater. The unit to replace the old one was a 10 SEER (or less from age) and the best they could give me was 14 SEER because of a height limitation through the door. I came up with using steel flat stock across the closet walls but the installer went with two pieces of hanger stock and put a cover plate and moved the intake/filter to the front where I assume it is also designed to go. It is much noisier from an airflow point than the old unit. The ceilings are staining. the unit never shuts off when the temperature is over 98 degrees OAT. It used to cycle at over 100 degrees with 77 degree inside air and not sweat. I get plenty of air from the ceiling registers, the wet isn't dripping out of the vents, it is forming on the metal in the room. It seems like there isn't enough air flow? There is much room for unrestricted air flow when the air enters from the side than would be from the bottom.

There's a lot of things that I could do but it isn't working like the old one. Yesterday, the compressor stopped for unrelated reasons. The installer came and got it going. I told him that the thing didn't work well at all, That my electric bill compared to last year with the old unit was half again as high per KWH, attributable to the AC. He said that it should go down to 75 degrees and cycle. It goes down to 79 and won't cycle. At 12:00 PM.Noon, it was 84 degrees out, and 82 in the house. I turned the thermostat to 79. The OAT went to just over 99 degrees. It has now dropped 94 degrees OAT. it went to 79 degrees after three hours and hasn't stopped running since.
What am I missing? Lack of heavy airflow to be moving air and drying it out? Is the big plastic fan cage in the well known manufacturers unit just not moving enough air? Is it too fat and restrictive in side the return box? I wish they had put in another Rheem unit. I'm suspicious of this. I know that WA/AC units like Plenums. A return plenum is out of the question. Every one of the 240 units in here is the same and they don't have plenums.
And my wife is none too pleased.
Any constructive thoughts? Any "tightening up" of the structure shouldn't figure in. Its just like a common boiler change. They don't understand the mechanics of heat loss, heat gain and the movement of moisture in Florida.
Is it true (like I was told) that in Florida, cold flows through the walls to get to the heat? Same with the moisture?

Angie's List:

@ July 12, 2014 4:09 PM in Anyone else getting unwanted calls from Angie's List?

Cold Calls from Angie's List are just from commission sales persons. Just like the calls you get for "Kops & Kids" or the Police Benevolent Associations.
Angie's List had their name bought and it is just a public repair service. Consumer's report they are not.
It cost big bucks to produce and air all those TV commercials.

Unintended deaths:

@ July 12, 2014 4:03 PM in Jury Rules That CSST is a Defective Product

During one of the storms that hit my house (twice in 6 week), there was a retired State Trooper I knew who lived in Falmouth, MA. He was sleeping in a brass antique bed. The lightning  came through the house and electrocuted him, DEAD.
Don't sleep in brass beds during a lightning storm.
The #1 cause of all human death is birth.

Your Boiler?

@ July 12, 2014 3:51 PM in Identifying boiler capacity

This might be your boiler. If it is, here's the installation manual for it. On the last page of the manual, is the ratings for all models. If this isn't the correct one, go to the Weil-McLain website for boilers and click on "discontinued equipment".

Deathh comparisons:

@ July 12, 2014 12:07 AM in Jury Rules That CSST is a Defective Product

Maybe I should have said that more people are killed in Texas after 10:00 PM at night by drunk drivers than are killed by lightning or Carbon Monoxide.
Its just what went through me in the moment. Texas is the place where a wealthy youth was DUI and hit and killed 4 people. He was found guilty in court but he got no jail time. He suffered from Afluenza. He grew up so wealthy that he would have had a hard time in jail.

Carried away:

@ July 11, 2014 10:30 AM in Bonding CSST:

 (( To eliminate any confusion , Bonding carries energy away from the system , Using the system as a pathway to Ground would be bad . There is no confusion. ))

But, is it possible that the bonding, can carry the energy to the system? That's what my question is. Like the other photo on the right. Taken with an imaging camera. Is a charge in the ground being gathered through the root system and going out condensed and hotter? Or is it the way it seems, the other way around.
From what I understand, if a quality lightning suppression company were to install a system in that house, a bonding jumper would have been installed in that location because of the danger of arc jumping from one material to the other. That's why they bond garage door tracks and metal downspouts.


@ July 11, 2014 10:20 AM in Bonding CSST:

I guess you don't realize how much time and energy it takes to drive a 10' ground rod into the ground.
I think that plumbers and heaters need to have as much understanding of electricity as the average electrician. We deal with it every day and don't always realize it. Your life can depend on it.


@ July 11, 2014 10:09 AM in Bonding CSST:

Like I said, someone asked me. I just posted the things I found.
For my experience with the issue in Massachusetts, it is up to a licensed electrician to ensure that the gas pipe bonding meets code. Even though Mass. electricians must do CEU's, and were up on bonding and grounding (there's a difference) when CSST came along, they acted like a small child given a new food to eat. They just couldn't comprehend a way to clamp the bonding wire to the CSST. Because no manufacturers made such a specific device. Massachusetts forbid the use of CSST for a period, because of lightning strikes and bonding. When the Omega-flex "Counterstrike" came out it finally was again approved but they left it up to local wiring inspectors to approve or not approve it. The wiring inspector in the town I worked in refused to approve it because of this bonding issue. He claimed that there was no specific clamp made to clamp on CSST. All the local electricians said the same thing. I blew up at one once and showed him how a standard electrical pipe clamp bonding clamp is clamped on the fitting and not the CSST tube. No matter. My wholesaler switched to the Counterstrike line. Through pressure, the WI finally relented. I don't know what or how the electricians bond the CSST tube systems. I'm a plumber. NOT an electrician.
Back in 1993 when I moved into my new house and it was hit twice in 6 weeks, I studied up on lightning. Someone gave me a bunch of stuff on it from somewhere that sold suppression equipment. They explained why "air terminals" are pointed, how positive charges and negative charged ions are everywhere (like big magnets) and that there are three types of lightning. Could to cloud, cloud to ground, and ground to cloud. Now, I only read about Cloud to cloud and cloud to ground. What happened to ground to cloud? Lightning is DC current. Like an arc welder. If you've ever been in a lightning storm, and the hair on your body starts to stand up, there's going to be a strike near-by. It least 4 times in my life, I have experienced that. With DC, the current flows from positive to negative. When my hair stood up, was the positive Ion charge going to go up near me or the negative one? When my Kohler K-181 8 HP thumper motor in my Gravely fires, the magnets on the flywheel create a charge which the coil increases and stores for a split second. As soon as the points close, the charge goes to ground through the spark plug and the charge jumps the gap and fires the cylinder. We know which way it goes. Does the charge come out of the ground first, blow up the meter and dissipate through the building bonding system or anything that has conductivity, collect itself and go back as a bolt?
I have personally seen where 4" PVC well casings with submersible pumps inside were struck and a hole was made in the plastic. If you take a piece of plate glass and shoot a BB at it, the side you hit will have a dot on the glass. But the inside will have a cone shaped piece missing out of the glass. When you strike a piece of concrete with a hammer, the force is cone shaped away from the local force. The well casings will have a small hole on the OUTSIDE, A bigger hole on the inside. And no burning on the casing. If the soil is fine enough, it will sift through the hole and ruin the pump. I tried to pull a pump after the building was hit and damaged. I had to get a back hoe to try to pull the pump. We ended up pulling the casing because sand and gravel had jammed it. That's how I found the hole. No one believed me until I showed them the evidence. Once I did, guys started to find LOTS of casings with holes in them. The electricity in the ground was after the wires in the casing to the pump and the panel. That particular one had a lightning arrestor/surge suppressor which blew the top off a PS104 pressure switch and blew the guts of the suppressor all over the cellar. Another part came in through the phone line and blew copper wire all over the panel. The charge continued through the house and went through a floor lamp, into the ceiling and blew the wooden shingles OUTWARDS as it left. The idea of air terminals and grounds in suppression systems is to give the charge the least amount of resistance to get to where it wants to go. I think that bonding should be the same. Its easy to blame the CSST if you use bad or flawed science. Texas is notorious for doing that. They snuffed an innocent man and almost snuffed another based on bad Faux fire burn pattern science. To me, its just as likely that the current came out of the CSST and jumped to the metal close by as the other way around. If that is so, then the whole issue of CSST is bogus. Perhaps the majority of strikes are cloud to ground. But when you get a ground to cloud strike, the damage is much worse. The suppression system gives the least resistance. If you are depending on the neutral/bonding system to be the suppression system, there may be problems.
They must have hellacious lightning storms on Colorado. What do they do there in Colorado on mountain homes?
The posted photo on the left with the curtain lightning. Is that a multiple charge coming out of the ground and gathering into just a few bolts before going in to the cloud or the other way around? Possibly. They used a digital camera that took 10,000 frames per second and had the ability to keep the camera running and stop it when they saw a flash. It saved the last 30,000 frames before the camera stopped to account for human reaction time. Only then were they able to catch the "Sprites".
There's no such thing as too much bonding.

Bonding CSST:

@ July 11, 2014 2:51 AM in Bonding CSST:

Someone asked me about bonding CSST. They had been told that it was illegal to bond to any gas line or CSST. I found this.


@ July 11, 2014 2:30 AM in Jury Rules That CSST is a Defective Product

But the Corporations that make them are "persons" and have the same rights as you and I.
I'm waiting to see a Corporation tried, convicted and given the Death Penalty.
Lethal Injection.


@ July 11, 2014 2:23 AM in Lightening Strikes

If they are having lightning issues, it's not my problem to fix it. I tell them to have a suppression system installed. Its cheaper than a new house or new electrical equipment.
Its not my problem, it's not my fault.
If things don't change, I'm going to call the whole thing to a halt.

Old Timers:

@ July 11, 2014 2:14 AM in CO deaths because someone cut off the exhaust:

It isn't YOUR guys that you need to worry about, its the "Other Guys".

The "Old Timers" (The old dead guys) always said to clean up your mess. To always leave it cleaner than when you got there. That you could do the best job in the world, but leave a mess behind, and customers will think you are a slob and did a crappy job. And they tell all their friends.
You can do a job that isn't quite the way you wanted it to come out, but leave it neat, tidy and cleaned up, and they think you are a hero. That you did the best job in the world. And they tell all their friends.
You save time when you police your area of work. You save time by not having to hunt through the ship to look for things.

Twisted Knickers:

@ July 11, 2014 2:06 AM in Did my plumber "F" up my system?

Before you get your knickers too twisted up, make sure that it doesn't work. If it does, blood can flow into the face and the tips of the ears can get hot.
Hydronics, Hot Water and Steam are usually forgiving. They either work or they don't. Some Pro comes along and does something absolutely by the book, and it doesn't work. Some Hackaroo comes along and has a miscarriage on it and it works like a champ. Go figure.
As far as having a "Plumbing Inspector" inspect it, "Plumbing Inspectors" inspect Plumbing. They don't inspect heat. They may not have any special training or experience. They might just prognosticate an opinion.  "Mechanical Inspectors" inspect Mechanical things like heat. There's a difference.


@ July 10, 2014 8:30 PM in Icesailor are you there?

Delta is NOT a stellar valve. The balancing spool is smaller than a pencil.
Be sure to check the shower heads. Be sure that the flow restrictors are in place.
The standard Symmons shower head that comes with a S96-1 or 2 gives you a feeling of a lot of pressure with the restriction in. And remember and remind them, if someone is on the second floor in the shower, and someone starts one on the first floor, there will be a big drop in pressure. About -1/2# per foot to the shower head on the second floor from the 55# at the service entrance.
If the service coming into the house is 3/4" Poly (PE), it is only 5/8" Inside diameter. If you are to replace it, do it with 1 1/4" SDR 160/200# Poly pipe. If it is a CTS, it will equal 1" ID. The 1" is only 3/4". Even if you just replace from the curb to the cellar wall, you will improve pressure and flow.

CO deaths because someone cut off the exhaust:

@ July 10, 2014 8:19 PM in CO deaths because someone cut off the exhaust:

I don't know if this link will post so anyone can read it.
Its from a July 7 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Online. A Contractor is being charged with Manslaughter for his employees cutting off the venting on a direct vent boiler to install a door in a garage and leaving it un connected. The owner turned on the boiler remotely with his Smart Phone and when he got there, the house was full of CO and they died.

Flow Pressures:

@ July 10, 2014 3:25 PM in Icesailor are you there?

Steamhead and Rob are right.
From where you describe, the gauge on the sillcock is OK. Turn on the showers and see if the pressure on the sillcocks drops. If it does, its a service issue. Like Rob said. you can get a lot of water through 3/4" copper tube. 1" would be better but like  Rummy said about the army going into Iraq. You go with the Army you have, not the one you wish you have. Same with water services. Its never too big and can always be bigger.
Remember, the showers on the second floor will ALWAYS have less pressure than the first floor. Make sure that the flow restrictors are in the shower heads and not removed. They make nice new flow restricted shower heads. They really work and mostly, they feel like there is more pressure.
Personally I'd go to the municipal water provider if it is city water. Find out if they can tell you what type of shut off valve they use. Is it a full port ball or plug valve or is it a globe type Stop valve. Which is very restrictive.
Try to locate any and all restrictions before you go to a booster pump.

Looked everywhere:

@ July 10, 2014 12:34 PM in Lightening Strikes

I looked everywhere on Nat Geo's photo web site.  I think it might have been in a July 1993 issue on Lightning. That's when I was hit twice in 6 weeks and had suppression installed.
It is somewhat like this one except that a main bolt hits the tree. In 1993, they didn't have the high speed digital cameras they have now. It had to be an "Accidental" shot. One that appeared on the photo. Like all those photographic shots of flying saucers or Bigfoot.

Or maybe Nat Geo chose to not show it anymore because it would scare people. There always Adult size Depends for golfers.
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