Joined on September 13, 2010
Last Post on March 10, 2014
@ February 28, 2014 8:43 AM in changing a garber filterThere's a 1/8" NPT hole in the top of that filter that comes with a 1/8" NPT plug in it. They sell that 1/8" NPT "Restriction gauge" that replaces the plug. If you put a gauge in and have a second filter closer to the source. that gauge will tell you if you have any restriction in the line. You unscrew it to vent the filter. When you first install the gauge and the filter and you get it running, mark the face with a marker as to what the vacuum is with a new filter. The next time someone comes and they see that the needle has moved up, it shows restriction. Date the filters. So someone knows when it was last changed. If you always date your filters, and you get a call and see that there is a filter with no name and the burner isn't running, what did someone else do to it.
If the filter or line is seriously restricted, you can hear the sound of flame go down as the needle rises into the yellow and go off when in the red.
High vacuum can cause outgassing of the fuel and create gas bubbles that can drive you nuts. Use two spin on filters and keep pump strainer and nozzle strainers clean.
For those few who like to see what is inside one of those useless Fulflo or General filters, General now owns Garber. They must have known a good filter when they saw one.
Look inside the single clogged filter and you can the clean bottom where the filtered oil goes to the nest filter or pump.
@ February 27, 2014 9:22 AM in Has anyone ever heard of this?I think that someone is looking for someone to share the blame for a mistake.
There are far too many of these framing structures in existence and having no problems for this to have this problem and it not be common. Top and bottom chords are always finger jointed. The wood ends up being encapsulated with glue and resins. Its water impervious.
I'll bet they are seeing this 1/2" deflection at the first joist running parallel to a gable end wall and there is no bridging from the rim joists/first truss to the first clear span. That clear span is supported on its ends, The Gable end truss is supported the whole length by the wall.
Just because you can pull the trigger on a nail gun, doesn't mean you know what you are doing.
@ February 27, 2014 8:51 AM in Condensate drain trap question:Someone mistook my camera and case for a Fanny Pack and decided they wanted it. I have no camera now.
There isn't any problem with it draining. And how it is connected inside is proper. Its OUTSIDE that is the question. Every unit is piped the same way, all 240 of them. Each unit has two drains, one isn't used. It must be OK because after 30 years, there should be problems somewhere. I don't seem to have a problem and maybe it is the CAP (Commonly Accepted Practice) here. From a plumbing standpoint, a trap belongs below the drain, not flipped over and above the drain.
You can make a "P" Trap with three ells. Two ells connected together on the same plane. The third ell, connected to a horizontal pipe and facing down. Connecting the two ells to the downward facing ells, allows the water to make the trap. The liquid level is determined by the overflow level of the last ell outlet. If you put a 12" piece of pipe, the water in the drain has to get high enough to overflow the 12" piece. The whole length of the drain will be full to a level line, 12" above the overflow. Turn the whole assembly over 180 degrees with the 12" pipe facing down, and the level in the inside pipe becomes the lever needed to rise above the inside of the two ells.
Its not how plumbers are taught to connect or run indirect wastes.
@ February 27, 2014 8:13 AM in Furnace will run 3 cycles then shut off! Help!If "I" lived where you live and was in business doing what I did, I would be considered a "Local Tech". I wouldn't be stumped. The world is full of trial and error mechanics. I'm not one of them. Your "local Tech" is one.
It would be cheaper to hire someone that is experienced in what you need. Not someone that needs experience doing what you need.
@ February 27, 2014 8:05 AM in Proper AFG head?In installed a W-M Gold a few years ago that came with nozzle in the burner. But there was an additional nozzle in a bag. It wasn't an extra "Gift" of a nozzle, it was a new nozzle to use because the newer one worked better in the application. I can't remember the circumstances, just that they sent the proper nozzle in a bag.
Read the instructions outlined in the I/O manual. It will take the stupids away.
@ February 27, 2014 7:51 AM in PEX SYSTEMAll that debris is sand from the sand in the mortar holding your unlined chimney together. If it is unlined in the first place, it might have been parged to make the flue smoother.
I think that in a lot of jurisdictions, when converting to a gas burner, the chimney needs to be lined. Your boiler is obviously condensing. One of the advantages of cold start boilers. Oil or gas. They make water in the boilers and flue ways and rot them out if their not of a proper material. It would be doing the same thing to clay tile liners. They fall apart too. Just not as quickly.
@ February 26, 2014 5:37 PM in Condensate drain trap question:I had my AC replaced today. A very fine job. This has nothing to do with the installation.
I own in a over 55 development built in 1982 with 240 one floor units. The condenser is in the middle of the house in a closet and the drain runs 20' under the floor to the outside. When we bought the place in 2005, I noticed that there were two condensate drains coming from under the slab to the outside but only one ever shows condensate. I never thought much about it until today when the installer was talking about the drain backing up and the safety switch that would shut down the unit. Old system blows the water out, the new one does something else. Blah Blah. Being a Licensed Master plumber and having a keen understanding of traps and their function, it occurred to me that the traps were inverted and the trap dip was above the outlet. I asked the installer about it and he was clueless as to what I was talking about. I told him that if the horizontal 1" PVC pipe was pitched under the floor slab and drained to the outside, that is the ell on the end faced UP, with two other closely spaced ells like a plumbing trap, the whole line under the floor became part of the trap and would fill with water. He said it wouldn't. Every unit (all 240 of them) are drained like this. There are a lot of funny things in Florida but what the? He said that the line would drain, that it wouldn't fill up with water. Last Summer when I had it serviced, he sucked a large amount of nasty water out of the drain outside.
@ February 26, 2014 5:22 PM in How, exactly doesI put one in my 6 zone house with Zone Valves. It appeared to work well. I set the speed and it was a tad slow. It didn't catch up one really cold day. I increased the speed and it caught right up.
No more of the whole force of the Taco 007 trying to drive through the smallest zone when it was calling and nothing else. I could hear the difference.
@ February 26, 2014 5:11 PM in Proper AFG head?Steamer,
Where I worked, there was the Numero Uno oil and heating guy the world has ever known, according to him. He's joined the oilheads in the sky.
He's the one that came up with the Universal Oil Burner Nozzle. A 70 degree spray because it was between a 60* and a 80* nozzle. He bought whatever brand he got a deal on. Delavan's, Sid's and Hago's. Hago used to make Sid's nozzles. Sid's nozzles came In a yellow tube & cap with red lettering or blue lettering. I can't remember if it was denoted as "B" or "SS" (Semi Solid). But they were steel nozzles and not like the Delavan nozzles. Red's were "H".
I mostly worked on Carlin's which always used Hago 60* SS nozzles. I'd get a service call because a burner had been acting up and I would find that this guy or his crew had changed the Hago 60* SS to a Delavan 70* B. It smoked and ran like crap. I would change the nozzle to the correct one and life would then be good. Sometimes it had a red 70* Delavan. Either way, a change to the correct nozzle always resolved the situation. That and sometimes a thorough cleaning to get the soot out. I could only surmise that it was the misunderstanding of the colors. Before he passed, he trained a whole cadre of true believers in the Universal Nozzle. Becketts always had 70* nozzles. Changing to 80* nozzles always made then better
And they to the one, believe that they don't need no stinkin' analyzer. They can set a perfect fire just by looking at it.
They're smart, I'm not. I never developed that "Eye". Just when I thought I had it, my Bacharach Wet Kit told me that I was wrong. My Insight says it even more.
Its sort of like what they say about having Diabetes. "You can lie to your doctor, you can lie to yourself. But you can't lie to your (blood glucose) Meter".
You can't lie to your combustion analyzer. It will call you out every time.
@ February 26, 2014 4:49 PM in Proper AFG head?Well, it does when you consider that if say Carlin, has any amount of nozzles given to them by different manufacturers, and their issue is to get the maximum efficiency out of their particular burner in the appliance of a particular manufacturer, what works best is what will be picked. All nozzles from different manufacturers perform differently. Some Tech's like to play "Fun With Nozzles" and tempt fate with a butt bite. I prefer to stick with what works for me. I figure that the engineers that are hired by Beckett, Carlin and Riello are paid more and are smarter than me. If I have a problem and I call them, the first thing they ask is Did you test it and what were the results. If I haven't, you know what they will say. Then, they ask me what I am using in the burner and what is the application?
If you go to Carlin's Web Site and can get to their OEM burner guide, you see that some nozzles are used in some burners and others are not. They decide through actual testing in controlled environments. My environment may not be under control but it is a place to start.
@ February 26, 2014 8:53 AM in Coil Material Opinions:Everything was original to the place when built in 1982 except that there was some kind of a water coil to pre-heat the potable water in the water heater, All 240 units had them and they didn't work out. In 1996, they were all eliminated. We bought the place in 2005. What was here is what we got. I didn't want to change anything. But the duct work was over 30 years old, spliced in and broken and leaking. I was getting condensation out of some ceiling registers and staining the sheet rock ceilings. Just changing the duct work has been an improvement. Changing the rest while I can still afford it is a plus. I'd hate to have the compressor (R-22) croak in August three years from now.
As far as the flex duct over square ducting, no one does it, the boarding is cheaper, and most wouldn't pay the price for square duct. As far as the thicker, if given a choice in pricing, thinner and cheaper over thicker and more expensive, if given a choice, a lot might pay the difference. Same with the R-6 to R-8round duct. If you never offer it as an alternative, and just have the attitude that "no one wants it because no one asks for it", then you aren't serving your customers well. I would have gladly paid for thicker insulation. I asked for it. They couldn't provide it. I can't make people do things that they can't or won't do.
I had a customer that had built a new house by a "contractor" in the 1980's. It had a Carrier WA Gas furnace. The house was in a depression and got too hot in the summer. So, AC was installed. The old metal duct was replaced with metal duct with the insulation installed inside the ducts. It worked wonderfully. The owner sold the house in the late 1990's, early 2000's. The first thing the new owner did was call in a "AC Specialist". He said that the metal duct was junk and had to be replaced, that it would sweat and make a mess. It was all ripped out for 1" Duct Board. Only when he ripped out the old ducting did he realize that the whole job was insulated from the inside. The runs to the outlets were R-2 flex ducts. It was replaced with the same although R-6 was then available.
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a better idea on how to extract cash from people. Some are better at it than others.
@ February 25, 2014 9:15 PM in Venting mod con up a (lined) chimney flue?If you live in Massachusetts and your neighbors do too, and they are having problems with the snow blocking their vents, they have been improperly installed and need to be fixed. There should ne no problems with sidewall venting. If you are a licensed Massachusetts Journeyman Plumber or Journyman Gas Fitter, if YOU do the install, YOU must take out the gas permit and you are responsible for it being legal. Otherwise, the gas installer is responsible for the venting.
Sidewall venting is a lot cheaper than venting through a chimney, But I guess they are both legal. The Mass Board has some specific requirements for venting that can come in to play.
@ February 25, 2014 9:00 PM in Has anyone ever heard of this?I first must ask, what is the cellar girder made of? Laminated (built up) Dimensional lumber of some species of wood or are they some form of glued up laminated wood?
On the second floor, do the I Joists run from plate to plate or is there some built up beam supporting the center span other than walls?
Wood lumber will shrink or crush up to 1/4" in its 2" and 4", 6" etc. dimension. I've seen most 2X10-12" built up laminated beams shrink up to I" in their long dimension. Where the cellar girder is supported by a footing and lally column or pier, and doesn't move, and the mud sill joist shrinks along with all the lumber stacked up, the outside walls are one dimension and the outside walls are another. On the second floor, the middle of the house is lower than the edges. Any doors that are hinged at the outside wall and the knob is to the inside, will sooner or later, be hitting on the top. above the handle. I've seen places where I told the owner to put a screw jack under the two joists spamming the wall that the door was on and push it up. Rather than cut a wedge off the top. It has the opposite wedge on the bottom. Fix the floor and the wedge goes away.
Finally, on I-Joists, why do they call for "Crush Blocks" on the bearing ends of I-Joists if there isn't any shrinkage or crushing. There were very few jobs I ever saw them installed but they are shown in the installation instructions.
I've seen every kind of shrinkage that can be seen. And in every case, someone was all in a sweat because their house was "Settling". No, its shrinking. I'll bet I could find a few problem spots in the framing design.
Another real problem spot is crossing beams, one supporting beam resting on another one. The shrinkage is multiplied for every beam.
Someone is looking for someone else to blame for their bad design or bad application of framing principles.
@ February 25, 2014 10:54 AM in Coil Material Opinions:I don't know if your comments were directed at me.
My Condo in FLA was built in 1982. On a slab. The condenser is inside the conditioned space. The insulation/flex duct was probably R-2,5. I covered most of it with 6" fiberglass insulation to help it. A few weeks ago, when it became cool enough outside to go into the attic space, I found that a lot of the grey covering had split and fell off. I'd seen the same thing in the North where I worked. I wanted to replace all the flex duct. I wanted to replace it with the highest R Valve that I could get reasonably in.
I know about the energy codes and HVAC, being a "Heater" myself. I'm a "Wethead", NOT an airhead. But I know the drill because of the turmoil that the airheads up where I work were going through. I've seen AC coming out of second floor ducts that in the summer, would have been perfect for January, and the air coming out in January would have been cold enough for July.
I had them replace ALL the flex duct and Duct Board. Duct board was 1", now 1 1/4". I read somewhere on a forum about how the "Pro's" buy their HVAC materials from Professional Wholesalers. "Others" get it from Home Depot or Lowes. Where the thickest they stock is R-6. That the code requires R-8 in "unconditioned spaces". I asked about them using R-8 in the attic. They had never heard of such a thing. They asked their supplier (not H-D or Lowes) and they were told that they would have to special order it. So, I had to settle for R-6. Cost wasn't an issue for me. I just wanted it replaced. The whole thing was a mess. It works a lot better now.
The coil issue came from a comment by the estimator. They used a certain brand/manufacturer for their equipment that is very well known. The selling point was that their coils are all aluminum and no copper. That aluminum/copper coils could fail. A Google Search for any brands all have a equal number of dislikes. Happy people don't write glowing reports about equipment. Unhappy ones write bad reviews. Any and all had plenty of dislikes.
Then, there was the issue of locating a new unit to replace the 1996 Rheem that might on a good day be 8 SEER now. Their 16 SEER unit was too tall to get into the closet. Their 14.5/15 SEER would just make it because they had to install a filter rack on the bottom where as the Rheem had it built in. They were going to check to see if Rheem had a 16 SEER that would fit. I don't think that they did check because they are coming tomorrow to replace it. Who am I to tell someone how to do their job. It will be better than it was. Do I wish I could get a more efficient one in? You Bettcha.
As far as the new Flex Duct, the old was all laying on top of the insulation. In 2006, I covered it all over with 6" Fiberglass batts. The whole thin flex duct was heavily insulated. The new installers made a point of hanging the duct up the floor. I guess that is standard practice. In my experience, it doesn't keep critters out of it. But you can cover it up a lot more with insulation in a unconditioned space. Now, I can't and the heat/cold loss will be entirely around the duct.
What started this is that whatever the codes for "R" values in unconditioned spaces, and it needing to be R-8, it isn't being enforced in Florida. Because the Wholesalers don't stock it and the Professionals aren't using it. If the Hackaroos are only buying and using R-6 flex duct, they are setting the standard.
I know that in Massachusetts where I worked, it was common practice to run 8" R-6 in 2X10 Joist bays (9 1/4" high). When they started to require R-8, their portion of the world ended. The R-8 wouldn't fit without serious crushing and ovaling. Does that decrease the output?
@ February 25, 2014 10:06 AM in another case for pesonal protection< "" NC promotes itself as a "business friendly state". > ""
Undertaking and Mortuary Business?
Plus speeding fines on Interstates (like 95) where the speed limit keeps changing?
Ive hardly ever been passed by "person's of color" in that Southern Corridor. But judging by the fact that 80+% of the people I see stopped on the side of the road, it must be illegal to be DWB.
What you have to remember about Medical Examiners (some of them), Prosecutors and many Law Enforcement personnel is that they have only been wrong once in their lives. That time they thought they were wrong. But came to find out that they were right. They never want to make that second (or first mistake), Depending on how they want to look at it. They have never convicted a innocent person, or made a mistake on a cause of death.
And the Jury is always right. No matter how much evidence to the contrary that was hidden. Its a winner take all. If you're on the losing side, too bad. Too bad if you're dead.
@ February 24, 2014 10:03 PM in Proper AFG head?Understand that manufacturers want to sell burners. They do all the R&D on what works best in their particular burners. in a particular burner. Beckett has seemed to have exclusively used Delavan nozzles. They don't say that but in their instructions they might recommend using a 80* "B" nozzles. The only manufacturer that lists a "B" nozzle is Delavan. It comes in a blue topped tube and is a solid spray nozzle. Beckett night say to use a 80* "H" nozzle. It comes in a red capped tube with a "H" on it. Hago also has a red capped nozzle with a "H" on it and it is a "Hollow" nozzle. The blue capped nozzle by Hago is NOT a Solid nozzle, it is a "S-S" or Semi-Solid nozzle. Light green nozzle caps by Hago are solid nozzles.
If you look at the Install/Operating manual for a Weil-McLain WGO/SGO boiler, they will list all the boiler models and the different brands of oil burners that have been fire tested in that boiler. It will also list BY BRAND and type/size of nozzles to fire with that particular burner in that boiler. Every one is different.
It becomes difficult when the manufacturer lists a nozzle that is no longer carried by supply houses.
@ February 24, 2014 9:39 PM in another case for pesonal protectionHere's a link to the UEI Website for the UEI 71A.
Google that brand and model, You will get a range of prices for the same instrument. I bought mine at FW Webb in Hyannis, MA. I think that they stock them at most of their New England stores.
They use a 9 volt battery and come with a leather case that you can clip to your belt of inside your pocket.
I was told about another one by an assistant fire chief of the Mattapoisett, MA Fire Dept. that I looked into. It wasn't that much more, the size of a pack of cigarettes, you turn it on and it stays on for 2 years. Then, you throw it away. It senses over 100 hazardous gasses. Firemen are supposed to carry them.
It is carried by company's that deal with environmental safety conditions. It looked interesting but I don't go into hazardous locations on a daily basis. The UGI has worked well. I even got 65 PPM in a twin engine Cessna on a cold day and they had the cabin heater going. We were taxi'ing out slowly and then waited for traffic. I kept watching it go up. When we took off, it went down.
You'd be shocked where you can get a reading.
@ February 24, 2014 9:24 PM in another case for pesonal protectionWhat was the source of the contamination?
@ February 24, 2014 10:23 AM in Cleaning a boiler.Soot Saw, piece of threaded rod screwed into a file handle. Throw away saw blade that the supply houses sell for cutting off PVC pipes and roots.
Any or all of the above. And clean every year. If they chose to skip a few years, don't go back unless they are replacing the boiler or are going to re-pipe it so it stays hot or is switched to warm start. I've never seen a warm start boiler develop Kibbles & Bits. Only Cold Starts. And no matter how plugged up, a Soot Saw will clean it out.
@ February 24, 2014 10:15 AM in Rinnai RH180 or 100 Gallon Atmospheric?Because with a straight tankless works great on continuous flow? But every time you shut off a faucet for a moment, the stoppage in flow shuts tha burner, the system goes into Post Purge, Stops, goes into pre-purge, lights off, and then starts heating the flowing water? That scream from the upstairs Master Bath is the woman of the house getting a blast of cold water on her while she is trying to get the soap out of her hair.
Is that what you mean?
That doesn't happen with Buffer Tanks.