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icesailor

icesailor

Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on July 24, 2014

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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.

https://www.google.com/search?q=national+geographic+lightning+photos&tbm=isch&imgil=kwDdwV6Cl46GzM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcTeQns5NxaEQF0ER_uHCz1ssoydVVX4t9cUPcSuYZYLtzXapz-qEQ%253B1600%253B1200%253B9ZYY2O3Kqz6quM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fngm.nationalgeographic.com%25252Fwallpaper%25252F2012%25252Fapril-ngm-wallpaper&source=iu&usg=__qTfDp3xig4s_OIyH81MQM33mVcg%3D&sa=X&ei=Lby-U4XoKcSOyASbiYGQCA&ved=0CB8Q9QEwAA&biw=1093&bih=434#facrc=_&imgrc=kwDdwV6Cl46GzM%253A%3B9ZYY2O3Kqz6quM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fngm.nationalgeographic.com%252Fwallpaper%252Fimg%252F2012%252F04%252F07-greece-lightening-exposures_1600.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fngm.nationalgeographic.com%252Fwallpaper%252F2012%252Fapril-ngm-wallpaper%3B1600%3B1200

Trees:

@ July 10, 2014 12:13 PM in Lightening Strikes

No, but similar to the one on the left.
The camera was above the ground but below the top of the tree. It was back some and probably done with a high speed camera with a Telephoto lens. The whole photo was in focus. The only way you can get those photo's are with high speed cameras set to run and recycle. If you saw that PBS piece on the Sprites, they showed how it was done. With a camera taking 10,000 frames per second in  G5 Gulfstream flying over Kansas in a lightning storm coming off the Rockies.  So if the human saw a strike, he could replay the last three seconds of video. Reaction time isn't fast enough to catch it otherwise.
Consider this from a crazy old man. When those golfers stand under a tree during a lightning storm and get hit, they almost always have their shoes blown off or they are blown out of their metal cleated shoes, which are burned to the ground. I've never heard that they had their heads blown off. Which direction would a reasonable person think the lightning was traveling?

Maybe I'm unreasonable and jump to my own conclusions. The safest place to be in a lightning storm is usually in your car.

Conclusions:

@ July 10, 2014 11:52 AM in Jury Rules That CSST is a Defective Product

My jaded conclusion is that far too many fire personnel are far too paranoid to be living on earth. If left to them, we would all be living in tents with a fire substation on every block in case of emergency.
There have been "bonding/Neutral" requirements in place for years. They have had lightning suppression systems in place for years. Most electricians and gas installers are clueless about the bonding requirements of ANY kind of gas piping. They are all wound up about some strike and some holes in some pipe? Was that in the same house? Did anyone notice that there was still enough energy in the strike to completely blow up the gas meter on the side of the house? Because the lightning came in through the metal faux chimney? Or did it come out of the ground and go through the meter to get to the chimney to go back to the cloud? Maybe it goes both ways and continues through a "Sprite" and heads off into the Ionosphere. Who knows today? Tomorrow it might change.
What the fluck does it matter how well you bond/ground something when the gas mains in the street are all Poly and so are the main to house connections. Then, no matter what you have, a well or municipal water, you have PE pipe as a service. Now, you have a perfectly isolated potential ground conductor source. Just what do you think will happen? Do away with metal services, do away with more bonding. Another really good idea. A 10' ground rod beside the electric meter socket to bond to? Now, they require another one in front of an electrical panel. How many houses in the USA don't have that? That NEC code change should have been retroactive and mandatory. Like seat belts in a car. .
They require every washing machine to be bonded to a cold water pipe. Every gas appliance should be bonded to a gas pipe and part of the house bonding system. Ever go into a crawl space and see an old piece of galvanized pipe with a ground clamp and the service cold water ground waving in the air? Because the service was switched to plastic? Where's the service ground?
The PAU (Paranoid Amongst Us) have finally succeeded in forcing us to install
fire sprinklers in private homes. You can use PEX. On a well that is delivering 4 GPM? 240 Gallons per Hour? That should make you feel really safe after being stuck for that Faux Mess.

If anyone cares. go look at a lightning suppression system done properly in a private residence by a really quality installer. They even ground the garage door tracks. Surge suppressors in electrical panels.
Why doesn't Lying Lauer or his NBC buddy "Dancing Dave" Gregory do a piece on all the homes in the USA that aren't properly grounded and bonded. That houses in Texas and other places are like putting a 1,000' ungrounded metal tower on the roof and asking lightning to come be grounded through it.

In Texas, you're far more likely to be killed by an unsecured gun in a home than being hit by lightning, with CSST in it, being hit by lightning, and dying in a fire.
Folks, lets get our priorities straight. CSST might have some slight problems. There's a bigger problems with improperly bonded buildings.
There's a terrible lightning storm going on at this time as I sit here writing this rant. . How many lightning strikes hit the earth every second? Ever see a fire station without lightning suppression rods on it? What do they know that they aren't telling us?
Is it CSST? Or is it Ben Ghazi?

Radiant Cooling:

@ July 10, 2014 11:04 AM in Radiant cooling

It would seem to me that if you used something that was along the lines of a fan coil cabinet set up for heat and AC, it has the condensate containment system and condensation wouldn't be a problem. If you used Radiant "Panels", condensation would form on the panels and then rain down on the stuffed dead ducks and living people.
A chilled water/heat fan coil should work well. It isn't any different than installing a Mini-Split evaporator unit on a wall up high. And for cooling, that's where you want it.
Or so it seems to me.
Are there wells on site? Is the water OK and not need to be filtered? It might be possible to use groundwater as a source of cold water. You just need a place to get rid of the warmer used water.

Lightning Damage:

@ July 10, 2014 10:50 AM in Lightening Strikes

You don't need a direct hit to have damage. A lot of damage is caused by lightning and people don't even know they were hit. I've seen where a air handler didn't work properly, Sparky, who is clueless about how controls work and can't quite grasp the wiring of a 4 or 5 way light switch, is clueless when you try to show him that something isn't right. Even after the owner says that 4 years ago, they took a hit and caused THOUSANDS of dollars worth of damage.
Consider this (as I understand it). Electricity always travels at the speed of light. It doesn't matter if it is a 24 volt thermostat wire, 300,000 volt transmission line, or a bolt of lightning. Ohm's Law says that "The higher the voltage, the less the resistance". You can put 1 amp of 24 volt current through a piece of #16 wire and you can put 1 amp od 24 volts through that overhead 300,000 volt transmission tower wire, Don't try sending 1 amp of 300,000 volts through your 16 gauge thermostat wire. Its the resistance in the wire with 300,000 volts and 300,000 amps trying to get through the #16 thermostat wire. The resistance heat will melt the wire and spray the molten metal everywhere.
I've been hit by lightning. I don't know if it was grounding through the transmission system or coming back through the transmission to get to the cloud. All I know was I was between one source (holding on to a 2: well pipe with one hand) and it jumper across my arm to a bonded/grounded cold water pipe.
I now live in the lightning capital of the world. South Florida. Every afternoon, we get rain and lightning. Where I used to live will put the fear of Dog in you during the lightning storms. And so much so that a former fire chief said that he could park a fire truck in a certain area so he could get to the house fire quicker. When you see the flash, hear the "Pffft" and hear the BOOM, all in the same instant in time, you know it was close. Supposedly, if you see a flash and a pause, then the BOOM, it is a mile or more away. Speed of light Vs. Speed of Sound.
In the city I live in, with huge transmission lines a mile away on two sides, and lots of close strikes, with the scariest lightning I have ever seen, I've not seen any electrical damage. I think that the more grounded/bonded structures and transmission lines where you are will give you a safer environment. If you live in some area where you can't get there from here, not so lucky.
Someday, I'll find that photo I've been looking for, for years from National Geographic with the Oak Tree in a field with the main strike hits the upper mart of the tree and hundreds of little lightning strikes (they look like snakes) coming out of the ground.

Another thing (on hot water)

@ July 10, 2014 10:07 AM in DHW configuration

Another thing.
IMO:
When you ran two tanks and only one was doing all the work, if it was gas (you said it was), it was probably a 35,000 BTU input burner, doing all the work. With Beer Cooler boilers, run on ODR, they won't be running in the Summer except to make hot water. In March, they might be running at some low temperature to heat the structure. 110 degrees so you get lots of that elusive efficiency through condensation. That won't get the soap out of the hair. So the control strategy switches to "priority" and kicks the controls up to "High Limit" to ONLY run the indirect. Which is just another heating zone as far as the boiler is concerned.
It has been my LONG experience with oil boilers and tank less coils (an indirect coil in a different location) that a operating control set at 140 degrees that tries to keep the boiler water at 140 degrees at all times, (to stop internal boiler fire side condensation) will make all the hot water needed. You can get it faster by raising the operating/Low Limit control. But the control doesn't "see" the DHW tank as an additional zone, just part of the boiler. Which the boiler is trying to maintain temperature.

If you can lower the high limit setting on your beer cooler boiler to 140 or 150 degrees, so that if it gets a priority call for hot water, you don't need 170 or 180 degree hot water to do the job. In my long practice of using 50 gallon storage tanks (electrics NOT connected to power. I don't want to confuse anyone) and 140 or 150 Low Limit/operating settings. I NEVER have had a complaint during the summer or "off"  seasons.
Try lowering the high limit for the time and see if it doesn't save fuel. IMO, no matter what you do though, you are trying to "P" up a rope. Leave your computer on all the time and add up all the other continuous power things in your house, and you can pay for a new Data Logger.
I had a customer for years. Some work was done on the house that involved electricity. He called me up one day in the middle of the winter and said he was getting a high electric bill but all the power was off. He asked me if I had any idea of why and could I look at it. I went there and sure enough with the main 200 amp 40 circuit panel off, the meter spun. There was an outside disconnect. Shut it off, and the meter stopped. Turn it back on. Turn of the main on the 40 circuit panel and all the breakers, the meter spun. There was another 20 circuit in the back for the boiler and garage. But the main panel was in the kitchen in the main part of a two story 3 bedroom gambrel house. While walking around, trying to figure things out, I noticed (I do that) that there was a small green bar showing on the blank microwave screen. I unplugged the microwave and the green bar went away. If I ran the Microwave, when it was done and I reset it, the bar reappeared. When I unplugged the microwave and looked at the outside meter, it was stopped. When I made the green bar appear on the Microwave, the meter spun. I unplugged the Microwave and the problem went away. Never underestimate the cost of "Ghost Loads".
Like Comcast. My Cable Box makes a noise like a fan running even when it is off. Unless I unplug it. How much is THAT costing me? Then, the Association pays for Cable. They switched to Comcast. I already had internet phone and Internet access with them. They made me take a new cable access box to handle the phone and Internet also. Of course, they FU'ed up the connection and the installer didn't believe I knew what I was talking about. Until he came to find out I was right. It still isn't right, but that's another issue. There's a light that is always flickering on the Modem. Sometimes at 2:00 AM, it goes out. It doesn't matter if I am connected to the Internet. There was an article in the Palm Beach Post about complaints that Comcast was using new Modem Routers as "Wi-Fi Hot Spots" and anyone could access the Internet through private customers routers. So Comcast can get a chunk of the Smartphone Wi-Fi traffic at my expense? Some people I've known would be on Pogo Sticks (jumping up and down) if I did something like that without asking. The same ones that when a bill is over 60 days, they finally pay the amount on the first bill but never pay the interest. Once you cash the needed check, its considered "Paid In Full". Try THAT scheme with the Wall Street Crime Syndicate or the local Bankster you do business with.

Flow:

@ July 10, 2014 9:07 AM in DHW configuration

IMO (worth little or nothing), if or when you pipe two smaller water heaters in series to get more hot water, all you do is make it ONE bigger water heater, a combined total of the two. If you had 2-40 gallon gas water heaters piped in SERIES (into the first and out the second) you have a 80 gallon water heater. Because the first water heater does all the work and the second one hardly ever comes on. So, you are heating DHW with a 40 gallon water heater. Now, you are heating a 67 gallon indirect which is a larger heater. Any efficiency's you might have seen are lost with the larger tank.
If you are going to twin (or have multiple) tanks, they must be piped in parallel with some form or parallel reverse return. If two tanks, they MUST be piped with equal connections between the two tanks. As close to being perfectly balanced as you can get it. 3 or more MUST be piped as parallel reverse return. First in (cold), Last out (hot).
If you use a "Mixer" which I think that all water heater storage tanks should have, (for personal reasons), you need to install a quality mixer with internal checks. Some come with 1/2" recirculation ports. But they ALL recommend that they be installed as "Heat Trapped:. Which means that the centerline or outlet of the hot water inlet of the valve be a minimum of 12" BELOW the cold water inlet of the tank or source of hot water.
If your gas bill didn't take the expected drop, it might be because you are heating a bigger tank.

Proofread:

@ July 9, 2014 5:46 PM in Watts

When English isn't even a second or third language of the country of manufacturer, things like this happen.

Its like reading the instruction manual and knowing that the written syntax isn't like any you've ever read or spoken before.

Globalization.

Slip Sliding Away:

@ July 9, 2014 10:19 AM in Radiant cooling

ME,
I understand the concept when I saw mention of the Bangkok airport. It wasn't a comprehensive article. It only mentioned the radiant cooling slab. Made perfect sense to me. It mentioned that they didn't have "conventional" artic air cooling, just the slab to do it. I understood that too. And in order to keep the floor slab from becoming a summer sidewalk on a foggy morning, how did they get rid of the humidity? That was the problem. Great big dehumidifiers placed up high would seem to be just the ticket. Warm, moist air coming in from the outside, and sweat off the humans, rises up as lighter air/heat when it comes in the doors. Rises up and gets sucked into the dehumidifier and spits out cool dry air which falls to the floor. The cooler air falls through the warmer air and the warmer air gives off heat and humidity which ends up back in the dehumidifier. The moisture never gets to the floor.
Paddle fans can be a guys best friend with high ceilings.  I hate paddle fans. I don't like that constant wooshing over my head, and sometimes shadows if light. The smarter ones than I never put ventilation ducting in to suck hot air off the ceiling and return it to the floor. Where the warm air disburses across the bottom of the floor and rises up for circulation. Instead, they put in paddle fans because they are a cheap fix. They push some air partway down. Especially in the modern AC/Heat Combi systems where all the registers (supply & return) are on the floor so in cooling mode, the cold air supply runs right across the floor to the return.
They must take a lot of water out of the air in that airport.

Funky Link:

@ July 9, 2014 1:10 AM in Radiant cooling

That's some kind of funky PDF link. It loads 3 megs and stops.
Can you send it again?

Nautical rodents:

@ July 9, 2014 12:58 AM in Trap on 4" sewer main in basement

Jumping crabs, rats and snakes have no problems jumping through toilets. So, sit in piece. If they're gonna get you, they'll get you. Those big Norwegian Roof Rats be jumping into roof vent terminations too. Unless you put screens to keep them in or out.

Under Presssure:

@ July 9, 2014 12:52 AM in Icesailor are you there?

First, you have 55# coming in from the street. "Static Pressure". When nothing is flowing. Can you put a 0-100# pressure gauge on where it comes into the house? What happens when you turn on the showers. Does the pressure stay at 55# or a little less? If it is dropping considerably you may not have a large enough service or a sticking water meter. A Booster Pump might be a solution. But you should try to be sure that there isn't some problem with the piping somewhere. You can take a braided sink supply, like a 12" or 20" one and a 1/2" X 1/4" MPT bushing will fit. Put a 1/4" 100# pressure gauge. Any fixture that has a 3/8" od compression fitting on a stop supply can be replaced with the gauge. You can check the water pressure and try to locate a problem. The house doesn't have a well does it?
I'd be trying to be sure that there isn't some piping problem before you go to a booster pump. If there's some obstruction, it won't solve the problem and you might not look good. Its hard when you're not there. Is it just in the showers?
If you're running water in a sink and you open up another, does the pressure drop?
Kinda need more information. Are these bathrooms on the second floor?

Practicing:

@ July 8, 2014 2:15 PM in Pipe connections to Condenser - Best Practices?

I wish I had some photos I could post of the installs that that I've seen that would be a source of shame on HVAC-talk.com's "Wall Of Shame". That wouldn't even come close to making the "Wall of Shame". It might not make "The Wall of Fame", but as it goes, its not bad. At least they didn't take whatever was left in a 60' roll and just leave the left over coil next to the equipment, with liquid running through it.

Some of mine:

@ July 8, 2014 12:15 PM in What do you think of this new product?

I promise you that the product will NOT ever clear some of mine. Only a toilet auger will do.
There's an episode of Mythbusters around now on this topic, About exploding toilets.
Let the buyer beware.

Oil V Gas:

@ July 8, 2014 12:09 PM in Peer review please...

(( Currently they are capping off NG wells with a glut and low prices. If you have the $$ to install snowmelt, pay the NG costs so the oil guys can make a decent living and the radiant contractors have work. Isn't it mostly the oil folks building those custom homes with large snowmelts in the mountains, currently? Or their financial guys.

With the US becoming the largest oil producer, better melt snow before the world comes shopping for that NG, prices may go up. ))

Drillers capping of fracked gas wells? Us is largest world producer of oil now?
The Wall Street Crime Syndicate has this all in their 20 year plan to own the world.
You think all that "new" oil will be sold for US consumption? It will be refined here or shipped unrefined to another country and sold on the world market. Once they have eliminated oil as a heating/DHW source in the USA, All the Frack Gas caps will come off and the prices for Nat Gas will be heading up to European prices. And the same with fuel oil. At $8.00+ per gallon, you will hear the Banksters on Wall Street crying poverty. They're barely covering expenses.

That Fracked gas? Will all be compressed into LNG and shipped to the worlds markets to compete with Siberian (Russian Gas) to save Europe &China from the Great Russian Bear. The only part of some of that Fracked Gas some will see is in the polluted tap water coming out of your kitchen faucet that you can heat instant coffee with. If you light a match and set it on fire. We used to import LNG from Algeria and Libya to the USA. We've stopped that. We'll be shipping that LNG to Europe to get back at the Russians for futzing with the Wall Street Crime Syndicate.

Ancients:

@ July 8, 2014 11:41 AM in Peer review please...

I'm more ancient than you.
Next time you have a moment to spare from your profession of trying to explain to "Youngsters" that thingy about "That might work for you. I've never seen it work for anyone else, but it might work for you" concept, read Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germ, and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies".  All those ancient societies that lived before, all crashed for one reason or another. Mostly because they used up all their food and other resources. Then, read his "Collapse. How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed". Easy and fun reads. Like "Knock me in the head" Reads. Like Easter Island in the South Pacific. With all those statues and no people. Actually, in the 1700's when they were discovered, there were a few hundred people living there. The survivors that were still alive. The original people came from Polynesia. The Island was covered with giant trees and palm trees, Which they cut down to build houses and roll the giant statues they erected to whomever, fuel to cook with. They introduced rats which ate all the palm nuts and the Palm Trees all died off. They cut down the trees to plant crops but soil erosion ruined the soil and lost it. They killed and ate the nesting shore birds and ate their eggs. So they wiped out nesting sea birds. And the rats ate the rest of the eggs. And they fished out the waters of edible shellfish and large edible fish species. When they got all done, and a population of close to 10,000, they had a big war and killed off a bunch of each other. Then, they starved to death and got the population down to sustainable levels. The same thing happened to Pitcairn Island where Fletcher Christian went to in Mutiny On The Bounty and the boys (and girls) went to hide from the British. The Polynesians had already been there, stripped the resources and died off. ALL of them.

Of interest to you would be his discussion of his favorite State to your North, Montana. Where it is an environmental disaster. He doesn't discuss Colorado, but just look in the mirror. The Colorado river doesn't run to Mexico now, it ends on the US side in California. Did the USA stealing Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California from Mexico give us all the water rights to water flowing into Mexico? Will they have to stop watering all those desert golf courses in Phoenix and give some water back to Mexican farmers? When you look at the Colorado River, or follow the US Interstate where the Welfare Cowboys had their standoff with the BLM folks trying to get illegal cattle of OUR land, and you look down from space on Google earth, notice all those big round green circles along the road. Are those agricultural crops being watered by big impact sprinkler water cannons in the middle of a field of fertilized green surrounded by yellow desert and sagebrush? Is that ground water laced with the residue of acid/cyanide heap recovery gold mining? Like what is polluting Montana?
No water, no crops, no food, no people. And the water going in to hydronic heat/cool systems better be treated first.

If you are at all interested in the Natural History and geology/archeology of your new Western home, "Collapse" is an interesting. It isn't a book about Climate change. All the glaciers are melting in Montana's Glacier National Park, so they don't provide melt water for rivers and streams. But he points out what a great idea it is for countries to send their raw materials (cheap) to other foreign countries, where labor is cheap and environmental laws are non-existant, and then buy back the finished goods to be sold back for cheap in the country that provided the raw materials.
Read that while doing what I used to do when working on 8,000 Sq. Ft summer cottages by the beach. Where the owners spend Spring & Fall in the Hamptons and Winters in South Florida. In gated communities.
Have you developed a jaded point of view like I have in my old age yet?
It might happen.
Please excuse and understand my snarky-ness. It come from becoming a grumpy old man with no service calls to attend to.

Religious experiences:

@ July 8, 2014 10:31 AM in Jury Rules That CSST is a Defective Product

If you found a Holy experience in a connection to your gas dryer, you might want to consider a lightning suppression system.
I had a new house I built that I lived in for 2 months. It was hit twice in 6 weeks. You can't believe the damage. I didn't have any gas lines. But I DID have a 2" Galvanized well pipe for my shallow well water pump. I had run a 1/2" copper water line from a sill cock beside the panel back to the pump. I grounded/bonded the panel etc to the 1/2" copper, back to the pump, and jumper from the copper to the well. Even though it was a direct metal connection through the pump. The first strike took out a corner of a chimney and came through the roof. Blew up the control for my jetted tub. The second strike did similar damage inside and blew up the tub control. I had a lightning suppression system installed and was never hit again. Although every house around me was hit often. You have to give lightning a place to go to where it wants to go. You can't live without it if you live on this earth. It creates Nitrogen, If you don't use Nitrogen in your daily functions, you aren't of this earth. Our atmosphere is 80% nitrogen.
Check out the PBS Nova recent program on Lightning and these things called "Sprites" that come out of clouds ABOVE lightning storms and travel UP to the Ionosphere. They are pink in color and look like an exploding firework.
Don't futz with lightning. It will kill you. I live in South Florida now. The Lightning Capitol of the World.
Read this article. Read it first. The video is related but not about Sprites. If you're in an unprotected building and there's a lightning storm, go sit in your truck.

http://news.discovery.com/earth/weather-extreme-events/red-sprites-lightning-130822.htm

Ancient Ideas:

@ July 8, 2014 9:51 AM in Peer review please...

Just in case you didn't know, the concept is quite old. Storing energy in the ground for later use. I've spent my life reading useless but interesting (to me) articles about little or nothing. I read this article once about agricultural practices in ancient Bolivia at high altitude that some archaeologists "discovered". It was probably In Scientific American. They used to run a lot of articles on ancient peoples. Bolivia was part of an ancient civilization that in the end was part of the Inca Empire. Probably before that, the indigenous peoples developed a system of storing heat in the ground to raise crops at high altitude. They excavated large areas and made them flat, lined the bottoms with impervious earth and then rocks. Finally soil. They were built on raised beds and if it rained, it would trap the water and it acted as a reservoir. If there wasn't rain, it still held water and the roots would find the moisture. During the day, the soil heated up and retained heat. The water and soil transferred the heat to the rocks below. At night, when they might have radiational cooling, (heat from the land, radiating back into space because of a lack of clouds)  the rocks, moisture and soil kept the crops warm through the night. This is at elevations at and above 10,000'. In some places, they could get 3 crops of specialized foods like Potatoes, beans and Quinoa. The practice was lost when the Spanish made them switch to Spanish crops but it was re-discovered in the 1970's or somewhere.
Its all related. Using the Sun and the Earth in passive ways. It just takes a lot of space. Here is a link to what is being done similarly today.
Those old South American dudes were cleaver. In Peru, at one time, the Inca's decided to move a river from one side of a valley to the other side, to irrigate crops on the other side of the valley and stop flooding of the crops. So they did. It is perfectly sloped for its entire distance and is still visible today.
How did they make the fields "dead level" like a lake? Anyone that is familiar with a water level should understand. A "Water Level" is a Third World Transit. How did they do what they did without a transit? Water seeks its own level. Or as I once said to someone having a problem understanding the concept of level, "You ever see a lake where the water was higher at one end than at the other?"  Take a large gourd, pot or container filled with water, put a stick or board, with two equally sized/lengths of wood, sticking up vertically from the board, and float it in the water filled container. Sight across the two small sticks and you have a perfectly level sight line. A Third World transit, almost as accurate as a $5,000 Laser Level. And  as accurate as a 6' level, stuck in a pile of hill sand and a 6' wooden rule, sighted to prove to a contractor that the building was sited 12" higher than it should have been according to the plan.
But before anyone gets the puffed up chest from discovery, someone else did it before.
But the modern concept for snow melt and radiational heat/cooling is sound with a long and practical history, Those old dudes may not have understood the theories, but it was FM that it worked. FM from the mythical dudes in the sky.

http://www.new-ag.info/en/focus/focusItem.php?a=1015

Shower Drain HW/HX:

@ July 8, 2014 8:30 AM in Ecodrain gets US building code approval

Just how much hot (available heat energy) water do you think will be available when you place this HX over a shower drain when by code and practical application, shower water coming out of a shower head won't be more than 106 degrees? 108 degrees is uncomfortable and can cause scalding in small children and geriatrics's. Most drains today are PVC/ABS, not copper or cast iron. 6' is the maximum unvented developed length for a 2" shower drain. How long is that thing? If the water comes out of a shower head at 106 degrees, and falls through 70 degree air, what will the temperature be after it falls through the atmosphere and enters the drain? If the shower drain is between the floors for a second floor bathroom? Its only good for a drain that is exposed and below the bottom of joists with clearance between the top of the HX and the bottom of the joists.
After purchase and installation, it will be a good example of spending hundreds to save less than a penny. Similar to stepping over ten dollar bills to save a dime.
IMO.

Radiant Cooling:

@ July 7, 2014 8:00 PM in Radiant cooling

There's something odd about radiant cooling. I once saw something about radiant slab cooling on a slab at the Bangkok, Thailand airport. Thailand is about the most humid place in the world. The issue was controlling humidity in the building where people were constantly coming and going. And that the slab didn't become a sliding pond and passengers slip, sliding away. It wasn't mentioned in the article how they controlled the humidity. I guess if you read it, you were supposed to know how they dried it out.

Worth looking in to or maybe ME can add to it.

Itches:

@ July 6, 2014 3:00 PM in stupidity

The best is if you are wearing a short sleeve T-Shirt and you get fiberglass insulation on your hot & sweaty arms. You will itch when you go to bed for at least two nights.
I wonder if lungs will itch for two days?
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