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


Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on August 22, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 203 »

I understand your frustration:

@ August 3, 2014 8:36 PM in How would you....? (daycare mixing)

I understand your frustration. I got so tired of trying to install plumbing in buildings that weren't designed to have plumbing in them, and no one was willing to make accommodations for it. Doing service and installs was far more rewarding.

Regardless of what the AHJ's tell you, if someone gets hurt, the suits will be asking questions, and the AHJ's will have lots of opinions about what you did wrong. And not always honestly.
CYA is the operative term.
What Hot Rod says is absolutely true. In the eyes of safety codes, the elderly and infirm are totally covered. Little children in commercial Day Care are almost considered to be like the elderly. They can get scalded before they know it and panic and don't know what to do. If you've ever had 180 degree or higher water splash on your hand, you know IMMEDIATELY that something is wrong. In the time that it takes for a brain to process the thought, that you are being burned, and to remove your hand, you can have a third degree burn. I have a 45 year old scar on the inside of my wrist to prove it.

General Electric:

@ August 3, 2014 8:24 PM in Frigid air chest freezer

My freezer was a General Electric. It was probably someone's idea of a good plan. To make the entire shelf area part of the evaporative cooling system. Cheap. But ineffective.

Water Heaters.

@ August 3, 2014 8:19 PM in Emerson swan

Because of the new 2015 water heater Reg's, HTP is on the cutting edge of high efficiency water heaters. Emerson-Swan isn't going to be found short for water heaters.


@ August 3, 2014 6:27 PM in Frigid air chest freezer

I didn't have the same experience with steel tube freezers. Years ago I bought a Sears large up-right freezer. It worked well for years. The steel tubing was used as the shelves to increase cooling capacity. One day, I found a lake of water under it. I wish I could have just plugged it and froze everything. Its easier to freeze rotten food and throw it away than to have warm and spoiled food. It was a GE unit and of quality. A service person from the company that I bought it from told me that they had a lot of problems with the steel coils rusting out. Like mine, many others had rusted out.

That's what I based my comment on. I guess that every refrigerator I have owned has steel tubing. Including the new one I have now that has someone living inside it. It squeals and groans at all odd hours of the day and night. If it fails and you lose a lot of valuable food, it gets expensive. I lost a lot of fish I had caught, and vegetables from my summer garden. I'd be putting a freeze alarm into that freezer. Cheap insurance.

TXV Valve:

@ August 3, 2014 6:12 PM in TXV not set properly?

Is this valve the same as a EEV (Electronic Expansion Valve)? That is controlled by a FM EVC Board?
I had a new system installed in February, 2014 that never really worked as well as what it replaced. Then about a month 3 weeks ago, the system stopped cooling completely. This EEV closed completely and wouldn't pass liquid. When the wires to the EEV were disconnected and whatever else needed to be fixed, the valve manually opened. and the unit works now better than it ever did. Parts were ordered, thermistors. The most important wire was way to short to reach the FM Board, because originally, the FM board was mounted up in the space where the heat strips are. Now, it is down in the blower cabinet.
The Troubleshooting Detective in me thinks that the FM board was mounted at the top and suffered from condensation (maybe). Where the thermistor would reach. When they moved the board down. it is too short. They didn't send the correct one. The correct one was ordered and I think a FM board. The tech and I decided that something odd was going on. I read about this valve issue and mentioned it. But I don't know if we are talking about the same issue.
When the system was new, it always seemed like this EEV was not fully opened and didn't modulate. The suction line was always almost as warm as the liquid line. Once the connections on the FM board were disconnected, it started to cool better and the suction got cold and would get condensation outside at the compressor. I've waited over 10 days for the next round of parts. When it takes this long for parts, it usually means that there is a shortage.

And we ALL know how willing large manufacturers are to tell that there is a major problem with a component. Think GM and their faulty ignition switches.

First things first:

@ August 3, 2014 5:07 PM in Heat Loss... again...ish

IMO, you need to do a very accurate and comprehensive heat loss on the building before you decide on how to heat the spaces. The heat loss doesn't change, just the way to heat them does.
Minnie Pearl or some old wag at The Grand Old Oprey used to tell stories about two smart brothers. One day, one brother saw the other dragging a big long logging chain down the road. The other brother asked what he was doing dragging the big long chain down the road. To which the other brother responded, "Have you ever tried pushing one"?
Sort of like designing heating systems.  


@ August 3, 2014 12:58 PM in Frigid air chest freezer

In a cost cutting move, some of those home freezers used steel tubing. Which will rust and develop holes in them. They are "Throw Away" freezers.
Ask me how I know.
If you have any valuable/costly food in the freezer, think seriously about replacing it with a new POS junk'er, made in Asia. They stopped making quality ones years ago.

Long & Short of things:

@ August 3, 2014 12:53 PM in Constantly purging air in hydronic system

Any decent supply house should have them. They are either short or long. Yours is a "Long" with a 3"+/- extension with a 1/4" Male pipe thread. It is to clear the jacket. A short one might fit but it is sometimes a PITA to get a short one out. There's nothing to grab on to.
You can probably get them on line but if there is a wholesale house near by, it will probably cost you more in shipping than a direct purchase. Support local wholesalers.

Depending on your State:

@ August 3, 2014 12:42 PM in How would you....? (daycare mixing)

Depending on the State you live in, the codes are specific in what you can use in this application. You usually have to temper the water like it is a nursing home. and there can be no possibility of scalding children. It takes a thermostatic/Pressure Balance approved for application type valve. Not all valves are approved for your application. Point Of Use valves may be OK in a residence but might not CYA in a school/day care setting. It can actually get into OSHA type regulations. Whatever brand you pick, I would call Technical Support and get it in writing that their valve is approved for your application and get instructions from them on how it MUST be installed.
If you are in Massachusetts, you should call The Board and ask them. They can usually give you an answer immediately.
In the late 1980's, I started to do service work in a nursing home that was less than 5 years old. They had a 2" N2 Watts hot water extender that had been spec'ed by a Mechanical Engineering firm that specialized in Nursing Homes. I was called because of hot water problems. I thought it just needed a new element. I called Watts. When I told them what I wanted and what I was doing, I was immediately switched to their engineering department. I was given the Chief Engineer who was a woman. Who commenced to chew me out from my right foot, all around to my left foot for installing that valve and NOT reading the explicit instructions to NOT EVER install that valve where there was ANY risk of tempered water falling on human skin. That the valve wasn't designed for that application. I told her that I didn't install the valve that it was already there. She sent me a legal notice that WATTS Regulator Company was in no way responsible for any injury that valve might cause due to scalding or any other type of injury. That it had to be IMMEDIATELY removed from service. At that time, Watts did NOT make any type of Pressure balance, Anti-Scald type mixing valve. Neither did Symmons. According to Symmons. The only available and approved valves at that time were Leonard (which I replaced it with) and Powers.
You have no idea how fast human skin can burn with hot water. I'm sure that Mark Etherton can post some charts that show how fast it can happen.

Don't take it lightly. It is a big dog with really big teeth.

Heating Pools:

@ August 3, 2014 12:07 PM in Pool heater

You do understand that 22,500 gallons of fresh water weighs 187,425# and will take 187,425 BTU's per hour to raise the water temperature in the pool by one degree?
A 105,000 BTU boiler is a little light in the nuts to be used as a pool heater.
That said, it will probably work fine. He might need some sort of a switch to stop the pool circulation. It probably has a indirect HX anyway. pumping pool water through that boiler would be condensation heaven.


@ August 2, 2014 5:16 PM in Advice on adding zones

If it was mine, and all the radiators heat evenly in the main house, and the rooms are relatively equal in temperature. I would install a 4-way Mixer on the boiler which makes it a primary/secondary piping arrangement when you use something like a Taco "I" Series 4-Way. A 4- Way, NOT a 3-way. The boiler is the primary side, and the radiator side is the secondary side. Take the Sun-Room pipes off from the rest of the first floor zone. They get connected into the primary side of the 4-way with a positive closing zone valve. You get high temperature boiler water to the Sun Room and you can control it with a thermostat. The radiator side gets controlled by a Out Door Reset control. If it is an oil boiler, the I Series has boiler protection designed into the DIP Switch settings.
The radiators in the main part of the house will be just as warm as needed by the control valve. The Sun Room, because it is using hotter water, will be able to heat the space with hotter water in the radiators. You end up running two separate temperatures in the system. You will need two additional circulators.
When the thermostat is satisfied for the main house, the 4-way is totally closed.
If you ever wanted to connect an Indirect Hot Water Heater, this is where you would put it.  There are wiring issues but a cleaver Sparky can figure out a way to make anything work.
There are other ways to do it, but that will probably be the cheapest with the best results.


Lots of Loss:

@ August 1, 2014 7:02 PM in SubCooling per floor of a house.

Seeing as how you brought that up,
If I want to know the amount of heat energy put into my heating system, I measure it as it leaves the boiler and when it returns back to the boiler. If I really want to be accurate, I should measure it when it enters the first heat emitter and leaves the last. That will show me if I am loosing any heat energy before and after the emitters.
So, you guys (mostly I guess) measure the pressures at the compressor/condenser. Because of your FM gauges, you can read the pressures and it gives you the temperatures. Or so it seems. So in trying to solve my problems which we have discussed, I discovered this. Understand that I don't have a set of FM gauges. So everything is done with a thermometer with my Multi-meter.
When the liquid line leaves the compressor, it is 88*-89*. When it gets to AH, it is 80*-81*. When it leaves the AH, the suction/vapor line is 41* to 43*. When it gets back to the compressor/condenser, it is 42* to 43*.  The lines are 40' +/- with about 30' direct burial under the slab. Because the temperatures drop going TO the AH and RISE coming back to the Compressor, it seems to me that the difference is heat transfer in the ground. When I first turn the system on, the differentials are higher. After running for over an hour, the measurements steady off to what I printed out. IE: the liquid leaving the compressor will be the same but it will be cooler at the AH when it goes in to the AH
The surrounding ground gets transferred heat from the lines.
Did I tell you about the time a couple of years ago that I had no water in a store unit because all the water service lines and AC lines were buried together to 6 stores? And one had a compressor that was low on liquid and super cooling the ground which froze the water service to one unit? The bad store wasn't getting cool, it ran for 5 months, and no one noticed until I came along. Like they thought it was normal to set a cooling thermostat to 65* but it never got below 80 degrees. Normal. Numb Nuts.

As far as my problem in my Condo, I had 12" + of insulation blown in the other day. A minimum of R-30 everywhere. They even covered most of the flex duct.  The AC goes down to 75* without a problem and the condensation around the metal ceiling grills stopped. Before they blew the additional insulation in, there were many spots on the ceiling that had less than 2" of insulation and places where it was bare sheet rock. The ceiling temperatures dropped in relation to how they were before and the OAT and humidity.
I know it is working better because my wife is happy. She notices that it runs far less than it did before.

Factory Pre-Set:

@ August 1, 2014 12:20 AM in handling power outages on a well

With a non-bladder, Hydro pneumatic tank, there is no "Factory Pre-Set" pressure. Unless you consider "zero" to be a preset. The whole idea is that the water won't suddenly stop. It will become slower and slower. When you notice that it is getting really slow, it's time to start the generator.

Paying Attention:

@ July 31, 2014 12:11 PM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

You paid attention in class.
When the windshield wipers on your vehicle won't "wipe" the rain away, why? Because the sharp rubber edge is rounded off by wear. I used a 12" 64 tooth carbide saw blade on my chop saw. A cut was so sharp that you could cut your finger on the cut-off. What happens when you don't chamfer the edge? It wipes the cement out like a new windshield wiper blade. Like the sharp edge scrapes the cement and softened PVC on the fitting.
How many plumber's carry a PVC De-Burring tool in their bucket or bag? 4 Way files work well too. You get a rounded rasp and bastard file on one side, and a flat rasp and bastard file on the other.

FLowing Difficulties:

@ July 31, 2014 11:57 AM in Advice on adding zones

You can make this far more complicated than it needs to be.
IMO (worth nothing)

The circulator you are using is sufficient, no matter what it is. If all the radiators from the original install are heating to the same temperature, you have the perfectly balanced gravity system. Your problem is that the added radiators added to the Sun Room and piping aren't balanced to the rest of the system. If they are heating up to the same temperature as the rest of the radiators when the circulator is on a long run, the radiators are too small for the heat loss of the Sub Room. Sunrooms are notoriously difficult to heat and should be on their own zone. But, if you decrease the heat loss with insulation and better windows. Maybe storm panels, you might get the Sun Room into the losses of the rest of the house. You can spend a lot of money trying to heat a space that needs more heat loss resistance. You are better served to spend that same money on decreasing the heat loss. If the room is cold, and you spend money on trying to get more heat into the cold space, you just pay more to heat it. The loss stays the same, the cost of the heat goes up. If you spend the money on stopping heat loss, you might not need to spend it on revamping the heat system. Most of the Sun Rooms I have seen have been built outside the main foundation and are basically an unconditioned space. They often leak air where they meet the foundation. If it is below 32 degrees outside and the floor of the Sunroom is 40 degrees or lower, you might need to insulate the floor and stop the infiltration. The same applies to the ceiling.

As far as changing the piping, there are other ways of doing it that will give you what you want and will work well for you. That's another subject.


@ July 31, 2014 8:51 AM in Evenflow Ball valves brass 600psi WOG

Look at the catalog for any valve company. They have heavy expensive ones, and light weight cheap ones. Some purchasing agents for equipment think the only difference between the value of a valve is its cost.
If you are using that valve and that piece of equipment on a barge, they should have spec'ed stainless steel handles. In 5 years, the handles will all be rotted off.
And if the barge is in the North, in below 32 degree weather, be sure to leave ALL the handles in the "OPEN" position or the sides of the valves will split from the trapped water/moisture freezing and splitting.

PVC Primer:

@ July 31, 2014 12:40 AM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

Not only do some "plumbers" not use primer, they don't chamfer the edge of the pipe so the sharp edge doesn't wipe out the cement while going in to the socket.
Some use purple cleaner. Some use purple cement. Some don't use cleaner at all but use purple cement. If you can't see the writing on the side of the pipe, disappear before it goes into the socket, it wasn't cleaned.

IPS Ball Valves:

@ July 31, 2014 12:07 AM in Evenflow Ball valves brass 600psi WOG

That valve is a POS. That broke where the threaded end that pushes the "Teflon" gasket into the ball. It was probably tightened in the factory by a machine to the equivalent of a 3" pipe wrench. It least that's what it seems to take to get them apart.
The valve should have been supported. What's that metal piece connected to the broken part of the valve? It doesn't look a lot like a air hose.


@ July 30, 2014 11:51 PM in Pool heating

You mean like Sodium Hypochorite?


@ July 30, 2014 12:34 PM in Copper fitting friction loss

When I was a carpenter, I worked with this old grizzled guy who was really set in his ways. You never went anywhere without your hammer and a rule (wooden 6' folding types) He used to say that a carpenter without a hammer (or a ruler) is worse than a woman missing certain body parts. He also had a thing about cutting boards with a circular saw. The shoe of a circular saw always stayed on the board you were keeping, NOT on the board you wanted if it was short and going to fall. I learned that lesson so I didn't get the lecture. It had something to do with blade guards sticking and the shoe on the short piece and it falling off and the blade sticking, and sawing your leg.
So if he saw you cutting a 12' board to 10'6", and you cut it from the short end with the shoe on the short end, he would jump up and down, take off his hat, throw it on the ground and stomp on it. Then berate you for it. Something about needing a 18" piece and leaving a 10'6" waste piece.
Sort of like having a bucket full of left over usable pieces. Line them up on a floor and measure the total length of all the pieces. You'd be surprised at the value of that bucket as scrap. Which is far less than the valve as new and saleable pipe. But the straight hard or soft copper is like the board. If you need a 3' piece and you have a scrap piece that is 42" long, why would you cut 3' off a 50' roll? And have a 47' roll of tube and not know how long it was?
As far as bending springs, you never know where you are when you bend them. If you can pipe with formed fittings, you can use a lever bender. You just have to use the old tried and true HABYM (Half Ass Back Yard Mechanic) method. Take a short scrap piece and put it in the bender . Mark the 0* on the tube. Bend the tune to a 90* ell. Mark the 90* spot in the tube. Take out ell bent tube and save for future reference and measuring. You can take any and all measurements from the marks on the copper ell jig.

Bent into shape:

@ July 29, 2014 12:25 PM in Copper fitting friction loss

When doing a replacement, just what do you do with all those short left over pieces of 3/8 OD copper tube back at the shop that are going to be sold for scrap. That you already charged for?  Is it worth more per pound as scrap or more by the foot in an install?
The guy who replaced my system didn't do Shade Tree bends, but did a really neat job with brazed Refer 90's. Not having any of those old favorite tools, I would have loved to eliminate all those potential leak sources with nice lever bent 90's. Teach him how. Those bending springs are for DIY'ers or Pro's that use the Orange box as a supply house.
If you ever have to run protected tube, oil (orange/red) or Gas (Yellow) in 3/8" OD, they bend perfectly in a 1/2" OD Ridgid lever bender.

What is it:

@ July 29, 2014 10:31 AM in Looking for a replacement for these....

What is it supposed to be?
« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 203 »