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Joined on September 13, 2010

Last Post on September 16, 2014

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@ September 6, 2014 9:38 AM in dishwasher waste piping

You could also just drill a hole through the floor of the cabinet and floor and drain it under the house. It might not pass an inspection.
It might be OK in your jurisdiction if the AHJ approves it. If permitted and inspected, hope that the AHJ inspector has a good satisfying meal and no arguments with irate inspectee's before he/she gets to your inspection.


@ September 5, 2014 9:07 AM in What do you see wrong with this set up?

WELL! If we're going to be picky-picky, I'd personally never have that copper connection to the supply main in copper with those two Extrols hanging off, trying to rip that copper out of the tee. I always piped them with hard steel pipe. If I wanted to improve it, I'd at least hang them up with F&M rings and plates. Ever unscrewed a failed #30 Extrol that was full of water? You aren't sure as you unscrew it. But know when it falls on top of the boiler and breaks something. Tie a 5 gallon bucket to the piping so it falls into the bucket and not on you.   Then, I never put a copper adapter on a PRV like that. I always piped them with black steel nipples and pipe them away so that if it leaks, you can put a bucket under it. The last, down piece gets the adapter and a copper drop piece out of old scrap or whatever. The odd angle on the pipe was to get it out of the way of the door. No more trips back to the truck for the hand torch.
You can really see where the gasket leaked on the old OEM black circulator where they tried using the heat wrench on the bolts. They burned the butt off the cow. Never-Seize is a new and wonderful miracle product, developed long before I knew about it (1958, Hot Rod Magazine). It is a wonderful addition to any fastener. Like circulator flange bolts, the nuts that hold the cleanout bonnet down or the bolt that lets the front burner door open.
I think that there is a BFD on the supply, There is a 1/2" copper line going to the right and down. In one picture, you can see the adapter behind the fill valve. Another look shows that they used a FPT adapter Tee to connect the expansion tanks. That's all hard piped with screw pipe.
Because it is a cold start boiler (no tankless), I'll bet it needs a REALLY good cleaning and the rug pulled out and replaced with a piece of Lynn Wet Blanket. The Kibbles & Bits are probably quite deep.
If someone just went over this boiler and added the new tanks and circulator, they did a fine job. Nice and clean. Years of serviceable life left. IMO.

Yellow to Brown:

@ September 5, 2014 8:42 AM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

I've seen it light brown, really brown on older Ruud PVP LP water heaters. Not so on the new ones with the different blower and restriction plate at the top.

Over and Under:

@ September 5, 2014 8:37 AM in Furnace to small service call

I've seen a lot of oversized boilers with undersized emitters when the OAT hit design temperature. Usually because of cold air infiltration, warm air leaving. Tightening up the building usually resolved the issue, made it comfortable and saved a ton of money.
Sometimes, just raising the system temperature.


@ September 5, 2014 8:28 AM in hot water demands

If Stratification is or becomes a real issue, the best way to resolve it is with return circulation. Especially on high output water heaters like Oil Fired or commercial high recovery gas units  that see very short intermittent draws.
With very high recovery/output heaters like Bock 73E oil fired water heaters recovering 220 gallons per hour @100 degree rise, you can have 180 degree water at the top, many different temperature layers on the way down, and 55 degree water coming in. It won't work well on undersized or under-fired tanks.
Its the concept.


@ September 4, 2014 9:37 PM in Old House, Single-pipe hydronic with diverter tees

That's what makes the job fun. Seeing and figuring out how these old systems work.
What interests me is the direction that the wye fitting is in. It is correct for water flowing from the boiler and through the run of the tee. Its the Wye part that is the question. If a direction of flow runs through the "run" of the tee, and another flow elters through the branch of the wye, it is more correct thab it it came in through the "bull of a tee. Because the flowing water through the wye gets restricted by the wall of water flowing through the run. It is the correct way to connect exhaust vents where two appliances are connected to a single flue pipe. I've actually found places where entering with a tee didn't allow the appliance that vented into the "Bull" of the tee to properly vent when the main appliance was running. A Wye solved the problem.
If you race small sailboats for fun and frustration, you come to realize how little wind energy it takes to move a boat through the water. And how just the right amount of something, gives you a competitive edge over your competition.
Moving air and moving water are the same. Just a different medium.

Sailboat Racing: Endless hours of tedious boredom. Interspersed with moments of stark terror.


@ September 4, 2014 9:18 PM in Long Island - code question

I have a daughter that lives in Amagansett. She built a new house a few years ago. It was the first place I ever saw an oil tank vent and fill piped with copper tube. DWV copper tube. It seemed to be sort of wild west territory way out there.
There was a BFD on the boiler. The house is on a well.

Lead Levels in drinking water:

@ September 4, 2014 9:08 PM in Waiting for hot water to shave

You missed my point.
If a private home (a normal home) is calculated by code to use 400 gallons of water per day, and the house uses 400 gallons per water per day for 75 years, and there is an estimated 1/4 pound of lead in the solder used to connect the copper water pipes, (.50# of 50.50 solder), and you take the EPA allowance for lead in drinking water, extrapolate it out over the 75 years @ 400 gallons of water per day, there isn't any solder left in the system.
My long time experience is that I have never seen any 75 year old buildings with 50/50 solder having failed. The joints are still filled like the day 75 years ago that they were soldered.
I don't in any way suggest that people should drink water from water contaminated with lead. I was trying to point out the absurdity of the limits in real life times.

PVC Fittings:

@ September 4, 2014 1:52 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

What you posted covers PVC fittings. Maybe it covers pipe too. I haven't read the cited Code reference. However, if there is an overheat situation, and the combustion exhaust is yellow, tan or brown, and the incident is pointing to a vent failure, trust me. Charlotte has paid a lot of money to CTA. PP venting is rated higher. Its cheap insurance. And a lot easier to properly connect.

See that part about properly cleaning the pipes and fittings? 90-% of PVC joint connections I have seen are not properly done. That alone will screw your pooch. Most do not use solvent cleaner and most that do, don't use it properly. Then, there's the unseen issue of chamfering the end of the pipe so as to squeegee the cement out of the fitting.
Technically, from a good practice point of view, you shouldn't use Sch. 40 DWV fittings but Sch.  40 pressure fittings. But you should be using Long Sweep ells or two 45's to try to keep restricted flow down. A Street 45 and a regular 45 equal a long sweep.  Some spies got a giggle when they saw that.
There's no such thing as wrong, just varying degrees of right.
Some things are more right than other things.

Bad eyes, bad read:

@ September 4, 2014 1:39 PM in What do you see wrong with this set up?

Sorry Bill.
I misread your posting. I agree. The air elimination goes there. And any other place you want to put it. There is an air elimination baffle built into the inside front section to do that. If you don't put an air elimination device there, it just ends up in the system.

Air Elimination Location:

@ September 4, 2014 1:33 PM in What do you see wrong with this set up?

If you read the PDF from Weil-McLain that I posted, or you find the I/O manual that should have been left with your boiler, that "small pipe next to the circulator" is the manufacturers preferred place for an air elimination device. Every Weil-McLain boiler of the 66,68 or WGO/WTO series boiler I ever installed had a float vent installed there. Only on the rare occasions where I re-connected to a expansion type tank did I not install one. See manufacturers installation manual.

The manufacturer does not show filling the boiler through that connection. See manual. Like I posted before, I was taught that it is bad practice to add cold water into the top of a boiler. Hot water or steam.

Made sense to me when I learned it.

Using PVC:

@ September 4, 2014 11:53 AM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

I've used tons of PVC.

Does Charlotte say in writing that they approve of their pipe and fittings to be used in venting gas equipment that can possibly go above 140 degrees?

That's all I am saying. If the PVC has a failure because of some reason, will Veissmann  CMA if Charlotte won't?
If I was still doing it, I'd be using Centro Therm PP. Most PVC is improperly installed anyway. No cleaner etc.

Gravity Flow:

@ September 4, 2014 11:45 AM in Old House, Single-pipe hydronic with diverter tees

Its not gravity flow now. Its pumped. That's why I think that someone replaced the boiler and converted it to a pumped gravity system without understanding how it was supposed to work. I'll bet that there are issues with the system.
That's all. Its hard to DX a system from an odd photo.


@ September 4, 2014 11:28 AM in What do you see wrong with this set up?

I know full well all the scientific reasons for putting circulators and pressure tanks where they are. There is no gap in my knowledge. I can quote you chapter and verse. In my experience, of looking at and working on many systems, over many years, it doesn't mean squat. I've seen them installed about every which way and they all worked. Any system I saw that wasn't working, had other issues to be addressed. Mostly a lack of pressure. IMO, Hydronic FHW systems are almost bomb proof. Judging by some of the amateur plumbing Picasso's I've seen. And they work.
Lets go back to basics.
It doesn't work.
How long did it work?
50 years.
When did it stop working?
Last week.
You need to move the circulators and expansion tank to a new location and install the latest air scrubber.
REALLY? It worked fine for 50 years. Did you check the system pressure?
Reads zero? Pump it up and it works fine. If you did all the suggested work, you would have filled the boiler to the proper pressure and you'd be a genius for making a 50 YO system work. When all it needed was more pressure and an new fill valve.
There's a WGO boiler here on The Wall with the circulator on the supply outlet. It has been replaced with a 007. The original black flange is still in place. With an improper circulator gasket in plain sight. Ones that will leak when the hot water starts evaporating between surfaces and the red rubber dries out to tar road hardness. Safe money says that the installer went out to the truck and got two 1 1/2 red rubber flange gaskets, threw  away the black square cut O-rings that the manufacturers supplied to be used, and went away after doing a fine thing. That bottom flange gasket on the original black circulator leaked so badly that it stained the black paint rust. The Wholesaler I bought 99% of my supplies from only stocked 1 1/2" red rubber gaskets. If I wanted spare black rubber O-Rings, I had to special order them. They had red ones in bags of 12. Then, there were all those Crane and National Boat mooring boilers with the pre-packaged circulator on the front/supply.  Series 100 B&G's. How many did I change because the water seal went from evaporating water getting past the ceramic seal face? Too many. We and I  put the circulators on the return with the cooler return water, and the leaking seal/replacement issue magically stopped. I know all about PONC's and PONP's. So many of the systems I see today are over thought, over designed, over installed and OVER PUMPED because you need to have high pressures to drive water through undersized pipes.
I don't do it anymore. I just sit and remember all the potential kindergarten Picasso's I looked at that had serious unresolvable issues.
Don't get me going. I'll start in on perfectly designed, engineered and installed hydronic systems that worked fine for years. With giant mistakes that no one ever found until I came along and found that every bridge loop was reversed so you could never get the hottest water in the loops. All with Taco 112 High head, high flow 3 piece circulators.
Common Sense isn't a Monetary Valve.

Old Houses:

@ September 4, 2014 10:42 AM in Old House, Single-pipe hydronic with diverter tees

Judging on what appears to be Asbestos Insulation on one line coming off the supply main. and the fact that the "new" boiler was all replaced with copper, are you considering that maybe the replacement boiler installer connected the return to the supply? The only time I have ever seen Wye's in heating systems, they were almost always on the return, and a flow entered the wye/branch part. the other flow came through the end. The opposite of flow in a waste wye.
That's one that needs a carefully experienced eye to be cast upon it. You have far more experience dealing with those Oh Ship fittings and odd flow designs.
I'm having a Flashback. Thinking about having to accurately draw that out to understand it. My neck is getting hot and my head is starting to ache.


@ September 4, 2014 10:25 AM in Waiting for hot water to shave

I once saw a sign on a toilet:
Sit down and rest in peace. Our crabs can jump 10' high.
That said, if there is a single lever faucet in a home, they almost all pass a certain amount of hot water into the cold water. Fear not, The Crabs.
I have seen copper tube soldered in houses that were done 75 years before. If you compute the lead levels in the amount of lead in some effected drinking water, Times 75 years, and the fact that most average homes use about a half pound of 50/50 solder, that might mean that there is a 1/4 pound of lead in the entire plumbing system. Which should mean that the entire lead content of the copper soldered water supply system is gone. I haven't seen one that is. I've pulled apart old fittings that had the hole in the side to stick the solder wire and the solder was completely filled in the joint. I've seen 70 year old "Grapes" inside a copper fitting. It didn't leak. If you get up in the AM and flush the toilet, you have removed the available lead in the water. Normal use of water exposed to lead is over rated. Ingestion of lead is not. It is seriously bad for you. If your water has a low PH, it is a consideration. If it has a high PH and a lot of dissolved solids/hardness, the exposed lead grapes get encapsulated by the hardness solids.
The crabs jump 10'.

Ship Work:

@ September 4, 2014 8:01 AM in Old House, Single-pipe hydronic with diverter tees

That now looks like one of those nautical fittings. A "Oh Ship. WTF is that?" fitting.
It must be a cast iron fitting because they can't make a Malleable fitting Tee like that, and from the last picture, it looks like something is rising vertically off the top.
You need to find someone interested in historical piping. Whomever used that fitting there like that and piped it like it appears, is long passed and has joined that gang of wrench twisters in the sky. For a historical reference, it is invaluable.

Diaphragm Tank Locations:

@ September 4, 2014 7:53 AM in What do you see wrong with this set up?

Having ridden with Noah on the boat, I never knew it was such an issue about the tank location when we went from captive air expansion tanks to diaphragm tanks. We just put them where they were shown in the instructions. There was no world wide pandemic of no water pumping diseases because of the location of the pumps. More than once, I found failed bladder thanks that needed to be replaced. I got another one along with a new 30# relief valve and low and behold, the person before me had used a 24" pair of channel locks to screw the tank into the air purge fitting. My standard 12" channel locks didn't have the nuts to untwist what had been applied with a 2' wrench. So, being the end of the day, and not wanting to get grief from the one at home for being late (again) for dinner, I connected a boiler drain to the Extrol and a double hose washing machine connection, connected to the boiler drain on the bottom of the boiler or any other available and convenient place and turned it all on. Giving the pressure a place to go until I could get back. The planets didn't mis-align and the world didn't end. It worked just fine.
Give it a KISS. (Keep It Simple, but don't be Stupid)

Turning Tires:

@ September 4, 2014 7:28 AM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

Great analogy about the tires.
Just imagine:
I have a friend who when before he was married, he had a 1959 Chevy. One day, Back in the Mid 1960's, he had a rear brake line rust out and leak. Being the ingenious Yankee that he was, he climbed under the car with a hammer and beat the brake line flat so it didn't leak fluid. He then discovered that if he held his foot on the brake pedal, he could stop the good rear side and the differential would allow all the power to go to the other side. "Lighting up" the other side tire. He discovered that he could lay down a rubber strip for as long as he wanted. Up to a 1/4 mile or more. The local police went nuts trying to figure out who was driving so dangerously and speeding so fast, with a car with so much power that it could leave a 1/4 mile rubber stripe in a road. He never went any faster than required. If he went too fast, the spinning would stop. He would put a brand new tire on the car on a Friday afternoon, and by Sunday afternoon, the cords were showing. He always carried a spare. Because he was one of those guys that a lot of his peers wanted to be seen riding in his car, he was never without someone to change the tire. Even if it was raining. If you were appointed as the tire changer, you changed the tire. Or you didn't ride again.
He told me that he sometimes blew through a tire in less than 50 miles. He never collected on a warranty replacement.
Back in the Good-L Days. Yout's havin' Fun in a small town.

TV Game Shows:

@ September 4, 2014 7:06 AM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

To both KC & Tim:
Sound of a winner on a TV Game show.
You just correctly answered the big money question.
The manufacturer will use a defense. "Not used in a manner approved or listed by the manufacturer."
With the Law, there are no guesses, no suppositions. Either Yes, or NO. No Maybe. Unless the "Maybe" is to one side. Then, the other side complains.


@ September 4, 2014 7:01 AM in HELP: Any A/C condenser coil repair experts near Bergen county NJ???

My next door neighbor just had to have a leaking coil replaced. It was under warranty until it needed to be replaced. Then, every aspect of the cost was no longer covered.
After the dust up over the implied warranty coverage, it was discovered that the company had over 60 complaints od deceptive work and advertising.
In other words, it was warrantied until it had a problem. Then, it wasn't.

Growing Emitters:

@ September 4, 2014 6:37 AM in Furnace to small service call

The best way to grow undersized emitters is to decrease heat loss.
And raise the system temperature.
Wait for warmer days.
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