Joined on September 13, 2010
Last Post on March 12, 2014
@ February 17, 2014 11:42 AM in how prevalent is this?Someone once told me that it is a fleet of ships about that Legionella stuff.
I told them that the CDC has a whole Armada of information on it and I hoped that no one he worked for ever got it because it was going to cost them dearly.
He didn't believe me.
Thanks for the story and qualification ME.
It can happen to anyone. Tell them about the critters that live in shower heads that come out in the aerosol mist that don't seem to effect men but seriously effect women.
Can't remember the name. Its a serious problem in Nursing Homes where the maximum water temperature to residents rooms are 112 degrees. 106 being ideal.
@ February 17, 2014 11:35 AM in how prevalent is this?Unless things have changed and I am unaware of it, it was my understanding that tank-less water heater manufacturers do not list their water heaters to be used as boilers for heating. They don't have that great big "H" on them. If the heaters fail under warranty, the warranty will not be honored. The problem was so bad from installers improperly installing water heaters as boilers, that manufacturers started putting domestic hot water tanks in their boilers.
Any "green" or "homeowner" can do anything they want, and not be code compliant because the work is never inspected. Or inspected by some AHJ who only collects the inspectional fee and is clueless about current code requirements..
Just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you know what you are doing or that it is correct.
If you're so good at fitting pipes together, why don't you go into business like many of us here are. Anyone can go to PEX Supply and buy a bunch of stock. When it doesn't work, they come here for advice.
Mr. Mustache, that looks like an attractive installation. If you did the piping and installation without any help, you belong in business competing with us. Not leading unsuspecting consumers down a path that will cost them.
Don't do it. Just because someone can do it, doesn't mean it is right.
@ February 17, 2014 9:23 AM in is it worth converting from oil to propane ?"" Have the funds, yes ""
Right there is my point. "IF" you have the funds.
"When they call you on the phone, they want to spend money". Whether they spend it with you or someone else is up to us. Its tough to compete with Airheads who install Hydro-Air with a supply in every room and one big return in the hallway floor over the air handler in the basement. When we provide a supply and return in every room with hydronics. The customer never knows what better is. When the HX burns out in 5 years, they don't call us to replace it.
Why would you put the supply and returns on the floor in a Heat/AC system when the cold doesn't rise and runs across the floor to the return? People think it is normal for doors to open of close (depending on the swing) when the fan comes on because the return is in a hall somewhere and the farthest away rooms don't heat or cool.
@ February 17, 2014 9:11 AM in is it worth converting from oil to propane ?When you play "Fun With Numbers", and you get into efficiencies above 85%, the cost curve goes down the can.
There was no discussion/question of changing to a beer cooler boiler. In the real world that I worked in, new houses got new gas systems. They were also gas/Hydro-air with AC. Efficiencies of good quality oil boilers are listed at over 85%. There are an awful lot of cheaper CGi type gas boilers going in because some people aren't willing to pay the higher price. So, you're dealing with efficiency numbers that are close. one way or the other. So much so that cost of fuel becomes a major factor to be considered.
Beer cooler boilers are nice, and if the building is old with radiation calculated for a high heating load, and the building efficiency is improved, they become a better choice.
When given the opportunity to quote, I always gave three choices from basic/cheap, to expensive with all the trimmings. Chicken McNuggets,
Chick-Fil-A to a full thanksgiving feast. No one wanted the Early Thanksgiving Feast. They went with the Hydro-Air from a airhead. The potential customer never tells you (or knows) how bad their system is.
There are a lot more "issues" to the question than what the writer asked. I ask, "How well does your system work now? Do all the rooms and areas work well and are they comfortable? Do you get enough hot water?
Change the old boiler out to a beer cooler model and don't resolve these question and you might find a very unhappy customer.
You gotta ask the questions.
@ February 17, 2014 8:33 AM in is it worth converting from oil to propane ?I don't know the cost of oil or propane where you live. It doesn't matter.
Here's my short bus method I came up with to help customers decide.
It takes "BTU's" in the fuel to heat the building. "The amount of heat energy required to raise 1 pound of water, one degree Fahrenheit".
So, lets call a BTU a penny ($.01) or one cent.
There are 139,000 BTU's in a gallon of #2 heating oil. Or, 139,000 penny's.
There are 91,000 BTU's in a gallon of Propane (LPG). Or 91,000 Penny's.
For comparison, lets put the pennies in gallon buckets Two buckets.
Here's the oil bucket with 139,000 pennies in it.
Here's the Propane bucket with 91,000 pennies in it.
Which bucket do you want?
The efficiencies are about the same. You can rip out what you have and replace it with something more efficient and still have an un-efficient building. Unless your 20+ boiler looks like the one on the old Sanford & Son TV show, if it's running and not leaking, put your money into efficiency home improvements.
Once the weather warms up, there will be a glut of Propane on the market because the gas providers can't provide product now. The oil companies have been able to do so as they always have. If you were heating with Propane during this cold spell, they would be keeping your tank at 50% full and not topping you off. The oil companies didn't or don't do that unless there is some emergency with transportation to their loading facilities. Like to an Island.
Take your pick of buckets.
@ February 16, 2014 10:07 PM in Time Meter for Riello F5 Burner""" The combustion numbers are much better when you fire the appliance with the correct nozzle. """.
That's always been my experience. The more I ever downsized a burner/boiler, the worse the combustion numbers got. How really bad the numbers were didn't show until I swapped from my wet kit to the digital analyzer.
@ February 16, 2014 9:57 PM in Plumbing Forum?I don't know what cartridge you were given or what you did, but it is usually a straight swap out of the box with no leaks. The washers are unique to only that valve. If you changed them to bevel washers, I don't think that the valve will work. Nor longer stainless steel screws.
You have to be extremely careful when you replace the cartridge that is isn't partway out and that you have the cartridge absolutely straight when you put it back in.
With that valve and the Kohler's, you have to be very careful that you put it together exactly like the old one was when it came out.
I never had a problem on any that I ever replaced. Sounds like it is cocked in the bore and now it has the wrong washers.
@ February 16, 2014 11:52 AM in 007 CAPQuartz job site lights with a 250 watt bulb work better. They give off more heat. Harder to break. Just aim the light at the pressure switch tube, That's where they always freeze. Lack of circulation even when the pump is running.
That and insulating the sides of the pit to stop radiational cooling from the frost in the ground through the foundation walls.
@ February 16, 2014 11:48 AM in 007 CAPElectrical supply houses usually have scads of them for temporary job site lighting.
Maybe they aren't so legal under OSHA rules because it isn't a grounded device. Electricians used to just take a coil of NM-Romex wire and connect them up. Now they just pay big bucks for a box already made up and a case of 100 watt bulbs.
@ February 16, 2014 11:43 AM in Rhreem Power Vent 2 works for about 5 minutes and then seems to over heatYou need to put an Amp clamp on the hot wire to the motor after the plug or any place where the motor feed wire goes to the motor. As close to the motor is best. I would be checking for a bad receptacle and resistance through the plug. You will get 120volts but if the amp draw through the plug is high, it will cause the motor to overheat and be ruined. Sounds like a bad connection.
Everyone needs a decent Amp Clamp. Owning both analog and digital has benefits. Don't leave the shop without them.
@ February 16, 2014 11:33 AM in Combustion analysis results questionNot to sound mean but you wouldn't do a oil analysis ABOVE the barometric draft damper.
Draft hoods on gas equipment are a form of draft dampers. For dilution of the heated gasses. I always stuck it into the bottom of the draft hood to get ir=t as far away from the dilution air as I could. Like JStar said, on top of the boiler block, just don't melt the plastic.
My Bacharach "Insite" has no plastic.
@ February 15, 2014 11:19 AM in Ken Secor's contact info?????I guess that it was someone else.
@ February 15, 2014 10:34 AM in using lots of oil quickly!All the Spirovents in the world won't fix the problems if the system doesn't have enough pressure in it.
If the "bladder tank", when there is 10# of pressure in the system reads 14#, there's still 10# PSI in the system. If the system has 16# in it, the bladder tank should read 16#.
If you put a circulator on the supply above the boiler, and you have 10# or less showing at the gauge, the pressure is less at the circulator above the boiler. It is highly probable that the circulator impellor will cavitate and boil water from vacuums developed in the pump. It will gather in higher points. It will make nice with the noises in the system. And as pointed out, these are not scorched air systems. They are hot water systems.
If you put auto coin vents on the upper floor heat emitters to eliminate air, and the pressure in the system is too low, it is a sure thing that the automatic air vents will work perfectly, doing their job. Eliminating atmospheric air into the heating system piping scheme. Mother Nature intensely dislikes unequal pressures and will do anything possible to equalize them.
I've learned just how much better a steam system will work on lower pressures. Steam novices will immediately raise the steam pressures to try to improve a system that isn't working. But 1/2# steam is a wonderful thing. That's slightly more than a 1' head of water.
@ February 15, 2014 10:20 AM in Ken Secor's contact info?????If Ken Secor is the guy that worked in the heating sales industry in New Jersey and retired to the lower Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, halfway between Colchester and the Canadian Border, I remember that he had issues with his circulatory pumping equipment, was mending, and I never heard from him again.
@ February 15, 2014 12:58 AM in 007 CAPIf a "Keyless Bulb Holder" is a rubber bulb holder with wires sticking out of it, that's it.
@ February 15, 2014 12:56 AM in 007 CAPFunny thing about that Riello rig.
Way long ago, there was this old Scotts electrician. They guy was amazing and could do anything. I used to like to be around him because the pearls of wisdom just dropped out of his mouth. One day in the 1970's, when I was asking him about capacitors in electric motors, he told me that you can take a rubber chandelier and wire it across in place of the capacitor and if the capacitor was in fact bad, you could run the motor until you got another capacitor. I tried it once or twice and it worked. I told others about it and they thought that I was nuts. I mentioned it to others throughout the years. Same blank stare. I was at a Eat & Meet gala at the supply house for a showcase of some product which I don't remember. If it was riello of something else, I don't remember. But there it was, the old light bulb in place of the capacitor trick. It works. That, and charging up the capacitor with a cord whip with alligator clips connected to the capacitor terminals. Charge it up by plugging in, CAREFULLY remove the clips after you unplug the cord, and jump the terminals with a well insulated screw driver. If it jumps a big spark, the capacitor is good. No spark, get out the rubber chandelier. If the motor doesn't start, get a new motor.
@ February 15, 2014 12:38 AM in 007 CAPAKA, A Rubber Chandelier. You know, the rubber bulb holder with the black and white wire sticking out that you can wire into a light fixture for temporary light on a job site. I suppose that I should have been more PC and called it a third world chandelier.
In Southeastern Massachusetts, it seems to be noted by that name. I suppose that you could use any local ethnic group you want.
@ February 15, 2014 12:32 AM in Adding automatic vent damper to old cast iron boiler?I don't know if anyone makes the anymore. In the late 70's, early 80's, they were popular. I installed one on every oil boiler I installed. The same one worked on gas. They were problematic and every one was eventually wired or blocked open.
Technically, I think that if it isn't OEM, you're not supposed to retrofit them. Of course, anyone can do whatever they want.
@ February 15, 2014 12:25 AM in Automatic vent dampenerNot that you may care but the vent damper is part of the UL listing of the appliance. If you modify the appliance by removing the vent damper, it becomes a unlisted appliance.
@ February 14, 2014 5:13 PM in 007 CAPFind someone with an old 007 or whatever. I've never replaced one. How do you know that the capacitor is bad and it is the cause of it not working in your water lubricated circulator?
Did you try wiring a Portuguese Chandelier in place of the capacitor? If the circulator runs, it's the capacitor. If it doesn't, it's the rotor. Its replaceable. If the windings are done, it's a new circulator. Most of us just replace the whole unit because if it isn't the capacitor, it's the rest of the motor and by the time you drive all over East Flame-out looking for one, you could buy two of them. .
At $60,00 per hour, that's a buck ($1.00) per minute. Time is money. If you want to drive all over East Flame-out looking for a capacitor that most anyone here with a shop, has 10 dead ones on the floor and would probably tell you to take them all, knock thine self out..
@ February 14, 2014 2:42 PM in Anyone Heard of Cleaver Brooks OG Boilers?"" Heavy Oil Sands specific. ""
They gonna run a spur from the Keystone Pipeline and drop off loads of that Canadian tar sand crude while it is on the way to a refinery? To be refined into product to be shipped overseas and sold on the open market? (shipped back to the USA to be sold to the highest bidder on the Spot Market.
@ February 14, 2014 12:55 PM in Heating Help for Fireplaces?Its hard to tell from a photo but it looks like the entire face of the fireplace is tile of different sizes and shapes that all fit together modularly. The insides look like firebrick but that takes a visual inspection. Fire bricks are usually very sharp on the edges and thicker through the middle and from end to end. When that fireplace was built, they were almost always yellow. Today, there are some that are reddish to simulate red bricks. The old ones were often painted with a high temperature paint. That fire box appears to be painted. Find a spot where it isn't that noticeable and see if the paint will scratch off.
The back looks like it has had some serious heating from that wood box and if they were old clay Stiles & Hart (S&H) bricks, they would have been burned through in the hottest place of the slant behind the wood box.
That house/fireplace looks like it was built 1900-1920's. By then, they usually had a double wall behind the back. The first one being a single stretcher course backed up with the fire brick.
If you can find a place in an attic or somewhere, where you can find old original brick, measure a brick. Compare it to the fire box bricks. The firebox bricks should be substantially larger. In old houses, anything goes.
My mind is rusty and going but, I think that three stretcher bricks are the same height as a single brick laid vertically. Or close. Because if you lay a "Soldier Header" over a door or window as a header, and your bond is proper, the course after the header should run through.
If you have any doubt, there's some old info junkie that can look at it and give their advice.
But measure the bricks. That's what I always did.