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Joined on January 26, 2011

Last Post on August 31, 2014

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You could....

@ August 31, 2014 9:28 AM in IPads/Tablets

Ask your software vendor.  By now they have to have mobile integration into their software.   For what some of these vendors charge for industry specific software, I found it cheaper to buy FileMaker, and make my own.  Completely customizable, integrates with apple products (only).

Nice install

@ August 20, 2014 6:42 PM in Boiler Mate WH7L Noise

Probably a problem with the zone valve

It depends?

@ August 6, 2014 7:15 PM in Survey

This definitely falls under the 'it depends' category.
I do itemize all the components I will (and won't ) use.

Heat loss also 'depends', but usually eventually. Specially, I don't need a heat loss to price. With oil, many boilers and furnaces have multiple firing rates, so the price for the equipment usually doesn't change much. On a row home that has to have an oil fired boiler, the smallest one is too big. I'm more concerned about piping and emitters, for a boiler and duct sizes/design for furnaces and size accordingly.
Complicated/multiple zones always get a full design.

I give a rough estimate on the first visit, or before I get there, just to see if they are in the ballpark. If I tell them a rough price and they say that's way out of what they can afford, it saves a lot of time.

I try to get back the next day or as soon as possible with the estimate. I always set up the delivery of the estimate with all decision makers, and always in person. I'm usually going to be higher then a hack and I want to explain what I'm going to do and why. I want to answer all questions and concerns. I want to show all the value I'm adding to the system. My goal is to get the paperwork signed. I'll only email/mail for customers I know aren't shopping my price or others if the situation warrants.

I always explain all the options. Most homeowners don't know that it's not just a simple yank one put another one in.

I don't care what they drive, but if they try to go cheap on me and there is 100k worth of cars on the driveway, it may come up

I explain to them what's proper, what gives them the most comfort, etc. Part of explaining their options.

Time to perform is complicated. Depends on how involved. But it's a slow process to measure up for a heat loss, and to measure up radiation/duct calcs. I let them know I'm going to be there a few hours.

Edit: I should add I work for myself, and almost all my estimates are for my existing customers.


@ August 6, 2014 6:46 PM in Sooty flue exhaust

It needs to be checked out. It could be something as simple as a partially plugged nozzle to poor draft, or dirty/plugged heat exchanger. But you have poor combustion and it's going to get worse. You don't want any products of combustion, which contain carbon monoxide leaking into the living space.

Why rely on a CO detector to save your life WHEN you boiler starts leaking CO, instead of preventing it in the first place?

If you do it...

@ July 27, 2014 8:07 PM in Bathroom heating options

Use a globe valve to force water thru the home made towel warmer, but to do that you're going to have to get into the piping in the basement, Without looking at the piping, and 12 inches apart, there may not be enough pressure drop to get water thru the towel warmer

Can you post some pics, of the near boiler piping and a close up of the supply & return take offs?


@ July 27, 2014 7:58 PM in Builing an addition and upgrading oil burner

Depends on what is going into the addition (M Bath?)
Depending on budget, I would run pipes up to the second floor and use radiant heat/baseboard, etc.
You can vent thru the wall...
'...more efficient?...maybe, maybe not. But hydronic heat, especially radiant is much more comfortable then forced air.
For A/C, you could go with conventional a/c (I would do a heat pump and have back up, or use in huge shoulder seasons), or mini splits.

At the very least....

@ July 9, 2014 9:03 AM in What do you think of this new product?

I would wear shorts....
and who wants to step on poo (when it inevitably breaks)?


@ June 1, 2014 9:29 PM in Oil boiler with summertime leak

The pic on the right is a hole used for a combustion test. The blackened square was probably from a piece aluminum foil tape covering the hole. You can replace it with the proper tape but I use an large bolt and screw it in. Doesn't have to be covered,
Pic on left looks like rust that flaked off
The target wall could've fallen forward, causing some of your problems. Why did it fall over? Usually from aggressive brushing when cleaning but also from condensation or a leak. When it was repaired the tech should've let someone know.
How far was it downfired? It shouldn't have been downfired without a very good reason-and I really can't think if one.

Here's what I would do.....

@ May 28, 2014 11:15 AM in Oil boiler with summertime leak

First I would get someone in there who can give you an honest evaluation.  This would include, but not limited to:
1.  Taking the jacket off, to the extent needed, and evaluation where the leak would be coming from.  Where you have the dish could either be from the fitting, or rolling down the pipe, or rolling down the jacket.  But also take heed to the knowledgeable advice from Ice about the discolored concrete blocks.
2.  Put a low water cut-off on the boiler.
3.  Close the water feed off to not allow any make up water into the boiler.  Just for diagnostic checking
Check the boiler pressure with another gauge, not just the tridactor,  daily/weekly to see if/how much water your losing.
It appears with the storage tank, your boiler is technically a cold start, but probably isn't getting 'cold', just warm.  But if your Mom is there alone the boiler may only fire once or twice a day for domestic hot water, and the boiler water temp is dropping down into the 80's, forming Ice's coined phrase of 'Kibbles & Bits' causing the problems with the possible leaking sections.
There are also options to ensure the boiler's circ doesn't run until the boiler gets quickly out of condensing range.

Make your own

@ May 27, 2014 1:32 PM in Multiple Circulator & Zone Valve Relays with Post-Purge?

Unless someone has some commercial controls experience, you may be better off getting your own relays/contactors (Grainger's) and making it yourself.  I know a real wizard up here in the Philly Suburbs who used to build/service elevators before he started his HVAC career. I've seen him do some interesting things with relays and contactors.  Send me a message if you want his info.
Tekmar boiler controls (I know the 374 does) also post purge on the DHW contacts ( think until 10 or 20 degree drop).

Look here

@ April 30, 2014 9:29 PM in sizing

Around Page 10

That link.......

@ April 30, 2014 1:44 PM in Ajax tube boiler inspection hole

No longer works (at least not today)


@ April 30, 2014 1:40 PM in Buderus vs Weil McLain Questions

or Burnham.....Don't go with the WM.
As far as controls, I've never heard about the problems you describe.  With any boiler, hydronic system, if you try to use a very large set back it will take hours to recover, unless it's ridiculously oversized.
Just make sure someone did a heat loss and you are properly sizing your equipment

Was it this?

@ April 27, 2014 8:33 PM in Crane company #52

Page 4

another option

@ April 26, 2014 12:14 AM in Oil to Gas Conversion

use the money to upgrade insulation, building envelope. Keep the oil, upgrade the control to ODR

nope....and get the right control

@ April 25, 2014 11:13 PM in Honeywell Oil Burner Control

I think you have an 8184M, not N

Wiring problem

@ April 19, 2014 9:05 PM in new crown twz100 oil boiler will not start up and run

Something is probably wired wrong
What exactly is happening/not happening?
Check all wiring connections. Trace voltage thru limits to make sure they aren't open.
Make sure plug is in tight.

Edit. Found manual, look at troubleshooting, starting at page 41


@ April 18, 2014 3:02 AM in Visio Drawings

Tekmar has stencils for visio

ahhhhh.....good point

@ April 17, 2014 2:18 AM in Proper Wiring Help Needed

I didnt even look at that because i've never put low and line voltage in the same conduit.

End switch

@ April 16, 2014 11:16 AM in Proper Wiring Help Needed

@ techman..Looks like those 2 wires are going to the end switch


@ April 9, 2014 3:58 PM in New Lead Free ball valves

In 1067, when I took my Journeymen's exam......

No wonder you retired. :)


@ April 1, 2014 4:55 PM in Auto fill/back flow preventer. Is it necessary?

Not at all. 
1.  Just make sure you put in a low water cutoff.
2.  Make sure you disconnect the hose when you're done.
I assume you don't have running water to the shop, otherwise it's not that expensive to put in the auto fill/back flow.  Make sure you buy a cap for the boiler drain.  After a couple times over the years, it may leak after use.
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