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Joined on January 26, 2011

Last Post on September 13, 2014

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@ June 21, 2011 3:12 PM in basement fun: radiant electric heat, self-leveling compounds, indirect water heaters

I'll try to ask as many questions as I can.
1.  First, I hope you checked your local codes regarding a bedroom in a basement.  Many require an exterior egress window/door bigger then the one in the pic.
2.  Ideally I would jackhammer the whole floor up, redo the drains, vapor barrier, insulate under the properly graded slab, and do some radiant tubing.  A 100 yr old house probably only has 1.5 inches of concrete, so a small demo hammer would do the trick.
3.  It's hard to tell, but I'm guessing it would not be a good idea to try to go from 3" to nothing with floor leveler.  Thats alot of mixing.  A better (costly) solution might be to make a 3 1/2 in curb on the low side, and have gypcrete pumped in, but you still have to deal with the drains. And if you're going to get a pump truck, I would go with #2.
Short of jack hammering, anything you do, I guess, would work.
I have a Smart 60. It doesnt appear to be oversized. They are well insulated, and dont have alot of standby loss (insulate pipes). Filling up a 4' X 6' tub and doing other 'how water things', I 've never ran out of hot water.  Make sure the piping to and from the boiler is correct.  I would use a boiler control with outdoor reset, and DHW priority, or even a Taco relay with priority.
Cast iron circ is fine for the circuit to/from the boiler, assuming you're not using a non-oxygen barrier pex in the system, or this circuit is separeted by a heat exchanger.
You could always get the floor as level as possible, and do some baseboard, or panel radiators.
I just think if you got a boiler, take advantage of all the modern technology.
Good luck :)

smallest steam unit ever?

@ June 21, 2011 11:42 AM in smallest steam unit ever?

I saw this little steamer in a jewelry shop in Carmel, Cali....the owner didnt speak english and couldnt understand why I would take a pic of it

Funny you should mention this.....

@ June 17, 2011 2:09 PM in Pump flanges

I was wondering this myself as I think the supply houses are going to different (probably cheaper) brands.  It did kinda bother me that they delivered everything for a recent job, and sent 2 different styles (colors) out of what I can only figure was everything they had in inventory.  I had to visit a few places to get them all to match.

has anyone ever tried....

@ June 17, 2011 2:04 PM in recirculating hot water?

I was just wondering if anyone has ever tried wiring the circ, with an aquastat, that's tripped on by a flow switch on the outlet side of the indirect, and shut off by the aquastat measuring temperature on the returning circ line?  I've seen the systems with sensors on each room (wired/wireless) that someone pushes a button to turn on the, then the circ shuts off automatically via a return temperature sensor.  But instead of all the extra wiring, I'm thinking why not turn the circ on only as needed.  My guess is it only needs to run less then a minute.  Any thoughts from people way smarter then me would be appreciated (and a sketch :) )  Thanks.

Did you ask...

@ June 15, 2011 2:35 PM in What pneumatic staple gun to buy

Did you ask your tubing supplier?  My supplier loans staple guns (you buy the staples of course).  They modify the guns with an attachment that allows you to stand while stapling, and automatically adjusts the depth for 1/2" or 3/8" tubing.  Their attachment works on a few different brand guns.  They'll also loan you an uncoiler

rather cool?

@ June 1, 2011 1:39 PM in San Fran...

LOL, I was out there last year, same week. It was freeeeeezin....high of 50's with a nice, cold stiff 40 mph breeze.  brrrrrrrr city...but beautiful. If you have time,  try to visit the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market,  You won't believe how great fresh locally grown fruit & veggies taste. And right behind this, overlooking the water is THE SLANTED DOOR--Vietnamese Restaurant. Of course Alcatraz, and other attractions.  But if you only have a day, take an open top bus tour, you get to see the whole city and learn very interesting facts (great for pictures too).
Also, if you have wheels, drive across the Golden Gate and check out Sausalito.  Quaint little town, shops.  Also, for a 10 minute drive it's 15 degrees warmer, no wind, no fog.
If youre a Disney Fan the Walt Disney Family Museum is at the Presidio.  Either it's your thing or it isn't.
And yes, all the above posts have fine recommendations.

Does anybody collect old

@ May 21, 2011 1:27 PM in Does anybody collect old

boiler literature? I have some sales literature for columbia boilers from the late 60's to late 70's, Honeywell catalog from 1971-2, Raypak, Weil McLain.  If someone is interested, just email me, and I'll be more then happy to mail them to you.
Just put 'boiler literature' in the heading.
[email protected]

where at?

@ May 19, 2011 2:56 PM in glass like soot

John, where are you seeing this?  On the burner head/end cone? Or somewhere else?  If you're finding it on the end cone, could be the nozzle assembly it out of adjustment, not letting the proper amount of air get down and through.  You could make sure its at the manufacturers recommendation.  Then start the usual troubleshooting---motor, blower wheel, pump coupling all working properly, then complete combustion testing.  Also make sure the nozzle wasn't changed to a different type, size shape, from the correct one.

[email protected]

@ May 16, 2011 4:08 PM in Indirect water heater timer

I agree with JDB that something is definately 'up'.  My Smart 60 only calls when I use alot of hot water, or if it sat awhile, when i start using hot water,and if no hot water is used, it may only come on once all day.  I hope you have flow checks instead of swing checks, but thats a whole different thread.  Is it possible to show a diagram or photos of the piping to/from the solar storage tank? I'm curious as to the interaction between the two, specifically the piping & controls.  Yes flow checks are used on the potable side, especially with a DHW return line/pump.  My initial thought is it could be the aquastat, and I would start there, checking it with a meter.  Following up with what JDB asked, do you know if your DHW pump is running at all?  You said the priority switch is off, but can/did you confirm it with an electic meter.  Is this a recent problem, or did you notice it recently?  Also, any dripping of a hot water faucet or leak would hurt you too.  If possible, see if your water meter is spinning (little red arrow on mine), or check the gallons, then check in a half hour (with no water usuage) to see if there are any change.

I wouldn't

@ May 16, 2011 3:10 PM in Eliminating blow back when filling tanks

I personally wouldnt pipe it that way at all.  There are many multi-type tank set ups piped this way that im sure work fine.  Your basic problem is the tank(s) won't vent properly because the first, then the second tank are completely full (and pressurized).  When the driver disconnects from the fill pipe, it just wants to blow right back at him.  I think  the best method, if it works for you, is 3 supply fills, and 3 vents with vent-a-larms.  Second best would be this sketch:

tell me more.....

@ May 16, 2011 1:05 PM in Indirect water heater timer

about your other controls.  What's controlling the boiler, the DHW call, do you have setback features, unoccupied modes, etc., or are your current controls expandable? 

re: ghost flow

@ May 15, 2011 4:18 PM in Comments on Schematic?

With all the proper piping, flow checks, etc, think like water.  A zone calls for heat, P1 comes on, and a zone circ comes on.  As water exits the boiler it's heading for the LLH, the path of least resistance, and the greater pressure difference.  It's too lazy to try to work its way to, and through the indirect.
When the DHW calls, P2 comes on, and moves the water thru the indirect, and through the boiler.  When it passes that tee, it'll barely have time to wave in that direction.  The only time you'll see flow in both, is when both are calling for heat, unless you set your controls for DHW priority.
Just make sure you have all your shut-offs, and flow checks where you need them.

tricky tricky..

@ May 15, 2011 4:04 PM in quoting jobs to home owners and then following up to close the job.

This is a tricky one because it appears you have no contact with the homeowner, only the contractor does.  It would be a little difficult to insert yourself into the mix without either insulting the contractor or looking like youre doing a hard sell on the customer.  Maybe you could ask the contractor if you can accompany him to the homeowners house to see if he/she has any addtional questions about the bid, or the equipment, or any questions comparing the job/equipment of other bids.  Based on the on-site conditions, you may be able to offer some help which could reduce cost, or see an opportunity to discuss with the contractor some ideas to make a better job.  But it's up to the contractor.  I almost always get the supplier to 'swing by' on bigger or more complicated jobs.

Oh...and buy him lunch :)

few thoughts

@ May 15, 2011 3:47 PM in Comments on Schematic?

Yes you left a 'few' things out. Was there another thread from you?
1. Unless you're doing something different with your controls, I don't see flow going thru your LLH, when you get a call for DHW.  Just seems like P2 handles DHW all  by itself. In the design you reference (Siggy's design), when the primary needs heat, no DHW,  the primary pump is running, and making a 'figure 8' if you will, thru the boiler, down, turn left (away from the indirect) thru the LLH, down and back thru the primary pump.  The secondary side takes what it need via one of its many pumps.
2.  Your drawing seems to conflict with what you say the zones are doing. Is  Zone 1 high temp & Zone 2  low temp? If so, they're doing two temperatures and are better off separated.  Also the radiant zones (zone 2) are going to need a pump that can handle a  much higher head.

Try this

@ May 11, 2011 12:09 PM in Question on Air Gaps under wood Flooring
Open this brochure and look on page 2, a little to the right, where it shows an aluminum conduction layer (over the wood sleepers).  This would help you with conduction.  But a second options may be to go with a concrete floor leveler (mix & is applied as a liquid), which you can screed over your new furring strips to get a flat level surface.
I'd be curious to see what others think or may have tried.

thanks for your reply ironman

@ May 10, 2011 12:24 PM in injection piping/problems

Thanks for your reply.  I did find the tekmar essay.  I wish the installer found it first :).  I apologize for making an incomplete drawing.  There are flow checks, iso valves, etc., I just put in the pipes/sizes, and circs.

injection piping/problems

@ May 10, 2011 11:08 AM in injection piping/problems

Hello everyone, long time reader, first time poster.  I'm having a problem with the injection  piping supplying the radiant heat zones.  The problem appears when only one radiant zone calls for heat.  The injection supply gets very hot, the injection return gets very hot, and the both sides of the closely spaced tees (supply/return to/from circs) stays cold.  Then the supply sloooooowly warms.  If more then one zone calls, everything works like it should.  I think the problem is the injection piping and the supply/return to/from radiant circs, are both 3/4".  My opinion is the injection circ is ramping up and blocking flow (or reversing flow through the closely spaced tees) and returning right back to the primary loop.  If I turn the radiant circs up to 'high', its less of a problem, but I end up with lots (and loud) expansion noise of the pex.  Should I repipe the supply/return to/from the radiant circs to  1 1/4 copper, then reduce to 1 1/4x 3/4 tees to the circs?  I (hopefully) attached a picture showing the main components.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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