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Joined on May 5, 2011

Last Post on September 17, 2014

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@ September 4, 2014 8:56 AM in PVC Venting on boilers again!


I'm sorry if I'm a bit slow but I'm not understanding the analogy?
Are saying not following the manufacturer's instructions would only void the warranty of the appliance?


@ September 4, 2014 7:09 AM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

What I see is "Properly sized PVC, CPVC or ABS* pipe must be used."

To me, that means if I use something other than those materials I would be liable.


@ September 3, 2014 9:23 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!


My Bradford White water heater specifically says for use with Sch 40 PVC.


@ September 3, 2014 8:52 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

The maximum service temperature for PVC is 140°F.


@ September 3, 2014 8:05 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

Everything I've found states PVC melts @ 160C or 320F.

Where did you find 80C?

Waste pipe

@ September 3, 2014 5:37 PM in Going around obsticals

Hi Fred,

I was wondering the same thing, but when Jamie said it was ingenious it made me think maybe I shouldn't touch it?

That's not the main pipe, but it ties into the main pipe on the other side of the stone foundation.


@ September 3, 2014 4:51 PM in Going around obsticals

Thank you all for responding.

Dave, I've been looking into that and have a feeling it would make things worse. Towards the camera is towards what has settled which is why the pitch is wrong in the first place. This section settled, a lot over the past 100 years.

Interesting idea and this is where having my own threader would really come in handy. I could cut the runout off, thread it and screw a 45 on it and go from there.

I'm curious how to handle the pipe making noise where it passes through the joists? Plastic milk carton shims?


@ September 2, 2014 10:10 PM in Going around obsticals

Here are some pictures of the runout in question. The older "before" picture is from when we bought the house the pipe had a hole in it. I'm guessing someone drilled the hole to allow condensate to drain. There is another runout behind this one that the joists are slightly notched to allow greater pitch. Not concerned with this one as it works beautiful and the joists are so short the notching doesn't matter.

The problem runout on the other hand. As you see there is a soil pipe from the toilet in the way so even if I wanted to notch the joists it wouldn't work.
So far it's been ok but if I reduce the pitch even a hair, it will hammer on startup.

To me, that suggests it must not be quite up to par. It's obviously far better than it was when we bought the place but I think there is still room for improvement.


@ September 2, 2014 1:54 PM in What do you see wrong with this set up?

The expansion tanks are on the wrong side of the pump.


@ September 1, 2014 4:22 PM in two different metals

Perhaps I'm mistaken.


@ September 1, 2014 12:32 PM in two different metals

hot rod,

I'm not entirely sure oxygen is required. As far as I am aware all that is needed is an electrolyte for galvanic corrosion.

For example lead acid batteries do not require oxygen to work


@ September 1, 2014 11:50 AM in Radiator connections - cast iron

I suspect you're going to have to remove the connections that are there and buy complete sets as they are matched.

If you try to use a piece from another set it will leak.

Other than that I am afraid I cannot be of any help. I've only worked with my own radiators in a steam system and I know the valves are matched to the connection on the radiator which I believe is called a spud.


@ September 1, 2014 10:52 AM in two different metals

The original bolts were aluminum into steel washers.

As far as torquing, this is only holding the evaporator. This is why I've considered nylon.

Not exactly

@ September 1, 2014 10:00 AM in two different metals

It all depends. The refrigerant lines which are copper and brazed into steel in places do not seem to have problems for some reason. However the aluminum bolts which directly touch the stainless evaporator and then are threaded into steel bolts which sweat constantly do have some issues.

However, my point was even with issues after 80 years none of failed. We do replace them though just because how can you put it back together like that. I use 316 stainless hardware on my restorations. I've been tempted to use nylon to stop the sweating by everyone seems to think they will be too weak.

The pictures are of two different units so you will notice differences, but the before photo is still accurate of what you find when you tear them apart. The second picture is of course after the work is done. The evaporator is isolated from the top plate via strips of cork. The large fender washers are isolated with thick rubber washers which cannot be seen other than maybe the depth of the two bottom ones in the after picture.


@ August 31, 2014 11:47 PM in two different metals

You're going to get many different opinions on this subject.

My understanding is when you connect dissimilar metals together and fill them with a liquid you essentially make a battery. One side being the anode and the other being the cathode. basically when you connect steel and copper together over time the iron will slowly be pulled over to the copper side, accumulating on the copper surface while the iron will slowly disappear and rust until you have a leak.

Now that said, I have 80+ year old refrigerators which have copper and steel brazed together as well as dissimilar aluminum screws screwed into steel nuts. They lasted over 80 years with zero problems.

I used some copper around my steam boiler, mainly below the water line because I feel the positives of it out weight the negatives in those locations. Will this cause the cast iron fitting I have the copper screwed into to rott out? I believe there is no doubt that it will but due to the thickness of the cast iron fitting there is a good chance it will not be in my life time. It is my understanding the reaction takes place very close to the joint so something a foot or two away shouldn't be effected.

It's typically a good idea to transition from steel to copper using a brass connector of sorts. If you can use a brass nipple or fitting they say it helps because brass is in between copper and steel so it's not as dissimilar.

Here is a good Wiki page on the subject.


@ August 31, 2014 11:20 PM in How much flex in piping?

I ended up cutting the floor more behind the pipe. Will just patch in with some plywood before putting the new floor down.

The pipe is still rubbing a little on the floor, but it shouldn't be enough to matter. If it does cause any noise I'll use the plastic milk carton trick.

This was actually related to my closet thread but I wanted to start a separate thread as it was a separate problem.

Where to set it to?

@ August 31, 2014 11:15 PM in Cut In on New Steam Boiler??

For the most part, the lower the better as long as you get enough heat to all parts of the building.

My system is currently set to trip at 4 ounces and wait for 10 minutes but this cannot be done with the typical pressuretrol. My Pressuretrol which is a backup is set to trip at 1.5PSI via my 3PSI gauge.

Most of the time my system sees very little pressure, in fact my 3.0 PSI Wika gauge never even moves. I'm planning on replacing it with a more useful gauge this fall.

threader type

@ August 31, 2014 11:05 AM in Is buying a used threader risky?


The type of threader I'm looking at doesn't hold the pipe so that may not be a concern.

Best I can tell, you clamp the pipe in a vice or a holder and after cutting and reaming you use this to thread it by hand. A long handle slides into the hole shown at the bottom.

My concern is they seem to cost $900-1K new yet are on ebay $150-200 used. Usually tools don't drop in value like that.

Is buying a used threader risky?

@ August 31, 2014 9:15 AM in Is buying a used threader risky?

I'm considering buying a used threader like a Ridgid 65R-TC. 90% of my needs are 1" 1 1/4" and 2" .

My assumption is if I buy a used one worst case I'll need to spend $70 on new dies. Is this correct, or do these tools often end up with other problems? I realize I'll still need a reamer and cutter etc but that's another story.


@ August 31, 2014 8:22 AM in weil mclain v efm boiler

The brand of the boiler isn't very important. What is important is that the boiler is properly matched to the radiation in the home and most of the time they are not. Do not go by the boiler that is already installed.

The next thing that is equally important is that the boiler is piped correctly. The hard part is finding someone who actually knows steam systems well because it seems like most boilers get piped incorrectly. Once you find someone that really knows what they are doing just go with whatever boiler brand they install.

If possible I recommend asking questions on here after you get some recommendations just to make sure they are acceptable. It's much harder to get things fixed after the job is complete.

Unfortunately you will not be able to keep your self-powered system as they are no longer manufactured and I believe are against code as far as new installations.

Thank you

@ August 30, 2014 1:49 PM in Going around obsticals

Thank you for all of the replies.

It's sounding like a drip leg will not only be easier, but may be necessary due to limited amount of space. As Fred said I have almost no room to work with.

My question about a drip leg is because it's primarily below the water line can I use copper? I'm sure there will be many opinions on this and I'd like to hear all of them.

Drip leg

@ August 29, 2014 5:41 PM in Going around obsticals

I've considered a drip leg as well.

Unsure of what the smallest size I could safely use is though as I'd need to drill through a stone foundation to make it happen. I'm guessing 1/2" would be the smallest recommended?

The radiator is a small 15sqft unit.
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