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Joined on May 5, 2011

Last Post on September 2, 2014

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@ August 12, 2014 9:09 AM in Heart attack

I'm sorry to hear that techman. I hope all goes well.

two vs one

@ August 10, 2014 10:28 PM in One riser or two?

Two risers pull steam from two different locations making for a more balanced situation.  I believe when you pull from one location it usually causes the water level to shift and raise towards that area.

If I was piping it I would without a doubt use two 3" risers  into a 4" or 5" header.  I piped my EG-45 with two 2's into a 3" header.

Low pressure

@ August 6, 2014 7:20 AM in Venting the mains

PMJ, I agree 100%.
I'm still trying to improve on my venting where I can.

Tape N stuff

@ August 5, 2014 10:56 AM in 1" Spud into 45 ell, do I cut the smaller sizes on the wrench off?

I use blue monster tape or Megaloc dope. If the threads are old and rough I'll use both. If they're in good shape I often go for the blue monster tape alone.

If it was mine being I'm a perfectionist I'd replace the length of pipe to bring the valve up to the correct height. I'd do this even if I had multiple radiators I needed to fix.

But like I said, I'm a perfectionist and I often suffer because of it.


@ August 3, 2014 7:14 PM in New Boiler Options

I may have missed it but I don't recall you saying you have flooded the boiler and let it sit?

Raise the water level all the way up, as far as you can get it, even up into the piping some and let it sit for a few days cold.  If you have a rotted section above the water line this is the easiest way to find it.

Don't go crazy, just try to get it to where you think the block is 100% full to the top. 


@ August 3, 2014 6:33 PM in Frigid air chest freezer

The monitor tops starting in 1933 have a stainless evaporator and nickel plated copper tubing.  Only the float chamber and condenser are steel.   In the 1930s GE knew better than to put something that could rust inside the cooling space.

I do not know what kind of stainless the evaporators are, other than it's non-magnetic.


@ August 3, 2014 4:48 PM in New Boiler Options

I have zero experience with two pipe systems but, wouldn't all of the traps being open and no main vents mean steam can leave the system through those 3/4" vent pipes?

Steel tubing

@ August 3, 2014 4:44 PM in Frigid air chest freezer

Icesailor, my experience with steel condensers has been fairly good.
The 1933 and newer monitor tops all used 2 pieces of sheet steel pressed and then welded together as a condenser.  Even running SO2 I've never heard of one rusting out. 

To the op, we have a guy on the monitor top forum that spends a lot of time restoring chest freezers.  He may be able to help you out.


@ August 3, 2014 10:51 AM in New Boiler Options

After the water has been in the boiler for a bit and boiled a few times I like to see a PH of between 8 and 10.  Below 8 I get nervous, below 7 is a guaranteed

How much

@ August 3, 2014 9:11 AM in New Boiler Options

How much water are you using?
My 392sqft system uses around 1/4 to 1/2 a gallon per month when it's cold out running 2 cycles per hour. 

As far as the best boiler, you're going to get a different opinion from almost everyone you ask.  My opinion is it doesn't matter.  All that matters is that you match it as best as you can to the load and that it gets piped correctly.  Personally I use water treatment in my system and run a fairly high PH of between 9 and 10.  I also keep my water extremely clean.


@ August 2, 2014 10:24 PM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

I think a lot of the tubing I was brazing is 1/4" along with the tiny capillary tube.  If you're good you have nothing to worry about.

But as you said, the connections are all flared anyway so no need to braze.  I do wonder how good a flare connection is vs brazed though?  I'm guessing it should be fine as long as it's tightened correctly?

Not a professional

@ August 2, 2014 2:23 PM in New Boiler Options

But my guess is it all depends on what happens when you go to tear the block apart.  If the sections are in good solid shape then new gaskets could fix it, if that is where it's leaking.   If you go to pull them apart and they are rotted above the water line and none of it seems salvageable then you would just replace the entire block and or boiler.

My opinion is you're not going to know until you do it.  How old is the boiler and how has the system been in regards to water usage?  Do you always boil the water immediately after adding it?  Do you monitor and run a decent PH?  Use water treatment?

Under poor conditions a block can rott out in 3 years.  Under good conditions they can last 30-50 years.


@ August 2, 2014 12:56 PM in A Tankless Coil Experiment

I could compare to my power vent heater, but I have no idea how?
I'm guessing it would have to be for a period of time when no one is using water?  Mine is a Bradford White 50 gal 1" insulation power vent model, not the 2" insulation version.  I know after sandy we were without electric for 3 days and on the last day the water was still very hot, I'd say above 120F and I run 140-145F normally.


@ August 1, 2014 5:37 PM in A Tankless Coil Experiment


Do you think there would be anything gained if you ran the burner longer at a lower output?

I got one for that!

@ August 1, 2014 3:51 PM in Oil to Gas Conversion

One of my favorites.

Yes, when in doubt please ask on here to make sure they are going to pipe it correctly. The piping is just as important as the boiler.

P/T chart

@ August 1, 2014 10:05 AM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

Hi Techman,

Yes, I have two of them, one showing a curve compared to other refrigerants and this one. I'm attaching this one because I have it handy.


@ August 1, 2014 9:01 AM in Oil to Gas Conversion

If it was mine I would be choosing between an IN4 and an IN5. I'm against the 33% oversizing commonly done and feel it is completely unnecessary in most situations.

If you vent appropriately the IN4 could work beautifully and the IN5 will easily work even if you vent fast. I also think Joe's recommendation of an IN6 + 2 stage valve is a great idea. But an IN6 with a single stage valve? Absolutely not.

Methyl formate

@ August 1, 2014 7:16 AM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

Hi Bob,

I used methyl formate as it is the original refrigerant used in the 1933-34 CA type monitor tops.


@ July 31, 2014 10:11 PM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

Like I said, I'm only an amateur and do this as a hobby, but in my eyes if I'm willing to spend time and money to do it right, shouldn't a professional?

I will admit, my wife was anything but happy when I started dumping money into the equipment to do this but it takes what it takes.


@ July 30, 2014 12:01 PM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

Are you sure it's minor?


@ July 29, 2014 3:53 PM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

I think it costs me $20 or $25 to have my 60cuft bottle filled. Seems fairly cheap to me.


@ July 29, 2014 2:34 PM in Brazing without nitrogen?!


Thanks for responding. This is the kind of feedback I'm interested in hearing because I only do this for a hobby so I don't know what goes on in the real world.
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