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Joined on May 5, 2011

Last Post on August 12, 2014

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Looking good!

@ June 23, 2014 11:29 AM in Steam Odyssey 2014

Always glad to help when I can.

How has the DHW been performing?


@ June 18, 2014 3:56 PM in Hot Radiators

Here's a link to a place that has it, never dealt with them though.

It's just standard white grease. I'm even using it on my 1.8GHz pc at work that has been running at 2.7GHz for 3 years now.

Dow Corning 340

@ June 18, 2014 3:49 PM in Hot Radiators

I use Dow Corning 340 on everything, including my CPUs and I do a lot of overclocking and gaming. We buy tubes of it I think for $30 or so ea.

Don't get caught up in PC "high end thermal grease" B.S. I've tried artic silver and didn't see a difference.

Come on down

@ June 17, 2014 8:35 PM in Main Vent

To NJ and I'll buy a 12lb sledge just for the event.  That fitting is going down!

Not yet

@ June 17, 2014 8:26 PM in Main Vent

I was able to remove the nipples from the elbows on my two mains.
But I'm told you cover it with a good heavy rag and then give it a few good whacks with a lump hammer and you're in business.


@ June 17, 2014 8:24 PM in Main Vent

Thank you!

And now I wish I could forget how much these cost again.  I remember being amazed at the time how much it cost to pipe my boiler using parts from an online store.

Cast iron

@ June 17, 2014 8:06 PM in Main Vent

Really? They must have changed their search engine because it used to be fittings > cast iron.

As far as why use cast iron I believe it's because you always have a way out by shattering it if need be.

I used all cast iron on my install because that's what the pros said to do.


@ June 17, 2014 7:42 PM in Main Vent

From what I see on Ward's site the only cast iron unions are flange type, I guess that isn't a surprise.

I'm also surprised to see pexsupply aka supplerhouse no longer stocks cast iron ward fittings.  :That's where all of my cast iron fittings came from.

Now where will I go.


@ June 17, 2014 7:06 PM in Main Vent

Don't think he was.
The fitting I drilled was from the 1920s and all of my newer fittings are Ward cast iron fittings.

I don't think these are considered "malleable" are they?


@ June 17, 2014 6:58 PM in Oh look what I found in my closet

I'm back in.  :)
No need to apologize, I enjoy a good joke now and then, as long as it's not aimed at the steam system.

On a serious note, any votes on a thread sealer?  Megaloc + blue monster tape,  blue monster tape alone, or RTV?
The bottom fitting is original steel and the radiator valve I'm not concerned about really, I'm sure it'll seal nice with tape alone.


@ June 17, 2014 6:56 PM in Main Vent

Does this include 80 year old pitted and rusty fittings though?
On brass connections I would tend to agree.

Cast iron

@ June 17, 2014 6:55 PM in Main Vent

Now I don't know what to think.
A machinist told me cast iron is very soft and drills and taps super easy.  He also said it always crumbles, it's just the way it drills.

The last time I drilled into an ell it was extremely easy without oil.


@ June 17, 2014 5:45 PM in Main Vent

If drilling a cast iron fitting like an elbow or a tee I wouldn't use any.
Now that doesn't make it right, just when I drilled my last ell I didn't use any oil.    I'd rather burn up a bit and damage a tap than have to deal with oil in my boiler again.

I'm replacing a fairly long length of pipe soon and need to figure out what sealer I'm using on the threads.  Because it's going into an 80 year old ell I'd kind of like to use blue monster tape and megaloc, but can't stand thinking about oil in the dope ending up in the boiler.   I plan on scrubbing the pipe with dish soap and hot water in the back yard before threading it in.
I'm tempted to use RTV.


@ June 17, 2014 8:21 AM in Venting the mains

General rule if I recall is all of the radiators combined should equal less than your main venting.

Cold main

@ June 17, 2014 8:12 AM in Venting the mains

What about when it's a hot main?  Most of the time when my boiler fires up the piping is already fairly hot.
The object is to make the main less resistive than the radiators.  If you vent the main on the slower side you must vent the radiators on the slower side.

If you want to vent the radiators very fast you must make sure the mains are faster.  For example I have some Gorton Cs on fairly small 11 section radiators.  If I didn't vent my mains really fast those radiators would get heat before others on the system.

That's basically what it comes down to.

The dry return is a piece of pipe, venting it is the same as venting the main although I suspect there is a little more resistance there.  I've considered moving my main vents to the end of one of my dry returns to get them out of the crawl space and into the basement.     If the dry return is not insulated, I wouldn't do it.

Don't know

@ June 16, 2014 9:03 PM in Venting the mains

I will admit I'm known for doing everything excessive.  I can't deny that.
But, I have a feeling running at 1 ounce is cheaper than at 3 ounces and I can say for a fact that it is quieter.  I put a lot of work into my system and constantly tweak things to make it faster, quieter, more comfortable and cheaper to run.


@ June 16, 2014 8:24 PM in Venting the mains

My system is currently setup to shut down at 4 ounces and wait for 10 minutes.  I'd never want to see 3 ounces before I even get heat.  In fact, my 3 PSI gauge doesn't even move during normal operation.  I'd like to swap it out for a much more sensitive gauge, it just has not happened yet.
Holding back the steam is never a good thing, especially when dealing with the mains.

VA vs Watts

@ June 16, 2014 12:32 PM in Volts x Amps x Power Factor = what?

I'm a bit confused by this thread.

The reason VA is different from watts is because some loads, such as an inductive motor will cause the current draw to be out of phase with the voltage.

In most places, you pay for wattage not VA so a poor power factor won't cost you a dime, you're still paying for real power, not apparent power.

When sizing a breaker, fuse or conductor I would think you go by current consumption alone, not volt-amps or watts?

I'm posting because I want to make sure my understanding is correct. If it is not, please let me know.

18 #2s

@ June 16, 2014 11:31 AM in Venting the mains

NBC, can we see a picture of that setup?

I was proud of my five #1s. Now not so much. :)


@ June 15, 2014 10:59 AM in Hoffman Boiler Feed, persistent trickle feed and overflow

Can you post some pictures?
It will likely help greatly.  In my experience as little as it is, a 24" wrench isn't very big when dealing with 2" pipe.


@ June 15, 2014 10:56 AM in Union installation on 2.5"

Do you think my turbotorch with the largest tip they make can braze 1 1/4" or 2" steel pipe?


@ June 14, 2014 10:12 PM in question about PVC concentric venting

Please be advised I'm not a pro, and honestly didn't even know what a concentric was until just now.

But the wording is very clear.  Like you said,
*Use only Rheem 3 inch concentric termination kit (SP20245). The use of any other kit is not approved.

That means, you cannot use any other kit besides that one.  Even if the 2" would work I wouldn't do it because it could end up biting you later some way some how.  As far as the water heaters outlet only being 2", the reason you go to 3" is to make up for the restrictions caused by elbows and piping length so the water heater's outlet size doesn't really matter.

Is there any reason you want to use a concentric instead of the standard two pipe setup?  I only ask because that seems like you could do it no problem at all using 2" and the holes would be even smaller, just twice.
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