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Joined on May 5, 2011

Last Post on August 30, 2014

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@ June 29, 2014 11:56 PM in recent job

That's exactly what I did with mine.


@ June 29, 2014 11:44 PM in recent job

I'd be willing to bet you can shrink that 15" as you oversize the header.

If they spec that for a 2" header I'm sure it's not near as important with a 3" or 4" header.  Also if they are asking for a single riser out of the boiler, using two would make it less important as well as you will be pulling less water out.  A drop header likely will also make it less important.

Is there a reason you can't shift the boiler over to gain that 15"?

The rules for piping a boiler can be modified.  The basic idea is you want the water to stay in the boiler and any water that does end up in the header shouldn't make its way into the mains.   That 15" is likely to allow water to settle into the bottom of the header before steam gets pulled up into the main(s).  An oversized drop header should have far less problems with this than a standard header.

J.A., beautiful piping!


@ June 29, 2014 11:48 AM in need electrical help

Wow, this thread has gone way off track eh?
Some feel 120V rated controls are better than 24V ones?.  This is a very bad assumption to make in my opinion.
I don't see why this would be the case and am curious to see some statistics on 24V controls working @ their rated voltage vs 120V ones also  working @ their rated voltage under the same conditions.
I see no reason the 120V ones would be better when working under their intended conditions.  If anything I would expect heavier contacts on the 24V switches / relays rather than "cheaper". 

Does anyone publish MTBF on safety controls for boilers?


@ June 24, 2014 9:44 PM in Replacing shower diverter spout

Ok so I looked, no slot or hole in the bottom and I could not turn it by hand. 
Decided to try some stem grease, or whatever this waterproof valve grease is called and was able to get it working really nice.  Seems like the main part that was binding was the stem of the handle where it passes through the top of the spout.
I just don't know how long it'll last.  Maybe it'll last for years.

If I end up having to remove this, what is the safest way as far as my 1/2" copper pipe coming out of the tiled wall? 


@ June 24, 2014 5:21 PM in The history of the toilet

Isn't unsafe water one of the reasons drinking alcohol became so popular?


@ June 24, 2014 11:11 AM in Replacing shower diverter spout

Hi icesailor,

I don't have a picture here with me of the actual spout, but this is the same type.

Replacing shower diverter spout

@ June 24, 2014 10:50 AM in Replacing shower diverter spout

So our diverter spout has been binding and jamming up since we bought the house in 2011.

I've put it off this long but really need to do something about it and I have a few questions.

1 : I'm assuming this just unscrews from the copper pipe coming out of the wall? What are the chances it will put up a fight and I'll wish I was dead as I pull the tile off of the wall to replace a kinked pipe?

2: Is there a specific diverter spout anyone would recommend? I'd like something that will hold up for years and don't mind paying more for it.

3: To caulk or not to caulk? I've seen some of these caulked to the tile, and other times not. I would assume caulking is the way to go but would like other opinions.

4: Caulk? What kind of caulk do you guys use in a tub when you want a job to last?


@ June 23, 2014 10:11 PM in Need help rating these radiators.

Call Dave,
If you don't you're making a big mistake. 

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.
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