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Joined on May 5, 2011

Last Post on September 2, 2014

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@ September 22, 2011 10:10 AM in vent problem

I'm not sure if I am seeing the picture right, but can an equalizer have a offset in it?


@ September 21, 2011 11:39 AM in pellet stove vs nat gas steam heat

So it sounds like there won't be really much savings overall if any by using the pellet stove.  The stove was in the house when we bought it due to it being cheaper than oil heat.  Now that I am switching to gas I had a feeling it wouldn't make much of a difference.   I could simply walk around and shut off radiators easier.  The wife wants to keep the stove so you know what that means :).

I am lucky to have the stove as right now its the ONLY heat we have while I install the new boiler and wait for my B-vent and gas line to be installed.

Tim,  I grew up in a house that had a 1957 Muller Climatrol forced hot air furnace.  Never saw another furnace as quiet.  When I moved in 2006 the furnace was still running beautifully.  It had a rotary switch for the blower which I think had 5 speed settings. 

pellet stove vs nat gas steam heat

@ September 20, 2011 6:19 PM in pellet stove vs nat gas steam heat

I have had a hard time finding an exact comparison on this but how do these two forms of heat actually compare in cost to operate?

My steam boiler is sized to my radiation which is quite a bit oversized for my house.  While pellet fuel seems to cost slightly more than natural gas for heating I'm going to take a guess and say I will save quite a bit of money by heating with the pellet stove on warmer days.

 The steam boiler is an EG-45 and can squeak out just under 83% efficiency when running continuously.  The pellet stove is an American Harvest and I don't remember the exact efficiency but I believe its up there.

Any opinions on the matter?

Hi Techman

@ September 20, 2011 5:14 PM in Cannot line chimney

The old boiler was a 91,000 btu input oil fired boiler.  New boiler is 150K btu input gas.  Old boiler was grossly undersized which resulted in a very unevenly heated house as this is a steam system.
At any rate, no the previous boiler didn't vent very well.  I was never able to get any draft out of the chimney and the house STUNK like diesel and soot when we bought it. 

I just don't understand how this chimney is so small or how it worked with a coal burner originally?  Chimney was originally unlined.

tap type

@ September 20, 2011 2:22 PM in tappping a new hole


Would you recommend a "high speed steel" tap or a "carbon steel" tap for tapping radiators?  I'm asking only because I have to assume the HSS tap would hold up better tapping cast iron.


@ September 20, 2011 12:43 PM in tappping a new hole

I noticed on most of my rads I only get around 2 MAYBE 3 turns on my vents before its tight.  Usually 1.5 turns it starts to feel snug then I go a half a turn to get it pointing upward. The threads appear to be in a decent shape.
This seems odd to me as usually you get a good 4 turns or so on an 1/8" pipe no?
I'm thinking about running an 1/8" tap through most of the threads to clean them up.  Maybe a bad idea?

pair of Hoffman 4As NEW and 4 Heat-timer varivents

@ September 20, 2011 11:40 AM in pair of Hoffman 4As NEW and 3 Heat-timer varivents

Have a new pair of Hoffman 4As in boxes. 

Also have three barely used right angle vari-vents and a fourth vari-vent which is fine except someone stripped the removable nipple out in a radiator.  By barely used I mean the system ran 3 short times with the vari-vents installed.

Anyone interested?

almost new valve for MM #67

@ September 20, 2011 11:30 AM in almost new valve for MM #67

I have a ball valve I bought for my #67 and installed just before learning the boiler was shot.

Anyone in need of one of these?


@ September 20, 2011 9:13 AM in My Burnham IN6 steam boiler shows two pressure readings

I have to wonder if this is one of the reasons the gauge on my old V83 failed.  It was screwed right into the block.  I assumed Burnham had sold it like that, maybe not?


@ September 20, 2011 9:12 AM in tappping a new hole

I'm about to do some work on one of my rads as well.  The 1/8" hole is stripped so I'm planning on drilling it out some and tapping it for 1/4" and then installing a 1/4" to 1/8" nickel plated bushing.

I hope I can pull it off.

small chimney

@ September 17, 2011 9:17 AM in Cannot line chimney

My chimney man is the one that tried to line it. It is I think he said 7x7 or 8x8 tile above the offset in the attic and then it goes to rectangular unlined (no tiles) and its something like 4x9 inside.

The chimney place gave me two quotes and I was surprised to find it was the same price to tear the chimney down and run B vent without repairing damage to the walls as it is for them to run "A" vent up the side of the house. I have to assume that stainless pipe is quite expensive?

I liked that they gave me a quote to repair wall damage separately as I am more then happy to do the work my self.

As far as power venting I already bought a WM EG-45 assuming this chimney could be lined. Getting that block down my winder stairs was hard enough, its not coming back out :).

Cannot line chimney

@ September 16, 2011 12:52 PM in Cannot line chimney


I've run into a problem installing the new boiler and I'm just curious how often this happends.  My chimney is too small to fit a 5.5" liner or even a 5" liner ergo I cannot use the chimney for my 150K btu input boiler. The chimney is big  enough in SPOTS but others are too close so the liner cannot fit.   Because of this there is a pretty good chance I'm going to just have an A vent ran up the side of the house.

This is going to cause me to move my boiler, steam mains, condensate returns and over all is just a big pain in my butt.

I'm sorry as I am just upset / annoyed / confused and just need to "vent" ;).
Have many people run into this same problem when doing a project like this?  I am alone?


@ September 16, 2011 7:59 AM in A\C stops working when cool outside

Sorry but with all due respect you are wrong.
I used to work on fixed orifice automotive systems as a hobby. I am also into restoring 1920s-30s GE monitor top refrigerators which use sulphur dioxide or methyl formate as refrigerants. Of course those refrigerators use a float controlled orifice and are VERY different. Point being I don't feel I am the typical homeowner and I have NEVER wasted a professionals time on the phone. I asked for opinions out of pure curiosity of my own. My parents are calling out the installer to have a look at the system.

I have three gauge sets none of which I can hook to the system because of them being used with PAG ( I assume the home system is mineral oil) ergo I cannot give any pressures. My favorite ones are a set of Yellowjacket Brute 2's I bought a few years back.

I realize you didn't mean to be disrespectful however I want to make sure you realize I had a reason for asking and it wasn't to save money and waste someone else's time.


@ September 15, 2011 3:37 PM in A\C stops working when cool outside

Sorry Paul I edited the post and added that just as you were replying.

A\C stops working when cool outside

@ September 15, 2011 3:33 PM in A\C stops working when cool outside

My parents are having a minor problem with their central air.  System works really good when its 80-90F outside but if its cooler out say around 70F the system completely stops blowing cold air.  The system starts out blowing good cool air but it slowly becomes warm.  Blower continues to run, compressor sounds normal and condenser fan is running.  highside line becomes cool and suction line is no longer cold.

Though it may seem odd to run the A\C when its that cool out the reason is the house gets warm during the day but my dad does not want to let the damp cold air in at night so he runs the A\C.  The area they live in tends to get very humid at nights.

Does this sound like a TXV problem?


@ September 12, 2011 8:32 PM in Bradford White heat traps

After reading your responses I dug out my code book and sure enough they are required. I did know about the unions being required within 12 inches but not about the dielectric couplers.

The heat traps that come with the Bradford White heaters are also dielectric couplers as well correct?

Bradford White heat traps

@ September 12, 2011 8:12 AM in Bradford White heat traps

A friend of mine told me I should unscrew the factory installed fittings in my new bradford white water heater and replace them with male copper adapters instead as the heat traps will rott out much faster.
He is a plumber and I can only assume he has had problems with these in the past.

I'm curious what everyone else's opinion is on this? 


@ September 10, 2011 2:07 AM in best way to take apart V83 block

Somehow I don't think I will need dynamite :)

I'm curious, would it help to heat the area of the push nipples with my MAPP torch before trying to pry it apart?

Mine looks like a baby compared to that 6 section monster maine vent posted!  Its amazing how much the V7 and V8 blocks look alike 

Cut the rod

@ September 9, 2011 4:22 PM in best way to take apart V83 block

I'm sorry, the two threaded rods are out.  They came out fairly easy.

I cannot get anything else to budge in between the sections.
I assume you are talking about driving a wedge down in between the sections where the pins are? 

best way to take apart V83 block

@ September 9, 2011 4:14 PM in best way to take apart V83 block

I'm at the point where I want to take the old burnham V83 block apart so I can carry it out in 3 pieces.  I tried removing the two horizontal threaded rods and cannot get it to budge.

Whats the easiest process for this?  Should I throw a towl over the top section where the large press nipples are and try cracking it with a hammer?


@ September 9, 2011 4:09 PM in Need some guidance

Sounds a lot more like it.  That makes the V83 about perfect I'd say.

I think

@ September 9, 2011 1:05 PM in Need some guidance

You are in the same boat I was only worse.  That V83 is WAY too small for that much radiation.

Are you sure you calculated your EDR accurately?  I have 360sqft of EDR in a 1700sqft house and even that is over sized quite a bit.
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