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Joined on May 5, 2011

Last Post on July 22, 2014

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@ August 25, 2011 11:06 AM in Radiator Pictures

I love the purple people heater and the same style red one.  Reminds me of aluminum heat sinks.


@ August 25, 2011 9:06 AM in Need a pro's help with threaded fittings

I have a large can of Megaloc and tons of Blue Monster tape which I bought on Gerry Gill's recommendation for steam pipes.  Will these work good for domestic water also?  My immediate assumption is the tape might be too thick for small fittings.

Need a pro's help with threaded fittings

@ August 24, 2011 3:45 PM in Need a pro's help with threaded fittings

So far I've had very bad luck putting together NPT fittings in plumbing.  Some how my sweat joints are very good but most of the threaded connections I make for domestic water leak.  I have to assume I'm doing something wrong.
I use the typical thin white teflon tape and do 3-5 wraps and tigthen the fitting fairly tight.  Half of the time I end up with a connection that slowly wheeps.
These connections are all 3/4" if it matters.


@ August 22, 2011 11:52 AM in customer know's best...

I help a lot of friends out with computers and electronics and actually am sick and tired of being told I'm wrong and everything I want to do always costs too much because I don't buy junk and insist on doing things correctly.  The sad part is this is just from me doing favors for people for free.

I have a lot of respect for tradesmen, they have to deal with a lot.


@ August 22, 2011 11:43 AM in Where on the internet is it written...

When we bought our house in April the oil tank was empty.  I didn't realize places did emergency delivery so I went and bought 20 gallons of Diesel and got the system running.  This was during Easter I believe.

I guess I missed my chance to get someone out of bed due to my own ignorance.  I am switching over to gas as we speak.

Sorry Steve :(

water heaters in series

@ August 22, 2011 8:25 AM in water heaters in series

I am considering installing a small 20 gallon electric water heater in series with a 40 gallon gas water heater and am curious if it is considered safe and if it would be to code.  I cannot see any reason that it would be unsafe but may I'm missing something.

Reason is to have instant hot water in a location far from the gas water heater, yet I would rather not run the electric one more than necessary.  I'm going to have this 20 gallon electric water heater on hand for nothing so I'm trying to find a creative use for it.  I am currently using it as a temporary source of hot water while doing other work.


@ August 21, 2011 12:46 PM in newer style Pressuretol?

there is actually a chance an inspector would fail the installation due to the use of this pressuretrol just because of the mercury switch?

So this would mean instead of it being in use safely in my basement it would end up at a landfill, getting broke and leaking into the ground.

newer style Pressuretol?

@ August 20, 2011 8:55 PM in newer style Pressuretol?

My new boiler came with a cheaper looking Pressuretrol than my current one.  It appears to be a PA404A type while my older one is a L404F type which has a large mercury bulb.

Is the newer style worse / better or the same thing with cosmetic changes?  I of course would prefer to use the new one, but not if its cheaper and less reliable / less consistent.  I will of course be using a Wica 3 PSI gauge along with the Pressuretrol.

I'm not a pro

@ August 19, 2011 7:23 PM in Is it even worth trying?

but whatever you do PLEASE do not convert a steam system to forced hot air. 
Those are some beautiful radiators!

I'm curious if the cracked\blown out pipe is from water hammering?

EG40 vs EG45

@ August 19, 2011 6:57 AM in downfiring

steamhead, this is sort of why I wondered if it mattered that the EG40 and EG45 appear to use the same block part number. The only difference I can find is the 40 has a 5 tube burner while the 45 comes with a 6 tube burner assembly. Of course this doesn't mean that there are not other differences I don't know about.

I do see what you are talking about in the manual to my Burnham KV83. It lists two nozzle sizes for a water system and the higher flow nozzle has a substantially lower AFUE rating.

boiler drain

@ August 18, 2011 11:17 PM in Mud leg drain

When you blow down under pressure I assume if you pipe it right you can blow water out of virturally any section of pipe which you can isolate from the system such as your wet return assuming you install a drain on the oposit end as well as a valve to isolate the wet return from the steam main \ dry return.

However I'm curious, when cleaning the boiler it self is it better to blow down from the return section of pipe (the T entering the boiler with valve on end), or straight from the boiler drain?


@ August 18, 2011 11:07 PM in Insulation

writeup on insulating Crash.

I can't wait to start insulating my mains, unfortunately I have to tackle installing the boiler first.


@ August 18, 2011 6:07 PM in downfiring

I probably should have mentioned this is a steam system, however your point is well taken.  Downfiring reduces efficiency.


@ August 18, 2011 5:23 PM in How does this radiator come apart?

steamhead,  I had been wondering exactly how these worked.  9 out of my 10 radiators are made like this without the horizontal rods.

Are these style radiators leak prone or pretty reliable overall?


@ August 18, 2011 11:15 AM in downfiring

I'm curious if there is any benefit to downfiring an atmospheric gas boiler to fine tune a system.

For example when I install my new boiler if I find I could get by better with just a little less output (5-15%) would it benefit me at all, or would I simply burn the gas anyway due to the longer run times? 
The boiler I'm installing is an EG-45 which appears to be completely identical to an EG-40 other than having one extra burner.  I have to assume this suggests it could be downfired to match an EG-40 if the situation ever came around (radiators removed in future and so on).
I would of course have a professional do this for me if it is at all beneficial.


@ August 18, 2011 9:44 AM in Help! Persistant Radiator Banging

Might help if you can post pictures of the specific radiator as well as pictures of the piping going to it.

Have you taken the valve apart to see if its opening completely and not clogged / nastied up?  I have also heard that venting a radiator too fast can cause a build up of condensate which doesn't have time to get back down the pipe.  What vent is on the radiator?

pickup factor

@ August 15, 2011 1:25 PM in pickup factor

I'm curious whether or not the 1.33 pickup factor assumes uninsulated risers in between floors?

I have risers going from the basement to the second floor and of course they are not insulated and probably won't be for some time if ever.  Should I assume a 1.5 pickup factor for this?  This is a single pipe system.


@ August 12, 2011 5:58 PM in New boiler on the way!

After talking to quite a few people and doing a lot of thinking.  I'm probably going with two 2" risers more than 24" above boiler into a 3" drop header.  This seems to be the most cost effective way of getting a pretty good header.

As always I appreciate the help from everyone.

3" single

@ August 11, 2011 12:57 PM in New boiler on the way!

A 3" single riser to a 3" header would be really simple, but wouldn't using two 2.5's to a 3" header give me lower velocity out of the boiler as well as balance the load on both sides of the block better?

Like I said I don't quite understand the "art" behind this yet so please don't think I am doubting your answer, or anyone else's for that matter.  I have A LOT of respect for people on this forum.  I am simply trying to understand it better and know what I am doing.  Without Dan's books, this forum and its great people I would be up a creek so to speak.

I cannot find anything in TLAOSH about sizing headers or any kind of formula that I can find.  I have heard you should size the header 1 size bigger than the risers.

What about size?

@ August 10, 2011 10:39 PM in New boiler on the way!

I was under the assumption you wanted the largest risers possible to slow the steam velocity as much as possible.

If the EG-45 has two 3" supplys, wouldn't it make sense to use them at full size? 

I'm curious what the pros usually do on this size boiler.  The pic you posted has 2.5" risers to a 2.5" header and it looks really good,  but I'm not quite understanding why its done.


@ August 10, 2011 5:45 PM in New boiler on the way!

I'm going to assume if it has 3 inch ports I should run 3 inch risers out regardless of how overkill it is.  The only scary part is if I go with a 4 inch header thats going to be pricey.

By the way, how did you find that?  I've looked all over the board for a picture like that and came up empty handed.

The manual

@ August 10, 2011 5:08 PM in New boiler on the way!

Doesn't show a second supply connection, however the parts list Weil-Mclain has for it does show one.  This is why I asked for clarification.

See here :

Kind of hoping someone out there has installed one of these before and knows whether it doesn't have a second port or if its simply plugged. 
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