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Joined on May 27, 2011

Last Post on August 31, 2014

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Air scoop or eliminator

@ August 31, 2014 3:31 PM in I don't have 18"

  The 18" rule is a good one to be thinking of but not so important if you have a modern air eliminator as opposed to old style air scoop . Which do you have there ? Send a picture or 2 .

The Neighborhood

@ August 31, 2014 3:25 PM in Weil Mclain ECO 155 gas piping design question

is where you need to visit . Taco FloPro University is an online tool free for anyone who wants to learn . Take a look and it will tell you everything you require for a heat loss . Welcome to the world of doing it right .

Best practice ?

@ August 31, 2014 1:02 PM in Code or Best Practice for connecting 2-appliances to Chimney Liner

No, I'd say not . Code ? Not in New Jersey so I doubt in Mass . Did this pass an inspection by the AHJ ? 

Pulling teeth

@ August 31, 2014 11:57 AM in Code or Best Practice for connecting 2-appliances to Chimney Liner

Let's not extract the information .  How was it connected that concerns you ?  Is there a fitting or piping arrangement that bothers you ?  Let's see it .


@ August 31, 2014 11:53 AM in Weil Mclain ECO 155 gas piping design question

do you know it was properly sized before ?  Old Victorian and properly sized have never appeared in the same sentence in my career . Do the heat loss , measure the installed radiation and at least see if you can lower the water temps and use the ODR . I'd be willing to wager that the boiler is at least 2xs oversized , don't forget the buffer tank my friend . Have fun with the 88% efficiency and by the way , cycling is not good unless your in the Tour de France .

Good questions

@ August 31, 2014 10:37 AM in Hot water radiators in place of steam system or hvac

1)  are the monthly costs for heating for each option very different? 
2) how does air heat compare to radiators considering this is a home with poor insulation and single pane windows? 
   Water holds energy much better than air , a 3/4 pipe can move the same BTUs as a 14" x 8" duct . Air also loses that energy at a more rapid rate than water . A home with poor windows and insulation is MUCH better off with water based heating than air . You also have the benefit of upgrading at a later date and achieving a VERY efficient home . 
3) is hvac considered much better for home value vs hot water and ductless. I'm wondering if it really makes a difference. Hvac is considered more updated but I'm not sure if that's very important for home value in New York . 
  HVAC is heating , ventilation , cooling .  Ducted is the word you are looking for , the only system that absolutely must have ducts is Ventilation .  Hot water heat and ductless mini splits would be more economical on a month to month bills basis . People in NY and everywhere want The lowest bills possible . When and if you sell your home show them the bills , a recent study showed that 90% of homebuyers were more interested in those than anything else .

Go with the hot water system with Panel radiators w/ TRVs sized for low water temps and make damn sure your designer / installer knows this business . I caution you that financial success and recognition and TV ads are not key factors in this search .  Install the key mini splits and you'll be happy .


@ August 28, 2014 8:28 AM in Granite steps snowmelt

the question . I'm sure someone has done it before . 8 " , 2 " what's the difference except response time ?  These steps will actually take longer to cool than a 2" slab also , I don't understand the problem or need for the question to be asked .

Anode rods

@ August 27, 2014 12:33 AM in Buderus Indirect Hot Water tank

suck . I like Buderus' stuff and have used it many times . When it comes to indirects though HTP has the best in the business . SuperStor indirects have a no BS lifetime warranty , are stainless steel , no anode rods to change . You should even be able to use the DHW sensor from Buderus so it communicates nice .

Past winter

@ August 24, 2014 10:33 PM in HW Radiant conversion

we had about 2 weeks of sustained below 10* temps at night and many days in the lower teens . Most are designing to 14-16* but I opt for 3* w/ 20 mph wind . Appropriate system design and outdoor reset as you know allow us room to go either way from design without compromising efficiency or occupant comfort . He is your friend I would suggest that type of design so he stays your friend . I sent you my information if you'd like to pass it on I will certainly do my best with recommendations and whatever help he requires .  
Hydraulic separation is always a good idea , can't do any harm . Mod Con is also always a good idea installed and set up properly . Maybe a small buffer tank is in order with the zones he has . How does he do DHW now ?

If my phone rings I always answer , he can't be more than 10 miles from me .

I am

@ August 24, 2014 6:50 PM in HW Radiant conversion

right next door in Toms River . . I just got a bit freed up too . I think I might just be qualified .


@ August 24, 2014 6:00 PM in 3/4 inch Pex to Uponor Heating Manifold

may have a problem then . The 3/4 fitting for adapting to brass or EP manifolds only comes in the r20 x pex configuration . Don't know what tube you have but I'd be willing to bet it won't be expander friendly .  You may need to borrow , rent , buy a Uponor expander , buy the adaptors and transition using some type of pushfit . Or just forgo the brass or EP manifolds and purchase 2" manifold and R25 fittings (F2821225) and 3/4 compression x R25 Thread adaptors(A4020750) .  Good luck . 


@ August 24, 2014 9:31 AM in 3/4 inch Pex to Uponor Heating Manifold

that has been mentioned will readily connect your 3/4" (why) to Uponor Brass and EP manifolds .  That is assuming your pex is HePex and not Uponor MLC tubing . 


@ August 21, 2014 7:31 AM in a.o smith promax direct vent

appliances in a chimney that now be oversized are very BAD .
Make damn sure that appliance left in there is capable of heating the chimney enough not to condense in there .  Make sure they are not killed to save some money . Did they recently have insulation added by any chance ? Was the chimney inspected for defects ?


@ August 21, 2014 7:24 AM in New heating system

is what you really need . A good ERV that will bring in enough fresh air and exhaust trash air . Leave the hydronic heat , install some ductless units and get a quality ERV to bring in fresh with a High number MERV filter . Don't be a victim . By the way since there are health issues radiant would rather be a necessity as opposed to a luxury . With radiant you will have the satisfaction (luxury ) of looking at your child whilst he is breathing better and knowing you made the right or a better decision for his health . You can do better here and spend less money than you are contemplating .


@ August 21, 2014 7:17 AM in Please Recommend a good gas to radiator boiler system

hit it right on the head .  A boiler is like a pot , you can heat water in it , what and how you use that water is a different thing entirely . If your contractor cannot move that heat (energy) properly it does not matter what "pot you use to heat the fluid " .  Dunkirk cast iron boilers are very good boilers by the way .


@ August 20, 2014 11:17 PM in Correct plumbing

is pretty convincing isn't he ? First do away with the DBPV , second order a 008 VDT , third add a backflow preventer where the pressure reducer is , fourth purchase and install a Spirovent or Caleffi vertical air separator and locate it under the FPHX , you can leave the expansion tank where it is . plumb the HX counter flow as you have suggested .  Oh the hell with it , see if you can get your money back from Fred and send him his garbage back and design a real system with a little HELP from your friends . 


@ August 20, 2014 10:53 PM in System's Architect

is the standard we all should be trying to achieve . If it can be achieved efficiency will follow , 62.2 must also be addressed . Sorry about the prior mention of discussions prior to the adoption of 62.2 2013. BSC's standard replaces .03 with .01 and this is more than adequate ventilation for any home .
 It would add an additional .16 ACH to your discussed home where as 62.2 would add .16 ACH . let's face it if you build a house to a .35 and add another .31 what are we doing ? A point 66 ACH house is not what we are shooting for . That point 02 extra in 2 million starts adds up to quite a bit of burned fuel guys .  We already take great steps to get rid of the bad stuff .

Joe L

@ August 20, 2014 5:23 PM in System's Architect

already has published a competing and competent standard . I believe it is posted at Building Science Corporations' site .

Multi Pak 80

@ August 20, 2014 7:42 AM in Is 100k BTU the right size of boiler (or HTP heater) for both baseboard heating and indirect DHW

Derating that for the imaginary 15% heating effect factor you will be able to disburse 52,360 BTUh through the installed radiation . This is good . You should also be able to lower the supply water temps also and really benefit from the outdoor reset . Storage tank would go on the DHW side . I would also plumb in a zone to be used at a later date for the Hydro fan coil and possibly use an outdoor reset Taco I Series there in the case that the heating coil used in your future air handler requires a different reset curve than the baseboard in the house .
  This past winters folly . Depending on where you are in Mass be very cautious of who you employ for this work . Also watch the something for nothing programs that the state and utilities offer . Everyone here can verify what kind of disastrous results and the frustration that many Mass residents felt this past winter during record cold days .  I would stay away from anyone who does a majority of those program jobs and that tells you they do most of the work for them .
I would contact Emerson Swan and try to ask Bruce Marshall for a recommendation to a qualified designer / installer in your area .
  In case you have trouble deciphering all you have heard here . If you choose one of the earlier recommendations from Swei , go with the Dunkirk , it is local also from NW NY and has a generously sized Heat exchanger that will be less likely to foul than the others . The Versa Flame or the Versa Hydro would be a fine fit for your home and the strategy that each uses will allow you to begin heating the home without firing the burner , this is achieved through MASS . They will not shortcycle because when the burner does fire the minimum rate of fire will be required .  As stated early in the discussion by a pretty bright guy , look at the low end numbers , some of the boilers mentioned will require a good maintenance schedule . The HTP's will require less attention due to their construction and in your house they will NEVER fire at more than 50% in your current configuration but if you change that furnace you will have adequate room to do so and really upgrade your heating system further with minimal investment .  
  In short , my suggestion is the  HTP  PHE130-55 . Versa Hydro , 55 gallon tank .  Call Bruce Marshall .

Respiratory problems

@ August 19, 2014 6:17 PM in New heating system

Variable speed forced air .
 Question , does the cubic feet of your house ever change ?
Answer . NO
Why would you move more or less air at anytime ?  If you must go with forced air the hydro fan coil system would be best . But tell your forced air guy to keep his fancy variable speed crap out of your house . CFMs will always be the same and heating only some of them is not efficient as you have been told . Let the boiler change the water temps to the coil based on what the coil can produce at differing temps and use outdoor reset .
Honest opinion is the following and I am a building science guy that strives for systems that provide good health and quality of life . Ready ?  Keep the radiators , add bypass valves and TRVs at each , get a good boiler and a contractor who will measure your house and perform a heat loss calc , can almost guarantee your hvac guy did not . Design a system that works well . Use 4 zone mini split with 1 outdoor unit , install an ERV and steam humidifier . Don't tear up your house and leave it like swiss cheese . Odds are you can do this for similar money and be happier that you provided a better environment for your child .  This is not magic and is very important for your family's health and well being .

 Before you become a victim of bad information check out this site .

It will verify what you have heard here and may make you want to punch the duct guy right in his face .   No amount of filters , UV light and magic beans will help your child like a quality system designed taking the human factors into account .  Calling J Star is a good idea , I am also in Jersey but in Ocean County

New Standard

@ August 19, 2014 5:58 PM in System's Architect

Swei check out the new ASHRAE 62.2 standard . It will blow your mind , these guys now want 1 - 1.5 ACH . Kinda makes you wonder why we bother .  So the average 2,000 foot house needs north of 266 CFM fresh air . I'm telling you , whenever we figure out how to make it truly comfortable and efficient they come up with some energy wasting scheme .


@ August 19, 2014 7:42 AM in Is 100k BTU the right size of boiler (or HTP heater) for both baseboard heating and indirect DHW

I just don't know what to say .
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