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Joined on June 4, 2011

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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@ July 23, 2014 3:41 PM in Cleaning 1-1/2" tub drain line

The only way to clear a tub drain is through the overflow with an electric snake. Sometimes, depending on the type of tub drain, the blockage may be right at the tee of the overflow and drain. You may be able to rent a snake with 1/4" cable from a tool rental company. I still use my Ridgid K-50 for cleaning most drains. I've had it for about 30 years and I bought it used! You have to be careful not to have to much cable out of the drum to prevent kinking the cable. The hardest part is getting through the trap. It might be worth it to call a pro.



@ July 20, 2014 3:44 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?

Is he going to pull a permit on the work? If not for safety, then for insurance. It is a must.



@ July 20, 2014 1:20 PM in drainback tank ideas

HR, you are a mad scientist! How on earth do you find the time for your projects? How does the PEX work as a site glass? What pressures are you putting through it? Could you explain how you "perforated" the bladder out of the exp tank?

Sorry for all the questions,


@ July 20, 2014 10:47 AM in Silicone steam pipe through floor?

What's wrong with rock wool? I've never had a problem with it. If you're against rock wool you can use fiberglass, it's good up to 1000 degrees. Rock wool is 2200 degrees and is much more user friendly in my opinion.



@ July 20, 2014 10:40 AM in Lovely Lane Methodist Church- A Steam Heating Museum

What an interesting building. It is sometimes fun to decipher all of the different decades of craftsmanship being crammed into a building (and its additions). I am surprised that the city can't supply adequate pressure to run those boilers. I have never seen nor heard of it being done but is there any way to run a gas line sized for both boilers and only hook up one (if the main can supply enough gas for it). Then when the main is eventually upgraded the second boiler can be converted? If you made the gas boiler lead it would definitely save the church a few dollars over oil (currently).


Pressure Switch

@ July 19, 2014 4:19 PM in Suitable replacement combustion air switch

Have you checked to make sure that the pressure switch is not just doing its job? From one of your earlier posts you stated that you were getting flue gas reversion. I can't claim to know anything about that brand of boiler. A pressure switch is a pressure switch though, make and break, brake and make (unless the Spaniards have created something that I don't know about). Do you have a manometer to make the proper adjustments?



@ July 19, 2014 4:00 PM in Silicone steam pipe through floor?

That was my point. If escutcheons are used, high temp (orange or black) can be used. The clear only goes up to 400 degrees (which would probably be fine). If it were me, I would just pack it with rock wool.



@ July 19, 2014 3:54 PM in radiator cover box design question

Epoxy the stone slab to the top of the enclosure and use angle brackets to secure the enclosure to the wall. I love the louver idea. The enclosure would really screw with a TRV unless a remote sensing bulb was used on the unvented side of the enclosure. However access would have to be left for TRV adjustment.



@ July 19, 2014 2:46 PM in Silicone steam pipe through floor?

If you have escutcheons around the pipes you can use any type of RTV. You could always do one rad and use rock wool around the others as a temporary air seal, see how it holds up and decide from there. Or just use rock wool and escutcheons period. That way if you ever need to disconnect anything you will not have to clean up silicone caulk.



@ July 19, 2014 12:59 PM in Silicone steam pipe through floor?

I would use clear RTV, it's good up to 400 degrees. If you want to use regular silicone caulk just look at the label for its temp rating.



@ July 17, 2014 2:06 PM in radiator cover box design question

I don't know what your budget is but granite or marble work very well. They absorb the heat and then disperse it slowly, even after the system has shut down.



@ July 13, 2014 10:37 AM in Not Cool:

As you know, there is something way wrong if you cannot maintain 79 degrees in your condo. My wife keeps the A/C at 70 with no problems. Granted, we are in in slightly cooler climate (95 to 100) during a hot spell. Since the system is new, why are you troubleshooting it? I would set it at 72 tonight and show the tech tomorrow that you can barely maintain 79. If you put in a boiler and it would only heat the home to 60 on design day and you designed the the system for 70 I guarantee you would fix it. That's what being a professional is!




@ July 12, 2014 3:44 PM in Radiant cooling

Bob, I understand that you are in NH so your cooling needs are allot lighter than mine in VA. How much water does that system use? You must have the greenest lawn in town. Is there a reason why you don't just dump it back in the well? with the cooling needs in my area my well would run dry in a matter of days.


Sounds Good

@ July 12, 2014 3:31 PM in Time for an upgrade/retrofit

It sounds like you found a good contractor. He did a heat loss and gave you options. If you feel comfortable with him you should probably stick with him. I know winters up there are harsh and for that reason a modcon will take quite some time to pay for itself without adding additional radiation. If he is going to pipe it P/S and utilize outdoor air reset you should be fine. Just make sure that the boiler does not get over-sized (heat losses are notorious for being on the high side) If you could post the heat loss he provided we can see if there is anything glaringly wrong.


USA Only

@ July 12, 2014 11:46 AM in Suggestions for new forum

Dan, I know that we have people posting from Canada, New Zealand, Germany etc...... How do they manage that?



@ July 12, 2014 9:30 AM in Suggestions for new forum

When is the new format expected to debut? Will we just log in one day an it will be all new? Will we have to re-register?



@ July 12, 2014 8:31 AM in Radiant cooling

Can you start a new thread on your system when it's complete and let us know how it works out? Pics would be great as well.



@ July 12, 2014 8:22 AM in Suggestions for new forum

The only things that bother me currently is that I get timed out and have log in over and over. Then when I do log in again posts that I have already seen show up as new. And while I am posting in a thread I cannot expand the photos without losing all that I have written.That's all.



@ July 12, 2014 8:00 AM in Anyone else getting unwanted calls from Angie's List?

It makes you want to unlist your number, but you can't do that as a business. It makes you want to pull your hair out. Angie's list is as bad as the Better Business Bureau. I used to assume that it was only the subscibers that had to pay. I guess everyone has to. Don't want em, don't need em!



@ July 11, 2014 1:58 PM in Mod/con poll. Installers only.

Sorry that your last post on the subject got a little off topic. I would go with option 3, envelope upgrades are as important as an efficient boiler. Once the envelope is tightened the boiler can operate at a lower temp utilizing the efficiency. Always give options, that keeps you in line with all the other guys and sets you apart. I would try and stick to the fire-tube heat exchangers for mod-cons. They are tried and true and give great flow rates.




@ July 11, 2014 10:40 AM in Bonding CSST:

Are you being snarky? You just agreed with me.

Not on the CO

@ July 11, 2014 10:35 AM in CO deaths because someone cut off the exhaust:

Not on the CO issue but about leaving it cleaner than you found it. I agree 99.9% of the time, but I'm sure that you have worked in a hoarders house. Sometimes your own cleanliness and health outweigh the customers needs. When I worked for my first PHVAC company I was sent out to clean a drain in a home in an affluent neighborhood in Falls Church, Va. I had to thread my way through stacks of newspapers to get to the basement stairs, I then found the basement with about a foot of water because the kitchen sink had been backing up into and out of the laundry tub in the basement for god knows how long. I told the elderly lady that I had to get some things out of my truck. As soon as I got to my truck I took off! My boss, (the owner of the company) fired me and went out to fix it himself. needless to say I was rehired the next day and the elderly woman had to find another company, my boss wouldn't do it either. That's the .01% that you leave it like you found it. 

Moral of the story: If you can't leave it cleaner, just leave it.
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