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Joined on June 4, 2011

Last Post on April 19, 2014

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@ April 12, 2013 12:08 PM in Lochinvar 55-DHW Options

If your worried about domestic hot water running out you might want to look at the Tubomax reverse indirect. The Turbomax 23 is only 49" high and 18" deep but will keep them with enough hot water to not worry about a callback.
Just an idea.


@ April 12, 2013 5:21 AM in Never Cleaned Munchkin 80M

What was the initial problem that you called the service company about? It sounds like the relief valve may have blown (expansion tank?). The exhaust regurgitation is not good, but where I live the wind changes as quickly as my wife's moods, one day east, one day west. Get a qualified tech out there to asses your system and go from there. Do not use the same company and ask for a different tech, they will probably just try to reaffirm  the first techs diagnosis to cover their butt.
Use the "find a contractor" section on this site and make sure that you let them know the the type of equipment that you have and that they bring a tune up kit and combustion analyser. If you can't find a contractor from the "find a contractor" let us know, post your location and I'm sure someone can be recommended.

Another Idea

@ April 3, 2013 12:33 PM in Infloor Radiant Heat issue

How about using a glycol solution for the radiant, install a tankless gas water heater (you will now get the dual fuel rate). A tankless water heater can be drained down in under a minute. Get a good plumber over to show you how to drain down and winterize the rest of the plumbing system. In a small place like that, draining the system should take no more than 15 minutes. Then you can just kill power to the home while it is unoccupied. USING NO FUEL!.
Just Another idea.

Pex System

@ March 28, 2013 12:19 PM in Installing a new hot water system myself

Hey Bobbito, could you post some pictures of your system? I am always interested in seeing heating systems piped in PEX only.

Pump oriantation

@ March 27, 2013 1:02 PM in Sandy still haunts my home!

On the back of the pumps (cast into the body) there is an arrow indicating flow direction. Which way are the arrows pointing, up or down?

DIY Project

@ March 27, 2013 12:20 PM in Hydronic heating retrofit project using Viessmann boiler and steel rads

You might consider hiring a consultant to assist you in your project. He can do a piping layout and help you in sizing the proper system. He can probably help you in acquiring equipment as well. One such company is Northeast Radiant Technology. NRTRob runs that company and posts here quite frequently and is very knowledgeable. It can't hurt to make a phone call. 


@ March 24, 2013 11:55 AM in Backflow preventer with vent

I agree with Charlie. If someone plugs a leaking relief valve (we've all seen or heard of it) a couple of things could happen, If the system supply is shut off the person has created a bomb. If the supply is open and a non-RPZ installed the back pressure can blow the checks and start using the potable side as the expansion tank. It's rare, but not unheard of. To quote Steamhead "you can't fix stupid".

Relief valve

@ March 23, 2013 4:02 PM in Pressure rising to 60psi

On top of what Ice said, that relief valve shoud have never let the boiler get above 30 psi (unless it is a rare system that is rated higher). Check the relief valve as well.


@ March 23, 2013 2:18 PM in Slower taco pump?

Are you sure that you don't have air in the system? One simple thing to try is Mark Eathertons trick. Add a pint of Dawn dish washing liquid to the boiler water and let it run for a few days. Bleed the system accordingly and see what happens. The worst case is your out for the cost of the Dawn and a little bit of your time. The fact that you hear water rushing in only one area sounds like an air issue to me.

Tankless Heaters

@ March 23, 2013 12:07 PM in Off-Season Savings?

This would be an ideal situation for tankless water heaters. They only operate on demand and most have built in freeze protection. The propane savings would pay for the units rather quickly and if you choose to drain them down, it takes about two minutes!


@ March 21, 2013 5:45 PM in gastite fittings

As with any CSST manufacturer you need to be certified to install their product. Most manufacturers reps do the training classes, however your wholesaler should not be selling you the product without certification. Get certified before you end up hurting someone. The certification is free, you will get a card stating that you are certified on the product. If a wholesaler sold you the product without a cert they are messing with the devil.


@ March 21, 2013 11:21 AM in If you were designing a heating system for dream house/dream shop, what would it be and what design tweaks would you take to maximize efficiency?

What kind of tubing are you all using for geo HDPE or barrier pex? If you are using pex as a pond loop, have you encountered any UV problems?

Burst Tubing

@ March 17, 2013 3:55 PM in IS THIS ENTRAN PIPING

I'm with Ice on this one. What temperature and pressure is the system operating at? The fact that two of the failures happened within four days of on another tells you something is wrong with the system. Freezing is an option, but I think temp and pressure to be more likely. I'm also not a fan of any product that the manufacturer will not put their name on. Could you post some pictures of the boiler and piping?

Geo system

@ March 16, 2013 2:35 PM in Pond loop heat pump

Thanks for the response, any recommendations on equipment brands? Pricing and bells and whistles seem to across the board. I'd like to keep it simple. How do these systems work with HDPE? I would think that o2 barrier pex would be more appropriate. As for the pond loop heat exchanger, I have a bunch of un-used 3/4" finn tube baseboard that I don't have enclosures for that I bought from a supply house that went under. I could whip up a heat exchanger in a couple of hours (once sized up). It just seems that the finned tube would be a better heat exchanger than a few hundred feet of coiled HDPE? I'm not an expert, so any thoughts are greatly appreciated


@ March 16, 2013 12:12 PM in Mod-con boiler right choice for in slab radiant shop with full basement and spancrete floor?

Another option, insulate and put tubing in basement slab, if it is a fully buried basement you will probably not have to heat the space to maintain 45 degrees, but its better to be safe than sorry and as others have said, you never know what the future plans for the space may be.
For the first floor, if you insulated under the spancrete (basement ceiling) you would then have a huge heat sink. It would be slow to respond, but with a properly setup outdoor reset control system comfort would not be an issue. in my opinion. it would be a shame not to take advantage of all that thermal mass you are putting in there. The only problem would be that if your boiler broke down, you may not notice it for a few days :)
What kind of fuel and boiler were you looking at using?

Pond loop heat pump

@ March 15, 2013 4:24 PM in Pond loop heat pump

Hello all, I am considering installing a WSHP in my home and have no experience in this field. I currently have two heat pumps (first and second floor). I have a spring fed pond that is 3/4 acre, 20 foot at the deepest and 50 yards away from the home, it maintains about 50 degrees year round. This is a job that I would like to do myself. I have not run any numbers yet on the heat loss, I am just gathering information at this point to see if it will be cost effective. Does anybody have a good source of information on the subject? I see that most people use HDPE coils for the pond heat exchanger, I was thinking of a battery of finned copper tube pipped in reverse return and wrapped in siltation fabric (I have not checked the PH of the pond water but my well water is 7.5? The pond is man made and dug out of shale, not much mud at all to deal with. I live in the mountains of northern Virginia with a moderate climate. Any recommendations of equipment manufacturers and pros and cons would be appreciated. My wife and I are looking at downsizing to a smaller home in a couple of years and thought that doing this may help with our electricity bills and aid in selling the home in the future. My wife and I live on the first floor of the home and the second floor is guest bedrooms and a bathroom. The second floor heat pump is used about once a month for guests and the rest of the time it is kept on for basic heat and A/C. I'd love to hear some ideas.

Second design opinion

@ March 12, 2013 1:17 PM in radiant boiler

You are obviously doing a high end heating system. I agree with all of the above responses. You should contact NRT Rob (Northeast Radiant Technologies). He posts on this site regularly and is a very experienced designer. If you are going to the time and expense of installing this high end system, you better get it right the first time. Anyone who recommended a tankless water heater for a radiant system for my home would be walked straight out the door.
Just my opinion.
P.S. here is NRT's link 


@ March 12, 2013 12:43 PM in boiler keeps popping off relief valve...why?

Yes, if your indirect has a leak in the coil it will cause the symptoms you are describing. Try valving off the indirect, lowering boiler pressure to system requiriments, run boiler up to temp and watch pressure. If it stays within parameters you have your answer. Then to confirm, open valves to indirect and see if pressure rises.Rob

My pet peeve

@ March 12, 2013 11:59 AM in Tankless gas water heater or something like a Eternal water heater

What bothers me about the tankless units is getting my wife to understand that when doing anything quickly, like rinsing her her hands after cutting vegetables, do not just flip up the single lever faucet in the middle (warm water position). It will cause the unit to fire although hot water will never get to the fixture by the time she's done. I'm tempted to replace my single lever faucets for two handled to stop this. Once again, you have to teach people a new mentality of hot water. But in my wife's case, you can't teach an old horse new tricks. 


@ March 12, 2013 11:45 AM in You never know what people want. off topic

Where are you from Gordy? I'm thinking of moving there and becoming a laborer. It ovbiously pays well in your area :)


@ March 8, 2013 1:04 PM in Hanging a circ

According to the install I&O you should not support the pump (doing so will damage the motor). However, you must ensure that the pipes are supported sufficiently.

Reverse Brick Ledge?

@ March 8, 2013 12:02 PM in Sidewall Venting:

Never seen it done. Is it like a putting a brick edge on the inside of the house? What is the point, just to not have a step up into the house?

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