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The Wall


Joined on June 4, 2011

Last Post on August 30, 2014

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@ August 22, 2014 12:08 PM in Jstar to the rescue

Congratulations, I'm sure that you will get great service.


Check Valve?

@ August 21, 2014 1:28 PM in Boiler Mate WH7L Noise

look at the check valve as well, they are known to chatter with age. What a butiffull piping job. It's a shame that the installer didn't understand the pumping away principle. How old is that system? The boiler looks like an older HydroTherm HC series unit. It looks as if the owner cleans the equipment often (rare).


First things

@ August 21, 2014 10:52 AM in Correct plumbing

Before you insulate and close in the home you really need to answer some questions.

Was there a heat-loss done on the home? Did you use plates on the tube? Did you insulate under the slab. if so, with what? Did you use barrier PEX? What are your floor coverings? Do you need supplemental heat? Etc........ And as Rich said, can you return any materials?



@ August 21, 2014 10:14 AM in Caleffi Boiler Mix Valve.

It just always seems to happen with the customers who are standing over your shoulder. I think it breaks concentration :)


Indirect tank

@ August 21, 2014 10:05 AM in Please Recommend a good gas to radiator boiler system

Once the heat-loss is done for the home you do not need to increase the size of the boiler for your future indirect hot water tank, just size the boiler for the connected load and come back to THE WALL when you are ready to size the domestic tank. Ask your contractor about "outdoor air reset", if he doesn't know what it is, find a new contractor.


To add....

@ August 17, 2014 6:26 PM in New heating system

 No one on this site is trying to sell or promote anything beyond what we believe to be in the best interest of the folks that come here, we come to learn for ourselves and help others. I just wanted you to know that there is no sales pitch here, only advice.


What is?

@ August 17, 2014 5:58 PM in Gas Piping - teflon tape

What is the correct torque for gas piping? It was never covered in my trade school classes. besides that you want to make it tight and then turn to the position you need it to be. Never turn it backwards. I have turned some fittings slightly back when I knew that another full rotation would probably crack the fitting but I always felt that with the right pipe sealant it was not a problem (knock on wood).Once again, I use black Permatex.


Heat exchanger

@ August 17, 2014 5:43 PM in gas condensing boiler recommendation

Heat eXchanger, it is essentially the heart of a boiler. Without a good ticker, the rest of the body is useless.


@ August 17, 2014 5:41 PM in gas piping.

Every county in my neck of the woods have their own rules and inspectors. Typically it's a 24 hour low pressure test on gas and a high pressure test on water. In winter in lieu of water testing waste and water lines you may use air. When you put air in the pipes you mark the gauge to ensure it is holding. There are sometimes a small change in pressure due to expansion / contraction but the inspectors usually take it into account. I have had inspectors where I used nitrogen to avoid the exp /con issue. They always release the air at the time of inspection to assure that the system was full of air (or nitrogen). I did have a helper who aired up a house and did not open the petcock on the gauge. I was not watching so I assume it took him about 1/10 of a second to air up the lines. (you can't fix stupid). The inspector did not hold it against me and came back the next day, however my helper did not.



@ August 17, 2014 1:55 PM in New heating system

Call JStar (Joe Starosielec) who has been posting to you in the above posts. His company is Thatcher HVAC, he will give you an accurate idea of what is in your best interest. You are lucky to be in an area serviced by his company.  



@ August 17, 2014 1:15 PM in Is 100k BTU the right size of boiler (or HTP heater) for both baseboard heating and indirect DHW

If you have a 32K heat loss why is everyone quoting you on a 100k BTU boiler? Does your 50 gallon water heater provide sufficient hot water now? If the answer is yes, a 50 gallon indirect will give you PLENTY enough hot water. If your heat-loss is correct, as was stated above, even the smallest mod-con will be slightly over-sized. Go with the smallest unit that is well represented in your area. It is funny how over the years as boilers are replaced every replacement seems to get bigger than the last, no contractor wants to under-size a boiler so they keep on putting in the next larger size. Don't buy into it!


Who uses what?

@ August 16, 2014 5:49 PM in Gas Piping - teflon tape

Who uses what and why for gas pipe sealant

I use black Permatex because that is what I was taught with and I've never had a problem with it (except getting on my hands).

Not to offend

@ August 16, 2014 9:28 AM in Gas Piping - teflon tape

I didn't mean to offend, I was just stating that there is no ONE product for everyone. I grew up with Permatex Black and that's what I still use. I won't say that I've never had a leak, but any leak that I've had has never been because of the pipe joint compound.  (it is messy and smelly, my wife won't touch me until it is off my hands, sometimes it takes days :)


Must Be?

@ August 16, 2014 7:58 AM in Gas Piping - teflon tape

I saw nothing in the code that you posted that said it MUST be Pro-Dope, are you an Oatey/Hercules rep?. It simply says that it can't be LP soluble or lamp wick (which bothers me a little because I use lamp wick all the time) :) .

I actually just looked up Pro-Dope (I don't use it). I love the description:
  • Oil-based thread sealant.
  • Not for use on plastic pipe or fittings.
  • Gray color.
  • Non-setting formula; will not harden, crack or become brittle.
  • Accepted for use on FlowGuard Gold® pipe and fittings
  • If it's not for use on plastic, how come it can be used on CPVC?



@ August 16, 2014 6:57 AM in New heating system

Why do you plan on removing the radiant heat? If your child has allergies the best thing to do is to not swirl up dust into the air. If you live with radiant heat now, you probably will not be happy with forced air. If you want to add A/C you could use mini-spits and save a ton of $$ verses adding ductwork ect...


Not shure

@ August 16, 2014 3:43 AM in Gas Piping - teflon tape

I'm in Virginia and have never had an inspector stipulate what I use to seal the joints. As long as it passes a pressure test it should be OK. With the quality of pipe and fitting manufacturing these days I prefer to use both tape and dope to fill the voids.



@ August 15, 2014 4:33 PM in One riser or two?

At least you can recoup some of the expense from the scrap copper. Does that thing even work?


@ August 15, 2014 5:40 AM in thread sealant

If done correctly there is no problem with mating copper to CI baseboard with Teflon or paste, as long as there is room for linear expansion. At least I've never had a problem.

And if you don't use Teflon or paste how are you going to seal the joint?

Your in luck

@ August 15, 2014 4:59 AM in Columbia Boiler Conversion Question - Baltimore

MichaelG, You will be well served by conversing with Steamhead AKA Frank Wilsey (and not to leave out his partner Gordon Schweizer). If you go to the steam section of this site you can see photos of their work and note how highly they are regarded in the industry.

Good luck,

Nothing wrong

@ August 10, 2014 9:16 AM in Flush Valve

There is nothing wrong with what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to either find an entire unit with a manual valve (they were used forever before the flushometer came out) or adapt to the existing Sloan stop and tailpiece (with vacuum breaker). Any ideas?



@ August 10, 2014 8:05 AM in Flush Valve

Still trying to figure out how to connect a manual valve to a urinal. Any ideas?


We Got Steam Heat

@ August 8, 2014 12:19 PM in kicking the city steam habit

In addition to what NBC said you should check out the shop section at the top of the page. The "We Got Steam Heat" book is an excellent resource for a homeowner who is new to the steam world. It is fun and greatly informative. Once you are done absorbing it you can re-sell it to your neighbors who are in the same predicament as you :)

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