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Joined on June 4, 2011

Last Post on September 14, 2014

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Thermal Bypass

@ July 29, 2014 4:49 PM in Advice on adding zones

You really need to install a bypass valve to protect you boiler from condensing. If your radiators are not getting hot, it probably means that the boiler is in condensing mode most of the time. A sure way to kill a boiler.

See the link:

I wasn't

@ July 29, 2014 4:26 PM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

I wasn't disagreeing with the nitrogen brazing issue (I don't do A/C except my own and only with the help of a friend who DOES do A/C). I do however braze piping for plumbing work and just use oxy/acet. I don't have to worry about compressors, I just unscrew aerators. However allot of companies don't care. The customer pays for the filter, when the compressor does give up the ghost they are going to call the guy who's sticker is on the unit, them. Then they will sell them a whole new system. Once again, the almighty dollar wins. Unfortunately it is the mantra of allot of service companies.



@ July 29, 2014 4:00 PM in r85 rannai problem

I agree with everything that Jack said. The only thing that I would add is that allot of these units are sold as "instantaneous" water heaters. That is simply wrong. The units are "tankless" water heaters. The energy savings is in not maintaining a tank of hot water while you are not using it. If you had a tank of hot water in the same location as the Rinnai units it would take about the same amount of time to get hot water at the fixture (probably a few seconds less due to the pressure drop through the tankless"s heat exchanger). However you would still use the same amount of water while waiting for it. Follow jacks instructions, try shutting off one unit then the other and see if there is any improvement. You could always relocate one of the units closer to the furthest fixtures or install a recirculation loop. I've had one in my home for about ten years (different brand but same animal) and have never had a problem. I located it right under the area where my baths are and don't have to wait more than twenty seconds. the kitchen takes about a minute as it is on the other end of the house. I wonder if you may have water pressure issues? As the units are on the outside of your home I assume you are in a mild climate. Some homes only have a 1/2" water line supplying their home in some desert environs. That could definitely slow down the hot water delivery.




@ July 29, 2014 3:05 PM in Brazing without nitrogen?!

Nitrogen costs more than O2. End of story. I guess that's why god invented filters.

I have a friend who owns a bar and has a long draw beer tap system. He has to use a nitrogen CO2 mixture to keep the beer from foaming (and wasting the nectar of the gods). It costs about twice what straight CO2 does, however that's still cheaper than wasting the beer. The almighty dollar wins every time.


It seems

@ July 29, 2014 2:39 PM in Time for a new oil boiler?

It seems like there are just too many ways for the water to go. You can't trust water, it will allways flow to the last place you want it to. I would simply pipe both boilers with closley spaced tees and fire based off of the aquastats. I agree that at a minimum I would put a circ on the oil boiler though.

I would just go with the closley spaced tees and a circ on each boiler and be done with it.  


Looks Like

@ July 29, 2014 4:55 AM in Looking for a replacement for these....

Looks like 8 1/2x14 legal, you can find it at any Office Depot.

Sorry, I couldn't help it :)



@ July 29, 2014 4:32 AM in HVAC options for 400 square foot addition

What is the planned use for this room? Is it a mud-room? What are your expectations for the space?

Until we know the answers to the above questions, recommendations are pointless.



@ July 27, 2014 2:57 PM in Builing an addition

If you are used to radiant heat I highly doubt that you will be satisfied with the comfort provided by forced air. Quiet comfort is priceless. I love my A/c after a hot day outside, but I HATE it when I am relaxing in my laZboy and the A/C kicks on blows cold air across me. I don't have a choice with the A/C, but I would never give up the radiant heat.


What A Shame

@ July 27, 2014 2:37 PM in Burnham IN4 steam boiler piping

It looks like the installer actually TRIED to do it right. It's a shame that it needs to be re-done. If he had only followed the instructions things could have turned out much differently.

I bet there is a bullhead tee off the main just out of the photo.


The Answer

@ July 27, 2014 2:28 PM in Burner Conversion Question - Weil-McLain P-SG0-3

The aswer can be found here. You should read the entire post. If it were mine, I would do it in a New York minute.


@ July 27, 2014 1:54 PM in Another Steam Boiler Sizing Concern

In regards to the the fact that the quotes provided do not show the EDR but only the basics of the job. Most contractors will not provide the details (I.E EDR, heat loss, miscellaneous parts to be used in the installation until the contract is written). The reasoning is that if it is given to the client at the time of the estimate the price will be shopped around and someone else will get the job as they did not have the expense or possibly experience to do the initial footwork themselves.


Make Up Water

@ July 25, 2014 4:12 PM in Lochinvar sheild HIgh limit problem

Sorry about the make up water question, I was thinking about boilers. Have you tried contacting Lochinvar tech support? It could be a number of things, as I am not familiar with the unit the first thing I would do is contact the manufacturer if I went on a service call for the problem



@ July 25, 2014 2:34 PM in Lochinvar sheild HIgh limit problem

Have there been any changes to the system? Is it possible that any other maintenance personnel have "tweaked" any settings? What is the high limit aquastat set at? What is the manual reset high limit set at? Are there any leaks in the system allowing make up water?



@ July 24, 2014 2:34 PM in Time for a new oil boiler?

Maybe I'm missing something but I have no idea how the system even works the way it's piped.



@ 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.

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