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Joined on November 26, 2011

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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@ January 6, 2013 4:36 PM in Will this work? will give you more info on wood-fired heat sources than most pros have.

this is a known issue in the industry

@ January 6, 2013 1:03 PM in Boilers for small apartments

The 24k load presents a challenge, as there simply aren't small enough mod/cons available here.   A modulating electric boiler will work (and requires no venting.)  

Minimum firing rate on the CC 85s is 23k.  I'd choose a TT PST60 (minimum firing rate 16k) or a Lochinvar WHN 055 (minimum firing rate 11k) for the larger apartment.  If there's room for a buffer tank in the smaller apartments it will help prevent short-cycling during shoulder seasons.

boiler water will build up a higher level thru time

@ January 6, 2013 12:43 PM in black pipe to copper - brass fittings?

other than oxygen ingress, I can't see a mechanism which would cause this.  We install ball drains or union ball drains at most material transitions anyway, so there's brass in the middle.

Like Mark, I've seen enough issues with dielectric unions that I prefer
to avoid them whenever possible.  Nonmetallic pipe is used for so much
potable water these days that it's eliminated many of the challenges we
used to encounter.

image problem

@ January 6, 2013 10:12 AM in Balancing heat

opening in a new window made it readable

quite seriously

@ January 6, 2013 9:59 AM in Determined woman

I didn't figure it out until I was about halfway through reading the third article on her site last night.  My wife and were visiting across the street -- I was helping my friend (who could not get broadband out there) look into a point to point wireless link and her place had a clear shot at downtown Ashland (where a community fiber network offers low cost high speed Internet.)  She was putting up (or had just finished, can't recall for sure) lightning rods at the time.  The 9 foot Baldwin piano was inside.  Someday I have to go back and ask a lot of questions.


@ January 5, 2013 11:09 PM in Determined woman

She's amazing (friend of mine lived across the road from her for years.)


@ January 5, 2013 10:01 PM in Looking for a valve

Is pumping into a closed circuit -- a cap on the pipe or a closed valve which prevents any flow from occurring.  An end switch is a microswitch which closes at the end of a valve's travel.  Using that switch to control the zone pump will prevent deadheading the pump.

love to work and learn

@ January 5, 2013 9:50 PM in Water in Natural Gas

what keeps me going for sure.  Thanks for expressing it so well...

make a sktech

@ January 5, 2013 8:20 PM in Hot water boiler sizing..

Of the room sizes, baseboard lengths, pipe routing and sizing.

Heat loss calc tools are online, but the sketch (amended with window sizes, wall heights, etc.) is a starting point.

boiler photos and drawings?

@ January 5, 2013 7:32 PM in banging in pipes. hot water system?

Steam can happen at all kinds of temperatures depending on localized pressure conditions.

What kind of boiler?  Photos of boiler, circulator, and expansion tank?  How hard is the water there?

heat loss calc

@ January 5, 2013 7:21 PM in Hot water boiler sizing..

Still needed, but we can start with how many linear feet of baseboard and what brand/type?

An indirect water heater will lower your DHW fuel use and/or provide more hot water.  You can add that later if you want.

more info

@ January 5, 2013 7:12 PM in Hot water boiler sizing..

Don't assume the old boiler was properly sized -- most aren't/

In order to properly size the replacement, we need several pieces of information.  This starts with a heat loss calculation and an inventory of how much/many of what kind of radiation is installed as well as any issues to be addressed (rooms that are too hot or too cold.)

Is the boiler also used for domestic hot water?


@ January 5, 2013 3:47 PM in Looking for a valve

I must have gotten something wrong about your valve.  I was looking at these:

You can get 120V zone valves, but they are not common.  Most run on 24V AC, which will require a transformer, but eliminates some conduit and boxes.  The end switch closes once the valve has opened all the way, so you can start the pump without deadheading it.


@ January 5, 2013 12:15 PM in Quiet radiator tip

aka Teflon does not degrade with heat or oxygen the way PE does.

Town Gas

@ January 5, 2013 11:52 AM in Water in Natural Gas

Stinky stuff - I've read stories about it

working temp

@ January 5, 2013 10:54 AM in Looking for a valve

B&G rates the HydroTrol at 150F. The SA/SB series are rated to 250F.

If you do go the zone valve route, wire your pump in series with the end switch.

2,979 mile drive

@ January 5, 2013 10:36 AM in 2013 Long Island BIG UGLY....who's in?????

or I'd find a way to be there

condensate pipes

@ January 4, 2013 10:13 PM in Cold Basement

Did you insulate the condensate piping?

no need to add water

@ January 4, 2013 9:51 PM in Water in Natural Gas

Burn a pound of NG and roughly 2.25 lbs of water vapor is produced.

spectrum analysis

@ January 4, 2013 7:20 PM in wifi thermostats

Any tech who regularly works with wireless data should have something like akin to one of these in his toolkit
Instrumentation grade stuff runs 10-50x those prices.

I'm not familiar with the VP8000.  Does it join an existing WiFi network as a client (station mode) or does it act as an AP?  If it's joining the existing network, you wouldn't be choosing a channel.  If it's acting as an AP, you will have some way to pick a channel.  If you have a choice between the two, let it be a client to the existing AP.  To avoid interference, you can only have three channels in use (1/6/11 or 2/7/12) at the same time.  A spectrum analyzer (or a site survey tool offered on better WiFi hardware) will allow you to listen to all channels and let you know what networks are in use on what channels at what relative signal strengths.)

If you have an Android-based smartphone or tablet, you can try this

WiFi interference

@ January 4, 2013 3:15 PM in wifi thermostats

Stat is probably on or adjacent to the WiFi channel in use for the data network.  Scan with a spectrum analyzer before you stomp on anything else.

Gifford Loop?

@ January 4, 2013 12:42 PM in Steady Water-Level Contest

I'd lke to learn more about these myself...