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Joined on November 26, 2011

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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boiler pumps

@ April 6, 2012 5:46 PM in Happening elsewhere?

The TT firetube HX really changed the game, and of course it's now available from several other sources.  A 399 plus a short primary loop mates well with a Series 100 or a Taco 0010.

Let's face it

@ April 6, 2012 10:50 AM in Happening elsewhere?

There were some bad experiences early in the mod/con evolution and some of those were caused by inferior products.  Toss in a helping of clueless installers, crank up the rumor mill, and voila!  We have pushback.

At this point, a clueful installer can choose from among several well-proven designs, sell a properly sized and installed mod/con boiler, and have no problems sleeping at night.


@ April 5, 2012 1:51 PM in Happening elsewhere?

I know there are fudge factors built in to a lot of the calculations already.  I think some of the issue is related to thermal mass, which is simply not a part of most load calculations.  Modern building energy modeling systems can do this, but I rarely see it used.

DHW demand

@ April 4, 2012 9:19 AM in Happening elsewhere?

Challenging indeed, and another area where "we've always done it this way" is difficult to overcome.

I'm guardedly optimistic that our UV (and soon ozone) experiments might represent a more energy-efficient approach.

RVs, tunnels, and ferries

@ April 3, 2012 11:07 PM in Thinking about a new vehicle for your business

One of the reasons I installed a DC compressor-driven sailboat fridge in my camper.  400AH of batteries but no LPG tank!

There's no accounting for bad

@ April 3, 2012 10:26 PM in Happening elsewhere?


Even a 160F design temp can pencil out nicely - as long as it's not just convectors.  Running plate radiators with a 25 degree delta-T will put system temps 'in the zone' the vast majority of the time.

On the optimistic side, we are finally starting to see some high profile radiant cooling jobs out here.

Help me understand

@ April 3, 2012 8:36 PM in Happening elsewhere?

Why "You can forget mod/cons actually performing at 90% for very much of their life in applications above 3 million BTU's."

I can't see the how a 1MM BTU/hr project and a 3MM BTU/hr project with similar design temps would be so fundamentally different?

mix & match

@ April 2, 2012 9:12 PM in Happening elsewhere?

Combine a mod/con (or two) with an atmospheric (or two) and the right controls can work well -- especially in some climates.

adding terminals

@ March 31, 2012 10:32 AM in Triangle Tube Trimax

Would not be trivial given that the control hardware comes from Honeywell and is not unique to TT as I understand it.

I'll dig into their ModBus messaging one of these days - should allow us to build a really nice advanced multi-boiler multi-temperature package.

conformal coating

@ March 31, 2012 9:39 AM in New HTP install

Does seem like a reasonable requirement for a board that lives in such close proximity to water -- and especially condensate.


@ March 30, 2012 7:56 PM in uei analyzer question

Just bought one of the new infrared-cell based C155s and I have to say I think it is a big step forward.  The new design measures CO2 and calculates O2 from that.  Both sensors are supposed to have a five year life, and UEI backed it up with five years of full warranty and calibrations.

I opted for the BlueTooth option in lieu of buying a printer.  When I hit the 'print' button, my Android phone puts the report in the body of an email so I can send it to the customer and CC: to my office.  Less paper = less stress in my world.  I'm a whole lot better at organizing electronic info than I am with pieces of paper.

TT training

@ March 29, 2012 8:33 PM in Triangle Tube Trimax

Offered at TM Sales in Arvada pretty regularly.  They give you a sweetheart deal on extended warranties for residential jobs once you attend.

Prestige Solo parameters

@ March 29, 2012 7:49 PM in Triangle Tube Trimax

I count 22:

DHW Setting
DHW Application Selection
CH Application Selection
CH Maximum Boiler Operating Setpoint
CH Minimum Boiler Operating Setpoint
CH Reset Curve Coldest Day
CH Reset Curve Warmest Day
Frost Protection Setpoint
CH Block Temperature Setting
Boost Feature Setting
Parallel Shift Value
Setpoint Value Addition for DHW
CH Circulator Post Pump Time Period
DHW Circulator Post Pump Time Period
DHW On Differential
DHW Off Differential
CH Call Blocking Time
DHW Call Blocking Time
DHW to CH Call Blocking Time
DHW Priority Timeout
CH Operating Signal Selection
DHW Operating Signal Selection

Staying tuned

@ March 28, 2012 12:19 AM in The RPA has finally responded...

and hope you can find a way to make it work.

While I fully support the intelligent integration of radiant with forced air (and believe the combination, if properly designed and implemented, can offer the ultimate in comfort), it's not something I'm accustomed to hearing from an air conditioning contractor.

The letters ACCA do stand for...

too tight

@ March 28, 2012 12:04 AM in Insulation question

It's not all that difficult to get waterproof without being completely vapor proof, but it doesn't lend itself to the simple plastics we've been using.  There are both natural and engineered materials which can give us the best of both worlds (think Gore-Tex.)

confused in NM

@ March 27, 2012 1:39 PM in The RPA has finally responded...

I actually called and spoke with Kathleena few months back after hearing rumblings about the 'merger.'  She assured me that IAPMO is actually a good fit for the RPA, but I remain somewhat skeptical.  As far as I'm concerned, it ought to become clear once they start providing training whether they are providing the service to the industry that they used to.

more metal

@ March 25, 2012 6:22 PM in Revising heatloss calc with addition of unvented attic

Copper roofs were spendy when copper was $0.60/lb.  I wouldn't even want to guess what they cost now.  Slate might be cheaper...

70% Kynar is miraculous stuff.  Anything less on a window around here and you're asking for trouble.

metal roofs

@ March 25, 2012 5:52 PM in Revising heatloss calc with addition of unvented attic

Having owned a couple now I would never go back to composite roofing.  A properly installed standing seam roof (or something else with hidden fasteners) will outlive the lot of us.


@ March 25, 2012 5:49 PM in Revising heatloss calc with addition of unvented attic

You will need sheathing if you're doing shingles.  Better check your local codes - it's been over a decade since we did these and the assembly I described was engineered for a metal roof.  Adhesives are continuously improving so it's worth checking with a few different manufacturers to see if they have a recipe that works sans fasteners.

furring up

@ March 25, 2012 5:11 PM in Revising heatloss calc with addition of unvented attic

We've had good luck adding 1-1/2" of rigid foam above the roof deck (after tear-off.)  Run 2 x 2 stringers perpendicular to the joists, on 16" or 24" centers (depends on wind zone, check with your engineer) then rip the foam board so it fits snugly between them.  Fastening a metal roof on top works quite well, but the roofers will need extra long fasteners and they have to stay on layout far more tightly than they usually do.  Adding that extra R-7.5 (polystyrene) or R-10 (PolyIso) plus significantly reducing thermal bridging (down to the 1-1/2" square area where the furring and the joists cross) you get a significant reduction in the assembly U-value.  You do have to re-work (or more frequently replace in the case of an older building) the fascia, but the improvement is significant.  I've seen 15F reductions in indoor summer temps after doing this to a south facing slope over a clerestory living room.

spray this

@ March 25, 2012 1:26 AM in Revising heatloss calc with addition of unvented attic

Not a polyurethane fan for the most part.  A good wet-spray cellulose would be my choice for this application, and polystyrene (XPS preferred) for sheet goods.

lead bends

@ March 25, 2012 1:21 AM in why does dan have a prob. with radiant and toilets

Just had to replace several dozen with PVC because (despite literally trying every plumber over the age of 60 in the county) I couldn't find anyone capable of properly wiping in the offset brass flanges which would have allowed us to accommodate the new WCs.  The tightest of the rough-ins was at 8-3/8" and *everything* was tiled.