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Joined on November 26, 2011

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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Technically feasible?

@ June 7, 2014 2:24 PM in hallmark oil furnace


Economically feasible?  Probably not.  2-stage furnaces with ECM motors are surprisingly inexpensive.

I really hate to say this

@ June 6, 2014 11:26 AM in Online design services

but it's starting to sound like you need legal advice.  See if you can find a referral to someone with construction defect experience.


@ June 5, 2014 8:10 PM in Typical venting for high-efficiency wall-hung boilers?

this at perhaps 20 BTUs per square foot, or roughly 40,000 BTU/hr.  Even if it's 50% higher, you're looking at no more than a 3" flue, quite likely a 2" depending on developed length and the particular appliance you choose.

Ice beat me to it -- you need to make sure this gets a mechanical inspection and that may well require pulling a permit for the yet-to be-installed boiler.  If it were my job, I'd install polypropylene venting.  FIrst, it's the right thing to do, and second, PVC might not be allowed in your jurisdiction by the time you actually install the boiler.

They may still be in business

@ June 5, 2014 12:38 PM in Does anyone remenber the Milwaukee Valve Company

We use butterball valves from

A heat loss calculation

@ June 5, 2014 11:43 AM in Typical venting for high-efficiency wall-hung boilers?

will answer that for certain.  With some basic information, we should be able to get close enough that you can size the flue(s.)

How many square feet will this boiler be heating?  What type and age is the building construction?  Any envelope upgrades?  Where is it located?

M18 FUEL ProPress

@ June 4, 2014 10:49 AM in ANYONE

I heard rumors from the Uponor Convention -- has anyone actually seen it yet? 

Double conversion UPS

@ June 3, 2014 9:22 PM in Power transient freezes Lochinvar Knight controller

is what you just described.  Good ones come with proper output filtering (aka power conditioning) onboard.


@ June 3, 2014 8:08 PM in 1" vs 3/4" baseboards

a larger diameter tube has greater surface area in contact with the fins, which might result in more heat transfer.  But then you have less fin area exposed to the air, which might result in less heat transfer.  Modeling this might make an interesting project for an engineering grad student.

Speed of the water is completely up to you and your pump.  Slower water = greater ∆T = lower average temp = less heat output.  That assumes, of course, that the supply temp is held constant.

Milwaukee FUEL

@ June 3, 2014 5:52 PM in ANYONE

is pricey but potent.  Brushless motors are starting to revolutionize the concept of what a cordless can do.  I was a Makita guy for many years, but after a PITA warranty experience with a lithium ion battery, my repair guy clued me in to the fact that Milwaukee has a no hassle battery warranty.  Oh, and everyone else (including Makita) who uses lithium ion for cordless tools is apparently paying them a royalty.

Two-stage gas valves

@ June 3, 2014 5:48 PM in Sizing New Gas Steam Boiler

really should be a factory-provided option on small boilers.  Full modulation is even better, but requires major upgrades to both burners and controls.

Steam boilers are always rated in square feet along with the various flavors of BTUs.  Start with square feet and it's really quite simple.  You can always adjust up or down a few percent to account for specific conditions.

As usual, it depends

@ June 3, 2014 5:43 PM in Water Towers

our here in the land of 5-10% humidity, evaporation can truly work wonders.

New project, new thread

@ June 3, 2014 11:20 AM in Steam boiler banging, hissing and water noise

unless this is about the original poster's system.

When the gas line comes

@ June 2, 2014 10:16 PM in Oil boiler with summertime leak

keep an eye out for rebates and financing programs.  A properly sized and installed mod/con could knock 75% off the fuel bills.  Make sure someone does a proper system analysis -- it's quite likely the system is overpumped and could run on a single ECM circulator with zone valves.

The heads do add

@ June 2, 2014 9:44 PM in Time to pull the trigger

if they are in series with a single pump, no?

Percentage of THD

@ June 2, 2014 8:20 PM in Power transient freezes Lochinvar Knight controller

does not really describe what happens with nonlinear loads.

Look for a used Oneac CL or CP  series unit on eBay.  They sell for pennies on the dollar.

What kind of inverter, specifically?

@ June 2, 2014 7:46 PM in Power transient freezes Lochinvar Knight controller

have you put a 'scope on it to see what the waveform looks like at the boiler input terminals?  I have seen some pretty strange stuff come from the interaction with power supplies.  I'd be inclined to try a power conditioner (a real one, with pounds of iron and copper) just to see what happens.

Rinnai boiler HX

@ June 1, 2014 2:19 PM in Rinnai boiler corroded in less than two years

has stainless steel tubes where the flame impinges.  The endplates (where the water loops around) are aluminum alloy castings.  The design has been in use for many years in Europe and has a good reputation.


@ June 1, 2014 1:38 PM in Time to pull the trigger

is all about flow rates and ∆T.  As long as you can move enough water through the HX and the emitter system at design conditions you are good.  The Cadet uses a Giannoni HX, which has relatively high head loss.  See p. 38 in the Installation & Service Manual and remember that your maximum load for heating is less than the boiler maximum capacity.  I don't recall whether the Cadet controls include a maximum firing rate limitation or not, but that would potentially allow you even more flexibility with the flow rate (assuming there's no indirect water heater, which will want all the BTUs you can give it.)

HOWEVER, with an RFH application you're going to have a conflict between the low ∆T the floor needs and the high ∆T the boiler is likely to end up with due to the HX restriction.  If you end up needing primary/secondary piping, consider the little B&G ecocirc e3 Vario as a primary pump.  It works quite well with the CDN040 in that application -- everything else I've seen overpumps, producing a low ∆T.

Small through the wall heat pumps

@ May 31, 2014 11:09 AM in Air handler with DX A/Cz and hydronic heat.

usually called a PTAC even though they are bidirectional.  They've gotten quite a bit quieter and more efficient during the past decade.  A COP of 2 is rarely a problem if it's just for a few weeks.

One of my suppliers imports a 9k 13 SEER unit that installs through two 8" holes in the wall.  Ping me and I'll send you a PDF.

Have you tested the water?

@ May 31, 2014 11:05 AM in Rinnai boiler corroded in less than two years

pH and chlorides would be my primary concerns.

The vast majority of boilers are designed to run only in closed systems.  Oxygen ingress will raise pH, but I did not think it would be able to take out those aluminum end pieces.  Another reason we like to shut off the auto feeder once the system has fully purged itself of air.

Small is beautiful

@ May 31, 2014 10:50 AM in Smallest wall mount mini split available???

we could really use some tiny options in the market (so similar to the situation with gas-fired boilers.)

Whether 'tis nobler

@ May 31, 2014 10:47 AM in Heat load calc( to pay, or not to pay)

To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous oversizing...
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