Joined on November 26, 2011
Last Post on June 18, 2013
@ May 13, 2013 1:19 PM in What is the most effective heating system for Schools & Intermittent use buildings?Thanks, Terry. Makes a lot of sense, especially with those old leaky buildings.
As envelopes are improved, where does the crossover point (setback versus shutdown) end up? I know several residential steam systems which won't tolerate more than about 4F setbacks. If they had an array of boilers downstairs which could be marshaled every morning they could recover in time, but would it actually save fuel?
@ May 12, 2013 4:29 PM in Need opinions on kitchen faucet brandsagreed - strongly. Learned to live without one when we moved to a place with an old 750 gallon septic. Got used to it (and the lack of leaks, clogs, and maintenance) and never looked back.
Thanks for the pointer - I'll be installing one next weekend!
@ May 12, 2013 4:14 PM in Need opinions on kitchen faucet brandswow, a blast from the past! I remember that M76 at a couple of neighbors' houses when I was a kid.
@ May 12, 2013 4:01 PM in Need opinions on kitchen faucet brandsseveral times a day, it bugs me. Little stuff like that makes more of a difference than most people even realize.
Nice design on those extra deep models -- I think I'll try one out. Know who makes them? I hate to ship stuff from the other side of the country if I can get it dropped at my office with a regular order from a supplier.
Edit: Might be Kraus http://www.amazon.com/Kraus-BST-1-Basket-Strainer-Stainless/dp/B0042D5F0G
@ May 12, 2013 3:24 PM in Need opinions on kitchen faucet brandsare worth the time to get right. Can't count the number of bad designs I've seen over the years. Not sure who makes them, but the ones with three legs and notches (so a 60º rotation either way will change from sealing to straining) work well. Many designs don't strain worth a darn, and most lose their ability to seal at some point. The (Kohler?) screw-in ones work, but replacement baskets are spendy.
@ May 12, 2013 12:57 PM in Steam at Workjust wow. I think I need to arrange a visit next time I'm in CA....
@ May 12, 2013 12:33 PM in What is the most effective heating system for Schools & Intermittent use buildings?rarely play well together, unless the system is oversized and the building envelope is dodgy. A few degrees overnight, a few more over a weekend is about what most can reliably deliver without sacrificing both comfort and fuel consumption.
If you have a way to monitor daily or even realtime fuel use, you can find this sweet spot for each system, then work to improve overall efficiency on multiple fronts. Is someone performing regular combustion testing on the various boilers? Draft and combustion air improvements with a bit of tuning can work wonders at times.
The next step for us is a re-evaluation of the entire system, starting with a room-by-room heat loss and radiation survey plus interviewing occupants and operators to determine real and/or perceived shortcomings.
Envelope improvements are generally the next place we look. On older buildings, caulk and thermal window coverings alone can often provide major improvements.
Recommissioning of older systems, along with strategic repairs, replacements, and de-knuckleheading along the way comes next -- especially if budgets are tight. Replacing oversized single-speed circulators with ECM pumps on hot water systems often pays back fast enough to get the CFO's attention. If budgets allow, then new controls and ODR come next.
@ May 12, 2013 11:36 AM in Old System to newjust being impressed by good old applied engineering. Nice.
@ May 12, 2013 12:47 AM in zone valve questiona few smaller Stratos pumps? How many zone valves are there? You can run a Stratos ∆T if you need to.
@ May 12, 2013 12:18 AM in Old System to newSome kind of semi-magical optimization of thermal mass and boiler sizing?
@ May 12, 2013 12:15 AM in Time to choose a boilerDesign is critical, and one of the most important aspects is the efficiency of the distribution and emitters. If you can build a system which meets your winter needs using water supplied at ~120F or less you will gain access to a world of comfort and efficiency about which others can merely dream.
Hire a good designer, who may or may not be a contractor.
@ May 11, 2013 1:06 PM in Copper pipe pittinghttp://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/astm-copper-tubes-d_779.html says 4.55 pounds.
@ May 11, 2013 10:30 AM in Primary Secondary ProblemDid not come naturally, or even willingly in many cases. I really am getting better at it, though...
@ May 11, 2013 10:21 AM in Exporting natural gas looks like a Bad IdeaFor those of you who are not familiar with Chris Martenson or The Crash Course, he's been one of the more cogent commentators on the nexus of the Economy, Energy, and the Environment. Worth a read IMO.
@ May 11, 2013 10:16 AM in Primary Secondary ProblemMy line goes something like: And I have the bite marks in my @ss to prove it.
@ May 11, 2013 12:27 AM in Delta-P/Delta-T Part #4Are hardly unique to TT.
I suspect a perverse relationship involving fossilized engineers and a lawyer or three.
@ May 11, 2013 12:17 AM in Primary Secondary Problemit includes a few unforgettable failures from which you finally learned WHY.
Having years of experience but never actually asking why can cause all sorts of trouble.
@ May 10, 2013 4:08 PM in zone valve questionof the zone? How many GPM at what ∆T will answer the question.
Any reason not to use a pump as Bob suggested?
Is the main circulator fixed speed? Is it being replaced?
@ May 10, 2013 12:47 PM in Solar Thermal is Deadjust needs to be applied properly. Unless the heat demand is year-round, ROI will suffer. PV has the advantage there for sure.
@ May 10, 2013 11:12 AM in Any advise on pex....using the Uponor EP angle and straight stops is what we use most of the time. They have excellent resistance to hard water and are very low cost. You want to to exercise each valve 3-5 times before you apply pressure to the system -- prevents channeling in the lube on the ceramic disc, which has created slow drips in a few of them. Assuming it's a stud wall, a Sioux Chief Strong Arm with PEX Bend Lock Block goes behind it.
If you want a more traditional look, Sioux Chief has a range of F1960 copper stub outs that put the PEX joint back inside the wall and let you use standard copper compression valves. Check out some of the Dahl F1960 options there.
@ May 10, 2013 2:31 AM in Solar Thermal is Deadof mostly modern design has been with us since at least 1939 http://mit.edu/solardecathlon/solar1.html
The true cost of energy has been carefully hidden from Americans for a long time. If our defense budget only covered defense...
@ May 9, 2013 11:39 AM in Automatic water cutoffyou shouldn't need the autofill at all. I turn them off whenever possible and teach people to check their system pressure every week or three.