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Joined on January 15, 2012

Last Post on April 17, 2014

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depends as usual

@ April 17, 2014 2:40 PM in Replacing AC with heatpump?

My guess is yes. Ceiling registers aren't the best for heating but you may be satisfied.

I'd be concerned too

@ April 12, 2014 5:41 PM in lowering steam pressure in a industrial building

There's six times as much energy in the pipe at 90 psi as at 12 psi so a comparable heat loss from the pipe may condense some steam. On the other hand the steam goes faster so it spends less time in the pipe. So I agree with RJ that you need a mechanical engineer to calculate if the pipe can deliver enough heat at 12 psi. The condensate load depends only on heating demand, not on supply pressure. At least closely enough.

too late

@ April 4, 2014 1:54 PM in Free trade magazines

You get what you pay for. Way back in the XXth century a few dollars would buy a subscription to POWER and to HydrocarbonProcessing. Business has changed. Now the best source of information is companies' websites. Look in their archive sections for articles.


@ March 28, 2014 2:23 PM in Do you ever get sick of looking

I dealt with commercial and I presented long term proposals. Business people understand, or they should understand, long term point of view. But why should they believe me? So if they don't believe anybody they do what seems least expensive now.

piping two pipe into one pipe

@ March 25, 2014 4:39 PM in Adding cast iron baseboard to one-pipe steam system

Worked for me on fin tube terminals. So it should work for a small baseboard. How much heat I can't say. You only need a small pipe on low end for condensate and air.

don't remove the counterflow

@ March 13, 2014 7:14 PM in feeding counter flow loops

If you're going to go overhead then the counterflow can be the final parts of the loops. Unless the copper connections failed already.

where am I?

@ March 4, 2014 3:21 PM in geothermal vs. airsource

If most of the time weather isn't too extreme what is the advantage of geothermal? But if I live where there's 2000 hours of bitter cold and another 2000 hours of scorching heat and electricity is expensive,then .....

long time ago

@ March 4, 2014 2:55 PM in Anyone buy 4 year old boilers?

I used to acquire used boilers cheap to rent them. Business conditions have changed.

make certain

@ March 3, 2014 1:53 PM in questions to ask for new boiler quote?

Make certain quote includes removal of old one.


@ March 3, 2014 1:49 PM in Waterlogged Compression tanks

Somehow hydronic systems breath. When they lose air PRV feeds additional water. Shut off makeup water and see how soon pressure drops. I prefer gas over water expansion tanks. Here's an idea to consider. First make certain that automatic air vent operates properly, that is it doesn't pass liquid. Then connect outlet from the vent to expansion tank. You can use small flexible tubing.

different animal

@ March 2, 2014 1:52 PM in Solar Thermal is Dead

World of difference between common solar collectors and machinery that concentrates sunshine to produce high temperatures like those big solar thermal electric projects. You can buy parabolic trough type. Now you have to decide what to do with that high grade energy. Seems to me that conventional energy is so inexpensive in North America is why we don't see solar thermal being widely installed.

I would suppose that concentrated solar thermal would be most practical in remote places where diesel and heating fuel are expensive.

just guessing

@ March 1, 2014 1:27 PM in Pickup factor. Help me understand

Maybe boiler has to be over sized because it has to remove air from heating system. On multi-residential building where boiler was replaced with a train of small boilers, and with mechanized venting, heating season began with only one small boiler fired up.

is it a matter of efficiency?

@ March 1, 2014 1:16 PM in Beating a dead horse.

If an oil fired boiler receives a significant amount of heat by radiation, then does it require a higher BTU gas burner?

these comments are abusive

@ February 27, 2014 2:58 PM in Will boiler/pump still work if both zone valves are closed?

I've worked for many landlords. In virtually all cases the majority of tenants get along with their landlord. A small minority wants to fight rather than discuss.

Seven hours per day is too much. But a pleasant temperature for night time sleeping is below legal.

established technology

@ February 25, 2014 10:12 PM in Gasoline from Natural Gas?

In the seventies New Zealand had to import petroleum but it had natural gas. Several methods to replace petroleum with natural gas were studied. Most efficient was to convert gasoline engines to run on compressed NG. Next was to use LNG. Then the NG can be partially burnt to produce methanol and engines can be modified to use that fuel. Finally there's the least energy efficient way. That is to convert the methanol to gasoline. After due consideration the government chose the last scheme. With NG at sixty cents per therm and gasoline at well over two dollars per therm it probably makes economic sense to convert NG to gasoline.

in the good old days

@ February 8, 2014 6:45 PM in Brown Vari Vac System

Water pressure was high,water in winter was cold, and best of all water was cheap. A water motivated ejector was inexpensive and foolproof. Now that water is expensive, a compressed air powered ejector is still foolproof. Suppliers are Fox,Penberthy,S&K, and others.

forget the zoning

@ February 7, 2014 4:36 PM in Modine HW Unit in Garage

Control the fan with a thermostat. How much heat does a unit heater lose with fan off?
Draining & re filling have negatives.


@ February 4, 2014 4:06 PM in Pipe slope

This thread shows why steam heat became a lost art. A steam heated building ideally is designed to accomodate the heating system. Extra pitch helps a lot.


@ February 3, 2014 3:08 PM in conversion

Coils I've seen can be piped for steam or hw. Zone valves make steam less simple. I'd try to eliminate pumps. OTOH if the condensate pump is really pumping hot water through that duct coil it sounds like a brilliant design.

just a quibble

@ February 3, 2014 2:01 PM in Orifice Plates

I always figured upper floor got more flow because the column of cooled water in return weighs more? Oddly enough, in old three storey homes the middle floor was coldest.

just make sure

@ February 2, 2014 6:56 PM in Orifice Plates

Just make sure those valves are up to throttling duty. That means no water gets past packing.


@ January 30, 2014 3:43 PM in radiant heat in attached garage

I strongly agree with kcopp. Simpler,cheaper. You'll probably operate the heater at coolest setting. With recirculated water the heater will probably last longer than the house. Plus you save pressure drop through exchanger.
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