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Joined on January 19, 2012

Last Post on April 19, 2014

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@ January 23, 2013 2:03 PM in Is there something wrong here??

You are in luck being in Rhode Island.
Get a hold of Tim. He is one of the very best and should be able to find you a pro.


@ January 23, 2013 1:53 PM in Hello, My Name is Mark, & I'm A Wallaholic

Do you have pictures of the near boiler piping?

Yes, something is wrong..

@ January 23, 2013 1:32 PM in Is there something wrong here??

I am impressed with your insulation contractor.

I think I would find a new heating contractor. They should have done a complete combustion analysis with the conversion. It appears they do not  have the knowledge or equipment to do so.

Generally, levels of CO above 100 require service. I would not be comfortable living in a house with levels above 400 and would turn the appliance off.

Do you have CO detectors? Your boiler may be spilling under certain weather conditions.

I would look to either Carlin or the "find a contractor" section above for a referral.

What part of the country are you in?



@ January 23, 2013 12:23 PM in Steam boiler leak and turning itself off

From your pictures it looks like you have a hot water heater sitting next to your steam boiler. A furnace heats air in a forced air heating system.
I say this only because you are the proud owner of a steam heating system. Steam systems are unlike other heat systems. 99% of the heating contractors out there do not know anything about steam heating and should not touch your boiler. The person that installed your boiler is one of them. Steam boilers experience huge temperature swings. The mixture of cast, copper and solder on your header will eventually fail. Yes it works now, that does not make it right.
You immediate problem sound like it is related to ignition but it could be a number of things.
I would start by purchasing "You Got Steam Heat" from this site. This will give you the knowledge to do basic repairs yourself. More importantly you will know how to tell a real steam heating contractor from a knucklehead.
Best  of luck,


@ January 23, 2013 10:10 AM in Need Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Help HERE

What are your electric rates?
Are other fuels (nat gas) available? At what rate?
What part of the country?
How is the tubing installed?
Is there insulation under the floor?
Are the windows double pane?
How is the house insulated?
How is the rest of the house heated?
Was a heat loss calc done before installation?
How hot is the boiler set to run?
What are the T-stats set to?


@ January 22, 2013 10:35 PM in Diagnostic Challenge: Time for a New Boiler?

I think you would reap huge benefits by replacing your boiler. The energy saving would likely be 20-40%.
No matter what,  you need to fix the leak. Are you able to isolate the zones and tell which is losing pressure? What type of piping do you have?
I don't think I am buying the mud intrusion theory. If you stick a hose in the mud and turn it on, does mud go into the hose? When you lose water in a closed system, the water is replaced with oxygenated water. This oxygenated water rusts your boiler.


@ January 21, 2013 11:37 PM in wiring a control

I would scrap the individual r86 relays and put in the Taco 504-4. It will allow DHW priority if needed.


@ January 21, 2013 11:27 PM in Help with understanding the possibility of non-traditional use of PEX

We tried HDPE. The PEX seems to hold shape better.


@ January 21, 2013 10:54 PM in a little perplexed

Yes the wood boiler piped in series is heating the other boiler. The unfired boiler is adding much needed mass to the wood boiler setup. 250 degrees is way to hot for a residential heat system. Are the T&P valves intact?

Hula Hoops!

@ January 21, 2013 10:36 PM in Help with understanding the possibility of non-traditional use of PEX

If money were no object, I would do a tank in a tank design like they use for brewing beer. The outer tank would be the boiler water.
My non traditional pex use is making hula hoops with my daughter. a few feet of pex, a coupler and some colorful tape and voila!  If you put the right amount of water in they work great.


@ January 21, 2013 9:10 PM in High delta T, how to adjust it?

Give it up! You can't do 167 posts then hold out on the punch line.

More Details

@ January 21, 2013 8:54 PM in wiring a control

Do you have zone circs or zone valves(2 or 4 wire)? How many? I assume you wired the aquastat  the same as he old one? The 89a is pretty limited.

Bipass and velocity

@ January 17, 2013 8:25 AM in High delta T, how to adjust it?

Nice work with the circulator. For trouble shooting you absolutely want the bipass closed. I suspect you can leave it closed all the time. The condensation issue is a problem with "sustained" return temps below 135+/-. Once your system is working correctly, it will only see those temps at the beginning of it's cold start.The condensate will burn off once the system is up to temp.
I would focus your efforts on the velocity noise you are hearing. As someone said, there is no way you have more than 4 .fps in the 3/4" pipe. The noise means either air or a restriction. Could there be a hidden valve or a crushed pipe at that location?

All four

@ January 16, 2013 5:49 PM in How many books?

I bought all four. The lost art has everything. The pocketful is portable. You got steam heat is a great loaner (I don't have that one anymore). Greening steam has all the cool new stuff.

The real question...

@ January 16, 2013 4:59 PM in High delta T, how to adjust it?

Can you help me fix my system without spending any money or disassembling anything? The simple answer is no.You cannot evaluate the condition of a circulator with an ampmeter. If it is partially corroded or the impeller is worn your test is meaningless.


@ January 15, 2013 10:48 PM in High delta T, how to adjust it?

Why is that ugly black 007 still attached to your boiler? Where do you live? I am coming over to change it.


@ January 15, 2013 10:35 AM in High delta T, how to adjust it?

It will take 4 bolts and 3 wires. Swap your circ for a grundfos 15-58. Open up all "balancing" valves and watch it go. You will have 3 speeds to play with and your delta T will be exactly what you want If you want to get real crazy put in a delta t circ.
Nice work with the 2 Walmarts. Hope they were superstores.

Gas line sizing?

@ January 15, 2013 10:24 AM in Rinnai tankless woes

Has anyone looked at you gas line sizing and pressure? All to often these are installed to replace tank hot water heaters with much lower BTU requirements. Everything works OK until other appliances on the line turn on. The gas pressure will then drop and cause an error.


@ January 14, 2013 11:13 AM in Short Cycle

I would look for a faulty t-stat. Maybe one with the anticipator incorrectly set.
I think you are going to have to catch it in the act.

Split it.

@ January 14, 2013 10:44 AM in gpm

You can run 2-3/4" lines. It is often practical to run a 1" line to the center of the house then split to  2-3/4" lines.
The other problem with piping 50K btu all in series, is that the radiators at the end will be starved and under perform.


@ January 13, 2013 7:22 PM in Air purging

Those thermo zone valves do delay a bit opening and closing.
It sounds like some of the air moved and is now locking your boiler. Are your air vents open? Most have little caps on top that need to be open. I would not operate your system in an airlocked condition. You could damage your circulators and your boiler.

Power purge

@ January 13, 2013 6:10 PM in Air purging

You need to power purge your system. The original installer likely installed an isolation valve and a couple of boiler drains for this purpose. This may be tricky without pics.
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