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Joined on January 19, 2012

Last Post on July 30, 2014

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@ May 22, 2014 9:22 AM in Time to pull the trigger

You need to buy a ss circ and expansion tank for the heating side either way.
If you don't use a  HX you need to upgrade the circ on the boiler side to ss for about $200.That's it
If you use an HX, you need another;
fill valve
heat exchanger
pressure gauge
expansion tank
misc fittings
At least $800 more.


@ May 21, 2014 11:35 PM in Help diagnosing hydro air problems....

I still think verifying the air pressure and checking that the air vent in the attic is working should be next. How many vertical feet is the handler above the boiler?
I think completely isolating the other zones (close the valves) and trying just the one is a good plan.
Pull the head off the zone valve and be sure it is opening completely.
Check the amp draw on the circ and inspect  the impeller.
Take apart the water side of the zone valve.
Inspect the piping especially inside the air handler for a partially closed valve.
The series of 90s on the intake side of the circ are not helping matters.


@ May 21, 2014 7:06 PM in Help diagnosing hydro air problems....

Ya a 26-99 will get it done. It should be moving about 6 gpm.
I think it is either airlocked of mispiped. Sometimes someone "knuckleheads" the boler piping and the water mostly runs around in circles.
 A picture would sure help.


@ May 21, 2014 6:53 PM in Series pumps and my hydronic comedy of errors

Personally I would do the reversing valve way before stacking circulators.
I think you are wise to be concerned about cavitation. The concept to get your head around is "net positive suction head available" I honestly don't completely understand it myself.


@ May 21, 2014 4:04 PM in Are you in the market for a Thermal Imager?

There is someone on Ebay that is advertising the service. I would think any of the folks selling the "upgraded" model would be happy to help you for a fee.


@ May 21, 2014 1:16 PM in Help diagnosing hydro air problems....

You almost surely have a flow issue. The question is why?
Verify the system pressure. The boiler gauge could be wrong you can put another gauge on the drain to check. How high above the boiler is the handler?
Verify that you are not air locked. Listen to the pipes, is there a bleed valve or air eliminator in the attic.
Is the circ a ups15-58?15/60? 15-42?
How much piping is there between the circulator and the air handler? Approx footage and number of turns in supply and return.
A picture of the boiler piping would help.
With everything piped and sized correctly, you should be able to get 4 to 5 gpm and heat the room.


@ May 21, 2014 8:59 AM in Time to pull the trigger

The 15-55 is the stainless version

Reversing valve

@ May 21, 2014 8:49 AM in Series pumps and my hydronic comedy of errors

I would look into this instead.
You should be able to get the system fairly balanced without going bigger with the circs.
The direction you are going with the circs is going to cost a ton of money to operate and probably won't fix the issue.


@ May 20, 2014 4:07 PM in Steam to Hot water

If you haven't found them yet, There are some great steam books on this site.
Just great easy to read books that will spell out your options. "Greening Steam" sounds like the first one you would like.

Amp Clamp

@ May 20, 2014 3:51 PM in Electric Water Heater Problems

After the correct voltage is verified, that's 120 hot to ground on both legs and 240 hot to hot. I would check the amperage on each leg. It should match the wattage output of the element. From there you can take it apart and check the resistance of the element and the continuity of the thermostat.
My guess is that the plumber turned on the power before the heater was filled and smoked the element(s).
I know a guy that did that once.

CI Boiler

@ May 20, 2014 2:20 PM in Time to pull the trigger

In the scenario where you have a 29,000BTU boiler and the outdoor temp is fairly warm, I was assuming the output water temp on the floor side would be 92 degrees. In that event, the slab should be absorbing about 9,000 BTU while the boiler is producing 29,000 BTU. This will cause the boiler to cycle. The length of the cycles is dictated by the amount of mass the boiler and the amount of water in the system  as well as the on/off differential setting on the boiler. In my rough calculation, you would pretty close to 6 on and 6 off cycles per hour which is what many people use as the definition of "shortcycling". A buffer tank would resolve this issue.

As far as the stability of the water temps to the slab, the I valve will handle that.



@ May 20, 2014 1:31 PM in Time to pull the trigger

If you do the slant fin boiler you would need something like the Taco I series mixing valve to do outdoor reset and boiler condensing protection.
It looks like the cost of the 2 options would be similar.
with the slant fin,You would be right about  6 cycles per hour with 92 degree water and a 25 degree boiler differential.


@ May 19, 2014 10:04 PM in Dryer vent question

I am thinking you need a booster fan. You could repipe with longer sections of pipe to reduce drag. I think code allows 35 equivalent feet unless the dryer is rated higher. It sounds like you have much more than that. Another factor that can come into play is the exterior termination.Some low profile models actually reduce the vent size creating more drag.
I put in one of these a while back and it worked like a charm

Best luck


@ May 19, 2014 6:52 PM in Time to pull the trigger

I see where Tim is heading with the buffer tank and generally think they are a good idea.
In your case you have a single zone high mass panel and a boiler that turns down to 9k/btu input.
My math (actually Siggy's) is saying that you can lower your boiler supply temp to 92 degrees before the boiler would cycle at all. The boiler will never "short cycle".

As far as the piping goes,pipe it primary/secondary just like the manual. The 15-58 will work for both circulators. Most systems have a backflow preventer/fill valve assembly.
It can be done without one but usually is not.


@ May 17, 2014 11:54 PM in Time to pull the trigger

Here in the lower 48, the pressure in the line from the tank to the house is reduced to approx 8-10 psi.
The house pressure is then lowered to approx 11 inches of water column. 1 PSI = 27.68 in/wc.
I don't know what specifically causes the noise. I suspect it has to do with the low volume of gas in the line and the lack of resistance .
There are folks on hear that have a better understanding.


@ May 17, 2014 5:12 PM in Time to pull the trigger

That is a strange note. Who decides if it should be 6 or 10?
Some modulating boilers have issues with an annoying harmonic hum when they are to close to the regulator. I suspect that is what the note refers to.
There is no reason I know of that the 6 to 10 could not be a loop in the boiler room.

Low Loss

@ May 16, 2014 12:02 AM in Time to pull the trigger

To answer the low loss header question. The header should be designed for 2 ft/sec. with 3/4" copper that would be 3.2 gpm. With 4 loops that would be .8 gpm per loop.That would work just fine for the floor. A Grundfos 15-58 on setting 1 get's you there.
If you want higher flow, you could either go with a 1" manifold or pipe your manifold reverse/return.

As Gordy said, the 3/4 is plenty big for the delivery pipe.

Keep reading Weezbo's posts. I have learned to  read  "weazbo" he is  very knowledgeable.


Zone valve

@ May 15, 2014 11:26 AM in Honey well zone valves and oxygen

The oxygen itself should not effect the valve.
The problem comes when all the byproducts of the oxygen corroding the other system parts start floating around the system.
It is very possible that the "cocktail" of chemicals and whatnot  in the system damaged the valve. If you can isolate the valve, it doesn't take  much to open one up.
It sounds like you have a sizable circulator deadheading into the zone valves? is there a differential  bipass?
It seems like customers always indicate that it is a new problem in order to motivate you to take care of it.


Which ones the caddy?

@ May 12, 2014 10:02 PM in Utica vs Lochinvar

The Utica looks like a nice heat exchanger design with low head loss. It has not been out for long.
The Lochinvar KBN series have high head loss Govanni exchangers. They are a higher maintenance, somewhat dated design.
I would put in the Lochinvar WH-085. It has the proven firetube exchanger developed by triangle tube.


@ May 12, 2014 3:39 PM in Heat Load assessment different from quuted Boiler Size

I don't think that your 80 gallon electric producing 13,188btu/hr is sized correctly for  a high demand house.That's only .37 GPM of recovery.
It sounds like the other system you describe should have been set up with priority with "timeout".

My point is that if you have heating load that is 62,000 btu/hr on the coldest day and you have normal DHW needs, you really should not have an issue. My own indirect fires twice a day for a total of less than an hour. During the typical 20 minute dhw call there is no noticeable fluctuation in indoor temps.


@ May 12, 2014 2:35 PM in Heat Load assessment different from quuted Boiler Size

Fast forward to page 633-635 in your textbook. As long as your DHW demand is not ridiculously high, set it up as a priority and don't worry about it.It is only going to run less than an hour per day.
I had a recent discussion with a gentleman that insisted that the boiler be upsized from 110k-175k boiler for a new 3 bath home with an 82k heat loss.
I asked him if he thought an 60 gal. electric (about 16k/btu) or a 60 gal gas fired (32k/btu) would suffice. He said, yes we do it all the time.
This is a largely misunderstood concept. If the boiler is to small for DHW, upsize the tank instead.

Heat loss

@ May 11, 2014 11:45 PM in Heat Load assessment different from quuted Boiler Size

Your calculation seems pretty close.
There is no reason to add for the DHW load.
By the time you finish Siggy's book, you will know more about design than most.
Trust the math,
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