Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall


Joined on March 8, 2012

Last Post on June 29, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

1 2 3 4 »

ECM (electronicalle commentated motor)

@ June 29, 2014 9:18 PM in ECM circulators

You need the "board" and it's electronics to make the circulator work.  It is essentially a stepper motor with many drivers to make the windings charge in a circular pattern.  Basically aside from the display there is no extra electronics involved that wouldn't otherwise be there just to make an ECM. 


Electric resistence heat

@ March 20, 2014 5:01 PM in Buy used electric boiler

While I can't say much as to life expectancy of such a unit, I can say that if your electric rate is reasonable and it WILL ONLY be used as a backup an electric boiler can work out well.  No maintaince and silent/ no cost if not run. 
96Mbtu is a large boiler and would require 117 amps or 28,000 watts.  You would need a minimum of a 200amp enterance in your house for this to work. 
I'd consider a smaller unit like the EH12 at 50amps. 

Return Size........

@ February 25, 2014 9:39 PM in Single stage, two-stage and multi-stage, which one

It's funny you should mention return sizing.  I was back over to that same house to install a water softener, and the winning bidder installed a York two stage condensing furnace.  The 24x24 return plenum is panned and a single 12" round goes to the furnace and is panned to the 24x16 filter.  WOW talk about a shoddy install.  The HO asked me what I thought, and I told him to get the installer (local gas supplier) back to clean up their abomination.    People simply do not have any understanding of how important the return is.  There is plenty of ductwork in this old house with multiple 12" rounds into the 24x24. 

WOW!  I should have done the work, if only I had time. 

EDIT: I should add that the vent has a low spot and I could hear the condensate gurgling upon combustion blower startup and run.  The whole thing looks like Wonkie Piping installed it.  I really need to get a picture of this.
He called the installer about the small return and they said that's what they usually do if there is enough air flow ................

Condensing Furnace questions

@ February 3, 2014 8:42 PM in Condensing Furnace questions

Hi all it's been awhile.  Being out of my field (scorched air) I have some questions concerning a customer of mine. 
I was there and he had expressed interest in converting to LP from oil.  He has just purchaced this house and the oil tank is ruptured.  They are doing a Reno and out are coming the Bock, and Airco FHA oil fired units. 
He has had three quotes for the furnaces (I am there installing a Rinnai Tankless.....tried to talk himout of it).  Two quotes were for York 120Mbtu single stage, and one was for a two stage.  I thought that seemed way oversized and did a heatloss, came out to 74Mbtu and some change.  I told him based on my expierence to get nothing more than an 80Mbtu unit.  I am not sure if he should get a modulating unit or the two stage would be sufficient.  FHA is not my specialty, hate it actually, I am a wethead through and through. 
Are there good ones, and are the modulating ones worth the extra $2k? 

Thank you for the collective wisdom.

Taco XPB

@ December 1, 2013 4:17 PM in snow melt

I've used the Taco XPB with great success.  I think it's a Tekmar injection controller with a 006 injection and 008 system pumps with the HX all in one.  Makes for a nice clean install for basically the same price as all the components it replaces.  All bronze and SS.


Water Heaters

@ December 1, 2013 4:07 PM in Power Vented Water heaters

Are there none of these out there?  Does anyone use them?  Advice much appreciated. 


Power Vented Water heaters

@ November 28, 2013 9:18 PM in Power Vented Water heaters

Hey all, being up in oil territory I don't get to see much in the way of PVC vented appliances.  Now that LP has caught on we are getting lots of questions about all sorts of things gas.  Having some expierence with tankless on-demand, Rinnai, Aquastar etc.  And knowing their issues, what is the general take on power vented water heaters?  I'd like some good info on longevity, what to stay away from and sealed combustion options.  Are these basically just an atmospheric water heater with a blower on them with some sail switches or are there some condensing tank versions?
Thanks for the wealth of knowledge!

Happy Thanksgiving, there is A LOT to thank Him for!



@ November 25, 2013 7:49 PM in I ran across the system ......

This is great stuff!  100% agree Ironman, we CAN if we want to.  This basically all mechanical system is testimant that quality and engineering are superior to cheap cost and fast install.  Read the whole litho, very detailed and specific and noted all of the references to future serviceability and needed clearances for removal of the thermal element and forbidden to embed any capalary in plaster, in case of future replacement!  I can't say it enough, I LOVE THIS STUFF!



@ October 27, 2013 6:54 PM in The Blessed Technology of Fracking . . .

and a thousand Amens! 

Pics/ Make Model

@ September 30, 2013 9:36 PM in Old wood boiler questions

Can you take some pictures of the unit as well as give any info you can find on a nameplate if it has one?


Taco x-Pump block, cartridge swapping

@ August 16, 2013 8:23 PM in Taco x-Pump block, cartridge swapping

Anyone know if you can change the cartridges to ones of different curves on the XPB?  The sheet states the top and bottom can be switched.  Can I just put a 007 in the top (injection side) for added capacity?

Thanks all........starting to think about winter already

Boiler Side pump

@ July 6, 2013 8:33 PM in Taco X-Pump block, larger HX availibility

Dave is the boiler side pump cartridge simply a standard 006, and can it be swapped for a higher flow cartridge?  As SWEI asked, what is the limiting factor for the 60,000 BTU capacity?  Is it friction from the HX, HX size, or circulator sizing?  I don't want to remove the XPB and build my own injection setup if I don't need to, but if that's what needs to happen I can take that road if the XPB is maxed from the factory.  It just seems that the approach temps are quite far apart even with the purge switch ON and both pumps maxed out.  My thought was that the HX lacks surface area to transfer more capacity even with the wide deltaT.
Thank you for your input.

Not cycling

@ June 30, 2013 11:44 AM in Taco X-Pump block, larger HX availibility

The boiler does not cycle, and there is a cast iron radiator zone which is a secondary dump as well (love CI rads).  I have the XPB setup with a primary dump aquastat which puts a resistor in series with the slab temp sensor tricking the controller into thinking the slab supply is 20 degrees cooler so the injection circ ramps to 100%.  I just wanted to dump more BTUs in this primary dump mode, and avoid the CI rads in the upstairs from dumping if I can. 
I need to measure the return temp from the XPB back to the primary loop during this dumping.  It may be advantageous to put another circ in series to increase flow during a heat dump event. 
The whole point of this system is to avoid boiler cycling at all costs, downdraft gasification works best flat out, and Siggy's articles have been great.  This design was originally going to have a 1,000 gal LP tank as pressurized storage, but has worked well w/o it due to the high mass slab.    


Storage in slab

@ June 30, 2013 9:14 AM in Taco X-Pump block, larger HX availibility

This is a 2,200 sq.ft. slab 8" thick.  Tubing 2" from the bottom, or 6" below tile covered surface.  Inherent mass does not allow temp fluctuations in building with short batch-burns (around 3hrs/day).  This is a super-insulated house in Northern Maine.  The system had worked well for several years, I just don't like seeing the injection system ramped near 100% as the HX is undersized.  The boiler side is two short runs from 1.25" primary boiler loop, so less than 4' head  for 6.5 gpm, not 10 my mistake. 
I know the XPB is just a Tekmar control with a 007 for boiler side and 008 for loop side.  If the HX had a bit more capacity I could get the boiler pump modulation down to a more acceptable level of 60-80%.  I know the XPB is undersized for this application, there was a different boiler originally which was a lower output.  Now the XPB is basically at max capacity, and if possible I'd like to add some capacity as the rest of the components are capable of delivering the appropriate BTUs.



@ June 29, 2013 11:01 PM in Taco X-Pump block, larger HX availibility

should have posted flows in OP. 

4.5 gpm on radiant side.  5 loops at .75gpm (measured value)
slab supply at 115 return 80 (this is a batch burn wood fired system) not constant circulation
System side (injection) up to 10gpm at calculated head of piping to X-pump block from primary boiler loop.  Anywhere from 160-190 degree supply water temp.

Taco X-Pump block, larger HX availibility

@ June 29, 2013 11:49 AM in Taco X-Pump block, larger HX availibility

I've not had any success in contacting Taco for this answer.  Wondering if anyone on here knows if the flat plate on the back of the X-Pump Block is a standard flange and could be swapped out for a larger one.  The unit in question is working well, but the injection or "system" side pump is often at or close to 100% modulation.  This is connected to a radiant floor with glycol.  Don;t want to glycol the whole system for obvious reasons. 



@ June 19, 2013 7:28 PM in makeup water problem

My thoughts exactly.

Not that type of fuel..........

@ June 19, 2013 7:20 PM in Heat Pump Water Heater and Humidity

Haha, biomass is my game.

I think......

@ June 16, 2013 8:36 PM in I want one of these!

That it's cool, heavy, heavy, and leave you with a grooved butt!

Stink ducting.........

@ June 14, 2013 5:50 PM in Heat Pump Water Heater and Humidity

Nah, I only stink up the 1/2 bath downstairs.  That bath is for showering and going #1 only for me. LOL

Pulling air from bathroom

@ June 14, 2013 10:47 AM in Heat Pump Water Heater and Humidity

and ducting it to the master bedroom, which is on the other side of the partition.  Basically the unit will be in the mechanical room below the floor, pulling air from bath high in partition wall and them pushing the cooler air into bed via floor register. 
I figured the humidity was latent heat as the phase change would condense the water out and yealdmore heat driving the COP up.  We in this part of the country are just beginning to get into HP tech, so I want to have learn as much as I can.  Install as well and efficient as possible

Thank you!


@ June 11, 2013 9:32 PM in Sight glass again

I was taught to always charge to a full sight glass, have been asked/told "what do you think it's there for" more than once if this was ever brought up.
1 2 3 4 »