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heatpro02920

heatpro02920

Joined on January 28, 2013

Last Post on April 17, 2014

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refractometer

@ April 17, 2014 2:44 PM in Glycol

get a total amount that the system holds and do the math to get your gycol percent, I would use your refractometer to test what is there... best bet would be to check with the manufacturer to see what and how they want it done..

May be

@ April 17, 2014 2:39 PM in losing heat

I am not a small appliance repair tech, they called someone in to fix it, but I seen the old part and it had the 3 solenoids, I have heard of others with a similar issue and I have seen the other dobule inlet setup with a triple valve assembly and then a single..

The washer we have at our house is crazy, Im sure it has a bunch of crazy valves in there, it has a a touch face controller that you can dial a temp range in...

call the pro back

@ April 17, 2014 12:41 PM in pilot light going out

give him a chance to figure out the issue, a call to slant fin tech support to see if this is a common issue wouldn't be a bad idea either...

Ice I hate to dissagree

@ April 17, 2014 12:31 PM in losing heat

But I was there on this one, lol...
The valve had 3 solenoids, and one outlet the middle solenoid was stuck open causing the water to mix through that valve.... These are popular now with them fancy machines and the energy star units...
heres a picture of what one looks like.. the one they pulled out was a little different, but you get the ide, the one I seen had the solenoids in a triangle pattern, I can not remember the brand.. I can not believe you made me look up a picture of a washer valve... I know I don't have the experience you do but I am hoping I know when I fixed something and when I stumbled through it, lol...
http://www.partselect.com/1482390-3-M-GE-WH13X10026-Triple-Water-Valve.jpg

There is another version of washer out there that will do the same thing, it has 3 solenoids on one side and 1 on the other, the cold pipes into the hot and then into another mixer, very weird way to get something done but they design the machines not me...
http://www.buyspares.co.uk/image/100/5045174321341/0/z/ and the other side is just a single, so they do the mixing with just one outlet..

I know the old washers and simple standard units may not have this stuff, and they just have a simple on off for each cold and hot, but I can promise you this has happened, I seen it with my own eyes... I wish someone told me about it before I had to figure it out myself....

thanks for second guessing me again though Ice, I think the first time was the vaughn pros being cement lined? LOL, keeps me on my toes.....

My drawings are in the pc at the shop

@ April 17, 2014 12:08 PM in Can we split tankless on-demand hot water unit for hydro air & domestic hot water?

here is a fast one I just made, this would be the best way to get it done, as you can see there are a lot of parts, and its not going to be as cost effective as you would think.. Beleive it or not you can get even more complicated than this, I have done this and tried and tested this to death...
I have a system out there I built very similar the gentleman actually repped Rinnai and loves the product, he wanted me to install it in the closet of his guest room {large room with a full bathroom, it was 600 sq ft total with a heat loss under 20K btus. I used a first company air handler with an additional water coil stacked on top of it {couldnt oversize the air handler too much because I would have had to oversize the a/c coil too which would have led to issues on that size}...

That system has worked well for years now and is propane... I went a few steps further with his, I installed a flow sensor on the hot water line so it would cut a call for heat and make hot water priority, I wired it with pre/post purge circuits so the air handler had hot water in it before it ran the fan and ran the fan until all the heat was gone at the end of the cycle...
His air handler side was ran low pressure with glycol so no frz circuit was needed, and since it did not mix with the dhw it was ok..

Keep in mind, these are expensive parts, you will need lead free fphx, circ, zone valve, ect everything on the dhw side will need to be lead free..

I would look into a properly sized tankless for DHW and a properly sized lp 95% furnace for heat, Ill bet the budget will be similar, and if you go with a small 30 ga direct tank, Ill bet the budget comes out less...

Now you can do this without the fphx and I have done it, but it doesnt work as well, and if your coil ever lets go and you have full domestic pressure feeding it, you may drown, and your insurance co will not be happy about the damage a domestic water line in your attic does...

good luck, like I said it will work, and can be setup nice, but its not a great practice...

Are you going to do this your self?

@ April 17, 2014 11:31 AM in Can we split tankless on-demand hot water unit for hydro air & domestic hot water?

Or higher a pro...

I have done this, but be warned if it is not done correctly {especially with lp} you will soot up that heat exchanger from close deltas...
First I will explain the process and parts...
Use something like a ru98 rinnai tankless, a 3 way zone valve a flat plate heat exchanger a switching relay, thermostat, ss circulator, aquastat, and 1 regular circulator...

So you plumb the tankless so that the hot out tees into the dhw piping and the fphx, then you have the cold in tee into the domestic cold with a check valve, you bridge the 3 way valve between the supply and return and use the aquastat to control it so when the delta comes back too close and would make the unit fire low and soot up it redirects it back into the air coil until it returns cold enough to fire the tankless at a good rate.. Over size the coil so that it can work at a low temperature, do your heat losses correctly, and plan the job well and it can work...
BUT, I can almost promise you it would be cheaper to install a small 90+ furnace in the duct work, it will be more reliable and work better with less thinking...
Just install a small water tank or a small tankless in the basement, then a 90+ furnace in the attic or where ever your ac is... done and easy..

If you are interested in using the rinnai, I have drawings of how to make it work and I have done it,

I use apollo valves

@ April 17, 2014 10:40 AM in Skimmer valve failed!?

never heard about an issue.. The brass plug will be your best bet if its becaoming an issue, did you use any skimmer chems in the boiler initially or ever? if so maybe they were corrosive...

dave figure it this way

@ April 17, 2014 10:33 AM in Loctite 55

Relative average cost- you buy 2 for $30 each then 2 for $7 each that lowers your per piece price to $18.50, so if you buy 10 at $7 that will get you around $10 each... Or you can just cancel the other order, lol...

Dave I wish you would have posted

@ April 17, 2014 10:17 AM in Loctite 55

before you bought it, fastenal has tons of it on clearance for $7 a container...
http://www.fastenal.com/web/products/details/0151181;jsessionid=LvXqTPghZmQnQ756Q1Hw6nDKjZw9tpZ1hP1hnCJ9yj0kSnmKTst2!403118208!-254826502?isPunchout=false

you can buy it online, but I know my local store has a shelf full of it last time I seen it, and I just checked my zip code and almost every store in CT has it in stock....
http://www.fastenal.com/web/products/availability?sku=0151181

I have seen it and remember years ago when it was coming out they had displays setup and demos, BUT i was just never sold on it, I get it and in the demo they put 120psi through a hand tite fitting then submerged it in a fish tank with no bubbles, ,BUT when it comes to thread sealant guys are tough to get away from what works for them, especially the rope because it kind of defies logic {not by a lot}, its easier to sell them a nicer teflon tape or new dope than a magic rope.. I have heard from guys that it works well... If you can not get it locally I can pick it up here, we have tons of it available...

I have a bottle on my truck, I can't remember if i used it, I have so many types of tefflon and sealers, I have profitter grey for stainless steel {handy on the ss buderus stuff and the ss water tanks, it is strong and doesn't rip up like the other stuff}, I have monster for almost everything else in 5 different sizes, then yellow anti seize tape for csst, then I have the ceramic tape for the food grade jobs, low density, medium, high, pink, blue, yellow, white, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4" ect ect ect ect.... I literally have about 40 different teflon tapes between the trucks and the shop...

we get this question often

@ April 17, 2014 9:51 AM in pressure relief valve

First we need a little more info maybe a picture..

Your problem can be from a few different areas- But first make sure it is actually going to 30+psi, if it isn't getting that high than it is a bad PRV opening too soon{run the system through its paces, check temps run pumps}, make sure your PRV is installed vertically with an air gap, I see prv's facing down or sideways all the time, that is wrong...

next if all of that is ok, and the boiler is indeed going over 30psi, then you can either have First-"new water" coming in, this can only come from 3 places, one is high pressure piped into the boiler, this is very rare, I have seen it though, someone puts a hose end on a boiler drain then connects that to faucet and it over pressurises the boiler...
You can also have a faulty pressure reducing valve, this is the valve assembly that allows water to feed into your boiler, it turns your "street" pressure of say 60psi down to a boiler safe 12-18psi, if these are stuck open or "leaking by" they will over pressurize your boiler...
Another problem could be a faulty indirect water heater , flate plate HX, or tankless water heater, these devices share a water bath with the boiler and have 15psi boiler water on one side and 60psi domestic pressure on the other, if there is a pin hole in there the 60psi will bleed into your boilers water supply and over pressurize the boiler...

Another potential cause is a faulty expansion tank {or undersized/improperly installed}, If it has a broken bladder, is not properly charged {the pressure in the bladder should match your feed pressure}, ect.. Hot water takes up more space than cold so it needs to go somewhere...

Next is a rare one, you could have a pump/circulator causing system havok, if it is installed in a bad spot a pump can create suction on its supply side and suck water in from the feeder, if it is installed wrong and large it can raise the boiler pressure and open the prv... This is rare, but it happens...

Last make sure your boiler isnt getting too hot, you dont want a 250 degree high limit, lol...


So if I were going to your house for a service call, I would first make sure the unit was indeed going over 30 causing the prv to open, I would plug your prv for a second {I am a pro, I don't recommend you do this, I can open the boiler drain to relieve pressure if need be, but some prvs are leaking and wont allow you to test the system without changing them and I dont want to abuse a new one, sometimes they open and dont close}...

Once I seen it go over 30, I would set your water feed to 12psi {or what ever psi your home needs, more floors more psi}, set and check your expansion tank, then shut off your supply water the valve before the water feed}, if it over pressurized again with all of that done, I would move onto dhw, check tankless or indirect by shutting their supplies off, if that isnt the issue and your piping and cirs are up to par with nothing else out of the ordinary {boiler isnt running to 250 degrees}, I would call a ghost expert because that is all that can be wrong...

Most of the time it is a faulty water feed or expansion tank, then you will sometimes find a faulty dhw system, everything else is pretty rare...

The last guy ddn't do it

@ April 17, 2014 9:14 AM in Slab house/Boiler in kitchen

so why bother, lol... just kidding...

I have been on more than a couple of these jobs, I have to say there is always a way, I wouldn't run an oil boiler without a draft control, sure it will work, but you can end up with very high stack temps, erratic combustion habits, sooting, ect ect ect..

I can dig up some pictures when I get home, but there is always an answer, this one seems pretty simple since that boiler can be top vented and its easy to pop a new thimble in the chimney and plug the old one...

Years back I went to a job that the inspector tagged {they were selling the property} because there was no control, so they wouldn't give a loan on the property without passing the home inspection... So I go out there and its a rear flue jammed in this tiny closet, we had a laundry list of things to fix, combustion air, electric fireomatic, double 5/8 sheet rock, ect this inspector was on the ball.

So now of course its a tight budget and the guy that installed the boiler was doing it as cheap as he could and not well at that, but the home owner said "It has worked for 7 years" cant argue with that, I guess... So there was literally NO way to get a draft regulator between this thing and the chimney, to be honest if that pipe ever rotted out, you would have to remove the boiler to replace it. So I broke a new hole in the chimney above the boiler and installed a larger regulator there, not perfect by any means, but it did the job, the draft adjusted well and the boiler ran better with it there... The inspector passed it on his next visit...

Another job I did was similar, existing boiler couldnt fit it between there and when the boiler fired the stack temps were very high as well as their fuel bills... So it was a rear flue jammed into the chimney, I plugged the existing chimney hole, I made a sheet metal box that I fit into the back of the boiler and came up the front of the chimney and behind the boiler, I installed the draft regulator into that box and then a 90 on top of it that went into a new hole in the chimney.

So picture it the boiler had a 6" termination, I built an 8" wide x 5" deep x 15" tall box, I fit a 6" collar to fit into the breech, made an oval to round termination on the top so I could get to a 6" elbow, then a 6" hole in the front for the regulator, I also made a small side cleanout toward the bottom so it could be vacuumed out.. It has been there a while and no issues, works fine... If it was any closer I would have had to collar into the chimney instead of the elbow but it fit this way and it allowed me to install it with furnace cement, if I collared it I would have had to put it in there blind...

These 2 jobs were both existing, if I were installing them boilers I would have installed equipment with top outlets, I have done this a ton of times, you have a boiler backed into a chimney, you pick something like the WM golds, they have top flues, top supply, front return, and you plug the rear pressure relief tapping and install it in the front, now you can back that boiler in and install it correctly with no future service nightmares...

Good luck... Remind me if you want a picture, I know I have one of the box I made probably dont have one of the other job though..

I changed it a little

@ April 16, 2014 10:40 PM in How To Make Current System More Efficient

I changed the drawing from the other job, I would do yours similar to this, so the zones are using the closely spaced tees and the boilers are on the loop like the picture shows. Then you can wire the system pump to run all the time or on an aquastat, I would use delta t pumps on your zones and then size the system pump according to what you need, a bumble bee would be fine, I wouldn't set it up delta t, but play with the speeds and settings until you find the best way to run it...
You can wire it so the boiler is kept hot no matter what and you will have plenty of hot water with the tankless...

Use your burnham as a buffer and if you don't want the stand by losses from the pellet boiler when you are running the burnham you can install a bypass and some iso valves... Not too hard to figure out, I am sure there are a ton of options for you, but if you can save the expense of a tank and not have it in your system then do yourself a favor and do so... I install a lot of equipment and by far the most failures I see before warranty and after is tanks, for some reason we can not make a good tank that will just last 15+ years, indirects, storage, directs, no matter what kind of tank I have seen them fail far sooner than they should...
And for no reason, I wish a company would come out with a thick high quality ss tank that would last as long as a ci boiler, a nice 30-40 year life expectancy tank, heck I would be happy with one that would consistently last 20, they cost almost as much as a boiler after all...

heres an idea

@ April 16, 2014 10:22 PM in How To Make Current System More Efficient

This is a similar system I did, but for what you want to do I would probably do it a little different...

Efficiency...

@ April 16, 2014 9:47 PM in How To Make Current System More Efficient

If it were me I would not add a tank to your system, does your burnham have a tankless coil?

I would personally pipe it so your burnham is used as the buffer tank, I would use its tankless for DHW {if it doesnt have one add it}, I would pipe the system primary secondary and I would not use zone valves, I would install a bumble bee set for delta t on each zone {rebates are available in some places}....

I did a system this way {with a coal boiler, much better than pellets if this is an option}, I will try to find the drawing in a minute...

I use tanks in my systems as a last resort, a modern water tank is just about guaranteed to cause you grief at some point in time, so to add one just to use as a buffer, no thanks, I would find a better way to do it...

are we talking steam or fhw

@ April 16, 2014 9:30 PM in Should a backflow prevention device be installed to prevent water from the boiler from flowing into the cold water supply?

If I use an auto feed I put a check valve after the feeder, if it is a manual ball valve feed I don't install anything between or before..

TI cams

@ April 16, 2014 9:21 PM in Thermal Imaging

They are a great tool, I have decent cams so I can see a infiltration problems pretty well with out hooking up my door kit, when there is a good difference in ambient temps in vs out... My door was a couple thousand dollars, if you aren't getting crazy about energy audits spend the money on a better camera, you can get your positive/negative pressure from a simple Red Jetster, they are around $150, and you can get really fancy with a dual manometer if you like...

As far as the camera goes they have many more uses than just the infiltration diagnosis, they can aid in diagnosing electric issues, hydronic issues, and They can show you if the dog has been on the couch, very handy, I never seen my dog on the couch but there would be fur in one spot, so one day I came home and had one of my cams in my hand, he like always greeted me at the door, I went and checked the couch with the cam and there was his bright white body imprint...

But seriously they can show you burner motors that are going bad, clogged boiler sections, the issues you can diagnose with forced warm air are endless, clogged steam pipes and radiators, broken in floor radiant, they are very handy in the hvac field....

I would check start by

@ April 16, 2014 11:40 AM in losing heat

checking the temp at the close faucet, you can shut the washers feeds off to see if it helps. As far as soot goes it would be in the unit itself, rare with gas fired appliances {even more rare with natural gas vs lp}, but I have seen it, most of the time it is caused by insufficient combustion air, still kind of rare in a water heater.

Have you flushed the bottom of the tank lately?

Techman

@ April 15, 2014 6:00 PM in split system residential unit running fine - need for annual checkup??

I am confused, lol... I don't know if you are coming or going...

I wont check pressures for no reason, now if temps are not rite or the compressor has an issue {load or pulling big amps} I will check the pressures {we are talking about an existing system already in commision}...

I know guys that throw the gauges on every time they pull up, I see their point, why not check it out if they are there, so if they are there for a bad cap, they will check the pressures, I don't do this...

Heat pump as primary?

@ April 15, 2014 5:53 PM in Need advice/ help for new heating system

I don't think mini splits are a great "primary" heating system. Heat pumps can be reliable and work well in very cold temps, BUT I have never installed a heat pump only system, I use them as aux and supplemental heaters. Now as far as invasion goes, I agree with the pros above, get your hydronic system repaired and maybe throw in a new boiler of some sort, then install some mini splits for supplemental heat. This can be a nice system, use your heatpumps for heat down to 38 degrees or so then use your hydronic system for temps below that where the heat pumps start to use more energy than a fuel fired system..

Now as far as an all in one system for heat and cool, I am sorry to say unless you go radiant heat/cool {which is very invasive} you are not going to find an answer... High pressure and mini splits are options but the best way to go is going to be a ducted furnace with a/c coil and condenser {heat pump or not}... Mildly invasive depending on your house, but cost effective since with a/c you will need duct work anyway..

I have installed mini splits and unico systems {many of them} and everytime I think to myself, not in my house, first with mini splits it just reminds me of something I see in a dentist office, they are glorified window units to me, and unico systems are loud, ugly, expensive, and dont work extremely well, I used to install a bunch of them, now they have slowed down a lot, people dont ask about them as often as they used to and I have ripped a few bad installs out, you really need a good pro to get it rite...

So look into getting your hydronic system back on track, the cost may not be as prohibitive as you except, I know mini splits look like the saving grace of HVAC but they are not the answer to the entire question, sure they have their place but that is next to a primary heating system not in place of it..

Sure its worth something...

@ April 15, 2014 1:29 PM in split system residential unit running fine - need for annual checkup??

You can check the temps across the coils, that will tell you a lot about how its working.. I have customers that will have us come out and check the pressures, change the filter, check the float switches, check the t-stats, clean the coils, check the drains, ect. But I don't do that at my own house and I can do it for free, I clean the coils and change the filters when they are dirty, and fix it when it breaks...

Tank is under 2 years old

@ April 15, 2014 11:12 AM in losing heat

Do you have a washing machine, I have seen faulty washer mixing valves dilute hot water, verify that the water leaving your tank is almost the same temp as what comes of of the nearest faucet...

it can be any of a few problems, 1 is the thermostat on the tank/ gas valve 2 could be gas pressure 3 could be soot build up inhibiting transfer 4 dilution {cold water somehow making its way into DHW lines}...

If you adjust the tanks tem and the burner kicks on, check the temp and record it, then next time it gets cold you turn it up again and check the temp, if you have to keep turning it up to get the same temps and your incoming water isnt getting colder {that is very unlikely} than there is an issue..

Thanks Dan

@ April 15, 2014 10:54 AM in Spoke with Deb at Heating Help today

I found something to keep me busy, my father in laws pool heater has been giving them issues so I took a look at that and replaced the HSI, they wanted to switch to a hybrid water heater so I am doing that today, and their neighbor also wants one so if Re Mikes has another one in stock I may throw theirs in too...
Plus the reason we are down here is to empty a relative that passed aways house and help with arrangements, so that has been keeping my wife and kids busy too.. Hopefully I can start heading back by Friday, since I have a ton work stacking up at home...
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