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heatpro02920

heatpro02920

Joined on January 28, 2013

Last Post on April 16, 2014

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I don't think the customer would hold their tongue

@ April 3, 2014 7:39 PM in Value of converting oil/steam to modcon gas?

not after they paid for the system, and it wouldn't hurt my feelings, I think and believe I do the best I can for my customers, otherwise- If I thought I could do better and didn't? then I would be scum, I sleep very well at night....

I guess we can agree to disagree on steams future, all I can say is, if I tried to just work on steam and install steam I would be out of business in short order.. Its just not out here like it used to be...
It scares people, whether they are mislead, "stupit", or anything else the fact of the matter is- Steam is leaving the building and in the not so near future it will be "steam has left the building"... We can all shed a tear and the crows will morn for her, but mother steam will some day be no more. The sad part is oil is following her out the door, a lot of the steam systems I remove are oil fired and in the past 3 years I have taken out more oil than I ever installed...

Change isn't all bad, while I think we are rushing the mod/con idea and I like a ci boiler for its reliability, longevity, easy service, and parts availability, some day they will catch on and all the mod cons will come with a honeywell control and all off the shelf parts and be all that anyone installs..
Our boilers will be mounted in the second floor laundry room or in the kitchen, service will be as easy and pushing in a sliding release control and plugging in a new one, it will text message the tech when its broken with a part number and the tech will text message the machine back with his estimated arrival time and job quote, the home owner will see the message on the boiler screen and hit "ok" with a credit card number and that will be it...

Jamie I think you have it

@ April 3, 2014 7:24 PM in Radiator cracking

The floor is really wonky, I went there today and I have to say I think the floor is the trouble..

It is hardwood and its a good size radiator, the legs hit on different boards and the radiator is supported but when you walk by it, it moves... Weak floor, some of which is due to this radiator leaking so many times...

So I am thinking, rip out the radiator and install a furnace and duct work through out the house, it will dry the wood and fix all the issues.... Just kidding, I am going to call them tomorrow and recommend getting the floor repaired and then installing 1 last radiator, also shutting it off and then turning it on when its really cold can not be a great practice, it was my first thought for failure, but to actually crack it, I dont see it...

The piping its self is done very nice :) and new.... there is no pressure there, but I think because its a long rad, with unstable footing, its causing it to crack, I never noticed the floor was so bad... Good news is they have all summer to repair the floor...


thanks for the help, it could be karma for all the steam systems I sent to the recycling center, but in my defense it was 20 years after their time anyway...

single pipe system

@ April 3, 2014 6:24 AM in Radiator cracking

no pipe strain,.. I am going there later on today to take another look...

cracked

@ April 2, 2014 7:12 PM in Radiator cracking

the first radiator leaked, I didnt closely inspect it, it was a good leak.. I had one so replaced it, that on had a visible crack, then another visible crack... not in the same spot but both cracked...

She said they shut that one off and on a lot, I am going to have to say that is doing it.... What else can it be? They dont hear any noises, its the last radiator on the system has an adjustable vent....

you have too much free time, lol

@ April 2, 2014 10:44 AM in Weil McLain indirect hot water heater, short cycling?..

good for you.... I always thought about a boiler watching camera and data loger to help with intermittent problems..

what are your temps

@ April 2, 2014 10:42 AM in Weil McLain indirect hot water heater, short cycling?..

what are the boiler controls temps or temp and what is the tanks temp set at?

is this a new problem?

does the circ run and then the boiler pulls in? Im trying imagine if your boiler is 200 degrees and your tank is set to 140 and falls to a low enough temp to call for heat, it starts the circ and the hot boiler water satisfies the tank before it gets a chance to start the burner...

I would have to see how its wired... I have heard of the above problem, it happens with small efficient water heaters and large boilers... I had this issue in a building, it had a small indirect I think it was 28gallons, and a huge boiler that heated the building and all the offices, the boiler would start to fire {first stage} and then never go onto the second stage {this starts to cause issues after a while in some boilers} before the tank was already hot... opening up the boiler limits helped this and slowing down the flow to the hot water tank.. But it still wasnt perfect...

Was your boiler previously a tankless

I have seen a few systems like this...

@ April 2, 2014 10:27 AM in Auto fill/back flow preventer. Is it necessary?

a customer of mine has a hydronic heating system in a barn with no water in it, they didnt want a fwa because the sound scared the horses, so they used radiant panels and lots of them an outdoor wood boiler feeds the fphx, he has 2 large expansion tanks {sx 30s maybe 40s}, he fills it with a hose and it works well.....

Not sure if the expansion tanks aid in anything, I didnt design it, and he has a water feed and back flow, the hose connection is before the 911s water feed...

WOW

@ April 2, 2014 9:36 AM in Value of converting oil/steam to modcon gas?

I am king of the follow up, we do our first annual service for free, we offer a free energy audit, and i stay on contact with my customers, I NEVER not once had a customer complain about switching from steam... I have had them complain about the holes left in the floor {I have a sub contractor patch holes if the customer wants for the additional cost, some do some don't}, I have had them complain about the electric bill { furnaces will use more electricity} but never about comfort or fuel bills....

Radiator cracking

@ April 2, 2014 8:38 AM in Radiator cracking

I am pulling out my hair with this service call....

Last year I replaced a cracked radiator with a used similar radiator no exact but close...

I changed the boiler about 3 years ago, its a well maintained system...

The new radiator cracked about a month later, so it was used but I checked everything to be sure it wasnt an issue with the system.... We replaced the radiator..

Now its cracked again!!!!

What is going on? 1 radiator in the same spot cracking 3 times, what should I be checking? the pressures are perfect, pipes are installed correctly and pitched, vent is new and working, what am I missing? What should I look for, I am going to install another radiator next week for free, but I can not keep doing this... I have only seen a few actually cracked radiators and now to see 3 in one spot is out of the norm to say the least...

Buderus or WM

@ April 2, 2014 8:28 AM in Burnham MPO IQ147 or Weil Mclain WGO3

I like WM and Buderus,

If it were me, I would install a G115 Buderus or the WM, pipe it primary secondary with an outdoor reset and delta tee circulators at least on the hydro airs.... I love how this system works, I have been doing a ton of boilers this way.... Especially hydro airs, they tend to have cold returns, but they respond to delta t circs very well, the system ends up very uniform... You only need bumble bee circs, an odr capable control like the 3250+ with its os100 odr kit, and the pri/sec near boiler piping with a system circ, use a taco exp zone control and it will control your zones, priority dhw, and system circ...


I will second steamhead in saying the installer is key....

Noritz would be my

@ April 2, 2014 8:15 AM in Tankless brand

second choice, nice unit, I think they weigh like 5 lbs more than any other tankless, lol... But around here support isnt huge, plus when I look at their catalog there are way too many units, customers get confused {me too}, Rinnai has a pretty simple line up, 3 lines a couple sizes in each and that is it... I also feel like Rinnai isnt going anywhere, I have talked to a bunch of the guys and the cs is good, the company seems good, I think in the next 25 years they are still here and going strong, some of the other companies I can not say the same for, in this market companies selling efficient equipment should be chugging along, not slowing down and I feel I see less and less of some brands...

this is what I don't want to happen...

@ April 2, 2014 7:38 AM in Value of converting oil/steam to modcon gas?

I don't want to start an argument or even risk sounding rude...

But your statement is true about almost any system, if people were good at it any system can be GREAT.... A modulating variable speed forced warm air furnace with an HRV, Nice filter system, and humidifier can be very comfortable and more uniform than anything you ever seen, do the math and returns correctly, install good equipment and it can be efficient, comfortable, ect.. everything you want in a heating system.... But people buy the cheapest furnace they can find, install water whips on them, a central return, a paper filter and call it a day...

I have some steam systems out there that run great, don't cost a ton of money to heat {hard to gauge, they are all in old construction}, are quiet, NEVER break, and look awesome... I am not debating it can be done nice, BUT anything can be done nice, not to sound rude but if you don't know that.. where the heck are we going with this? Why don't we all run steam pipes through our basements {don't bang your head, I am 6' 5ish and have banged my head on my share of steam pipes {duct work too, actually I am always banging my head, maybe that has something to do with me not being "enlightened" with steam heat, lol I banged my head too much....

No disrespect Charlie, I understand it can be done nice, and I would like to think I have done it rite for my career, its not that hard to get rite, I would rather design a steam system than a hrydronic air system any day, BUT, you can not argue its going away, there are better options out there and there are good reasons behind it, YOU CAN NOT JUST THINK - "If you don't like steam, you must not be smart enough to get it rite" ?????


And like I said, I know this site is PRO STEAM, I get that, I hope I can still have an opinion, I personally would NOT install steam heat in my home... I also HAVE NOT EVER seen it installed in a new home, not in my entire life!!!! I am not old enough to have ever seen a new steam heating system, I apologize for that, but not many people ride horses to work anymore either, we don't use drum brakes in passenger vehicles, we don't use single pane glass in our windows, we don't bring muzzle loaders to war, we don't use bias ply tires, ect ect ect, a lot of things have been improved, steam heat is one of them, I know people still listen to vinyl records, and swear they sound better, if they do to them, god bless them, I can not stand the distortion...



I have to apologize to the OP, I am sorry, I was just giving my opinion, I hope that is what you came to the site for, not to just hear one point of view but many....
You are doing a renovation, I have done this many times, if this house is for resale? Do it to fit the buyer, not a bunch of heating contractors, lol.... the bulk of my income has come from flipping houses, buying cheap, rehabbing, and selling with profits that resemble some peoples annual income, I own an hvac company but like I said the bulk of my income has come from real estate... Build what people want to buy...

If this is for yourself, then build what you want, weigh the options of the greater space and fuel savings to what ever the positives of steam are? There are enough guys on here to let you know what they are, I personally can't think of many besides..
less initial cost
aesthetics {if its a nice system} this could also be a negative if you don't like the look again its preference...

so if the steam guys can enlighten us on all of the great positives, so far I heard IAQ as a positive I have to disagree with that I think steam is a dry heat..

I also think comfort could be a positive except I find almost any other type to be more uniform

Anything else?

I look around my home, its 4300 sq feet with furniture everywhere, I could not imagine or picture where I would get away with putting all the steam rads it would take to heat it, I have 3 parlors and I with my floor plan I couldn't get radiators on more than 2 walls between all 3 parlors!!! Now if I had to sure, we could pull a couch off the wall, move some stuff around and stagger some furniture, but the rads would all be blocked, the rooms would feel smaller, ect...

I do have a formal parlor that I almost installed a single antique radiator in when we were doing the build, I have a gorgeous radiator I saved from years ago, its like brand new, and I was going to convert it to fhw and use it in my formal parlor, but I decided against it.. It would fit wonderfully though... heres half of it http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af107/turbobike1/IMAG0336_zps0a2477be.jpg I have new/old style furniture, and an original wurlitzer juke from the 40's in there with an old bar and some of my guitar collection... The room is over 400 sq feet with 20ft + ceilings and the reason I decided not to put the radiator was because I only had one, if I had 2 I would have done one on each side of the bay window and it would have looked great, but no such luck...

I don't want to ruin his thread with another steam debate...

@ April 2, 2014 7:16 AM in Value of converting oil/steam to modcon gas?

I know I am on the opposite side on this vs a few guys on this board, but I don't like steam heat, I don't find it too hard to understand or surprising, if everyone liked it there would be a lot more still installed, and it would still be showing up in new construction... But its not, at least around here its not.

Now do I just rip out every steam system I come accross? Of course not, if the customer likes their steam system, or its too invasive, or not cost effective to convert, or it would de-value the home to remove it {around here there are some gorgeous steam systems that have been very well kept}, ect.. I won't even mention changing it, but IMO I prefer not to have it...

I own and have bought and sold many houses and properties. I broker them all myself, and I can tell you what people {potential buyers} do not like to see, most of the deal breakers are mechanical.. Sure small bathrooms and kitchens, no closets, no master bath, parking all factors in their decisions, BUT people do not like to see... Oil heat, Steam heat, and old equipment... Just from my experience....
I had a house on the market in Warwick for 9 months 90% of the people would walk in and see the radiators {which were all in good shape, the boiler was only a couple years old} and put on their scared face. I converted that house to dual hydro airs and a gb142 and a smart tank {central a/c too}, and we closed just under 3 months later for $28K over my highest previous offer {you guys know what 2 hydro airs, 2 condensers, and a gb costs}...

That aside I personally find steam to be not "AS" uniform as other types of heat, invasive {it takes up valuable floor space and hinders some furniture placement}, more costly to run than some other types, OLD {old systems break, rads don't last forever}, noisy, ect ect ect I can go on and on, I just prefer almost anything else...

Now in a big old house, with way too much space, huge areas to heat it can be great and look great too... And I am not trying to argue costs, since I know some guys on here love steam and make your livings with it, I have already been through this before, not interested in doing it again, all respect to guys like steam head, I am sure he can get your steam system to pure like a kitten and use half the energy of a mod con radiant system, but for me and my area, there are only a few properties I see worth saving steam..

Last year I installed under 10 steam boilers vs at least 30 furnaces and 40+ boilers, this year I have already installed 9 steam boilers and have 2 others waiting for the weather to break, one is an HH member, we are delivering the boiler friday, 300K btu, 770ft of steam, he has a beautiful home, very large, very old, I would never think about selling him FHW or FWA, that house will always have steam....

But anyway, I feel if steam was great and wonderful, it would still be getting installed and not disappearing... I am ripping out a steam system tomorrow, its a day care so they are doing it for safety reasons, little kids wobbling around HOT cast iron radiators can be dangerous, they are getting a 95% furnace with duct work, 2 zones simple trunk line and flex duct take offs, a day for demo and unit install and a day for metal, then its done like we were never there...

That house is funny, I walked in and all the rads had colorful painted pipe insulation on them, they did it with the kids and painted all the foam... I wasn't even thinking about the difference in performance it would make until she said the system takes a long time to heat up, I still didn't catch on, my tech actually caught it. He walked over to the radiator and said, "did it get slower rite after you put on these bumpers?" she thought about it for a minute and said "yah, I think it did", lol, I didn't even think about that, that insulation actually made a difference, it struck me funny, that my helper with 1 year experience caught that in 5 minutes and I didn't even think about it, in my defense his head is much clearer than mine, lol....


One more thing to touch on, steam being the best allergy system, I haven't put much thought into this, but steam heat is very dry IME, even with the steam vents venting that doesn't make up for the HUGE HOT cast iron blocks in the house... I see many many customers putting pans of water ontop of their rads to help, but its a dry heat.. Not as dry as a furnace with no humidity control, but pretty much dryer than any other system...

I tend to tackle heat and IAQ in two different steps, since they are 2 different problems... First get heat, then figure out what to do for IAQ... I would have to look into it further but a statement like steam heat is great for asthma may not be accurate....

I have a customer with severe breathing problems, I removed a bad furnace and water heater and I installed hydro airs with a couple 200 cfm HRV's and her doctor called me to ask me what the trick was? I was confused at first but he said her breathing conditions have improved greatly in a few months.... I don't know if it was the hrv, a/c, more moisture less moisture or what, but I know she could breath with out her oxygen tanks in her home and before she needed them almost constantly... Now I know she didnt have steam heat, that would have been perfect for this conversation and furnaces can be very dry, but I don't see steam as being much better...

I can take a look at it for you

@ April 2, 2014 6:35 AM in To convert or not

I will be in your area Thursday and Friday, I am actually changing a daycare {on wstrn promanade st off of park ave in eastern cranston} from steam to 95% forced warm air tomorrow and Friday,

good stuff...

@ April 1, 2014 7:18 PM in Riello flame sensor

glad its fixed...

The ru's have a recirc program built in

@ April 1, 2014 6:54 PM in Indirect or Combo Boiler with Recirc DHT?

I personally design it a little different, I install a Bosch ES8 and a grundfos circ after the tankless, so the tankless runs through it, and the electric water heater takes care of the recircs heatloss... It works much better than cycling a tankless just for a recirc loop...

I have drawings and pictures of them jobs, you pm me and I will forward them along...

After you find your heatloss you make a decision on which way you want to go and let us know what you decide we can give you an idea of how to recommend your contractor to do the install... I have tons of drawings of systems I have done, Im sure I can find one to fit your system... Not all contractors are familiar with certain practices... but most can figure it out with a drawing...

Rinnai...

@ April 1, 2014 6:16 AM in Tankless brand

I have only seen that error 79 once, it was because an ac duct was blowing rite on the unit, caused condensation in the cabinet. I believe they have a collector for the venting, or you can try piping in a drain...

It is not legal

@ March 31, 2014 5:37 PM in Bad hydronic panel install...

I have used chimneys as chases before for pvc or stainless vents, but never just vent into a clay lined chimney, the shared flue just makes it much worse...

The condensate was ran into a sump pump basin if I remember correctly... Its probably the same way to this day.....

I have seen some pipefitting nightmares for sure, a lot of the simple, pipe the return so you can not access the cleanouts, fire chamber, ect, or put the boiler in a position so you can not access the chimney cleanout, or use the boiler to block in a 40 gallon water tank so when the tank goes you have to remove the boiler to replace it, ect...

The best {or worst rather} was a unit done totally wrong, a large water heater gas fired, maybe 80 gallons... Used as a boiler, piped with pex and shark bites, a circulator on top of the water heater and it fed a loop, it had no feed valve or prv, just a switching relay and circ, to feed it water they had a hose running to the bottom of the tank from the faucet on their well.... It actually heated the house, it was about 1000 sq feet, they had it vented with dryer vent {the metal flexi stuff}....

It was the homeowners brother in law who installed it and I guess it worked, the house was being bought by a customer of mine, he wanted it for the land, but the bank wouldnt give a loan on it because the mechanical couldnt pass inspection, so we had to install a boiler and bring it to code, to tear the house down... I installed a 5 section boiler in the house, because we removed it the week after the closing and saved it for his build, which was much larger and came beautiful...
That house was in Foster, RI which has some old shacks in it, but lots of nice land...

First step

@ March 31, 2014 5:10 PM in Indirect or Combo Boiler with Recirc DHT?

Heat loss and DHW load calculations...

Pretty simple, figure out how much heat you need on your design day and how much hot water you need at once....

So for conversations sake say you need 97K BTU's of heat and 5gpm {70 degree rise, oversize it a little on the DHW side} of hot water...

You look into buying just that size boiler and weigh your options for the water heater....

I would put together a price for high efficiency and a price for conventional cast iron for heat and then a price for an indirect water heater and a tankless water heater....

So it would look like this...

a williamson gwa140 with a smart 40 ga indirect

and on the other side of the spectrum a Triangle tube Solo 110 with a smart 40...

Or either of the two with a properly sized rinnai tankless, I prefer going tankless since, I have had great luck with them, they last a long time, use very little energy, allow you to shut down your boiler for half the year, ect ect ect.. and the price vs an indirect is not much....

another option is a combi, a triangle tube excellence would be most likely your best option, there are a few others....

as far as the recirc goes, I like the grundfos http://www.pexsupply.com/Grundfos-97525908-UP10-16B5-ATLC-1-2-Sweat-115V-Pump-w-Timer-and-Aquastat?gclid=CLPewZjZvb0CFa_m7AodKwYAyw it has a timer and aquastat, they also sell one with check valve flanges, and I have had great luck with them, plus they dont use much power at all...

But like I said, first things first, get your heat loss and dhw load figured out and then look into your options...

You can make a ci conventinoal boiler very efficient, piped pri/sec with delta t circs and an ODR control will get you within the range of a mod con {minus teh combusiotn efficiency which could be around 8-12%.. So do you spend $50-100% more on the install to save 8-12% per year for a unit that will cost more to maintain and most likely not last as long with parts support and service being more difficult????

You need to get a pro out there...

@ March 31, 2014 4:26 PM in To convert or not

I happen to know one, lol.....


I would not worry about a decent tank leaking, I would be more worried about your 12 year old amtrol bursting than a steel oil tank from 70 years ago....

If its not broken, don't fix it... BUT If you are looking to save on energy costs, then look further into natural gas. If you are looking to sell the home in the near future it is a tough call, will adding a new boiler improve your resale value greater than its initial cost? Most likely it will. Will it cost more than leaving your working equipment, YES it will, $0 vs X amount for a new boiler....

Looking at your ages of your equipment and my experience with them specific items, I will say you are well past the middle of their life spans, and with the tank, its a tough call it could last another day or another 30 years, I notice tanks from 30 years ago may leak after 25 years, but tanks from a decade before that last 50 years... If its in a dry basement and kept full all the time, it will last longer than if its outside and always ran to empty and left under 1/2 for long periods of time, or near the ocean...

But your best bet would be to have a contractor come in and give you some options, get a few prices talk to a few companies and weigh out all of your options, contrary to popular belief more options in a situation make for an easier decision...

Where in RI are you?

Water testing can be simple or difficult

@ March 31, 2014 4:12 PM in Dormant commercial water heating system

free tests are given at most plumbing supply houses that sell water filters...

I asked Bradford White a while back about this, what should I do to startup a tank that has been sitting with stagnant drinking water...

I was told to flush and drain the tank, then to pump in 1 cup of household unscented straight bleach per 10 gallons of water storage, so a 50 gallon tank needs 5 cups, then fill the tank and with a utility pump circulate the bleach/water through the tank for 2 hours, then let the tank sit, after 24 hours fluch and drain the tank again....


I did this by putting a 5 gallon bucket with a sump pump and a tube to the drain filling the bucket while the pump pumped it through the t & p tapping...

The tanks I did were twin 50 gallons and they had a noticeable smell to the water, after I cleaned them, no smell, no complaints, no one got sick... I had the water tested out of the tank by the "free" method from the water filter company and it came back a1 ok... I didnt have it tested prior but it smelt funny and slimy to the touch....

the other method---
I do a lot of building maintenance and foreclosed house wints and de-wints, so when I need a documented test I use 1 of two labs, but they charge and take a while, one is through aquascience, and the other is aquatec labratories {or something to that effect}...

But If I were you and I have done a few times, the bleach and flush works very well, and for indirects or hx's vinegar is good...

When it comes to water quality and safety, common sense goes a long way, the test, taste, and feel logic works well... If it feels slimy and or smells funny test it dont taste it...


As far as getting everything else started, I would treat that like a new install, combustion efficiency test, check the flues, check the temps, ect...

The contractors work

@ March 31, 2014 1:49 PM in Bad hydronic panel install...

doesnt look terrible, the basement came nice, he hired an electrician for the electrical, and a window company to install the windows but he did the plumbing and heating himself. It looks like a homeowner and his drunk uncle did it on a Sunday afternoon...

The toilet valve is just hanging on pex outside the wall, the shower valve is loose inside the wall, he had to over tighten the valves facia to get it stable and not moving, the heating work is terrible, all green, no soldering done, all sharkbite and pex with some pvc where it doesn't belong... Just a mess....

They spent a good amount of money on the system, probably more than I would have charged if the carpenter hung the panels and drilled the holes...... Now they have to pay twice...

Another funny fact about this job is, they called another company {well know, they have a few trucks on the road around here} and they told them they had to add 4 thermostats, 4 more circs, and repipe the entire boiler, and they should change the existing {7 year old} boiler, while they are there....

This is why people are so leery of contractors....

I am going to make it as simple as possible, I could leave the near boiler piping alone, but its leaking anyway and so wrong its not funny, so I will install the zones where it belongs, pipe in the manifold, pipe in the units the correct way with the correct adapters so they can salvage all that is there and not break the bank...

I hate walking into other peoples nightmares, but it happens often, about a month ago I went to a 90+ weil mclain ultra 80 vented into a chimney with 2 water heaters and another boiler rite next to it, so 3 natural draft units and a forced 90+!!!!! Been there for 2 years!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was there to repair on of the water heaters {which needed to be changed} and I told the home owner I would not touch anything until that boiler was vented properly... After explaining the issues they said "but its fine, it has worked for 2 years", I gave them a price and they never called me back to do any work, not sure if they fixed it or not....
I told them it was dangerous and they said they have co detectors and they never go off...
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