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Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on September 16, 2014

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Jstar is a great choice

@ September 16, 2014 12:12 AM in Need help or advice on an old Steam system

the travel time would be excessive for us to do it.


Here we go again

@ September 13, 2014 10:19 PM in Weil-Mclain WGO-3, Oil to Gas Conversion Burner?

it was only a matter of time.......

Henry, the EZ-Gas Pro is listed as a conversion burner. That's enough for most AHJs. If you won't install a listed conversion burner, someone else will. End of story.

And the thermal efficiency of a good wet-base/power burner boiler is good enough, when combined with the longevity of cast-iron it makes your super-expensive mod-con installations appear to be rather poor values, especially considering all the changes to the building that are sometimes needed to vent a mod-con's combustion products properly.

Remember, we're still in a recession, which means fewer people have the discretionary income to rip everything out and put in all new, no matter how hard you push them.

Pour it in concrete

@ September 13, 2014 10:08 PM in snowmelt dilemma

and put a layer of asphalt on top.

We've converted Buderus boilers

@ September 12, 2014 4:46 PM in Nassau County, LI - oil to gas conversion question

with Carlin EZ-Gas Pro burners. No problems. I'm told they run well with Riello gas burners too.

You have a nice boiler. Don't waste it.


@ September 12, 2014 11:23 AM in Trying to correct bad near boiler piping

it's time to walk. If he tells you to do it wrong, and you do, and of course it doesn't work, you probably won't get paid.

Probably wouldn't last

@ September 12, 2014 1:22 AM in TACO 007 Stainless Steel for steam hot water loop?

since it uses the boiler water to lubricate the bearings. Though they cost more, we always use bronze 3-piece circs for this, since they are oil-lubricated. These may also have gone to stainless steel by now, been a while since I looked. 

I saved my Bookmarked Threads page

@ September 11, 2014 8:46 PM in PLEASE READ: New site going up this week.

as an HTML document. This should save the titles of my bookmarked threads, so I can retrieve them later.

Tim, I think I've got you beat- 187 bookmarked threads.


@ September 11, 2014 4:08 PM in Need help or advice on an old Steam system

what you need is a Steam Man. The oil company obviously does not have one.

Those hot-water return rads will work up to a point. There is still plenty of heat in the condensate. But you can't control them individually from the steam, though TRVs would work with the proper piping.

Where are you located? We probably know someone who can help out.

If it drops down to a certain point and stops

@ September 9, 2014 6:22 PM in Steam boiler loses water when off.

look to see where the Hartford Loop connects to the boiler piping. If that point is where the water in the glass stops dropping, then the leak is in the return lines.  

HDE, we've already answered

@ September 9, 2014 6:14 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

your "listing by who": UL 1738, by the people that make the pipe. The appliance manufacturer cannot get a listing for something they do not manufacture.

Some quotes that you need to re-read:

"well known manufacturer stated to not use Sch 40 1094 pipe for exhaust venting but it was OK for air intake.  Sch. 80 CPVC was OK for condensing boilers that didn't have higher temperatures.  PP was approved in Canada at the time, and the boiler manufacturer sold a line of PP. But the compelling point was that no PVC pipe manufacturer listed their Sch 40 1094 PVC pipe for exhausting gas appliances, regardless what the manufacturer of the equipment said in the installation manual.

So I looked. No manufacturer stated that their pipe was approved by them for any product that was higher than 140 degrees."

"If the pipe fails, will Charlotte help you? Absolutely NOT. You used their product in a way that they didn't approve it to be used."

"Again, the people who make PVC/CPVC/ABS pipe have not listed it for venting combustion products. And, given the liability involved, they never will. They can sell a lot of pipe while others incur the liability if something goes wrong, so why change things?"

"Positive vent pressure venting should be listed. That means UL 1738 in the US. There are PP systems that are so listed but no PVC."

""Mr. Smith, were you aware that there were safer alternatives to using pvc for venting,asked the lawyer?" Please confine your answers to yes, or no. See how this works?"

"Nowhere in any of the ANSI Standards to which their (PVC/CPVC/ABS) pipe is tested is appliance venting listed."

Now how about answering my question from earlier: What is your stake in this? Why is it such an issue for you? Why do you continue to push for the use of an un-listed product?

Several of us

@ September 8, 2014 11:04 PM in Weil-Mclain WGO-3, Oil to Gas Conversion Burner?

have gotten good results with the Carlin EZ-Gas. It is available with several different diffusers (heads), the 9-slot one is the best choice for this boiler. 

UL 1738 listing

@ September 8, 2014 12:45 AM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

as mentioned earlier, obtained by whoever made the pipe.

As I understand it, an appliance manufacturer can only get its own products listed. Unless the appliance manufacturer makes the vent pipe, that appliance manufacturer cannot get it listed. And as I said before, PVC/CPVC/ABS pipe manufacturers have not gotten this listing and probably never will.

HDE, what is your stake in this? Are people turning you down for mod-con jobs because they've read about PVC failures?

Well, for whatever it's worth

@ September 7, 2014 9:21 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

polypropylene is listed. I'm not necessarily suggesting its use, but having the listing is better than not having it. It's one less thing the lawyers can use against you.


@ September 7, 2014 7:28 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

There are some jurisdictions still using these Codes. In some locations, the state may adopt one such Code, there might be another one at the county level and a city or town may use still another. So it all depends on where you are, and what the politicians do.

I picked NFPA 54- 2006 since that appears to be the latest version available for free online. This lets anyone reading this thread look it up for themselves.

The 2006 version does say that plastic pipe is approved if a manufacturer says it can be used on a specific appliance, but that strikes me as plastic versus something like stainless steel.  At any rate, you can't get past the provision that gas vents have to be listed. Stainless steel is listed. Centrotherm is. PVC/CPVC/ABS is not.

How many square feet

@ September 7, 2014 5:55 PM in Gravity hot water diverting tee

of radiation do you have? 

Took me a while to look this up

@ September 7, 2014 2:53 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

but here is NFPA 54 (2006)'s basic definition of a gas vent (caps are mine):

" Gas Vent. A passageway composed of LISTED factory built components assembled in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions for conveying vent gases from appliances or their vent connectors to the outdoors."

This also appears in section 1.7 of the 1999 version. Here's more, pertaining to Categories II, III and IV appliances:

"12.5.3 Special Gas Vent. Special gas vent shall be LISTED and installed in accordance with the special gas vent manufacturer's installation instructions."

Obviously, if PVC/CPVC/ABS manufacturers have not listed their pipe for gas combustion venting, they won't provide installation instructions.

On that basis, wherever NFPA 54 has the force of law, PVC/CPVC/ABS pipe would not meet Code for gas combustion venting, since it is not listed for that purpose.

Oh, and I don't think Ms. Fey would write something that is not true simply because someone wanted to pay her to do so.

It should work fine with a circ

@ September 7, 2014 12:38 AM in Gravity hot water diverting tee

as long as the circ is properly sized to mimic the gravity flow. Size your circ from the chart in this article and you should be fine:

Sure it's not

@ September 6, 2014 2:41 AM in Old furnace, change of repair?

a "Bock"?


@ September 6, 2014 2:39 AM in looking for a 50 year old 4x3 cast radiator to be rebuilt

Is this a steam or hot-water system?

What's wrong with the radiator that it needs rebuilding?

Can you post a pic of the radiator?

"GAMA pressured the ICC not to forbid unlisted venting systems"

@ September 5, 2014 1:22 AM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

Still, when it goes to court, the contractor loses.

We don't use PVC/CPVC/ABS for venting. Ever. If the next guy does, so be it. He's liable, not us.

Not misunderstood

@ September 4, 2014 1:18 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

Your quote: "PVC in certain applications carries CSA B149.1 and B149.9 for water heaters and boilers as a venting system with specific manufacturers on specific equipment"

You mean specific appliance/equipment manufacturers, right?

The equipment manufacturers can promote PVC all they want, but as long as the pipe itself is not listed for venting combustion products, it does not meet Code. There are apparently quite a few inspectors who will pass PVC venting, but from what we've seen they always get a pass if there is a lawsuit.

Again, the people who make PVC/CPVC/ABS pipe have not listed it for venting combustion products. And, given the liability involved, they never will. They can sell a lot of pipe while others incur the liability if something goes wrong, so why change things? So the industry has to get away from using this type of pipe for venting.

This reminds me of the debate over using Teflon tape on gas pipe joints. Like PVC/CPVC/ABS venting, it might work fine. But if Code in your area prohibits it, the inspector is within his/her rights to fail the job, and if it goes to court the lawyers will grind you to bits for using a non-approved material.

Remember, our Codes are mostly written in the blood of those who died from the unsafe conditions that prompted writing the Code in the first place. Sure, it's a PITA at times, and some inspectors do their best to make things difficult for contractors, but I'd rather have the Code and the enforcement that goes with it, to protect our industry's good name.

We've discussed this several times

@ September 3, 2014 8:36 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

and it usually comes down to the fact that most Codes require any material used for venting combustion products to be listed for that purpose, and the fact that PVC pipe manufacturers have not had their pipe listed for venting combustion products. And, given the high-profile lawsuits where PVC venting was involved, they probably never will.

We don't like the idea of paying lawyers, so we don't vent with PVC.
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