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Joined on February 10, 2006

Last Post on December 18, 2013

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@ December 18, 2013 1:06 AM in Burner running too much?

In Chicago, it's been a very cold December this year (more like January). Without knowing specifics of the system operation it's unsurprising your boiler is taking awhile to recover. Best off setting it and forgetting it. I'm heating 2,400 Sqft with a 140k (input) boiler, used to do 67 at night 70 in the day and it took a long time to recover. After deciding to keep it at 70 24/7 the gas bills actually went down a small amount.

What model thermostat are you using? Most Honeywell models round up to whatever the set point is so it could be reading 69 when it's in fact still 67 in the house. Also may wanna bump the CPH setting down to 2 CPH. Each home is different so experimenting for awhile is a good idea before settling in on a certain pattern/settings, especially with hydronics.


@ July 28, 2013 1:01 AM in Water conservation and old toilets

gain that reputation from several models put out in the 1950s-60s. Around the 50s-60s concern about water conservation seemed to have been at the lowest of any time (same with cars and everything else of the era!) and of course that gets taken and run with and generalized onto every fixture made before 1992.

I have a 1959 "Standard" Cadet that flushes just 3.9 gallons of water though, after tuning the bowl refill and tank level exactly right so it doesn't run off down the drain. Great for a toilet of that era. Eljers were VERY water efficient back then, and always were, those flush around 2.5 GPF max, and flush well too.
Oh and Kohler was a terrible offender of water waste back then! I have a 1957 Wellworth with one of the biggest tanks I've ever seen and that thing flushes at least 5 gallons! (American Standard was in the mid 60s through about 1976 about as bad as Kohler)

That is

@ March 12, 2013 1:47 AM in do u know what this is?

Very neat! I've always been interested in radiant cooling. After last summers 3 week heat wave in July with 5-6 days over 100 (one day I recorded a peak of 105, with about 7 hours over 100) and many more days in the high 90s, I realized how much radiant cooling would've been nice! Just like how radiant heat would be nice in the winter. It was feeling hot in the rooms, despite a reasonable RH of 50-52% at the peak of the day with the A/C maintaining 72 just fine.


@ March 11, 2013 7:57 PM in You never know what people want. off topic

whole place looks really neat! But I really like that faucet, great way to get around low flow limitations! Low flow faucets in kitchen sinks make no sense anyway. Looks like you can screw on whatever aerator, sprayer, etc that you desire.


@ March 3, 2013 11:54 PM in wifi thermostats

All three, the WiFi Focus and Vision Pro, and the Prestige with RedLink gateway.

They all work very well and it's nice having control of everything from the app, which they recently just updated so you can now program the thermostat from your mobile device. Only thing I wish the app would have is operating status indicators. Nest had that and I liked it alot.


@ February 27, 2013 2:18 AM in The elegance of simplicity has it been lost?

I started doing just that when I first heard the T87's were gonna be no more. I bought about 5 of them, then another 5, then some here and there. Now I have a stash of about 25 NOS ones, and perhaps another 10 vintage ones and several T86's. I kinda went crazy...

As for the original question. I think the simplicity has been lost. This is how I ended up with so many collections of vintage items that out do what we have today and yet are so simple, and all electromechanical/mechanical. I tend to prefer keeping things simple but I don't say that out of fear of complex controls/setups/things. I like a good challenge and also tend to mix old and new together.


@ February 27, 2013 2:07 AM in Are you ever done with your heating system?

and I thought I was a big tinkerer! I'd seriously love to have a whole house with hot water heat to play with. Things are limited in the forced air side. Most of my tinkering has ended up simplifying zoning and getting the balancing just right. Always trying different t-stats. Got a Prestige upstairs, and am running a whole host of stats through the downstairs right now to test out.

Give me a home with hot water and I'm sure I'll be messing with the system as much as some of you guys! I never stop thinking about this stuff.

Oh and to answer the original question, that's obviously a resounding NO for me.


@ October 1, 2010 5:23 AM in when to turn it on

I turn the heat on when I can no longer maintain a "comfortable" temperature anymore which for us would be about 70. Or (more so applied to our apartment building) when I see cold enough temps in the forecast that I know it will get too chilly indoors without heat.  If our weather here stays the same way it's going, I'll need to start the boiler in our building in 2 or 3 weeks from now.  

@ February 15, 2009 10:38 AM in Need tips for boxing in HWBB

at least they went with hydronic for heat around here theres a whole country club/ neighborhood full of 5000 to 10000 sqft houses and most of them have forced air furnaces for heat!


@ February 8, 2009 3:39 AM in Automatic Flue Dampers in High Rise Buildings

this system sounds very interesting can you post some pics?


@ January 30, 2009 5:44 PM in example that setback doesnt always reduce gas usage

where would you get and what kind of timer would you use on the boiler? thanks jonathan

@ January 30, 2009 4:28 PM in example that setback doesnt always reduce gas usage

big ed gkaske thanks for the information, the place has four gas meters 1 for the store 2 for the two apts serving the stove and the dryer and 1 for the boiler and (your gonna laugh) just a average 50 gallon water heater not even high recovery and yes i think it has to go in trade for a much better indirect, my dad owns the building and my mom has her store in the 1st floor so i manage the temps in their too the store just has a horribly noisy and disgusting forced air furnace (put in by the last owners not me!) (and i do have plans to convert back to hot water with its own boiler though) and the thermostat there is set for 67 during business hours and 57 for setback and theres a large radiator in the backroom connected to the boiler just for supplemental heat because its very drafty back there, that gets turned off at night though. the second and third floor are not insulated either and i dont think the walls can be insulated as there attached straight to the brick and if the third floor ceiling were insulated i would be afraid that would throw the whole heating system off balance. the apts are about 1200 sqr ft each and the boiler serving them is a buderus ga244 thats exactly 156,000 btus input and 128,000 out and we did a heat loss calc before this was put in so its not oversized and then on the back of each apt there was a screened in porch that was converted to living space about 10 years ago but had no heat when we got the bldg so during the boiler project we added heat to that while the boiler was being done thats on it own zone but im trying running the whole system as one zone so far its going good. We considered splitting the system up but decided against that as this is an old gravity system and we would have to tear into the walls and the tin ceiling that we restored in the store. oh and about the gas bill part we dont get estimated usage readings we get the actual reading every month the meters in the buildings here in bridgeport are wireless so they just drive through the alley for the reading though i will do what you guys suggested. sorry for the long post i just wanted to get this out of my head. jonathan


@ January 30, 2009 1:03 AM in example that setback doesnt always reduce gas usage

Hi everyone i havent posted in a long time but i have been observing closely and i wanted to share with everyone my personal experience with setback vs no setback on our hot water heat system in our early 1900s 3 story apt bldg with 2 apts on the top 2 floors and a storefront on the 1st floor, the hot water system only serves the apts, new boiler put in in 2007 and the system is controlled by a programmable thermostat and a tekmar 256 outdoor reset, so now to the point in december the system was running with multiple setbacks a day 70 morning 68 day 70 evening 68 night and the gas bill came in quite high it used 589 therms and thats quite high for december so i tried 70 continously for the month of january, most of december was in the high 20s while january was in the low teens & single digits and even up to 17 below zero here in chicago so i thought the bill and usage would be a nightmare but it just came and it used less gas than december! i was amazed it only used 583 therms and this in a much much colder january, from now on i will be keeping it at 70 all the time now plus no more complaints from the 3rd flr tenant about being cold at night great! jonathan

@ April 18, 2008 11:36 PM in Earthquake (Dan H.)

the first one woke me and i knew it was an earthquake then but thought nothing of it and fell back asleep. both the dogs slept right through it the second one drove them crazy. the first earthquake was a 5.4 the second a 3.2. i'm in northwest indiana on the IL border. jonathan


@ February 19, 2008 2:05 AM in Whoops! - DF

that back one has been mutated good thing your moving out soon

copper pipe

@ April 28, 2007 7:45 PM in Sad day at the scrap yard

here in chicago some people i know were renovating their house and some metal theives broke in and ripped all the copper pipe out of the walls for money.

spine fin

@ March 21, 2007 6:00 PM in DO you remember?

If spine fin coils are so tough to clean why do they still use them in american standard air conditioners? j.h.

@ March 21, 2007 5:54 PM in DO you remember?


@ March 18, 2007 12:32 PM in Thermostats

The vision pro is a great thermostat even though i havent tried it yet. has anyone used the white rodgers touchscreen thermostats? j.h.


@ March 17, 2007 12:27 AM in Thermostats

i havent tried the vision pro yet but it looks like a great thermostat. would anyone else like to share about what type of thermostat you prefer to use?


@ March 16, 2007 1:18 PM in Thermostats



@ March 15, 2007 10:04 PM in Thermostats

hi im just wondering what type of single stage programmable 4 wire heat cool thermostat do all of you like to use. thanks j.h.
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