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Joined on February 22, 2006

Last Post on January 11, 2011

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I use these almost exclusively

@ January 11, 2011 6:22 PM in Geothermal Buffer Tank Options

We've been using Boiler Buddy's for two years now. Good tank, easy, and affordable. Like a giant low loss header. No flow restrictions. Good customer service. They are on the other end of the US and I generally get my tank within 3-4 days.

Tekmar TN2

@ January 4, 2011 4:27 PM in Any networked thermostats that offer web control?

We've done a few and as far as web interfaces go, it is a good place to start as it is a bit easier to install than others.

Been meaning to get this up

@ December 31, 2010 2:17 PM in Been meaning to get this up

I saw this one last month and though I've seen many bad installs, this is the worst I've personally had to unscrew. I'll let you know how it works out.

Need help on some steam calcs for my new brewing system

@ December 12, 2009 7:24 PM in Need help on some steam calcs for my new brewing system

So I'm getting ready to build a new homebrewing system. Upgrading from the ol' 6 gallon stovetop to an all grain 15 gallon system.

I'm pretty good at working on steam heating systems but have no experience in sizing steam to liquid heat exhangers.

Here's what I'm wanting to do. My wort boiler requires me bring 15 gallons of wort to a rolling boil for up to 90 minutes. I'd like to install a stainless steel coil inside the kettle for steam to boil the surrounding wort. How do I size that coil?

Also, is anyone familiar with a very small electric steam boiler? I worked on a 10K a few years back but can't remember for the life of me who made it.

Thanks much,


Never going back to delta P valves

@ November 23, 2009 3:55 PM in Never going back to delta P valves

Well, I have 5 systems now installed with either Grundfos Alpha's or Wilo Stratos. I have to say, the convience of not having to install and balance a delta P valve is more than worth it. We're actually saving money when we install the Apha's. When you factor in the extra labor for the bypass valve, the extra ball valve, fittings, and a means of measuring the flow, you come out cash positive. Super easy to install too.

@ July 30, 2009 12:09 PM in PM Magazine

Yes very true, I tried to use east coast numbers at my best guess. I use zero too. And generally our loads are below 50KBTUH here in Seattle. So we actually need either more turndown or more storage.

@ July 30, 2009 1:12 AM in PM Magazine

Let's say you have a microzone of about 5,000 BTU/hr. And the input to the burner is 110,000 BTUH. Give it 90% efficiency for argument sake and a 2:1 turndown. Let's say the high mass boiler has a 60 gallon capacity. By using the following equation you can solve for cycle time: Gallons= (cycle time)(Lowest Firing Rate - smallest load requirement)/(500*DeltaT) So take the firing rate of 49,500 minus 5000 and you get 44,500. Divide that by 10,000 and you get 44.5. Take the gallon capacity and divide it by 4.45 and you get a burner on time of 13.5 minutes. That to me is pretty a pretty compelling reason of why you only need a 2:1 turndown.

@ July 29, 2009 9:08 PM in Seattle, 100+ wed. ?? what's up with this

103 recorded today, the hottest ever recorded by 2 degrees.

@ July 27, 2009 7:57 PM in PM Magazine

I'm not so sure, the only thing I can't see on the Phoenix is a microbubble air separator, or an air separator of any kind. It would be ideal with that huge low velocity cylinder.

@ July 18, 2009 11:06 AM in 20 years for me

It will be 10 years this December for me. Still crave em on cold mornings on the job site though.

@ July 8, 2009 3:28 PM in Solar Heat Dump

We've buried coils in the ground on new construction projects and hidden baseboard fastened to the panels. I'm going to try Apricus' heat dump next. Anybody found other creative ways to dump heat? Or are there good products out there?

@ June 30, 2009 6:47 PM in Sales Commission

I see, I guess we ask so much between each other that I didn't even think about that angle. Sorry about that Dan. If anyone wouldn't mind emailing me offline and helping out a brother please do.

@ June 30, 2009 4:52 PM in Sales Commission

Dan, can I phrase the question like this? What makes sense for a business to offer for sales commission and why? Or, does a sales commission even make sense? Why?

@ June 30, 2009 4:31 PM in Sales Commission

Would any of you mind sharing your experience with Sales Commission structures for HVAC sales staff? And the reasons why you do it that way?

@ June 14, 2009 7:17 PM in prestige excellence boiler installation

We have a few dozen Prestiges installed and 4 excellences. The Excellence has become a staple since testing a few. They can run 2 showers at the same time without a problem.

@ June 8, 2009 9:17 PM in Bryan steam boiler question, (gerry gill)

Gerry, I worked for the Bryan rep for 3 years and have extensive experience with the line. I'd be happy to talk to you. Send me an email and I'd be glad to give you my phone number.

@ June 6, 2009 11:56 PM in Radiant Heat in Exterior Spaces

I was sitting outside last summer on a cool evening at my wifes relatives house. They have a patio that is stained an almost black color. The outside temperature was 54 degrees according to the thermometer. I noticed the slab was keeping us warm as we talked outside. Not warm enough for a tee shirt but the slab was definity adding comfort. My curiosity got the best of me and I happened to have driven my work truck to meet the family at the house. So I grabbed my little laser temp sensor and found the slab temp to be an average of 83 degrees. With that in mind, I bet a slab at 100 degrees might actually do the trick. Let's say you design for a 50 degree delta between the outside temp. You will require 100 BTU/FT. You will need a 160,000 BTU supply. If you kept your loop lengths to 200 feet you would require 2 gallons per minute of flow per loop at a 10 degree delta for a supply temp of about 140 degrees. Assuming you will want a 30% glycol solution for freezer protection that yields a total head loss of about 28 feet. So total flow being 32 GPM. I think the RPA recommends a flow of .6GPM for half inch to yeild a head of 10' or less. In our case, I don't think the standard applies, it's not a house. 27' of head at 32GPM is a pretty common pump size. I will warn you about heating the outdoors though. Once the wind picks up, your system does nothing! We installed heat in the Mariners dugouts last year at Safeco Field and the radiators do great on calm days but are ineffective when the wind picks up, as any heating system would.

@ June 5, 2009 3:13 PM in Hydronic heating

2 Magic words... "it depends." If you keep the velocity below the recommended 4 feet per second you can get 3.1 gallons per minute of flow. If you go with the standard 20 degree delta on temperature differential you can transfer 31,000 BTU. If you go with a 50 degree delta on temperature you can transfer 77,500 BTU. Of course if you are willing to increase the velocity to something crazy like 8 feet per second and want to pump the system with a 747 engine you can do 6.3 gallons per minute and transfer 157,500 BTU at a 50 degree delta.

@ April 21, 2009 12:05 AM in enginer jokes

It probably is..

@ April 20, 2009 10:23 PM in enginer jokes

Two Engineers agree to paint a flag pole. Of course they need to know how tall it is so they can purchase the paint. One shimmies up the pole with a tape measure and falls after reaching about half way. While trying to figure out how they can possibly measure the pole along comes a Hydronic Designer. After asking what they're doing he replies, "that s easy". He then reaches around the pole and pulls it out of the ground and lays it down. "There you go", he said as he walked away. The two Engineers look at each other and one said "that stupid guy will never get anywhere, we don't need to know how wide it is, just how tall".

@ April 19, 2009 12:09 PM in Gordon Piatt

Gordon-Piatt in my humble opinion will be bought by someone else like they always have and live to fight another day. Just too good of a burner for someone not to pick it up. I'm sure the Koch brothers dropped them because they failed to turn less than a 60%GPM. Thats the way fortune 500 companies operate.

@ April 18, 2009 6:07 PM in Tall buildings and Hydronics

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