Joined on March 22, 2006
Last Post on October 10, 2012
@ October 10, 2012 8:58 AM in Any steam guys in Milwaukee?Duh, I forgot to mention one important detail. The house was frozen at some point. The first floor was served by a hot water system that was replaced with a forced air system (not by me) due to cracked radiators and boiler. Apparently steam boilers don't like to freeze either. Thanks Guys.
@ October 9, 2012 9:11 AM in Any steam guys in Milwaukee?Sorry, I never think to take pictures until I'm gone. The boiler is a newer Burnham natural gas unit. I say newer because it has a smart valve in it, but it is probably over 15 years old. The piping is copper off the top which I always heard is not right. The glass tube on the side is really nasty and you can't really see water in it, so I have to think the rest of the boiler is pretty fouled. While I was there, the owner started manually adding water because the water level was not visible in the site glass. By the time the water was visible, water was pouring out in to the burners! I have to assume that isn't right. My guess is there is a hole in the top of the heat exchanger, but I didn't know if there was a device to keep you from overfilling the boiler. If there is a hole, steam would be going up the chimney, right?
@ October 8, 2012 3:41 PM in Any steam guys in Milwaukee?Hey guys, just curious if there are any residential steam guys in Milwaukee, WI. I have a customer with a steamer serving the second floor of his home. It works, but the wiring is a basket case, and the controls and piping do not look right to me. This is the first steam boiler I have come across in a residence, and I really don't know enough about it to mess with it. Thanks.
@ March 30, 2010 6:52 PM in Howling KnightUnfortunately, the boiler would not make a sound when the factory rep came out, so we have no new ideas. I have been in contact with Paul Rohrs and I believe he has been in contact with the rep, so I know we have the best working on the case. The bad part is, we are nearing the end of the heating season, so the time to come up with a solution is limited. The homeowner has agreed to wait until winter is over before we do anything drastic.
@ March 24, 2010 8:38 AM in Howling KnightI am supposed to meet the factory rep there tomorrow. The system is full of straight water. The boiler ran fine all last week, except one day it howled and locked out all day. I'll keep you posted.
@ March 15, 2010 8:52 AM in Howling KnightAhh, pitch for the drain. I was over thinking things a little. I thought it had something to do with propane being heavier than air so the burner needed to be pitched to compensate, LOL.
The only people I have talked to about this problem are the tech support people at Lochinvar (many times) and the wholesaler who is dealing with the rep. Today I think I will have to figure out who the rep is and give him a call myself.
@ March 14, 2010 12:07 PM in Howling KnightI agree the venting is too big for this boiler, and I wondered why you can't vent it in 2 inch when some of the other mod/con french heat exchanger boilers are. I did add 4- 3 inch 90s to the intake and 4 to the exhaust. Now it looks like something from a Three Stooges episode and it still didn't help. The vent is terminated with the wall plate that comes with the boiler, so I can add a reducer to the exhaust, but not the intake. Maybe I should just redo the venting with 2 inch? Then the boiler won't be installed by the book though. The only time this boiler runs at 100% is when it has been reset from a lockout, and it is trying to catch up, so I doubt it would be an issue. Now that I think about it, the only time the boiler did not seem to howl, was when it was running pretty rich, but it got pretty nasty in the heat exchanger with "coffee grounds" in no time. Are you saying this could be caused by the pitch of the heat exchanger? I'll see if I can get back there tomorrow to check it. There seems to be no pattern or reason this boiler howls. It happens in all weather, and it will be fine for a few days, then howl for a week straight. It makes no sense. Thanks again for the help guys. I'll keep ya posted.
@ March 12, 2010 4:30 PM in Howling KnightI was at the house today to see if there was anything I could do and I could not get the thing to howl or fail to light. The customer did say it was howling all morning. So, I cleaned the heat exchanger out, and there were a few "coffee grounds" in there, but nothing out of the ordinary for a propane fired mod/con, although I did clean it out once this winter already.
Unfortunately, it looks like the only way to keep the customer happy now, is to replace the boiler with something else. The customer goes out of town a lot and is very worried he is going to come home to a frozen house and the howling has to be pretty annoying too. I guess I can't blame him. I really can't afford to do this, but I REALLY can't afford not to. All of my work is through referrals, and this customer is friends with my in laws. Talk about a bad situation.
I will say, I still like the Knight boilers, and I don't blame Lochinvar for these problems. The tech support guys did try their best to help, but in this case the customer has lost faith in the product, so we have to move on. Thanks for the help guys.
@ March 12, 2010 10:04 AM in Howling KnightI think the I&O manual says 6 to 10 feet as a minimum between regulators. Wouldn't that just mean 6 feet? I don't know, but from the propane regulator outside I have about 8 feet of 1 inch and 3 feet of 1/2 inch black pipe and a couple of 90's. I have checked the inlet gas pressure with all appliances running and with nothing running, and it does not vary much at all. It stays around 11.5", even when it howls. I am willing to add some length to the gas line if you think it may be my issue. What are the usual symptoms of this? Thanks, you guys are coming up with ideas I haven't thought of.
@ March 11, 2010 6:15 PM in Howling KnightSupposedly the wait has been on the factory or the factory rep. I'm not sure which one. The guy from the supply house went on vacation until the 22nd, so I have no way to contact the factory rep. Wonderful. I'll check on the modulation limit, I'm heading there tomorrow. Thanks.
Speaking of the Vitodens, how is the 100w?
@ March 11, 2010 4:23 PM in Howling KnightTechnical Support, I guess there was a misunderstanding as I am now told the bracket does not fit on the KBN080, only the 105 and up.
I am at my wits end with this thing. Just when I think I have it fixed, a week or two later it starts howling again, and now it goes off on flame failure and locks out. I did add some elbows to the venting per tech support, but it did not solve the problem. The offset adjustment was off on the gas valve, so tech support had me replace it. I guess the offset adjustment is off limits? I have adjusted the combustion numbers all over the range with the same result. I had the guy from the supply house out to look at it with me since there is nothing else I can do with it and he has no more ideas and wants to replace it. That was three weeks ago. I haven't heard a thing. Today the homeowner called and it is now howling everyday, and locks out at least once a week.
So, I think I will replace the boiler with something else on my dime. Preferably a mod/con with a non French (the name escapes me right now) heat exchanger. Most brands are available to me, but I do not have any experience with anything other than the Munchkin and Knight. I would appreciate any suggestions.
@ January 27, 2010 2:36 PM in Hydro AirYour right that your old radiators will be over sized with the added insulation and air sealing, but that is exactly what you want with a mod/con boiler. You will be able to heat your home with a much lower water temperature than your old system and with outdoor reset, you will be probably be more comfortable too.
@ November 19, 2009 8:16 AM in Howling KnightI received the bracket from "technical support", but no explanation of where it goes. "technical support" says it goes from front to back on top of the heat exchanger, but the cabinet is 12" deep, and the bracket is around 14"? The bracket seems to be for a bigger boiler, but "technical support" claims that is the only one they make, and they think I'm an idiot. Has anyone installed one of these brackets that can shed some light on where it goes? Thanks.
@ October 31, 2009 9:05 AM in Howling KnightI will call on Monday. See the first post for vent lengths, they are within the minimum listed in the instructions.
@ October 29, 2009 5:21 PM in Howling KnightThanks for the replies. I think this is a Honeywell valve, but it definitely has an offset adjustment with a sticker saying the warranty will be void if you touch it. I have made this adjustment on other boilers before, but I guess Lochinvar doesn't trust us. Oh well, the howling seemed to get better with more gas anyway, so I'm not sure if raising O2 will do it or not. Mark thanks for the tip on the intake hole. I will check it next week when I go back there.
@ October 27, 2009 1:50 PM in A suggestion for contractorsIt's been on my list for a long time, but I never remember to take pictures of my installs and I don't know what else to put on there. Maybe this thread will motivate me.
@ October 27, 2009 1:45 PM in Howling KnightSorry, the model is a KBN080 with the Grundfos pump that came with it set on speed 2. There is a wye strainer and I cleaned the system with some Hydrosolve, but currently it is full of water. The system pressure is at around 12 pounds. The noise seems to be coming from the inducer harmonics, and the customer describes it a s a fog horn, which I guess I would agree with. I have heard this noise on some of the Munchkins I put in in the past, but it always went away with the throttle screw adjustment (with an analyzer of course). Aside from the noise, the boiler works perfectly. Thanks for the reply.
@ October 27, 2009 9:46 AM in Howling KnightI installed a Lochinvar Knight a couple of weeks ago that keeps howling, but rarely when I'm there. The venting includes about 5' of 3 inch pipe and 2 90's on the intake and exhaust and it is terminated with the wall cap included with the boiler. i also added a 3x2 reducer to the exhaust to try to add some restriction after talking to Lochinvar tech support.. This boiler is converted to propane and I did set it up with a combustion analyzer. Currently it is running at: high fire CO 126ppm, CO2 8.9%, O2 5.1%, low fire (minimum) CO 5ppm, CO2 9.6%, O2 3.8%. The last time I was out there, I increased the gas pressure a little bit to get the numbers listed above, and it worked great for 3 days, then it howled all day long on the fourth day. This seems to happen at low fire, and once it starts, it will not stop until the boiler shuts off. I need to get this fixed as the customer is starting to loose patience, and I don't blame him. I would appreciate any ideas. Thanks.
@ July 31, 2008 11:09 AM in Radiant Geothermal ControlThis is what I was thinking as far as piping it. But, because this is a heat pump with more terminals than "R" and "W", and I need to control the unit for cooling, I am not sure what to use for the "Temperature control". Maybe the B&D unit is the way to go, but I'm not sure I am sold on the non pressurized thing. Courtesy of Siggy, http://www.radiantandhydronics.com/RH/Home/Images/1007-portal-GF-Fix-lg.jpg
@ July 31, 2008 10:59 AM in Radiant Geothermal ControlWhy non pressurized?
@ July 31, 2008 9:46 AM in Radiant Geothermal ControlI have a job coming up that will use a water to water geothermal heat pump with radiant floors for heat, and a chilled water fan coil for cooling. I am familiar with radiant design, mod/con boilers, outdoor reset, etc, but I am having a hard time with this project. I am looking for some way to control this unit with 3 or 4 radiant zones with outdoor reset, and 1 zone for air conditioning. Does anyone make a control like a Tekmar for these things? Also, can you guys point me to a buffer tank manufacturer. Thanks for your help.
@ June 4, 2008 7:37 PM in Geothermal heating and coolingA geothermal heat pump is not much different than a standard air conditioner when in cooling mode. With a standard ac, the heat is rejected to the air (this is why you feel heat out of the top of your condensing unit). Geothermal works the same, except the heat is rejected to the earth through ground loops. In heating mode, the refrigeration cycle is reversed, and heat is extracted from the earth much like an air source heat pump extracts heat from air. The reason geothermal is more efficient, is that the ground is much colder than the air during the summer and the ground is warmer than the air in the winter. Oops, after reading your post again, my post doesn't look like what you are looking for.