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Larry Weingarten

Larry Weingarten

Joined on August 26, 2003

Last Post on July 16, 2014

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foam core panels

@ May 4, 2004 1:07 PM in How much insulation is enough?

Hello: You may want to look into foam core panels or SIP's if you've got time. Essentially they are OSB inside and out with foam between. They eliminate most of the problems mentioned here with bridging, moisture and air leakage. It IS essential they be well caulked on the inside to keep moisture out of the panels. Another thing to remember is they make plumbing and wiring harder to do. But, the insulation is very effective and will allow you to downsize your heating system, helping offset the cost.

another resource

@ May 3, 2004 8:57 PM in Fast cure hi heat silicone?......Cosmo

Hello: This is a resource you should know about!


@ May 2, 2004 11:18 PM in Underslab insulation testing

Hello: How about building some 2" foam boxes to cover the concrete. That way the major heat transfer will be out the bottom and ever if you don't get absolute R values, you will get numbers to compare one insulation to the next percentage-wise. Are you taking bets on the winner?

on pulling pipe

@ April 29, 2004 12:46 AM in Orangeberg pipe???

Hello: There are tools that pull pipe through existing pipe. They pull a wedge that actually splits the old pipe as it goes through, making room for the new pipe, (often polyethylene) which could be the same size as the old. This technique is used on old cast iron so orangeburg should be a breeze. The point is to make a quick job of it and avoid digging. I'd expect to have to hire it done as the tools are expensive and need training to use... I should add that perhaps you could downsize your main line one size if low flow fixtures allow. This is a good thing as toilets keep smaller lines scoured better than bigger lines.

pipe pulling

@ April 28, 2004 12:15 PM in Orangeberg pipe???

Hello: This might be an ideal situation for using one of those "trenchless" tools that pulls a new line through the old one. You could replace the entire line now without connections except at the ends. Could beat digging up sections as they fail. Another 2 cents!

steel line

@ April 27, 2004 10:51 PM in Ever seen this?

Hello: This is not a direct answer to your question, but may help. That steel line is rusting. Is it from the inside or outside? It looks like there could be a little flame spillage on start-up, condensing on the relatively cool tube, causing external rusting. (Note rust on inside of hatch cover and one-sided discoloration of pilot tube.) I'd be tempted to unhook the gas supply and the rusting tube to look inside the tube and the gas control and see if any rusting or corrosion is present. If so, why is the gas so wet? Is there a drip leg? Hope that helps.

the best source

@ April 27, 2004 11:51 AM in IS IT TRUE

...of methane is termites. So, instead of drilling for gas, all we meed to do is bottle up termites. Seems they produce more, pound for pound than cows or people. Now you know!


@ April 27, 2004 11:45 AM in A favor, please, if you're willing - Dan H.

I'm in!

getting in touch

@ April 26, 2004 1:03 PM in Did not get my 15 minutes of fame at Wetstock

Hello: I'm not sure you want my experience as I can't even figure out how to get your email. But, mine is Do get in touch. We'll see if I can help.


@ April 24, 2004 1:17 PM in Did not get my 15 minutes of fame at Wetstock

Hello: Can you go into a little more detail about just what sort of stories you need? Is it about training employees, as the title implies, or...?


@ April 13, 2004 11:40 PM in solar water heating to electrical water heating

Hello: It might be fun to compare the electrical output of a person pedaling a generator, to a photovoltaic (generator), to a solar thermal collector. Let each one be used to heat up a gallon of water. Measure with a thermometer and stopwatch. The experiment would be a bit complex, but sure would drive home an understanding about how much energy the sun gives us.

another option

@ April 11, 2004 7:34 PM in Domestic Water Heaters - return and make-up water

Hello: Suggest having a look at . You don't need a recirc loop at all and this is a much more energy efficient way to do things if a pump is to be used. Hope this helps!

hot solder

@ April 11, 2004 12:45 PM in Super condensing boiler... (ME)

Mark: Call around to see if a local automotive radiator shop still uses a "dipping tank" or whatever they call the vat of hot solder you dip radiator ends into. I'll bet however that GFX will know exactly the difference between soldered and non-soldered, performance-wise. From a corrosion point of view, dipping might be good!

a question(s)

@ April 7, 2004 1:53 AM in instant (tankless) water heaters

I installed a Paloma tankless heater for friends about 23 years ago. It still works, sadly. The problem is that it (and all) tankless heaters shut off on low flow. It has become a real problem with low-flow fixtures... or maybe I just hear about the rare problem cases? Also, my experience suggests you not use tankless unless there is an odor problem or you live alone, as upfront costs and upkeep more than offset any energy savings. I question the wisdom of widespread application. Does anyone have experiences to share?

in their shoes

@ April 3, 2004 10:33 PM in Would you like? - Dan H.

To oversimplify, it seems that when a technician sees technical trouble, he says, "Who did this?" When the building owner sees the same thing, he says "How do I fix this?" Equipment falls apart all by itself given enough time and the blaming becomes irrelevant. Fixing is what's needed. For non-technicians to know what they are looking at and understand that it's in need, photos of neglected or dangerous equipment can help. Even when another technician messed up, the building owner still will be more concerned about getting it fixed so he can worry about other stuff,.. like his daughter's new boyfriend! We need to keep in mind the other points of view.


@ April 2, 2004 7:56 PM in Hydronic System Corrosion

Hello: You might try going to "" (National Association of Corrosion Engineers)and looking under "academic links". It could be a way to find a good local corrosion engineer.

cistern gizmo? etc.

@ April 2, 2004 7:08 PM in History of Plumbing in photos (s milne)

Hello: I see a gizmo with a wire attached to it, behind the fill valve. It looks like one would pull the wire from below and expect some result. Any idea what it was for? Maybe a way to raise the float when water overflows and drips through the ceiling? By the bye, the cistern is still common in British plumbing, from what I've seen... Do you think some of that old lead drain line would be quieter in use than ABS?... Those are some really nice wiped joints! I've got a book on just how to do it if anyone wants to do irreparable harm to their hands. Thanks for sharing.

hot tech topics

@ April 1, 2004 11:38 PM in Return piping water heaters

Hello: Dan was kind enough to put an article we wrote "Domestic Hot Water Recirc Systems" in "Hot Tech Topics". It might help. Do be sure the pump is pumping water towards the heater... Sounds like it might not be.

idea from the past

@ April 1, 2004 12:04 PM in Mark Eatherton's post got me thinking

In the early days of electric water heating, the tanks heated very slowly. Heater salesmen would suggest adding a "tempering tank". Often it would go in a boiler room to preheat the water going into the electric heater and make it's performance look better. Usually it was a galvanized tank the same size or a little smaller than the main heater. Yours sounds like a perfect application. However you do it, check the anode!

Chamber of Horrors

@ April 1, 2004 11:49 AM in Would you like? - Dan H.

Waterheaterrescue has a "Chamber of Horrors" showing all sorts of dangerous/silly water heater stuff. Basically it doesn't point a finger, just shows the result of not paying attention.

BTU storage?

@ March 31, 2004 12:20 AM in In search of FREE btu's....(ME)

Hello: A question(s). Where will you put those captured BTUs? Do they go into a tempering or pre-heat DHW tank? I've done a similar thing with exhaust from a generator. All that comes from the exhaust is cold condensate. Do you worry about heat exchanger corrosion like I do? ps. If you feel like a side trip to Monterey, you could see it in person!


@ March 30, 2004 9:10 PM in Domestic Hot Water

Hello: If you can detemine that the gas is really coming from the storage tank, than an easy band-aid is to put a float vent on the hot outlet at the hight point. (In hard water, expect the vent to clog periodically.) Or make a trap in the line to force gas into the vent... Just because the tank is stainless don't assume there's no anode. Check with the manufacturer. Hope that helps.
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