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Larry Weingarten

Larry Weingarten

Joined on August 26, 2003

Last Post on July 16, 2014

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@ January 26, 2004 9:43 PM in solar panels

Hello: Try looking at Home Power magazine is all about solar electric and solar thermal for the hands-on types.

not plating exactly

@ January 23, 2004 11:39 PM in Copper plating in steam boilers

Hello: small, even microscopic bits of copper from the lines can get into the boiler. There they form cells that corrode away the iron, forming pits. The copper is noble to the iron and the latter must corrode away to protect the copper. That's basically how anodes in water heaters and boats work. Hope that helps.

funny valve

@ January 13, 2004 10:28 PM in stumped???!!!

Hello: Water heating is my thing and I've not heard of such a beast. It probably is a typo or misquote. Marilyn Pitts writes about all sorts of things and may not have seen that this is a "funny" valve.

model of wrench

@ January 13, 2004 1:00 PM in What kind of wrench

Seems obvious... it's a Rigid tongue expressor ;)


@ January 8, 2004 12:45 AM in A water heater mystery

Hello: I've had flues collapse because the tank was hooked up to multiple washing machines that had quick closing solenoids. Water hammer, over time can do it. The bottom of the tank bulging suggests high pressure, if only for split seconds at a time. The flue connected to the top and bottom would have to pull one to follow the other. I use a recording 24 hour pressure gauge to help troubleshoot "mysterious" heaters. You could just put a gauge on the drain valve and watch it while having the various hot water uses cycled through their paces. Also, don't assume the delivery pressure remains constant. Being close to a pumping staton or near the end of a main line can cause interesting problems. The relief valve is not a good indicator of pressure either, as they get stuck pretty often. Hope that helps.

dissimilar metals

@ January 4, 2004 11:03 PM in Questions

Maybe brass is OK in a closed system with steel, but in potable water that isn't the best quality, I'd use plastic lined steel nipples to put distance between the different metals. With 3/4 inch lines where I need to tie new copper to old steel, I use a lined nipple out of a steel fitting and then a copper flex line to get to the copper pipe. The flex can be had with a true dielectric that doesn't have any steel exposed to water, as normal dielectric unions do. We have some pretty bad waters around here in central CA, but I've seen brass/steel connections fail in about a year.

looking in the right place?

@ January 3, 2004 12:35 AM in How do you attract great help?

Dare I suggest looking for OLDER employees? That would be the guy who already knows a lot; perhaps he's even retired but needing or wanting part time work. He/she won't need babysitting, will show up on time and wouldn't even think of slowing down before the end of the day. Maybe one of us would like the relative calm of just being somebody else's employee someday. Just a thought.

which gallons?

@ December 31, 2003 4:26 PM in Gallons per Cubic foot

...and just in case you need to know Imperial gallons instead of US gallons, multiply the US gallon figure by .83267. There; I finally found a use for that conversion!


@ December 30, 2003 9:46 PM in My Ultimate heating system (ME)

Perhaps this will give a flavor of the place. One shot is of my "micro co-gen". Two others are of heating fins. One is a GFX to a shower and one is the house from the North West. Hope this helps!


@ December 28, 2003 12:41 PM in My Ultimate heating system (ME)

The next time you (or your friends) are travelling to Monterey CA, let me know. I'm building something along the lines you speak of. It has ICF basement with SIPS floor, walls and roof above. The house faces North to minimize thermal swings. We use solar thermal for heating and cooling with heat stored low and coolth stored high. There is a GFX heat exchanger on the main shower. Gravity drives everything but solar collection, so mechanically, the house has little to break. Heating is radiant in the walls. I just started it up and it actually seems to work! It's off grid, needing only 630 watts of collector. With hook-up charges to consider, staying off grid has an immediate payback. The outside uses cement fiber shingles for the walls with copper flashing and trex trim. Hoping for very little upkeep as I get daily grayer.


@ December 17, 2003 12:16 AM in John Hall's book

This sounds like a story I can take a very personal interest in. With Suzanne it was so close. Thanks!

sediment, etc.

@ December 15, 2003 12:28 PM in Bad Water???

Hello: I'd start by making sure the recirc line (if there is one) is hooked up right. Dan has an article we did on just how. Recirc systems are a really common source of sediment in the lines. Use a spring check valve rather than swing check so it won't get limed up, open. I don't think you get zinc alloy anodes in new tanks. They are used only for odor problems. Aluminum is likely what the tanks came with. Brown sediment, particularly if it rolls between the fingers may be zeolite resin from the softener. Often, odor is a problem in heaters that have sat unused for a week or more. If there is a sulfur smell, adding hydrogen peroxide (one pint per 40 gallons of storage) to the water will help. Hope that helps!


@ December 11, 2003 12:37 AM in Help Adjusting Gravity Hot Water Fin Tube

Hello: You may be able to throttle down the hotter radiators, particularly on any upper floor, to force water through the baseboard. If you have access to an accurate thermometer, you could "temperature balance" all the radiators/baseboard too.

looking for an altitude gauge

@ December 7, 2003 12:04 AM in altitude gauge

I've just completed a gravity hot water system and am looking for a combination temperature and altitude gauge for it. Does anyone know of one new, or old? The right gauge would be a reminder that gravity hot water was popular once. Thanks. Larry

recirc line sketch

@ December 3, 2003 11:17 PM in recirc line for a gas waterheater

Hello, Under "Hot Tech Topics" there is an article on recirc lines we wrote along with a sketch of how we suggest hooking up a recirc line if it's going to the heater. You can control this with a timer and or thermostat or go with a demand type of recirc that runs the pump, on demand, only until the water heats up at the return connection. You might want to check out the Metlund D'mand system. Yours, Larry

finned copper tube

@ November 18, 2003 2:03 AM in Heat loss of bare pipe...JohnNY

I'm using finned copper tube made for use in solar collectors for radiant wall heating. The Copper Development Association and ASHRAE Handbook have some good info about heat output of bare copper. Northstar Gardenia in S. California made the tube. Yours, Larry

Your Dad

@ November 11, 2003 8:26 PM in given a prayer, now i need one

I've learned that you have a powerful support team here. You may be surprised how they can lift you up! Be optimistic and make sure your Dad has an advocate with him. Yours, Larry

old books

@ November 8, 2003 10:09 PM in Over my head

I'd like to suggest another source of old books. Try "". It searches lots of other used book search engines; sort of one stop shopping. You'll find books by Frederick Dye and John Tyndall; great teachers of plumbing and physics. Their work is nearly as good as that of Dan H!

old books

@ September 4, 2003 6:55 PM in Found some old books

I can assure you that you'll find all these books at "". It searches nearly all the other used book search engines, so you cover millions of books fast. You might want to put up some new book shelves in anticipation!


@ September 4, 2003 6:41 PM in Domestic hot water return line sizing

Hello: Maybe you should consider getting an engineer to do the heat loss calcs, size the pipe and put his/her stamp on it. That way the inspector cannot be faulted and you'll only need a small line.
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