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Joined on June 24, 2002

Last Post on May 11, 2009

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Side vent

@ May 11, 2009 4:28 PM in New hot water boiler

Yes you can get side vent kits for oil, not cheap and IMHO somewhat loud. You may want to look at vertical type L vent, much less to look at than a class A chimney.

Watts offer

@ April 30, 2009 2:34 PM in Watts offer

Mentioned on other posts but Watts, a great American company is offering their very important and timeless "Explosion Danger Lurks" on DVD. I think this is the best training on the subject that there is, something all new techs need to see. There is also a nice steam trap explanation as well as their scalding video. This path should get you there. v

A guess

@ April 22, 2009 12:09 PM in WM HE-6 burners not firing

I think you have a valve that has an internal fuse that blows if a vent damper is removed. Was there ever a vent damper on this boiler? Does the flame sensor,(liquid pilot), plug into the top of the valve? If the vent damper was removed completely a jumper is sometimes put back into the plug to make the valve work. On the older systems, with White Rogers valves the pressure switch fails in the valve and an external resistor is used. A picture of the valve would be helpful. One simple thing, these pilots needed to be pretty hot, the sensor must glow orange. A normal thermocouple soft flame is not hot enough.

Not easy

@ April 21, 2009 9:27 AM in Radiant floor heating does not shut off in one section of house

Well, this is not an easy topic, which is the reason the professional service people can charge for what they know, to me we pay pros for what they know not so much for what they do. However, it is possible to understand this if you are willing to read enough. The problem is there is electrical theory, control theory, wiring conventions, and specific component layout. Unfortunately hot water systems use many different layouts and parts to do the same task. And, when some one like me explains something I often skip over what is more basic which is not a good thing to do. Since you made the effort, picture 1, the round can is the zone valve motor, the valve itself you cannot see, it's in the lower part in line with the pipe. If you look with a mirror under the "can" you will see a little toothed gear which mates with another gear that moves the valve. The motor=can on this zv can be changed without unsoldering the bottom. The middle and last picture is the yy motor wires and the rr switch wires. The wires are factory wire nutted inside the valve, to pull them out you first cut the wires on this style valve, there will be other wire nuts outside the valve so no one would cut them inside. Any hot water tech. can fix this, tell them you have Honeywell zone valves and watch what they do. It will be quick, but remember you are paying for what they know. Good luck

Some basics

@ April 20, 2009 5:15 PM in Radiant floor heating does not shut off in one section of house

Perhaps a review of the basics will help. Thanks for the pictures, a lot easier seeing what you have. First you have zone valves, a movable rubber ball that allows water to flow, it is opened by the little electric motor (your brand of valve)on each valve. The room zone thermostats are just switches, when they close, calling for heat, 24 volt power goes to the motor to open, in your system if the valve opens all the way a little switch in the valve closes and the pump starts. So, the homeowner can take the cover off the zone valve, have the spouse/helper turn up that stat to call for heat and watch to see if the motor moves the parts below/behind, if it does good, then the pump should start perhaps a bit of delay. Good news is the motor is a separate part and can be changed without unsoldering the rest of the valve. Good luck

hydro air

@ April 16, 2009 12:39 PM in HYDRO AIR SYSTEM

You may want to consider a hydroair system for the upstairs, the unit has an AC coil and would drop cool air in the summer, and a zone of hot air in the winter, not sure how much cutting you want to do on an old house, this way the attic has the parts and only the power, drain, AC lines and water pipe needs to be brought there. Perhaps the first floor could be changed to a staple up radiant and a few panel rads. If you live in a northern climate, and don't have an unusual amount of glass on the lower level I don't see the need for AC registers on the lower level.

Thanks guys

@ April 15, 2009 3:26 PM in Foam core PVC pipe use?

Thanks for the input, I was surprised to find most of the furnace manufactures allow foam core for inlet or exhaust so be careful if you inspect and want to condemn one. I agree about not having any in the shop, that is now our policy, why risk it. I have found no available test data on the product for heating use, probably because the pipe manufacturers don't want the liability for what is to them a very small part of the plastic pipe business.

2009 code

@ April 14, 2009 5:27 PM in Aluminum HX, Condensate and Corrosion

One of the changes in the 2009 fuel gas code is now requiring a low water cut off on all new hot water boilers. A little late but good.

Foam core pvc pipe use

@ April 14, 2009 5:15 PM in Foam core PVC pipe use?

Does anyone know what gas condensing product prohibits the use of foam core pvc besides Munchkin boilers? We had an issue with a Munchkin and read their install instructions which make a big deal of no foam core type pvc for the vent pipe. Several furnace mfgs. say it's acceptable. I'm not a plumber so I didn't know there was a difference, I do now.

valves leak

@ February 20, 2009 11:49 AM in Water rising in steam boiler

With no domestic coil you must have a leaking inlet valve, water valves today are really cheap and since most are usually open for most uses persons don't notice. What I do is to put 2 cheap 1/2" valves in series on the fill line, a ball valve first then a globe valve where I can change the washer next. Make sure both valves are well above the normal boiler water line. You might want to see what your street water pressure is and if it's over 60# to have a water pressure regulator installed.

threads and posters

@ February 18, 2009 4:33 PM in pulled threads

Well, we all do need to be respectful and civil, as our new president proposes. However I have a friend who is on the genius/crazy border and it's a mental challenge to see which sometimes. Heck, I still miss FFP. Guy would make me laugh till I cried. Still if it's on the border best to squash it.

extra tee

@ February 10, 2009 5:27 PM in Another Gas-Fired Intrepid Install (Gordo & Steamhead)

I like to put a 1/4 plugged tee after the little 1/4 turn shutoff upstream of the gauge, the little valve leaks a bit and the open tee means the expensive pressuretrol never sees too high a pressure during a test.

Weld when off

@ February 10, 2009 4:49 PM in OT - Large Nat. Gas Pipe Question

Saddle clamps not OK, if you can shut the system off and purge it you can hole saw into the 4 inch and weld on a take off over the hole. The purge part is important since you don't want a poof.

No screen

@ February 10, 2009 4:43 PM in Chimney Cap or Not

Don't use a screen, if the temp at the outlet gets too low the flue products that are high in water content can freeze it shut.

Other thing

@ January 21, 2009 5:25 PM in Effikal flue damper

Tapping on the flue hood could have caused the spill switch to reset, I think this would have made the damper close first then reopen. Sticking dampers are a VERY commom problem, althouth usually first call of the season. If you tap the damper and the ignition starts the prove open switch or it's lever cam isn't closing correctly giving a start circuit to the electronics. If it's under warranty get a new damper, if not the fuel savings payback is not usually there for a new damper and labor so have it removed. DO NOT wire it open, too risky, just replace with vent pipe.

good luck

@ January 14, 2009 12:29 PM in steam sizing

We have people turn off series loop rads and freeze a loop. Interested in just what sort of piping layout. I think many of these are fixed as best as possible with continous circulation and an indoor/outdoor reset. Perhaps the upstairs is piped as a zone already. Customer will need to spend the money to have you find out.

main vents

@ January 14, 2009 12:22 PM in rads downstairs lukewarm, upstairs hot

Sure sounds like one of 2 main vents is ok and the other not, look real close near the boiler return piping for the vent or plug. Perhaps the rad vents upstairs are good and the downstairs ones not, I would take out one of the lower level rad vents rad to check, be safe, steam is hot. If there are 2 return drops to the boiler perhaps one is pretty blocked. Any plug you can remove to check wet return area at bottom of hartford loop? I am assuming no buried wet returns.

some guesses

@ January 14, 2009 12:12 PM in Gas furnance- Won't Stay On

I think weather king is a Ruud badged furnace. I would think this is fairly straight forward with a schematic and a good VOM, if the flame stops some gas or electric input or output is stopping or there may be a mechanical failure in the valve. I would see if the high limit is opening, a hole in the heat exchanger near the limit could give this symptom. Checking the gas inlet and outlet pressure to the valve with the burner on is always a good idea, perhaps the flame sensor is getting a low signal. A microamp reading is the way to tell. Sometimes the blower amp draw loads the circuit board enough to drop other 120V inputs. Good luck.

Not just boilers

@ January 14, 2009 12:00 PM in Customers stocking parts...

It isn't just the boilers. Modern funaces have unique parts that are not available on 10 year old equipment,had one last week, 2 speed inducer not available for 2 days. -5 F outside. Need a burner for a Ruud Drum, good luck. A good dealer is a better part than the part. Most will have a stack of plug in electric heaters to loan until the part can come on a furnace they sold.

gauge glass

@ January 14, 2009 11:51 AM in Water level glass

I use a soil pipe type hand squeeze wheel cutter, got it at Sids. I would guess they are still available, cost $20 or so. In old days I would score them with a 3 corner file and snap off, sometimes clean, sometimes not. I always sand the cut point with 40 grit emery. Main thing is new washers and not to lose the thin brass washer that's next to the gauge glass nuts.

basement ceiling

@ January 12, 2009 12:44 PM in Radiator in basement

The old places sometimes had a radiator horizontal on the ceiling, pitch it right and it will work. Or, just get some fin tube in the joist spaces and make a condensate system.


@ January 9, 2009 9:53 AM in H.B. Smith 25 Mills

My guess is that your boiler is at least 45 years old, mid 60"s at the newest. You don't see try cocks behind the gauge glass on 25 year old product. If you haven't had it skimmed that is the first step to dry steam. Your vent connector is pretty rusty so to save fuel I would have the flue passages cleaned and spring for new vent connector pipe. Also, you are stringing valves on the low water cutoff outlet, WM makes a nice ball valve to replace the old flapper, when you change it take out the lwco float and throughly clean the inside of the #67. With steam the safety aspect should come before all else.
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