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  1. Replies

    There are valid reasons to use 2 GFCI outlets...

    There are valid reasons to use 2 GFCI outlets with one downstream from the other, BUT you need to daisy chain the second one from the LINE side so that each outlet is protected by its own GFCI and...
  2. Reliability of T-5 fluorescent tubes using electronic ballests

    I have a 3 lamp fixture which used T-5 (the thin ones) tubes in a ceiling fixture. It has been very unreliable. I had the first on for 6 months and the lamps started to fail. Sometimes it would light...
  3. Using a Variac® to gradually raise the voltage in a tube amp

    I used to be in the audio repair business and used this technique all the time on both tube and solid state amps. It prevents doing a lot of damage if you didn't find all the blown components.
  4. Replies

    The work BALUN is an acronym for...

    The work BALUN is an acronym for BAlanced-UNbalanced. it is a transformer that matches an unbalanced line (COAX) to a balanced line (Twisted pair.) You will probably need a second BALUN at the other...
  5. If the AC Condensate is filling the lav from...

    If the AC Condensate is filling the lav from above, it stands to season that the clog is below the tee from the stack to the lav. Possibly you can snake down from the top, where the AC is going in to...
  6. Replies

    Question about sink drain

    I know that plumbers putty is normally used to set the drain basket in place. My question is why is RTV (Silicone) not used in this application?

  7. Those pictures look suspiciously like...

    Those pictures look suspiciously like Polybutelene pipe. That stuff is bad news. There was a class action settlement on it a few years ago. I had to repipe my entire townhouse when I bought it 3...
  8. That was the whole point of my post -- heat pumps...

    That was the whole point of my post -- heat pumps Transfer heat from one place to another and in this case they are taking heat generated by the home heating system. Frankly, a tankless coil on the...
  9. New GE Heat pump based HWH, something for nothing?

    As I am sure everyone is aware, GE has announced a new HWH based on a heat pump design claiming 2 or 3X the efficiency of a resistance based heater.

    So far so good, EXCEPT for the fact that the...
  10. Replies

    Heat pump cold weather operation

    Hello all,

    Heavy snow has come to the Washington area and my heat pump is icing up heavily. My question; should I set the system to use the Aux electric heat exclusively for the duration of the...
  11. Indirect domestic HW from heating boiler

    My cousin is installing a new boiler (high efficiency) in his house and will need to change out his old HW tank heater at the same time. The fuel is natural gas.

    I suggested that he use an...
  12. Replies

    Get a HVAC engineer ASAP

    Unfortunately such disasters are common. You really need a HVAC consulting engineer who can run the numbers. Some years ago I built a multi level house with the lower bedroom level on slab.

  13. Replies

    Heating short cycling

    To expand Jimbo's reply to heating, the same principle applies.

    If the heater is oversized it will overshoot the thermostat because the blower turnoff is normally controlled by the plenum sensor....
  14. Replies

    Propane piping

    Since there is no gas piping forum, I hope this one is OK.

    I know that natural gas is normally piped with Black Iron pipe (not sure why).

    Is it permissible to use soft copper tube to pipe...
  15. Replies

    Outlet replacement in Old Work

    I have a situation in an old house where some ungrounded outlets have worn out and need to be replaced. Running a ground or new feed wire is not an option.

    What is the protocol here? Are old style...
  16. You do not have a trivial problem here. I once...

    You do not have a trivial problem here. I once built a house which required a complex hot air heating system. The general hired a self discribed "tin knocker" to spec and install the system and it...
  17. Electronic ignition for boiler

    I know that this is a controversial reply, but consider that many gas boilers with millivolt controls will operate in the absence of utility power. That means that it can maintain boiler temperature...
  18. Antoher look

    Thanks to all who weighed in. Looking at the thing again, (it dates to ca 1903) it looks like the oval in back is indeed an air vent (could be useful for some visitors to my house!). That supply pipe...
  19. Very odd toilet identification question

    I was recently in a museum in Toronto Canada (a mansion, actually) and ran across the toilet shown in the picture. My question is, can anyone ID it? Look at the various odd fittings, what are the...
  20. Replies

    I have actually seen one of these (not in the...

    I have actually seen one of these (not in the USA,I might add). It uses a refirgeration system (like a dehumidifier) to remove water from the air. It puts a TREMENDOUS amount of heat into the room,...
  21. Noisy pump

    Man years ago I had a submersible pump located about 100 feet from the house. It was really noisy, to the point that it nearly drowned out conversation when it started. I tried everything I could...
  22. Replies

    Flush problem found

    :) This is a followup post to a post I made a few weeks ago about a toilet which was not clearing solid waste. Essentially the waste would spin around in the bowl and not exit. It took 3 or 4 flushes...
  23. Replies

    Sluggish toilet

    Hello all,

    I have a townhouse with 4 toilets on 3 levels. 3 of the 4 toilets flush just fine. One in a first floor powderroom has problems. It takes 3 or 4 flushes to remove solid waste. The water...
  24. A couple of thoughts here: 1. To check...

    A couple of thoughts here:

    1. To check circulation, let the baseboards cool off and switch on the pump. Hold you hand on the copper return line at the heater. Time how long it takes for the return...
  25. Mystery valve

    The green mystery valve is a thermo-siphon flow preventer. In the normal position it prevents thermo-siphoning. This is necessary to prevent the baseboards from heating up in the summer when...
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