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Thread: Radiant heating/woodstove

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    And when have you practiced your trade in MA? Have a license there? Know how they work? Without knowing what the test was for, what conditions it was used for, you're blowing smoke. MA is a different world...they do things their own way. The only way to know for sure is to ask the inspector in the locality.
    I never told the guy to break any laws....now did I? Sure everyone agrees to get it approved by the local inspector. I stated that 20 posts ago.. Go back and find it,take the time to read what your complaining about at least.

    The approval sticker is good enough for me until a local inspector says I cant use it and then if I felt like it I may take it to court and make a big deal out of it. I usually get my way if I'm willing to pay enough money. Grown men get what they want,I know I do.

    Now to answer your sacastic questions for you.

    No I have never been to Maine and I have no plans to ever go. I like it warm to hot weather.

    No I do not have a license in Maine,and never will.

    I hope they work just like everyone else. Everyone needs a job at some point in their life,if not for the money then for the experience.

    No ones blowing smoke. I'm going to buy a Hilkoil and a stove and butcher it in my garage and use it to heat my house and my water in the winter.......when I want to. Whats a $1,000.00 for a fun project like that? Thats cheap fun.

    Whats the problem?

  2. #32
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    "Hey its easy enough to present the Hilkoil to an inspector,explain your plan and work together."

    Easier said than done in most of the states where I've worked. YMMV. In MA I can pretty much guarantee you that explaining any part of it to the inspector would get the project nixed completely, even if you had third party engineering test data to prove it was safe when installed precisely as you planned.

    "But dont try to state that they are not approved period and anyone who uses it is a hack.....thats kinda arrogant and ignorant at the same time. "

    Installing a Hilkoil is by definition a "hack", from an enginerd's definition of the term- an untested and not fully characterized modification to a system (and that isn't universally a bad thing.) I can understand how my use of that term may have been misconstrued to mean that "anyone who uses it is a hack", (an incompetent practitioner), which is a very different meaning that what I intended.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    "Hey its easy enough to present the Hilkoil to an inspector,explain your plan and work together."

    Easier said than done in most of the states where I've worked. YMMV. In MA I can pretty much guarantee you that explaining any part of it to the inspector would get the project nixed completely, even if you had third party engineering test data to prove it was safe when installed precisely as you planned.

    "But dont try to state that they are not approved period and anyone who uses it is a hack.....thats kinda arrogant and ignorant at the same time. "

    Installing a Hilkoil is by definition a "hack", from an enginerd's definition of the term- an untested and not fully characterized modification to a system (and that isn't universally a bad thing.) I can understand how my use of that term may have been misconstrued to mean that "anyone who uses it is a hack", (an incompetent practitioner), which is a very different meaning that what I intended.
    It has been tested and it has the label. You just cant read all about it online.....big deal.

    I've said it about 4 or 5 times now and I'm going to say it again. Simply talk to a local inspector and get it approved. It happens everyday all over the country with all types of mechanical installs.

    What if I've already called Maine and a inspector said he has one in his hunting camp stove???? What would you say then? Think about that before you answer.

  4. #34
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Think? Why start now!?!

    I'd say: Good for him, and I hope it's all working out for him!

  5. #35
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As has been said several times, when it comes to plumbing issues, MA is a different world from most of the rest of the country. Same thing with cars and a lot of other things. MA follows CA in a lot of things, and they're pretty stringent on how they do things there as well. In working with people from MA for over 30-years, I've heard lots of first-hand issues people have had with approvals and inspectors.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    As has been said several times, when it comes to plumbing issues, MA is a different world from most of the rest of the country. Same thing with cars and a lot of other things. MA follows CA in a lot of things, and they're pretty stringent on how they do things there as well. In working with people from MA for over 30-years, I've heard lots of first-hand issues people have had with approvals and inspectors.
    So what??? That doesn't mean they will not allow a Hilkoil.

    I have an idea.....let everyone ask their local inspection department. For the 6th time. If they say no.......Its not like I'ma gonna care anyway. Thats too bad for them...at least they tried.
    Last edited by Hackney plumbing; 03-05-2012 at 04:28 PM.

  7. #37
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    The only way to know for sure is to ask the inspector in the locality.
    Think I already said to check...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #38
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    In my direct MA experience I have yet to meet the inspector willing to put their neck out by explicitly allowing something that isn't enshrined in code or on the approved products list for the application. One inspector even made me swap out my circa 1923 toilet for an approved low-volume version before signing off on a drainwater heat recovery heat exchanger- a model that IS on the approved list, since the drain used by said toilet was touched. The fact that indoors wood boilers are explicitly disallowed for heating systems in MA doesn't make me hopeful on the HilKoil, but sure, if you REALLY want that thing, give it a shot. Personally I'd only play "ask the inspector" if I knew them and had a 100% positive experience with them. YMMV.

    I've read of someone in MI who was required to REMOVE the very same drainwater heat exchanger model installed in my house over the fact that a brazed copper manifold on the potable side was made from a material thicker than the range specified by the relevant ASTM B88 testing for potable piping and thus wasn't allowed to have the marking stripe, despite having met even tougher ASTM B75 standards not referenced in plumbing code. And this was even after evidence of the testing and the explanation for use of the (superior) thicker material was supplied by the manufacturer! They're out there, and they don't all live in MA.

  9. #39
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Only a masochist would pull a permit to add a coil to your stove. If you make it a OPEN system, the worst that can happen is you boil off your water. From the open, raised storage [convection circ] tank you pull your heat through a second larger coil.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    The "approval" may be very application specific- without the document in hand I wouldn't put much stock in the letters U and L in a circle on a 12 cent label. Modifying a wood stove in any significant way (like cutting holes in it) is also of dubious code compliance and insuarablity (even in Maine), even if the bent pipe you jam in there has valid safety agency labeling. Building something out of all UL-approved parts does not mean the result would pass a relevant UL safety test for the application.

    Pressure cookers are legal in MA, but the burner under it is a fraction of the output of a wood stove, and the water supply is a fixed amount, so it's not really the best analogy.

    No Thermo-Bilt products appear on the MA approvals list, so for at least this case it can be used as art over the fireplace, but not IN the fireplace (or anywhere else) if connected to potable or heating system plumbing.

    Jim- thanks for the link to the MA list! (It's handy for convincing some skeptics that drainwater heat recovery heat exchangers are in fact code-legal here.)
    Dana, sorry I have been away for a few days trying to get the rest of the house framed, and just went through that drainwater heat recovery thread... great info, I only have one problem I dont have any vertical drain...or very small amounts, will this work in a horizontal application??

    Thanks Chris

  11. #41
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Drainwater heat recovery units of this type rely on the surface tension of the water inside the drain to spread it out into a thin film covering the interior surface of the drain, maximizing surface contact for better heat transfer. That surface tension doesn't cut it against the forces of gravity if you lay the thing on it's side. They make some pretty stubby versions (as short as 18" from some manufacturers), but the total surface area of the center-bore drain counts- fatter & longer ==> higher return efficiency. To get ~50% heat returned at 2.5gpm flow you need about 48" potable wrap built onto 4" copper drain drain, or 60" wrap on 3" drain. Natural Resources Canada maintains a list of models that are third-party tested for efficiency under standardized conditions for apples-to-apples comparisons, and for different levels of government subsidy.

    EFI in Westborough is a US distributor for Renewability ( PowerPipe), but the shortest one they list as standard product is 36" long. (They'll open an account and sell them onesie-twosie quantities over the phone if you have a credit card number, and they don't hose you bad with handling charges on the shipping either.) If that's too long, Renewability has a 4 x 30" that you can order off their website (at a full retail type price, so as not to compete with their distributors).

    There is one vendor with a plate-type HX designed for horizontal apps, but I'd be inclined to think that the clog risk and loss of performance to sludge would be considerable with any plate type system. They don't have any NRCAN-third-party tested units that qualify for Canadian subsidy (yet), and the design seems to be evolving from an expensive all-stainless version from a couple of years ago to something else:

    was:

    now:


    From a cost/benefit point of view, the payback on any of them is dead-slow for 1-2 person families heating hot water with natural gas, but for a showering family of 4 heating hot water with propane, oil, or electricity it's a pretty good investment. Since the drain has to flow while the hot water is running to get any heat return, it works great for showers, but not at all for baths.
    Last edited by Dana; 03-08-2012 at 12:13 PM.

  12. #42
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    quote" Originally Posted by Dana
    Pressure cookers are legal in MA, "



    They might be legal today, but by tomorrow, I suspect they may NOT be!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. #43
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    quote" Originally Posted by Dana
    Pressure cookers are legal in MA, "



    They might be legal today, but by tomorrow, I suspect they may NOT be!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Not even at yard sales... :-(

    I personally know at two people who were close enough to feel the heat of the first blast. Fortunately their bodies are intact, but the pschological bits are still TBD. (One is the mother of a 3 year old, who was gladly at home with her dad.)

    I'm sorry to report that the other drainwater heat exchanger manufacturers don't seem to be listed on the MA Accepted Plumbing Products online listings (not that it would let that stop me from installing a GFX, Retherm or Watercycles or Thermodrain or EcoDrain product- even if it took a variance or a heart-to-heart with the inspector & a note from my mom.)

    It probably doesn't take a huge effort to get on that list though, if the manufacturing & materials are up to code for other locations, but it probably WOULD take a variance to get it approved by many inspectors, who are on the hook if for some reason it becomes a hazard after they sign off on it without higher approval. I'd be pretty happy to see more competition in this market- it's not as if there's rocket science behind the designs. At some point I'd think the price of copper would drive the retail numbers as much as anything, but it's a tiny market with but a handful of players, and they all seem to be sniping at one another.

    It's good to know I have no credibility on this forum though, I was worried that I might actually start making sense or that people might take me seriously.

    I've never bothered counting my drainwater heat exchanger discussions, does this one count as 201?

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