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Topics - juddspaintballs

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Equipment / Battery chainsaw
« on: April 21, 2020, 04:43:43 PM »
I decided to try out a Milwaukee M18 chainsaw.  It uses a 16" narrow kerf chain.  I had already sawed through two bullets in another tree I cut down before this video.  The battery was about halfway used up at this point, too.  Some nice fresh red oak.  It's not a professional saw, but it's a solid performer in the "farm" style saws.  I like it.


Heatmor / 200CSS relief vent rubber ball
« on: April 18, 2020, 08:59:47 PM »
I was draining my boiler today and after the water started flowing out, I remembered to remove the rubber ball that sits on top for the relief vent.  When I moved it, the vacuum broke and water came out faster, but the metal rod that hung from the ball (weight) was missing.  I don't think it's very important, but...I would like it to be as designed or better.  My dad's newer version of the 200CSS has a candy cane hook where the relief ball is on mine.  Is there a special vent in there or is it just a 180 degree bend in tubing that I could replicate on my own boiler? 

PS: draining the boiler to move it to my parents farm to heat a greenhouse starting next season.  I'll be selling this house soon and moving over there, too. 

Plumbing / Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« on: January 22, 2020, 04:59:07 PM »
I currently have a sidearm heat exchanger on my water heater.  It warms the water in the water heater nice and hot.  I installed that when I had hard and iron water.  I have since installed an iron filter and water softener.  I am at zero grains of hardness and no iron in my water.  So, now is the time to go with a flat plate heat exchanger, right?  I want to heat the water coming into the water heater so I have (essentially) unlimited hot water.

Should I remove the sidearm heat exchanger all together?  It would be a little more work to keep it plumbed into the system if I also ran the flat plate.  The water heater can maintain temperature, so I don't think I need the sidearm anymore. 

I have already flushed the crud out of the water heater since having soft water, don't worry. 

Heatmor / Heatmor 200CSS blower fan
« on: December 20, 2019, 11:33:05 AM »
I think my blower fan is getting a bit weak these days.  Even with a clear ash tube and no ash on the shaker grates, it doesn't seem to be moving as much air as it used to into the fire box.  If I put my hand over the intake of the blower, it doesn't draw it in at all.  The blower can barely blow the metal flap open and it's constantly falling back closed while the blower is running.  The flap moves very easily and isn't bound up, so that isn't the issue.

Is this the proper replacement blower?

And, should I consider running a larger blower, perhaps?

Plumbing / Adding heat to the garage
« on: April 11, 2019, 11:34:43 AM »
I'm intending to add heat to my detached garage.  The closest corner of the garage to the closest corner of my house is 65' away.  Right now the garage is uninsulated block 2 car garage with future plans to insulate.  I can't find any local dealers for underground piping other than Thermopex.  The local guy has it for $11.45/ft for the standard stuff.  I only plan on running a unit heater in the garage to keep it somewhat warm when I'm in there, so I think Thermopex would supply enough BTU's for it.  How's that sound?

I'm going to do some changes to my setup anyways.  Right now I have 30' of Logstor going from the boiler to the house, then another 30' or so of 1" PEX making a loop to the furnace and sidearm heat exchanger and then back to the boiler.  All of that is on a Grundfos 26-99 on low (where a Taco 007 was previously in place and could supply enough heat).  I have some 1-1/4" bodied manifolds from my old setup that I want to use.  Do a 30' loop to the house, through the manifolds, and back to the boiler using the 26-99 and then use the properly sized circulator for each zone off of that.  One loop for the furnace, one for water heater, one for the garage, and another loop for an unheated room in the house that I'm finishing out soon. 

General Outdoor Furnace Discussion / Softened water in the boiler
« on: January 29, 2019, 05:54:05 PM »
I have iron in my water and hard water.  I just bought an iron filter and water softener.  I also want to drain my boiler in the spring and refill it and actually treat the water this time.  I'm going to make some changes to my setup, too. 

When I refill, should I use the softened water or should I draw from the water before the softener?  Either way, it's going to go through the iron filter first. 

General Discussion / Well, well, well...
« on: July 21, 2018, 11:40:15 AM »
It's a deep subject.  ;D

We've been here 4.5 years and have put up with the brown/red staining in the toilets and tubs and the occasional water cough of brown water.  We have a good bit of iron in the water.  Well, I decided to start filtering it with one of the 4x10" 5 micron filters.  It worked great, but plugged up in 2 days.  So I tried a spin-down filter and that would plug up quickly and need flushed a couple times a day and cleaned every couple of days.  Not good.  I took that out then, and a couple days later, my well pump died (unrelated, probably).  Not knowing how deep it was or what style pipe I had in there, I called up a well company for an emergency visit.  He showed up with a couple kids and pulled my 160' well with black poly pipe in about 2 minutes, after checking to make sure my pressure switch and power wires were in good shape.  The pump was "ironed up" as he called it, or better described as full of orange colored sludge that was impeding the impellers from pumping.  He had the right replacement Goulds pump on the truck and had water flowing again in about 15 minutes.  He hung the pitless adapter off of the edge of the well casing and let it flow for a while.  The brown sludge that pushed out of my pipe was amazing. 

All of the loose crud that got stirred up is still trying to clear itself out of my pipes right now.  The well guy suggested getting my water tested and then selecting an AirCat filter that back flushes itself and uses no chemicals or salt and has no maintenance for 5 years.  I will likely go that route.  He also pointed out that at some point, someone spliced my horizontal underground line with 3/4" pipe instead of the 1" and it was restricting my flow.  So I will dig that line up, find the splice, and replace it with 1" using the stainless steel barb he left with me for that purpose.  I think I'm going to replace my 22 gallon pressure tank with a 86 gallon pressure tank, too.  It will make the new pump run less often and run longer when it does, so maybe it will last longer than 15 years. 

I'm also thinking about buying a replacement pump and storing it in the house.  I have the model number (7G07) and I can easily weld up the roller tool they clamped onto my well casing to help pull the pump.  Next replacement I can do myself and not have to wait all day on the well guy.  In fact, he suggested I could do the next one myself.  I did it at my last house with a 55' deep well, but I didn't want to attempt this one because I thought it was almost 300' deep.  It turns out it's half as deep as I thought and well within my means of pulling myself. 

New well pump + the emergency call was about $1300.  Even if I have the worst iron problem ever in my water, the biggest filter system is only $2200.  New pressure tank and stainless tee is about $900.  It hurts, but it will be worth it in the long run.  Last month, I had the privilege of buying a new central AC unit and new transmission for the Suburban, too. 

I shut down my boiler a couple days ago when we ran out of wood.  Today, I cleaned the ashes out of the firebox and ash tube, vacuumed the crud that fell down around my blower, oiled the hinge on the blower, cleaned out the horizontal section of chimney surrounded by the water jacket, unplugged the pump, shut off the valves, and capped the chimney. 

I also scraped creosote off of the inside of the door.  In doing so, I started scraping the gooey stuff near the bottom of the door and it started coming off in floppy chunks.  Oops, that's the door seal that Heatmor uses.  There's door seal rope behind it, but that stuff looked like black silicone caulking or something.  I went ahead and took it all off since it needs replaced.  Any ideas what that stuff is and where to get more of it?  It goes between the rope in the door (holds it in place and is about 1/4" thick over the rope) and the steel lip on the firebox that the door seals against.  Clearly, it must take some pretty good heat. 

General Discussion / Garage heat
« on: January 07, 2018, 04:35:39 PM »
I have a detached garage, so running the boiler to the garage would cost a pretty penny between a unit heater, more insulated underground pipe, a separate pump, WxW heat exchanger, glycol, etc. I will do it eventually, but not today. 

I have a 2 car garage built out of cinder blocks and an additional 8' on the side for work space.  8' ceilings, 2 old wooden garage doors that don't seal very well to the walls, and very little insulation between the ceiling and the attic space above.  I will also eventually replace the garage doors with insulated versions that seal well and I intend on insulating inside the garage, too.  I'll likely insulate before I run my boiler out there.

Northern Tool has this 240v electric unit heater on sale for $80.  It's 17,065 BTU.  The garage has it's own 200A service and I can easily wire this heater in to the panel.  I realize that the 17k BTU won't HEAT the garage, but if I'm only using it on days I'm actually in the garage, it should take the chill off, right?  On a 5 degree day last week, I ran my kerosene stand up heater and turned on 4 big halogen work lights and brought the garage up to about 40 degrees over a few hours. 


Is this worth the $80 for my garage or should I focus my money on something better like a Salamander?  I have dirt bikes, motorcycles, and sometimes a gas can in the garage along with my car.  I try to be careful when I use the kerosene heater because the potential for gas fumes easily exists and flame based heat keeps me antsy. 

Plumbing / Using my old manifolds for a new system
« on: November 07, 2017, 11:28:17 AM »
In a haste to get the boiler up and running at this house a couple years ago, I just did one big loop from my boiler to the furnace to the water heater and back to the boiler.  It works, but I want to expand on the system in the future.  At my old house, I had Earth Lee build two headers out of black iron that were 1-1/4" bodies with two 1" ports and five 3/4" ports.  Both ends are open on both headers.  I plumbed them up so one was an inlet and one was an outlet and the devices between were what transferred water from inlet to outlet.

At this house, I want to do a manifold system for easy expansion as I add to the system.  I was thinking that I'd take those two headers and couple them together end to end so I have one long header with a 1-1/4" body and four 1" ports and ten 3/4" ports.  I'd put a separately controlled Taco 007 pump on each loop I want and use the upstream ports for supply and downstream for return, matching port sizes of course.  What do you think of that? 

Fire Wood / Is this a good deal
« on: February 20, 2017, 07:46:35 PM »
Is this a good enough deal I should jump on it or will I be happy letting someone else buy it?


Heatmor / Coal modifications
« on: January 28, 2016, 01:53:46 PM »
I've got the urge to burn coal again.  I burned up 80# over the past few days.  It works, but it could work much better.  I have the shaker grates already.  My thought is to take the 1/4" steel sheet I have lying around and build a 6-8" tall rectangular vertical box around the outside of the shaker grates so I can pour the coal into the box and it MUST be over the grates and it cannot spill out the sides.  Then I started thinking that the area might be a big large, so perhaps I should build the rectangle, but put a divider in the middle so only half of it gets filled and I can cover the other half with the plate steel.  That would still be a fairly large area for the coal to be in, I can pile it deep for a good burn, it will all be focused over the grates, and all of the air already is forced to come up under the grates.  It will be a simple piece I can drop in when I want to burn coal and pull out when I want to burn wood. 

What do you think? 

Plumbing / I installed a tempering valve today
« on: December 04, 2015, 04:40:03 PM »
The best place I could find a price on the Watts 120-160 degree tempering valve was Anderson's Outdoor at $40.  They're $65-$70 anywhere else.  I have kids, so I decided a tempering valve was a good idea with the sidearm heat exchanger. 

Plumbing / sidearm install question
« on: November 24, 2015, 10:16:09 PM »
I just finished installing...everything.  Anyways, I'm using my sidearm heat exchanger on an electric water heater (still on).  I took the drain off of the water heater and hooked up the sidearm domestic side down there.  It feeds back in at the hot outlet.  While showering, I get hot water right off, then it cools off throughout the shower.  It never did that before.  I suspect I need to switch the sidearm to feed back into the cold water inlet instead of the hot water outlet.  I'm thinking that the hot water draw off of the tank is sucking some water off of the top of the tank, as it should, and some water through the sidearm as well.  Since the sidearm isn't capable of heating domestic water to shower temps on demand, my shower cools off.  Is my thinking correct?

Plumbing / Which pump (that I already have)
« on: November 16, 2015, 07:50:18 PM »
New house, new setup, lots of my old installed parts reused.  I have a Grundfos 26-99 (3 speed) or a Taco 007 (stainless) to choose from.  My boiler is 25' from the house, I'm using 32mm Logstor.  I'm feeding a 20x20 heat exchanger and a sidearm exchanger.  From the basement penetration to the two exchangers is about 20', and that will be plumbed in 1" PEX.  One big loop.  There's a few 90's in the mix, but nothing too crazy.

I *think* the 007 will supply enough flow to be adequate.  My concern is that it's internal bore is about that of 1" copper's ID, whereas the 26-99 is a lot larger.  Eventually, I'm upsizing the heating in this house with radiant floor heat, and I may even heat my detached garage at some point.  This setup is long-term temporary, if that makes sense.

I was initially going to go with the 007, but now I'm leaning towards the 26-99 running on low.  My last house had a much bigger heat requirement from a longer run (~85') of 1-1/4 PEX and that pump on low was more than enough to get the job done there. 


I'm not buying a new pump anytime soon.  I want to use what I have for now. 

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