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Empty propane tank for expansion tank....one for the ages

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Jerry_15
Jerry_15 Member Posts: 379
Well if he was smart he probably saved a few more bucks and just plugged the up-stairs rads. Could work you know...naah.

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  • Paul Rohrs_4
    Paul Rohrs_4 Member Posts: 466
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    \"She's a beaut' Clark\"

    My sister-in-law is going to make an offer on a house with the original infloor heat from 1950. (Copper tube infloor) She asked me to come over and take a look.

    Newer Burnham Series 2 boiler (5-years old) that feeds a 2½ steel header with 10-supplys and a separate return header.

    Went upstairs to see if I could locate an expansion tank and see what condition the venting is in. This is what I found. You have got to be kidding me!

    An empty propane tank (inverted), suspended by a chain, with a garden hose to it. This was the expansion tank. I couldn't believe it. Thank goodness there was no plastic 5-gallon pails and bailing wire around because I think they might have tried to use that if it had been available.

    Sheesh. Boiler had been condensing. No mixing valves or controls to speak of. Boiler aquastat was set at 140°F.

    The original steel headers and copper tube seem to be in good shape and holding pressure.

    I plan on giving them a tekmar 356 for full reset injection mixing and boiler protection.

    Regards,

    PR
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
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    That is at the crossroads of

    extreme ingenuity and a banjo chord. :)

    I would see what condition the boiler itself is in, even after one year of condensing operation, let alone five.
  • kevin coppinger_4
    kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
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    as Dan would say....

    you can't make this stuff up! Must have fired up the system on a late night w/ all the stores closed...kpc

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  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,144
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    Wild

    I like the "Colt" brand disconnect.

    It's amazing how many of those steel tube directly to boiler systems are out there. I've seen both copper and steel tube systems around here 50's - 60's vintage, like that.

    I'd bet that is only the second boiler.

    At least he used a pressure vessel for expansion. Plenty of chain strength.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
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    I'm going to put

    money on that picutre showing up in one of Dans seminars !!

    Yup ..... Ya can't make this stuff up.

    Scott

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  • Kevin O. Pulver
    Kevin O. Pulver Member Posts: 380
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    Brad I don't know why?

  • Kevin O. Pulver
    Kevin O. Pulver Member Posts: 380
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    Brad I don't know why,

  • Kevin O. Pulver
    Kevin O. Pulver Member Posts: 380
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    Brad I don't know why,

    But your "banjo chord" comment really struck one with me.
    I got a big smile out of it. I can't quite identify where, but I subconsciously relate somehow.
    It also makes me think that Biggerstaff Radiant Solutions might really have some good ads if ol' Paul would learn to pick a little and write some jingles. Whaddya think? Kevin
  • Paul Rohrs_4
    Paul Rohrs_4 Member Posts: 466
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    ♫ I've got radiant that jingle-jangle-jingles♫

    ♫♫...and if I've had to much coffee, I've got to tinkle-tankle-tinkles ♫♫

    I don't know why American Idol won't return my calls....

    Regards,

    PR
  • Unknown
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    I recently saw an example where someone had used a big round galvanized wash tub as a thimble for putting their woodstove smokepipe up through a combustible floor. The pictures were mostly of the fire damage. ;)
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
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    And you call that

    talent? That is GOWD AWFUL and the only place I would hope to see your name is on a milk carton as missing...

    ;)
  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
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    Got out of a jam

    The local supply house was closed and he needed an expansion tank. He clearly was an advid watcher of McGyver
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
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    Not MacGyver

    Red Green. I don't ever remember MacGyver using duct tape....

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  • john_83
    john_83 Member Posts: 76
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    Unbeleiviable
  • Guy Woollard
    Guy Woollard Member Posts: 82
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    Red Green

    I can hear Red's voice:
    "Did ya ever need a part to repair your old boiler system, but found that no supply house would take your personal check? Here's what you do: Wait till it gets dark, then look over to the neighbors house and see if their porch light is on. You know , the one near the Weber....."


    Guy Woollard
    N.E. Regional Sales Mgr
    Triangle Tube Corp.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
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    Great use

    for empty freon jugs. recycle them as X-tanks. J.Lockard
  • Paul Bock_2
    Paul Bock_2 Member Posts: 40
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    MacGyver and duct tape

    Oh! Then you really need to get out and watch more of Mac, because he used duct tape in almost every episode.

    The old series is out on DVD, and we thought it would be fun to watch with the boys....

    I can't keep duct tape in stock around here now. Every night I come home there's something new with duct tape.

    Paul
  • Joe@buderus_2
    Joe@buderus_2 Member Posts: 302
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    Paul you really look good. We like your smile. Your outfit is really great. You keep trying all the time. We love for that.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
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    You look Mavalous

    on the 'Rich Corinthian leather' stage *~/:)

    Simon Who?
  • Dennis
    Dennis Member Posts: 101
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    Mini expansion tank

    That's not a propane tank, looks to be an old R-12 refrigerant tank. You couldn't do that today as the tanks have built in check valves.

    You could use a reclaim bottle.

    Why do you suppose they hung it from the rafters?
    Just do it, right.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
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    beer kegs

    Used beer kegs the perfect X-tank, Dennis you buy'em and I'll drain em. :) Jim Lockard
  • Dennis
    Dennis Member Posts: 101
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    No tank needed

    25 years ago, I worked for an old timer who never intalled expansion tanks. His money saving method was to leave the some air in one or two of the upper floor radiators.

    When asked "what happens when the customer bleeds the air out in the future?" He stated "I guess they will have to pay me for that expansion tank installation, if they can't keep their hands off the system."

    This guy was so negative about work, and life in general, I had to quit him. He paid big money in those days, probably a bribe to put up with him.

    Just do it, right.
  • Edward A. (Ed) Carey_3
    Edward A. (Ed) Carey_3 Member Posts: 236
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    Not Propane tank

    I think that is an old R12 tank, not propane.

    I wonder is he dispenses his refrigerant from a Fill-trol tank.

    Then again, maybe he is on the cutting edge of hydronic cooling,,,,, (NOT).

    Ed Carey
  • c-rex
    c-rex Member Posts: 48
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    creative re-use of found objects....think green boys,

    this dude was reducing his carbon foot. Jeez, what an innovator......
  • Darrell
    Darrell Member Posts: 303
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    Speaking of ingenious heating ideas...I flushed, and flushed, and flushed, and flushed a boiler the other week. Seems they were having trouble with one or two zones freezing every now and again which was most annoying! The home owner had fixed the problem by pumping the system full of diesel fuel oil! I noticed it when I was called to do a annual maintenance check and pulled a system fluid sample to check PH and feezepoint!

    Those Fearless Peerless boilers are one tough piece of equipment! And the Grundfos pump seems to have handled it pretty well too. The MOM airvents couldn't cope, and I changed the relief and expansion tank as a matter of course. All ten of the Taco Zone Valves seem to be working just fine.

    I don't often get into a customers face over the care of his heating equipment...but, this fellow got a straight up lecture. Wife, three kids...huge risk. I don't believe that the danger ever really occured to him.

    And now they want me to make a habit of checking the equipment thououghly every six months. I have my own set of keys and visa number.

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  • Jerry_15
    Jerry_15 Member Posts: 379
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    So are you saying that if theydah used KY instead of a petroleum lubricant(diesel fuel, baby oil), things would have went smoother? Right on, and good on ya for giving them some tough love. Oil in a hydronic system (or steam) is a RPITA, (first word is royal). It usually gets in from thread cutting oil on a installation, or sometimes a bad pump seal. You might want to think about running some kind of stuff to get it off the pipe walls. Salsoda was what the old guys used, but Rhomer and some others have fancy stuff that works. Good luck.
  • Homeowner
    Homeowner Member Posts: 22
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    Not propane

    This does look like a freon tank but just for future reference, if you remove the valve from a propane tank, it has the same threads as the end of a garden hose.
  • Perry_3
    Perry_3 Member Posts: 498
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    Comeon now.... The only real improvement needed is...

    to replace the garden hose with soft copper tubing and the appropriate fittings. Dang thing would probably last another 50 years (and if installed that way initially - a hundred years).

    Give the guy credit.

    1) They did install an expansion tank.

    2) It was a rated pressure tank.

    3) It is much better supported than the old steel expansion tank that was installed in my basement.

    4) It has lasted all this time without any problems.

    What's your beef with that?

    I once proposed to a new power plant that the way to handle their surge issue when the fire pump autostarted was to run a 12" pipe about 100 ft up one of the structural steel members, and put a screen and a breathing dust cap on it. That way the water could surge up and down as needed (normal firepump supply system pressure was about 25 to 30 PSI).

    They did not like my idea... It took them another 3 - 6 months to figure out how to make the firepump autostart without tripping from being starved of water and not damaging the pump in the process (What good is an emergency firepump that cannot be reliably depended on to autostart and not trip or destroy itself within a minute) - and then to be able to handle the service water system surge as it caught up on demand.

    Me, I'd just rather have had the fire pump pull 50 or 100 gallons out of that surge pipe I proposed to help start fighting a fire before the rest of the system caught up to the firepumps demand - and then have a place for the service water surge to go to.

    Besides, if they had a mind to they could have built that surge pipe in a couple of days.

    Oh well.... Textbook Engineers... (and for those who don't know me... I'm an Engineer too.... But in my case I started in the plants and then went to engineering school).

    Maybe someday I'll have a really tall house and have a surge pipe instead of the silly surge tank haning down from the basement cieling.

    Perry
  • Darrell
    Darrell Member Posts: 303
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    I used a commercial dish washing detergent...non-foaming, and made to cut grease and oil and rinse easily. Caustic as all get out, so I followed it with a generous helping of Herrcules boiler cleaner and watched the PH for awhile.

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  • Darrell
    Darrell Member Posts: 303
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    Most of us are better than Mac...all we need is money to fix something!

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  • Paul Rohrs_4
    Paul Rohrs_4 Member Posts: 466
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    Noted....

    Perry, all of your points are valid.

    IIRC, you work at a power plant. If you came to my house and went in the basement and found that I was generating power with my new "Mr.Fusion" that was complete with dual-overhead "flux capacitors" and secured with bailing wire and thum-gum, you would probably have some commentary about it, regardless of the sequence in which items were installed.

    It was just a bit unusual with what I found and how it was put together. Installing a new boiler in the past 5 years and still having that set up for expansion was not within the "Normal" hydronic practices.

    I'm uncertain if previous expansion tank failed after the boiler had been replaced or if the HO's had tried their hand with replacing it or what. If the contractor installing the boiler walked into that and did not correct it for whatever reason, I would find that suspect, wouldn't you?

    Regards,

    PR
  • Perry_3
    Perry_3 Member Posts: 498
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    Yup

    I agree that the install does not meet modern best standards - although unfortunately shall we say that "interesting" installs still happen today by heating "professionals."

    However, since I believe this is a house from the 50's (if I remember correctly) then this installation might well have exceeded the common standards of the day. That freon tank that was installed later may have actually been an improvement from what was originally installed in the house.

    Who originally used a garden hose... not sure. They may only have replaced an older hose with a newer hose.

    Also, keep in mind... that I do have a sense of humor and part of the intent of the above post was to "yank" a little bit.

    As far as your fusion reactor in your basement... Can I come look at it and see how it works? (I hope you don't mind that I'd bring some radiation monitoring equipment with me).

    Perry
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