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Quality of help on the Wall

CanecreekCanecreek Member Posts: 21
First let me say of all the places on the net I have ever searched for help on any subject this sight is hands down the best. I have been able find or get answers to all my questions here concerning boiler technology. You guys are very generous with your knowledge and experience.

That being said it seems some of you guys get a little testy when you find out some home owner is tring to go it alone. Don't get me wrong I fully appreciate the irritation of some yahoo digging for hard learned and earned information because they are just looking for a cheap way out. I have been a building contractor for 35 years so I know all about the guy who wants me to tell him how to do his own work and is wearing me out every fifteen minutes on the phone asking questions I have answered 3 times then arguing with me about why he thinks he should do it another way. I live in a small remote southern town where heat pumps are the norm and the only boilers you see are in a 100 year old manufacturing facility and steam. When I started looking at replacing my oil fired boiler I talked to all the local plumbers who suggested everything from converting my 65% efficient boiler to gas with a Carlin and no mention of lining my flue to using on demand water heaters with a pump hooked to a thermastat with no idea of heat loss or flow requirements. Just add several together in series untill you have enough. I have been at it along time and know when I am talking to subs who are clueless. I knew I would have to get an education in order to sort out what to do. I spent hours and hours reading and learning about boiler technology and application. When I felt I had a pretty good handle on it I began actually asking question on this sight. In order to do away with my confusion. I tried to find answers every way I could on my own because the last thing I want to do is waste your valuable time you are so generously putting into reading and responding to these posts. I feel I have asked some pretty poor questions here that I could have found answers to by just continuing my research but I am running out of time. I have only a small space heater and no hot water. The lows are in the low 30's now and it is getting tough. I still will not rush this thing and risk boiler damage or worse.

Anyway enough of this rant. I do not want to tic you guys off any worse. Please try to consider sometimes laymen are in a position of little or no reliable choice. The most reliable choice I seem to have here is this site. Thank you all who have responded to me. If any of you need kitchen design help send me an email weather you responded to me or not. I have really nice design software and my designs have repeatedly won gold awards in the parade of homes. I like to help others too!

Once again thanks,



  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Moderator Posts: 11,877
    Thanks, Tom.

    Everyone is welcome here. I appreciate your offer to help with knowledge that many of the pros who visit here don't have. Each of us brings certain talents to this place and that's what makes it work.

    EVERYONE is welcome here. Thanks.
    Site Administrator

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    Hug your kids.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    If someone doesn't think someone is capable of something, they usually ignore them. If someone is trying to do something that is dangerous and above their capabilities, someone might be testy if the offender is obnoxious or doesn't accept the help.

    Some help is in the form of opinions. Opinions are like you know what. We all have one.

    Some problems are overthought. I don't know your situation but it sounds like you have been asking around for a lot of ideas. Well and good. But if someone you don't know gives you an opinion that you try to explain to someone that has no idea what you are talking about, the eyes glass over.

    I have done something for at least 40 years that sounds like what you need. It has worked for me well over 100 times. But there are some around and here that say it absolutely will not work and is wasteful. I don't bother anymore because they are smart and I am not.

    But I works for me an always will.

    The one thing that evens out all the issues becomes what someone will pay. What is it I say here last night?  Expensive is expensive. But cheap is costly. Or, you get what you pay for by what you are willing to pay for.
  • earl burnermannearl burnermann Member Posts: 126

    I think most members are pretty generous about sharing their knowledge. I belong to another site that has a forum called ask our professionals. The most common reply to threads in this forum is "contact a professional."

    They do not want to give away their knowlge for free or seeing anyone hurt themselves or others. Here it seem that, for the most part, we try and keep people from hurting themselves.
    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!
  • CanecreekCanecreek Member Posts: 21

    Thanks Dan,

    I value what I receive and offer other anything I can
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356

    Most of us try to guide homeowners in the right direction -- often that takes the form of "ask your contractor this" or "insist that they do that." 

    "Call a pro" is just not good enough when it comes to hydronic heat (of all types.)  The state of the industry as experienced by the end-user is quite frankly execrable in many parts of the country.  Many of us here own hold licenses and run businesses, but we just hate seeing yet another customer get screwed by yet another clueless installer or repair person.  The more informed and aware that customer is, the more likely they are to select a competent installer.  I for one do not see this as a threat to my business or the integrity of my profession -- quite the opposite, in fact.
  • CanuckerCanucker Member Posts: 321

    That is the perfect attitude to have. If you educate the consumer, they will be able to make more informed decisions and, in my opinion, it will be much easier to sell your installs because they'll know exactly why yours may cost more than the cheapest guy. Education helps everyone, in every line of work
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Moderator Posts: 11,877

    And piling on a non-pro on this very-searchable site can hurt your prospects for years to come. Like Facebook, this stuff never goes away. Being nice pays dividends.
    Site Administrator

    [email protected]

    Hug your kids.
  • bld999bld999 Member Posts: 43
    Have to agree...

    I also spent 28 yrs. as a builder [gc, retired recently] similar to the first poster. In my view there is a large concentration of talent and generosity here. I have also had the frequent frustration of having to say to the naive questions over the years that the answer is to hire a pro. That answer is appropriate when the asker is so deep in never-never land that the detail would take fourteen single spaced pages to properly treat. Who has the time? They would likely not get it anyway. In most schools you pay tuition.

     Other amatuers  try hard to school themselves and deserve some detail and help.

    You guys play in a field that is so technical and experienced based that my guess is fewer than 10% of bad installs asked about here actually get wrenches put on by owners. They likely just spend the money all over again, hopefully on something that works.
  • CanecreekCanecreek Member Posts: 21

    The whole purpose for my being here is that through the years at least 3 separate contractors have installed boilers in my house and none have come close to working properly. All 3 have rusted out due to heavy condensation due to extreme short cycling. I have been forced as a home owner and an experienced builder to learn how boiler systems work in order to avoid another disaterous install. I still have issues I do not fully understand but refuse to proceed until I fully comprehend the cause and effect of each and every component and configuration iinvolved. I have studied every resource I can find in order to understand the engineering involved with assembling a good efficient boiler system. This site has been hands down the best resource I have been able to locate. Without the help of pros here I would be very lost in this quest. I am greatful for any input to my posts weather it is what I want to hear or not. In my many years of construction I have long found the only way to be sure a contractor knows what they are doing is to understand what they are doing. Otherwise it is strictly trust. Trust works great when you have used some one several times and they always preform. NO ONE WORKS IN MY HOUSE UNLESS I AM 100% SURE THE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING! I have contracted extremely complicated systems of various types over the years and few go beyond the complications of boiler system design. You guys who have spent years acquiring this knowledge then readily sharing it with any stranger who comes along are nothing short of amazing. Thank you all. Remember there are an awful lot of contractors out there in every trade who are completely clueless about what they are doing. When you combine a home owner who is even more clueless the result is an expensive disaster. I am tring to avoid that disaster.

  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,256

    I don't know if you know about the site, but go to Taco FloPro University. You'll find information that you won't believe. They have tutorials that take you from start to  finish, designing a system. I think if you look around this site, you'll see that the biggest cause of problems with peoples systems, is that the installer simply didn't follow the manufacturers instructions. After problem arise with the system, the homeowner opens the I&O packet(for the 1st time), and reallizes what he has doesn't even resemble what is in the manual. Best Wishes

  • CanecreekCanecreek Member Posts: 21
    Proper installs

    Thanks Paul,

    When I was researching my Viessmann at first I was concerned about fault codes and lock outs in the middle of the night. After further investigation into these complaints I realized they were almost allrelated to improper install or coding. I saw one complaint of a gas valve failure that everyone involved agreed was a one In a million fluke. I read review after review by pros that said they had installed many of these units without a single callback. I continued searching and soon discovered that almost all of the problems with Mod Cons could be directly traced to an installation issue. JUST FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURERS RECOMENDATIONS has always worked best for me. Select a product from accompany with a good reputation then except their engineering instructions.they spend a lot of money figuring this stuf out.
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