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Dead Men Tales: The Redflash Reckoning

HeatingHelp Posts: 472
edited January 17 in THE MAIN WALL

The Redflash Reckoning

In this episode, Dan Holohan tells a story about a mansion with two Ideal Redflash boilers, each with a rating of 500,000 Btuh.

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  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,536
    This is the type of HISTORY lesson that I love about taking a @DanHolohan Seminar. I would never ask for my money back after hearing a story like that! LOL :smiley:
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,622
    Retired and loving it.
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 527
    Good story Dan.

    In my younger days, just out of tech school I worked for a man who's nickname was "up a size McDonald", since on every new installation he would install the next size larger furnace or boiler). He once installed a new Bryant 150,000 BTU hot air furnace in a 2 bedroom home that was less than 1000 sq ft living area. Talk about wide temperature swings.

    Most coal boilers are rated by the size of the grate and how much coal can be burned per square foot of that grate area and not by how many square feet of heating surface the boiler has. When you install a gas or oil burner, the boiler can be fired at a greater input than when firing coal. I am not sure what the input/output conversion factor is but it is somewhere around 2X. I saw a few of these large gravity hot water systems but since I mostly worked on larger steam systems I was truly amazed at the older steam systems with threaded pipe up to 12". A high school in Erie, Pa. had one of these systems.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,622
    Yes, I know that they based the size of the oil burner on the grate, and then bumped it up. And the gas guy followed that by looking at the size of the oil burner nozzle, and then bumping that up of course. Thanks for listening!
    Retired and loving it.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,321
    Aren't there various styles of compound wrenches to make up those huge threaded pipes?
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 326
    mattmia2 said:

    Aren't there various styles of compound wrenches to make up those huge threaded pipes?

    Yes. Reed makes them IIRC. Ridge only goes to 8" cap with a compound.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Steamfighter49
    Steamfighter49 Member Posts: 12
    To answer your first question, the guys who screwed in those 8” mains used 5’ wrenches sometimes with 6’ helpers. In those days us fitters were said to have size 60 shirts and size 2 hats. Also they wore white shirts and vests and helpers carried the tools.
    I went to a seminar when I was starting out by this guy from the Isle of Long. He said to always do a heat calc so I got out my ASHRAE books and calc sheets and took a half a day and did so. Figured the company sent me so I should do what he says. Almost always saved the owner money.
    Nowadays there are quick and easy computer programs that do calc much faster. No excuse not to use. I’m fact I got a job once because I had my green & white stripped computer print out of my heat calc. Impressed the hell out the owner of a large tire maker in town.
    Thanks Dan
    PC7060Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,622
    @Steamfighter49, you make it all worthwhile. Thanks!
    Retired and loving it.
  • TLong
    TLong Member Posts: 1
    I'm 70 yr's. old and have a relatively new Wells-McClain hot water boiler in my house connected to 1976 installed coppers baseboard heaters. While my wife also lives in the house, I find my boiler (which is installed on the ground level of the first floor), great company to me when she is out of the house. I hear all the noises coming from it,and appreciate it's presence here in these cold West Virgina Winters. But after listening to your podcast, I now realize why I find my boiler so important to me. It's because I am a 1973 graduate of Marshall University with a degree in Sociology! Now, I don't remember any of my Sociology classes having anything to do with home heating boilers, but there has to be a connection there somewhere!
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,622
    I'm a Hofstra grad with a Sociology degree. I got it at 36 years old, after being in this industry for 16 years. It seemed like the perfect major for this industry. Still does now that I'm 72!
    Retired and loving it.