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Operator's Manuals

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Jamie Hall
Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,323
Most of us either have a library of operation and install manuals hagning around -- or, in these days of the internet, have figured out how to find the manuals on line.

However, may I make a suggestion? Those manuals cover the individual widgets, from relay boxes to boilers and furnaces, but how hard would it be to make an installation manual? As we are all aware, each installation is a little bit different. Having a manual and diagram of how the system was supposed to work, and what device did what, and what the wiring (neatly labelled, please) did would be a big help.

This is particularly true of those who come up will various somewhat different approaches to control or operation, where the original purpose and arrangement -- while perfectly obvious to the person doing the work -- may not be quite so obvious to someone else working on it.
Br. Jamie, osb
Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
reggi

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Couldn't hurt, right? Here's a nice write up by the gang at Caleffi.
    https://www.caleffi.com/usa/en-us/news/documenting-hydronic-systems

    I'd really put the burden on service managers. No tech should go on a service call without all the history of the system, and any documentation needed to service a piece of equipment.

    In general, every component has a wiring diagram. Granted, they're so small you can barely read them, then one scratch, smudge or grease mark and they're pretty useless.

    Basically with the exception of an EK or Buderus controls, not a lot of new under the sun, especially for oil.
    New systems should have all the manuals left on sight, and unless they're more than a basic system, documented with piping/wiring diagrams for the next tech.

    I started with a huge catalog of manuals and wiring diagrams. I even made a small little binder with index cards and printed out everything for service.

    Then as the years go by, and things get locked into my memory (for now at least) I start shedding the pages of things I don't, can't or won't remember. I'm down to 4 cards for controls & motors (mostly ohms readings check outs for different motors/transformers), a couple cards for Riello.
    I keep a few books in the truck for reference:
    -Advanced Oil Burners-George Lanthier
    -Advanced Riello Oil-George Lanthier
    -Carlin complete engineering manual.
    -Lynn combustion chamber catalog
    -And a Field Controls catalog.
    In my meter bag I have the Carlin ProMaxx diagnostic card and a Riello Burner diagnostic card.

    On my phone is pretty much everything else-lots of Taco/Nest, EK/Nest stuff, and customer related Tekmar control manuals. All the equipment manuals I may need for most of the customers in my customer base are in my customer database on my phone for easy look up if needed.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,007
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    Good suggestion. How do you propose to deal with the nuances of the multitude of boilers, pressure controls, etc.? Perhaps you can define the scope ( 1 pipe or 2 pipe, gas or oil fired, pressure or vacuum, with or without drop header, float or probe LWCO ) so we can understand it.

    I have a Powerpoint slide for the single pipe with 2 mains for my house. I attached it for info. The numbers in boxes identify the sections of pipe that I used a couple of years ago to do some calculations. They can easily be removed.

    I recently messaged @dopey27177 about his book. He said it was written for the home owner and technician to understand how steam heating works. It has a little history of steam, has drawings of piping systems, explains radiator venting, steam trapping and has a trouble shooting guide.

    He did not include boilers or heating controls because the book would be confusing for people that read at a 8 grade level and below.

    @dopey27177 What do you say?


  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,666
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    However, may I make a suggestion? Those manuals cover the individual widgets, from relay boxes to boilers and furnaces, but how hard would it be to make an installation manual? As we are all aware, each installation is a little bit different. Having a manual and diagram of how the system was supposed to work, and what device did what, and what the wiring (neatly labelled, please) did would be a big help.

    I think this is required somewhere in the mechanical code, at least wiring and piping diagrams and a description of how it works and what needs to be done to maintain it.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    I used to drive around with a truck full of binders and books. Now with the internet it is much easier. I got used to only carrying what I needed......of course this is constantly changing
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,666
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    SteamingatMohawk
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    @mattmia2 which code are you quoting?

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  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,666
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    That is the mechanical section of the michigan residential code but i have the 2015 edition.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,323
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    I'm thinking at least as much about the assorted wiring tangles and miscellaneous things which seem to get added on -- of necessity or otherwise -- in systems out in the wild. Odd pressure switches Timers with miscellaneous functions. Truly astonishing wiring for Nests and other widgets 00 or even perfectly ordinary controls wired up in creative ways. Pumps in odd corners, or valves set "just so".

    Wouldn't it be nice to walk into a job -- say no heat at oh dark hundred in a blizzard -- and find a nice little manual of what's where and what it's supposed to do?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    ...Wouldn't it be nice to walk into a job -- say no heat at oh dark hundred in a blizzard...

    The next time that happens will be the first time that happens for me.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    @STEVEusaPA

    LOL I agree :)

    The only information I find is in my own hand writing with a black sharpie. And what's in my head.


    With most of the "so called know it alls" in this business the information you leave behind is no good.

    They won't take the time to look at a steam boiler install manual piping diagram
    STEVEusaPAreggi
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,007
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    From a piping point of view, I tend to think the rules/concepts pretty much apply the same to all boilers. The nuance on the steam side is the DOE heating capacity vs. size and number of tappings coupled with the available space. That wouldn't be very difficult to flesh out.

    On the return side, depending on 1 vs. 2 pipe, pressure vs. vacuum and number of mains, there are only a few general configurations (ignoring hot water setups in addition to heating).

    Electrically, there is a similar set of requirements, but I am not knowledgeable enough to know anything about the "IT" thermostats and all their "superwhamadine" features. Being born before TVs had color screens, I am somewhat skeptical of trying to fit 21st century technology into a 19th century heating system. But I am willing to learn.

    That being said, I am very much an advocate for a wireless thermostat (can move anywhere around the building without having to do wiring) coupled with wifi connectivity for remote monitoring and control.
    Daveinscranton