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Forced Electrification

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  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    JakeCK said:

    In such a harsh climate isn't a tight, very well insulated house the ultimate solution to that -5F? If you have a house that's so well insulated a fart could heat it then it doesn't matter much does it? And that is true no matter what climate you are in. Just have to account for vapor movement. Which is a pita.

    And those who are out in the sticks more often then not have lots of open land for those solar panels I talked about. But more importantly, the number of people out in the sticks is nothing compared to the cities. If only the suburbs and cities were tackled and the rural areas ignored and allowed to do what ever they needed, it would solve the problems.

    Well now. Yes, we do have lots of open land. Some of us farm it to feed the teeming millions. Last I heard, you can't eat a solar panel. Some of us keep it in open space, which makes some of the suburbanites very happy (and raises our property taxes)(as do solar panels).

    But you second paragraph shines a spotlight on the basic problem. You say if "the rural areas [were] ignored and allowed to do what ever they needed...". Quite true. We'd be just fine, and so would the city and suburban folks. But when you have Sacramento or Albany or wherever -- or Washington -- handy down diktats, that isn't what happening.
    What's a "handy down diktat" ?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,661
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    @ChrisJ the EIA says 87% of US homes have AC.

    So? What about the remaining 13%? And what fraction of that 87% is central air?

    My point remains: so long as people mandate things which don't suit and won't suit, you are going to get piushback. Attack the immeidiate problem, and don't try to force others to force fit your solution.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,917
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    @Jamie Hall very few mandates are happening. Mostly, the market is deciding. As previously stated, the most efficient solution that also provides cooling has a lot in its favor. 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,661
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    Well, perhaps not so many, but some have a very large impact (no fossil fueled vehicles or light trucks after, I believe, 2035? Works in LA. Maybe not so much in Bishop? Or Lee Vining?)... However, this is a deeply political and philosophical topic, and thus not well-suited to The Wall.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,219
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    @ChrisJ the EIA says 87% of US homes have AC.

    That is probably single family detached homes... which are mostly in the suburbs. In the city in multi-unit buildings in Chicago, there is very little A/C, even if you count window A/C.

    Most people that are in areas that need central heating systems live around the 42nd north parallel like Chicago, our design temps here are about 2F on the south side and around -4 on the north side. Moving out into the burbs the design temps are even lower, since there is no lake effect.

    This is a world wide norm because 42 degrees north is the most temperate climate. Next is 42 degree south, not as temperate as north, but much better than most places.

    Also, you can't group the city and suburbs. Most older northern cities are built at higher densities, which makes the buildings inherently more efficient ( more internal floor area for the same amount of exposed area). The heat loss in most older pre WWII buildings is only around 20 btu/sq ft., which is not much higher than the energy efficient homes being built today. The addition of some simple thermal improvement like low e glass storms and air tightening and insulating attics would probably bring that down to around 15 btu/sq ft.... better than virtually any new home unless built by contractors that specialize in high efficienecy construction. Of course that density also limits solar collection ability. It also makes the grids more cost efficient. The grid serves many more customers for the same infrastructure. Right now the denser areas are subsidizing the cost of the grid for the suburbs and rural areas.

    The biggest energy hogs are the suburbs...lots of single family detached housing and huge amounts of automobile use.

    Probably the best solution in the near term is to maintain the much more cost efficient grids in the central cities, the suburbs and truly rural areas should be the focus on energy conservation and solar, with local grids as it seems appropriate in denser areas like towns.

    Like Jamie said, different areas will require different solutions. Its a problem that the Western Mind no longer seem to see this. The belief is that everyone should use the same construction as 42 degrees north ( US And Europe) despite it being inappropriate in other climates.

    It's sort of sad that nearly all the focus on energy conservation is in the cities, where it is in general needed the least. Chicago and New York are obvious examples.
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  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,219
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    Well, perhaps not so many, but some have a very large impact (no fossil fueled vehicles or light trucks after, I believe, 2035? Works in LA. Maybe not so much in Bishop? Or Lee Vining?)... However, this is a deeply political and philosophical topic, and thus not well-suited to The Wall.

    LA doesn't have enough power for electric cars. This is despite the fact that the per capital electrical usage in Southern California has been nearly flat since the mid 70's when mandated efficiency programs where implemented. I'd say its a lesson that can teach much of the rest of the country.... huge population
    growth with almost no growth of electrical usage. Of course, Southern CA doesn't really need A/C and the energy consumed by cars is probably insane, like most suburban areas.
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  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,417
    edited July 2022
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    @The Steam Whisperer are you talking about colonial houses vs ranches? I've known colonials are better then ranches with heat loss and gain. That is just because ranches are much more spread out where as colonials are stacked reducing the surface area exposed. But is there something inherently worse about a modern colonial vs a pre WW2 that hurts their efficiency?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,661
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    @The Steam Whisperer has made excellent points -- and I agree with all of them. Suburbs are energy hogs. So, for that matter, are at least some modern cities -- I'd point to LA and Phoenix as being that way, but there are others. And the point about different construction and other solutions (HVAC, lighting, etc.) being different for different places is something we all too often forget.

    To @JakeCK question -- yes I would say there is. I think the situation is getting better after a pretty dismal low point from the efficiency standpoint, but only marginally. The difference is in construction materials and to a lesser extent techniques. I am more familiar, however, with pre-1900 (even pre-1800!) construction, which is even better. But to give you the idea, consider an outside wall in an 1819 house -- not high end, just an ordinary farmhouse in New England. From the outside, you have wooden clapboards, an air sealing layer, a layer of sheathing which will be true 1 inch or thicker hard pine, often shiplap, then the wall cavity which will be usually 4 inch or 6 inch true, then lathe and plaster, typically an inch to an inch and a half total thickness. There may or may not be insulation. It's airtight. Vx. a modern stick built house: Vinyl siding, 5/8 inch OSB or plywood sheathing, a 3 1/4 inch wall cavity, and 1/2 inch plaster board. Maybe a Tyvek wind shield. A high end modern window will beat a 200 year old double hung, but only when it's new -- and it can't be repaired. A 200 year old double hung, with a storm sash and a little maintenance, is completely equal. Then there is the architecture -- window and door sizes and placement, orientation to the sun, that sort of thing.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,967
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    JakeCK said:

    In such a harsh climate isn't a tight, very well insulated house the ultimate solution to that -5F? If you have a house that's so well insulated a fart could heat it then it doesn't matter much does it? And that is true no matter what climate you are in. Just have to account for vapor movement. Which is a pita.

    And those who are out in the sticks more often then not have lots of open land for those solar panels I talked about. But more importantly, the number of people out in the sticks is nothing compared to the cities. If only the suburbs and cities were tackled and the rural areas ignored and allowed to do what ever they needed, it would solve the problems.

    Well insulated homes suffer from other issues mainly Indoor Air Quality. Living inside a plastic bag increases indoor RH, CO, CO2, less O2. A house needs to breath just as we do. A complete air change is recommended every 3 - 4 hours to maintain a healthy environment.
    GGrossreggi
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    edited July 2022
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    Ok ok....


    Here in the far NE, the oldest construction we have is about 1870. And it is dismal at best, as far as efficiency is concerned. 

    I am somewhat biased because I grew up in a 1922 Colonial Revival. My parents still live there in fact. It is balloon framed (very common here) 2x4 with cedar shingles, rosin paper (pinkish) one layer of 1" pine, K&T wireing and lathe and horsehair plaster. We had to open up one corner room due to water leakage a few years ago. So I can conform this type of construction throughout. No sheetrock accept those 2 exterior walls. Only insulation was 6" vermiculite with 6" fiberglass over it in the attic. 

    Double hung counterweighted windows (32 of them). With full storms Dad put on every fall. 

    I FROZE growing up, they burned oil, wood lots of both. 

    My "modern" home has 5/8" plywood T111, Tyvek, R19 Fiberglass, 1.5" Polyisocyanurate, 3/4" strapping, 1/2" sheetrock. Ceiling is the same construction with 12" fiberglass over the 1.5" Polyiso. 

    To say the least, I burn literally 1/4 the wood, no oil and our home is always comfortable no matter the sub- zero outdoor temps. Both homes withing 10%  the same square footage. 

    I work in many homes which are constructed this pre-war way. I just don't see any energy merit, style yes if that is your thing. I like mid-century architecture. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    pecmsg said:

    JakeCK said:

    In such a harsh climate isn't a tight, very well insulated house the ultimate solution to that -5F? If you have a house that's so well insulated a fart could heat it then it doesn't matter much does it? And that is true no matter what climate you are in. Just have to account for vapor movement. Which is a pita.

    And those who are out in the sticks more often then not have lots of open land for those solar panels I talked about. But more importantly, the number of people out in the sticks is nothing compared to the cities. If only the suburbs and cities were tackled and the rural areas ignored and allowed to do what ever they needed, it would solve the problems.

    Well insulated homes suffer from other issues mainly Indoor Air Quality. Living inside a plastic bag increases indoor RH, CO, CO2, less O2. A house needs to breath just as we do. A complete air change is recommended every 3 - 4 hours to maintain a healthy environment.
    That's one of the reasons I haven't really messed with my drafty 2 story tent, besides cost.
    It has issues, but it breaths well.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    pecmsgreggi
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,417
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    Most indoor air quality issues can be handled using energy or heat recovery ventilation. However another consideration about indoor air quality is all the synthetic furnishings we buy today. Lots of off gassing. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    JakeCK said:

    Most indoor air quality issues can be handled using energy or heat recovery ventilation. However another consideration about indoor air quality is all the synthetic furnishings we buy today. Lots of off gassing. 


    Energy or heat recovery ventilation... yeah those setups are cheap.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,219
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    JakeCK said:

    @The Steam Whisperer are you talking about colonial houses vs ranches? I've known colonials are better then ranches with heat loss and gain. That is just because ranches are much more spread out where as colonials are stacked reducing the surface area exposed. But is there something inherently worse about a modern colonial vs a pre WW2 that hurts their efficiency?

    Yep, you've got the sense of what I'm saying. Keeping the exposed exterior surface at a minimum while maximizing interior floor area inherent makes a more efficient structure.

    The early 1900's foursquare is an example, as is the 1950's Georgian ( thats what they're called in Chicago) They are essentially cubes.

    Jamie makes another good point... plaster walls in old houses that are in good shape tend to be much more airtight than drywall in newer homes. The plaster extends all the way to the floor and conforms to irregularities in the framing. One of the most effective building methods is the airtight drywall method, where the drywall is sealed to the top and bottom plates and an exterior wall adjacent studs, with all the openings sealed. This also is quite effective in preventing condensation in exterior walls in the winter. I believe the Canadians were using this technique for nearly all new construction in the 1980's. Old plaster is similiar to this construction.
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  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
    edited July 2022
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    JakeCK said:

    @The Steam Whisperer are you talking about colonial houses vs ranches? I've known colonials are better then ranches with heat loss and gain. That is just because ranches are much more spread out where as colonials are stacked reducing the surface area exposed. But is there something inherently worse about a modern colonial vs a pre WW2 that hurts their efficiency?

    Yep, you've got the sense of what I'm saying. Keeping the exposed exterior surface at a minimum while maximizing interior floor area inherent makes a more efficient structure.

    The early 1900's foursquare is an example, as is the 1950's Georgian ( thats what they're called in Chicago) They are essentially cubes.

    Jamie makes another good point... plaster walls in old houses that are in good shape tend to be much more airtight than drywall in newer homes. The plaster extends all the way to the floor and conforms to irregularities in the framing. One of the most effective building methods is the airtight drywall method, where the drywall is sealed to the top and bottom plates and an exterior wall adjacent studs, with all the openings sealed. This also is quite effective in preventing condensation in exterior walls in the winter. I believe the Canadians were using this technique for nearly all new construction in the 1980's. Old plaster is similiar to this construction.

    I suspect my plaster was actually very sealed until electricians started cutting holes in it.
    I'm not sure if it's normal and I bet I've even asked but can't remember.

    My trim is on the studs and then they plastered to the trim, using it as an edge. Is this normal, or just whatever whoever did the work decided to do? At least, that's certainly what it looks like went on.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,219
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    ChrisJ said:


    JakeCK said:

    @The Steam Whisperer are you talking about colonial houses vs ranches? I've known colonials are better then ranches with heat loss and gain. That is just because ranches are much more spread out where as colonials are stacked reducing the surface area exposed. But is there something inherently worse about a modern colonial vs a pre WW2 that hurts their efficiency?

    Yep, you've got the sense of what I'm saying. Keeping the exposed exterior surface at a minimum while maximizing interior floor area inherent makes a more efficient structure.

    The early 1900's foursquare is an example, as is the 1950's Georgian ( thats what they're called in Chicago) They are essentially cubes.

    Jamie makes another good point... plaster walls in old houses that are in good shape tend to be much more airtight than drywall in newer homes. The plaster extends all the way to the floor and conforms to irregularities in the framing. One of the most effective building methods is the airtight drywall method, where the drywall is sealed to the top and bottom plates and an exterior wall adjacent studs, with all the openings sealed. This also is quite effective in preventing condensation in exterior walls in the winter. I believe the Canadians were using this technique for nearly all new construction in the 1980's. Old plaster is similiar to this construction.

    I suspect my plaster was actually very sealed until electricians started cutting holes in it.
    I'm not sure if it's normal and I bet I've even asked but can't remember.

    My trim is on the studs and then they plastered to the trim, using it as an edge. Is this normal, or just whatever whoever did the work decided to do? At least, that's certainly what it looks like went on.

    In my previous house ( circa 1906) they used 1x boards to set the grounds and plastered to them. Trim was 3 piece that went on top of the plaster. Our old house was pretty high end construction...3 piece base with 1 x 8 boards. I think our current house was similar with plaster grounds and then trim installed later.
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  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 936
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    @ChrisJ I have seen baseboards and trim applied to the framing before the plaster and used as a plaster stop in very old construction, circa 1835.

    Bburd
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    bburd said:

    @ChrisJ I have seen baseboards and trim applied to the framing before the plaster and used as a plaster stop in very old construction, circa 1835.

    Interesting.
    Mine is 1860s.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,219
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    It sounds like it may just be a progression of technique. My home are both early 1900's. You go back to 1830 to 1860s, plaster walls were probably quite a luxury.
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  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    I'd love to see blower door data on an unadulterated lathe and plaster house. I just don't buy that it is that tight. At least the pre-war homes I've lived and worked in. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    hot_rod
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    I'd love to see blower door data on an unadulterated lathe and plaster house. I just don't buy that it is that tight. At least the pre-war homes I've lived and worked in. 

    Mine doesn't have sheathing, just clap board.
    Its not tight at least not anymore.


    Not all of us are blessed with modern houses like @JakeCK :D
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    reggi
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,110
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    Many old homes around here were "back plastered".

    This was done before the lath and plaster was applied to the studs for the finish wall.

    Vertical lath nailed against the outside sheathing along side each stud.
    Then short horizonal lath nailed between the studs on those strips.

    Then that lathing was completely plastered leaving about 2 -1/2" air space inside the wall.

    Then lath and plaster the finish wall.

    Probably very air tight wall assembly.

    But very difficult to rewire and not friendly to drilling and blowing in insulation.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,417
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    ChrisJ said:
    I'd love to see blower door data on an unadulterated lathe and plaster house. I just don't buy that it is that tight. At least the pre-war homes I've lived and worked in. 
    Mine doesn't have sheathing, just clap board. Its not tight at least not anymore. Not all of us are blessed with modern houses like @JakeCK :D
    What are you talking about, my house is almost 100 years old?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
    edited July 2022
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    JakeCK said:
    ChrisJ said:
    I'd love to see blower door data on an unadulterated lathe and plaster house. I just don't buy that it is that tight. At least the pre-war homes I've lived and worked in. 
    Mine doesn't have sheathing, just clap board. Its not tight at least not anymore. Not all of us are blessed with modern houses like @JakeCK :D
    What are you talking about, my house is almost 100 years old?
    Mine was 60+ when yours was built.



    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ratio
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,417
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    ChrisJ said:
    JakeCK said:
    ChrisJ said:
    I'd love to see blower door data on an unadulterated lathe and plaster house. I just don't buy that it is that tight. At least the pre-war homes I've lived and worked in. 
    Mine doesn't have sheathing, just clap board. Its not tight at least not anymore. Not all of us are blessed with modern houses like @JakeCK :D
    What are you talking about, my house is almost 100 years old?
    Mine was 60+ when yours was built.



    And that makes it modern by today's standards? 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    JakeCK said:
    ChrisJ said:
    JakeCK said:
    ChrisJ said:
    I'd love to see blower door data on an unadulterated lathe and plaster house. I just don't buy that it is that tight. At least the pre-war homes I've lived and worked in. 
    Mine doesn't have sheathing, just clap board. Its not tight at least not anymore. Not all of us are blessed with modern houses like @JakeCK :D
    What are you talking about, my house is almost 100 years old?
    Mine was 60+ when yours was built.



    And that makes it modern by today's standards? 
    Yeah.

    Some guys have all the luck.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,661
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    Centre section of Cedric's home is around 1780. South end around 1810. North end 1893... north end is by far the leakiest, but even that is not that bad.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ChrisJ
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,417
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    How leaky do ya'll think this is? 
    This is that door I want to remove. 


  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    JakeCK said:
    How leaky do ya'll think this is? 
    This is that door I want to remove. 



    I wouldn't install it on a submarine.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Canucker