Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spark Is King

Spark is King: The three main components needed for combustion are spark, fuel and air. You can have plenty of fuel and air, but without an ignition source (the spark) there will be no combustion. This is why spark has been deemed king of the ignition sequence.

The Solution: If a spark fails to ignite a unit, there are several steps that should be followed to correct the issue. First turn off the gas supply and remove the spark igniter from the mounting location. Then make sure that the spark igniter has a clear path into the exchanger. To verify this you take a small flat head screw driver and ream out the igniter mounting hole by pushing the refractor y material aside. Really make sure the path is clean. Next, reinstall the spark igniter while leaving the gas supply off. Finally, reset the system and check for a spark. Once a clean spark is established turn the gas supply on and the ignition process will come alive! Remember spark is king.

All of HTP’s products have a sight glass that allows technicians to take a look inside the heat exchanger. Technicians are able to see combustion take place through this sight glass. If the spark fails to ignite a boiler, then there is a good chance that it is shorting itself to ground. Electricity will always take the shortest path to ground.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Get The Most From Your High Efficiency Boiler

Many condensing boilers are installed in homes that are fitted with conventional baseboard.  Most homeowners who have these boilers installed are under the impression they’re getting more for their money.  Unfortunately they’re not realizing the vast savings they were led to expect.  Why?  In short, because the boiler still needs to deliver 180˚ water to the baseboard in order to heat the house properly.

Modulating Condensing boilers achieve their highest efficiencies when delivering low temperature water and receiving low return water temperatures (see the chart below).  The actual operating efficiency depends on the temperature of the return water stream: if it’s too warm then little condensation takes place and little extra energy is extracted.  The lower the return water temp in relation to that of the products of combustion, the greater the heat transfer to the water and thus greater efficiency. There’s no doubt that mod-con boilers are much more efficient than conventional boilers, but by sticking with conventional baseboard, they’re not realizing their full potential by rarely operating in condensing mode as they were designed to do.  To achieve the ultimate high efficiency system that allows the boiler to condense the majority of the time the installer needs to choose the ideal equipment for delivering heat using lower temperature water.  This is where Smith’s Environmental comes in.  Due to their unique designs, Smith’s products have the ability to deliver comparable BTUH’s to conventional equipment using 100˚- 120˚ F supply water.

A given length of Smith’s HE2 High Capacity Hybrid Heating Element can be used to replace the same length of regular baseboard and still deliver comparable BTU’s using much lower temperature water.  For example; a 10’ length of conventional baseboard has the ability to deliver roughly 600 BTU’s per linear foot or 6,000 BTU’s total with 180˚ supply water at 4 GPM.  A 10’ length of HE2 can deliver the same amount of BTU’s with only 120˚ supply water at 1 GPM* (*when installed with the two supplies in parallel).  At a 20˚ ΔT, the 100˚ return water temperature will enable the boiler to operate in full condensing mode for much greater efficiency. 

Geothermal heat pumps and solar-thermal collectors are designed to deliver lower temperature water making the proper choice of heating equipment that can deliver the necessary BTU’s even more critical. Don’t short-change your customers!  Give them the highest efficiency system possible by utilizing high efficiency heating components by Smith’s Environmental Products when installing Mod Con boilers!

Learn more in our free catalog here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Is A Condensate Neutralizer Necessary?

Yes, even if you don't have to use one.

Typical condensate from a condensing boiler has a pH level of 3.2 to 4.5, which is acidic enough to leave stains, kill shrubs, and eat away cast iron drainage systems. In fact, in some municipalities condensate neutralizers are required by law when draining condensate into home plumbing systems.

Condensate production can be estimated based on one gallon per hour for every 100,000 BTUs of input, so make sure the size of the neutralizer is correct. Condensate neutralizers contain ½" marble or limestone chips that are readily available at any home store. Our neutralizers are clear, to allow consumers to see if the marble or limestone chips are low and need to be replaced. So remember to include a condensate neutralizer when designing a system. Not only is it good for the environment, it may also be required by law.

Learn more here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Use A Delta-T Based Circulator?

Why use a Delta-T based circulator? Delta-T works, it has to, it's part of the Universal Hydronics Formula which governs everything from pipe sizing to circulator selection that states:

GPM = BTUH ÷ (∆T x 500)

Basic math tells us that if we change the heat load required while the Delta-T and the 500 constant remain the same, the GPM required to deliver the heat has to change (variable speed pumping). The pump will automatically speed up if the heat load increases and slow down if it decreases.

Delta-P is not part of the equation!

At best, Delta-P is a guess (and even when guessed properly it's based on design conditions, not 20° - 55° where the majority of degree days occur). Delta-P can still over or under-pump a zone and does little to improve system comfort.