Blog

The price of oil

The price of crude has breached $100 per bbl, with some change to spare ‘ about $10 worth of change, so far. Much of the buzz with this development is on the potential of $4 per gallon gasoline, but attention is being paid to the impact on home heating with the average gallon of fuel topping an astronomical $3.68. As ...

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Relief Valves: A Safety Issue?

It’s been a while since I looked at the system relief valve as something there just to annoy me. In the field, I was the one the boss always yelled at for replacing so many! But, for good reason. I don’t want to have one fail on me when you need it to work. I remember one time when I ...

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Another Sad Story

Some of you who are from the state of Rhode Island may remember the recent sad story of a family who died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty gas heating system. This story drew so much attention that the governor of this state ordered a full scale investigation as to why this happened. I think for most of ...

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Feeling the Pressure from PRVs?

One thing that always surprises me in many conversations is the understanding or misunderstanding of the purpose of the pressure reducing valve (PRV) in the hydronic heating system. The PRV is designed to reduce the incoming water pressure’what we call ‘street pressure”‘to the operating pressure required for a particular application. The PRV is normally set to 15 PSI from the ...

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Economics, loopholes, opportunities and uncertainty

Fuel Oil News has provided a lot of coverage on the Enron loophole over at least the past year. When you look at the price of crude and refined product and follow some general parameters for what supply and demand should generate it becomes obvious that something is artificially adding to that price. The primary culprit being singled out today ...

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A little bit of hot water

My earliest memory of hydronic radiant heating systems dates back to when I was a young child visiting my grandparents’ apartments in Chicago during the late 1960s and early 1970s. My maternal grandparents lived on the second floor of what could perhaps be best described as a duplex. Its age is unknown to me, but it certainly dated back to ...

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Boiler Water Temperatures

Very often we hear about water temperature concerns on both the domestic and heating side. Many contractors have experienced calls with domestic water temperatures that are reported as too hot. Examples ‘ in the care giving nursing homes where the temperature of the water is not to exceed 110 degrees or the homeowner complaining the water is just too hot. ...

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Guilty by Association?

A few years ago, I wrote an article about soot and how it can occur. The article was published and I received many comments about it ‘ most good and a few bad. Such is the life I lead. The interesting thing about it was that many e-mails and phone questions I received had nothing to do with the article ...

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A whole lot goin’ on

So, 2008 has arrived and the industry is gearing up for the seasonal rush with hopefully a bit more cold weather than what some forecasters have predicted. On a low note, oil prices have reached sticker shock proportions that will impact inventory costs and the patience of their customers. Both of our regular columnists, John Griffin and Charles Bursey, cover ...

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