Dave Yates

Dave Yates's Posts

Leaky Air-Conditioner Coil Leaky Air-Conditioner Coil

After replacing both a condensate pan and a pump, the plumber fixing my client's leaky air-conditioning coil finally determined that the problem was actually in the condensate drain. The drain's small trap was clogged with a mucuslike substance; unclogging it was a simple repair that took just a few minutes, but (needlessly) replacing the pump and pan cost my client a couple of service visits. Is the trap really necessary or is it just a way for hvac installers to set up nuisance service calls? Read more

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Installing a Vacuum-Tube Solar Collector Installing a Vacuum-Tube Solar Collector

These highly efficient systems are a good choice in cloudy or cold climates. Read more

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Q&A: Noisy Expansion Tank

Q: Even though I followed the manufacturer's specifications when I installed the 2-gallon thermal expansion tank and check valve for my customers' domestic hot-water system, they still complain of "clicking" noises, mainly during the heating season. Does Read more

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Proper Water-Heater Temperature Proper Water-Heater Temperature

Q: I recently learned that building codes in my state now require that newly installed water heaters be set at 140°F. But up until now, with concerns about energy conservation and scalding safety, 120°F was the normal setting. Why the change? Read more

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Protecting Water Heaters With Expansion Tanks

Q. We recently had to replace our relatively new gas-fired water heater when its internal flue tube collapsed, ruining the thermostat and causing hot combustion gases to spew out the front. The installer, who claimed that the water heater was ruined by thermal expansion, added a thermal-expansion tank to the system. But the temperature- and pressure-relief valve on the new heater still leaks occasionally, and even though we've had it replaced, the problem persists. What's going on? Read more

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