[+]What should I do to help prevent damage to my house in Cold Weather?
[+]What is the difference between "automatic" and "will call"?
Automatic means that Pep- Up will automatically determine when a customer needs a fuel delivery by using degree day monitoring. The customer does not need to call into the office to place an order for delivery. Will call means that the customer is responsible for monitoring how much fuel they are using, and will call in for a delivery when needed. We recommend giving us a call with your tank is at about 25% to place an order for delivery.
[+]What are Degree Days?
[+]What is a K-Factor?
Along the lines of "miles per gallon", a k-factor is "degree days per gallon". Your heating system will use one gallon of oil for a certain number of degree days, which varies from home to home. After topping your tank off 2 or 3 times we can determine your k factor. Once established, your deliveries will be based on your k- factor and the number of degree days since your last delivery.
[+]We have a vexing propane issue that none of our providers have any productive theories about. I am hoping you might have some ideas.
Situation: We use propane for our two 75-gallon water heaters and our Miele cooktop. The house is 2-years old, so all three appliances are new. We also have a gas fireplace, but that has been shut off for 8 months or more. There are four people in our house, so figure we take not more than 4 showers a day and do maybe 6 loads of laundry a week in high efficiency front loading machines (also two years old)
Problems: 1) We are using 2.2 gallons of propane a day and are going through our 500-gallon tank of propane in less than 5 months. Essentially, that is 2.2 gallons being consumed by the two water heaters. The flames in the water heaters are blue (vs. yellow).
2) We get soot build up and yellow flames on the cooktop. We have had Miele visit not less than 6 times. They confirm that the unit is a propane unit and they have replaced all the nozzles, just for good measure. Typically the burners will burn blue for a while, but after they have been on for a while (10 min?) the quality of the flame will deteriorate and become increasingly yellow.
3) When we have used the fireplace, we had to be careful to get good ventilation going, as the fireplace gave off a gas-like odor while in use and generates a lot of soot on the logs.
Trouble shooting so far: The house has been pressure tested not less than 3 times by the gas company. The gas company replaced the regulator(s) on the system. The tank has been pressure tested and is presently out of the equation because they have set up a temporary 50-gallon tank to eliminate any problems that might be originating at the tank. As mentioned above, the Miele people have been out about 6 times and have come to the conclusion that if we replaced our cooktop, we should expect to have the same problems, because they feel the cooktop is in perfect working order and is definitely a propane (vs. LNG) unit.
So.... what in the world is happening that would cause us to consume 2.2 gallons a day? What could be causing the poor combustion on both the cooktop and the fireplace? Any suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated
Well to start, it sounds like your supplier has done the proper tests will a leak check and changing the regulators to help rule out a possible intermittent problem with them. The consumption would then be pretty much verified. The two water heaters obviously are the users based on your question. I got four showers a day and laundry. Not knowing the water use specifically for either. A few other items to check would be if you have a circulation line for you hot water and if so, the length of time it runs and if the lines are insulated. Other items to verify, no hot water leaks/consumption. There have been situations that a hot/cold water line has been reversed. Toilet/ and other items you typically would not notice. You may check the lines where they connect to the washer/dryer as well, (if you have a line to the dryer, some now have wrinkle features that use water).
As far as the fireplace, log placement is critical and should be verified with the installation manual.
The cook top operation would best be verifies by the manufacturer which you have said your have done.
Have the pressures been checked at the appliances when all of them have been operating at the same time? Verify proper line sizing for all of the appliances.
[+]I have an older Gasboy fuel pump that does not hold its vacuum/prime. I need to squirt oil on the vanes to get the pump to work. The pump base is badly scored where the vanes rub. Is honing the base to remove the scoring, along with new vanes, likely to help? I would rather not disassemble the whole thing to replace the base. In advance, thank you.
Good question. I would start by checking at the base of the pump. At the base should be a cover plate which may be stamped "check valve" If there is one, with the power disconnected, face protection and no ignition sources around, along with something to catch the fuel which may come out, check and make sure it is clean and the gasket material is intact.
After verification of no issues there, then the best consideration as you said would be to replace the pump. Be careful because it is very easy to put the vanes in incorrectly.