Articles by Bill Johnson

Btu Buddy 63: Cleaning and Filling a Hot Water System

June 23, 2008
This article is a continuation of “Btu Buddy 62: An Overheated Boiler” from the May 19, 2008 issue. After Bob talks with Sid, the water treatment expert, Btu Buddy assists Bob in cleaning and filling the system.
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Btu Buddy 62: An Overheated Boiler

May 19, 2008
The spring is beginning to bring warmer weather when Bob gets a call from the dispatcher that a small apartment building is overheating. The building is heated with an old boiler that is running really hot. Btu Buddy helps Bob track down the problem.
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Btu Buddy 61: Servicing an Old Oil Furnace

April 21, 2008
The dispatcher calls Bob about servicing an old oil furnace. The customer is old and is adamant that he doesn’t want a new furnace, so Bob does not try to get him to upgrade to a new model. He tells the customer that he will see that he gets the most out of the old furnace that he can.
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Btu Buddy 60: High Head Pressure and Power Consumption

March 24, 2008
Bob and Btu Buddy get together for lunch and talk about why high head pressure seems to drive up the power consumption of a compressor. Bob remarks that the problem “doesn’t seem to happen in the cooling season, only in the heating season. What is the difference and why is this happening?”
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Btu Buddy 59: High Power Bills With a Heat Pump

February 18, 2008
Bob is called to a new customer’s home with a 5-ton heat pump that is experiencing power bills that are considerably higher than the same months last year. Btu Buddy assists Bob in diagnosing the problem.
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Btu Buddy 58: Combustion Air for a Gas Furnace

January 21, 2008
The dispatcher calls and tells Bob that yet another person is describing an unusual smell when the furnace runs for a long period of time. Bob talks to the homeowner, checks out the furnace, and finds that it is backdrafting slightly. With the help of Btu Buddy, he tracks down the draft problem.
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Btu Buddy 57: A Lunch Discussion About Flue Vents

December 17, 2007
Btu Buddy and Bob meet for lunch and Bob has a question about the last service call. The job involved replacing the single-wall flue pipe with double-wall pipe. “You said that we had some unfinished business about the service call yesterday, yet you said that the call was complete. What did you mean?”
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Btu Buddy 56: A Smelly Gas Furnace

November 19, 2007
Bob goes on a call to a house where the residents smell fumes when the furnace is running. He examines the flue connector from the furnace to the chimney and discovers it’s rusted to the point of falling apart. With the assistance of Btu Buddy, he replaces the single-wall vent pipe with a double-wall vent.
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Btu Buddy 55: Evacuation Leak

October 22, 2007
Bob had changed a compressor and was just about ready to charge the system when a problem arose. He pulled a vacuum down to 500 microns but noticed a rise in the vacuum gauge to 1,000 microns. There was a leak and Btu Buddy assisted him in finding it.
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Btu Buddy 54: A Cooling Tower Starved for Water

September 24, 2007
Bob receives a call from the dispatcher to go to an office building that has a 100-ton system that is water-cooled. With the help of Btu Buddy, he finds that the water level in the cooling tower is low. They check the water fill circuit and discover a kink in the copper pipe.
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