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MRC48B
Apr 2, 2012



Combat Pretzel posted:

Friend just asked me, whether Arduinos are generally reliable. What does this have to do with HVAC, you might ask. Well, the control board of his gas boiler apparently broke, so he wants to YOLO it on his own with an Arduino controlling the boiler unit (controlling gas valve, pumps, burner unit). And he's not exactly the coding and electronics guy to begin with. Like that's not going to go wrong, right?

jesus gently caress please convince him not to do this. combustion controls are like only a hundo, and are based on decades of experience and reliability testing to be failsafe.

Please tell him that if he fucks it up and blows up his house, the insurance people will laugh at him and hold him liable for any damages.

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corgski
Feb 6, 2007



Combat Pretzel posted:

Friend just asked me, whether Arduinos are generally reliable.

No.

Combat Pretzel posted:

Well, the control board of his gas boiler apparently broke, so he wants to YOLO it on his own with an Arduino controlling the boiler unit (controlling gas valve, pumps, burner unit)

Dear god no.

Tell your friend to explain to you in great detail what a watchdog is and why it's essential on computerized industrial control systems and even if he somehow answers that correctly tell him to never use an arduino for anything that could kill someone if it goes wrong.

corgski fucked around with this message at 22:44 on Apr 10, 2021

angryrobots
Mar 31, 2005



stratdax posted:

??

Whatever

Not "whatever", I addressed the fact that the normal advice (which applies to most systems and climates) may not apply to a desert environment in the part you cut out.

You are also assuming that he won't run the AC at all. I was trying to consider all possibilities in my suggestion, and you quote me to disagree as if I were wrong and you know everything about OP's situation.

Combat Pretzel
Jun 23, 2004

No, seriously... what kurds?!

MRC48B posted:

jesus gently caress please convince him not to do this.
I went into it. But that guy has an overabundance of self-confidence, and the same time is leaning into this Qanon poo poo, so that tells you the sort of guy he is. Since he has no clue about programming, I figure he has found some Arduino sketch geared towards it, otherwise I'm not sure how he even got that idea. So wghen I get an eventual message, that he got it working, I'm gonna sic the gas works onto him. Where I live they perform inspections of new gas boiler installations, I figure they'll do another one when I tip them off.

H110Hawk
Dec 28, 2006


He wants to control a gas fired pressure vessel with an arduino? If he does this call the gas company on him.

Edit: just read your last post to the end. Good job. Even if he can't get it working just narc on him regardless. Tell them he's trying.

Edit edit: have him send you a picture of it because it sounds amazing. Post it here and to your gas company or fire station.

H110Hawk fucked around with this message at 23:22 on Apr 10, 2021

stratdax
Sep 14, 2006


angryrobots posted:

You are also assuming that he won't run the AC at all.

stratdax posted:

Any humidity formed from condensate leftover from when the AC was running will be unnoticeable.

Again, ??


Why are you so pissy bud. Relax.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

stratdax posted:

Again, ??


Why are you so pissy bud. Relax.

What is even happening here?

You "won". Leave it at that.

corgski
Feb 6, 2007



Settle down, stratdax.

Elviscat
Jan 1, 2008

MESS WITH THE OWL GET DISEMBOWEL





HVAC thread getting hot, obviously needs a coil clean, maybe a refrigerant charge.


I had to be talked out of making a custom hydronic setup for my wood stove with an Arduino, that was probably a good thing.

MRC48B
Apr 2, 2012



Elviscat posted:

HVAC thread getting hot, obviously needs a coil clean, maybe a refrigerant charge.


I had to be talked out of making a custom hydronic setup for my wood stove with an Arduino, that was probably a good thing.

If you're just using it as a glorified IOT thermostat on the RGYWBO, knock yourself out.

Don't use arduinos for anything life safety critical, like gas valves or really anything that has a lot of potential energy. They make purpose built controls for that, and they are better than anything you would come up with homebrewing.

kastein
Aug 31, 2011

Moderator at http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/and soon to be mod of AI. MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN. Motronic for VP.


Yeah, you really want all the life safety interlock logic (for example over and under pressure sensors, refrigerant leak, CO, flame detect + gas valve, exhaust backspill, etc etc) to be hard wired logic designed by people who determined failure modes to be failsafe, used hardware components that are rated by the manufacturer for such use and have a known B10d or MTBF rating, etc etc etc. The MCU software should only be in charge of emissions+efficiency strategy/temp management/etc, so if it fucks off into the great beyond, the thing just stops working instead of blowing up the house or pumping it full of monoxide because it failed into a dangerous state.

I would think long and hard before I would take on that project and I've designed life safety equipment for multiple industries already. Just loving buy another, they're cheap and you'll never get back the time you spent.

It sounds like he's not smart enough to know he's not smart enough to do this.

kastein fucked around with this message at 14:42 on Apr 12, 2021

Explosionface
May 30, 2011

We can dance if we want to,
we can leave Marle behind.
'Cause your fiends don't dance,
and if they don't dance,
they'll get a Robo Fist of mine.




I work for a commercial/industrial burner manufacturer and I will definitely attest that rolling your own combustion control is profoundly stupid.


Unless it's your job, but even then I relegate the baseline safety to a commercial control and then add on fancy PLC stuff for non-critical safety functions whenever I can.

PageMaster
Nov 4, 2009


We've made a decision in remodelling our kitchen that I think is cascading into some unintended complications that I've never had to solve before. Wife wanted a 36 inch gas range for more space with 6 burners, but the ranges she likes are all around 48k to 63k BTUs total, which I believe needs 400 to 600cfm of ventilation on the range hood. I also thought that code (if not international, then definitely CA) now requires make-up air for ranges over 400CFM. Is there an easy way of doing this or is it probably going to be an expensive addition of additional fan(s) and ductwork?

Edit: alternatively recalculate since she would not likely be running every burner at full at the same time? The two largest boilers only get me to 36k BTU's, but I think having to have her remember to s only use a combination of burners would be a no-go.

PageMaster fucked around with this message at 04:48 on Apr 16, 2021

wolrah
May 8, 2006
what?


MRC48B posted:

If you're just using it as a glorified IOT thermostat on the RGYWBO, knock yourself out.

Hell, even for that when I was contemplating DIYing a thermostat I was still designing it with relay-based interlocking so it couldn't physically call for hot and cold at the same time and a connection to an external mechanical thermostat that would disconnect the Arduino until manually reset if it was triggered to ensure the pipes couldn't freeze if it stopped working. Obviously not entirely necessary, but when my homebrew code on a cheap device would have the potential to cause thousands of dollars in damage if it went wrong while I wasn't home I wanted fail-safes.

I ended up not doing it because my landlord was already sketchy about my Nest after the heater failed (four years later, and due to the flame tubes rusting out rather than anything a thermostat could cause) but still.

wolrah fucked around with this message at 20:49 on Apr 16, 2021

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007

Sweet 'N Sour
Can't
Melt
Steel Beams


I'm buying the house I've been renting and living in for the past 6 years. We had a home inspection and the inspector pointed out that our boiler is 60 years old and we should probably think about a replacement sooner rather than later.

I'm starting to learn more about boiler/radiator systems, but I'm wondering if there's anything I should keep in mind in regards to brands. At some point I'll talk to hvac companies and get some quotes and stuff, but it seems they each do only a couple of brands so I want to be sure I'm informed to be able to compare different options. Most of what I can find talking about comparing specific brands seems to appear almost ai generated content that I don't really get much info from.

I'm also thinking of doing a ductless mini split system for AC, since we just have window units and since it's radiator heat there's no ducts for central air. So basically same observation about installers and brands, and same question about what brands are good or bad.

devicenull
May 30, 2007



Grimey Drawer

FISHMANPET posted:

I'm buying the house I've been renting and living in for the past 6 years. We had a home inspection and the inspector pointed out that our boiler is 60 years old and we should probably think about a replacement sooner rather than later.

I'm starting to learn more about boiler/radiator systems, but I'm wondering if there's anything I should keep in mind in regards to brands. At some point I'll talk to hvac companies and get some quotes and stuff, but it seems they each do only a couple of brands so I want to be sure I'm informed to be able to compare different options. Most of what I can find talking about comparing specific brands seems to appear almost ai generated content that I don't really get much info from.

I'm also thinking of doing a ductless mini split system for AC, since we just have window units and since it's radiator heat there's no ducts for central air. So basically same observation about installers and brands, and same question about what brands are good or bad.

Gas fired? Oil?

Is it cheaper energy wise to use the mini splits for heating as well? (depends on your cost of fuel vs electricity and your climate)

Does your state or utility offer any incentives for home performance upgrades (such as a more efficient boiler or adding insulation)?

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007

Sweet 'N Sour
Can't
Melt
Steel Beams


Gas boiler, we're in Minnesota so I doubt that a mini split would be cost efficient or even capable of keeping up. There's also no insulation in the house so that's on the agenda as well, and I know it won't make much sense to do sizing for a brand new HVAC system on such a leaky house that we intend on sealing up.

Phil Moscowitz
Feb 19, 2007

Chief Justice of the United States of Anime



Phil Moscowitz posted:

Thanks to everyone for the very helpful advice! Lots of research and discuss with our contractors.

Just as a follow up, the second HVAC sub (our chosen sub, not the GCís) came in and can absolutely run the ductwork as the architect had originally designed without any additional furr downs and keeping the downstairs system downstairs (avoiding the need for ducts running through the second floor). We will need a mini split in the addition but itís the best option.

We discussed high velocity systems with the architect who likes them and has used them, but none of the contractors had ever done one. Weíre going to pay about 20% more but are also getting better equipment than the first sub was selling us (Amana v. Comfortmaker).

Anyway thanks again for the advice!

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Don't worry about the name on the HVAC equipment. Comfortmaker is owned by Carrier, and Amana is owned by Daikan which bought Goodman. I don't know how much the product lines differ, but like a lot of things in the world, there is only 3 or 4 real OEM's out there with lots of different brands.

Installation quality and dealer service is more important than the name brand of the equipment.

Phil Moscowitz
Feb 19, 2007

Chief Justice of the United States of Anime



Just reading reviews and looking at the noise/seer ratings, lifetime compressor warranty for Amana, really.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

A lifetime compressor warranty is a gimmick.

It's the cheapest part of a compressor failure. Meaningful things like refrigerant, cleaning the lines, replacing the TXV, etc aren't covered.

MRC48B
Apr 2, 2012



This industry has compressor manufacturing down to a science. DOA units are very rare.

If your compressor died, something else in the system killed it, and it didn't happen overnight.

Phil Moscowitz
Feb 19, 2007

Chief Justice of the United States of Anime



If the compressor fails for any reason, they will replace the entire outdoor condenser unit. Maybe itís not as good as it sounds but it seems better than the standard 5 year/10 year warranties?

H110Hawk
Dec 28, 2006


Phil Moscowitz posted:

If the compressor fails for any reason, they will replace the entire outdoor condenser unit. Maybe it’s not as good as it sounds but it seems better than the standard 5 year/10 year warranties?

It's better than nothing surely, just don't think it's not going to be a few grand to get it done.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Phil Moscowitz posted:

If the compressor fails for any reason, they will replace the entire outdoor condenser unit. Maybe itís not as good as it sounds but it seems better than the standard 5 year/10 year warranties?

It's better than a stick in the eye but I'm really not sure it matters. In all reality you'll need other work, they probably aren't covering even the labor to replace the outdoor unit (but at least it should come with SOME refrigerant in it) and by the time you're likely to see a compressor failure we'll probably be on to yet another refrigerant so whatever amount you need to make up will cost a ton of money to the point where you're more likely to swap the entire system.

At least that's how things have been working for the last few decades.

So I wouldn't pay much of a premium for a warranty like that.

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Ace of Baes
Jul 7, 1977


Lifetime compressor warranties are a total gimmick, the only reason a compressor is gonna die under 15 years is if you let a refrigerant leak go untreated for years or you're converting from r22 to r410a and you don't pull a proper vacuum/rx11 flush

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