Saturday, March 12, 2016
Home Show Season!
It's Home Show Season out there and it's the time of year, I get a lot of questions, especially through my YouTube videos.
Be careful to choose your contractors wisely for anything! Check references, and licenses. There are some
really great people out there, and more than a few scammers. It's up to you to figure out the difference and you have
everything you need these days to do it. Good luck!
7:56 am est
Saturday, February 14, 2015
The New Rinnai Unit with built in Recirc is out
8:33 pm est
The Much talked about RUR Rinnai unit is out now and it has REcirc built in for larger homes. Check it out here:
and paste this link in your broswer: http://goo.gl/WgB2gA
Monday, January 12, 2015
11:47 am est
Saturday, December 20, 2014
2:43 pm est
My youtube video of knife sharpening has really taken off well. I keep getting asked where to buy the leather belt
for the 30" belt sander, so here is a link: surgi sharp
and here is a link to the video on how to sharpen any knife RAZOR sharp! (Cut and paste this) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptspof6CXOg
have been fighting different methods of sharpening for many yeaers and never really got any blade as sharp as I would like.
This really helped me nail it!
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Cold Water Sandwich explained
8:18 am edt
I’m now on Twitter @MScottGregg!
temperatures aka: “Cold Water Sandwich”
This is the first in a series of blog posts on tankless water heater problems that I have run into over the years,
starting with the more common and more “Real” ones. The Cold Water Sandwich (CWS for short)
is a phenomena associated with tankless water heaters that is usually not a large problem once understood by the Homeowner
(HO for short) It is actually a FAIRLY RARE problem but for someone who has it, understanding it is the
first part of the solution. Here is what can happen in some homes and it seems to be more prevalent in
homes with insulated hot water piping. I’m going to pick some numbers out of thin air for this explanation.
One person showers or otherwise uses hot water
for a time at a far end of the home. (Long pipe run is usually a factor but not always) They get out of
the shower and go about their day. About 10 or 15 minutes later, maybe longer, someone else goes to get
into the shower. The water is already hot so they get in and begin their shower. About 2 or 3 minutes later
they feel the water temperature drop considerably! This last for around 15 - 30 seconds or so and then
the temperature climbs back up and sometimes it’s even hotter than it was before. One, COLD WATER
SANDWICH! This is what just happened in the plumbing system:
Let’s say the water heater is set at 125*F. Person #1 showers.
This heats up all the hot water piping and leaves the system full of hot water at 125*F. When they
finish their shower the tankless water heater turns off. 100 pipe feet of ¾” hot water pipe
holds roughly 2-1/2 gallons of water that is now hot. The water sitting still in that pipe begins to cool.
Plastic piping has a bit more insulating qualities than copper so let’s say 10 minutes goes by and the water in the
pipe cools to about 110*F. Person #2 starts the shower. 110* is plenty hot and still
requires mixing a little cold so the person sets the shower temperature at a comfortable level of around 105*F mixing in some
cold. 110* is coming in the hot side of the shower valve and let’s say 60* water is coming into the cold side.
They are mixing only a slight amount of cold water. A standard shower head rated at 2.5GPM (at 80
PSI in a lab) actually flows around 1.5 GPM in a home full of lots of plastic water pipe. We are mixing in about 10% or so
cold water so we are flowing about 1.2GPM or so of hot. There is 100 pipe feet between that shower head
and our tankless water heater.
tankless water heater takes about 5 seconds, some models a bit longer to fire up. So for the first 5 seconds
of flow COLD UNHEATED WATER flowed into the hot water line, followed by nice hot water at 125*! Person
#2 is in the shower and this slug of cold water is doing some mixing with the warm water in front of it and the hot water
behind it. It takes a minute or two, maybe more depending on the actual flow to get there…but it’s coming.
Poor person #2 feels that temperature drop drastically. Maybe not to 60* but if your shower temp
drops even 20* believe me you are going to get out of the way! Then they feel it warming back up so the
slide back under the water, only to feel it get too hot! They get out of the way again, adjust the shower
temperature and continue their shower. That friend is a Cold Water Sandwich!
What do you do about it? Well first
off let’s talk about things that make it worse. Higher hot water temps make it WORSE! Turn your heater
down. That will help. You don’t need to heat water to 125, 130 or 140 only to cool it back down to
105 to shower. Try setting your tankless at around 115* or even 110*. That can help
a lot. Today’s bigger and bigger homes and lower flow fixtures make it worse too. More footage
of smaller diameter water piping feeding fixtures using very little flow of water join together to make this the problem it
is. Sometime even with tank water heaters! Insulated hot water pipes can make it worse
because they don’t cool off for a long period of time. If you know your home has this problem, try
avoiding the situation. If you know a couple people are going to shower back to back
keep the times between them to a minimum, or make the time between them longer. Hot water lines usually
cool down pretty quickly unless insulated. Uninsulated pipes probably cool down in less than 30 minutes.
Insulated pipes make take an hour or more depending on the temperature around them. Basement or
crawlspace pipes are going to cool off a lot faster than ones in ceilings or walls. Not much you can do
about it now other than understand it.
Now the first and most obvious solution is to turn on the hot water and let the temperature stabilize
before you get into the shower. That however means running the shower for a few minutes to get all of the
tepid water and CWS out of the pipes. (Wasting water) It works, but some people will
not want to do that even though you really are only flowing 2 or 3 gallons down the drain. After all it
does all add up. Another solution is to install an on demand hot water recirculation system like the Enovative “On Demand”
circulator (www.enovativegroup.com) and use either a push button or motion sensor to activate it. This
will push that tepid water and the CWS back to the water heater, filling up the piping will hot water just in time for you
to use it. Another solution may be to install about 6’ of large diameter pipe right after the tankless
water heater (2” or 3”). This will hold some hot water and act as a buffer for the CWS reducing
it considerably or possibly even eliminating the problem. 3” pipe 5’ long will hold over a gallon of water.
So that’s what can happen with a CWS.
Again it is a pretty rare and very minor issue all things considered. After all, there is no tank
to bust and flood your home. (much more common than CWS) and no running out of hot water so once the temperature stabilizes,
you can stay in that shower as long as you want. Check out my YouTube series from the link above and I hope this helps.
Stay tuned for more coming.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Rinnai now allows PVC for condensing units only!
7:50 am edt
Rinnai has introduced a new adapter to allow
the use of PVC on CONDENSING units ONLY! Many will say “It’s about time” but I still
maintain that the Rinnai concentric vent is easier, cheaper and much faster especially on shorter runs! It
is faster to simply push one joint on one pipe than it is to cut-prime-glue-push-hold…on two joints! Plus
if you need a long vent run the first thing to look for is where else you can put the unit. Sometimes it
is unavoidable and on very long runs certainly PVC will come up less costly.
The Maximum vent length will vary based on vent size (3” or 4”) and type of fuel.
Consult your models instruction manual for more! I’m not listing that here because it’s
too easy for readers to confuse it with other models or manufacturers and it may change as models change. Also,
the concentric venting on natural gas fired units can vent longer as well. Again, refer to your manual
or the Rinnai Website for specific information.
Stay tuned for more updates and check out the youtube videos on tankless water heaters on the Scott Gregg Channel.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Drain Pan Update for tankless water heaters
4:50 pm est
DRAIN PAN UPDATE: If you’ve
read the Tankless 101 article, you know that I am a proponent of drain pans being installed below them if they are installed
in or above finished areas. EVERY major brand recommends them, calls for them in their instruction manual, or denies responsibility
of water damage if you install them in such a place. Why? Because like any other kind
of water heating device when they get old and worn out they can and many do LEAK! So where is the water
going to go?
Unlike a tank rupturing a tankless leak is easily contained IF you have it above a drain pan!
If not they can still do considerable water damage and water damage from leaking water heaters is one of the leading
causes of water damage in a home. (Ask your insurance agent!)
A company called CAMCO now has both
metal and plastic drain pans for tankless water heaters. These are required by code and almost ALL major
brands of tankless call for them for when a tankless water heater is installed in an area where a leak can cause damage.
You don not need them in a garage or unfinished basement but in an attic, interior space, etc you SHOULD have one!
They will get old and they can leak. Good news is there is no big tank to bust and flood the place
and a pan gives you all the protection you need!
If you are having one of these great machines installed in or
above a finished space of your home, or maybe you are designing a high-rise with one in every apartment, you NEED to install
this pan! No doing so now is asking for high repair bills and insurance claims later.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Frozen Pipes, Hot water problems?
2:01 pm est
HOMEOWNERS: We have got many calls in the last two days regarding tankless water heaters not working. People, look outside…IT’S
COLD! Way colder than normal and this kind of cold breaks things. Here is what we are seeing here in VA and MD in hopes that
it will save you some money, time and trouble. I’m sure many other parts of the country are seeing similar problems.
Some of you will need help.
Call: We are getting no water out of our hot water taps in the house, something is
wrong with our tankless water heater.
Answer: Your hot water pipes are frozen. Place a heater in your crawl space and
wait for them to thaw***. Keep an eye on it and locate your main water shutoff valve in case your pipes are burst! In that
case, turn the water off the house and call your plumber!
Call: My heater is not working and giving a code 12.
Question from us: Are you on Propane?
Answer: Your regulator has frozen up. Call your gas company
or wait for it to thaw. The Gas company (for propane) can come out and add a methanol additive and clear up the
These are not issues with the tankless water heater in most cases (assuming everything else is right and
you have a good model) these are just what happen to some plumbing systems when it gets this cold. You may be having these
same problems in a home with any kind of water heater or boiler.
Things you can do:
1. If you have a crawl
Space, make sure your brick vents are closed! If you have a history of freezing pipes, consider placing a small electric space
heater in the crawl space at night. ***(Make sure you maintain all clearances to combustible materials and don’t burn
your house down!)
2. Open cabinets below sinks located on outside walls.
3. Leave a faucet or two open in your home
at night (Dripping steadily) to keep water moving a bit. Moving water does not freeze as easy.
4. Know who your preferred
plumber is! The time to choose a plumber is NOT during and emergency.
If you have a tankless water heater and have
specific quastions about that madel, post them on www.plbg.com
or call the 800 number located on the data sticker on your unit. Keep warm!
Monday, January 6, 2014
New Tankless water heater video up on You Tube!
11:32 am est
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
people have commented or contacted me around the country that have had problems with their tankless water heaters and not
had good service from their contractor. This video was put up to help instruct HO’s how to handle
a service issue and get good results. Also, I tell them AGAIN how to avoid problems in the first place.
Regular followers probably can guess what that is. Check out my You Tube Channel and feel free to
contact me or leave comments. Think about subscribing while you there. I will be doing
a Rinnai Maintenance video soon as I perform a basic service on my own 7 year old+ heaters!
the link to this one: http://youtu.be/3pQodGwfNow
Friday, October 11, 2013
an open note to a major faucet company
9:29 am edt
I received notice that a major brand faucet company used an excerpt of my world famous Tankless 101 article to try
to explain a pressure problem they are having with one of their digital thermostatic shower control valves.
sure to understand that my Copy Write includes EVERYONE! If your equipment has not kept up with technology or pipe
sizing of homes, or has some other issues you need to deal with that with your engineering department. If you believe
that your equipment's failures are the result of the water heater chosen you should address them between your engineering
department and the manufacturer's engineering department you suspect regardless of manufacturer. I'm sure they would be glad
The Tankless 101 article covers many concepts and many manufacturers equipment are mentioned to form a
generic overall tankless water heater article. While it may be read to help one determine things going on it can not
be interpreted to solve 100% of any and every field problem and should NEVER be used to take place of proper engineering or
Thousands of people from all over the world reference this article every month.
I have been specifically careful to avoid throwing negative information about products that I have first hand knowledge about
because it does not fit with the overall intent or character of this piece. I have chose to deal with top rated products
and information only as there are plenty of places on the Internet made to bash products and services. I trust I will
not need to change that. This is your ONE warning.
This article is written as a detailed general knowledge
piece to help people better understand these amazing appliances.
Monday, August 12, 2013
AWESOME Customer Service.
9:55 am edt
I thought I would share a little bit about
great customer service I received last week:
I reload for target practice as a one of my hobbies and to make another
hobby a bit more affordable. (This is the process of taking a fired empty cartridge case and “Reloading”
it with new primer, powder and a bullet to be able to use it again.) I have been doing this on and off
for over 20 years. I have a Lee Progressive 100 reloading press that I bought when I first started out.
Recently during on of my reloading sessions it broke. A part failed that rendered the press unusable
until a replacement could be found.
I contacted Lee Precision (www.leeprecision.com) and told them what happened, with a couple pictures (Again of my 20+ year old press) and asked
if parts were still available, or if the new part I found on their site would work, and what bolts do I need if it does.
This is response I got back first thing Monday morning:“Matthew:
Thanks for sending in the photos. We'll get a replacement
sent out to you in tomorrow's mail. I am sending the Bolts needed to attach the new steel Connecting Link as well.
Lee Precision, Inc.
4275 Highway U
Hartford, WI 53027
Now THAT friends is customer support that goes way beyond what should ever be expected. They replaced
the part on a press that was over 20 years out of warranty at no charge. I had the parts before the following
weekend and they worked great. Don’t you wish every manufacturer treated you like that?
THANK YOU Lee Precision for a great product and more importantly customer service well beyond what your
warranty states. I am a very grateful and HAPPY lifetime customer.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Happy Father's Day - A new knife and a great way to clean fish.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDB3yvHCY0YThis is a “You Tube”
video I put up on cleaning fish with a Mr. Twister Electric Fisherman fillet knife and here is the story behind it:
4:07 pm edt
When I was a kid maybe around
13 or so my family was camping at a little campground off of Rt 5 on the Chickahominy River that we used to go to often.
We had a 20’ Prowler camper and spent quite a few weekends at the place. We fished for catfish
and bass in the creeks and river and had great times. Sometimes we kept some fish but not very often.
On one weekend there were three old men;
a grandfather, father and son fishing together in a center console boat. They stayed anchored up all day in the same spot
and when they came out of the water, their camper was only a few down from ours. We found out that they
had a big catch of catfish and they invited the whole campground over for a fish fry. They filled the top
of a picnic table with stacks of catfish!The youngest of this trio was about 60ish and he was to be the main fish cleaner. Being a young
lad fascinated with anything fishing I watched him for a while. I had only seen fish scaled and filleted only to be full of
bones, or scaled with the head off and the guts removed.
This guy broke out an electric knife
and went to town on those fish going through them faster than anything I thought possible. The middle one (Father) did some
of the bone cutting as I remember it and they got through the whole batch and fed the entire campground with plenty of leftovers.
I’m guessing by now these old timers are in heaven talking with my Dad and Grandfather who were there
that day, and not here anymore. I hope they know what an impact they made on a young budding outdoorsman.
So, that was where
I learned how to clean fish like this and I pass it on whenever I can. My first Electric fillet knife was
a Mr. Twister ordered from a catalog and It lasted over 20 years before finally burning up the motor. I
replaced it with another brand I never really liked. Just this week I saw this one on sale for a steal
and bought it. I put up this video to share to teach others how to clean fish and get most out of the day
on the water. I hope you like it and I hope you will pass it on.
Happy Father’s Day!
Monday, March 11, 2013
One More Thing - FUN!
1:28 pm edt
OK, I promised some fun stuff so here is one to try. This is how to make Lolipop Chicken Legs on your grill using a
chicken leg rack (Available at most home improvement stores) Try it. Even people who don't usually like chicken legs
will LOVE this!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwgwIsasFzI
3-Part tankless video series is done!
1:14 pm edt
Sunday, March 3, 2013
New Video Series Part 1
8:56 am est
Ok friends I did it. After countless home shows, posts, blog responses etc, I decided to make a 3 part video series
on tankless water heaters to go with my Tankless 101 Article. This is the first one dealing with the most common questions
I get. Check it out and share it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb_mSGRc9lc
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Adventures with Wildlife
12:58 pm est
We have a visitor that is hanging around the Gregg Compound lately. It is a Barred Owl and he seems to have insomnia
since we see him frequently in the day time. Here is a great close up video of him as I use my Ninja Skills to become
invisible and walk up to him in broad daylight!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk4-d4yMN6s
Like and Share this with your friends on Facebook. It's not every day you get a look like this at a wild
owl. Very cool.
Friday, February 1, 2013
New Information on electric tankless water heaters
9:42 am est
I recently went to training on Seisco electric
tankless water heaters and have some news to report. There are some major differences with how electric
tankless water heaters operate and how they manage energy!
I have updated my tankless water heater article with this but to give you a little more detail; here
is what they do differently:
Seisco controls power to the elements completely. When the unit is signaled to turn on (By thermistors,
not a flow sensor) it begins by using 10% of its power capacity split between all elements. Other models
slam on full power and then throttle back from there. This causes a much greater load on the electrical
panel, can cause light flicker, and will cost more money to operate the unit. They also control the power to each element
to balance the power usage between them offering better power management and temperature control across the entire range of
operation. This gives them a huge advantage in that when figuring on the panel load this appliance adds
only a fraction of the load instead of the full power you would have to figure for other manufacturers. A
133amp RA32 only has a panel load of 54amps! (Per NEC 220.2/220.3) This means most homes with a standard
200 amp service can have this unit installed without a major electrical upgrade.
The RA series units also have a fully vented chamber. This
means the air bubbles released from heating water in the chambers is vented out of the unit instead of collecting at the last
chamber where it will burn out the elements faster. As stated they use thermistors instead of a flow switch
or sensor which gives them a super low activation rate of just .25GPM! This makes them IDEAL for multi-family
and condo projects where gas is not an option, and low flow fixtures used.
Seisco also offers point of use units and they have a full range of hydronic heating units designed
for radiant floor heating with a range from 17,100btuh to 95,564btuh. This gives a person doing a small
radiant heating zone a great and inexpensive heat source that takes up virtually no space and is energy efficient.
The biggest thing I want to report is the Seisco
SUPERCHARGER! This is one of the most awesome things to come out in the tankless water heater world in
some time. It is designed to go directly downstream of a tank water heater (Gas or electric) to boost its
capacity. When a tank begins running out of hot water (After about 2 showers or filling one tub with most
50 gallon tanks) you feel the temperature drop. This drop is usually only a few degrees but to your body
it becomes uncomfortable and you have to get out of the shower, or wait for the tank to “recover”.
With a Supercharger, you would set it a few degrees below the set point of the tank. When the tank
is fully charged with hot water it simply flows through the Supercharger and nothing happens. But, when
the tank temperature drops even .1* below the set point of the Supercharger it will fire at as little as 1 amp and bring that
temperature back up to the set point. It will continue to adjust and raise the water temperature back up to the set point
as long as water is flowing and up to its full capacity. It does this with 0 pressure drop and by being
able to take water at 100*F, 90*F or even 80*F and raise it up to 115*F or more, instead of 2 showers you now have the capacity
of 4 or more without adding another tank, or having a large upfront cost of more expensive equipment! In
fact even after the tank temp drops way down, you can normally take one shower at a time endless hot water and this thing
can keep up!This product gives consumers yet another viable option for increasing
their hot water capacity to meet their needs. Since this unit does not do anything until the tank loses
temperature, you have a very small impact to your overall energy use and bill! Not bad.
If you need more hot
water, don’t want to go into a full blown gas or electric tankless water heater conversion, you might want to look into
one of these for your home!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Summer's gone, fall is here. What are you putting off?
This week has bought cooler weather to central VA. The trees are starting to change, the acorns
are falling and even though there are hopefully a couple fishing trips left to take, thoughts are turning to hunting season.
7:30 am edt
I’ve been busy too with setting
up a you tube channel you can check out that has some fun cooking videos on it as well as some things related to shooting
bows, hunting, etc. You can check out the you tube channel here:
So, we have a new pellet grill coming.
A Royal Tailgater model won off of a contest on Facebook! Thank you to Ken Fisher
of “date night doins for two”, and Matt Kouba of Royal Grills! I look forward to getting it
set up and cooking on it. I’l be posting videos for sure!Fall Tips:It
won’t be long before winter is here either.
Right now is a slow time for people in the HVAC industry. Now is the time to have your
heating system serviced and don’t forget your gas fireplace if you have one. They need cleaning too!
Maybe last year you thought about adding a blower or remote to it. If you use a wood burner fireplace
or woodstove get that chimney cleaned! There are hundreds of preventable chimney fires every year because
people overlook this!Maybe your old boiler barely made it through last season.
Now is time to get that stuff done.
Don’t wait until its 10 degrees outside and it conks out on you. You’ll be without heat
for days because everyone will be booked up. You may even be able to cash in some rebates that are out
there. Whatever you have been putting off, get it done before the cold sets in.
get out and enjoy the fall while preparing for the winter and getting ready.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Time to Smell the Roses...and Pollen!
Spring is here and the fish are starting to bite! The pollen is awful here in VA but the weather is great. I love
spring. I love the colors of the flowers and the blooming bushes and trees. (other than the pollen of course)
10:52 am edt
That reminds me, if pollen is bugging you too take a minute and change your air filter on your homes HVAC system!
Clean filters save you money and keep your home's HVAC system running efficiently and keeps your air clean! You might
even consider replacing it with a better pleated air filter or having your HVAC contractor install one of the great new electronic
air filtration systems.
While you at it, resist the urge to open up your windows to let that fresh spring air in
if you live in areas like mine where pollen is a problem.
I love Spring, but there is a big part of it I want to
keep outside to maintain my indoor Air quality so when I am done enjoying nature...I can away from it in my home.
I hope you are able to take time out of your day to enjoy it with family and friends or simply go outside for a walk.
If you are blessed enough to be able to enjoy the outdoors like we fishing, or hunting (It's spring turkey season here) or
otherwise enjoying being outdoors, I hope you have a great and safe time enjoying all nature has to offer.
very least this spring take a litttle time and go out and "smell the roses".
Thursday, December 22, 2011
It's been a while since I posted but
I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Not happy holidays...Merry Christmas. That is what it is and I am proud
to not participate in the PC dilution of my favorite holiday to celebrate the birth of our Lord.
12:49 pm est
If you celebrate
a different holiday during this time period, good for you and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. I have no problem with that at
all and respect your right to do as you please. If you have a particular problem with Christians and Christmas
in general…well too bad. Get over it so we all can move on with our life and stop trying to ruin
other peoples day. We don’t do it to you. Now that we have that settled... I hope you will enjoy time with your friends and family,
some time off to have some fun, relax and reflect and even to re-group to get ready for the New Year ahead of us.
Take just a little brake, dig out a bible and read Mark 3 And the angel said to them “Fear not: I bring you good tidings of great joy
which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ
Monday, August 1, 2011
Why plumbers cost so much.
9:26 am edt