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Jim Eastman

Jim Eastman

Joined on September 17, 2004

Last Post on March 13, 2006

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@ March 13, 2006 12:30 PM in Piping concept

I don't think you want a check valve between the closely spaced tees. See Mark's post, above. If your RFH system needs more flow than the primary loop can provide, then it MUST take some of the flow from the second branch of the closely spaced tee and send it to the supply branch. Nothin' wrong with that! Your themostatic mixing valve or automatic reset valve will compensate for the cooler water in the supply branch if this happens. If you had a "one position" mixing valve, the temperature control may not be adequate at very high flow rates.

Moving 10 year old boiler

@ March 13, 2006 12:12 PM in moving 10 year old boiler

As always, "It depends on .....". If your "old" boiler is an atmospheric boiler vented through Type B or other vertical venting, you will probably have to move the venting to the new location. This could be a problem. A new condensing/modulating boiler may be easier to deal with on venting issues with a new PVC vent exiting out through the side wall or rim joist. This solution would provide excellent efficiency and, maybe, the least expensive way to vent the boiler at the new location. As mentioned, "It depends!" Not really enough information to give ya much guidance! A qualified hydronics contractor could give you the options and attach the $$$ variables to the options.


@ January 16, 2006 10:58 PM in Cold outside, cold in the house!

Ed, With 88 ft. of baseboard upstairs, you should be delivering approximately 44,000 btuh to 1,100 sq. ft of space. That provided approx. 40 btu's per square foot. That should be plenty of heat for a modern home! Does the lower level have as much glass and infiltration potential as the upper floor? Perhaps you should get someone to do a blower door test to identify where all of the heat is going!? I had a customer build a new home in the foothills of Colorado and claimed that we undersized the system (radiant and baseboard). On top of that, his propane bill was astronomical! He used many cases of caulk patching up the infiltration spots. Once he did this, his "heat finally worked" and his propane bill went down! It looks like the boiler supply temperature is correct and the size of the boiler appears to be within the range expected for that size of home. I would work like crazy to correct the places where heat is ooozing out of your home and affecting your comfort and pocketbook! Jim Eastman Marmot Heating Niwot, CO

Too cold

@ January 16, 2006 1:53 PM in Cold outside, cold in the house!

Your doctor would ask you for more details! What is the rated input of your boiler? Rated output? Does the boiler cycle on and off when it is this cold? How many feet of baseboard convectors do you have up stairs? Can you hold your hand on the baseboard piping upstairs? Do you have a "mixing valve" or injection mixing system to reduce the boiler water temperature for the radiant floors on the lower level? Is the 110 degrees the temperature on the boiler temperature/pressure gage just after the boiler burner turns off? From your post, it appears that the temperature for the sytstem is set too low to heat the upstairs with baseboard emitters but the temperature may be adequate for the radiant slab in the lower level. Does the lower level feel comfortable? These are just a few of the initial symptoms and information that the "heating doctors" on this site will need to help you with your problem! Jim Eastman Marmot Heating Niwot, Colorado


@ December 31, 2005 12:34 PM in Water moving noises in one zone and expansion noises

If the "water noise" is just the upper zone, there is, probaby, some trapped air in this zone. A proper purge of this zone and the system will, most likely, solve this problem. Call a hydronics professional and ask if he/she can purge your system and show you how to do it, yourself, if it requires purging in the future. As far as the expansion noises, this will be a continued problem due to how the system was installed. One solution would be to install an outdoor reset control for the boiler so that the water temperature in the system will be only high enough to emit enough heat through your baseboard fin tube convectors to meet the heat loss of the room. That way, you will approach constant circulation and avoid the "bang bang" of 180 degree water surging through the piping that has cooled to 70 degrees during the time that the thermostat is in the "satisfied" or "off" mode. You should ask the same professional that you have showing you the purging procedures to evaluate your system to see if the reset option is viable! Good luck, Jim Eastman Marmot Heating Niwot, CO

@ November 22, 2005 9:43 PM in Circulator on boiler

I agree with J. Arthur. The Taco zone box has a end switch that goes to the "T / T" connections on the boiler. Normally, when the end switch on the zone box closes, the boiler relay (possibly the aquastat relay that you mentioned) will start the boiler circulator and fire the burner if needed. You say when only one zone is calling for heat, the boiler circulator does not run. Is this happening for a specific zone, or any zone when only one zone is calling? If it is a specific zone, perhaps the zone box has a bad connection or relay?! Try one zone at a time for all of the zones. Does the same symptom occur? If you turn on two zones at a time, does the circ run? Try "jumping" the T /T connection on the boiler. Does the boiler circ run, then? When one zone is calling, does the boiler heat up to the aquastat limit, but the circ doesn't run? These answers will help diagnose the problem. Jim Eastman

Radiant supply

@ November 19, 2005 7:25 PM in Radiant heat supply

A picture or piping diagram would help!


@ November 1, 2005 9:47 PM in help

You need to have iso valves on the supply and return. This is required by code. If your boiler feed/make-up water connection is on the supply side (perhaps at the expansion tank location) you could place a boiler drain on the return piping just before the isolation valve on the return. Then you can attach a hose to that drain, close the iso valve on the return, and purge each individual zone by successively opening the valves (one at a time) to purge the air from the zones. Works great and you only have to hook the hose up to one drain fitting!

Chimney liner

@ October 20, 2005 1:13 PM in Chimney Lining

If your existing chimney has a clay tile liner and it is in good shape, I don't see any need or requirement to install a liner in the chimney for an new atmospheric boiler with an AFUE of 83%. The key word is "good shape"! If the existing "terra cotta" clay liner is cracked and damaged, you will have to install a liner. Jim Eastman Marmot Heating Niwot, CO

Addtl. info

@ October 20, 2005 1:07 PM in Honeywell Zone Valve

Sorry Paul! I just noticed that you have the "F" model of the 8043 zone valve---no yellow wires! If you connect the #1 and #2 terminals on the Taco Zone control to the "TH and TR" terminals on the zone valve terminal board, that would be the same as wiring the same two terminals into the yellow wires of a V8043E zone valve. The end switch teminals on the valve control board should be wired to the #3 and #4 valve control board terminals for that same zone. Jim Eastman


@ October 20, 2005 11:29 AM in Honeywell Zone Valve

Hi Paul, The 4 wire Honeywell zv works great with the 406 Zone Valve Control. Wire terminals 1 & 2 to the yellow (24V) 8043 wires and the end switch (red wires) to terminals 3 & 4 of the respective zones. Closing the connection between any of the 3 & 4 terminals will close the "Main End Switch" relay that needs to be connected to the " T - T " terminals on the boiler or other device to be activated. If you patch the #3 & #4 terminals, the "main end switch" will be closed all of the time. I don't think this is what you want. The 4 wire zone valves are real simple and neat with this Zone Valve Control! You may want to jump the #3 and #4 terminals on Zone #6 if this is your domestic hot water priority zone and you are using a circulator instead of a zone valve. In this case you will use the "Extra End Switch" and the "N/O & Com " dry contacts on the Zone 6 Relay to bring the Dhw circulator and system circulator on. I love this xone valve control! It really simplifies wiring, trouble shooting and provides a very professional installation! Jim Eastman Marmot Heating Red Rocks Community College

Solar Decathlon in D.C.

@ October 10, 2005 7:13 PM in Excellent response to my solar display

Hot Rod, Check out the solar thermal system that Mark Eatherton and I help the University of Colorado Solar Decathlon Team design and install. I am not convinced that the PV part of the competition is producing economic benefits, but the Warm Board floor and the solar thermal system installed for this entry is designed to heat the 800 square foot home with 95 degree water provided by the solar collectors and stored in the 200 gallon tank. We have a back up in line spa heater in case the system needs a boost when consecutive cloudy days (a rarity in sunny Colorado!) occur. Let us know what you find and observe at the Solar Decathlon competition! Jim Eastman Marmot Heating

Small probe in large well

@ October 10, 2005 6:50 PM in small temp probe in temp well

Honeywell makes a conductive paste for that very purpose. It is messy, so wear your latex gloves while inserting the paste! You can find it at most supply houses that carry HVAC supplies.

Dianorm sizing

@ April 14, 2005 2:31 PM in The Dianorm Panel Radiator

Cool tool, Greg! Now we can see what the effects of varying temperature reset levels on the constant circulation system that the DiaNorm panel radiators are part of! For example, I installed a panel radiator in my wife's massage studio. When I get close to warm weather shut down for the space heating system, she can't get the room warm enough for her massage practice. If I had sized the panel rad a bit larger, based upon lower supply tempatures when the weather is mild, I would be a star in her eyes! Now, she has to turn the electric massage table warming mat on a couple of hours before the massage client shows up. Thanks for the sizing tool!

Time stamping?

@ March 26, 2005 3:34 PM in Got to the bottom of a nuisence F-09 Munchkin problem

HTP has as laptop program that lists the faults and, I believe, the time/date of the fault for all of the faults that the boiler has had. I don't have this program, but my supplier does. We used it to track some intermittent faults that were driving us crazy. Maybe Jeff Cook of HTP could shed some light on this diagnostic tool?

Burnham forced air furnace??

@ March 12, 2005 11:44 AM in Burnham furnace will not stop running

From the info that you gave, it appears that the heat generating device in this system is a hot water boiler fired with natural gas! Does the boiler feed one or more air handlers (aka "forced air")? I would recommend that you call a heating professional who has experience in hydronics. What you are describing indicates a need for such a professional to assist you. Watch how he/she diagnoses and fixes the problem and you will be more knowledgeable on this type of system for the future!

Amtrol hot water

@ March 10, 2005 2:11 PM in 40 Gallon Amtrol Boilermate

Is your Amtrol on a priority system for domestic hot water production? If not, you may be spreading the boiler output across the space heating zones and the DHW zone. To check if priority will help, turn off (or shut the isolation valves) on all of the heating zones and see if the "priority" piping and the full output of the boiler makes any difference on the recharge rate of the Amtrol. It is not a "major surgery" task to incorporate a relay into the system to gain DHW priority over space heating.

drip sound

@ March 8, 2005 10:19 PM in Dripping sound from heater in my room

Does the dripping sound occur all of the time or is it intermittent? Does it "drip" at the same rate all of the ime? If the "drip" is intermittent and/or at a different rate, it is likely that the sound is that of thermal expansion and contraction of the radiator and associated piping as the water heats and cools.

@ January 15, 2005 11:15 AM in BaseBoard Or Buderus Panal Radiators

Jammer, See my posts and pics earlier in this thread. I have a mixture of three radiant zones and four panel radiators on a constantly circulating loop. The idirect water heater and the panel loop are "high temp" zones and the radiant is tempered by use of the injection system. The indirect water heater has priority and the ecomatic control ramps the boiler temp up to 180* to produce DHW. Once the DHW is done, the circ for the panel radiators comes on (and stays on)while the boiler purges the very hot water down to the correct water temp for the panel rads. The beauty of this system is that the panel radiators can utilize the thermostatic valves to adjust for the widely varying temperatures that my constant circulation provides. The panel loop might see 180* water during a post DHW run and then see 100* water as the system gets ready for another burn cycle.

@ January 15, 2005 11:06 AM in BaseBoard Or Buderus Panal Radiators

I have the ecomatic set for 140* return to protect against condensation on the cast iron boiler. The system will actually run at lower temps as requested by the ecomatic, but if the boiler needs to fire and the system temperature is less than 140 degrees, the ecomatic shuts down the primary and secondary circs until the temperature of the water in the boiler gets above 140* before turning the circs back on. This protects the boiler from seeing very much cold water before it gets above the condensing temperature.

Buderus panel rads and system

@ January 13, 2005 6:20 PM in BaseBoard Or Buderus Panal Radiators

Here are a couple of shots of my boiler system. The first shows the three radiant zones fed by injection. The second picture shows the injection manifold and above the boiler you can see two circulators that are taking "high temp" water to the panel radiators and the indirect water heater (all Buderus equipment). I have four Buderus panel radiators with TRVs. The outside temp is 41* F and the radiant floor zones are working at 88*. The panel rads are being fed water at the lowest temp possible. The Ecomatic sets the temp and protects the boiler from condensing. The primary and the panel radiator circs do not operate until the boiler is a minimum temperature of 140*. I have the system set to turn off the space heating at 58*. This system does not save much fuel vs. the forced air that it replaced, but it is 1000% more comfortable!

Buderus panel rads

@ January 11, 2005 7:26 PM in BaseBoard Or Buderus Panal Radiators

Put the panel rads in with non-electric thermostats. I did this on my house where I don't have the radiant floors and these units are nearly as comfortable as the radiant floors! If you put more than one in a room, you can control the temperature in the room quite well, too. For example, if the room addition has an area with higher solar gain and a "shaded" area, the thermostatic valves can correct the imbalance in the room by shutting down the area of solar gain while allowing the "shaded" panel rad to continue to add heat to the room. Now, the sun goes down and the panel in the "solar area" is now colder than the "shaded" panel. The panel closer to the glazing will need to add more heat than the panel in the "shaded" area. The thermostatic radiator valves are wonderful tools to ensure that your room is comfortable!
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