Joined on November 24, 2004
Last Post on June 19, 2009
@ June 19, 2009 11:09 PM in Anyone interested in knowing tank-in-tank jacket losses?On the initial run the tank was set at 152° and the boiler was using about a cubic meter of gas per day (40,000 BTUs) to cover the standby losses. The boiler, a Prestige 110 was running for about 6 to 7 minutes every 6 to 7 hours to maintain tank temp. A cubic meter here costs around 50 cent so that's $180 a year although in the winter the jacket losses add heat to the house. The losses are high, but 152° is pretty hot. I am now running a test at 128° and I suspect the standby losses will be a lot lower. The problem with the tank in tank is that the outer boiler water is even hotter than the domestic water inside the inner stainless tank, at least initially, so the jacket has to be that much better to insulate the higher temps. I typically kept my tank at just under 120 so the boiler would condense making hot hotter and then once a week cranked it to 60C/140F, but that's something that really should be done in an automated way. In a perfect world, maybe someone could develop a small battery powered controller to replace the rotary dials on the Phase II tanks so that it could be cranked up to a sterile temp once a week like a Vito, maybe on a wash day or weekend if there is a heavy hot water load, and then let it idle over night and bring it up to lower temps on weekday mornings. The "lab" is sold so I will have to wrap up testing during July. Then there will be about a 99% change of getting stuck with forced air home. Not many boilers in NorCal, or solar for some strange reason. :-/
@ March 23, 2008 9:38 AM in Vitodens 200 Turn down 3-1 ?As someone who grew up in London (Ontario, Canada) I got used to that confusion. By "over there", do you mean England?
@ September 1, 2006 2:58 PM in Find a Professional - Yeah right!I'm having a hard time finding a professional in the Toronto area to install ModCond boiler - prefence being an Ultra 80. Background: The house was built in 1975 with electric baseboards. Within a few years an older boiler (circa 1950 Hoffman maybe) was installed using a single zone 1.25" monoflo piping system with constant circ. When I bought the house 13 years ago, there was a fairly new Riello burner on it along with an outdoor reset controller. Natural Gas is still the cheapest fuel in the Toronto area and far less volatile in pricing compared to heating oil. Oil heating actually hurts the resale value in this housing market. I have 2 old oil tanks (inside) that are also probably older than 1975 and these need to be removed/replaced. The room that the boiler is in would be far more usable with a wall-hung boiler. I plan to have the flu and venting go up the boilers dedicated 8x8” chimney. The measured heatloss is around 70,000 and measuring the 0.65gph burner and run times on near design days confirms that this is quite conservative. Normal operating temperatures for the fin tube baseboards is 130-140 (when the boiler is firing) so I know that condensing will be a good fit. Current Situation: I originally planned to replace the boiler in August or September but I 'm having a very tough time finding anyone. This is the land of forced air gas heating. The few heating contractors that do boilers tend to do oddball-name stuff like Olsen, RBI and Carrier. As much as I like the Vitodens (and Viessmann isn’t far away and they do know their contractors), I think the W-M Ultra 80 is perfect for this application and seems like it would be cheaper for any maintenance over the boiler’s lifecycle. I've talked to W-M. They don't offer contractors training and really have no idea who their contractors are, they only deal with their main wholesaler, and the main wholesaler is in the same boat for not knowing their installing contractors. I'm hesitant to contact the local distributors because their focus is stock numbers and making sure their commercial accounts are paid on time. They’ll gladly sell me one at the discounted price so I’m not so sure if I asked them whether they’d be giving me the names of true pros or true hacks. The yellow pages and the internet searches aren't much help either. Only one wallie is in this province and he's several hours away, which is a bit far for service calls. So far the best bet is a very reputable company that has been in the plumbing business forever but they have no experience with the Ultra. From hanging around here over the years I am familiar with some of the issues (the wiring harness is largely inaccessible, leaky nuts, etc) and my preference would be to find someone who has installed several of these. Does anyone here have any ideas how I could finally find my pro?
@ April 7, 2006 10:09 AM in W-M Ultra80, install questionsOn the domestic water side or on the boiler water side? On the boiler water side there wouldn't be any issues. Sometimes people get sticky with deadends (for good reason) on the domestic side.
@ March 31, 2006 9:15 AM in electric wall hung water heatersA tankless WH: - costs "many times" more (when sufficiently sized) but won't likely last "many times" longer than an electric tank WH (especially if the anode rods are properly maintained in the tank type heater) - has more complex controls that can fail as it ages - has difficulty with very low flows and very high flows - requires some serious added circuitry expenses - hammers the electric grid at peak usage hours - is useless in a power failure It's advantages are a smaller footprint and less standby losses, but any modern electric tank WH has ridiculously low standby losses to begin with. I wouldn't be surprised if an electric tankless doesn't have a similar minimal loss of efficiency by heating some air as it produces the hot water. If you don't need the space, I'd never recommend one.
@ March 28, 2006 9:15 AM in Should I stick with Oil Heating for the 2006 winter next year?In Ontario, the TSSA and the insurance companies are basically creating a situation where they are demanding customers get new oil tanks every 10 years. In my books that adds over 15 cents a gallon. Even if you can go longer, you still have to factor the depreciation costs to get a proper basis for comparison. Factors also need to get added for chimney costing and cleaning charges. The 85% efficiency factor for oil is under ideal conditions and I'm not too sure how close any oil systems get to this level over the course of a full heating system. I'm not advocating electricty over oil but when comparing costs per btu, the oil AFUE has to get reduced and some oil burning related service and depreciation charges have to be added if you want a meaningful comparison number.
@ March 24, 2006 10:23 AM in Oversizing radson radiatorThe sales rep shouldn't say that you are over-sizing them as that indicates waste and inefficiency. What the rep is really suggesting is sizing them for a lower water temperature, which will help efficiency.
@ March 15, 2006 3:33 PM in Pressure Relief, What Am I Missing?Did you ensure that the expansion tank was pre-charged to the proper system pressure? It would be nice to know what temperature the boiler is running when the PRV trips. What's the pressure when it is cold and when it is 180* or maximum normal temp?
@ March 13, 2006 9:57 AM in MonoFlow system problemsOr even just a new one - just in case the current one is correctly sized but not working properly...
@ March 9, 2006 3:54 PM in Mono-flo TeeYour original system predates Monoflo fittings (and unfortunately in this day and age it is very difficult to get ones that aren't copper). The spacing of the Monoflos will be a critical factor for how much heat goes through the rad.
@ March 6, 2006 8:41 AM in Posting This For Mad DogMatt, Sorry for your loss - cherish the memories.
@ March 1, 2006 2:04 PM in Commercial Clients Acct. Rec.B'nai Brith is a Jewish advocacy group and their ability to track down Nazi war criminals wherever in the world they were trying to hide is legendary. Have you never heard of this organization before?
@ March 1, 2006 1:53 PM in circulator sizing for 1 pipe monoflo tee systemTwo years ago I replaced my B&G 100 with one of these little circs (and has already paid for itself in electrical savings 0.75A vs 1.75A). I did take the flow check valve out of it. I have a single zone of almost 150' of 1.25" mains, with 16 diverter tees (3 being double teed below the mains) and some fairly long circuits (3/4" branches) that rise to a second storey. I found no real difference between the medium and the highest speed (other than some circ sound). This was with 2 of the diverter tees being capped while waiting to finish the basement walls (which can't help flow). When I tried the lowest speed some of the circuits would not get any flow or the heat would vary - there has to be enough pressure to force flow down the branches. Diverter tees systems aren't as restrictive as some people tend to think. It's not like a 3/4" main system with 1/2" branches. If you have good flow (heat) in each of your branches with your 007 you're set. I finally piped in the heat in the basement on Sunday so now I'll have to see what happens with it on the low speed.
@ March 1, 2006 1:11 PM in Buderus GB142 vs. Monitor MZ40CViessmann Vitodens, W-M Ultra, Lochinvar Knight or the Triangle-Tube Prestige are all well regarded MoCo boilers.
@ March 1, 2006 1:05 PM in Commercial Clients Acct. Rec.You need to be one of those "no excuses" vendors, or better yet have a clerk with the tenacity of B'nai Brith. Calling the customer (or their payable's dept or clerk) every single day when they are past due can work wonders. Best that it not be you directly that calls and then you can be the good cop and blame corporate policy or that person! ;-) As we all know, every business will try to maximize cashflow by extending payables and keeping the receivable days to a minimum. Some businesses will deliberately pay late (and then phone with an excuse to waive the finance charges), others will pay only when due; almost nobody pays much before the due date. In my experience, most businesses will opt to take a discount when it is available. Even small discounts may work wonders. The key thing is to make the customer realize you aren't the bank and have contracts and invoicing that clearly spell out the terms so that it makes it easy for their clerk in payables to know when it "should" be paid. A small discount rate for 10 days and a big nasty for unpaid balances works nicely. Most payables clerks are instructed to aim for taking advantage of the discounts. When the owner is struggling financially, not getting your early discount is often a cheaper course of financing for them than anything else. It's nice to know when this is the case because they are often raising a red flag for you. Then it's best to be as close to C.O.D. as possible next time because if they go under you'll never collect a dime. I've worked at places where as soon as a vendor didn't take the discount, the sales people would be alerted and they'd check to find out why from the buyers and their competitors. If anything sounded fishy - it would be COD. (pardun any puns)
@ March 1, 2006 8:32 AM in Three Ultra gas and 47 zonesYou should be very proud of your son and that job.
@ February 28, 2006 4:21 PM in Proper mod/con boiler sizingYou need to go use your mathematical skills on the Monoflo circ sizing question. I would argue that although reset is a control type for modulation, it is the modulation that increases run times because the BTUs out of the boiler match the BTUs escaping the envelope. I questioned the validity of saying that reset increases run times because on its own it doesn't and that PS seemed like a standalone comment and didn't seem right.
@ February 28, 2006 3:19 PM in Proper mod/con boiler sizing"PS Actually, reset will greatly increase run times for all zones, and so it will sharply decrease the probability that only one zone will call. Reset is a good thing." How so? Wouldn't it take less btus from a boiler to satisfy a lower reset water temp? Modulating obviously increases run times ideally to a continuous basis but I fail to comprehend how resetting the water temp down makes for longer run times or do you mean using a temperature setback on the t-stats?
@ February 28, 2006 3:06 PM in circulator sizing for 1 pipe monoflo tee systemWarning: If I were any more handicapped at complex math I'd probably be allowed to get special plates so I could park in those big parking spots near the stores' doors. ;-) I was hoping to do the same calculations as you. Even went as far as buying a copy of Modern Hydronics the other day to help me in that pursuit but unfortunately black iron and diverter tees aren't covered in the pumping calculation chapter - I guess they aren't modern. In my mind the factors for calculations would be the diameter and length of main pipe and flow for all the fittings (including the boiler etc) when there are no branches combined with calculations where there are branches. The latter calculations are tough because part of the water is following the mains and part is following the branch (for different lengths because mains are normally much shorter) and then there may be one diverter tee or two per branch and furthemore the branches often start in the middle of another branch which means the overall flow of the water could be down three or more paths concurrently. What would be nice is a machine that you could own or rent that you just bolt between the circ flanges and it pumps at a variety of velocities and gives you a nice paper printout of the corresponding flow rates.
@ February 24, 2006 2:56 PM in home conversion from elec baseboard to hot water baseboardInstead of doing 3 zones, why not just home run everything and stick TRVs on most of the baseboards? My house was converted from electric in the early 80's about 6 years after it was built. The main is 1.25" black iron with monoflos and .75" branches. Whoever did it, did a nice job because it works well and the heat is very even but I can't help but think how much nicer it would have been if all the piping had been done in PEX and just came back to manifolds near the boiler. If you are going propane instead of oil, why not get a modulating condensing boiler?
@ February 20, 2006 2:08 PM in Is baseboard heat installed wrong? Does it matter?If your heat is even throughout the house I'd be inclined to leave well enough alone.