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hot rod

Joined on August 27, 2007

Last Post on July 25, 2014

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I remember

@ July 7, 2014 3:52 PM in Cleaning radiant tubing

A micro jetter is what we need to develop!

Something with an 1/8" flexible line that could pull itself through several hundred feet of pex. Heck doctors push tubes through our veins and can take pictures and do some sampling even.

storing energy and delta Ts

@ July 7, 2014 3:33 PM in Peer review please...

Lets assume you could get 130F from a black colored pad, and you had insulated storage in the ground to leverage that fairly consistent ground temperature.

140F in a tank of hot water in the ground at maybe 60F, so an 80° ∆T grabbing at that stored energy.

With a block of ice, say 20°F in 60° ground, only a 40° ∆T.

With ice you could get ac with dehumidification, as you have a cold enough temperature to condense.

In the Viessmann approach you transfer this energy with solar assisted heat pumps, no boiler comes close to the efficiencies the heat pump can. And the energy to run the HP could be with a PV array, that also could be also offsetting the buildings electrical loads.

The PV array, maybe more of the system, qualifies for rebates, utility buybacks, or adding to the community solar garden.

I just don't see solar thermal, even with the most efficient fossil fueled boiler back up coming close?

I've been a die hard boiler and thermal guy all my life, but you cannot deny the HP and inverter technology when looking into the future.

The Chiles boys did some pool deck recovery systems around here many moons ago. not sure if they are still operating, may have been solaroll systems?

My next heat pump may be the size of my microwave, and an energy fence for my loop field


@ July 6, 2014 1:19 PM in Cleaning radiant tubing

start with boiler fill pressure 12-15 psi, that way nothing needs to be isolated or taken out of the circuit. Disconnect one side of every loop at the manifolds, see if they all flow. If you have some that are not flowing I would use higher pressure. Start with house water pressure, still no flow, go with high pressure.

I have had good sucess with this method, plenty of RadiantRoll and early Entran here in SW Missouri, home of Heatway :)

There were several jobs that loops and entire zones had to be abandon, plugged solid.

Heatmeister out in Colorado is the "meister" of radiant flushing, he has developed methods and tools just for this purpose.

A pressure pump that pulsates might be a good method. I remember installing and servicing the old SoftSpray car washes with my dad. They used a single cylinder piston pump that would pulse the water spray. They did move the dirt along better, but those recriprocating pumps needed frequent repairs, and were crazy loud to work along side of.


@ July 5, 2014 1:57 PM in Cleaning radiant tubing

what you probably have is iron ferrite sludge. it is common in non barrier tube systems. Depending on how long it has been running and how much O2 has been pulled in will determine how tough it will be to clean.

In some extreme cases the tube can sludge so badly that it cannot be salvaged. The small diameter RadiantRoll and TwinTran tubes can be a bugger to get flowing.

Determine if the loops flow at all. If so a good pressure flush can usually clear them out.

You may want to isolate or disconnect the boiler from the piping, generally they do not handle pressure over 30 psi. Isolate the expansion tank also.

All the rest of the components should be rated for 150 psi, and it may take all of that to free up some sludged loops.

Once you get all the loops and piping flowing you could add a cleaner like the Rhomar.

None of the hydronic (soap based) cleaners will dissolve the iron particles, if that is what you have in the system, pressure is what it takes and lots of water flow to move the heavy particles out.

In some cases systems plug with lime and minerals from constant water make up due to a slab leak somewhere. To clean a limed up system you need a mild acid product like Hercules Sizzle or other brands.

Once you get it flushed and flowing, isolate with a HX as you mentioned and still add a magnetic separator to catch and capture any remaining iron ferrite that may still linger.

All non-ferrous components on the tube side, of course, when you repipe.

you're on the right track

@ July 4, 2014 10:04 PM in I can not get my head around the over sizing of boilers

Thermal Equilibrium is what you are noodling. Here is a link to some good reading on that and heat transfer in general. page 51 talks about your question. It's really the heat emitters, not the boiler that drives the thermal equilibrium.

info on slab temperature

@ July 4, 2014 9:46 PM in Peer review please...

Probably not as warm where the tube would be located, but even 100- 120F would be a good amount of energy to add to 55F potable water to pre-heat DHW.,

In reality the average household spends 300 bucks or so per year for DHW, so the DHW summer load is not what you want to chase. Wind and cold temperatures would make the outdoor slab a non-starter for thermal in all but the hot summer months.

I found a really detailed German study on outdoor slabs for heat exchangers, lots of technical data, I'll look for the link again.

I'd imagine Viessmann has researched your idea also. But after seeing that large ice storage device at ISH last year :) I don't think you can store the thermal energy efficiently and affordably to make the numbers work.

Perhaps that is why Viessmann is looking at ice storage in the ground not high temperature water?

Certainly the desire for Europe to move away from Russian oil drives the heat pump concept, but properly designed and applied it's tough to beat a heat pump. Spend all the extra cash on a PV array large enough to run the heat pump :) Here is the link to the ice storage device they had on display at ISH.

do you have

@ July 4, 2014 9:29 PM in Pump Exercise

a good dirt separator or Y-strainer? It might be a better investment for the system overall instead of an exercise program.

A good dirt separator will take particles down to a 5 micron out of the fluid. Use one with a magnetic fun to to handle and iron ferrite. Good for pumps, valves, boiler, and all heat exchangers.

here is a course

@ July 4, 2014 8:06 AM in Getting into mod/con business

that will be right up your alley. Roy will present a generic and in-depth mod con class. he does a great job explaining combustion in everyman language. Online courses make it very easy to learn.

Plenty of other great classes at this school also.

sounds like plenty of exercise

@ July 3, 2014 9:28 PM in Pump Exercise

if the pump in question runs daily to provide DHW via the indirect? You really don't want to run a pump that could pull heat energy from the indirect, either.

Be sure you have good check protection on the indirect, it can easily thermosiphon heat back into a cold boiler. I'd suggest hydronic specific spring check. Soft seat, tapered plug, low "pop" spring and bubble free seal.

fairly necessary

@ July 3, 2014 5:37 PM in True RMS

if troubleshooting modern HVAC controls and equipment. I know the output from the triac relay on many solar controls cannot be read accurately with a non RMS meter. Worth the extra bucks I think.

A good RMS explanation here from Extech

for what reason?

@ July 3, 2014 12:53 PM in Pump Exercise

do you want to exercise them? To prevent them from seizing up over non-use seasons?

I know Grundfos has a little "tickler" built into the pumps to help wake them up after long shut down periods.

Usually the biggest cause of stuck rotors is bad water quality, in closed loop applications it is best to use a cleaner, good water, and a hydronic treatment chemical. That would protect all the components in the system valves, pumps, boilers and heat exchangers.

the issues

@ July 3, 2014 9:41 AM in Is kiteck the next Entran

and lawsuits dating back to 2006 had to do with fitting failures, dezincification of the high lead content brass, as I understand it. Nevada and Washington state seemed to be the areas where lawsuits started.

I do get pictures of the tube failures from time to time. It either shows delaminating or bubbling inside. Like Entran it seems to be limited to certain batches of the tube?

I don't see installation or handling being the cause? Product or manufacturing glitches?

Kitec to pex couplings?

@ July 2, 2014 5:05 PM in Kitec transition

I think I could work up some compression to compression couplings. We use to supply the brass manifolds to WarmRite/ Kitec so I know our PAP fitting was approved and seals well.

Our fitting has a captive isolation washer. Some feel the aluminum barrier failed due to electrolysis at the brass to aluminum if that washer was not installed. They also have dual o-rings for inside, and a nose o-ring to seal to the coupling or manifold.

All of our fittings are designed to fit tube that is out of spec ID or OD, or even a slight oval shape. Both our inside and outside fitting pieces are tapered to handle some small out of tolerance issues. Hense the "universial" fitting name.

Do you need 1/2 and 3/4" I'll need to round up the center part of the coupling, I know we have the tube fitting that fits manifolds.

how large of a space?

@ July 2, 2014 4:47 PM in Slab Sandwich

pouring a basement in an exisiting home? How much headroom to work with?

For a small area that CreteHeat product is pretty slick. Foam, tube holder, and vapor barrier all in one.

I'd go with 2" also. I wish every job I have done would have been 2", it does make a big difference especially with slab on grade jobs.

Remember some sort of edge insulation/ expansion joint detail.

Slabs poured within 4 concrete walls have a tendency to crack when they heat and expand. They call it external restraint cracking.

Concrete supplier shops have a special foam strip expansion material. Then you slide on this plastic H cap. After the pour, zip the top of that H and fill it with a polyurethane caulk to seal and allow expansion.

Here is a piece of it. I use it between garage slabs and the driveway slab. Allows some movement and a bit of a thermal break. Use foam adhesive to glue it against the basement wall up to the slab pour line. After the pour, zip the top 1/2 off and caulk. Leaves a nice clean detain without an exposed, raw foam edge.

My other wish, looking back would be tighter tube spacing to allow 100- 120F supply temperatures. That allows condensing, solar and heat pumps to work efficiently.

always use heat transfer paste

@ July 1, 2014 1:18 PM in TT Smart 80 & Prestige Solo 110 Summer Gas Usage

many times the sensors are not controlling accurately due to bad thermal conduction.

quality mixers

@ June 30, 2014 4:12 PM in Water Tank Temperature After Shower

the life expectancy of a mix valve, on DHW systems is directly related to the water quality. Water with a lot of minerals, lime, calcium, grit, etc shortens their life. 95% of the mixers we get back are locked up from hard water deposits.

The hardness, but also the temperature of the "hot" water. The hotter the more the minerals preciptate out of solution. Installing a thermostatic mixer on a tank of 160- 180F makes a huge difference in the service life, before cleaning is required. Also the amount of water that flows thru the valve determines how long before cleaning.

Catch 'em before they get too much build up and vinegar will clean them out. If they sieze tightly you may rip an o-ring taking them apart.

Very simple inside a 3 way valve, o-rings, a plastic spool, and a wax cartridge.

To make an accurate valve that meets the strict ASSE standard takes tight tolerances. Tighter tolerances = more maintenance.

That being said, look for a brand with a large body, this allows larger components inside and better flow rates.

Not all thermostatic valves get along well with tankless heaters, the pair tends to fight one another as the tankless ramps up the valve tries to close down and response times between the two get them at odds. There are special thermostatic valves built for tankless heaters, used in Europe where tankless are the main DHW source. They are low Cv and not really adaptable to US markets, however.

I'd also suggest a tankless with a small tank built in, this minimizes the "cold slug" and behaves better with thermostatic valves, as the valve doesn't see wide and quick temperature changes.

The other big problem is improper piping when mixers and recirc systems are combined. Either the valve will drift hot, or lock cold if it does not see a constant supply to the hot port to allow it to respond. ideally a 25-27 delta T between hot in and mixed temperature out, to be 100% accurate, that is part of the ASSE test standard.

As far as I know those "extender" type valves do not have the appropriate ASSE 1070 or 1017 listing and could get you in a bind should someone get burned.

? on the RadPad ap

@ June 30, 2014 1:24 PM in Help with radiant floor in shop

we need to check with Mark to see if this is a project in the works at the RPA. Sure would be a handy ap.

An Apple compatiable HDS would be great also.

need toi know more

@ June 30, 2014 1:22 PM in Help with radiant floor in shop

as Dave mentioned, what other devices are in the circuit? If it has a 3 way thermostatic mix valve, for example, those can have a large pressure drop if they are not specific to radiant.


@ June 30, 2014 1:17 PM in Glycol disposal

most auto supply places NAPA, O-Reillys, AutoZone, etc will take it in small quantities. Quick Lube and others will take it also. Check with your city or county recycling, they may have drop offs.

Large quantities, like 50 gallon barrels can be taken to, or picked up by Safety Kleen, they do charge however.

EG and PG does get mixed all that time as many cars and trucks now come with PG fluids and the auto shops don't know which they are draining and flushing.

It all ends up at a recycling stop where they filter, RO, add new inhibitors and color and see at automotive supply shops.

vertical air purger

@ June 30, 2014 1:09 PM in 2 Gallon electric water heater.

A vertical air purger would be ideal, and add a hygroscopic vent on the towel bar if there is a connection.

Could be that small circ is not providing the 2 fps to get all the air back to the vents? Save those vents for high point applications, they are not a replacement for an air separator.

Maybe pull the circ and be sure that the impeller spins and is not partially plugger and not providing enough flow, it's about the only thing that may have changed.

4 loops, 400 feet long

@ June 29, 2014 11:42 PM in Help with radiant floor in shop

18" on center with a 97,000 load. Looks like 2.5 gpm per loop and 14' of head, according to a quick RadPad calc. A Grundfos 26-64 would work. or a mini Magna if you want an ECM.

sorry to hear

@ June 29, 2014 11:28 PM in One of the greatest heating tech' has passed away

I'll keep him in my thoughts.
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