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hot rod

hot rod

Joined on August 27, 2007

Last Post on July 30, 2014

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true enough

@ June 19, 2014 2:17 PM in CI Rad, intlet & outlet setup - Bushings, nipples, elbows and TRV’s

TRVs are a European product and method, millions of them are manufactured every year over there. They really are a nice, non-electric, proportional control valve. Much better control than a hand wheel :)

I suspect the "look" of the device on a radiator is not quite what many US buyers enjoy. The control on the radiator does regulate just fine, plenty of electric baseboards with thermostats mounted on them in the USofA.

Every TRV manufacturer that I know, and there are dozens of them, offer NPT versions. I believe Taco sold them for a time also, probably a high quality Italian import :)

Below is a link to our international catalog, we have plenty of options, although not all are on the shelves in the US like WiFi enabled and Cv adjustable models.

I think I can find a simple solution if you need. I enjoy a challenge, and like to see that old iron stay employeed.

We also have an chain smoking, old timer machinest in Milwaukee that will build any adapter or thread you can imagine, he is always building custom parts for us. Really any true machinest can build a thread adapter, or custom nipple.

Online you can find L X R nipples in a variety of sizes and lengths, so all you really need is the correct NPT sized valve, with at least one union connection to get them side by side on your rads.

Looks like you have a variety of connection sizes. Are the large piped ones also LH thread?

It's not all that hard to drill and re-tap a steel or iron connection, if some are 1/2" LH perhaps drill and tap to 3/4 npt, or 3/4 to1" if there is enough metal around the opening. Plenty of valve options with NPT.

how has the system performed

@ June 19, 2014 11:16 AM in Can the boiler be the air scoop?

looks like it has been in service for some time. Does the system operate quietly?

That is really a "high point" float vent. It really doesn't do a great job of getting micro bubbles or entrained air out of the fluid stream.

If the boiler has a large space in that section, that can be the "low velocity zone" which allows air to separate and rise up to the vent.

The fact that there are multiple float vents installed may indicate an air removal problem. Those large pipes can be a challange to get air removed, you need at least 2 fps velocity to push air along with the fluid stream.

There are vertical microbubble type air separators on the market if you feel the system needs better air removal, it would be easy to install a vertical above the circ.

I see

@ June 19, 2014 8:31 AM in CI Rad, intlet & outlet setup - Bushings, nipples, elbows and TRV’s

I thought you could replace the bushing and get them all to Rh NPT, but I see now some do not have bushings.

Are they all 3/4" LH thread? I may have a work around with just a LH X RH nipple.

Is copper an option for going down thru the floor? How many radiators total?


@ June 18, 2014 4:17 PM in CI Rad, intlet & outlet setup - Bushings, nipples, elbows and TRV’s

why you can't screw the valves tailpiece directly into the radiator without the additional nipple and coupling?

Do you need to space the valve that far from the radiator?

By the time you add the TRV head that assembly is way out in the weeds :)

that valve is on the return side

@ June 18, 2014 9:34 AM in CI Rad, intlet & outlet setup - Bushings, nipples, elbows and TRV’s

flow goes into valve with TRV head, thru radiator and returns out the lock shield.

In your case it looks like this. The lock shield has a union, so thread the tailpiece into the rad with a radiator tool, (fits inside so you don't damage the chrome). then the nipple and valve on the other connection, connect the TRV head to either, probably want the TRV head to the front.

The union tailpiece is a BSP, but into a 1/2 NPT Loctite's in just fine.

If the pump is hot

@ June 17, 2014 11:05 AM in Noisy pump

and making noise it sounds like a cavitation issue. It sounds like a flow restriction. Maybe a kinked tube, blockage in the mix valve? Simple enough to dis-assemble the mix valve, pull out the cartridge, put the top back on and run it.

What size tube and how long is the loop that the pump is supplying?

Pump noise can be caused by air, cavitation, debris or crud in the impeller, worn bearings, out of balance, again debris in the system.

Cavitation can be caused by a restriction in flow to the inlet side of the pump, pointing to the mix valve or a partially opened isolation valve.

You have a good central air scrubber, but if the flow is not getting thru your loop, that air removal device cannot remove it.

You could add a quicksetter, or flow meter to check if or what flow the pump is moving. if you get heat from the zone, it must be moving some flow.


@ June 17, 2014 10:49 AM in CI Rad, intlet & outlet setup - Bushings, nipples, elbows and TRV’s

here are some old rad that I re-bushed for a homeowner. They came to me already sandblasted and powder coated.

Some of the bushings I had to saw slot and collapse to remove them. I used stainless steel bushings and ss nipples to add the Caleffi TRV and lock shield valves.

Both the TRV and lock shields have union connections, so all you need is to get the new nipples into the rads.

Locktite 272 to "glue" the new bushings and nipples in.

I built some pex adapter fittings also, but they decided to use copper stubs down thru floor, pex connected below.

These were straight across piping, I connected one to the boiler in my shop to see how they would heat up. After a few hours the entire radiator was warm from bottom to top.

I did drill and add 1/8 hygroscopic vents at the top also.

It would be interesting to ,look inside those rads and see where the flow goes. I have a small Rigid See Snake that would reach inside to look around.

This article

@ June 16, 2014 10:26 AM in Noisy pump

may better explain the options for piping a mixed loop of a zone like that.

do you know

@ June 16, 2014 10:23 AM in Noisy pump

how much heat, or how many gpm you need to move to the zone?

What is the loop in the bathroom? how many loops, how long?

Assume 6 gpm max for that 3/4 pex. The valve is fine for that, try the pump on speed 1 or speed 2.

You don't have valves in ideal spots for purging. Add a valve downstream of that purge valve. With the new valve off, you force all the flow to your vent valve.

You could add a air separator in the line for air removal, like a 3/4 Discal.

also the only way to get heat into that zone is for the loop that you connected into to be flowing. Unless you have a constant flow through that zone, you will not have any btus to give this bath "mixed" zone.

You could have a stuck mix valve, they are easy to disassemble, there is a spring inside to be cautious when you open them up.

I have run systems like this with the guts removed from the mixer to troubleshoot a flow problem. hard to know exactly what "mixed" temperature you would get, however.

Dave Yates

@ June 14, 2014 11:15 PM in Recirculating loop

has written some good articles on gravity recirc dos and don'ts. Heck we used to heat entire buildings with gravity HW flows.


@ June 14, 2014 11:13 PM in Noisy pump

send me an e-mail and I'll get that Excel to you. tried a PM, maybe check your junk file?

Did it ever perform properly?

@ June 14, 2014 11:10 PM in Measuring efficiency of hydronic air handler?

It may have been mis-sized or ducted wrong from day one.

A flow hood would allow you to measure all the discharges and see what the current one is doing at the remote units especially.

Pulleys may have been changed or adjusted and it is not running to spec.

It could be a balancing issue.

all about flow rate

@ June 11, 2014 9:48 PM in Noisy pump

small 3 way thermostatic mix valves have a Cv around 3. So 3 gpm with1 psi drop, not a problem. Start flowing 8, 10 or more gpm and they will start to talk to you.

if you oversize a mixer valve, choose a 10 Cv valve, for example, and try to move low flow, the valve will not respond well, and provide in-accurate temperatures.

Determine what gpm the loop requires and select a mix valve with a Cv as close to that as possible. High flow residential mixers, usually have around a 5 CV.

Here is a spread sheet to calculate the pressure drop.

Take a 3 Cv valve, flow 10 gpm and notice the pressure drop. 10 gpm through a 3/4 pipe or valve, IF you have enough pump to provide that, would be over 6 feet per second, 4 FPS is the general flow rate to design hydronics around.

Also connection size doesn't always change the Cv, plenty of 1" valves with 3 CV.

maybe contact

@ June 11, 2014 3:45 PM in Donley Bros. Co. Vented ash clean out

that seller in Ohio. Looks like he speaks your language? Perhaps he has connections to the old Donley company. Keep working the www.

Donley parts on e-bay

@ June 11, 2014 2:27 PM in Donley Bros. Co. Vented ash clean out

search other online sites, Craigslist, etc

Hi Weezer

@ June 10, 2014 5:54 PM in Recirculating loop

the purpose of the bypass and throttling valve is to allow a small portion of recirc to go back into the tank. When some flow goes into the tank, you push some hot water out and into the "H" port of the 3 way. The mix valve needs to have a differential to operate properly and accurately.

Also the loop will lose some temperature as it goes around and around, even insulated loops. The goal of the recirc loop is to assure the last fixture see water temperature within a few degrees of what it leaves the mix valve, 5- 10 degrees is what we suggest ∆T from mix valve output to temperature at distant fixture.

As the loop loses temperature, you need to push a small amount of hot from the tank to replace that heat loss, hense the bypass. If not eventually the loop loses all the temperature

Think of how a non-insulated loop causes the tank to fire, sometimes too often.

A recirc loop is just a mini hydronic loop. The pump should be sized the same way, temperature drop and piping head.

An example in Idronics11, page 51

100 feet 1" copper, 100 feet 1/2 copper uninsulated.

135F at tank 10 degree drop= loss or 4800 BTU/hr. (shows how important insulation is)

.96 gpm required, pressure drop of 1.6 feet. A tiny circ, by hydronic standards :)


@ June 7, 2014 10:48 PM in Any way to retrofit radiant over already finished ceiling?

that you do a heat load calc first and the wall or ceiling can handle the heat load under all conditions.

Looks like the top window trim is already close to the ceiling, you would need at least an inch to tube and recover. Amazing how much smaller a room seems when you drop ceilings.

A wall radiant might be a better choice, and maybe easier to install. It would also make the room feel smaller.

That space cries out for a panel radiator retro fit in my mind. Easy to zone, minimal work to install, still some "radiant feel"

Unless A/C is part of the plan?

I have a 2007 HTP Phoenix

@ May 30, 2014 11:20 PM in High Mass vs low massBoiler

Solar Phoenix actually, that has been the ONLY heater that I have owned that fires, modulates down to the needed output and runs non stop all day long. Mine is an 80 gallon 130K, and my design load around 42K.

My heating water is the tank and DHW is provided by an external 30 plate HX and a pump with a flow switch. I didn't want to keep putting fresh water into the tank.

Solar input to the lower coil. I also have a wood gasification boiler input. So LP, Solar or wood as the fuel sources.

I haven't done a thing to it in 7 years, I don't know that you can even service that spiral HX that runs up through the tank?

I'll pull the burner one of these days and check flame rod, etc.

In talking with a trainer from one of the premier German boiler manufacturers recently, those higher turndown rates are not so easy to run. Once the boiler is tuned for full fire the combustion numbers go south with those large turndowns. Doesn't sound like throwing a lot of technology, parts and complication is worth the effort to get a large turndown and keep efficiency up and emissions stable. He tells me the Germans pay a lot of attention to what products are out there, which fail and why. He claims the movement is back towards 5-1 turn down.

With the exception of multiple burners and gas valves in larger output equipment, of course.

I think the larger water capacity, however you decide to implement it, is the key. Lets not make them any more expensive to build and repair heating equipment with high tech sensors and emission sensitive control logic, on a 1 gallon fluid capacity heat exchanger :).

Hydropulse was on the right path years ago too bad about then pulse combustion method, related noise and dependability, but the large capacity sure did match zoned or micro-zoned system very well.

I think HTP, form my experience has it right as far as the concept and doable turndown numbers.

Longevity is harder to predict, metal and weld quality are crucial, as is fluid quality, setup procedure, etc. Time on the job seems to be the only realistic way to determine what works and what doesn't. Hard to duplicate all the jobsite trama boilers experience, in a lab setting.

someone should write a book

@ May 29, 2014 10:22 PM in Need to kno everything about Twintube...

about the colorful history of that product. I'm not sure how much info you will, or can get from Watts Radiant. Probably no repair parts :)

I would have guessed 1992 or 93 vintage. If enough tube is exposed it will show a date code.

I managed to "rat hole" a wide variety of tube, fitting, clamps adhesives, and manuals dating back to year one for Heatway. I'll share what I know.

I believe the TwinTran and Entran was called a 1/4" tube. Clamps and fittings changed a lot over the years. I think the first Selftite™clamp for pre 1994 vintage was a 13mm.

The 1994 catalog shows it as a 15mm clamp for Entran 3, 1/4" tube. E-3 may have been a larger OD as the tube evolved, the OD grew, which is why there are so many different clamps listed. The tube changed when Goodyear became the manufacturer, as I recall Dayco was the original manufacturer.

They make a point in all the manuals to use the correct clamp for the different vintages of tube. I'm not sure all the suppliers and installers paid attention to this detail which may have been some of the connection leak issues.

The screw clamps did not work as well as the spring type.

Actually the spring clamp with the adhesive worked well, even in glycol systems. Terrible shelf life for the adhesive was a problem.

It looks and smells a lot like the cement in tire tube repair kits. It was sold as a "industrial adhesive specially formulated to bond Entran to brass fittings" (high temperature) Hose-barb adhesive.

Don't use a typical small stainless hose clamp it will damage the tube, as it "saws" it's way to tightness.

I suspect you could go to a hose shop, or online and find a clamp like this. I took a die grinder to a pair of old vice grips to build a tool for those clamps. They had a habit of "launching" across the room or into your face.

It's a common clamp in the automotive industry, finding the correct size is the key.

My advice if you chose to try and help them out...

Inquire if the system does the job on design days. Make no performance promises.

Build a temporary test fitting and be sure all the loops still flow. They sometimes plug beyond flow, even with high pressure water or air.

Cobble together a clamp and test it to 30psi, at operating temperature.

Isolate with a plate HX or use all non ferrous components, boiler pumps, fittings, expansion, EVERYTHING.

Keep the operating temperature low, maybe a reset control.

Sometimes just removing the old fluid and adding new can put it over the edge. Some suggested flushing the original fluid also flushed the plasticizers that were keeping the tube entact.??

COD, and offer only a "tail light" warranty

Have a plan B ready if the system is not salvage-able, or you don't want your name on it.


@ May 29, 2014 12:42 PM in Need to kno everything about Twintube...

Orange colored TwinTran from Heatway, or the thin walled, black colored EPDM Radiant Roll?

If it has screw clamps it is probably the TwinTran.

Yeah the connections were always a leak problem. A spring tension clamp works better as it maintains tension throughout the hot and cold cycles. At one point a small tube of rubber cement was included to help seal the connection. Stiff automotive constant tension clamps work best.

The Heatway product has been known to harden and crack, but not all of it failed and sometimes only small sections of a 200' loop failed, weird science?

The lack of an adequate O2 barrier is the biggest issue. It will continue to corrode ferrous components, use all stainless, brass, or composites if possible, and a coated expansion tank.

Keep the operating temperature as low as possible to limit O2 ingress.

Do a good power flush with Rhomar or Fernox cleaner.

And don't give, or imply any warranty :)

you need to meet Larry

@ May 28, 2014 5:11 PM in Gravity systems

he built a solar powered, gravity flow, radiant wall heated home in California. Nice fellow! he stops by this site often.

check for a partially closed valve

@ May 28, 2014 9:47 AM in Grundfos MQ Booster

it could be a flow restriction somewhere.
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