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hot rod

hot rod

Joined on August 27, 2007

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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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.

Some piping ideas and schematics here

@ May 28, 2014 9:17 AM in Recirculating loop

Will the indirect tank have a thermostatic mix valve on it? if so be sure you pipe the recirc pump correctly (page 53)

If you pipe multiple loops to different areas of the home you may need some balance valves to adjust flow.

Insulate ALL the HW piping!

Really what the recirc system provides is just enough flow to overcome the heat loss from the recirc loop piping. Both the timer and a thermostat are a good idea, as Ice mentioned.

Sounds like the boiler has the timer function, a small "snap on" thermostat is available from Grundfos and other circ pump manufacturers

P/S may not

@ May 28, 2014 8:48 AM in Suggestions wanted

protect the oil boiler from cold operating conditions without a temperature sensing, and responding logic.

What about a three way themostatic mix valve on the oil boiler? A 3 way is a simple, effective, non - electric option.

good anode info here

@ May 27, 2014 10:34 PM in Smell from new indirect water heater

a three pole switch

@ May 27, 2014 10:28 PM in Series pumps and my hydronic comedy of errors

is another option.

you may need additional wiring

@ May 27, 2014 3:03 PM in Series pumps and my hydronic comedy of errors

Nice tip on that series. Does it also have a mounting kit available?

If the valve is power open and power close, you need to power it with a double throw relay. I've done it with a basic double throw RIB relay RIBU1C.

Here is how we show the 644 motorized open/ close valve wiring.

that is a stainless tank

@ May 26, 2014 10:59 PM in Smell from new indirect water heater

no andode rods, according to the online installation manual.

What type of smell? Sometimes the pipe dope used for the installation has a smell, Rectorseal #5 for sure :)i

You can set that as high as 150F, maybe run it hot for a day if you suspect bacteria.

Does it have a thermostatic mix valve? If not be very careful when running elevated temperatures in the tank.

does it have an indirect?

@ May 26, 2014 10:52 PM in Multiple Circulator & Zone Valve Relays with Post-Purge?

if not the priority relay output on most pump relays has a post purge. I know the Caleffi ZSR has a non-adjustable 2 minute post purge on relay 1

The GEO guys

@ May 25, 2014 11:37 PM in Series pumps and my hydronic comedy of errors

have been stacking pumps for years, mis-matched, and even push/ pull quad pumps. Some examples from Flow Center.

Not my favorite "look" but they have been selling these modules for quite a few years now. The pump manufacturers know about it ;)

Many are going to large Grundfos Magnas or Wilos.

Wonder where the expansion tank pipes, if they even use one?

I like it!

@ May 25, 2014 9:11 AM in What do you think of this product?

is it only for hand held shower that connect with a hose? Or will there be a shower head version? Not that many hand held type heads in typical homes.

I have seen a head with a light in it that starts with water flow also.

good explanation here

@ May 24, 2014 1:25 PM in Lead Free

This video is at Andy does a great job of explaining the procedure, and ends up with a good look joint. Just seems like too much solder ends up on the floor :)

I like the look of a nicely capped joint and don't wipe joints, personal preference is all. And don't spray water on a hot joint or you can have problems. A wet rag after the joint cools a bit will clean up any flux residue.

All tradesmen find the perfect combo of flux, solder, torch, and method that works for them. I have switched flux brands a few times over the years, and solder types, and I did learn with leaks that the new no, or low lead, alloys take more care to get a perfect joint, it's not just you.

Cutting joints apart is a good way to see what going on inside. Some plumbing pratical exams I have taken have you solder joints and they cut and pound them apart for your grade.

I've also gone back to a basic Prestolite actylene torch, a 50 year old one that was my dad's. The LOUD Turbo type torches are hard on what little hearing I have left. And they can tend to heat small diameter tube and fittings too quickly if you are not careful, or use too large of a tip.

other brands available

@ May 24, 2014 12:56 PM in Series pumps and my hydronic comedy of errors

Honeywell, Johnson Controls and others offer actuators. I went with Belimo as they had great tech support and directed me to the best actuator for the application. They suggested the 90 in/lbs. knowing that hydronic valves tend to get sticky in poor water conditions.

Google actuators, or damper actuators and find all sorts of suppliers.

I imagine most brands offer mounting kits to adapt to the stem dimension and bracket to the valve.

You can also find other brands of 4 way valves, I like the tekmar quality, I doubt they forge the valve themselves, probably find it with other names, Danfoss, ESBE, etc.

I have salvaged a few 1000 foot single loop radiant jobs installed by DIYers with the reverser trick. All were pleased to get the slab to a comfortable level with this method.

spring return actuator, multi voltage

@ May 24, 2014 8:51 AM in Series pumps and my hydronic comedy of errors

The Belimo actuator I used above is 24- 240VAC, spring return. So just power it with a lamp timer. Reverse about every 30 minutes.

BTU/sq. ft

@ May 23, 2014 11:30 PM in 2.5" thick wood floors over radiant plates/tubes

is the number you want to know. It will vary from room to room. Floor output "rule of thumb" is 2 btu output per every degree difference between ambient air temperature and floor surface.

So a 68F room temperature with an 82F floor surface would give you @ 28 btu/ sq. ft output.

Then you need to calculate what supply temperature would be required to get that surface temperature. That 2.5 build up would be around an R-3 according to the RPA RadPad.

Using the RadPad simulator you need around 150F supply temperature. You want that surface temperature as even as possible across the floor to get the required output. Good transfer plates 8" on center may get you there.

25-27 btu/ square foot is about the best you can expect from a wood floor, without getting un-comfortably warm surface temperatures. Excessive supply temperatures below that could cause harm to the wood sub and finish floor.

Some installers limit the supply temperature to 140F when dealing with wood floors With subfloors that have glues, like plywoods and press type subflooring, go with the manufacturers suggested temperature max.

You want to keep an eye on humidity levels when you run hot systems, also. Drying the wood may cause shrinkage and panelization where large sections shrink and open large cracks between the flooring boards. If you are in a dry climate a humidifier may be worth looking into.

simple reverser

@ May 23, 2014 11:09 PM in Series pumps and my hydronic comedy of errors

for under 300 bucks (online prices)
You could notch down a size or two on the Belimo actuator, probably. I believe Belimo also has the mounting hardware available.

A simple lamp timer could do the reverse program.
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