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Joined on October 13, 2004

Last Post on September 1, 2014

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Regarding TRV control

@ August 4, 2014 12:18 AM in Micro-load Dilemma: Add Storage or Nuclear Option

It would be best to use constant circulation. TRVs control space temp ODR controls boiler/ water temp. Use a ecm circulator to curve power consumption.

Tubing in sand

@ July 27, 2014 10:48 AM in Radiant Heat Matrix Other Than Concrete.

Here is something to ponder if your going to do tubing in sand.

That is movement of the tubing expanding and contracting over time working its way to the surface. So an anchoring system needs to be implemented. I would be Leary of staking into soil as the same thing could happen over time working the staking out of the ground.

Thinking this through I would favor elevated beds with the radiant to the root system. Let solar gain heat the atmosphere with in the green house.

I would insulate the tank at all sides but the top backfill with sand allowing the tank temp to radiate into the green house. It may take some trial and error as to what tank temp would allow an acceptable air temp in the green house, and to the root system tubing.

The tank would be heated solar, and what ever alternate means.

I think a vapor moisture barrier on the floor before final floor media is laid to prevent additional water from plant watering in the green house to go in the tank area is critical along with a tank coating. Unless the tank will be plastic not a bad idea.

If this idea did not work out the tank only being a foot deep could be dug down to insulate the top in the future.

If tank is not yet purchased I would opt for a rectangular plastic tank. 67 cubic feet will give you 500 gal. A tank 6x12x1 yields 72 cubic feet or 538 gal. Insulate bottom sides cover top with sand one big emitter with probably pretty low tank temp. If my idea fails dig out the 1' of sand and insulate the top.

Polymetric sand

@ July 26, 2014 4:02 PM in Radiant Heat Matrix Other Than Concrete.

Expensive but once down and wetted when dry is hard and flexible. Main use in filling cracks for laying pavers. Polymers and cement are added to the sand for adhesion, and flexibility weeds won't grow through it.

Next thought would be a flow able fill sand with cement additive different mix designs usually richer (more cement) are the difference facilitate flow.

Your talking 1 cy 4" thick of what ever media you choose. Biggest hurdle is short load charge for redi mix
Mix it's gotten brutal around here.

Your cheaper ordering the 5 1/4 cy cut off than ordering 1 cy

Another polymer modified cold patch sell it by the bag, or go to the state or county highway maint yard. I like this option


@ July 23, 2014 1:18 PM in Radiant Heat Matrix Other Than Concrete.

Underground tank temp? Typo 550*

Buried tank location? Under green house hmmm one big emitter
Or remote?
Plants grown elevated, or in the ground?

A 500 gal tank would be darn near the
Size of the green house.

6 of one 1/2 dozen of the other

@ July 21, 2014 11:22 PM in Electric Baseboard Vs Hydronic Electric Baseboards

Like Mark says a btu is a btu, and a watt is a watt. The water or oil in the baseboard spreads the heat out over a wider time frame. A little longer heating up, and a little slower cooling down because the water adds mass to the base board. Being electric I doubt either one is superior by much to the other for 4 times the cost is ROI there?

Diaphram tanks

@ July 21, 2014 10:46 PM in bladder tank total volume - who cares?

The diaphram, or bladder in the tank has to have room to flex with in the tank this is the exceptance volume. The total volume would there fore need to be larger than the exceptance volume.

There are calculations for sizing that take into account system volume, and temperature/ operating pressure. Thats why you do not see an across the board exceptance volume being 1/2 total tank volume. It all most starts that way with the small ones but as tank size requirements increase the total and exceptance volume ratio changes.

If you look at a tank style expansion tank its usually 2/3 water 1/3 aircushion, but total tank volume depends on the system volume, temperature, and pressure.

They both operate the same way except bladder types keep the air from being absorbed back into the system water


@ July 20, 2014 7:09 PM in Advice needed on heating system install

Is actually quite elegant, and others have mentioned ..........

System Air

@ July 18, 2014 6:07 PM in Constantly purging air in hydronic system

So Icesailors explanation of how pressure effects keeping air in solution is a good one. There is one other thing, and that is temperature.

The hotter the water in the system the more air comes out of solution. So upon filling a system with fresh ambient water the system is brought up to operating temperature air will come out of solution. The pressure helps keep the air entrained in small bubbles to get back to the air seperator, or auto vents as Ice explained.

So every time your adding fresh make up water to the system your adding more air to.

Expansion tank pressure

@ July 17, 2014 8:03 PM in Constantly purging air in hydronic system

Needs to be set isolated from the system. Set that pressure then bring the system pressure up to psi to match tank psi in this case 18psi

Envelope upgrades

@ July 17, 2014 6:45 PM in Complete new system on small house

I would calc a heat loss with those intended upgrades to see how much difference there is going to be in the load.

IF you are 100% sure those upgrades will take place. I would size the boiler to that heat loss. use the higher water temps until that upgrade happens then you will be poised for lower water temps after upgrading the envelope.

What im trying to say is IF the heat loss proves to allow lower water temps with out increasing radiation. Then you may not have to add more radiation the envelope upgrade will take care of that for you.

You wont know until you run the Futuristic heat loss. And only hang your hat on that IF you are sure that will happen.

efficiency and ROI

@ July 17, 2014 5:19 PM in Complete new system on small house

As far as the indirect you can make more hot water with the indirect verses conventional, and make it at the efficiency of which ever boiler you choose to use. So 80/85 I wont say 95% because a condensing boiler wont run in that range of efficiency while producing DHW.

About the boiler and ROI. We can plan our ROI with present day utility cost, and say the ROI is not there. But what you dont know is future utility costs, and if anything will steadily increase.

Your heating emitters are High temp 180 for now. You can decrease the required AWT by adding more radiation, or envelope upgrades, or both.

The trick to get high efficiency mod/con boilers to play well with high temp systems is to
get the emitter side of the system ready to recieve the mod/con. you dont need 180* but 1% of the heating season.

If this country is ever going to get green, conservative, what ever you think the path is we ALL have to get away from the frame of mind whats in it for me only.

ROI for high efficiency is not always black and white there is always some gray, and the gray is future energy costs. The question is does one want to be in a position to be ready for it, or wish they would have been.

Im sure you have lurked in some recent discussion about this choice.


@ July 16, 2014 9:23 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?


I will jump start the future wall format.
As far as Bob's post

exterior chimneys

@ July 14, 2014 9:24 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?

are the hardest to warm up, and keep warm between appliance cycles. unlike an interior built chimney. There fore flue gas condensation is twice as bad. Both still require liner.

Is the existing chimney clay tile lined? the mortar joints between the tiles may have eroded away causing condensate to run between the tiles, and the actual masonry finding its way into the interior space of the home.

Besides above

@ July 14, 2014 8:37 PM in Do I need a chimney liner?

With higher efficiency appliances exhausting into the flue the condensing flue gases are acidic, and will eat away at the mortar, and brick your chimney dieing a slow death from the inside out. This also has a lot to do with the NFPA codes.

In the old days with lower efficienciy appliances, and higher stack temps to warm the flue to prevent condensation it was not as bad.

Is this chimnet on the exterior of the home, or running up the interior of the home?

Original post, and drifting from a direct answer.

@ July 13, 2014 12:32 PM in Getting into mod/con business

I usually do embrace drifting off topic in a debate. If the poster is patient, and reads the posts something can be taken away from the discussion....usually.

In this particular case it should bring to light there is no simple direct answer to his question. It's a case by case, wants, needs, goals, budgets for both installer, and end user.

It's like debating which mod/con, or conventional boiler is better. Usually in the end it's about what is available in the area, parts, knowing the product line, features offered, and features really needed.

Savings from a new install is always subjective especially if calculated by end user. So long as the customer is happy with those numbers is what really counts.

In the end choosing not to offer a product line limits his business opportunities.

Oakley White paper

@ July 13, 2014 12:33 AM in Getting into mod/con business

What to take from it was its intent.

1.Oversized emitters a plus.
2. Mod/cons condense with high temp emitters IF number one applies.
3.Mod/cons are more efficient than conventional equipment.

What you chose to take from it is your intent. For you that is cost of ownership vs efficiency.


@ July 10, 2014 6:10 PM in Getting into mod/con business

It is less than professional, and people are going to lurk, and see that someone is doing it so that makes it okay especially if a professional condones it. Its one thing to experiment when you know what you are doing, and another when you do not know what your doing. I'm not insinuating you.

Another in my opinion is you want to debate cost of ownership from conventional to mod/con without the full understanding of the technology. Disregarding everything that comes in the box of one verse the other. That's worth loads to the installer, and the consumer in the end. Your using a water heater a step below conventional even, and also purchasing loads of extra parts to make it do what you want when in fact the seemingly more expensive option comes with all the parts all ready assembled into a neat plug and play package. You get what you pay for. The water heater will never approach the efficiency of a conventional boiler. Now you could do what Rich does, and use the HTP product Pioneer which has the technology built into the over all purchase.


@ July 9, 2014 9:59 PM in Complete new system on small house

is that going to be needed?

Great idea Mark

@ July 9, 2014 9:52 PM in Jury Rules That CSST is a Defective Product

But who pays for the plumber/fitter everytime there is a thunderstorm, and a whole subdivision of houses impregnated with the csst pipe gets locked out. I know its deffinetly better than loss of property or life though. But how many out of pocket lock outs is going to make a homeowner disconnect the saftey feature unaware of the risk, or just willing to take the risk? Or would this be a supplier feature with a tampering is unlawful, and imposes fine or imprisonment tag.


@ July 9, 2014 9:43 PM in Getting into mod/con business

No shirt required.

Boiler temp

@ July 9, 2014 8:32 PM in Getting into mod/con business

Why would you not keep the boiler temp at 180 mix down for the emitters if 100 degrees is all you need BC? That would give a 40 delta for the indirect. I dont see the cost of maintaining a water heater tank temp at 140-150 all the time, and having to lose efficiency through an HX so its oversized to do the job.

Hot Rod

@ July 9, 2014 8:24 PM in Getting into mod/con business

I dont think anyone here would disagree with that direct statement. It does cost money to be green on all fronts,except for my schwinn world sport 10 speed from high school I still have, and do ride for leisure;-) But sooner or later it should, and will be a requirement, and this will all be a mute point in cost of ownership no?
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