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Joined on August 13, 2009

Last Post on March 15, 2014

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I would install

@ September 13, 2009 3:25 PM in TT-110 to p/s or not

a TT  Prestige, just like your doing, piped right through. The prestige has alot of parameters for you to adjust but the factory wont give you the control supplement unless you go to their school in NJ. I dont know if you have ever been there, but it is really worth going.  It usually cost about 150 bucks for 2 days. That includes the hotel and the food. A limo into Philadelphia for a feast... the whole deal and then they give you 100 bucks off your next prestige. They really go over all the parameters and they have working units on the wall. Anyway its well worth it. But anyway radiators on old gravity systems were never made to run at 180, usually 140-150 on design day is enough, so set your outdoor reset accordingly and that thing will be condensing on all but the coldest days. Also a couple of well placed TRV;s in some rooms they want a little cooler can save bucks. Show some pics when your done. Take care

From the boiler follow

@ September 13, 2009 8:08 AM in TT-110 to p/s or not

the supply to the T and out of the T, any side you like, until you come to the first T that feeds a radiator, follow the line to the radiator, through the radiator and then the return line from that radiator back to the main return. If that return main goes directly back to the boiler, the same distance as the supply did, it is a 2 pipe direct return. What you really want is a 2 pipe reverse return. Water is lazy, if it can go 10 feet through the first radiator hook it through a big cast iron radiator and right back to the boiler, there really isnt any reason for it to go all the way back to the last radiator. Ideally want you want to do is make it equal distance to and back from each radiator, you do this by reversing the return. First radiator to get water is now the last radiator back. Because you have Ts bullnosed off the boiler I am going to assume the boiler is centrally located near the middle of the home. You probably have 5 radiator in the front of the boiler and 5 in the rear. When they are like this the problem isnt so pronounced as it would be if the boiler was in the front of the house and the mains extended all the way to the rear, this is when the rear radiators dont get hot at all. If all the radiators get hot in your case and no one is complaining about cold rads or overheated rooms you can leave it, but to really make the job right you should reverse the return so the flow is balanced. This can be a hard sell when the customer doesnt feel the problem. Usually depending on the job I will break out the bullnosed Ts and put ball valves on either side to balance the flow between mains. In Dans book 'PUMPING AWAY' he has a ladder diagram of a direct return and reverse return system. 

The system was probably

@ September 12, 2009 6:32 PM in TT-110 to p/s or not

gravity and is piped in 2 pipe direct return. The rule of thumb for converting pipe size is 1/2 the pipe size and drop one pipe size. So 2"= 3/4. So your 1' will be more than adequate. Your boiler is only 100,000 out so you only need to move 10 per minute max at 20 degree delta t. You dont need 2" pipe to do that. Is this system still direct return or was it coverted to reverse return?

With 2 inch mains and

@ September 12, 2009 10:33 AM in TT-110 to p/s or not

cast iron rads. Im sure you will have no problem with the grundfos 3 speed supplied on the unit.

No need to waste electric

@ September 12, 2009 8:52 AM in TT-110 to p/s or not

that is one of the benefits of the TT.  Pump right through, Lower temps in the boiler for better condensation and half the electric consumption. 

Gravity systems are piped

@ September 12, 2009 8:47 AM in Gravity Hot Water

with a 2 pipe direct return arrangement. This means the first radiator to get water is also the first back to the boiler. Like electricity, water takes the path of least resistance which means you wont be getting much flow to the furthest radiators. There are several ways of dealing with this. First you can replace the radiator valves with thermostatic radiator valves. This is the best option because it gives each room its own setpoint but can be expensive. Second ,you can reverse the returns by following your return from the boiler to the first radiator T, Remove that piping and plug the T, now follow the return to the end and break out the last 90, replace with a T and run copper back to the boiler, copper size is one half diameter then drop one pipe size(2-1/2 =1") now your first radiator to get water will be the last back. This also can be backbreaking and a pain if the returns are in crawl spaces ect. If you can weld, a threadolet can make this easy. I have also seen orfice disk put in each radiator valve, but I have never done this. Your air vents are fine. Hope this helps.

I didnt look close enough

@ September 10, 2009 9:09 PM in Boiler or piping issues

At first it looked like the auto fill was going into the back of the pump. When you pump toward the exp tank, you move water with a negative pressure and piping into the back of the pump where the pressure drop can fool the feed valve into letting in a little water, but you didnt do that, my mistake. The  zone valves on the supply will stop hot water from migrating by gravity to zones that are not open. The way it is now, no matter what zone calls for a boiler start, hot water will travel by gravity into some of the other zones. It isnt always noticeable but it can overheat other zones.

Nice looking copper job

@ September 9, 2009 1:21 PM in Boiler or piping issues

But here are a few ideas for next time, if you dont mind me saying. Move your pump to the supply side pumping away from the expansion tank. Dans book 'Pumping Away' will explain why. Move your zone valves to  the supply and you wont need flow valves. The way you have it now you may blow the relief valve because you are piped into the back of the pump with your auto fill. You can skip the air separator, The boiler is your best separator where you have the air vent, just put aT there and pipe the bullnose to the exp tank. You have 4 zone valves there. You need to control the flow through each valve, get a copy of Caleffi idronics 5 and figure your best option. Flat curve pump, Pressure bypass, ECM Pump. Those are the basic things, There are other points that will be made here that are debatable such as boiler protection so I will skip it. Your workmanship is neat and the job looks nice. I am not trying to be a prick here, just pointing out things that will help you in the future.

That sounds better

@ September 9, 2009 9:37 AM in I didn't think they could do it

I thought they were using a lambda sensor. These boilers are so close to the upper end of squeezing out every btu that its at the point that one service call on these things will wipe out any fuels savings for the next 2 years. So dependability is a major issue now, more so than another 1% efficiency. 

Oxygen sensors are not that amazing

@ September 9, 2009 7:32 AM in I didn't think they could do it

or new. I was going to close the injection loop on my bike this year with a with wide band O2 sensors and ecm because it supposedly keeps the bike at peak all the time. I went to a bike shop in MD who specializes in these things and ask about how well they work. He went to the trash can right in front of me and said here... its the eighth one we removed this year.  It is really something you have to look at and decide how much more efficiency you are going to get compared to the cost of the sensors when they fail. Will it really be cost effective. Probably not.  But I guess you could say the same for a pilot over electric ignition. It will probably happen anyway.

Siggy wrote a good article

@ September 7, 2009 8:02 AM in radiant heat with no insulation under slab

on this subject a while ago in PM magazine. He gave the formula and the math. Using 2 inches of poly board instead of 1 had a payback in 3 years. The loss was quite substantial. I have to buy that disk of his articles as they are then searchable.

Go to the shop

@ September 6, 2009 8:34 PM in Reaching out for help:

link at the top of the page.

The problem with space heating with solar

@ September 6, 2009 7:20 PM in solar assisted radiant floor vs. forced air efficiency savings comparison

is the storage. I had my roof laid out for 5- 20 tube vac panels. I originally installed 2 panels for domestic and have been studying the weather. The 2 panels do really well in the spring ,summer and fall but it is not uncommon to go 3 weeks without sun in winter. I heat the home with Geothermal HP w/w and have come to the conclusion I would be better off using the rest of my roof for PV panels and bank that electric in the grid. Its hard to compete with PV when you can use the grid for storage for free. Solar tanks are expensive and you still have a very limited time you can store. It would be great if we could collect our solar in the summer and save it till winter( and they are doing that with ground store systems) but for now those system are unrealistic. 

Prestige is an excellent

@ September 4, 2009 6:44 AM in Smallest Mod-Con w/Integral DHW?

boiler.  It is my favorite modcon. But stay away from the mini smart tank, I have one in my shop and it isn't even good for that. Its takes way to long from the time you start to using water until you reach a steady state. HOT.......WARM........COLD.........WARM    HOT. The Excellence works much better because it has storage and gives the unit time to get up to temp. Also it is a tank in tank design not just a coil in a tube. Unfortunatly it is only available in the 110.  The 60 would be the ideal unit and maybe a tankless for domestic.

It seems New York is serious

@ September 3, 2009 8:15 AM in Problem with oil burner and tankless coil - Need advice

about renewable energy. PA isn't nearly so generous.

Hot Rod

@ September 2, 2009 8:57 PM in moving heat between tanks in two-tank solar hot water

The blue arrow on your solar hx is going one way but the arrows and pumps on the blue line to your 500 gal tank are going the opposite. What am I missing ?

First you have to convert

@ September 2, 2009 8:46 PM in using gas boiler for propane

the gas valve. If its convertible, some you just change a spring, others you flip the spring and reset the spring pressure, it depends on the valve. Next you have to change the orifices to each ribbon burner. you can braze them and then drill 7 numbers(drill sizes) smaller. This will get you close to the original input. The best thing for you to do is call the boiler manufacturer and buy the proper kit. Propane is heavier than air and will fill a room up before it ignites. Usually there is nothing left from a propane blast. Best to leave it to a professional.

Truth is

@ September 2, 2009 8:06 PM in Problem with oil burner and tankless coil - Need advice

Neither of us know where the price of fuel is going to end up. Oil ,gas or electric. The only system we sell that I can honestly tell the people how much it will cost to operate in 30 years is solar. Its free today and will be free tomorrow as long as you pay your property taxes LOL. I have a drainback vac tube system backed up with a gas tankless Navien. Today when I got home at 3 I already had 80 gallons at 140 degrees. I agree the heatpumps units have to be in the right place. If you have a damp basement and use a dehumidifier it is perfect. I have a customer right now who uses a wood stove in his basement in the winter. The basement gets really hot even with the vents he has cut in the floor and the fan circulation system. This unit is perfect in that situation. He will get high COPs summer and winter.

Very little electric is made

@ September 2, 2009 5:17 PM in Problem with oil burner and tankless coil - Need advice

from oil, New York being the largest at 8%. Good old American coal accounts for 57% and the rest is Gas or nuke. You are correct about electric cost per btu...if you create heat from electric, which is ridiculous to do. Heat pumps do not create heat, they simply move it from one place to another using an electric compressor. A COP is the amount of heat returned in comparison to straight electric resistance, a COP of 3 means 1 penny in 3 pennys worth out , a COP of 5 is five times the amount. When a heat pump is used in warm conditions, like summer or spring or fall to make hot water , the COP reaches 5. At that point There is no fossil fuel even in the ball park, even at 21 cent a KW.  GAME OVER.  Here is a fuel calc, remember to enter electric at 300% to 500%

Watch this video

@ September 2, 2009 3:58 PM in Problem with oil burner and tankless coil - Need advice

then decide

Navien Tankless

@ September 2, 2009 8:04 AM in Looking for a better water heater than tankless coil

operate at 98% efficientcy and only run when you turn on the water. 15 year warranty it is the epitome of gas water heating. The other option would be one of the new heat pump water heaters or the add on heat pump to an electric water heater.

Take a look at one of these

@ September 1, 2009 2:34 PM in Problem with oil burner and tankless coil - Need advice Rheem also makes one, you can check their website. With oil at 2.50 and this unit running minimal cop of 3 you would spend less than half with electric at .12 cents a kw. With you running a tankless coil you will probably be at 1/3.
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