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Joined on September 1, 2010

Last Post on July 22, 2014

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Expansion Tank

@ March 8, 2014 5:06 PM in Pumping away ? I must have something messed up! Help

There are charts and formulas for sizing the expansion tank. The main factors are the volume of water in the system, the delta T from coldest to hottest water temp and the maximum pressure differential from cold static fill to high limit cut off. You can find the formulas on this site or online.

That being said, I can almost certainly assure you that a 20 unit facility with a 175k btu boiler and high temp emitters is gonna require far larger than an x30 tank. I would guess it would take at least a 90, but doing the math is the only way to get it right. There is no way to get things right in hydronics without doing the math properly.

And, I concur that 011 circ on the primary is way too much. The fire tube heat exchanger in the T.T. Boiler has very little head loss and does not require a large circ for that size boiler. Probably a 007 or Grundfos 15-58 would be more than enough. But, do the math and check the boiler manual for the head loss at the required gpm and follow their pump sizing charts. You probably did not need p/s piping unless the second loop off of the secondary has very different temp or flow requirements than the first loop.

Neat workmanship is nice, but proper design is the foundation everything is built upon. Even on a replacement, the job is not done right without proper design. Except for doing a heat loss calc, the other design factors would not have required more than 15 minutes time if you know the formulas and/or follow the charts in the manual.

Please, we want you to excel in this trade. So, take some time to learn the math and how to size and design things.


@ March 8, 2014 4:32 PM in 4-zone hydronic radiant heating system

A radiant floor can become air bound and can be difficult to purge if you don't have manifolds with flow setters and purge valves. Baseboard radiators can become air bound too but generally don't require as much apperatus, especially if they're looped in series like most are.

So, do you have baseboard rads or radiant floors, or both?

Not a Rad

@ March 8, 2014 4:16 PM in What is this?

It's a convector. Could be one of several brands.

Heat Emitters

@ March 6, 2014 5:28 PM in 4-zone hydronic radiant heating system

What type of emitters do you have? Baseboard, in floor, staple up, slab?

Not sensitive about the tankless, just tired of seeing people being ripped off by hacks and Internet peddlers. This topic comes up every week on here. There's a long post from last week on the "main wall" that's entitled "How Prevalent is This" that's deals with this.


@ March 6, 2014 11:04 AM in 4-zone hydronic radiant heating system

Because it's a DOMESTIC water heater, not a boiler.

It is not designed, controlled or approved for space heating and probably now has no warranty because of its mis-application. It probably won't last 3-5 years.

At the moment, I don't have the time or the inclination to go into a long dissertation on the particulars of why its wrong; I've done that in several other posts and so have others here. You can search the site and find them.

A little bit of common sense: if a tankless water heater could take the place of a boiler, there would be no need to make boilers.

The decision to use a tankless is driven by two things:
First, the amount of mis-information dissimenated mainly through Internet peddlers and hacks.
Secondly, man's nature to try a get something for nothing or less than what it's worth.

The first preys upon the second and finds more than an ample number of recipients for its wares. These folks sooner or later come to realize that the laws of physics will out-weigh the laws of economics - every time.

Oh Boy, Here We Go Again.

@ March 6, 2014 9:54 AM in 4-zone hydronic radiant heating system

That's definitely the wrong appliance for space heating. It's designed, controlled and approved for domestic water heating. It appears there's a second one to the left. Is that connected with this one?

If this unit is tied to both your domestic and space heating, you have the potential for serious health and system issues. Not the least of which is Legionella.

The piping is so convoluted that I can't follow it from the pic, but if this is an open loop, that would account for the problems youre having.

I would suggest getting a REAL hydronics pro to look at what you've got, not the hack who did this.


@ March 6, 2014 1:12 AM in Burnham recall?

Here's a link to the recall notice:


@ March 6, 2014 1:06 AM in 4-zone hydronic radiant heating system

Is your "heater" a boiler or an instantaneous water heater? If you're not sure, give us make and model.

Your drawing doesn't completely show where the pipes running upward go. How about some pics?

Gas Pressure

@ March 5, 2014 9:13 PM in New Boiler Pipings

Have a competent tech check your manifold pressure and set it to the spec on the burner data plate.

Closely Spaced Tees

@ March 4, 2014 9:07 PM in New Boiler Pipings

Your boiler connection to the closely spaced Tees is reversed.

Are you planning on keeping your present boiler and piping? If so, I wouldn't re-pipe it.

Again, you can't go changing things on an overhead system by trying to combine modern hydronic techniques with that type of system. That's a common beginners mistake.

If you're gonna replace the piping and boiler, then that's another story and p/s piping may or may not be necessary depending upon the new boiler and method of system piping employed.


@ March 4, 2014 2:57 PM in BTU Radiator Output? (see attached photo)

The height should either be 20" or 28".

At 20", the btu output would be 11,190; at 28", the output would be 11,745. These values are approximate as you did not give the make, but ratings are pretty standard for these. Any enclosure modifications could substantially effect the output.

Installer error?

@ March 4, 2014 11:25 AM in 4-zone hydronic radiant heating system

The installer may have come to realize his error and correct it by removing the actuator.


@ March 4, 2014 11:14 AM in 4-zone hydronic radiant heating system

The last valve with no actuator is actually the return?


@ March 4, 2014 9:41 AM in BTU Radiator Output? (see attached photo)

What's the height of the enclosure?

Amp Draw?

@ March 4, 2014 9:20 AM in Perplexing radiant floor question

If you have a clamp around amp meter (aka amprobe) you can measure the amp draw from one feeder wire and multiply that times the voltage to get the wattage. Then multiply that times 3.413 for the btu output.

It looks as though you're a little lean on heat cable and I doubt that the floor alone will keep up when the temp is this low.

What your tile guy did was obviously wrong. He could have left tile out of the damaged area until it was properly repaired. I'm glad he owned up to it. Hopefully, he'll repair your tile at no cost. That would be the right thing to do.

Dangerous! Do NOT Attempt!

@ March 4, 2014 9:07 AM in Hydronic off new DHW for Basement

You do not want to connect a hydronic zone to a domestic water heater. You'll create a breeding ground for Legionella as well as many other issues.

If you want hydronic heat in the basement, look at installing a combi boiler of sufficient size with panel rads or baseboards. The combi has separate circuits for domestic and space heating.

Return temp

@ March 3, 2014 5:10 PM in Help!! staple-up insulation foil myth

What controls the supply temp to the floor? Is there any provision for boiler protection?


@ March 3, 2014 3:03 PM in Honeywell Zone Valve V8043 wiring

Your comment doesn't make sense. The yellow leads ARE the motor leads and the red ARE the end switch. I'm talking about the actuator, not any system wiring.


@ March 3, 2014 2:04 PM in Honeywell Zone Valve V8043 wiring

The yellow leads power the motor. The red leads are the end switch.


@ March 3, 2014 1:54 PM in So many problems...would be grateful for any help

Go to the "Shop" tab above and then to the steam books.

For a home owner, I'd recommend that you get "We've Got Steam Heat" first. It's more home owner oriented. Or, you can get the four set package, but start with this one.

In That Case...

@ March 3, 2014 1:40 PM in What's wrong with this?

I'm surprised he didn't connect it to the suction line. :)

No Drip Leg?

@ March 3, 2014 10:37 AM in What's wrong with this?

Goodman does it again selling to anyone over the internet! And before someone defends them by saying there's no warranty or they don't know who their distributors sell to, let me remind you they have the best warranty tracking service through Benchmark. No, they know, but they'll sacrifice their reputation (whatever it's is) to turn a dollar. They're not the only ones, either.
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