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Joined on September 1, 2010

Last Post on August 14, 2014

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@ 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.

Installed Several...

@ March 2, 2014 10:34 PM in Lochinvar Knight boiler problems

Never had a problem or heard of any such thing like you've been told.

You've tagged onto the end of an existing thread. In order to stay on topic, we don't do it that way around here. You should start this as a new thread if you want more responses.

Radiant floor

@ March 2, 2014 10:21 PM in Mixing Radiant Floor and Rads

Is the floor gonna be a slab or wood framed? Either way, you need a second loop of the boiler with its own circ and temp control. Allowing the boiler return water temp to go below 130* can also result in flue gas condensation. Your control strategy must also address this.

If the floor is a slab, then variable speed injection mixing is the proper way to control the slab temp while protecting the boiler. Look up Tekmar's essay on this from their site as well as info on their 356 control. It's something you're probably gonna need a real hydronics pro to do or guide you through.

Don't even consider running the floor off your water heater! You'll create a Legionella breeding machine. There's a long thread on the "main wall" right now, as well as many others, dealing with this. It's titled "How Prevalent is This".

Not enough info...

@ February 27, 2014 11:13 PM in help!!

For an accurate diagnosis, but a safety in the control circuit may be causing power to be interrupted to the igniter.

The two most likely would be:
1. A vent pressure switch which would point to blockage in the vent, collector or condensate drain if it's a 90% + furnace.
2. A limit switch which could mean something as simple as a dirty filter or as serious as a bad heat exchanger.

The igniter itself may be cracked if it's hot surface type.

It would not be in the thermostat or its wiring if the draft inducer was running.

I'd really recommend you get a pro and not attempt any DIY repairs.


@ February 27, 2014 10:55 PM in Apologies and explanation

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who can accomplish such great feats in Geekland. :)

Good Advice

@ February 27, 2014 10:49 PM in lennox gwb8-150e-2

I would second what Slim has said and re-iterate that you find a good HYDRONICS contractor. The installer is 98% of the equation and there's a whole lot more to this than just joining pipes.

I also question that boiler size, unless your house is very large or leaky. Don't let someone size the new boiler based upon the size of the old one - send that hack packing. A load calc is essential and easy to do.

Find a good wet head that will do a load calc and take his recommendation for a boiler.

By the way, Dunkirk makes good products, particularly their "Laser Tuber" boiler which is advertised at the bottom of the page under "product of the month". The Utica SSC is the same boiler.

Pex A or B

@ February 27, 2014 10:30 PM in pex size

Pex A is the highest quality and has a life expectancy of 200+ years. Pex B is inferior, has a 25 year life expectancy and is almost surely made in China. Pex B cannot use expansion fittings. I would not consider using it.

Pex requires support at 32 inch intervals minimum and will expand in any direction it can.

Let me put it in perspective:
A 3/4 inch x100 ft length of pex will grow in length about 12 inches when it's temperature is raised 100*. That's about the normal amount of temp rise between on and off cycles with BB heating. Think about it: your pipe will be growing and shrinking one foot in length between each boiler cycle.

Now look a 3/4" length of 100' copper. Under the same conditions, its expansion will be about an inch. And it will still retain its lateral stability.

Pex-al-pex has almost the identical characteristics as copper and it also retains its lateral stability.

Now before you write off using it, please listen to the advice of a pro who has run miles and miles of it as well as pex and copper. You can buy compression fittings for it and all they need are two adjustable wrenches. You don't have to use press fittings.

Secondly, when you bend it, it stays put, just like soft copper. You can even use a tubing bender to make perfect bends, but it's not required. That ought to lower your fitting count also.

Third, it has a larger internal diameter than pex and carries about 30% more than pex in 3/4 and 1" sizes.

Fourth, it only requires support at 8' intervals.

Without knowing how much radiation you're connecting to any loop it's not possible to know what size pipe should be feeding it. But, 3/4" copper or pex-al-pex will carry up to 4 gpm which translates to 40k btu's in a standard BB system. That translates to 80' of BB at 170* average water temp. I doubt that your loop will have anywhere near that much and if it does, the loop should be split.

You ask for a pro's advice and more than one has pointed you to pex-al-pex. FostaPex is a brand of it.

Another Option...

@ February 27, 2014 9:51 AM in pex size

Pex-al-pex is a composite of pex and aluminum but acts very similar to soft copper including its co-efficient of expansion. In simple terms, it won't act like a piece of spaghetti when heated the way that regular pex does and is usually a little less expensive than type A pex with an O2 barrier.

I have installed countless miles of it and it's usually my first choice for what you're describing.

It's also listed as pert-al-pert. "Pert" means poly ethylene raised temperature.
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