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Joined on May 27, 2011

Last Post on July 24, 2014

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In Illinois

@ June 28, 2014 9:54 AM in Cooling load, heating load, sizing equipment

Contact Corbett Lunsford at Green Dream Group .  He will know who to put you in contact with and your best avenue to achieving your goal . He will also have vetted anyone he recommends prior

wire, zone valves and controllers OH MY

@ June 27, 2014 5:08 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

I must be much less sophisticated than you . I would have fitted bypass fittings and TRVs , set it up constant circulation and been done with it .  Still a good system that you have there though  

Read This

@ June 26, 2014 8:31 PM in Thermostat and humidity settings when away in coastal FL

check out the whole site , also go to building science corporation site . All who have commented here should read this
And this ; perfect wall

This is why

@ June 26, 2014 8:19 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

that room by room heat loss calc is so important .


@ June 26, 2014 8:03 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

What type of boiler and make and model of circulator if you would please .  Also 1 eighteen hundred sq ft house may very well be absolutely different than another .  One may have more windows , one may have 2 x 4 walls as opposed to 2 x 6 walls , one may have undergone a deep energy retrofit  or received newer upgrades at some point . Point being  that a room by room heat load calculation should be performed . Anyone that tells you different is a fool and listen to him at your own peril . You say there used to be radiators and they were changed to 1/2 baseboard , is this baseboard run as a series loop or does each piece of radiation have it's own takeoff from the main ?  You could very well listen to someone and end up with a 60* Delta T and returning water to a non condensing boiler at 120* or less . Another possibility is that your circulator may be sized properly for the system as it is now and if you change without knowing the head losses and flow rates in the real world you may end up with little to no heat when you really need it .  Problem with internet advice is you cannot verify whom everyone is and their credentials .  Mine and others on here are verifiable and we have been solving problems for quite some time .  If 40 people tell you something that is the endorsed first step of any heating work and another says don't worry about it you may want to try what the consensus advises and take every precaution to do it right . 
  As stated before by another many of us have spent many uncompensated hours correcting things that we did that did not work , we also call this tuition . I hope you will take our advice and not just undertake this without the proper information first . 
  You would be right to question any advice you got from anyone on here but many of us have been here solving difficult to not so difficult problems for quite awhile and some of us will proudly show their work , This is who I am ,    This house has Ng bills that are heading toward the projected 1,140.00 per year while having temps when the heat is on that do not differ more than one degree from room to room  and consumes less electric than many small 3 zone houses . Please heed what many have said to you here .,


@ June 26, 2014 6:48 AM in Combine two heating zones into one, any savings?

This action could very well create other undesirable issues . Issues such as varying heat losses of rooms dependent on outdoor conditions , you may experience a change in the comfort levels in different locations . If the system worked well except for short cycling a bit I would look at other options like a properly sized buffer tank to negate the short cycling issue .  In short you should explore different ideas and weigh the costs / benefits of each . Opinion on doing what you are asking is the benefit you wish to achieve will be slight if noticeable at all .  We can help with some more information like what size and model of boiler you have , what is the BTU requirement of each zone , was the house comfortable a majority of the time , what is the total heat loss of the building , are all the bedrooms on one side of the house as opposed to the other zone ?  Thought should really be given to these things before proceeding .Making 2 zones into 1 could be bad , you could stop the short cycling but be uncomfortable in certain areas and after all these are comfort systems .

9 zones

@ June 24, 2014 7:37 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

there is nothing ridiculous about 9 zones . Every room should be very comfortable zoned in such a manner . Why heat a room that doesn't need heat ?  Find out the highest head loss zone Bc and try to use a Taco Bumble Bee . With rads and a low head loss running at 30* Delta T odds are that you may be able to run below the 42 watt max for that circulator . I don't remember exactly but are you gonna be using that AO for DHW and Space heating ?

AH hah

@ June 23, 2014 9:45 PM in Initial target Flow Rate calculations

The old Delta t / ASHRAE standards trap .   You have cast iron rads and they will do fine with even a wider than 20* Delta T , they work real good with a 30 - 40* Delta but you don't wanna do that unless you have unless your sure of your flow unless you have a condensing boiler and can go even a bit lower on the SWTs.  Here is the tricky part , ready ,  between 2 to 4 ft per second is real good for heat transfer . Question , do you want heat transfer in your supply and return piping where you receive no benefit form it ?   Those standards in my opinion belong with baseboard , HXs .    No air should be getting that far anyway with the caliber of eliminators that are readily available now .  A radiant system is really gonna mess with your head , wait till you see how laminar those numbers are .  Read further you'll get to the spot where Siggy tells you about short fat headers wuth laminar flow in them too . 

Look at

@ June 22, 2014 7:53 PM in Whole house de-humidifier

Ultra Aire SD12 .  180 pints a day and 4300 BTU sensible cooling if needed

Versa Flame

@ June 19, 2014 7:50 AM in HTP ModCon retrofit

is quite a unit indeed .  As far as you performing the exact same installation using a GPVX makes me wonder .  What I wonder is how will you make it similar to a Versa Flame that has low head loss and no HX for space heating and relies on street pressure or well pressure to push water through the DHW side of the HX  and has a matched pump included that is wired to perform at the factory , by the way that pump is a Taco product .  Seems to me that an exact same install is not possible . You will need to purchase 2 pumps and an HX for space heating side , an outdoor reset mixing valve and a control to enable you to DHW priority which you will need . You will have an HX penalty for your space heating , a glass lined tank which are known to fail , an anode rod which will need to be replaced and be dealing with a company who is notoriously terrible with warranty exclusion excuses .  No sir you cannot perform exactly the same installation as a Versa Flame as with the unit you are using , a better comparison would be the Versa Hydro but how would you know that . 
AO Smith  primary function / hot water , uses mass in tank for space heating
Versa Hydro  primary function / hot water uses mass in tank for space heating
Versa Flame   primary function / space heating uses mass in tank for DHW production .
  You would do better to purchase an HTP Pioneer and use the same theory that you have for the AO , it will cost you 900.00 more but you will have the mod con , SS , and low head loss for space heating and much less chance of replacement . Do the math for that equation my friend and don't forget wire to water efficiency in your designs .
  If this is your own home I ask the following ;  How tight is the house ?  Why would you put something of lesser quality in your own home to save money when the better product saves you more money right from install date ? The only parts other than the tank in the AO are a gas valve and fan where as the HTP products have controls , logic and technology built in so how are the warranties even remotely similar ?  
Sounds to me like you would like to eat a nice buttered croissant but are willing to settle for a stale dry hard roll cause its cheaper , you can spend your effort and time trying to make it taste like the croissant but it's still just a stale roll .
When you look at the whole picture you will spend as much for the AO as for a quality HTP product but you will suffer performance wise . Have fun .   
  We have hijacked this man's  thread enough with this , please start a new one if you wish to get further opinion  

6 years

@ June 18, 2014 8:45 PM in HTP ModCon retrofit

is a damn sight shy of the HTP warranty .  These are boilers BC and HTP has been around for awhile . I use a whole lot of HTP and have run across few problems with them .  All manufacturers pretty much only go a year with other than the heat exchanger .  As far as AO Smith is concerned they do not make a single modulating condensing product so it's not even comparable . Lots of AO Smith stuff is also made in Mexico , for what it's worth HTP is assembled right here in the good old US .  How many products does AO Smith warranty for life ?  Don't know where you heard that the warranty on this unit was less than 6 years but take a look at the warranty as published by HTP  .

 As far as confidence goes there is not one manufacturer that I can think of that has not had a problem product . As a matter of fact most failures I have seen were caused by the installer by either not doing something he should have or not knowing quite as much as he should have .  


@ June 18, 2014 2:48 PM in HTP ModCon retrofit

they do plumb and chain together so nice .  Surprised you didn't use the mod con double stacks .  This job will without a doubt please the owners and accountants .


@ June 18, 2014 7:25 AM in 95% Efficient Condensing Replacement Boiler

from what ? Low EWT , this is condensing equipment where the lower the EWT the better .  By the way , when water leaves a piece of equipment at a lower temp than it returns it's called air conditioning . We are talking about leaving BTUs in the building are we not ?  I am intrigued to see the house or building that produces energy , so is the entire world for that matter . 
  This is kinda the basis for the recent comments on this discussion . Trying to solve problems that arise when the wrong piece of equipment is specified . If you need to figure out how to make something work to a certain standard it is most likely the wrong equipment and should not have been brought up to begin with . 


@ June 17, 2014 8:25 PM in 95% Efficient Condensing Replacement Boiler

Do you know what circ is installed from the factory ?  Is it a 3 speed and whose pump is it ?
  Harvey , I did hear the same thing but cannot verify and interestingly enough what type of circ , HX flow characteristics are not to be found in my search for this info .

Seems to me

@ June 17, 2014 6:23 PM in 95% Efficient Condensing Replacement Boiler

that depending on system piping and requirement of emitters that P / S piping is not always necessary .  If the on board circulator can move enough fluid at design through the emitters and the HX why would you require P/S piping ? I see that no P/S is shown for use with an air handler George , is this boiler smart enough that it can determine what it is supplying ?
  As far as gas piping this thing I see that it will operate at a 3.5" w.c pressure at the inlet . This is a good thing and the fact that it works with 1/2" pipe is not surprising . Think about this now , NJNG uses an 8" w.c regulator in most areas of service where I am located .  With a 1/2" P.D through the meter you still have 7.5" available , if you sized a header properly for all fixtures calling and used the allowable pressure drop you could pull off the following ,
  7.5" after meter 425,000 total load , 1 1/2" x 10' Iron pipe header would have a pressure drop of .03" with all appliances calling leaving 7.47" available at the farthest tee on header .  7.47" minus 3.6" to NCB gives an allowable pressure drop of 3.87" w.c .  3.87" / .039" p.d per foot of 1/2" I.P @ 150,000 CFH = 99.231 feet .    The point I am trying make is that you can't call somebody cheap and you have to read between the BS and not just spout off specs from a book and the same piece and type of equipment is not the cure all .  I shout from the hilltop about HTP but if you notice when I shout I usually refer to different models and types of units that all react differently depending on system design requirements .
   Do you have the guts to install 99 feet of 1/2" black iron to the NCB because it will work ?  I doubt you would because the book says so . George , be the guy who writes the books and quit reading  , move beyond where other guys are and be the best and for God's sake use something made here in America .


@ June 17, 2014 2:52 PM in 95% Efficient Condensing Replacement Boiler

Do you really use those charts ?  Depending on where you are and the regulator the utility uses those charts will have your gas pipe oversized most of the time .
Just like when we do room by room heat losses , in my opinion we should also do the math for gas pipe sizing if meeting the INTENT of the code is important .  The intent is "to minimize the hazards associated with , within the building "     Basis for this method can be found in 402.5 IFGC if that is your model code . Barring the fact that unless you and others are in an atmospheric bubble where physics acts differently than where others are located it works there too and is an approved engineering method , the same method that all the CSST manufacturers used when they figured out their spin to make everybody believe that CSST was magic . Can you tell me why you can run smaller sized CSST to an appliance / appurtenance when in fact CSST has a greater pressure drop (" wc) per foot than Iron pipe ?   Not really defending what Snowmelt said but pointing out that there are other methods that all may not be aware of  and that if there is something some may learn from it should not be discouraged  .   Just my thought on gas pipe , as for the Navien references at every turn I ask this , George , are you trying to get a job with Navien ?

Do the math

@ June 10, 2014 6:46 AM in Plumber

and if you require help with the math hire someone who can .  A room by room heat loss is the first step to determine equipment size, tube spacing , supply water temps . 
Use a product like this on the upper floor , and size it for using 120* or less but if you need to go as high as 140* with a 20* Delta T .  Panel rads with TRVs is a better option in my opinion . These can be piped to a manifold and all rooms will have same comfort level .
  depending on the number of zones you want or require will determine whether you need a buffer tank or not to eliminate short cycling of the boiler or you could use a mod / con that has mass for this , HTP Pioneer is a good choice .  Will you make domestic hot water with this boiler also is another question . 


@ June 9, 2014 8:02 PM in hydronic or forced air heat

Have a room by room heat loss done . Use the water heater as your source for space heating also  and put a properly sized ductless split for ac . More details would be good like is the upper level open to below ?  What are the R values of the walls , roof , how many , what type , what size windows and doors . Can you draw a floor plan showing these things for us ?


@ June 8, 2014 11:28 AM in 1" vs 3/4" baseboards

or turbulent flow is what you want for thermal transfer In a baseboard application .  The fluid moving slower will more often than not just aggravate an already poorly performing piece or pieces of baseboard . By increasing the pipe size and keeping flow the same you will create laminar flow thus impeding heat transfer .  Instead of entertaining the thought of changing baseboard type and size I suggest using a Delta T pump . In this way you can insure optimal heat transfer at all conditions , indoor and out . The very middle parts of your system will always have the average temp , beginning will be just above average and the farthest parts will be just below average . Now all that is left is room by room sizing of the baseboards at those temps and you're done . Math is awesome !

Zone valves

@ June 5, 2014 10:50 PM in Outrageous Banging

how many and what type of circulator is moving your fluid ?   Please try to tell us if this happens when all zones are opened or if only when some are open and some closed .  Did this happen before and got louder and worse and why did you add a zone ?  Your piping may be strapped and supported poorly where you can or cannot see , couple this with a single speed pump that is just right or oversized and when those valves close and the velocity changes in the open zones it can make a hell of a racket .  Bad support and strapping alone can cause this issue but if it got louder when you expanded the number of zones and added a valve makes it suspect .  A Delta T pump can lessen or eliminate this problem then if it persists continue searching . The new pump is a nice addition anyway and will improve the wire to water efficiency and fuel consumption somewhat .  You can only fix one thing at a time as it seems you already know .


@ June 5, 2014 4:50 PM in Online design services

Relax Stenty .  Where are you located ?  I guess you found one of those guys that knows it all and therefore will never learn anything .  Probably has been to 50+ product based trainings but has no clue why things do what they do .  Those who know how should always work for those who know why , unfortunately that is no longer the case .

Is this

@ June 5, 2014 7:03 AM in Outrageous Banging

a new install done recently or did this problem just appear ?  A bit of background would be helpful to help
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