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Joined on May 27, 2011

Last Post on April 16, 2014

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T average ?

@ December 18, 2013 2:11 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

So this home is approximately 945 square feet on the first floor .   That would for arguments sake make the perimeter walls roughly equal to 128 lineal feet , can we assume that this is pretty near the Total equivalent length of the first floor zone circuit ?   Let's for a minute imagine that this installer knew exactly what he was doing and calculated the output of the baseboard per foot at a given flow and average water temp, maybe 1 GPM @ 170*, the numbers work and every room on this first floor zone seems to have enough baseboard .  The problem is that the average water temp is not 170* in every piece of baseboard . As you travel through the circuit every piece has a lower T* ave. therefore putting out less BTU at the same flow as the piece before . You see where I am headed ?    Here is an equation from MHH3  Delta T = BTUh divided by 500x flow . This house as described by the numbers   31742 divided by 500x3(1500) = 21.16* Delta T .  The problem is I believe we are here or worse  31742 divided by 500x1(500) = 63.48* Delta T . Guys a 007 can't do this , PERIOD .   It can move 1 GPM @ just under 10 feet hd and 3 GPM @ just a little less head than that .What pump can we offer as a suggestion that is capable of delivering 3 GPM and guaranteeing a proper Delta T ?  008 VDT, 0013 VDT .  At least then we can count on an average temp of 170* right smack in the middle of the circuit .  Remember the old oil boiler was oversized , probably had a monster pump and was more likely than not making hotter water than what we can now . 
 I would be willing to bet that the equivalent length of this circuit is 200 + feet and their is I believe a kickspace heater within it .  There is certainly a low flow condition here . Luckily it is one that can be overcome with the right pump . Note to self , please write Taco and ask if they could stop production of 007 that everyone thinks is the right pump . Was that my outside voice ?  


@ December 18, 2013 11:43 AM in Hot water baseboard heating

Please post the lengths of baseboard in each room . Include how many BTUs are required as per the heal loss and the amount (footage) of baseboard that is installed in that room .

Delta T

@ December 18, 2013 9:40 AM in Weil Mclain ultra gas-fired water boiler 399

What is your Return Temp when 180* is going to radiators ? 

Panel Rads

@ December 18, 2013 8:01 AM in System control suggestions?

Will they have TRVs or be controlled as a zone by other means ?
  Also sounds like you will have several different zones , How many and what will the BTUs of each be ?
 Be mindful of how you zone your radiant , the following is not a rule of thumb , some will disagree I am sure .   To zone rooms together in a radiant system the following 3 conditions must be met (all three)  .   1. Rooms must have similar BTU sq/ft requirements .  2.  Use patterns should be similar.  3.  Finish floor R values must be similar .   This is particularly important if you are using wood products . , you would not want to put the end room with 3 outside walls on the same zone with a room with only 2 walls , odds are the room with only 2 walls will exceed maximum safe temperature for the wood product or the other room may never reach desired temp dependent on which room the thermostat is in .
   Smiths environmental has some really well designed Fan coil type emitters that either be recessed in the wall or not at floor level where they can do the most good They have lower temp stuff . . 


@ December 18, 2013 7:42 AM in Combi boiler dhw and heat or dhw or heat

Your combi can make hot water or heat , but not both at once .  This is so with many new systems even if they are component based . The only way to do both is either have separate water heater and boiler , imagine that or to oversize the equipment so enough BTUs are available to support both operations at once . There are a couple options for this without GROSSLY oversizing but that is not for this thread . Your unit is working properly .  There is a diverting valve within the unit that diverts flow one way or the other .

Boiler Head

@ December 17, 2013 9:47 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

If you drop the boiler pump you must certainly add all heads involved in the circuit . If the boiler pump was dropped during a domestic call your operating pump would have to move enough water through the entire circuit , boiler HX , indirect HX , and piping . I do agree that on this installation the boiler pump should remain on during all operations .  But we have no idea how this guy did initial set up , a definite problem that we face trying to come to conclusions .

Burnham Manual

@ December 17, 2013 7:52 PM in Hot water baseboard heating
     I spoke with Burnham tech this morning guys and it seems to me that the boys in that department don't have that broad a product knowledge .  For instance when I asked if this boiler when on Priority interrupted power to the boiler pump during a call I was told ," No and that cannot happen " , Now we know this is not so by the drawing and explanation of pump sizing from page 65 I believe .  Could the boiler have bee4n left at default values which are 170* water to the indirect , if so the water actually reaching the HX is probably only 162 until this morning when the pump was changed ?  Could the stat in the indirect not be set high enough to say 150-160* which would substantially increase the storage capacity of this heater to that of a 60 gallon tank . At worst these folks should have 33.75 gallons at their disposal . Could these guys have installed the mixer and not increased the tank temp , boiler temp during a call ,  maybe it is not even set on priority ?  I know I am stretching here but something is terribly wrong , we have all seen some very strange stuff I am sure . Could Frustratedandcold whom posted the other thread in fact be friends with this guy and the reason he cannot help him is because he is out there trying to figure out what is wrong with baseboardheathelps' system .  
   The homeowner will possibly post the BTU requirements for each room and tell us how many feet of heat are in those rooms also so we cabn begin to understand that problem also . No way an 80 should not be heating a 50K home .    


@ December 17, 2013 10:12 AM in Hot water baseboard heating

will be fine . I apologise for not calling Burnham earlier to verify sequence of operation and logic on this boiler , their manual that is available online may be older as John from US Boiler stated that any installation off of the boiler loop si no longer recommended in the current manual . He could just be out of the loop however . We must take his word on this though .  You are finally on your way . I guess they never did speak to HTP then ..
Those footages will be fine once we match them to what room each is installed in and can view the heat loss . Maybe you could give us the BTU requirement for each room from the report and how many fet are in that room . That may just do the trick .

US Boiler Tech

@ December 17, 2013 8:22 AM in Hot water baseboard heating

John from Tech at Burnham (US Boiler) just informed me that the boiler pump in fact does not have power interrupted on a call for DHW . I asked why the manual online shows that and piped off the boiler loop and he is looking into why an older manual is available online on the site . . That being said , now that all parties have been contacted and the proper information gotten to , if they switch the supply and return on the tank and change the 007 to a 0014 or 009 ( either will work , 0014 has a bit more head available) you should then be in fine shape .
Are you able to scan the heat loss report and attach the document so we may see the numbers as they appear on the report ?  We would also benefit by knowing how much baseboard is installed in each of the rooms .


@ December 17, 2013 12:37 AM in Hot water baseboard heating

For the Hot water should be a Taco 0011 . Boiler head = 13.4 ' @ 7.3 GPM (Burnham Manual) ,  Tank head (as per HTP being given the correct information by me) is 9.1' @ 7.3 GPM , Better yet , you can call HTP and give them the following information so you cannot be lied to by this contractor .  Call HTP , connect to technical and ask the following . " I have a system whose boiler has a head loss of 13.4 feet at 7.3 GPM , 144 total equivalent feet of 1" Type M copper and an SSU-45 indirect , what Taco circulator do I need ?"    HTP will give you a ticket number and you should ask for one , this will verify that you called and spoke with tech .
   As far as the heat loss goes , did you or can you receive the detailed results ?  Request them so we may help get your heat straightened out also .


@ December 16, 2013 3:02 PM in Insufficient heat from system

on all circs should be horizontal .

Dennis Foley

@ December 16, 2013 2:09 PM in Insufficient heat from system

Dennis Foley Plumbing Inc . , located in Somerville should certainly be able to help you through this .  Would you by any chance be willing to provide the name of who did this work ?  Could you also post a copy of the room by room heat loss and the amount of baseboard in each of the rooms that are completed ? Name the rooms as they are noted in the heat loss report .


@ December 15, 2013 9:19 PM in What is the most effective way to handle a MODCON

is a strong company that has been around for awhile now , long enough not to be considered new or suspect . They only do high efficiency and nothing else .  The Phoenix that Rod talks about is THE BEST Water heater in its class if there was another in its class . The boiler you speak of is probably the Pioneer with 55 gallons of mass in 100 , 130 , 160 , 199 BTU sizes .  The Versa Hydro is a water heater that uses the heated DHW being stored and runs it through an HX for space heating , again using this technology you can expect performance similar to having a unit with 10:1 TDR . I suggest you check out their website and explore the stuff they have engineered to make our lives easier and more profitable . The company is owned by a single man , Dave Davis and he is very involved in every aspect of the company , service is very good also .


@ December 14, 2013 10:21 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

I see that you are awake and just posted . Please have a look at the 3 possible solutions , I believe any one of them will work , and let us know what you think about them

Probably unrelated

@ December 14, 2013 8:46 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

to this install .  If it was only on the hot water side it would be suspect but since both hot and cold have shown the same condition it is probably something other .


@ December 14, 2013 8:43 PM in Second shutoff for boiler on stairs?

the switch and use the guard . It is code in many jurisdictions to have it there . better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it .


@ December 14, 2013 8:40 PM in Munchkin

Just rebuilt one that is 8 years old doing what was described to me as a backfire .  Contact HTP and get the rebuild kit part number for your unit , order through your local; supplier . Also check the swirl plate in the fan assembly , may have dust and debris from intake impeding air flow to gas valve / burner . Worked very well for this rebuild , I replaced everything that came in the box including the ceramic backwall and refractory door plate after cleaning the heat exchanger very well .    Good luck .  Parts were reasonably priced , I was pleasantly surprised by the cost .


@ December 14, 2013 3:52 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

think I should add some gauges in the remedies so these gents can see how a system reacts and how temps , flows and pressures change within a system ?
Maybe a well planned trip to Cranston for Barba's Advanced soup to variable speed nuts course would be a great help to these guys .

Smallest zone

@ December 14, 2013 3:44 PM in What is the most effective way to handle a MODCON

should be whatever it is required to be .   2 small boilers is always an option but in my opinion not always the only or best option .  Buffer tanks are a great piece of equipment that are underutilized by those of us who know and not known about t=by the other 97.5% of "heating contractors" .  Why not install properly sized buffer tanks and let the mod/con make cast iron temp water and park it in the buffer . No matter what boiler you are using this will insure most efficient cycles .  Low temp systems with an ODR mixing valve can sip and mix this fluid for a good long time before the boiler has to replace the used BTU's . Imagine storing at 180* for a system that only requires 100* and not having the boiler fire until the buffer fluid is 105* . Do you think that will guarantee the efficiencies that made you purchase or endorse a mod/con to begin with ?  Zone away !  A 50 gallon buffer tank for instance would always require the boiler to run at or above minimum modulation and insure nice long run cycles .  Buffer tank sizing is not a difficult equation either ,   Smallest zone   2500 BTUh , 80,000 BTU boiler w/ 4:1 TDR (20K lowest modulation), 20* Delta T system .  Equation  
20,000 minus 2500 = 17,500 .     17,500 x 10 minute cycle = 175,000 .    175,000 divided by 10,000 =  17.5 gallon tank .   Don't forget to add the buffer tank volume for sizing expansion tank .  
   At least that is the way I have handled it for quite awhile .  Did I mention you will always be condensing too ?

Grasping at Straws

@ December 14, 2013 1:03 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

Maybe we can help choose which ones to grab .  Here are a couple ideas , all of which I believe will work . Please post any thoughts .
From easiest to more involved .
1.    Change existing DHW circ.(007) to 0011 (boiler-13.4' @ 20 Delta , tank-9.1' @ 20Delta , 144' x 1" pipe) , change existing space heating circ to 0013 VDT . Disable ODR , set boiler high limit to 190* , set aquastat on Tank to 160* w/ 10*diff. , set Taco mixer at 115-120* . Pipe Tank with supply into top port . Leave wiring as is
2 .  Eliminate DHW circ altogether . Add Taco ZVC 403 and a third zone valve for DHW (1") , wire aquastat to zone 3 , set aquastat to 160* with a 10* diff., set Taco domestic mixing valve to 115-120* , make this zone Priority . Pipe tank with supply into top port .
 Install 0013 VDT to handle domestic and space heating . Disable ODR , if in fact it is in operation now , does not seem that reset is an option for this one due to poor performance at present , set boiler high limit to 190* . Change wiring accordingly .The system will operate at a respectable 85%+ and all will be good .
 3.   Cut and cap DHW loop from present location , move to inside of boiler loop  and pipe and pump as per page 64 and 65 notes and illustrations ,  keeping DHW loop as short as possible of course . Set boiler high limit at 190* , enable ODR , change space heating pump to 0013 VDT , possibly 008 VDT if piping for heating circuits allows ,  set tank temp at 160* and mixer at 115-120* . Pipe supply into top port of tank .
    Please check me on these options folks so we can offer her something to hand these fine gentlemen so they may make her whole .


@ December 13, 2013 9:45 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

do you have prints for this house ? how about a floor plan ?  Do you know the insulation R values in the exterior walls and ceilings to any space without heat above ?  What contractor performed this work ,   Sorry again for your dilemma .  It took us awhile to pinpoint all the mistakes from afar .  I will e mail you recommendations to hand to these gentlemen when they come if you are comfortable with that . Maybe the others would like to contribute to this final analysis so you can just hand it to them and enjoy Christmas and put this nonsense behind you .  If needed I do know of a few very talented guys up your way also .


@ December 13, 2013 9:33 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

some bad practice here huh ?  I spoke with Jason at HTP yesterday and explained exactly what we are dealing with on this one . In this particular installation we require a 0011 for the DHW , that could change if instead of discussing 105's and secondary tanks that will make the problem worse these guys would possibly read what we are saying to the homeowner .   Does moving the DHW piping inside the boiler loop and using the 0014 as Burnham recommends on page 65 0f the manual ?  I also believe that this system has pumping problems on the space heating side also and believe that a 00 VDT would correct that too . Can't speak to 008 ,0012 , 0013 because all I know is that there is 114 feet of installed radiation and possibly more in the future .  Could you agree that the fix may be as simple as these couple items ? Hell , at this point they could leave it piped as is and change the DHW pump to the 0011 and the heating pump to VDT and have it whipped . Storage temp in indirect at 160* and boiler making max for DHW. Not sure reset is even an option in this house , of course just guessing because no room by room was done .I don't understand why they did not just stay Burham and install the Alliance Sl  IWH or just use an HTP boiler , hell the Versa Hydro was made for this job , Pioneer with this IWH would have been stellar
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