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The Wall


Joined on May 27, 2011

Last Post on July 22, 2014

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All thumbs

@ February 3, 2014 10:04 PM in Rule of thumb for btus

Here's a rule of thumb for ya , the only rule that matters . GET A PROPER HEAT LOSS DONE .  Here is what rules of will get you , IN TROUBLE .  Here are some I have heard .   North of the Mass Pike 40 BTU sq ft , South of the Pike 30 BTU sq ft . How bout this real live horror , 150 sq ft room with a window that is 10 feet wide and 5 feet high on 1 exposed wall  next to a room that is 340 sq ft has the same size window and 1 exposed wall .  You would never guess that the BTU per sq ft requirement were so different on those 2 .
  Measure the house in detail and punch in the numbers , also learn how to do it when the power is out by hand or with a calculator . There is no rule of thumb , only the right way . Read several posts here and see what the consensus first question is on any problem having to do with heat .


@ February 2, 2014 11:05 PM in New boiler, Insufficent heat

You say there are 2 for the master bedroom , are you sure there are not more than 2 ? 2 is not enough for this room , it should have at least 3 , if the ooVDT pump that was installed is a 008 it is not capable of adding the appropriate mechanical energy to a 2 loop configuration . This si shown on the reports I attached . I was hoping other pros would look at them to verify that fact . The 008 can move 4 GPM at roughly 14 feet of head , with only 2 loops you would have to be upwards of 20 feet .
  You should certainly follow Rob's advice and contact someone that does this competently . If Joe is not available , I am here in NJ also .  I Pm'd you my information .


@ February 2, 2014 10:56 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

I cannot believe there is still information coming to the surface here . 
    Fireplaces and basements Oh my ! The basement is not a magical place where fire takes on a different face than on another elevation . Insulate with Roxul Safe and sound , put a 2 hour rated fire assembly (2 layers of  5/8 sheetrock ) and call it a day . Insulate under the Bonus room above the garage with the highest R value possible . Is the garage ceiling sheetrocked I hope ? Add the appropriate amount of heat in the bonus room also .
 I have heard of no less than 7 installs similar to this one using this very same combination of equipment ( sizes vary ) right in Northern Mass . I feel as if I should contact the Mass Attorney General to start an investigation into deceptive practices and impersonating a heating contractor .
Dennis Foley Plumbing Inc  , Somerville Mass .   
Vanaria plumbing  ,   Braintree
Emerson Swan ,  Bruce Marshall ,  Randolph .  This gentleman may know of others that could help you in the area . He is a trainer and works for a distributor there . He will certainly know the correct people near you .


@ February 2, 2014 8:46 AM in Looking for a Buderus design pro

I will PM you with my information


@ February 1, 2014 11:19 AM in Hot water baseboard heating

might have found something pretty large .  Most guys I have encountered don't enter floor values when the system is not a radiant floor system . There can be quite a bit of downward loss .


@ February 1, 2014 11:03 AM in Long detailed help needed with air pockets hydronic 3 zone Burnham oil boiler, 3 Taco circulators, baseboard fin registers no air valves

I have contacted a large Pa distributor about possibly donating some Taco products for this project , looks like a real possibility that that assistance may materialize .  Also , Heather you could contact OESP and look into the Oil Heat Cares program . If anyone is willing to go help Heather I will also send some of the needed parts . I would go myself but it is quite aways from my Jersey home .

Lots of zones

@ February 1, 2014 9:50 AM in New boiler, Insufficent heat

I am a bit late to the party here but will say all the advice you have received is quality .  I would like to know who from what factory visited your home .
The fact that you have 32 zones is a good thing . Because of the number of zones and how this system is controlled you can raise the temp as high as you need to at any time , although this is not desirable as far as efficiency that the boiler will achieve .  I will explain , when the floor surface temp in any zones reaches the temperature it should to satisfy that zone the thermostat will open and shut that zone down stopping flow thus making overheating the finish floor highly unlikely , no flow no more heat .  What really interests me is the fact that I just designed a room 2 days ago that had tubing installed by another . That room is 672 Square feet has a modest amount of windows and has a design heat loss of 15,024 . Differences are that it is slab on grade with R 5 below and at perimeter .
  This tubing was installed at 15" centers and the loops are in excess of 250 feet in length , design parameters are 0* ODT and 70* indoor . I will attach actual and what should have been at the end for review .  Point being , your Master bedroom should have had more and shorter loops . If the 00VDT put in was not of the 0013 variety you are more likely than not ever going to achieve desired room setpoint .  Couple that with the fact that 98% of the guys around here use default program settings or bogus design temps like 14* for here and you have a recipe for being cold . Harvey does what I do in asking the customer what they would like in their home , this is the only way to do it . So when a factory guy says this boiler and / or system should perform to design that may not be accurate because the design contains errors .
Good call on the insulation , that is always required , heat does not rise , it is lazy and stupid and will go the easiest way it can , By the way if heat rises how does the sun know to always have its top pointed toward Earth ?
   Here are the reports from that exposed basement room , please look at them and see what you think


@ January 31, 2014 12:22 PM in Need some serious help

is 100% correct .  That slab should employ outdoor reset . Without getting control crazy a Taco I Series ODR mixing device would be a good choice .


@ January 31, 2014 11:26 AM in Need some serious help

BTU requirement of smallest zone at design conditions so we may inform you what size your tank should be


@ January 31, 2014 11:25 AM in Need some serious help

is what this system requires .  The low loss header must be removed and substituted with a buffer tank . I'll bet that at other than the most extreme low outdoor temps this boiler short cycles .  Your mixing valve problem has to do with the fact that the circs MUST BE LOCATED within the mixed loop , you are pushing hot boiler water through them . With the pumps within the loop the valve is enabled to pull both hot supply AND cooler return water .
   Go to Caleffi website . Scroll down to Idronics 14 , just released . Download and view page 41 , figure 7-14 . This is what your system should look like with the exception that there are no mixing devices shown . But they should be under the circ and connected to the returns accordingly .
What is your thought on this Pros ?   Judging by your name I can guess that you understand that you can only get a return on a sound investment .  It is time to remake your portfolio my friend

Q & A

@ January 31, 2014 9:36 AM in Some recommended installation diagrams

1     The bypasses are redundant . They are band aids manufacturers have learned to include in the IOMs to CTA and also so there is a way to semi fix a poorly pumped / designed / installed system .  This is the state of our industry .
2    All of the installed pumps are pumping away from the point of no pressure change . No concerns .  The pump / pumps can be located anywhere that could be considered pumping away from the tank .
3   That air separator has issues in my opinion . The makeup water at the very least should enter the system on the opposite side of the separator from where they depict it . Best place for that water to enter would be connected to the separator


@ January 31, 2014 8:01 AM in Some recommended installation diagrams

type of system is this for ? Meaning is it extensively zoned , what type or types of emitters , what were the end users'  hopes and wishes as to how this would operate and how efficient it would be , are they to be staged or all at once operation ? Give us something .
If your opinion differs from what the engineer specified and that opinion is validated from years of experience I suggest you draw what you want to do and submit it with explanation to the engineer and why it is better . If he seals it you're good and if not demand explanation why so if at a later date it does not function as designed you are also covered .
Bad thing about any of these situations if you are performing CYA is that in a litigation I have known jurists to state and I quote " Sir you are a licensed contractor and if you possessed knowledge that this was incorrect or would cause issues you had the option to refrain from performing work that you were aware would not function or cause harm "  . That's a tough one to get around . We too often are put in situations where we become responsible no matter what . I think the people who word contacts knowingly did this to us .

Black on make up

@ January 30, 2014 6:49 PM in Closely Spaced Tees - maybe not?

Don't think much about it on that side of BFP .


@ January 30, 2014 12:23 AM in Closely Spaced Tees - maybe not?

this way I do believe this circ was not even necessary .  Any other circs installed on this system are working in conjunction with this one pictured . Hell , if I was water I would never decide to make a right turn when I could continue forward with  no effort . This is more of a bypass than P/S if you could even entertain the thought of calling this P/S , the worst thing about this is 2 additional fittings (90's) were used to do it wrong . Have the installer remove the 2 90s and place the Tees where the 90s are now and call it a day . Sorry , maybe that's just because I'm lazy and stupid .
      Is there something in the water in New England that continues to make installers purchase , install and commission Burnham Alpine boilers poorly ? There has to be over 600 posts about this boiler from this specific area within the last 45 days .  I would venture a guess that US Boiler may want to do some extensive training in this part of the world or just stop shipping there .  We should start a movement to require hydraulic seperators or buffer tanks for P/S systems . Would be pretty hard to screw that up . Decoupling , air elimination and dirt separation all in one , Gee that sucks .  Hey guys , this one look familiar ?

And the fix for that one is really special
   Amherst , Don't let this happen to you . Have him remove the 90s and put the tees where they are .Don't allow yourself to become the subject a a 500 post discussion .


@ January 25, 2014 9:17 AM in Having Trouble with VDT Circ.

Lotsa heat being extracted would be my thought .  Is the % light solid or flashing ? If it is solid the pump is more likely than not pumping at full speed and the widening Delta is a byproduct of the pump just trying to keep up .  I suspect another pump with a similar performance curve would perform similarly at conditions like this .  Try setting the dial back to the 2 setting ( 10*) in the board and observe what happens , then set it at the 6 (30*) and again observe . If the fluid stays at a 40* Delta there is nothing wrong with the pump and the Delta T is just because of the heat loss being greater than the conditions which this pump was chosen for . If the test shows that it is just operating at full speed maybe a 0012 or 0013 VDT would be the solution . But then again , maybe it's broke . 
  Another question is , what is the design heat loss for this house and what temp was it designed for ? I have seen many systems designed for 14* in my area that are just not capable of heating the structure at lower temps . Maybe this is your issue .

Buffer Tank

@ January 15, 2014 6:58 AM in Why not a zone for every room?

is not the same as the expansion tank .  The buffer tank would be placed between your boiler and the system .  boiler supply in top of tank and return from bottom , other side would be again supply from top and return to bottom .  This tank adds mass to the system so when the zones call they don't necessarily fire the boiler but instead utilize that mass . Properly sized Buffer tanks will END short cycling of any boiler . Very good strategy for extensively zoned systems . There are boilers that all but eliminate the need for a buffer that are mod cons , these boilers have many gallons of mass and are very handy replacements for mid efficiency existing boilers .  As far as how to pipe I use manifolds that are meant for 1/2" pex and use actuators for each zone as long as the flow needed can be easily reached with 1/2" . 1 Supply and 1 return to each room and 1 - 3 GPM is usually sufficient .
  TRVs as mentioned earlier are another option and a good one also .  

Al Gore

@ January 6, 2014 8:48 PM in Did someone say Design Day?

Below design days everywhere , ships checking out the shrinking polar ice stuck on top of it , record cold temps all over , we're all gonna bake !  New theory , everyone lower your design temps by -10* .

What is design temp

@ January 3, 2014 10:49 PM in We're at design temperature in NYC.

Lots of my competitors are lost sleep last night and will lose more in the coming days . They design to 14* . I will be sleeping like a baby . Good night !  Johnny , good luck and hope you don't have too many that were cut close .

These might work

@ December 23, 2013 8:09 PM in Design-build hot water washdown


@ December 22, 2013 2:43 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

Judging by the Delta T hovering right around 20* I would say we hit on the correct pump for this at least .  From minute 7 through 31 it stayed right where we want it , those first 6 minutes are something .  

The Wall

@ December 19, 2013 10:38 PM in Why no "indoor reset"?

has a good smattering of pretty good guys that I guess could commission . I have been entertaining that idea myself . I design and ship packages a lot and was thinking of reaching out to certain individuals whom may be interested in a paid gig like that .  I think I may be insulted . LMAO.


@ December 19, 2013 10:34 PM in Hot water baseboard heating

We can only guess at the piping system and its true equivalent lengths . As educated of a guess that I could make is that the 008VDT would be sufficient with no IFC installed . This should add right around 13 feet head to the space heating circuits .  Again , just a guess from 5.5 hours away . 
  DHW going out of mixer is 118* I believe you stated , depending on your preferences you may opt for a mixed temp of 105-110* , HTP does limit the warranty in excess of 140* operating temp  Anything higher than that usually enables you to enforce the 7 Year commercial warranty . Take this into consideration though the stainless steel tank in their high mass boilers have a 12 year warranty . Hmm  , interesting gamble .  Your Space heating ODR ratio should probably be no more than point 6 (.6) with the design temp set at 184* . , this would put your warmest day SWT at 140* . I would do this ratio until and if you ever have the piping and baseboard redone . My advice for first floor is a manifold and each rooms heat get a homerun from the manifold . This action will drastically increase your response time and efficiency .
    What this 008 pump will change is the flowrate to this unknown heating circuit and insure that the flow will always match the heat loss of that zone , in other words the water returning will be 20 * cooler than the supply water that went out . Tell them to place the sensors properly and set the dial inside the box to the #4 ( this is 20*) .  
Do not allow them to leave without calling Burnham Tech support and being walked through the set up process and verifying what they have done .
 I expect the next time we talk you should be in much better shape . 
Remember that we are not there and are making educated guesses based on years of experience . If 008 does not work you will require 0013 . Do not think this is the case . If you have obtained the oh so important thermo devices Weezbo  has rightly touted please check the supply temp going out and the return temp coming back while heating zone is on . Supply is to the left of the 2 Tees near boiler and return is on the right now .  Good luck . If you have any questions while they are there I will be available as long as I am not in a basement  
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