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Joined on May 27, 2011

Last Post on September 1, 2014

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I think

@ May 3, 2014 4:45 PM in List of small mod/cons

installers and designers have a way to go before they know how to make any boiler and the system it is used in last 30 - 40 years . I think the machines are up to the task now . 
What would you suggest they do with the existing water heaters when they take 25-30 K worth of heat out of these chimneys ? 

Best wishes

@ May 3, 2014 8:17 AM in Happy Birthday M.E.

for your birthday Mark .  Keep up the fight !


@ May 2, 2014 6:44 PM in List of small mod/cons

is the heat load so small ?   If the answer to this question is because it is very tight and insulated well may determine or make one type boiler more acceptable .   If the house is that tight it may be unwise to use a CI boiler .  Mod cons and the style of venting they offer are a better fit for a very tight house .  Is this house old or new and did it have a masonry chimney prior if it is old .


@ May 1, 2014 7:53 AM in New workshop- Help with options

is your supplier , NJNG , PSEG ,etc ?  
    Gas line only has to be sized for the appliance installed in the garage , thi sis supported in 402.5 of the IFGC , allowable pressure drop .  The line you actually require need not be huge as most contractors will tell you . Of course this all depends on which utility supplies your fuel . NJNG for the most part utilizes an 8" w.c regulator allowing smaller pipe to be used as opposed to PSEG's standard 6-7" regulator that is not as forgiving . 
  As far as rates ,  go here is the real math between electric and gas  

Gas  = 1 therm = 100,000 BTU = app 1.00 per therm .
Electric ( using an H heat pump with COP of 4)
Kw = average of .14 = 3414 BTU (29.29 Kw = 1 therm)  .14 x 29.29 = 4.10 .

Gas and electric , taking into consideration you can make a COP of 4 based on system design are about equal . 

 Odds are pretty good that the installed meter is sufficient to support the added load for the garage . If you are insulating well you can probably use low water temps . If the intend on having a bathroom there also my suggestion would be to use a good quality tank type water hater that is rated to also supply space heat ( HTP versa flame , AO Smith vertex ) . HTP will be easiest to plumb and less expensive all taken into account .  This type of appliance will if programmed properly give you outdoor reset for your space heat , all the DHW you will need for one bathroom , and plenty of mass to eliminate the short cycling you are likely to suffer from a small load profile .   J star also has a good point , for a garage you will probably only need a good whole house de humidifier to accompany the radiant cooling , check out the Ultra Aire SD12 , it will remove up to 180 pints of moisture per day , has 4300 BTU of sensible cooling capability and will introduce fresh air also .  That would be real nice , imagine wanting to be in your garage more than in your house .
Where are you located in Jersey ?


@ April 29, 2014 7:14 AM in Time for an upgrade/retrofit

is what will do your job real nice and WILL NOT shortcycle . Will connect easily has built in dirt and air separation , I still recommend a separate air eliminator on the supply piping . Has lots of mass (55 gal), outdoor reset , just a nice fit for your needs .  I would have a heat loss performed and figure out how much radiator you have per room . Possible that the boiler you have is too big and that you can really take advantage of the ODR feature . Maybe you could get away with PHR100-55 , if hat loss is near your present boiler size PHR130-55 is the one .  If you ever thought about tankless water heater this unit is available with a DHW module that is pretty damn good , you just pipe your domestic to the hot and cold like an everyday water heater and you're off .  That unit would have a c suffix after the numbers I mentioned , going that route though you may want to increase boiler size , still can be less input than tankless units available .

Take a look at this

@ April 28, 2014 5:38 PM in SmartTrac from Watts Radiant

I have used Warmboard and this product . Don't know how it would compare with the watts but sure as hell beats Warmboard in price and performance .  Aluminum is not needed , it is just what we've had . This heats faster , heats more evenly and is more responsive . The 3/4 board for 1/2 tubing and graphite covering is very good and they have an MDF board with hardibacker adhered to it for tile areas , when the 2 meet there will be no height difference between the 2 finished floors .  Her is a link to that product and another to a recent job of mine so you can see the boards . Requires no higher water temp than W Board .

I wonder

@ April 27, 2014 8:35 AM in Mark vs Martin

if the folks who pay 149.00 a year to be informed at that site would appreciate knowing that any opposing opinion or discussion that is meaningful and informative is censored .
   Dan , Kudos for allowing pretty much all discussion to take place uncensored . We wetheads can at last know that on top of designing and installing the most superior and efficient systems we have integrity and transparency .

SPF and pex

@ April 27, 2014 1:00 AM in Radiant under 3/4 ply & cement board/tile

Plates must be sealed at edges , I use inexpensive adhesive tape for this when SPF is to be used .  The first and second layers applied should only be 1 inch lifts , the tubing can handle that easily . 


@ April 27, 2014 12:54 AM in Mark vs Martin

Re up my GBA membership tomorrow . Think it may have lapsed , I will hold off questioning INTGRITY until they have taken my money and still deny access . Wonder if that's all it is .  Would hate to make public their actions on many groups sites and in associations . We did try , we did good too , hell we got thrown off , that's always a sign you made an impact  


@ April 27, 2014 12:16 AM in Mark vs Martin

for myself also Harvey . Interesting how a well respected man such as Martin Holliday writes about a subject that he probably shouldn't and when called out , provided with facts and challenged to discuss so Green Building Advisor readers can make an informed decision or research more for themselves access to those involved in exposing that he did not perform his due diligence is denied so he no longer has to endure being wrong .
  Could someone else please check if mine , Harveys , Marks and Robert Beans comments are still visible . 

Underfloor plates

@ April 25, 2014 8:04 AM in Radiant under 3/4 ply & cement board/tile

will work but there are other products methods that are in the same price range that will be more efficient .  Have you had a proper hat loss performed or done one yourself ? This is a must .  What type of equipment do you have or wish to use ?


@ April 23, 2014 2:21 PM in What's your opinion on this design...

an HX at all on the radiant ? It is clearly marked HePex so no HX . Most economical scenario for the low temp portion would be Taco 3/4 I Series mixing valve w/ ODR and the correct circ for that manifold . Done and done .  Way easier than either of the methods described . Give the Indirect it's own pump too you just saved 600.00 .  The circ handling the high temp zones will more than likely be way oversized for the 2 zones of baseboard if you size it for the indirect also and it vry well may sound like a freight train running through the bb , not real pleasant . 


@ April 23, 2014 2:11 PM in No heat in baseboards

you use the same model circulator that was there ? Do you have a few pictures of the boiler and connected piping , thy would help ?

Movin to Massachusetts

@ April 18, 2014 8:18 PM in Can license and hours transfer to MA?

Jeremy , I thought you would be out there already .


@ April 16, 2014 6:56 AM in Modifications to Hydronic System

the number given by the manufacturer is indeed how many GPM will flowing through while imparting a 1 PSI pressure drop . You are understanding this correctly .
A valve with a rated Cv of 8 will drop pressure in the system by 1 PSI , the other part of this equation is that it will increase the mechanical energy that must be added by the circ (feet of head) by 2.31' .  I will try to free up some time to draw a sketch of what I propose , my schedule is kinda hectic however .


@ April 15, 2014 8:27 AM in Buderus GB142/30 no heat as outdoor temps rise

Is the WWSD temp on the module set properly ?


@ April 15, 2014 7:59 AM in Modifications to Hydronic System

What type of boiler does this system utilize ?  I cannot determine what in fact is in slab heat from your drawing , others will probably have the same problem .  Are the towel bars in fact the radiators that you speak of and the lower 2 manifolds your radiant in slab ?
  A dedicated circ for hot water is always a good idea , priority for that is also .
  Mixing valves should be as small as possible while not adding too much pressure (head) to system , the less water they have to monitor and mix allows them to be more responsive and efficient . This may be something your installer knows of but does not have a complete understanding of .
Bypasses should be at the radiators so when the TRV is closed your fluid can continue to circulate  and avoid circs pumping against closed valves . 
What make / model IDWH do you have and what are the flow requirements of the other zones ?

  Suggestions :
    No closely spaced tees , use a hydraulic separator , CSTs will further confuse your installer , proper seperators eliminate that understanding issue , they are better also .
Add bypass fittings at your TRV controlled stuff and add a master thermostat set 2 degrees above where your comfort level is in one of those areas with radiators , this will control the circ and it will run as constant circulation .  I prefer Taco Bumble Bees for this as long as the system piping and installed radiators fall within the curve . The Bumble bee also is able to run in constant pressure , set point and Delta T modes . Pressure differential bypass valves are band aids for poorly designed systems !
Size the circulator for your indirect for the capabilities and requirements of that HX .  Install a circulator relay ( 4 zone ) with domestic priority and let it do it's thing .
Taco I series mixing valves in Outdoor reset or setpoint , whichever you prefer , they have a generous Cv so it should be easy to choose . 
Delta T circs on your in floor to optimize performance of each panel

Relax Ice

@ April 15, 2014 7:23 AM in Hot Water Tanks and Sizes

a buderus sst150 is a 40 gallon tank that will provide 181 gph continuous .   I completely agree with your water temp opinion .  I just completed a house utilizing a Taco 5000 series mixer at the heater because we are storing at 160* because of demand in the home . The inspector would like me to turn the temp for whole house up to 130* and add a second device at the soaking tub to get that 120* or below . All the faucets are 8" 2  handle faucets with the exception of single lever tub / shower valves .  Refuse to perform this work and will see him at a construction board of appeals , will these guys ever follow the spirit of the code ?   

Mr. Pex

@ April 12, 2014 5:22 PM in who is this Mr Pex guy

is quality tubing and is probably the most flexible of all the brands .  It is Pex-a and can be used with lots of fitting systems . It is also a fact that it is an offshoot company of Uponor , just look at where it is manufactured in relation to Apple Valley .  Don't be scared to do it right either , you too will come to terms with getting less jobs than others then you can charge a premium to fix them if it is even possible , at least you can say that your stuff is the best and sleep at night .

Oil or gas

@ April 10, 2014 12:13 AM in Mid range boilers

Biasi and Pensotti make similar oil units . What models are you being told about

Zones ?

@ April 9, 2014 8:49 PM in Mid range boilers

How many are there ??


@ April 8, 2014 5:29 PM in Mixing valve location (before/after pump)

is that it won't work , the circulator should be inside the mixed loop pulling through the valve .  The fluid temp should be whatever is required at that time . Use an Outdoor reset type valve like a Taco I Series . Figure the required temp at design and on an average day then do the math to determine a reset ratio that will keep the floor productive whenever it is needed .  Don't wait for your coldest day for your hottest fluid either .
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