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Joined on November 26, 2011

Last Post on July 29, 2014

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Balance matters

@ July 29, 2014 8:37 PM in Oversizing hot water baseboard for efficiency?

I can't re-emphasize enough what was just posted above.  When we get it right, we can tune the ODR curve to the point where there is almost no need for an indoor thermostat.  Relatively common in Europe, but nobody here believes it it possible.  Proving them wrong has to be one of the better moments in this business.

Cases and thats

@ July 28, 2014 11:49 PM in HVAC options for 400 square foot addition

How much did he actually end up saving?

Can you post some photos

@ July 28, 2014 11:00 PM in Near boiler piping issue?

of the boilers and associated piping?  The "steam survey" you mentioned would also be helpful.

Series loops

@ July 28, 2014 10:57 PM in Help with poor install

demand careful attention to sizing in each room or they suck.  Don't take this personally -- at least 90% of the ones we encounter suffer from improperly sized/balanced radiation.

One of the tricks we sometimes use is to split a loop into two shorter parallel loops, reducing both friction loss and underheating of the end emitters.

As long as you are OK with white enamel

@ July 28, 2014 1:28 AM in Bathroom heating options

the Myson COS85/86 are not all that pricey.

You got it

@ July 28, 2014 12:12 AM in Boiler Room Layout Mock-up – reasonable, flawed or both?

TRVs provide nonelectric proportional control of flow based on room temperature.  Whether that flow is to a single radiator or a dozen rooms is just a matter of piping.

Outdoor Reset and Zoning

@ July 27, 2014 8:47 PM in Boiler Room Layout Mock-up – reasonable, flawed or both?

are not in themselves incompatible per se.  The problem comes from the pairing of on/off zone valves (or conventional pumps) with tight ODR parameters.  As the ODR is tuned to maximum efficiency, the temperature differential between the heating fluid and the surrounding air is reduced.  This increases the lag time between a call for heat and its satisfaction.  The result is long sinusoidal cycles in room temp with wider swings than the thermostat deadband.  The solution is proportional control, such as that provided by TRVs.  Remote bulb TRVs can easily control a floor or group of rooms and (with proper placement) can provide near-perfect comfort.

Not perfect, but not all that bad

@ July 27, 2014 4:54 PM in Help with poor install

Did not realize that your 55 foot number was only for the first floor.

Can you post the numbers for the 2nd floor?

Fuel options

@ July 27, 2014 1:57 PM in Builing an addition

Reading between the lines, it appears you do not have natural gas available?  How do LPG prices compare with oil prices there? is worth a few minutes of your time before you get too far into this.

Compression and compression

@ July 27, 2014 1:51 PM in How Long

Just to recap, the compression fittings being discussed here (and shown in the photos above) used by the waterworks and geothermal trades.  They are quite different than the stuff you find on the shelf at the big box stores.

Check and other flow control valves

@ July 27, 2014 1:46 PM in New Boiler Install

depend in large part on the specifics of the system.  Is this by any chance a converted gravity system?

Room-by-room heat loss

@ July 27, 2014 1:32 PM in Help with poor install

Can you post your data and results?

Forced air would be my last choice here.  Radiant is soooooo much more comfortable.

My concern there

@ July 27, 2014 1:30 AM in How Long

was the amount of material protruding from the face of the block wall.  If it were my job, I'd pay for a fusion splice before I decided to relieve the customer's wall with my demo hammer.

It's quite likely

@ July 26, 2014 11:29 PM in Help with poor install

that adding the basement into the existing system will make it short-cycle less and perhaps add very little to the monthly gas bills.  Time to begin at the beginning.

Before you decide

@ July 26, 2014 5:04 PM in New Boiler Install

Has anyone performed a heat loss calculation on the house?

When you replace the boiler, you replace the air elimination device and the expansion tank.  Not doing so falls into the penny wise and pound foolish category and is almost certain to result in future unhappiness.

Sizing and sizing

@ July 26, 2014 5:01 PM in Help with poor install

The spec sheet neglects to mention the minimum firing rate of the Mascot, but a bit of digging through the IOM revealed 20%, or roughly 24,000 BTU/hr of output capacity at minimum fire.   That's on the low end of acceptable for a 51k heat loss, and would work far better without zoning.

The bigger issues is that 55 feet of Fine/Line 30 is only capable of ~24,000 BTU/hr using 180ºF supply water and a 20ºF ∆T (ignoring the 15% "heating effect factor" the industry insists on adding to baseboard.)

I would double-check the heat loss calculation, paying attention to window U-values including coverings.  Once that is settled, and you have room-by-room numbers, you will probably need to increase your radiation capacity in order to properly heat the space.  You can either add additional baseboard, substitute higher output baseboard, or (the best option IMO) replace with modern plate radiators (e.g. Myson or Runtal.)   I would combine into a single zone and perhaps add TRVs, at least on a per-floor basis.

That's the stuff

@ July 26, 2014 4:39 PM in Radiant Heat Matrix Other Than Concrete.

Looks like most of it comes premixed, but there are a couple of options for field-mixed additives. discusses several options. 

Sure looks like HDPE from here

@ July 26, 2014 3:12 PM in How Long

That cut and the color (if accurate) is all wrong for CPVC fire sprinkler pipe.

Orange is the standard color code for fiber and comms and they make a LOT of it.  Nothing fundamentally wrong with using it for nonpotable water -- it's the same resin extruded on the same machines using the same dies, just using different colored pellets.

Once you verify (as explained above) that it's HDPE, I'd probably look for a local geothermal guy to terminate it properly.  Barring that, you could have pretty much any underground utility contractor fuse transition fittings on it and handle the rest yourself.

I'm guessing that

@ July 26, 2014 3:05 PM in Suggestions wanted

the 1" PEX is already buried?  Just wanted to makes sure that wasn't still an option.  I'm not a big fan of big pumps whenever I can find a way to make use of a small one.

More info

@ July 26, 2014 2:45 PM in Help with poor install

What is your calculated heat loss for a design day?

How many zones, how many feet of what kind of baseboard, and what pumps on the zones?

Is the outdoor temp sensor hooked up and is the boiler programmed to use it?

If not concrete

@ July 26, 2014 2:36 PM in Radiant Heat Matrix Other Than Concrete.

then I would bed the tubing in densely compacted sand, possibly with an oil or other additive to increase both density and conduction.  Can't remember the name of the stuff, but we used something like this on a fiber job some years ago.  Darker and finer than regular sand, came out of the truck slightly wet -- and stayed that way.  Compacted really tight, but you could dig it out if needed.

Do we have a chart or a table

@ July 23, 2014 12:51 AM in Rinnai E50C

showing thermal effeicency of the Navien at various firing rates and RWTs?  I'm still curious about this, and it bears directly on the system at hand.
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