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The Wall


Joined on November 26, 2011

Last Post on August 31, 2014

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radiant walls

@ January 15, 2013 11:47 PM in Misc questions on radiant

work OK using the lower four feet of a wall.  Make sure to specify a chair rail mounted above the highest tube location.  Educate the occupants -- nobody hangs pictures that low anyway.

WarmBoard and Roth Panel have exceptional efficiency.  There are a number of highly engineered architectural ceiling systems which perform even better, but the costs are staggering.


@ January 15, 2013 9:45 PM in Vacuum air vents on one-pipe systems

I used a 3,450 RPM Gast air pump to feed a pond aerator running 24x7 and we had to have it rebuilt in just a few months.  They're probably fine for intermittent duty.

Coal, or

@ January 15, 2013 8:54 PM in Vacuum air vents on one-pipe systems

a modulating gas burner.

I'm still convinced this is a largely unexplored option for steam.

panel radiators, towel warmers, and RFH

@ January 15, 2013 4:59 PM in Misc questions on radiant

"Cheaper than" is highly job dependent.  If you're retrofitting an existing house, probably.  If it's a new build and you're using WarmBoard as the subfloor, maybe.  They do take up some wall space which limits your options for furniture placement.

RPA membership used to be a given for pretty much anyone in this industry who was serious.  The decline of the RPA over the past few years made it less attractive to many of us, though ME assures us things are tilting back the other way now.

Hydronic towel warmers are a real treat in bathrooms and can be piped a number of ways.  Separately from other zones if they are the only radiation in the room, with or without a zone valve or TRV.  In series with a floor loop if  the other system emitters were designed for higher temps.  Which works best really depends on the particulars of the system and the location (heat loss) of the bathroom.

panel rads

@ January 15, 2013 1:14 PM in Misc questions on radiant

If you size them appropriately, water temps can be kept low.

balancing valves

@ January 14, 2013 8:41 PM in High delta T, how to adjust it?

I avoid them like the plague.

Proper hydraulic design works so much better...

looks like a reducing tee to me

@ January 14, 2013 8:12 PM in High delta T, how to adjust it?

1 x 3/4 x 3/4

radiant cooling ceiling tiles

@ January 14, 2013 7:02 PM in Chilled ceiling design

I looked into some of these (from Switzerland IIRC) a few years back for a project and the materials cost alone came to almost $25 PSF.  Have they come down from that?


looks nice

@ January 14, 2013 6:54 PM in TRV Zoning (Timers)

Would love to see those available here, though I have to admit that wireless would be even better.


@ January 14, 2013 6:46 PM in Misc questions on radiant

Works primarily by convection.  Putting it on the ceiling might work (somewhat) for cooling, but would be counterproductive for heating.

Warm walls (lower half) or ceilings work quite well.


@ January 14, 2013 4:45 PM in Baseboard, runtal, buderous??? Switching from forced hot air to hydronic!!!

205 BTU/hr/ft @180F

more info

@ January 14, 2013 2:15 PM in Furnace Standards Squashed

it's up to the agency

@ January 14, 2013 12:05 PM in Continuing Education Credits

that has the CE requirement.  They should have a list of approved courses (or they might recognize some other organization's approval.)

Outdoor Reset

@ January 14, 2013 10:00 AM in Baseboard, runtal, buderous??? Switching from forced hot air to hydronic!!!

Will improve both comfort and efficiency.  At 180F your expensive condensing boiler is not condensing, but with Outdoor Reset it will condense for much of the season.  Design temp for most of NJ is around 10-11F, but you should get the number for your specific location.  With Outdoor Reset, the boiler delivers its highest temperature (might be 180F, but might be lower - you'd have to do a heat loss calc or just experiment a bit) when the outside temp is at those conditions, but lowers the water temp as the outside air warms up.  Lower water temps = longer boiler run times and more condensation.

What's in there now?

@ January 14, 2013 9:46 AM in Failing Gaskets on a Glycol Heating System says pretty much all of their gaskets are compatible with both EG and PG.  I'd give Victaulic a call and ask if there is a breakdown product or glycol additive that could be causing the problem.  They have a lab -- hopefully they can test for you, or at least tell you what to test for.

design temp

@ January 14, 2013 9:37 AM in Baseboard, runtal, buderous??? Switching from forced hot air to hydronic!!!

Are you running outdoor reset?  How is your indoor temp at design conditions?

mixing radiation

@ January 13, 2013 10:06 PM in Baseboard, runtal, buderous??? Switching from forced hot air to hydronic!!!

Will work relatively well if both are sized for the same water temp.

inverter plus ECM circ

@ January 13, 2013 10:00 PM in Are there 12 volt DC circulator pumps?

Should come within 10% of what a good DC pump needs.  Voltage drop on 12V lines gets ugly fast, plus you could power a couple other critical loads.


@ January 13, 2013 7:58 PM in What size vents do I need on my mains?

The water mass comes into play whenever the boiler fires up from recovery.  The higher the mass (of water and iron, mostly) the longer it takes for the system to get up to temp -- or to lose temp once the boiler shuts off.  By pulse-width modulating the boiler, cycle timers control average hourly output.  Thermal mass averages out (performs low-pass filtering on) the on/off cycles.

let us know how it works out

@ January 13, 2013 7:45 PM in 9 residential

IMO measuring gas pressure drop when the boiler fires will require less of both time and money.


@ January 13, 2013 7:39 PM in Trimax / DHW question

A 3.3kΩ resistor and a set of SPDT contacts will do the trick.

I want to try the bigger line

@ January 13, 2013 2:20 PM in 9 residential

You have yet to determine whether the burner is operating correctly or if gas pressure is dropping.  Do not start changing parts before you understand the cause of your problem.