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Joined on January 19, 2012

Last Post on September 18, 2014

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@ September 5, 2014 7:51 PM in First timer with questions

By the numbers you are a bit under radiated in the TV and laundry.

I am assuming you have the  15-58 circ (rebranded grundfos).
With loops split, you would have flow rates of  2.2 and 2.5. More than enough for the load. That is speed one. No balancing would be required.

Incidentally if you pipe them in series, You would have a flow rate of 3.4 gpm and a temp drop of 9.2F on speed one. Your system would run just fine in series.

Interestingly, when you ask the software to increase the pump speed, the GPMs go up but the BTU output stays the same. Just run it on speed one and save some electricity.



@ September 5, 2014 2:37 PM in First timer with questions

What are the approx lengths of the the loops?
What model is the circulator? 

One of these days...

@ September 5, 2014 8:55 AM in Boiler Room Configuration

Some day I will disagree with Rich and Gordy. It won't today.

As for the questions,

I think the primary secondary is correct.

I would keep the bumble bee on the system side as a outdoor  reset injection mixer. It will keep the system at the perfect output temp.Put an inexpensive stainless circ on the polaris side.

Don't overthink the airbubble thing as long as you are pumping away from the expansion tank, the bubbles wiil be gone before you can believe.

You may need the "thick skin" on the polaris thing.

Not sure about the "backloss" question. some heat is lost to the building, Not an issue. Some up the flue. That is an issue. What is the Afue number?

Tough One

@ September 4, 2014 11:43 PM in hot water demands

All you can do at this point is document that you design based on math not opinions and let the owner and builder swim in their own mess.

Speaking of math,
bc 3510, you seem to have some interesting ideas.
First off what kind of water heater has such perfect stratification that you get 85% of the water out at full temp. I have never seen one.

So recovery doesn't factor in? I have an indirect that will put out 2.8 GPM all day and never run out of water. It could be magic or maybe it is the 100kbtu boiler connected to it.

How do you think tankless heaters work?

Yes my system will run out of water eventually at 6gpm but it takes a long time.


@ September 4, 2014 4:38 PM in PVC Venting on boilers again!

It is really just a matter of time on this one. The pipe manufactures have not designed or priced their product for the additional risk associated with gas appliance venting.

I really like Carol Fey who wrote the article and whether you agree with her or not, she makes a very good point.
She does, by the way work for Viessman who has taken a fairly hard stand against PVC venting.

Not that simple

@ September 3, 2014 10:10 AM in Hot water Run for heating

It could be that if a designer prefers a certain circulator, specific pipe size  and  a set number of emitters on a loop that it works out that 70' is the max.
In reality it really depends on the individual system. There is no magic maximum number. It just depends on the requirements of the emitter and the pipe size and circulator being used.


@ September 3, 2014 5:31 AM in SUBMERGED Boilers and Water heater. What absolutely needs replacing?

Did you read the service notice you just posted?
You did not do all that...
If you had you would realize that just from parts point of view, you have already bought a new boiler.


@ September 2, 2014 9:59 PM in No hot water after pilot out on boiler

I would second the WAG.
If it a Honeywell valve the manual lever will not trip it.
You are going to have to post pictures and a more complete description to get better assistance.
There are so many different ways to put a system together...


@ September 2, 2014 2:10 PM in Boiler Mate WH7L Noise

I am curious about this one.
Has the issue been resolved?

Heat exchangers

@ September 1, 2014 5:39 PM in too many outdoor resets? (boiler vs mixing valve)

It comes down to heat exchanger design.
For years most manufactures were using a stainless steel govanni design. These worked pretty well but required religious maintenance and robust circulators. These exchangers are still used in the lochinar kbn series as well as htp and others.

Buderus introduced the aluminum exchanger around 10 years ago. They had tons of corrosion and control issues in the west. The companies support for the problems was lacking. I know there are plenty of folks that have had good luck with them, in my region you literally could not give one away(I tried a while back).

Triangle tube introduced a stainless fire tube exchanger. It has proven to be a work horse. Lochinar now uses it their whn series. Other manufactures do as well.

Viessmann makes a great stainless steel boiler.

I am not familiar with the lynx. It is aluminum.

Have you figured out the temp difference you need?

The triangle tube 110 will give multiple temps but will default to the higher zone.

Lochinar whn 110 can do mixing with an add on controller.

Are you uncomfortable assembling the near boiler piping? If so this may be a project you need some professional assistance with. Incorrectly installed boilers can be quite dangerous. The combustion needs to be checked and various safety devices need to be installed correctly.


@ September 1, 2014 4:18 PM in too many outdoor resets? (boiler vs mixing valve)

Do you own the buderus?
I am not a huge fan. I believe you will have to use their controls. I find them very counterintuitive. Be especially careful with water quality.


@ September 1, 2014 1:04 PM in too many outdoor resets? (boiler vs mixing valve)

The best way to do this is to have a controller manage the boiler and the mixing. This way the boiler is always running at the most efficient temp. As mentioned, some boilers have on board capabilities. Companies like tekmar also make (fairly expensive) but really nice external controllers.

What you are describing will work. The disadvantage is that the boiler will always fire to the temp needed for the hotter zone. You will lose some overall efficiency.

If the temp curves for your 2 zones are parallel ( not a high mass and low mass), the cheapest way to do it would be to install a non thermostatic mixing valve on the cooler loop. Once set up, one zone would just lag the other a certain number of degrees. The boiler would be set to the reset curve of the hotter zone.You would still lose the efficiency,. A very low cost solution.



@ September 1, 2014 8:41 AM in Floor Board Radiant Converting To Underfloor?

I think you should do a before and after heat loss on the area you plan to remodel,just to see where you are.
The near boiler piping is quite a bit different when you go to high efficiency. You will save materials and labor if you do it now.
I personally prefer the thick extruded aluminum plates like uphoner joist track. There are other good ones out there as well.
I know it is counter intuitive, think about warm ceilings, (heat doesn't really rise) hot air is lighter than cold. Radiant heat is like a beam of light.
Check out uponers CDAM manuals as well as the Radiant panel association.

Size to heating

@ August 31, 2014 9:21 PM in hot water demands

Hot rod, I completely agree that the DHW demands can be higher than the heating load. In that case it is far better to upsize the storage rather than mess with heating efficiency. A large indirect sized to a small condensing boiler is a great match as the large heat exchanger will drag down the boiler return temps making it very efficient.Tankless units are often a good call as well.

Heat loss

@ August 31, 2014 6:56 PM in Weil Mclain ECO 155 gas piping design question

The baseboard length will tell you the largest boiler you could possibly need.
The heat loss will tell you exactly what size you need.
With both pieces of info, you will know what your design water temp needs to be in order to maximize the efficiency of the new condensing boiler.
Cool stuff...


@ August 31, 2014 11:21 AM in Weil Mclain ECO 155 gas piping design question

Of course it is about sizing.
An incorrectly sized boiler will short cycle and have reduced service life and efficiency.
You can not do a piping design without accurate flowrates and you cannot figure flowrates without sizing.
The new boiler is more efficient than the old so should be smaller. The home has likely had insulation upgrades so the requirements would have changed. Who is to say the previous installer put in the right size?
If you are going with the "bury your head" in the sand approach, put in the 155 and pipe it primary/secondary per the manual and walk away.
If you want a properly sized and designed system, do a heat loss calc.


@ August 31, 2014 10:03 AM in Weil Mclain ECO 155 gas piping design question

How did you arrive at 155? How many LF of baseboard do you have? Have you done a heat loss?

The manual on that one is a math contradiction. You cannot have a max flowrate of 14.5 gpm and a t of 20  it just is not possible.

First determine the heating requirements, then work through the MW manual?

Recovery Rates

@ August 31, 2014 9:36 AM in hot water demands

The amount of storage is really not the question. Ironically most in the industry are still focused on it.

The recovery rate is far more important.
A typical electric unit only makes about .5 gpm in most setups.
A gas fire unit might make 1-1.5 gpm
An indirect would typically be in the 1.5 to 3 gpm  range depending on the boiler.

I home that would need a 120 gal electric might run just fine on a 40 gallon indirect.

Anyone that just looks at the tank size and says it will work is clearly uninformed.
If you don't ask what type of heater, you could easily be off by a factor of 6.

The correct approach is to look at the combination of storage and heating capacity and make an informed decision.

Many of the manufactures has calculators and charts that show the relationship between the two in order to help with sizing.

BTU/Hrs / 500/ Delta T = GPM
1KW/Hr=3415 BTU/Hr

Show the customer the facts and let them make the decision. Explain that this is about math not opinions.



@ August 31, 2014 9:12 AM in Burnham Alpine Furnace

No gas pressure.•Gas pressure under minimum value shown on rating plate.•Gas line not completely purged of air.•Defective Electrode.•Loose burner ground connection.•Defective Ignition Cable.•Defective gas valve (check for 24 Vac at harness during trial for ignition before replacing valve).•I am not seeing anything in the manual about the sage controller.
Code 27 is an ignition failure.
The most common cause is a bad ignitor. It is a wearable part that needs to be changed occasionally.
What did the plumber do in his "service"? Did he do a combustion analysis? If not He should have.
It is a little surprising that he did not address your problem. What you have is one of the most common issues with boilers in general and the boiler told him what the problem is.
Even though changing the ignitor is pretty easy, I would want to make sure a combustion analysis has been done before randomly changing parts.


@ August 30, 2014 2:04 PM in Boiler Mate WH7L Noise

Chris you crack me up! You really should come for a trip out west. There are thousands of folks living about 8,000 feet. Most heating systems are hydronic. We have running water,electricity and everything. Some wells are as shallow as 30 feet others approach 1,000 feet.The average is probably around 100'  Most folks have city water that comes from reservoirs.

Back to the original question.
The boiler is in the attic. Low system pressure is likely.
The circulator is pumping into the expansion tank, so whatever your system pressure is, you will have less behind the circulator.
The amtrol heat exchanger has  very high head resistance.

I think that the sound you are hearing is is water flashing to steam in  the heat exchanger. At that altitude water boiler in the 195 degree range. If you have negative pressure, you can boil water at room temp.

What is the system pressure and temp?  Do you trust the gauge?
Try raising the pressure it or better yet repiping the circulator.

Maybe the the lack of air is clouding my judgement but I think this is your problem.



@ August 30, 2014 9:05 AM in Floor Board Radiant Converting To Underfloor?

The first step is to do a room by room heat loss. Every room in your house loses heat to the outdoors at a different rate, therefore every needs to be treated differently from a heating point of view.

Next, you need to figure out what type of boiler you plan to install. High efficiency boilers are great products. The truth is they are not much more efficient than regular boilers unless you run them with low return water temps.
If you go the high efficiency route, you want to design your heat emitters for  return water temps no higher than about 130 degrees.

You will not get satisfactory performance out of a low temp radiant installation with plateless staple up or hangers. You need to pull the heat out of the tubing and transfer it to the occupants. Concrete and aluminum plates are very effective at this.

Do to the different heat losses in the different areas of the house, an assembly that is perfect for one space may not be appropriate for another. In floor radiant can be tough over existing uninsulated slabs.The downward heat loss is tough to overcome. A radiant ceiling or panel wall rad may be more appropriate for that application.

Your existing boiler is not designed for the low water temps the high efficiency boiler requires. You would likely need to do some extensive repiping to make it function correctly in a low temp environment.

Heating domestic water with your boiler via an indirect heater is a solid plan.

What type of existing warm floor do you have? Does it have aluminum?

Pictures always help



@ August 29, 2014 8:38 AM in First timer with questions

The wires should go to heat loop demand 1 on the boiler.
I am not sure if system sensor comes with the boiler. I don't think you need one with your single temp heating. The boiler already knows the water temp. The system sensor is for multitemp systems and variable speed circs.
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