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Joined on January 19, 2012

Last Post on July 30, 2014

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Interesting product

@ September 14, 2013 7:26 PM in Frozen heating pipes

How does your product deal with irregular conditions and odd joist spacings? Any idea of the pricepoint?
In my climate I would never consider putting water pipes in any exterior wall or attic, period.
The new fire sprinkler codes are going to tempt people to put pipes in some bad places. Don't even get me started on the use of domestic water for fire suppression. Can you say legionella outbreak?


@ September 14, 2013 7:11 PM in Radiant Heat not Heating

 I had not realized the Wirsbo Multicor was pex b. I guess they need to do it that way to laminate it.
The pex a ,b and c are not grades. It is the process used to make it. I am not saying all pex b products are bad. I just have great faith in pex a and wirsbo.
This expains the process.


I Like it..

@ September 13, 2013 6:40 PM in steam heat, disable 1st floor and leave 2nd floor

Great idea. make sure to leave an inoperable T-stat in front of the sensor so they can crank up the heat when they feel cold.


@ September 13, 2013 5:56 PM in steam heat, disable 1st floor and leave 2nd floor

Yes it is possible to do exactly what you are proposing. You will have to repipe some of your steam and purchase and install a new correctly sized steam boiler (not furnace). After you do that, you will have to repipe you main floor for the new hot water system, then purchase install and vent the new hot water boiler. Are you doing all this so that the upstairs renter stops wasting heat? It is going to be very expensive.
My first recommendation is to fix your existing system. Move the t-stat to a better location and control the heat upstairs. You could even find a way to lock out the temp setting upstairs so the cannot turn the heat up too high. This will involve a new boiler and some balancing.
If you are set on hot water, redo the whole house. Put the upstairs on it's own zone and limit the max temp. If you really want them to pay there share, put a BTU meter on the zone.
I am not in favor of turning your heat system into a Mutt.

The safe move...

@ September 13, 2013 5:42 PM in Radiant Heat not Heating

The safe move is Uphoner/wirsbo hepex or pex-al-pex .
The uphoner plates work much better than the "w" plates.
There are other brands that are similar and are probably widely used.
Uphoner is the leader and has stood the test of time.


@ September 13, 2013 3:02 PM in Radiant Heat not Heating

Here is what I like.



@ September 12, 2013 6:00 PM in Radiant Heat not Heating

I realize that you are doing your research. I hope that did not come across wrong.
There a many companies selling products based on fictitious claims. I would not buy those plates without some back up data.
I realize that I am in the minority on this. I am still wondering if you have measured the delta t in your existing condition. Do you know the make and model of those mixing valves?
I agree with all who are think you may not have enough emitters. Your high delta t tells me there is also a flow issue.


@ September 12, 2013 5:53 PM in Need a t-stat recommendation

Tekmar makes t-stats that will do what you are asking for.
Is your system using outdoor reset? What are you water temps?


@ September 12, 2013 2:36 PM in Radiant Heat not Heating

You want to go with Pex-a with an O2 barrier or pex al pex
I am suspicious of  stamped steel plates. Do you have test data on them?
The last guy did this job cheap without a proper design. Do your homework so you do not follow him.

Another option...

@ September 11, 2013 2:04 PM in On the right track? (Calculations)

Modern Hydronic Heating is by far the most comprehensive book out there. It has a ton of formulas, and will give some folks an incredible head ache. You seemed eager to dig into the math so I figured it was the book for you.
If you want to spend less money and want less math, I would recommend this one
It will give a good overview of radiant heating, it will make you laugh a bit and no head ache.


@ September 11, 2013 9:33 AM in diverter tee?

Why not just pipe them reverse return? I don't understand the need for the diverter.


@ September 10, 2013 11:43 PM in On the right track? (Calculations)

I see where the 10,000 came from, 500*20. The problem with that approach is that your radiant panel (tubing assembly) has to be able to give off that much energy.
I would start out by deciding what the optimal system  max water temp should be on your coldest design day. With a condensing boiler you are best off running a temp less than 130.
Then, I would determine what panel design will give me the correct amount of BTU's  at that water temp on that day.
I would size the circulator to provide a 10 degree delta t by design .
I like the loop lengths around 200 feet because an inexpensive (to buy and operate) circulator will push around .75 to 1 gpm giving nice even distribution.
Outdoor reset is a must to prevent overshooting room temps and will provide maximum comfort.


@ September 10, 2013 8:34 PM in On the right track? (Calculations)

Is your tubing in a slab?
Where did you get your constants?
For multiple loops, your head will remain the same. The GPM 's get added together.
I would suggest reading Modern Hydronic Heating by Siegenthaler.
You will like it, a lot!

Mixing block

@ September 10, 2013 12:46 AM in Radiant schematic

I mistakenly suggested an x block rather than a mixing  block. You don't need the heat exchanger.
 Here is the link

There are some good drawings in the installation manual. I would use one expansion tank and put it on the boiler side upstream of the boiler circulator.

Firetube HX

@ September 8, 2013 4:07 PM in High efficiency gas boilers

It is good to hear that HTP is using the firetube exchanger. That sounds like a good option.
I have personally had horrible experiences with the Buderous aluminum boiler. I do not know anyone in my area that would install one.Maybe it is a local water issue.
As much as it is good to hear that Rich has had success with them, I really don 't understand why he chooses to attack people with differing opinions and experiences. I am not a REAL metallurgist but I have seen a GB142 with a leaky corroded exchanger. I have also seen the manufacture not honor the warrantee. I personally would not buy one.
I believe that the original poster is asking for peoples opinions based on experience.

Rule One "Please be nice"


@ September 6, 2013 8:33 AM in High efficiency gas boilers

First off, I agree that aluminum boilers are not a good plan with the water in many areas.
Also, many of the high efficiency models on the market are using a Giovanni heat  (HTP) exchanger. This design has served the industry fairly well, I feel it is a dated design  and should be avoided.
The Lochinvar's with the firetube exchangers is a great unit as are the Triangle tubes.
I really do not understand the obsession people have with warranties. It only applies to the exchanger and not the electronics and other parts. I see people buying inefficient heating products that cost them extra money every month. They use the logic that they will last longer, Why would you want an inefficient product to last longer? It will just cost you more money,
I have a Triangle tube boiler in my house and have installed many for customers. In my case it is 30% more efficient than the previous boiler. I have had zero issues with it in 5 years and expect to have it for 15 to 20 years.


@ September 5, 2013 1:11 PM in 3 zone boiler with 1 zone being radiant

I am assuming you have a cast iron boiler?
You would not need any primary secondary if you did not have the radiant loop. Since the radiant loop can close off all flow to the boiler, I would do it primary secondary.
This is a rough (very) sketch of what I would suggest.


@ September 4, 2013 8:34 AM in Radiant heat and condensation worries

Outdoor reset will improve the comfort of the radiant side.
Tekmar makes some really nice controllers that provide reset and boiler protection. 4 way mixers or injection pumps will do the same thing.
Tekmar make the controls for the Taco X blocks. A nice clean solution.


@ September 4, 2013 8:30 AM in Prestige excellence water piping with recirc

The  idea is that the water does not want to be forced through the indirect tank.If it is, it defeats the mixing valve. The returning water should have an equal opportunity to go through the hot or cold side of the mixer, depending on the position of the valve. Some of the water may go through the tank in order to raise the temp a bit, some may bipass through the cold side. Keep in mind that during recirc, there is no flow from the domestic cold. It has to use the same recirculating water.
An easier way to pipe it is to use mixer with a recirc port. The Honeywell AM series works well.

Heat loss

@ September 3, 2013 5:36 PM in Am I rolling the Dice with Kitec here?

You should be able to manage the Kitec without much trouble.

You may want to send Mark Eatherton a note for more info.

Why would you install a 240,000 BTU boiler?
Have you done a heat loss? You are oversized to your heat loss by at least 4x


@ September 2, 2013 11:02 AM in 3 zone boiler with 1 zone being radiant

It sounds like boiler condensing is not a concern and out door reset is optional.
If you post a drawing of what you are considering, we can provide you with more answers. There are so many ways people pipe boilers it is hard to follow your description.


@ September 2, 2013 9:31 AM in 3 zone boiler with 1 zone being radiant

It sounds like oil must be the only fuel available. Here is a calculator if you want to compare costs‎
A drawing of what you are proposing would be helpful.
If you are doing a radiant slab, you need to consider how you will prevent low return temps and boiler condensing.
I would suggest either an injection pump or 4 way mixing valve with outdoor reset and boiler protection. The Taco X block provides a good solution.
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