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Joined on January 19, 2012

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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@ 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.

Couple months....

@ September 2, 2013 9:21 AM in Electric Heat???

The OP is looking for a 2 month solution.....


@ September 2, 2013 9:18 AM in Searching for Oil Boiler

Check out this link to compare the costs of different‎
It is always surprising to see folks installing new oil systems as they are very expensive to run.
Your heat loss calc of 100K seems high.

Too bad

@ August 30, 2013 7:45 PM in Insulation for Pex?

It's too bad you have had bad experiences. I think the early mod/con models have given the industry a black eye, as have knucklehead installers.
I would second swei's recommendation. I have had one for 6 years without incident.


@ August 30, 2013 5:04 PM in Electric Heat???

Electric heaters all basically have the same efficiency.
If you use portable radiant heaters and only heat the room you are using you will save some money. I  would turn the baseboard down to a lower setting and get a small portable unit to make the room feel warmer. For just a couple months it probably is not worth doing more than that.


@ August 30, 2013 3:11 PM in Need advice

Check out this spread sheet‎
You need to plug in your local energy rates and take a guess at efficiencies.
For the sake of guesstimating, assuming you existing furnace is around 50-60 % efficient and a new one would be 75-80% efficient would seem reasonable enough.
As Chris has said, size the new furnace off a heat loss calc.
I think you will be blown away by how cheap natural gas is.
Gas furnaces really are not that expensive


@ August 30, 2013 8:27 AM in Boiler exhaust & intake switched: how bad is it?

I think your suspicions are valid,I have seen cross contamination cause overheating of the venturi. It is reasonable to think it could have led to the demise of the fan.
I would suggest you have the venting corrected, then have the boiler intake carefully inspect and a combustion test done.


@ August 30, 2013 8:20 AM in Insulation for Pex?

That insulation will work just fine.
Be sure to use the pex with the O2 barrier.
I have to ask why on the cast iron boiler? If you are doing it over, why not make some real leaps in efficiency.


@ August 29, 2013 2:38 PM in Quietest Boiler ?

You should be giving mod/cons a serious look.
Triangle Tube, Lochinvar, and Viessmann are excellent boiler and are well supported in CO. Triangle Tube has training facility in Denver with operating boilers. You may be able to see one run there. You could also have your contractor show you a previous installation.
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