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Joined on January 19, 2012

Last Post on September 15, 2014

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Hydronic formula

@ September 24, 2013 12:15 AM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

The reason the 2 appliances  numbers are almost the same is that they have almost the same output BTU. The first one is 196k the second 189k.
delta t x gpm x 500 = BTU/hr
Works every time and you don't need the chart.

Heating side

@ September 23, 2013 11:56 PM in unitrane fan coils

If you have nothing else to go on, many of those where designed for 4fps flow and a 20 degree delta t.
If you have a 1" supply that would be 8gpm x 20x500 = 80,000 BTU.
There is a chart in the "conversion factors" tab on the top of the page.
It is only a rough estimate but it's better than nothing.

I agree...

@ September 23, 2013 11:46 PM in 2 Gallon electric water heater.

I agree with Chris on the electric. I put in the electric version of
that exact warmer. They literally screwed the element in where the
piping threads in and filled the thing most of the way with water (a
little air for expansion).It was right next to a shower with the timer installed across the room.  It worked great. Some people fear electricity
and there is no talking them out of it. Personally, I fear all that extra stuff in cabinet waiting to spring a leak and flood my house.
I had not thought of the anode. An air vent is a good call,


@ September 23, 2013 11:33 PM in Low-Loss Header: am I understanding this correctly?

I assume you have triple checked the direction of the circulator and the orientation of the mixer. Could the mixer be malfunctioning causing the ghosting? I can't really picture it but maybe that is what is going on.

The circs on the other zones, Are they turning on?



@ September 23, 2013 10:04 AM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

Don't be fooled by the charts. A btu is a btu. If you apply the hydronic formula (gpm x 500 x delta t) all the products have the same capacity.
The only capacity problem I see is a simultaneous load issue. Do you have tubing in slabs?


@ September 22, 2013 10:36 PM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

My concern is that if you are under a full heating load, especially if you have a cold slab heating zone that has just fired up, the domestic water will suffer and the customer will complain.
I would control the system so that if there is a call for heat and hot water at the same time, the heat zone would temporarily cut out.

2 answers

@ September 22, 2013 7:11 PM in Two Questions Annual Maintenance and Antifreeze

As for the maintenance,it really depends. It seems some systems need quite a bit of cleaning and some go years with no issues. I would be sure that the original system was tuned with a combustion analyzer on startup. The first year I would have it serviced and tuned again. I would then get the opinion of the service tech as to whether or not it needs servicing every year.

As for the cottage, I sounds like you have a hot water boiler there as well? If the building freezes you would have both the domestic water and the boiler water to worry about. It is pretty easy to glycol the boiler water. As far as the domestic water goes it depends on the layout and wether you want to winterize for the entire season.

I did the math on a battery backup a while back. I figured 4 marine batteries would last about a day.

An automatic generator that runs off natural gas might be an option.

The controls in some of the newer boilers do not like the power generated by some inverters and generators. I would test before you buy.


Flow switch

@ September 22, 2013 11:37 AM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

You could put a flow switch on the domestic side that would disable the heating circulator.
That would give you domestic priority


@ September 22, 2013 11:17 AM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

I think your bottleneck is the 4gpm. Even if you upsize the circulator, you will have a heck of a time pushing more than 4 gpm through a 3/4" pipe. If you really 100,000 btu, that would be a delta of 50. I guess you could make that work if you could set up a domestic priority.


@ September 22, 2013 9:25 AM in Trianco Mark II M2 100 start up problems

Those boilers are really frustrating to work on. They have fancy controls that really don't tell you what is going on.
I had a similar experience that ended up being a bad gas valve harness.
Any chance you can talk the owner into a replacement? The exchangers usually fail about now.

Hot water

@ September 22, 2013 9:20 AM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

I really don't understand the practice of using water heaters for space heat. Sure they cost less up front. They won't last as long and will require more service along the way. I am guessing you don't use a Subaru for a work vehicle? Why not? It would do the job ( for a while).
Instantaneous heaters run a whole lot of short cycles. This drags the overall efficiency way down. A properly installed indirect is well insulated and will only cost a few dollars a month in heat loss.
It looks like what you have drawn will work. You may run out of hot water if you have a large slab call for heat at the same time as a long domestic water need. This will generally happen on a holiday. A domestic priority would be nice.
Let me know if you want more details on my design. It looks like you have already decided how you will proceed.


@ September 21, 2013 10:00 AM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

You need to get away from the heating system that is open to the domestic.
I don't understand why you are wanting to heat with a tankless.
I am assuming that the wood boiler is non pressurized?
If you want your radiant to work perfectly, you need outdoor reset.

I would set this up as a typical 2 boiler in parallel system. From a control point of view the wood boiler would always be the lead boiler. I would tie the wood boiler into the system using a flat plate exchanger and 0-10 vdc injection pump.The lag boiler would be a modulating condensing boiler like a triangle tube prestige 110 or a lochivar firetube. A tekmar controller designed to control 2 modulating boilers will control both boilers using outdoor reset to get the optimal temp to the floors. The controller will see the injection pump as boiler one. For domestic water, use your 100 gallon indirect piped and controlled as a priority. The owner can stock the wood boiler as they like. If there is enough heat in the storage to meet the heating and hot water needs, the controller will inject the heat as needed. If the storage tank is cold, the condensing boiler will take over.



@ September 21, 2013 9:32 AM in Frozen heating pipes

Interesting enough product.
Two thoughts,
Pipes should not be in the attic or exterior wall to begin with. You are asking for trouble. The product is only as good as the installation.

The foam blocks will work great in normal installations. I think as soon as you get to an odd condition you will be at the whim of the installer. Any little gap and all bets are off. There will be field cutting and modifications. All the test data is irrelevant.

I agree what you have designed is better than loose laid fiberglass. The smart choice is to keep the pipes well within the heating envelope.


Solder away

@ September 20, 2013 10:46 PM in Check before soldier again

I think what you have will work fine

Third times a charm

@ September 20, 2013 10:19 PM in Check before soldier again

It is hard to tell which way the circs are pushing.
Are the 2 left ones pushing left?
If so the right one should be pushing right and connected to the return on the heat source.
It is hard to tell from the picture.


@ September 20, 2013 9:58 PM in High flow shower heads

If you determine the house pressure and the head loss of the piping going to the shower, you should be able to figure out how much water can be delivered to the shower. Just because the shower is rated at 17 gpm, that does not mean it will ever get there. If you have a typical 3/4" supply, you will never get that much water to the shower.
I would start out with that number, then figure out how long the load will exist. From there you can design the system.
If you start with 17 gpm you will likely be oversized.

Elite FT

@ September 20, 2013 9:44 PM in HTP Elite ???

The elite and elite plus have a Giavonni heat exchanger. It is stainless and a very common exchanger found in many condensing boilers. I. would get the Elite FT. It has the same exchanger that Triangle tube and lochinvar are using.
I like all stainless designs better than aluminum.


@ September 20, 2013 11:19 AM in Stick w/ Oil? Convert to Gas? If latter - convert or new boiler? Costs? Thanks for the help!


Do you work for Navien?

This question has been asked before with no response.

It sure seems like you are more than a compulsive homeowner and you are essentially posting advertisements for Navien (rule 3).



@ September 20, 2013 11:17 AM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

Do you work for Navien?
This question has been asked before with no response.
It sure seems like you are more than a compulsive homeowner and you are essentially posting advertisements for Navien (rule 3).


@ September 20, 2013 8:12 AM in Help with using Navien in a primary/secondary loop

Open radiant is an evil, evil thing.
Open systems become a breading ground for all thing biological, Including legionella.
I have seen systems that are full of slimy organic film that are hooked right to the homes domestic water supply.We are talking about multi million dollar homes. Do not do this. Radiant heat should be a closed system.
If you are really insisting on using a tankless heater as a boiler (another bad plan), put a plate heat exchanger between the 2 systems.
Boilers cost more money because they are designed for the work load.


@ September 20, 2013 7:58 AM in Triangle tube Solo 110 pumps wont shut off

I would start by powering down the unit and resetting it. Then I would pull the heat and dhw switch wires to be sure you don't have a smoked switch somewhere else in the system. I would also go through the setup codes and make sure they are at factory defaults.
Chances are, the lightning smoked the controller and you need a new one.

Glad to here

@ September 19, 2013 9:52 PM in newbie needs help

The circ, expansion tank and the pressure is good.
What is up with the pipes?
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