Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall


Joined on January 19, 2012

Last Post on April 19, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 74 »


@ March 2, 2014 6:32 AM in New Home, Which heat source????

I spent a summer there as a kid. Great place!
Check out this spread sheet.
I think it is a bit easier to use.

Pellets are by far your cheapest heat source. A pellet boiler would work well for your domestic water and infloor heating needs. Solar hot water would also tie in nicely. You could design the solar to handle all your DHW needs in the summer when solar works best and to suppliment the other system in the winter.

. Another good calculator.
It is designed for PV, but will give you an idea how much sun is available in you area.

An ASHP would be better than propane or electric but not as good as pellets.
You could use a mini or multi split for AC in the summer and heat on cool spring and fall nights. The COP would actually be better than trying to run it all winter.

Is this a full time residence?
What kind of budget?



@ February 25, 2014 11:37 PM in Has anyone ever heard of this?

I think that either the joists where exposed to extreme moisture (many days of rain uncovered and laying on the ground) or there is a source of moisture in the building.
I have seen I joists bend even more than that only twice. Both were exposed to improperly humidity controlled hot tub and steam rooms. Both had compromised vapor barriers and the joists were exposed to near 100% humidity.
I don't think for a second that joists that were dried at the factory and properly stored would deflect like that as a result of infloor heat.


@ February 22, 2014 10:15 AM in how prevalent is this?

I had to chuckle that he posted this to support his notion that chlorine kills all legionella.
The article clearly proves the opposite.
Even though a good dose of legionella is exactly what the man with the mustache deserves, I feel for his family and sheep.


@ February 22, 2014 12:10 AM in Scott's radiant heating project

That's the smartest thing you have posted so far... and you have made some good posts.

Burden of proof

@ February 22, 2014 12:08 AM in Help!! staple-up insulation foil myth

I would simply ask the buyers inspector to provide any evidence to support his claim.
Obviously the evidence would have to come from a third party agency, not the manufacture. He can't. It is his misinformed opinion.
You could get the system up to temp on a cold day and ask him to verify the performance.
If you have to satisfy the buyer to get this done. You can buy the foil and apply it to the insulation with 3M spay adhesive. Not a great job, but easier than hauling all the insulation out and buying new.

Respectfully disagree

@ February 22, 2014 12:02 AM in Scott's radiant heating project

The new buyer is not likely to consider the warranty issue.
The new buyer would have to pay significantly more to have a boiler installed than your cost for parts.
I would replace the boiler and give potential buyers nothing to balk about.


@ February 21, 2014 1:15 AM in Soundproofing a boiler room

Jamie makes some excellent points.
I would add that anything mechanical (boiler,circulators, ect) that is fastened to the framing of the building need special attention in the form of isolating mounting hardware.
You are on the right in your quest for a silent heating system.

Yuk Yuk

@ February 20, 2014 5:35 PM in Scott's radiant heating project

I would be sizing the panel radiators for 130 to 140 degrees on your design day . I would also use outdoor reset. This will allow the condensing boiler to condense all the time. You generally need a return water temp around 135 to get the boiler in condensing mode.

Your existing boiler is likely running a net efficiency of about 50%. Partly because it is an oversized single stage and partly because of the massive amount of heat loss out the vent.The new boiler should get you in the 90% range.

It is hard to find a boiler that small. I really like the triangle tube and lochivar with the firetube design, even though they don't get down that small, they will modulate 4or 5 to 1. You may end up needing a buffer tank on a system that small.



@ February 20, 2014 4:49 PM in Scott's radiant heating project

You will understand the pipe sizing thing once you get the book.
Trv's will not balance your flow, they will make the rooms heat more evenly. Again the book will explain.
You could hide the pex tubing inside an oversized wood baseboard or crown molding. I hate to see it outside the heating envelope.
R2D2 is cute. You would save about 40% with properly sized panel radiator and a condensing boiler. Take that cute little guy and plant him in the front yard!
Be sure to stock up on Tylenol, Modern Hydronic Heating may make your head hurt.


@ February 20, 2014 3:23 PM in Scott's radiant heating project

Good call on the book.
A home run or reverse return system is going to be much easier to balance.
I would not even consider copper especially on a remodel. You can run hepex or pex-al-pex cheaper and easier.In a homerun system you would likely use 1/2"  or even 3/8" lines. Maybe you could hide the behind a baseboard.
You should replace the boiler especially if you are selling the home. That 50 year old R2D2 unit is going to cost you much more than $5k once the home inspector makes his report. A new high efficient heat system is a great selling point.



@ February 20, 2014 11:13 AM in Cost to heat different temps?

A condensing boiler will run most efficiently at lower water temps. You will also have less heatloss through piping and venting at lower temps.

The  goal of you your ODR is to run the boiler at the lowest temp possible. This can be accomplished looking at the output of your baseboards at different water temps and matching that to the heat loss of the home at the same outdoor temps.

As soon as you put a temperature setback in the equation, you have to raise the boiler water temp so that the boiler is putting out enough energy to increase the temp in the home rather than just  maintaining. This reduces the efficiency of the boiler.

Short term setbacks will not save energy and should only be used if comfort is the goal.
Set it and forget it.



@ February 20, 2014 12:16 AM in Looking for book recommendations!

You are looking for Modern Hydronic Heating. It has enough formulas to make your eyes glaze over.  If you want to take it one step further, John is doing a 10 week online course that follows the book.
I would also second the recommendation on Ihydronics.
John Barba at Taco's "Flow Pro University" has some great free courses.


@ February 19, 2014 2:32 PM in Aquastat

There are many types of aquastat that will work. Here is a common one that will strap on the pipe.

Keep in mind that an aquastat is just a switch. It does not provide power. As long as it is rated for the voltage and amperage you are using, it will work.



@ February 19, 2014 2:17 PM in Alpine Gas Boiler Venting Problem

The 12" number should be considered a bare minimum, get much more separation if you can. You should also check the manufactures drawing and be sure that all other clearances on the exterior of the building  are being observed. It sounds like you have a cross contamination between the exhaust and intake which is a very bad thing. Post a picture if you are unsure.

The boiler will burn a bit differently with the door open verses closed. Unless you have a very long combustion air run, I do not think the flame would go from blue to orange. Your installer should have performed a combustion analysis on the boiler when they started it up. The should have a printout to prove it. This assures that the boiler is tuned for peak performance and is helpful for warranty and troubleshooting issue down the road.
Insist on a combustion analysis.

Hopefully, when you resolve the first 2 problems the smell will go away. The boiler should not smell.



@ February 18, 2014 12:43 AM in Short Cycling of heating...

Is the boiler cycling several times an hour or is the t-stat calling several times an hour?
What type of radiators?
What type of t-stat?

Do the math

@ February 17, 2014 10:06 AM in is it worth converting from oil to propane ?

Use this spreadsheet to get your answer.
Who knows, maybe electric would be cheaper


@ February 16, 2014 8:32 AM in Which of these two setbacks is more economical?

Why do you want to change the heating curve?Do the heat loss characteristics of the building change at night?
Why not just leave the t-stat and curve alone? That would  be efficient.


@ February 15, 2014 5:09 PM in Combustion analysis results question

Are the burners clean?
How is the manifold pressure?


@ February 15, 2014 4:47 PM in Running Out of Hot Water With a Megastor -40

You really need to post pictures of this one. Get one where you can see all the piping in the boiler room.
My guess is that you are missing a check valve or two and the heat is stealing energy from the DHW

Portuguese Chandelier

@ February 14, 2014 5:20 PM in 007 CAP

All right Chris, you got me.
What the  $%^$#% is a Portuguese Chandelier.


@ February 14, 2014 5:17 PM in Jumper thermostat contacts - ZoneTrol II

T-stats are switches.
Some will steal a little power to power their own display.
Older ones have anticipators that draw energy in order to heat the thermostat slightly in order to anticipate the room warming.
Unless they are part sophisticated control system, t-stats are first and foremost,  switches.


@ February 14, 2014 5:06 PM in 4 zone switching relay or 6 zone switching relay

I assume you are working with the alpine from your earlier post.
Your DHW should be controlled by the boiler with it's own circ.
The AC is a completely different system.
That leaves you with 3 zones. I would use one ecm circ and zone valves. Either way you are only controlling 3 things so you don't need a 6 zone controller.
« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 74 »