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Joined on January 19, 2012

Last Post on April 15, 2014

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@ March 15, 2013 12:18 PM in Delta T issue

When you checked your flow rate were you using the circ or house pressure?
A delta t of 38 indicates the flow rate is too slow. It sounds like you either have longer tubing runs than you think or you circulator is under performing.
Can you read the footage numbers on the tubing?
My experience is that you normally see a delta of about 10 degrees at steady state in your type of system. That is with 200' loops pushing  just under 1 gpm each.
You are measuring the delta at the secondary right? What type of gauge?

Hot dawg LT

@ March 14, 2013 11:27 PM in Heating a partial exposed garage

I would look at a fan coil designed for low temps.
If you generally keep your slab at a steady temp, and you insulate the garage well, the radiant will work well. If you like to keep it cooler when unused, look at a fan coil.

Starting point

@ March 13, 2013 11:08 PM in Snowmelt Design

This should help get you started

Post Purge

@ March 13, 2013 8:57 AM in 100-270 Degree high limit aquastat (manual reset) keeps

What type of boiler?
What is the operating temp?
This problem can normally be solved by installing a post purge relay on the boiler circulator. This helps dissipate the extra heat after the cycle.


@ March 10, 2013 9:26 PM in HBCD

This subject came up in another thread.
I think it is worthy of it's own.

I recently forwarded this article from Dan's newsletter to my favorite insulation contractor.

They did some research into which products they distribute contain HBCD.
The "Bayseal" spray foam did not.
They were told that Dow "Blueboard" does.
They also indicated that all further requests for information were forwarded to  Dow's legal department.
 Does anyone have any additional information?



@ March 10, 2013 5:32 PM in Garage Slab Thermal Break

I am a little blown away that you guys are still using insultarp.

Why not just use visqueen? I think the real insulating values are similar and it costs less.
 Yes it is difficult to apply blue board to footings. I can be done. I also don't like the toxins in blue board. Closed cell spray foam works very well.

I intend no disrespect, but there is no science to support double bubble.


@ March 9, 2013 11:15 PM in Garage Slab Thermal Break

I was under the impression that insultarp has little real insulation value. It's just 2 layers of double bubble and a thin layer of compressible foam. It has been debunked and banned in my area. 2" ridgid is the only thing allowed.Perimeter insulation is required.
I like the ideas for capping the break.

good info

@ March 6, 2013 9:54 PM in Snow Melt Water Temps

I may try it a bit lower.


@ March 6, 2013 2:16 PM in Looking for feedback

At first glance the heaters cost about double.
The existing vent almost never works.
On demand requires 3-4 times the energy at peak usage. The existing gas or electric lines are often not big enough.
I would approximate the upgrade at 4X that of simple replacement.
I am getting ready to do one for my house. The gas line is big enough and it is an easy sidewall vent. It will still cost more than double with my labor for free.

It depends...

@ March 6, 2013 2:09 PM in Snow Melt Water Temps

It really depends on the design. We just did one with 3/4" pex at 9"oc. We used 2" blue board and centered the tubes. It runs really well at about 100-120. I tried it hotter and the heat was uneven. Lower temps also put less thermal stress on the concrete.


@ March 6, 2013 2:04 PM in Normal Height for Gypcrete Pour

The condition you have is very common. I think it is unavoidable. We normally glue wood floors over gyp. You could use a trowelable glue to fill the gap.

A little more?

@ March 4, 2013 10:41 PM in smoke detectors

Are you talking about commercial duct sensors? Household smokes? Flame rollout?
I little more would help.


@ February 27, 2013 10:19 AM in Automatic air vent operation - is this normal?

I think the problem has more to do with where the vents are. Do you have pictures


@ February 27, 2013 10:17 AM in I'm feeling lost

You do not have a condensing boiler yet you are running low temps. You may have to replace the boiler sooner than you think. Your boiler controller should be set so the return temp is always higher than 140.
Your low delta t and pipe erosion is an indicator that you are over pumping.
I think your future plan should be a mod/con boiler, ECM circ, and trvs on the interior radiators. Indirect for hot water.
You should be able to use the actual data from your chart for your coldest day to size your boiler correctly.

New problem?

@ February 22, 2013 4:12 PM in Living Room Cold (Hot Water System)

Is this problem new or is the system design flawed? A good heating guy takes the temp drop into consideration in his design.
Post some pics of the boiler and near piping.


@ February 22, 2013 4:07 PM in Steam/Thermosta/24V AC question

If you already ran a new wire along a clean path, it seems unlikely that is the problem. Are their any potential sources of interference near the nest?
I have no first hand experience with nest t-stats. I think your assumption that since it has it's own battery, it likely is just acting as a switch is correct.
I have found 24 volt circuits usually read about 27-28 volts


Pex b

@ February 22, 2013 2:42 PM in Can you tell me what kind/brand of Pex this is?

It looks like pex b.Is their any writing?

Solar flares?

@ February 22, 2013 11:59 AM in Steam/Thermosta/24V AC question

Just kidding! Jamie makes an excellent point.
As far as your malfunction. I would suspect electrical interference. It could be the t-stat wire running along line voltage wires within the framing or maybe a nearby magnetic dimmer. Try wiring directly to the boiler and seeing if the problem persists.

Good for warm climates...

@ February 22, 2013 11:22 AM in Hybrid water heaters....

The heat pump just takes heat from the room and puts it in the tank. If you are in a climate where you heat the space, you are not saving anything. In fact you are wasting energy in the transfer.
In a warmer climate where you would be running AC to cool the air it makes a lot of sense.

Your tanks...

@ February 20, 2013 11:42 PM in Commercial Hot Water Tanks & BTU's

Your tanks are piped with an equal header configuration.Both tanks get the same flow. If one of the tanks is a different model the flows will not be equal.
You may end up with one tank doing most of the work , thus running cold. With your present piping, I think your contractor is correct.


@ February 20, 2013 11:10 AM in Tekmar Controls with Indoor Reset

Tekmar products and support are excellent.
I agree with Steve that a phone call is in order. They also have some excellent essays on their web site that will give you some background info.

The idea with the TN4 and TN2 t-stats is that they keep track of trends in indoor and outdoor temps. They then "learn" over a period of time what the requirement are of each zone and make adjustments to the water temps. They are also quite good at modulating the boiler and adjusting the on/off differential to avoid short cycling.

When the zones have similar temps needs, the tekmar will pulse width modulate the zone valves or circs to get the correct average temperature. If one needs 130 degree water and the other 120, the tekmar will cycle the valve on the 120 loop to keep the average down.

In your case with 2 very different heat emitters, you may need a mixing control on the cooler zone (cast iron). The tekmar would provide the hotter water to the coil then mix down the water to the rads. When only the rads call for heat the boiler would fire to the lower temp and the mixer would go wide open.

There are also nice scheduling and home/away scenes built in if needed.



@ February 18, 2013 10:55 PM in A math problem :)

Put an Amp meter on it. It should be pulling 25amps at 120 volt. You may have a mislabeled or defective element.
A 3KW 120 volt element is an odd one. You would have to run 10 gauge wire.
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