Joined on March 3, 2003
Last Post on March 4, 2004
@ March 4, 2004 7:06 PM in Problem With Local Plumbers & New Technologythat you can find contractors that are experienced in radiant heating but not higher tech boilers. Like Todd said, Weil might be be the only local rep. Go Ultra or call the manufacturer you want to use and see if they have local support for the installer. A direct vent space heater/fireplace might be a good thing to have also as a backup.
@ March 4, 2004 11:33 AM in Buffer Tankarchived under P&W mag's website: www.pmmag.com He also has an excellent article and software on his website www. hydronicpros.com There's a number of reverse indirect makers that would give you both DHW and buffering: www.ErgoMax.com www.dunkirk.com (Artesian) www.thermo2000.com (TurboMax) www.laars.com (DuraFlow) www.tfi-everhot.com (EA series)
@ March 4, 2004 11:12 AM in Trinity Boiler QuestionMaybe you want to look at a small unit like the munchkin/perrless pinnacle on a stand with a lowboy indirect tank underneath. You could do the same set up with a Monitor MZ or BAXI Luna wall hung boiler and a lowboy floor mounted under it.
@ March 3, 2004 9:18 AM in steel pricesThat we'll have cheaper products all producted in Asia, but since we outsourced all our industry and now high tech, no one will have a job to buy anything.
@ March 2, 2004 9:05 PM in towel warmer or fin tubeIf you check out runtal or myson, they do have oversized towel warmer/radiators that would not be fully covered by towels. But what about outside of the heating season? Then you're likely to overheat the room, and probably dive up your AC bill. At least the electric units have timers to limit the heat cycle.
@ March 2, 2004 7:15 PM in choosing a small vs. large volume boilercomes from longer burner cycles with less time between burns. So cast iron takes longer too heat up and longer too cool down. Great if you have a long winter season and use the heat a great deal. Now with an indirect, you want hot water NOW, so letting the CI cool too much will make hot water recovery take longer, so you have to maintain a min temp in the boiler. In the winter you're doing this anyway, but in the summer and like you where the boiler is the backup heat system, the boiler's spending more time in stand-by mode then making heat. I've seen many old style dry base steel residential boilers leak at the tankless coil flange in less then 10 years. Probably a steel boiler expands and contracts more, but the new low mass steel boilers don't even offer a tankless coil option. Low temp/high mass radiant systems usualy don't do well with non-modulating non-condensing low mass boilers because then they'll realy short cycle. The 3 pass CI boilers like Buderus, Crown Freeport and Biasi have horizontal flue pipes and heavy insulation to retain the heat in the boiler so cold start almost means warm start. I like the Laars MAX steel boiler. It's small volume means getting a reverse indirect like an ErgoMax, TurboMax, or Dunkirk Artesian tank that acts as a buffer by holding 20-30 gals of boiler water to create mass. I'd still rather have the heated mass sit in an insulated tank then be in a boiler with a flue pipe.
@ March 2, 2004 4:36 PM in Trinity Boiler Questionshould stay away from exchangers: easier to plug up and GPM rate is low. This apllies to all combo units.
@ March 1, 2004 8:23 PM in building a house need help on ways to heat!Don't ever say oil is disappearing. As nat gas/LP prices keep incresing and they're no way to import it other then pipeline, you will see more and more conversions back to oil. A nice 275 gal safety tank in the basement will last forever. Go with an oil fired direct vent hot water radiant system. With the same high efficently boiler making your domestic hot water through an indirect tank, there's nothing better.
@ February 29, 2004 9:51 PM in choosing a small vs. large volume boilerin a cold start app on startup, I would vote for a small volume steel boiler. If you had a longer heating season, I would have gone with CI. No matter how well insulated a boiler is, there's still the flue pipe for the heat to escape. Get a good set of Tekmar controls to post-purge the heat out of the boiler after firing.
@ February 26, 2004 1:26 PM in Energy savings redux[or not]Here, 20 gal of boiler water is kept at 140-160 degrees. Your low mass boiler and radiant are each a secondary zones. The boiler zone pumps BTU's back into the "BTU battery". I would leave the boiler as a cold start. Only firing when that tank drops under 140, so no condensing problem for the boiler since it's isolated from the radiant secondary loop. The radiant loop would still need mixing with the loops return water to keep the water it pulls from the tank at your design temp. The insulated tank will sit with 160 degree boiler water durring the summer and and the boiler will fire a few times durring the day as you draw cold domestic water through the copper heat exchanger to pick up heat. Even at 140 degree min, the DHW could get very hot, so an anti-scalding valve is used to only allow 120-130 water up to the faucets and sinks. The inverse indirect is just a big tankless coil pulled out of a boiler that has high stand by loss and get's stuck in a thermos bottle instead. Others also feel there's less chance of the water picking up bacteria and that sulphur smell since the water is heated as soon as it hits the coil, not sitting stagnant and warm in the tank untill you use it.
@ February 26, 2004 9:21 AM in Energy savings redux[or not]Stick with K1, just OK it with burner maker. I would highly recommend using this design that was brought up in the buffer tank thread: http://www.pmmag.com/CDA/ArticleInformation/features/BNP__Features__Item/0,2379,78589,00.html Reason being that the design would require a more common min size for a low mass boiler (70-90K). Burnham, Thermodynamics, Columbia, Laars, etc. all make cheaper steel low mass boilers that could heat a reverse indirect hot water tank: Ergomax (www.ErgoMax.com), Turbomax (www.thermo2000.com), Dunkirk Artesian (www.dunkirk.com) This would give you the hot water plus a buffer tank that would feed BTU's to the radiant system. When the 20 gal of hot boiler water cooled in the indirect the boiler would come on and cycle for more then just 2 minutes. Fewer and longer burner cycles are the key to saving fuel and the boiler's life. You would still need mixing controls to control the lower water temp for the radiant. Once you spend money on this, there's no need for a tankless which has limited hot water flow.
@ February 25, 2004 9:51 PM in Energy savings redux[or not]No prices. Plus you're forgetting install, controls, circ, etc. etc, etc. your 45K BTU load would not be enough to fire an indirect, so you'll need a 70 to 90K min., More if the whole world wants to shower at once. That monitor runs K1 fuel? I'm not sure if you went to straight K-1 for an oil burner. Less BTU's then #2 oil and might be a bit harsh on the pump (not as oily). I've mixed K1 with #2 to help prevent gelling in outdoor tanks, but not run pure K1 all the time. This mix might not be good for the monitor though. So you have LP/gas already for the old water heater? You mentioned tankless. If you realy need hot water you'll need nat. gas or LP. If you go LP, a simple 90+ boiler (maybe wall hung) might be a cheaper solution.
@ February 25, 2004 5:23 PM in Energy savings redux[or not]You're getting a boiler just for the addition? What about the rest of the house? Any domestic HW needs? I ask cause your heat load might be greater or it might be a good time to replace the other boiler also. But if small is what you need, the Biasi B-10 (www.qhtinc.com) has a small 60K BTU net and Buderus G-115 21 around 70K BTU are some of the smallest 3 pass boilers I know of. The FCX looks complicated with it's 2 heat exchangers. Never saw one installed and I doubt it uses a Beckett/Riello/Carlin burner that everyone's worked on. Also very pricey. Just put a buffet tank on the boiler. Check the Wall, there's a recent thread on there with some great comments from the guys here.
@ February 25, 2004 12:32 AM in Buffer Tanks - When to use themNice work, thanks for the suggestions and the copper art work photos!
@ February 24, 2004 8:48 PM in Do I need a new boiler?What's a home inspector going to say when he sees the asbestos? If that boiler goes durring the winter, you'll pay dearly to get someone to remove it ASAP.
@ February 24, 2004 8:40 PM in Buffer Tanks - When to use themon my 3 zone copper fin tube. You have to utilize the indirect for DHW to make it cost effective. Correct me if I'm wrong guys, but you still need at least 3 circs: primary buffer tank loop boiler circ secondary loop high temp heat zone secondary loop feeding the zone valves A high temp heat zones only system would probably save money by just using a higher mass boiler like a buderus that could handle the potential of thermal shocking better when a cold zone started pumping cold return water at a hot boiler.
@ February 24, 2004 1:11 PM in Buffer Tanks - When to use themDo you use a low mass boiler when using an ErgoMax?
@ February 23, 2004 9:52 PM in retrofiting hydronic over slabof the temple of hydronic radiant flooring, but guys there's nothing wrong with panel rads and CI baseboards right? Kitchen and bathroom floor remodels will come someday giving you the chance to have warm tiled floors. But building stoops to climb into the rooms won't do much for resale value even if you advertise radiant floors.
@ February 23, 2004 7:53 AM in How Figure The Best GPM For Oil Burner?There are maybe a few makers that offer two firing ratings in one specific size boiler and one is always at an efficency cost. That's why every firing size usually has an increase of sections on a CI boiler. Probably some boilers woldn't make the 80% AFUE min at higher firings. I think I know of only one residential steel boiler that spans 3 fire rating sizes: Laars Max
@ February 21, 2004 5:06 PM in boiler replacement forold radiant systemThere might be a great deal of O2 in this system from floor leaks. Prepare for a radiant abandon ship!
@ February 21, 2004 1:47 PM in boiler replacement forold radiant systemSomething easy to clean. Buderus would take the cold return temp better. Just simple outdoor reset. I wouldn't bother with mixing. Keep the whole system at the same temp. Low limit of 140 should not bother the BB if he's got a lot of it. P/S piping of course.
@ February 20, 2004 5:26 PM in Cast iron baseboard help neededTake a look at their snug CI rads. They have ribed vents in the back that leave a channel at the top of the back of the rad. Problem is copper tubing would be visible from the top. Have you looked at any steel panel rads? I though some had 2 seperate passageways that could be piped together or used a return loop. Also checkout this pex radiant tube molding. You'd probably need to run more to get the same BTU's but it's probably cheaper and easier to install. http://www.hydronicalternatives.com/