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Anyone get caught?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by wdc1160, Jan 31, 2008.

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  1. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Lafayette IN -BoilerMakerCountry
    Did anyone get caught with their pants down. In the Midwest the temperature went from 57F w/ solar gain to 10F with 80mph wind in 1 day.

    I turned off the heat circ at 12pm and ended up with a busted pipe at 11pm.
    Ruined a perfectly good radiator. Broke the radiator’s copper pipe in the middle of the aluminum fins right by 2 other sweats – so close I can’t even silver solder it.

    Out east did you guys have this issue???

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  2. mitakuuluu

    mitakuuluu New Member

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    Loc:
    Eugene, OR
    In Oregon, it was 35F when I woke up. It was 36F at midday. It is now 35F at 10pm. Rain the whole time :)

    Sorry to hear about your pipe burst :(
  3. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    4,506
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Almost got caught -- Might be of interest to those concerned about their water storage freezing while they take a vacation and no heat from the gassifier. I thought I was covered on this one, but instead approached the limit of good luck.

    Facts: Tarm Solo Plus 40, about 50 gallons of 50/50 antifreeze mix (no freezing problem here), which feeds the system through a plate hx, installed in shop. 800 gallons of water storage in steel tank inside shop, insulated on top, one side and back (tank acts as radiator to heat the shop). Shop very poorly insulated (old barn), 20 x 40 x 10. Gone for 9 days on vacation.

    Backup plan: 5000W electric heat on thermostat to kick-in when shop temp dropped to 40.

    Backup outcome: electric heat thermostat failed, and no heat was provided during entire period.

    Day 1, 4:00 pm (left for vacation): Fired Tarm this day to heat storage tank to 165 on top, est’d 155 on bottom; Tarm shutdown. Hi/Lo temp today: +8/-12 (F)
    Day 2 +8/-16
    Day 3 +1/-23
    Day 4 +2/-24
    Day 5 +6/-12
    Day 6 -8/-17
    Day 7 -16/-21
    Day 8 +14/-21
    Day 9 +24/-14
    Day 10 +25/+9 9:30 pm, returned from vacation – tank had several inches of ice on top, at least some slush interior, but some liquid water remained; lines from storage to hx frozen, water filter frozen and gasket blown, circ pump frozen, shop temp 10F, turned on small electric space heater directed at tank
    Day 11 +36/+6 added more electric heat, removed filter with blown gasket, by 2:00 pm a trickle flow of water through storage system, which in about an hour opened to full flow, ice still in tank. Fired boiler, water in temp from storage to hx 32F, water out temp to storage from hx 90F, boiler in temp to hx 150F, boiler return temp from hx 110F. These temps static until tank storage temp started to rise. Boiler ran continuously thru rest of afternoon and evening.
    Day 12 (Monday, Jan 28) +37/+26 Refired boiler after night shutdown, storage tank back up to full heat. All OK.

    Since Day 12: made new gasket for water filter and re-installed; replaced thermostat on electric heat; counted lucky stars that steel storage tank did not burst and hx circ pump did not crack

    Lest you think N MN remains in the 20's-30's in Jan: Tu +24/-19, We -6/-22, Th (today) -16 low, high forecast +4
  4. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    39 at the house when I left yesterday AM . . . a few hours later when I got to the ADK it was snowing like crazy :bug: No cold starts on the GW sincw October, so, no, the pants were up and secured at the waist . . . probably some creosote from loading when its nearly 40, but once it cooled down and opened up, the creosotes gone.

    Sorry about the busted pipe, Dude.
  5. sled_mack

    sled_mack New Member

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    Loc:
    Conklin, NY
    We saw some swings, but nothing like that. Heat was never turned off, that's for sure.

    Sorry to hear about both of your issues there.

    Tonight we leave for what will be our longest time away. 8 days. I'm in the process of boosting the tank right now, and it should be right about at 200 when we leave. I've got an aquastat that will run it down to 120 or so, then cut over to oil. With the house stats set down to 56, the tank should last at least 4 days, maybe a bit more.

    The longest we've been gone before was 6 days. For the way my tank and shed are insulated, the temp barely drops at all once the fire is out. It's on the order of a deg per day. I bump the pump that pulls from the tank to the house for 4 minutes every hour to prevent the lines from freezing. So far, that's all worked out really well.

    This time, I have a friend coming over to make sure my geese have water every other day, and he's going to throw some wood in the boiler for me. I'll set the timer to let it burn for 2 hours and shut down. That's enough to keep the boiler plenty warm, and add just a little heat to the tank. Mostly, it should allow me to be getting full temp water from the boiler about 15 minutes after I get home on the other end of vacation and I can use wood to recover the temps in the house instead of oil.
  6. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Jerusalem, Ohio;
    we went from 48 to 17 in south east Oh. Bad winds but no loss of power after prayers. Looks like to the north of us expect freezing rain in the morn.
  7. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Loc:
    Lafayette IN -BoilerMakerCountry
    repaired and working smooth.


    here is the culprit

    It amazes me to this day the power of frozen/boiling/expanding water. This of course is a small example

    Attached Files:

  8. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    I did some analysis on this room. This room is new to me(bought it recently along with the rest of the house). It was an add on some DIY'er did. Let me just say he spared every expense possible.
    Check this btu/hr loss. Keep in mind its a small sun roon. Anyone got a room as inefficient as this. Should I knock the damn thing down and reclaim the copper pipe? I now know this part of the reason why the copper pipe froze.

    60 square foot of glass and door in the room. The door is good. 1 of the windows is good. but 43.5 ft of windows is single pane. I went out to investigate this thin type of window. And, found that the storm windows had been glued shut to help with all the loss.
    room is 10X20 7' high
    3 walls to the outside 2 x 4 walls with r13 insulation. And, paneling that is 1/8 thick. 1/8 thick wood siding outside.
    1 interior wall (doesn't count)
    4 inch flat roof not sure of insulation. I assumed in the analysis .09 factor with is 2 inch insulation 1/4 inch drywall and 3/8 ply

    all this sits on a cement slab. I assumed that their was 1 inch of insulation, but don't know it to be true.


    I am in a unique postion to improve this building to a better than new state. I am going to start with this peice of crap room. Any ideas on where to save first and how to do it.

    This loses 15k btu per hour. it is 20X10. This is like putting 1 zone in the house outside. Heating your tree house if you will.

    I could just shut the boiler off to this room. I actually thoguht about making this the actual boiler room rather than putting a shed outside. I hate to waste interior space though. Anybody have rooms like this?
  9. atlarge54

    atlarge54 New Member

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    Hoosier
    My house sits on the east shore of a small lake with a 10'x16' front room. This room has approx. 160 ft sq of single pane glass with alum. storms that don't seal very well. I just close it off in the winter, probably the heat loss of a modest home in this room alone, at least it's not on a slab. This summer I hope to decrease the amount of glass and upgrade the insulation. If you want large windows that don't open I recommend using patio glass replacement panes. They're the cheapeast glass you can buy. Good luck
  10. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    I have questions for anyone who wishes to comment.
    @ -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 degress respectively this software tells me I loose 14200 btu per hour more per 10 degrees. It didn't say that. I put that together on my own. But thats what it says in effect
    Should this really be so linear?
    [​IMG]


    My heat loss works out to about 90K at 0F. I think there is a great deal of room for insulation improvements. Anyone see any glaring things I should be aware of? Is this normal for a brick ranch? Everything works out to about 4K sq feet of heated space

    [​IMG]
  11. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Yes. Heat loss is a function of the transmission rate of the material and the difference in temperature from one side to the other.

    Double that temperature difference, and you double the heat loss.

    Joe
  12. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    thank you for the reply. I am thankful and surprised it works out that way. The number I used 14.200. Does anyone else use "that" type of number to decribe their system.

    In other words, does anyone else say I have a system that loses 10K per 10 degrees. Obviously this has the same type of problems that HDD's do, but has anyone else seen this.

    On the forum, I have seen people say they size boilers and systems based on sq ft per btu or vice versa. 4k / per 100K btu/hr @ -10. I think it works out as 25 BTU/ft/hr @ -10. -10 maybe to cold for a design temp (just keeping the number round)

    Is their a subjective rating system whereby I can rate this heat loss analysis?
  13. Jason_in_AK

    Jason_in_AK New Member

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    Loc:
    Tok Alaska
    -70F this morning according the Wunderground. :bug: o_O Nothing broken so far though. Leaving my car running so the belts don't shatter on me when I go to start it. BRRRR!
  14. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I've tracked wood consumption as a function of degree days. Remarkably consistent - between 11 and 13 minutes of boiler operation required per degree day. At -70, I'd have a problem - not enough minutes in the day.
  15. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    ASHRAE book says you should be using 0 degrees as your design temp. Well, a few degrees above, but we tend to work in even increments of 10.

    Heat loss per square foot will vary depending on climate. I doubt your house would do anywhere near that well if it were plopped down in NH. It's hard to compare houses in different climates.

    Joe
  16. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    @ -70 you could cut off the hot tub. I only mentioned HDD's because I have found that my solar gain can be huge, partriculary this winter in this new house. HDD's had never been something I followed a great deal, but noticed large variance in HDD's to actual heat required this year. I have seen days in the 30's where the heat will not kick on at all. Not for 1 minute between 10:30-6:30. Not bad for a house requiring 50K at 30 F.


    You have been indicated many times that you can maintain at 30K btu w/ several different applications besides just space heating. You have also said you had a great deal of glass. Why should my heat loss calc be so different.
    You see the graph.

    Joe this year I could have planned for 20 as mild as it has been. I will plan for 0 degrees or 92K--thanks for the advice.


    To both of you. Can either of you quantify how effcient or ineffcient this house is by a objective method.
  17. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    If the program you're using for heat loss is the one I think it is, it does tend to run a bit high on the numbers.

    Plan the backup (fossil fuel) heat to 90k-ish (rounding slightly up or down on the whole system won't have a real effect).

    Drop a bit down with whatever you might add for a wood or biomass boiler, since they run more efficiently when they are being "pushed" a bit. And the worse that happens if it is undersized is that the backup boiler kicks in a few times on the absolute coldest days.

    22.5 btu per square foot is very efficient. That sun room is an energy hog. Without it, you lose 200 square feet, but the heat loss goes down to 80k, which gives you 21 btu per square foot.

    I suppose you could rate the house in "btu per square foot per degree" and compare the btu per square foot figure to the number of degrees below 70. That would give you a figure you could use if you moved the house to a different climate. But houses don't tend to be mobile, so that really isn't a concern for most folks.

    Joe
  18. Jersey Bill

    Jersey Bill Member

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    Loc:
    Central NJ
    Here are some "rule of thumb" numbers in my notes:

    This is a new tight, well constructed house in NJ, 80 Mbh, 4123 sqft, 5500 HDD
    19 btu/sqft and 0.0035 btu/sqft/HDD

    10 btu/sqft- small tight house 0.0018 btu/sqft/HDD

    30 btu/sqft heavy 0.0054 btu/sqft/HDD
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