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Anyone using a Laddomat system?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by barnartist, Jan 19, 2008.

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  1. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    I'd like some feedback from anyone using a Laddomat, or even a termovar valve, and your results with the size of your boiler.
    THANKS!

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  2. tuolumne

    tuolumne New Member

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    I cannot speak from experience, only recent advice from several sources to be considered as expert. Tarm offers two systems for boiler loading, one is a Termovar loading unit which a similar to the laddomat. The other is a Termovar loading valve, coupled with a dedicated pump. They recommend the second option, as the pump would likely need replacing at some point. Mark at ahona steered me away from the laddomat for my EKO 40, indicating that it could not pump enough gpm for the size boiler and storage I have. I think he said the maximum was 13 gpm with very little head. I decided to go with a diverter (loading valve) by Danfoss and a dedicated pump. The valve begins allowing return water from the system when boiler water is up to 140 degrees. I believe the laddomat goes for somewhere around $270. A diverter valve and a Taco 007 can be had for around $210. Piping is virtually the same.
  3. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Hey thanks, interesting the guy said the Laddomat was too small for a 40. I have a 60. I was my desition though to use it, I blame myself. I have a termovar valve I could switch to and a 011 Taco pump, I cant remember the GPM of it.

    Anyone else care to comment? Any feedback a plus.
  4. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Danfoss was a real Good link thanks
  5. sled_mack

    sled_mack New Member

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    Can you post a sketch of how you have that piped into the system? I'm curious is all. Thanks.
  6. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    Plenty of pump on the laddomat, a Wilo Star I believe? I suspect the pressure drop through the thermostatic valve and all that porting gobbles up some of the circs fizz and drops the gpm off.

    Thermostatics can be a tough valve to get a lot of flow through.

    Over the years Heatway and Watts radiant have experimented with many brands and styles. They had some fairly high GPM models, but they wouldn't track, and hold the temperature very well.

    Paxton and Thermic have some fairly good ones for return protection. The Thermic 1-1/2" has a Cv of 27 (Cv is the gallons per minute at a 1 psi drop)

    hr

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  7. hkobus

    hkobus Member

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    For us who don't have the cooling coil in the top of the eco, the laddomat will when properly installed also funtion as a power failure safety through a natural flow when hooked close to a buffer tank. This feature will not work through a mixer or other thermostatic valve as far as I know.
    I have the unit in my system, just no buffer at this time. It is on it's way by means of an old electric water heater tank.

    Henk.
  8. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    If you're looking to just maintain return water temperature back to your your boiler,
    a better & cheaper way would be to use a modulating 2-way valve. This would require a connection between your supply & return piping just like any loading valve but the pipe size could much smaller, 1/2 to 3/4". You'd put the valves sensor on the return piping side, dial the valve to the temperature you want to maintain, the modulating valve & your boiler circulator will do the rest. You wouldn't need a seperate circulator or relay, just a 24v connection to the valve.
  9. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    solar guy could you post an example of the valve sensor and modulating valve your talking about.
  10. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    Another good method, solar guy. I'm wondering what brand you use and the cost for the valve, operator, sensors and 24V transformer?

    Does a 1/2 or 3/4 line move enough GPM to protect a 40 or 60K bolier connected to a radiant slab, for instance.

    Burnham has always shown a boiler bypass piping or pump in their "Heating Helper" booklet. But it doesn't have any temperature sensing ability. Probably fine for low to medium mass systems, but cold concrete slabs connected to boilers cry out for better return temperature protection, in my mind. Like the method you describe.

    All in all the Laddomat is a clever design considering all the benefits. I tried to get Zenon to part with one to put on my test bench and test flow rates and capacities. In the correct application, with the correct circ it could be the system pump, bypass temperature protection, and power off dump zone control.

    hr
  11. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    The valve I'm thinking about is made by Taco, model number escapes me at the moment..

    If you look at Master's pic, the valve would go where the bypass is located, the sensor on the return piping near the boiler circulator. The valve is around 200, a transformer, 20.
    A 1/2 or 3/4 valve would offer adequate low water return temp protection for any residential application.

    I'm just not a big fan of mechanical thermal devices, sooner or later they crud up & fail.

    Have a good Sunday!
  12. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    The modulating valve made by taco is a tough one to find. It does modulate correct??
  13. EForest

    EForest Member

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  14. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    I lean the opposite way on system component selection, especially for alternate energy system. I prefer non electro-mechanical devices for dependability. A 3 way thermostatic is basically a wax cartridge, a spring and a washer and seat. really very little to fail. Good system fluid with a corrosion inhibitor should protect those valves for decades.

    Heck I'd like to design a gravity powered hydronic distribution system. Zero pumps, zone valves, controls, etc. With the 2" taps on those Euro boilers it is do-able.

    Our friend Larry W from another list has a gravity fed radiant system in his home in CA. Mainly solar powered, a small pv backup pump for solar harvest. I'd like to visit that home someday.

    hr
  15. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I had a gravity system in an old house up in the Adirondacks that I connected a combination wood/oil boiler to. With the wood, there was no electricity involved. All you had to do was keep the firebox full of wood, and all the radiators in the house kept the place warm. Sometimes it would get as cold as -40 and it wasn't uncommon for it to stay below zero for days at a time. It was great when the power went out, which it did all the time up there. The guy I sold the house to still uses it that way.
  16. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    That look like an electronic mixing valve. It doesn't actuate with a sensor. Water temp is dictated by a knob on top of the valve.

    Is that correct.
  17. EForest

    EForest Member

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    no! read this pdf http://www.blueridgecompany.com/documents/iSERIES_100-19.pdf

    It has a built in microprocessor and many sensor options.

    Bluerigdecompany is an excellent resource for radiant heating products. Great prices!
  18. tuolumne

    tuolumne New Member

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    ABG...I plan to pipe mine just like the diagram that master of sparks posted. The danfoss is 1-1/2" so I should be able to get plenty of flow through it. It seems to be a pretty foolproof system.

    Someone mentioned corrosion inhibitor in the closed system. Any names I should look for? I'll have something close to 1200 gallons altogether.
  19. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    I just got my net connection back-alot of good stuff here thanks. So is there a guy running a Laddomat here with a big boiler? Im just wondering again if maybe I am not getting enough flow. I did adapt to 1" pipe in the Eko loop. That could also restrict some flow, the Laddomat is 1 1/4 I think. Off the supply from the eko, I have a taco 011 that runs all the time. Do you all think this pump interferes with the Laddo. valves? I dont hear any pumps struggle like you would if you shut a valve off? When the Laddo opens, this 011 in my thought would help flow. I'll try and draw up a pic monday.
  20. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    For my first 20 years in business i just used the water available on the job. These were typical cast iron boiler copper fin tube installations. This was a common practice and those systems performed just fine for many many years.

    Now a days boilers we use are stainless or aluminum mod cons. I feel treatment and a good cleaning is critical to the life of these boilers. The stainless heat exchangers are scary thin, and aluminum is very sensitive to ph. The cost of these boilers make you want to get it right the first time.

    As far as a steel or cast wood boiler.... I think I would just run a TSP solution through it to clean out any oils, solder flux, dirt, grease, etc. Then just fill it with good water. Flush and fill. TSP will leave the system a bit on the alkiline side which is ok. For years Weil and Burnham had TSP cleaning instructions in their manuals. since TSP is now on the EPA hit list (phosphates) I don't see that anymore. although most on the shelf TSP is phosphate free these days. Go figure?

    Check the hardness of you water. 10 grains or below should not be a problem. If you have extremely hard water consider buying some DI (deionized) or DM (demineralized) water from a close by water treatment company. I pay 10 cents a gallon for DI water and haul it to job sites in plastic drums. Only if the jobsite water is real hard or high TDS, which is common in some brand new wells around here.

    As far as the Laddomat pump sizing.. It depends what you have downstream of the device. A radiant floor job with high pressure drop may not be a good match. Cast iron or copper baseboard usually flows easily, same with old cast iron radiators. The pressure drop through the EKO and other gasification boilers has to be near zip. It a pretty wide open vessel, with very large connection taps.

    Ideally you would calculate all the piping, gpm requirements, and pressure drop. Someone, like the manufacturer, should have a pump curve for the laddomat pump along with the pressure drop of that assembly. With that data you would know the available head and flow rate.

    Adding an addition circ may not be a good idea. With circs in in series you add head and may get into a velocity, noise and erosion issue. Circs in parallel will near double the gpm, but not change the head. That may or may not be the solution.

    The stars may lie but the numbers never do. Do some calcs before spending time and money.

    hr
  21. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    If there is not phosphates in it, it isn't tri-sodium-phosphate, and I wouldn't use it without looking into it more.
  22. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    How does evryone feel about the Termovar? Got it from Cozy heat. Will it alow more flow than the laddomat? Asking because only because I have a Termovar I am not using.
    I like the protection these valves give, yes, but for me I need it to keep the boiler water warm enough to allow for a good re-start of a fire. Without one, Ive always had trouble with boiler shut down when it thinks it is out of wood.
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