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  1. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    I have been reading posts for over two years now. I have decided on the Garn 2000. I live in Southeastern Mass. I have about 22 cords of wood ready to go. Most of it is 16 inches but I do have about 8 cords that are 24 inches. The reason for the 16 inches is because I have a fireplace insert that we have been using for the last several years. I have a pretty good grasp on everything but the plumbing. I have forced hot water baseboard heat and an indirect hot water tank. I have five zones including the hot water tank. I have Taco 572-2 zone valves. Our hot water tank is 46 gallons. So Ihave seen some diagrams over the years but still am not sure the best way to go. I have talked to the local Garn rep and he seems to think that I will not need a heat exchanger. That was a real surprise. As you might be able to tell I am doing the work myself, with the help of family and friends, and I don't do this for a living. I am open to any and all suggestions.
    Thanks Jim

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  2. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,006
    [quote="Deere3720, post: 1127023, member: 21236" I am open to any and all suggestions.
    Thanks Jim[/quote]

    Take lots of pictures!
  3. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,620
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Are you going to keep your currend oil/gas setup for backup? If so, I'd say you need an exchanger if it's an iron boiler. The Garn is an open system which is ..........OK.......... if there is no ferrous components in the system, like circulators, or other iron boilers. Also the Taco heat motor valves and their bellows don't like open systems. I'd think you'd want to use a (properly sized) flat plate enchanger with a bronze or stainless circulator on the garn side, with an iron one on the closed system side. This way you would not have to treat the whole system with chemicals either, only the water, although alot, in the Garn with corrosion inhibitors. I guess I like to keep things seperated. Even if it comes at the cost of another pump and a plate exchanger.

    Oh and I love pictures too!!!!!!! Especially of one of those!

    Taylor
  4. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    459
    Loc:
    Central Ma
    You're off to a very good start by doing lots of research prior to making a boiler selection. Have you done a heat-loss calc for everything you intend to heat? Also it's probably a good idea to do output calcs (by room) for your baseboard. You can probably find output specs online for your BB - usually given in btus/ft at various water temps. By doing this you can evaluate how things will go as the Garn storage temps drop. You'll want to make best use of the huge amount of Garn storage, and it may not last as long as you want it to if the BB constantly needs 180-range water. If it turns out that there is currently just bare-minimum BB coverage (not uncommon with fossil systems), you might want to consider adding more; switching to/adding some panel rads; or adding in some radiant.
    Great boiler - good luck with it!
  5. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    541
    Loc:
    860-868-9014 h 203 948 0864 c nw corner ct.
    If Chris Holley is your garn rep, he is more than qualified to provide you with a easily followed plumbing and electrical control schematics for your particular install. congratulations, you will be happy!
  6. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    Jim, my existing system had forced air for most of the upper level. I found keeping the coil above 160* on the south side of the HX a PITA. I had to do a lot of firing to keep the Garn temps high and was always playing with reaching boiling temps. If I did not keep the temps up the plenum fan would run constantly trying to satisfy the thermostat which runs the electric bill up a lot. I am going to shortly install panel rads in the living room ( I was concerned with radiant under plank hardwood flooring) to allow a low temp heat source and better utilize the capacity of the Garn
  7. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Yes Taylor I will be keeping my current boiler as a backup. It is oil fired. Thanks for your input and I will keep it in mind as i go forward. I hope to start building the Garn Barn in mid June. Once I start i will be taking pictures and posting them once I learn hoe to.
  8. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Yes Chris is my local rep. I have been emailing him and he has asked for some picture of my current furnace. I hope to get them to him this week. Thanks for your input.
    Jim
  9. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Ok the 'Garn Barn' is ready to home the Garn. The Garn should be shipped this week I have been told. I know that the one area not to skimp on is the buried pipe. I just got a quote from a local foam contractor and man I think he is high. $2500 for the 100ft run. I have called two other guys and had appt. and they just didn't show up. The one guy that did show up told me that he could only spray 2" thick at a time because the heat of the chemicals would melt the pex. Is that true? My other concern is that I have been told that closed cell would take on water if it sitts in the water table. Is that true? I tried to attach a picture but I got an error saying that the file was to large. How do I compress the file?
  10. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    Have you priced the pre foamed pipe. I did not have anybody near me who could do it and I was not a lot more to go pre foamed. The installation I am sure was easier.

    I had a gap between delivery and install. Open all the boxes now, check and re check you have everything. Work out exactly what else you need, amazing how many extra things, drain valve, 3/4 inch plugs for example. There are several ways of doing the install, particularly insulation.

    I am now at the point where I need to insulate front and back but the manual suggests you fire it up first. But some of the sensors say to install after insulation and I would have to prop up the control unit and wire it is temporarily as the final location requires everything else to be completed. Something the manual does not address. Also debating how to allow access to the manhole access without crawling on the insulation. Perhaps I am over thinking and it does not really matter.
  11. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    I paid $450 for 175' run, guess I got a good deal. For $2500 it would be less with the prefoamed piping.

    I built a roof over my Garn and covered with OSB. I have a cover to access the manhole and the anodes. Unfortunately I have the old control. I think it is good advice to leave the front and back open till you fire, much easier to fix a leak if there happens to be one.
  12. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Cosmo I have been pricing the pre-foam as well. I am weighting the pro's and cons of both. The pre foam seems to do better in high water tables and the spray foam from what I hear gives a better R-value. I don't think I am going to have a water table problem however there is a chance every once in a while I might. The pre foam stuff that I have been looking at is by Central Boiler and it is called ThermoPex. If you buy it from them you have to buy it in 300' rolls and I only need about 100'. I have a 100' from the Barn to the house and then another 50' from where it gets in the house to the boiler. So I could use 150' if I wanted to have that kind of insulation inside, seems like an over kill but who knows. That would still leave me with a 150' of extra at 15/ft that is $2200. I have found a couple of local Central Boiler Dealers and will be calling them to see if they sell it buy the foot.

    Sawyer I will be calling another spray foam contractor to get a price I think the guy that gave me the $2500 price is on some good chit. The problem is I have call three other places, two I had appointments with and one I left a message with. The one I left the message with never called back and the other two never showed up. Most be nice to be that selective. I keep making a list of things I will need but man there is so much. I want this thing up and running by Thanksgiving but I don't know.
    The spray foam guy also told me that they would have to spray 2" thick and then go back over it and do another 2" layer and so on and so on. The reason he gave was the chemical reation between the two would be so hot that it would melt the pex. Is that true or is he full of chit. I will try and upload some pictures today. Thanks for your feed back and keep it coming everyone.
  13. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,234
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I think I would call BS on the melting pex thing. I have no experience with it but have read others experiences (like the sticky at the top of the forum) - I'm pretty sure that would have been mentioned if it was true, and I think all the other guys who did it did it all at once.
  14. eauzonedan

    eauzonedan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Loc:
    Bayfield Co. Wi
    I'm just wrapping up a Garn Barn and underground in NW WI. I"m still about a year away from first fire however. My cost to foam in place ran about $7 per foot for 70 feet from the house to boiler house. That is exclusive of the pex. I note the foam guys had a minumorder size due the mobilization and clean up - so I had them also shoot the rim joists in the house to get me to their minimum number of about $800. I ended up writing a check for a grand for the whole deal and don't regret it a bit. As far as the melting the pex. The foam does generate heat as it cures. The work-around is to only lay it down in two inch layers of foam to allow the heat to disperse. They said it can actually self combust if they lay it on too thick. For the foaming I cut a 12" wide trench and made some spacers with holes for the pex out of 2" rigid and spaced them about every three feet along the trench. I had plastic to line the trench, but it held up and no cave-ins or much lose material. The foamer thought we could omit the plastic and it worked slicker than snot without it. My pex is now encased in a 12 to 16" square solid block of closed cell foam.PIX available if you desire. Good luck. Dan
  15. The installer is giving good advice.

    Pretty sure the pex would have melted in these homes

    http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com...tts-home-fires-linked-spray-foam-installation
  16. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    My installer also applied the foam in layers as he also mentioned the heat from curing. I taped my pex supply and return lines together with blue foamboard for a separator.
  17. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,234
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
  18. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
    I do not know about CB but certainly the stuff I bought you buy by the specified length.

    Make sure you get a little bit more, good insurance.
  19. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,107
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    LOL about combusting foam..... The foam guys we use did a 275' trench with 2" Rehau pex in it a few years back. The had a lot of hose to empty out and they sprayed it all into a huge garbage bag then threw it off to the side. Itwas probably 4' in diameter. One of the guys said, "watch".....After about 3 minutes a wisp of smoke came out of the top of the bag and while I never saw any flame it got hot enough to melt the garbage bag to the shape of the foam ball. So yes, it does heat when it cures.

    As far a damaging the pex I would say no, it won't effect the integrity of the tube itself. You will see very little if any change in the way the pex handles, bends or looks after it cools. Cross linking provides "memory" to molecular structure of the pex and unless it actually catches fire it will return to its normal state.

    What spontaneous heating may do however in certain types of pex is destroy the O2 barrier if applied to the outside of the tube. That could lead to problems down the road.
  20. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,620
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Yeah, so last night I clicked on that link and spent hours reading all the comments for and against the use of spray foam in a dwelling. Way past my bed time.... Wow, it's like talking politics, two completly different opinions based on past expierence. Total opposite ends of the feild.

    Anyhow, back on topic. I had part of my slab spray foamed about a month ago. Keep in mind this was outside, about 3-4" on concrete, and man did it get hot! You could feel the ehat radiating off the stuff from 2 feet away!

    As heaterman said, PEX has inherrant memory, try taking some and kinking it, then heat it with a torch, yes a torch, if you are careful it will turn clear as glass and pop right back to it's origional shape, after it cools it is no different than it was before.

    TS
  21. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Ok sorry I haven't posted in awhile but as you all know this project takes up a lot of time and sleepless nights. The Garn arrived Nov 1. I ran into a minor problem when triing to get it off the truck. The forks on the fork lift were to wide to fit in the runs of the Garn. Yes I did say to BIG. But not a big deal, I just thought how often does that happen with this monster? I have ran into several minor set backs but we are making progress. I ended up going with the ThermoPex. I measured 100ft so I bought 105ft to be safe. Well come to find out I needed about 115ft. The price came out to $16/ft. I didn't want to have to much left over. The reason I ran short was because I was so close to my leaching field. The sand from the field kept giving in and the trench kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. It was so soft that the the ground became undermind and my tractor be came part of the trench. :mad: Three hours later we got it out but now we had a trench that was 6 ft wide at this section. Ok the Garn is in place and we are putting together our parts list for the plumbing. I plan on ordering everthing tomorrow and hope to hook it up the week after Thanksgiving. Here are some pictures, I hope.
  22. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Well it is the week after Thanksgiving and I am not hooked up yet. Making progress but work and life just keeps getting in the way. This post is just to see if I can upload pictures. Garn 020-1.jpg Garn 020-1.jpg Garn 086-1.jpg
  23. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Ok we are almost done plumbing inside of the Garn Barn. We should finish the Garn Barn plumbing this weekend and start the plumbing in the house. I am hoping to fire it up Sunday Dec. 16th. Can some one tell me the best place to get the Duratech Material? Is there a good online place or should I just go to a local outlet? Here are some pictures..

    Attached Files:

  24. Deere3720

    Deere3720 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Has anyone used the spry foam by Fomo? If so I was wondering if there is a certain outside temperature that it can't be used at? The instructions say that the product temp. has to be above 65*.

    Thanks Jim
  25. Lotsoknots

    Lotsoknots New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    I'm curious as to the price of the Garn 2000. Can you share?

    Thanks,

    Mark

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