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Garn Install 15 mos. and winding down!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by rvtgr8, Oct 1, 2009.

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  1. rvtgr8

    rvtgr8 New Member

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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would tend to say pretty good... There are lots of control options, all of which will work pretty well, depending on just what you want to have happen... Probably one of the biggest things to decide is just how "seamless" do you want the switchover from the Garn to the BH to be? We've been working on the assumption that the switchover is automatic, but there is a little more to it than that... Assume the Garn has cooled down, would you want Option 1 - The BH comes on as soon as you get your normal call for heat anywhere in the system, so that the only way you could tell which unit is giving you heat is to look?
    Option 2 - The house gets chilly and the BH comes on just enough to keep the pipes from freezing?
    Option 3 - Something in between? (The BH comes on at a comfortable temp, but one that's lower than where the Garn would keep it)

    There are arguments for each approach, which one you pick is a matter of lifestyle choice, but will have some impact on how you wire stuff up.

    Presumably you will want to have the house loads connected to a controller for their zone valves, and then from that controller some sort of hookup to the Garn HX pumps and the BH and it's pump (actually I'd just connect the BH to the control, and let it control it's pump)

    Not sure on the details of how to go from there though...

    Gooserider
  3. kabbott

    kabbott Member

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    No doubt this group will get you going, as you know there is a wealth of info here. I fall into the "jack of all master of none" class but some of these
    fellows really know there "stuff"


    As far as the wiring I would tend to prefer option #3 above.
    The most simple way would be to add a second thermostat set at a much lower temp that would control the burnham boiler. This would go like...garn goes cold
    .... house temp falls.... second TT calls for heat from burham.

    I skimmed back over this thread and found the post where you mention a "tekmar 356" and I am not familiar with tekmar controls.
    A quick look shows that is an injection mixing control with outdoor reset? Is this in service now, part of the original system with the burnham boiler?
    If so I will look over the control and give it a go but no promise on myself figuring it out.
    Not sure what if any controls are incuded with the garn.

    Anyone with knowledge of this control feel free to jump in on this........ :red:

    Really need some input from you to determine the transfer from one boiler to the other. Biggest question would be how often will the burnham be needed?




    I see you were a teacher. I hope you did not teach English, if so you probably cringe when you read my posts. Not my strongest subject. :cheese:
  4. rvtgr8

    rvtgr8 New Member

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    Alright, it is time to fix the house side of my heating system. Kris and Gooserider have been a real help pointing out several of my shortcomings in design. I now have a new drawing and a fish-eye phot of what already exists in my radiant system. The old picture shows that I was not 'Pumping Away" as I should be. The system runs on a single Taco 007-5 circulator that pulls cold water back from the in slab radiant loops and pulls water through the BoilerMate sidearm. My drawing shows that I will switch that problem by moving the Taco to the other side. The new drawing shows my new Grundfos 15-58 (3 speed, flo check) circulator, which is a new model designed to replace Taco 007 and 008 models. It is now pushing the water through my fifty plate HX in a reverse flow to the Garn side plumbing.

    My questions:

    Is this Taco 007-5 flo protectected or will I have to put one in the line on the discharge side of the pump?

    Should I be worried about the Taco experiencing any mechanical anomalies due to the change from pull to push?

    Does this drawing appear consistent with Kris and Gooserider's advice.

    Will I be able to control this with my Tekmar 356 so my old system will back me up if the Garn drops below its low end delta temp?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  5. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Going by the drawing, Looks to me like the boiler pump possibly needs to be on the other side of the boiler, and the expansion tank EMPHATICALLY needs to be on the blue return line rather than the red hot line as it is now... Currently with the return tank on the supply line, you have both pumps pumping towards the tank, not away from it! Move the ET to the return line, and both pumps will be pumping away from it, the HX pump directly, and the BH pump after going through the boiler. Also moving the BH pump to the supply side of the boiler would make that pump be pumping directly away from the ET, but depending on how much flow resistance the BH has, it might not make a big difference. The other advantage to putting the ET and the pumps on the return side is that makes them see cooler water, which can be a good thing in terms of component life... (There are some that claim ET diaphrams don't really like hot boiler water...)

    Define what you mean by "flow protected"? If you are talking about a flow check that will prevent reverse flow through the system when the other pump is working, it may depend on the exact pump model, I know some Taco pumps have built in flow checks, but not sure if they all do. I know many times, just to reduce the number of different parts a service guy needs to carry, the pump makers will put the built in flow check in the box for all the pumps and you get to decide whether to install it or not. With your layout, you definitely need a flow check in BOTH pump loops to force the water to flow through the loads rather than taking a shortcut back to the ET by the non-working pump and it's plumbing...

    The pump shouldn't care about reversing the flow direction - It is still moving water through it in the same direction, and that is all the pump cares about - sucking it in one side and pushing it out the other...

    As drawn it's not quite consistent with what I was suggesting, but it isn't bad... See above on how to fix it.

    Not sure on the control question, but IMHO the simplest fail safe control setup would be to have a second thermostat that will turn on the BH if the house temp drops significantly below your desired setting on the Garn thermostat. Use the pump controller on the BH to turn on the BH pump, and as a fail safe, also have it trigger an NC relay on the HX pump so as to ensure that the HX pump can't turn on when the BH pump is running...

    Gooserider
  6. rvtgr8

    rvtgr8 New Member

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    Goose,

    I guess I need to go back and read that book again. "Pumping Away" seems to be beyond my comprehension level. Is this closer?
    [​IMG]
  7. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    And you taught public school for 25 years? I think that book is about a 3rd grade level comp.

    Boy , this is like explaining to a customer how to rebuild an engine over the Internet. There's a "paper" trail right now so I'd be careful you guys if the plumbing you explain maybe right but doesn't get assembled right... Well this is how he told me to do this! see right here!

    Well sorry, maybe I'm the only one thinking this.
  8. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    This is one of the reasons I make the "student" draw the pictures... If he gets it right, I can give him a virtual sticker (little kids will do just about anything for a sticker...) :cheese: , if not I will tell him what is wrong in my opinion, and to try again...

    If he draws it right, and plumbs it the way it was drawn, then everything should (famous last words) work. If it doesn't work, first question is where does the way it was plumbed differ from the drawing... If what he built matches the drawing, well, oops, :red: sorry, never said I was a licensed / degreed pro, why are you listening to me, just because I post alot? Also why are you looking for free advice on the 'net instead of cutting a check for Siggy or one of his pals? (That said, I DO try to do my best to give the best advice I can, and I feel sure that so do most all of the other posters on the Hearth)

    I could be wrong, but I beleive there is some pretty strong precedent that says free advice given on a site like this doesn't impose much liability on the giver, as it is the job of the person receiving the advice to determine it's wisdom, applicability and so on...

    Gooserider
  9. kabbott

    kabbott Member

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    I don't want to confuse you more than you are so before I give any more advice.......In the picture in post #53 is the pump on the hot outlet or the
    cold return?

    The reason I ask is because this can be done more than one way and it is not mandatory that the pump be on one side or the other.
    No need to move it and create unnecessary work.

    The basic idea is to keep the expansion tank as close to the INLET side of BOTH pumps. This can not always be achieved and it is fairly forgiving.
    The best place for air removal is generally at the HOTTEST point.
    In your case these will be two different places. This is not the end of the world.
  10. rvtgr8

    rvtgr8 New Member

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    Garnification,

    I have no idea why you would insert such a caustic remark into this thread, but since you have, I think it deserves a few comments. I am not now, nor have I ever claimed to be a plumber, a heating contractor, a gifted fabricator (which I believe you are) or an engineer. One thing I did learn in my 25 years of public school teaching is that making demeaning comments never leads to a positive outcome. I have had the good fortune of having many talented people on this site share their opinions and advice with me. I have expressed my gratitude over and over in this and many other threads. I can only assume that you have gained a sense of superiority by putting me down. If that is the case, so be it. But if you do not mind I will continue to try and educate myself so that I can improve my carbon footprint and stay warm on my fixed income. I hold a couple of advanced degrees, but none in law or hydronic engineering. That said, I have been a public advocate who has worked on several issues regarding internet, water law, and the environment. I can assure you that there is no liability on giving opinion on this forum.

    I get up every morning and I learn. It is how I became a beekeeper, a newspaper columnist, a woodworker, a gardner, a political candidate, a webmaster, a mentor, a mechanic, etc. I am no genius, but I am a life-long learner. I may not be a master at any of these things but I work hard to accomplish every thing I do. Heaterman, Slowzuki, Gooserider, Jim K., Kris, Eric and so many more have done so much to help me and I am eternally grateful. I will not be dissuaded by your remarks. Like it or not, I have even gained a ton of information from you in your threads, and no, I will not feel compelled to hold you responsible if the whole damned thing blows up in my face. Good luck to you and may all your learning be as fruitful as mine.

    Robert
  11. rvtgr8

    rvtgr8 New Member

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    Kris,

    My last drawing is an attempt on my part to gain a clearer understanding of the "Pumping Away" principle. You know how in the book where the old plumbing guru suggests that he just "knew it" and he explained it to the author through the haze of cigarette smoke. Well I am in the smoke and can't seem to grasp the detail. This is due in part to the fact that I did not design the original system. I was able to garner all of the information to plumb the Garn side and did not consider that the system I had in place in the house might have some serious flaws. Not only am I trying to match the Garn side up, but I am also trying to fix what appears to be a major flaw or two in the existing system. Unfortunately, the guy that did design this moved away and cannot be reached. As it is with most things in life, I know that there are many ways to skin the proverbial cat. That being the case, I am trying to understand every solution that is offered, but with my limited expertise, it takes much longer for me to understand. Like most novices, I would like a single and definitive answer, yet the teacher in me knows that it is not possible. Drawing #53 has the expansion tank in the wrong leg according to Goose. I am just trying to take the photograph and draw a viable solution before cutting into my system. I do not have the money for an engineer and will just have to get as close as I can on paper before making the physical commitment. We have had two major snows already and I am not wanting to make any huge mistakes. Thanks again for looking.
  12. Rick Stanley

    Rick Stanley Feeling the Heat

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    Robert,
    Not that you need any more, but here's a suggestion. Look at what you have in front of you and hook the thing up. Get the heat from the garn into the zones the quickest and easiest way, using the least amount of pipe and fittings and build a fire in your new garn. Run it for a while and then you can evaluate how it behaves. I wouldn't change a thing on your existing system, it works doesn't it? Leave the damned expansion tank where it is for now. At least you can get some heat while gathering hard data (not from a book or cyberspace) that is pertinent to YOUR system, not only theories. Agonizing over the exact positioning of every fitting and component can be frustrating, I found out and you are too, but it becomes easier to understand when you see it run. You will also find that it's not that big of a deal to not get it perfect the first time.
    Mine is up and running and many things about the set-up are theoretically wrong but work just fine. I plan to change some things based on what I see happening, that will no doubt improve performance. But in the meantime, my needs are being met, my oil burner doesn't fire, ever, and that was the goal. I'll see what happens when it gets colder and plan adjustments/changes accordingly.

    I think after getting varied and often conflicting advice from here and other places, there comes a time to make a move and find out for sure what's what. Everyone I talked with about my system, here and elsewhere, had advice and some were waay too focused on promoting snazzy controls, some wanted to talk at me about replacing part or all of my existing system. These guys wanted to sell me stuff, imho. Others wanted to talk about theories and books and were, as far as I'm concerned, trying to impress me with their great knowledge. Others were just showing off in trying to butt heads with other contributors here and/or their competitors out in the field and it got ridiculous.

    Hook her up and find out for yourself!! It's snowing out :)
  13. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    There is a point when you just have to grab the wrench and go to it. Your already farther along with your understanding than I was when I started...use a couple more unions which will make changing a few things easier if need be.
  14. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    Robert, sorry for my comments eariler. Your story has been wonderful to follow and I am glad that you chose the Garn its is a wonderful invention. However I agree 100% with the two posters above my post here. A time comes when you just have to grab the tools and go to work.


    If you are getting to confused then maybe you should hire a professional HVAC tech. and have them hook it up. 15 months and winding down, This thing should of been up and running 10 months ago. I don't have that much patients knowing that I spent that amount of money and not having a return on my investment yet! I myself work for the public sector but have the mindset and work ethic of a small business owner in the private sector, and believe me sometimes those two don't mix well!! :red:
  15. rvtgr8

    rvtgr8 New Member

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    Garnification,

    No apology needed. I know that for many on this site, the idea that any project that might take fifteen months is beyond reasonable. I need to clarify that I have not been working solidly for that period of time. I have a number of projects going, all of which are seasonal in nature. Gaye and I both do side work to afford to be able to live out here. When I learned that it was $8k to install the Garn, we just accepted the notion I would have to learn my way through it and buy the materials as we went along. I do like to be frugal, but I can't bring myself to buy cheap parts or cut corners on such a fine machine. That, coupled with the fact that I work with all the speed and dexterity of a glacier just makes patience a virtue. Thanks for writing back and I also apologize for being so sharp in my tone.

    Robert
  16. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    Robert I'm with you. Most things that I just do quickly to get it done need redoing and I regret not doing it right in the first place. I think you're doing great and agree with the pay as you go.
  17. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    What? Only 15 months? My building permit for my house was pulled in 1990 and we just got the last plumbing inspection on the septic system done this month.
  18. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    How in the world did you get them to keep the permit open that long.? Around here they are calling within 3 months, threatening to cancel the permit and make you buy another one.
  19. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    I did have to renew my permit this year to get the inspections for the septic and plumbing. Permits are good for 2 years here. The CEO here is a good enough guy I felt safe in joking that I thought they were good for 2 decades, not 2 years.
    In the intervening years we have cleared 12 acres of pasture, built a 2-story barn, put up a mile of fence, and cleared more land and put in a 45 tree orchard,and landscaped a bunch of boulders and stumps into the semblance of a yard populated by a bunch of Asian trees and shrubs that weren't supposed to be hardy here (well they were right about some of them). Not everybody's order of priorities but we're now getting around to finishing the house. Been living in the summer cabin these almost 30 years.

    So to answer your question, they left if open because it got lost in the process of computerizing the town records and they didn't catch it until I brought it up. Won't be able to get away with that again.
  20. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    Robert,

    I have stayed out of the discussion so as not to add another "cook in the kitchen". I concur with both notions recently expressed that you can correct anything you do incorrectly after you see how the system runs, AND you can do things in a manner that will REDUCE the likelihood of having to re-engineer everything. At times like these I usually put down my sketches, grab a beer, and go work on my truck . . . :coolsmirk:

    FWIW - I would leave your existing system 99% as is for now. Forget pumping away for the moment (actually until next summer). My suggestion to get you started in the least amount of time with the least amount of likely rework is as follows:

    Cut into the existing manifold SUPPLY leg down stream of your existing TACO 007 before the first loads (of course). Install a pair of closely spaced Tees. Now install your Grundfos 15-58 on the firsy Tee (leg CLOSEST to the Burnham). Pump counter-flow through your HX as you have drawn it, and return the flow to the second Tee. Done with plumbing, and you are sending the hottest water (transferred from the GARN) to your loads. This method has the coolest water going back through your Burnham, rather than heating up that standby furnace any more than necessary. You will likely have to set your low temp cut in on your Burnham aquastat a bit lower to prevent it from firing if the return temps dip a bit lower than they did previously. I would use an additional aquastat (surface mount) to control power to the Grundfos so that if the GARN temps drop below your threshold, you stop sending water to the HX. We can tackle that wiring after you get the plumbing done. It's not hard.

    Of course I will not be at all offended if you ignore my suggestion and choose to follow another path. It is my opinion that the above is the simplest way to get your GARN integrated AND keep the Burnham as an automatic backup.

    Keep us posted.
  21. kabbott

    kabbott Member

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    I would say go with this setup but don't worry about moving the BH pump if it's on the cold return side now leave it there, better actually.
    The expansion tank should be on the suction/inlet side of the pumps as shown. If it is not now That looks like the only modification you would need to make on the
    original system.

    This is about as easy as it can get, cut two tee's in, one on the hot/supply side to the loads and one on the cold/return side of the loads.
    Treat the house side of the heat exchanger as another boiler, mirror the plumbing of the BH.
    Burnham is not heated by garn and the original system is hardly changed.

    I don't subscribe to the "we do it right cause we do it twice" group but I think I WOULD leave as much of the original system intact as possible.

    This is similar to the one in post 47 that heaterman already said to run with, just a matter of where the expansion tank is located. ;-)

    Kris
  22. rvtgr8

    rvtgr8 New Member

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    Okay, it is in place and this is the design that I decided upon. While I have not tested the Garn side, the house side is running and running well. There are a couple of questions that I have though. I replaced the Taco 007-5 with the three speed Grundfos 15-58. I started the system with the Grundfos on low speed. Is that okay? It seems to be running very well, but the weather is nice. Now I need to work out the controls. This appears to improve my "pumping away" issue. Am I correct in thinking that? Thanks for all the input over the past few days.

    [​IMG]
  23. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    Your diagram in post #71 (last post from where I'm viewing) looks like a good place to start running.

    "Perfection is our ideal, not our goal"... If I had a buck for every time I've said that out loud to myself I could afford to hire someone to do the work for me.

    My wife has said to me more times than I care to hear, "You're building a house, not a piano".

    But I just can't help the nagging thought that the HX to the Garn would be better counterflow if the hot from the Garn came in at the bottom and flowed up (as the arrow shows) and back to the Garn from the top. That would make the colors blue-to-blue and red-to-red and not 'look' intuitive but if I'm right that's a small easily implemented detail that would give some significant improvement.

    Maybe by the time I find the bottom of this coffee cup it will look different but someone double-check me here, huh?
  24. kabbott

    kabbott Member

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    Good catch, the arrows are correct. The house side is correct, The Garn side needs the red on the bottom blue on the top.
    Remember the Garn side red is inlet, blue outlet. House side red is outlet, blue inlet

    The flow is shown correctly just the hot and cold is backwards on Garn side.
  25. Rick Stanley

    Rick Stanley Feeling the Heat

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    “You’re building a house, not a piano”.

    Haha, I love that.

    A carpenter ,I once worked for, would often say to me with a deep voice, when he'd catch me fussin' with a miter joint on a piece of baseboard going into the back of a closet or something, "you ain't buildin' a watch Stanley"
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