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Green energy choices

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Sundeep Arole, Apr 23, 2006.

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  1. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
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    517
    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    Good point on the snow collection - I think if we do end up with the evac. tubes, it would be to mount them more in the center of our roofline so they are less conspicuous (with less of them) but the only way we can do that is angle mount them to get best performance. Sounds like we'd need to mount them off the roof a bit to help avoid excessive buildup if we go that route - good advice.

    The one other issue I'm not yet sure about is how we will route it - if I angle mount these where I'm thinking about them, I have a much shorter run to a place in my attic where I can feed through to the basement. The flat panels would have a much longer run since there is really only one place I can put them, meaning more install/plumbing work which might offset some of the cost difference.

    Basically I'm looking at the same issues you are - higher cost, incremental performance advantage - biggest plus for us is more placement flexibility to hide them.

    Certianly without a total of 50% savings from tax rebates, I wouldn't even consider that option for all the reasons you mention - once we get this project sorted out with costs, I'll post the details.

    -Colin

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    If I were to mount them or any type panell on the roof, I would make damn sure The roof was relitively new
    I If planning to re do a roof then plan for the 35year shingles 20years do not make sense, If your current roof is older than 10 years you are on the down cycle of its life spand It is a. PITA dealing with pannels and plumbing and roofing
  3. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    Good point - ours is 3 years old and 30+ yr. rating.

    One thing I was wondering is if anyone knows whether NY state approves PEX flexible tubing for such applications yet? It's used all over Canada for radiant in floor heating - here it was absolutely prohibitive in cost because they required all copper tubing embedded in cement. No way we could justify the cost; in Canada you could easily retrofit a first floor with PEX tubing from the basement if you wanted to and do it yourself in a weekend. I got the impression it has been catching on but NY is slow to respond.

    If that was an option it would greatly simplify the install and make it a lot more cost effective - good for encouraging wide adoption of technologies like this.

    -Colin
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    In Ma we just adopted the pex type plumbing piping. Up to recently it could be used for heating applications but not tied into domest water systems. I am certified to install Wisboro piping similar to Pex. I'ts not all that much cheaper when one has to buy the special tools the crimper and ratchit tool connector. also an added loop has to be added due to expansion. One might find it cheaper working with sch 40 PVC instead of copper or PEX. Another factor is copper or brass fittingss have to be soldered or swetted in first to adapt to existing copper tubing. The special tools required to work with pex can cost between $1500 to over 2500. also quite expensive are the adapter fittings. I'ts not the piece of cake you think it is or as cost effective as it seems.
    Personally if you can sweat copper it could cost less
  5. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Deltaville,VA
    I do not agree Elk.

    I started completing the plumbing myself on the modular homes I was building. The Pex crimpers cost $100 a piece at Lowes. One 1/2 and one 3/4 and your off and running. Lowes also had a great selection of Pex fittings.

    The benefits of Pex is that it expands (somewhat) and will not burst like copper if subjected to a freeze, and the material is not affected, or attacked, by acidic water. Also much easier to get more direct runs for hot water supply.

    Working with Pex is about the easiest plumbing I have ever done, and will never go back to copper or CPVC.
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I knew they would have to make the tools priceing more reasonable to be competive My info was from 3 years back when the state was deciding to allow Wiseborro /Pex At that time if one bought so much supplies the were given a break on the tools but even so they were not for common homeowners, Me I am very good with a torch

    As Sandor pointed out there is a forgiveness the pex has that copper does not concerning freezing. Like a lot of products one must question them as they have not withstood the test of time, I remember the ALumium wire experment, back in 1978. Believe me that did not pan out too well
  7. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    My understanding is this has been used in Canada and other areas for quite some time - so at least the cold side of performance is probably well tested :)

    I will research both - I do have some experience with copper from installing my water softener. I'm thinking that PEX may be a lot easier to retroactively thread through framing which was part of my interest in it.

    -Colin
  8. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    824
    Copper reacts with concrete and supposed to be encased in a membrane/pvc pipe seperating it from coming into contact with it. Else a bad reaction happens and the copper deteriorates rapidly. So, definetely don't do the copper in cement thing.

    I'm pondering converting my first floor above my basement to Radiant floor heating. My forced hot water baseboards are at the end of their life and I can see the previous homeowner has repaired them a couple times. Also, did they always put those baseboard heaters in the worst places? Seems every single one of mine is in the only place I can fit a piece of furniture so nearly all mine are blocked. Funny Ny Soapstone, you and I are thinking the same things I think I just started about 5 months sooner. I've been looking at the staple up PEX as well. For me, all the PEX tubing, staple up aluminum, tools, plumbing kit, and expansion tank, mixing valve, installation guide to convert 1400 sq ft into radiant floor heating and do it myself would cost $2,800 for everything I'd need when I got a quote 5 months ago. I'm toying with it, then I'd be able to have solar hot water and add 6 more panels and be able to heat my house in spring & fall and parts of winter, and use wood for dead winter and cloudy days. If you do it yourself, before you start boring holes in your floor framing, consult your local building department. If you put a hole or a notch in the wrong place, you'll weaken the floor joist. You can read the rules of thumb about drilling holes through joists by clicking here. I should also mention, that you must have at least 1" air space under the tubing and under that, must be insulated with reflective foil on top. Whether you do that with fiberglass insulation and put foil on top of it, or get foil faced rigid foam is up to the individual. The insulation & foil is not part of the $2,800.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I know all dilligent solar to be installers have read Chapter 14 of the 2003 International Mechanical code
    {Solar Systems} And what about Code compliance concerning Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX) chaper 12 {Hydronic Piping} again the 2003 International Mechanical Code. . I know the manufactures specs and who is qualified to install such systems And a licenced plumber is requirted to tie into your domestic system. I will try to scan them in so all can have them available
  10. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    Not sure if NY has the liscensed plumber rule like MA. If they do, it's a joke based on the plumbing crew when our house was being built. One guy with his 3 kids learning on the job - ridiculously bad job in so many places. Definitely worst sub our builder had. Sagging drain pipes not supported that I had to call them back for, missing grommets for water pipes leading to tremendous noise transfer in walls, and so forth... but I guess that is all you can find these days in this area for new construction work.

    Best thing I ever did for myself was NOT calling those jokers back to put in my water softener so it's all relative :) Of course that was easier to feel secure about given a very specific tie in setup with a manual outlining exactly how to do it.

    -Colin
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    sorry to hear how bad your plumbers were. This is not true to all builders. Some of us have pride in our work.
    I will post a picture of my on going addition I building by my self. With certification issues, meetings, taking my time away from the job, I think I accomplished a fair amount of work. I will post in the picture section tomorrow.

    Part of me is the inspector the other part is a doer. Be it home repairs, automotive, you name it I usually can fix it.
    I do have an advantage over most homeowners experience. My best advice to them, is to do jobs within the realm of their capability.
  12. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Deltaville,VA
    I thought plumbers were the biggest hacks of the trades, and that why I started doing my own.

    It took me 4 hours to read the entire VA residential plumbing code.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    When we used to install solar DHW, we used a high temperature solder on the copper near the panels. Even though the temp with fluid in it should never exceed much over 200 degrees, there is a good chance that the system will lose fluid at one time or another (power failure, leak, etc.).

    When this happens the temps can go really high - I have not measured them, but I would guess 400 degree or more is possible.

    I would only use copper for hooking up DHW panels. Plastics would be fine for pool panels which are also made of plastic. If you were going to use PEX, etc. I would start it 5 feet or more from the panels and check with the panel manufacturer.

    That is a really decent price for a solar DHW system. Have you talked or emailed them to make certain it is still available, etc.?
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