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Installing a GARN

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Robert V, May 14, 2013.

  1. Robert V

    Robert V New Member

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    Garn plumbing.png
    Hey, this is my first post on this forum. I have been doing a lot of reading for about a year now. I decided to take a gamble, and I purchased a 1 year old GARN WHS 2000 from a member on here. I hauled it from central WI to my home in central MI. With the GARN, I received several pumps, water to air hanging shop heater, water to water HX, several valves, some controls, and various other things. This was a fully installed and functioning unit when we removed it. The only major things that I did not get with it is the plumbing to run water underground from the GARN to the house and a water to air HX to fit in my forced air furnace. I currently have a propane fired forced air furnace with central air. I am planning on heating my ranch house with walkout basement, (1,700 SF footprint) domestic hot water (2 kids 2 adults), and 40X60 barn (40-50 deg). I am installing the boiler inside an insulated enclosure in my barn, which is about 70’ from my house. I have read that the GARN is not the best boiler for forced air, so I am thinking of puting in several panel radiators to maintain temp and have the furnace kick in when it needs to buffer it a little bit. My basement is unfinished so everything is fairly easy to access. I am afraid of putting in radiant floor heat as I plan to put in hard wood floors someday. I am planning to do this all myself and purchase the necessary parts from Heaterman, as he is not too far from me. I have attached my idea of how I think I should plumb it. I would greatly appreciate input from anyone and don’t be afraid to tell me I am way off track. I do want to keep this system simple as I can.

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  2. Willman

    Willman Minister of Fire

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    There are plenty of options for radiant and wood flooring. Low temp heat emitters are the way to go, water is more efficient than air, the garn will fill the bill nicely. Others will be along to comment on your piping plan.
  3. arbutus

    arbutus Feeling the Heat

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    :)

    Good. I'm planning my system right now, with in floor under hardwood. Keep the floor temperature in the low 80s and you should be fine.



    Does the filter have its own pump or is there not a bypass there?
    Do you want the heat exchangers at the top of your schematics in series as shown, or should they be in parallel?
  4. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    IMO, Robert you have said the "magic" word in boiler installation.

    Don't spend another dime on any parts until you take some of your hard earned money, and get Heaterman (magic word) over there asap to plan your system. Planning the system is more important than installing it. You don't know how lucky you are to have someone with his experience, knowledge and caring about his profession, in your area.

    A little more money spent in designing the system will save you future problems and money.

    No, I don't get paid by anyone on this forum:(

    Paul
    711mhw likes this.
  5. Robert V

    Robert V New Member

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    Do you think panel radiators or radiant floor is more efficient? My basement is heated (forced air), so the floors don’t seem to feel too cold, but I have heard how great radiant floor heat is. My goal in my plumbing plan was to draw as much heat as I can off the water coming in so that I have to pump less water, which I think will create better tank stratification, and keep the water temp up for the air to water HX. That is why I was thinking of the HX in series and then the lower temp items down the line. My schematic is showing the filter in parallel, but I am not sure where I should plumb the filter in. I also don’t know if I need a water to water HX and closed system for the panel radiators and or radiant. Can I just run them in an open system or will I have problems with air? Am I close to being on the right track? Also, what is the best program to make/edit plumbing plans in? I used paint but it was kind of a pain.
    Thanks every
  6. leon

    leon Member

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    Hello Robert,


    Have you thought about using using surplus
    reconditioned steam radiators converted to
    carry hot water to heat your home?


    Thr radiator covers offered for them are very pretty too
    and they add to a homes decor.



    It eliminates the underfloor runs and stil provides
    you with even heat. The other thing is that the radiators should be on
    an interior wall in my opinion to keep as much heat in the home.
  7. leon

    leon Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    123
    Hello Robert,


    Have you thought about using using surplus
    reconditioned steam radiators converted to
    carry hot water to heat your home?


    Thr radiator covers offered for them are very pretty too
    and they add to a homes decor.



    It eliminates the underfloor runs and still provides
    you with even heat. The other thing is that the radiators should be on
    an interior wall in my opinion to keep as much heat in the home.
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I think any distribution design I've seen (mine included, done by a pro) has the rads/emitters on exterior walls - mostly right under windows, actually.
  9. Deering

    Deering Member

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    Loc:
    Juneau, Alaska
    The GARN will have some wide temperature swings in its stored water reservoir. As plumbed, so will your DHW. Depending on the size of the heat xchanger, your DHW temps could get dangerously high when the boiler has just been fired. I think you might be happier if the DHW tank had a separate circ pump on it and could call for heat when it was below its setpoint. Something like an Amtrol Boilermate should fit the bill, with its heat xchanger plumbed directly to the GARN.
  10. I'd use a primary loop with variable speed pumps for the different loads.
  11. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    Panel rads and radiant floors are great if designed and installed properly. When installed incorrectly radiant floors actually feel cold because they don't have to circulate often to keep the room at temperature and floors get cold cycles. Hard to remove loops if plumbed wrong.
    Be careful covering panel rads with decorative grills and trim, as they restrict how that radiator was designed to work.

    I do think panel rads and radiant floors are the best heat emitters for a home.
    (low temperature, circulate often, even heat, feels good)

    If you want a simple design of the whole "GARN" system, it should be done at your house, by the Garn expert.

    You can buy parts anywhere, brains are harder to come by.

    I won't say it again, ok once more. GET HM over there asap!!!!!

    OK Done;)
  12. Robert V

    Robert V New Member

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    It’s official, HM has blessed our house with his presents. He did a professional heat loss calc on my whole place. In fact he did two. One with my current set up and another with the basement walls insulated. I can’t afford to insulate the basement at this time so we decided to go with panel radiators for the upstairs and an air/water HX (that I already have) for the basement. I am going to leave the barn as is for the time being and see how warm it stays with the GARN in there. The barn is 40X60X10 with spray foam walls and insulated doors. I am going to heat DHW with a plate HX (that I already have). I just got done pushing the dirt back in the trench for the 80’ run from the garn to the house. I purchased 32MM Rehau from HM. NOTE: Rehau insulated pex is stiff as crap and was not easy to un-roll and run through the trench myself. Help is highly recommendedJ I will try and get some pics up before I make too much progress.
    BoilerBob likes this.
  13. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

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    Good to see you are on your way Robert. HM eliminates all the guesswork.

    What brand of Panel radiator are you going to use?
  14. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    Thanks Robert,

    Makes me feel good to know your on your way. The Correct Way.
    Good wishes on install, and don't forget pics.
  15. Robert V

    Robert V New Member

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    DSCN7180.JPG DSCN7199.JPG DSCN7177.JPG DSCN7184.JPG DSCN6958.JPG
    BoilerMan, mikefrommaine and bioman like this.
  16. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    You're doing it right.

    Slow is smooth.

    Smooth is fast.

    Just a note.. the money you spend on insulating your basement will be the quickest payback. Go slow. Make sure you don't have to redo anything.

    Got your wood collecting and processing down? I cut and split wood for almost a year before I even had a boiler that could burn it.

    JP
  17. Robert V

    Robert V New Member

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  18. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    If that's the only 'mistake' you make. You're doing fine. These things like DRY wood. Myself I'm 2 years ahead, working on 3 this fall when this heat breaks. Insulation, and being a few years ahead on COMPLETE wood. Split, stacked, ready to go are two areas where you'll get ahead of the curve fastest.

    JP
  19. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    I can say that after working with some of the basics with Rob, he is most definitely determined to do it right and he catches on quick. Wish I ran into more people like him.

    Nice progress from what I can see on the pictures. :)

    Also have to say I have pump envy. The circ that came with his used Garn is a Wilo variable speed that will be absolutely perfect for his panel rad system. Being able to ramp the flow up and down will match the call for heat from the TRV's. Doesn't matter if they need 1/2gpm or 8. Whatever the system needs it can do.
    He's going to have a sweet running system and a nice cozy house for those cute kids to ramble around in.

    Should also say Rob that if you laid that tube in the trench by yourself you are THE MAN!!!
  20. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    That's one good looking Garn barn and Garn tractor, lots of room for dry Garn wood.:cool:

    P
    Robert V likes this.
  21. curtis

    curtis Member

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    If you don't mind me asking what did it cost to spray foam
    your pole barn?
  22. Robert V

    Robert V New Member

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    I had 2" of closed cell foam sprayed. My barn is 40X60 with 10' walls. Total was $2,200. He did the Garn room as well.
  23. Robert V

    Robert V New Member

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    Thanks for all the Garn good compliments!!!
  24. Robert V

    Robert V New Member

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    With some guidance from HM, this is what I came up with for my panel radiator, DHW, and hanging shop heater set up. The valves off to the right supply the DHW HX and air to water HX Am I missing anything? Any Suggestions?

    Attached Files:

    hobbyheater likes this.
  25. arbutus

    arbutus Feeling the Heat

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    That's a monster HX!

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