1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

new memeber: going to install a boiler this summer, have a few Q's

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by 88rxn/a, Feb 12, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 88rxn/a

    88rxn/a Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    northeast PA
    this summer i am going to install a boiler. my uncle makes them for a great price. i dont see him much but im going saturday to look at them. i will get measurements and maybe pics if i can. but first of all, i bought this house in november knowing the heating system wasnt the greatest. my plan was to install the boiler right from the get go. its a 2 story, full basement, 3 bedroom plus large loft and 2 full baths. the SQ. footage is unknown by me. i asked him and he ( person i bought the house from) wasnt sure????? crazy i know. but anyways, i have a OLD moores heater in the basement and a ventless heater in the kitchen heating this GIANT house. nothing else. bills are high and and its still cold!
    my plan is to install baseboard heaters throughout the house and use old radiators that my father in law claims he can get in the basement.
    this week i am going to draw out my ideas and scan them to my PC and attach them here to get opinions on them. i plan to run 3 different zones, 1 for upstairs, 1 down and 1 for the basement. being a new house owner we all know that money is tight for a while so im trying to do this as cheap as possible without sacraficing cheap parts or a poor install. thats where (i hope) you guys come in. im hoping you will have better and cheaper ways of doing this.

    for the upstairs i plan on running 1 loop. i measured the oustide of the walls so that i can keep the lines all in order and continue back down to the reurn line of the boiler. i measured 60' of baseboard area i need to get. i will run up 1 wall (which is still opened and showing the studs near the kitchen) up around the rooms and back down next to the stairs into the basement.
    another line will run a big loop of baseboard heaters for the down stairs returning to the return line and the 3rd line will go to the radiatorsin the basement.
    now im really a NEWB when it comes to what pumps i need, size of PEX tubing, O2 barrier or not and so forth. i do know that i am going to run a well insulated line form the shed in my yard which will hold the boiler to the house. i will use the thermoPEX.
    thats all for now, i figured id explain my situation and when i get time i will post my thoughts and drawings to share. im hoping for comments, ideas and critisism to help me better my future system.

    sorry for such a long post:(

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,415
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    Welcome to the forum and to the boiler room.

    You don't describe the boiler. If it's a pressurized boiler, then you definitely wand barrier pex. If it's not pressurized, then you might want to consider a flat plate heat exchanger in the house, and isolate the house zones from the boiler to reduce corrosion in the iron components in the house.

    Pump sizing depends on the amount of heat that you need to transfer and the flow resistance. If the boiler is large or far away from the house, you'll need a larger pump. I'm using a Taco 007, which delivers around 8-10 gpm in my installation. My boiler is 80,000 BTU/hr. If it was much bigger, I'd need a larger pump to move enough water through it.

    I've got an unfinished section on my site that addresses a lot of initial design tradeoffs - might be a little help.
  3. sled_mack

    sled_mack New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Conklin, NY
    Before you go too far, do yourself a big favor - get some heat load calculation software and find out what your loads are for room/floor/total. This allows you to properly size your boiler, storage if you want it, and baseboard/radiators in the house. Trust me, the time it takes to do this upfront is nothing compared to learning things are not properly sized after it is all installed.

    I think we'd all like to know more about the boiler, too.

    Good luck with it and keep us posted on your progress!
  4. 88rxn/a

    88rxn/a Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    northeast PA
    thanks for the kind welcome. i will no more saturday about the boiler he has when i go visit him and look at them and i will surely share the information i obtain.

    GREAT INFO. i will search on here on how to do this as i do not know how? all i know as of now, is the the way i described my upstairs heating idea is the only way i think i can do it to keep 1 contiuing loop without opening new sheeted/insulated and painted walls. the house i bought was 99% finished except for the heating and the kitchen.

    ill look at the link and hopefully know the BTU rating of his boiler. i believe the boiler is large but again i will know for sure on sat.

    thanks again for the help!
    im assuming we will all have better results to my mission once i obtain information on his boilers.
  5. sled_mack

    sled_mack New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Conklin, NY
    There is a web site to download a calculator. I don't remember it now, but hopefully someone else will chime in.

    Even if you find out that one bedroom only needs 5 ft of baseboard but has 20 ft of wall, the heat load calc is really useful. A buddy of mine was in the same situation with a few rooms. Basically, he took the fins off the tubing in the baseboard, then put some pipe insulation around the pipe and closed the flap so you can't see the insulation. It worked like a champ. Plus, in another room, he found that just going around the perimeter walls would not be enough because of windows and a skylight. He bought some special high output baseboard for that room to keep everything balanced using the same water temp and flow.

    I would at least try to keep the first floor plumbed so that you can go back later and break it up into more zones. You may find that some rooms have a lot of solar gain on a sunny day, while others are severely affected by wind, causing very uneven temps inside. As long as you leave yourself provisions to add zones later, it's just an incremental cost once you see where it makes sense. In my case, I put in a few extra T's in the manifolds with a ball valve and a cap. No need to break into the existing piping to add something later. It came in very handy over time!
  6. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    Loc:
    southeast pa
    3 bedrooms and a loft? sounds like you are in the poconos.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
  8. 88rxn/a

    88rxn/a Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    northeast PA
    thanks for the link!
    the loft is upstairs and basically is a large 13' X 17' open room with a skylite.
    poconos would benice though.
  9. 88rxn/a

    88rxn/a Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    northeast PA
    so i got to see the boiler my uncle makes and let me tell ya....top notch!!!!
    37 1/2"W X 54L X 52H
    the lenght of the inside is 34 inches long so i can really load it up if needed.
    he has them made so you can either run them pressureized or not.
    he made it with 2 outlets so that you want to run another line to a garage or what have you, its there.
    since im on dial up i havent been able to load the heat loss calc. yet but a friend is going to DL it for me then put it on a disc so i may have it.
    im assuming im going to have to wait to see what size PEX tubing ill need to run upstairs to the baseboard heaters?? i was going to buy some this week (start gathering parts) but im not sure what size i should get?? i thought 3/4 would be effiecent??
    maybe i should wait to buy anything until i get the heat loss calc.??

    i need to go back to let him know the size i want made so ill try and sneek a pic. these things are a work of art!!
    3/8 inch steal used in most places, door hinges have grease fittings, all the wiring done up on them, really really nice welds, he pressure tested them at 100PSI with air (WAY over whats needed) and let them sits for a week to ensure no leaks....very good setup!!
  10. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,039
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Ditto on the heat loss calc. Without that your shooting in the dark. With it you'll be able to ascertain what lengths you need in each room and zone, what size main piping and what circ(s) you'll need. I'm always amazed at folks that just figure (x) amount will do the job and I'm not talking about newbies or a homeowner install. Even guys that are supposedly heating techs do this all the time. Then they wonder why room A is 80* while the next room over won't hit 70*.

    I usually try to design for a max of 40 feet of active 3/4" fin tube per zone. Anything more and you wind up with very limited heat output from the remaining balance. To get maximum heat output from that 40', you'll need 3/4" copper or pex to flow 4 GPM through the loop. If your load per loop can be kept below 20,000 btu's you can get by with 5/8" pex which is much easier to work with. Loads under 10,000 can be serviced with 1/2". That will give you a water velocity under 6 feet per second and avoid flow noise and erosion of your pipe and fittings. Yes young Skywalker, water will actually erode the pipe if driven at too high a velocity.
  11. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Yes, the Slant/Fin calc seems to be a good one within it's limitations (that I've been mostly working around) and it will even give you the sizes and amounts of the SF products that you would need for each room. It is nominally a Microsoft Windows only program :sick: , but I have found that it runs fine under Linux with WINE. (I can't find a FLOSS equivalent app, though a spreadsheet would be doable.)

    The other thing that one can do with these programs and a bit of additional number crunching is to play with different modifications to the building, such as adding more insulation, replacing windows, etc. and see what sort of changes show up in the resulting heat-loss calcs, and see what sort of "bang for your buck" you get from different changes.

    Gooserider
  12. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,253
    Loc:
    Northwood, NH
    Yeah, it's a decent program, for free. It tends to run a bit high on its numbers. If I were using it to size a system, I would make sure not to add any extra, and might even round down in some cases.

    Joe
  13. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    440
    Loc:
    Central Wisconsin
    Alright, I have to ask since no one else has. Are your uncle's boilers gasification type? If not, I'm going to try and talk you out of getting one. Gasification is the way of the future. Ask your uncle if his boilers are gasifying boilers and see what his reaction is. Maybe he is ahead of the curve already. :)
  14. 88rxn/a

    88rxn/a Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    northeast PA
    no, he pretty much builds them to order but maybe i can ask him if he can in fact build one though....never hurts to ask right??
    im supposed to get the program tommorow so im sure ill have questions wedesday on some of my thoughts....maybe i can finnally find some time to make up my drawing also....

    thanks so much for the help so far!
    this is one of the better forums i been on in a while!!!
    and also, my future father in law thinks his system (OWB) is just the best around. id love to show him up!!
    he roast's him and wife out of the bedroom and freezes in the living room , while the garage stay at 70 with the thermostat stays at 50 all the time!!!!!
  15. 88rxn/a

    88rxn/a Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    northeast PA
    still no program, my friend brought me a CD with a shortcut and no program...i thought i could count on him better than that...hahaha, hes supposed to bring it tommorow (sunday). In the meantime i been reserching on here and finding out what i can on radiant floor heat for down stairs. im liking the idea of this...i can zone off the tiled hallway to kitchen area, have a zone for the living room and 1 for the master bedroom (Ebay sells 1,000FT of 1/2 oxy barrier for $300). im finding out you can really rack your brain on this stuff but i am just getting ahead of myself. i will prob. go back to my uncles today and tell him to make me a boiler and and ask about gasification boilers and try and sneek a pic while im there.
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    How far are you from Mansfield, PA? There's a Greenwood and Garn dealership there where you might be able to see a gasifier in operation.
  17. 88rxn/a

    88rxn/a Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    northeast PA
    well, i got the heat loss calc.
    if i knew how to post it on here i would. i only been messing with the program for an hour,....
    but the baseboards are coming up WAY shorter than the rooms......hmmmm...i even turned the water temp. down...if i can figure out how to post it i will, i have a few Q's about it anyway.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page