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The great piping fiasco? Need help!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by RowCropRenegade, Jan 4, 2010.

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  1. deerhntr

    deerhntr Member

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    Man.... sorry to hear about the oil line break. That sucks! When I was trenching, ripping something up my biggest concern. I had water,electric main, cable tv, phone and gutter down spout drains to cross. I made it through almost clean. I caught the sch. 40 down spout drain, an ripped a nice hole in it. Not nearly as big a head-ache as what you encountered, but I still had to dig back and replace a 4' section.

    Hope you didn't lose much of that precious oil. In the not to distant future, oil won't be much of a concern.

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  2. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Heaterman, I'm going to take your offer up on that phone call. I'm curious about your idea on location of the HX.

    Russ, managed to dodge a propane line, waterline, 2 electric line, 3 tile lines, old tree stump and apparently some type of bricked underground tank. The funny thing is I knew about all of them with exception of the underground tank. I didn't plan on doing anything for the oil boiler but fate says otherwise. I lost 3 or 4 gallon of fuel. Plus in my haste last nite to get things running, flattened my new line trying to get in bent around the well pressure tank. Getting ready to head to town to get a junction to solve that. It's 55 in the house and so foggy outside, it might as well be dark out.

    I'll have pics by the end of the day, hopefully a warm house too.
  3. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    Hang in there Reed. Bumps in the road, that's all these things are. Keep your eye on the prize and you will get there.

    Bricked tank - either an old cesspool or a cistern for water storage.
  4. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Nofossil's controller is the most elegant system that I am aware of for those of us who have separate boiler/ storage.

    But one of the simple elegant beauties of the Garn is that it really does not need such a level of controls. Feed it wood, it heats the surrounding water storage; your heat loads then pull the hot water from the Garn just as they would from an oil boiler.

    A Garn's control system can be really simple; if you want to enhance monitoring, you can do that later.
  5. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Exactly! That fact that a Garn needs no complicated controls to regulate water temp or low temp protection is one of the inherent beauties of the design.
  6. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Jim, you are correct. I'll look at it as a learning experience. Never cut and spliced copper before. At least I have a guaranteed fuel line for 25 years or better.

    Pybyr, ty for your input. The taco rep emailed me back. I'm supposed to call him this week and he will probably be able to hold my hand through this. The flexibility of nofossil's system is intriguing.

    Heaterman gave me some ideas about placement of the heat exchanger. I'm leaning towards putting it in garage now, close to manifold. Like he said I could use the return water very easily for functions in the garage or even big barn. It would also eliminate the need for the 0012 VDT on secondary loop since not very far to go. It's a decision I'll kick down the road for now.

    Took me half the day to get oil boiler back up and going. Here's a few pics of the trench, one is of that brick thing. Supposed to rain tomorrow, so it may be monday before I can get back at it. Microflex 100 ft long coil will WEAR YOU OUT uncoiling it. :(

    Attached Files:

  7. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Day 4 of the trench was another small success. Ran 5 underground CATE ethernet cables. Will be great for shipping music around the different buildings, plus database information, cameras and other cool things. 4 18-5 Thermostat wires. 1 10-3 underground electric line. 1 empty conduit with baling wire as the pull through.

    Wasn't satisfied with knocking out lowest block in oil boiler room. That would have left microflex at less than 1 foot depth. Same for waterline. Sooo I love making things hard on myself. Dug under foundation of house, no problem there, just hard digging. Going to town to get a concrete drill bit. Going to drill through concrete floor in oil boiler room in a circle. Hopefully it's less than 3 or 4 inches, might be able to avoid renting a jackhammer. But I'm coming through the floor no less. Shouldn't have to worry about keeping that line warm then. It's buried at 48 inches.

    I've spent some more time thinking about Heaterman's idea of heat exchanger placement. By placing the heat exchanger close to primary loop: 1) opened the possibility of using return water from house in applications in garage, increasing my delta T and fully utilizing btu/gal. 2) eliminated the need for the 2nd delta t pump, that pump will be pumping a short distance. 3) Isolated garn water very close the garn, all possible leakpoints from garn will be visible.
    4) Pressurizes that 100 ft run to house and 100 ft back, good from a hydronics standpoint.

    But it's thrown a wrench into my pretty lego plan. After the trench job it's back to the drawing board!
  8. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Hey goose one thing about the twine. I ran three runs of baling twine then as we got ready to glue the conduit I thought, hey what if the twine gets glued every 10 ft. lol. i got out the baling WIRE! haha
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Baling wire is to stiff, or at least the stuff I've seen (You probably know a heck of a lot more about baling than I do.) The trick to avoiding glue problems is to put the pull string in AFTER gluing up the conduit, using the "puff ball" trick -

    1. Make small soft ball out of a sheet of paper towel or equivalent, tie string to ball. Size should be such that it fits fairly snug in the conduit, but loose enough to slide easily. Put string ball on pencil or otherwise set it up to pay out easily.

    2. Stuff ball into one end of conduit.

    3a. Hook up shop vac to other end of conduit, suck ball and attached string into vac...
    3b. Apply blow gun from air compressor to same end of conduit - blow ball through pipe, dragging string along...

    This is how the pro's do it when pulling long lengths of cable - except they have fancy manufactured "blow mice" to do the job - something you don't need for this short of a run...

    Gooserider
  10. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    But it’s thrown a wrench into my pretty lego plan. After the trench job it’s back to the drawing board!

    Sorry about that Reed (smirk smirk)

    Seriously, I really appreciate it when guys take the time to do it right and from all appearances, you are.
  11. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Actually had success breaching the concrete floor in oil boiler room. Bought dewalt hammerdrill and 5/8 14" long concrete drill bit. Drew a 1x2 square, drilled holes vertical 3 inches apart. Then drilled diagonally each way. About 2 hours of drilling, rotating back and forth. Cracked it with sledge a few times and chiseled the edges clean. No jackhammer needed thank god. 4 inch pad no rebar, no gravel sublayer. Call me lucky.

    Fished mircoflex and water line through. Looks like I bought 10 ft too many on each end, got plenty to play with. That only cost me 500 extra! Not sure at this moment how I will pressure check them. I have 4 1.25" ball valves laying here, ball valves suffice for air test? I'm thinking 20 lbs?

    The microflex is probably fine but you hate to find out it's not. That new dewalt drill was leaking oil by the time we finished. A warning?

    Lots of pics tomorrow!
  12. deerhntr

    deerhntr Member

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    I like to use "the Tool Rental shop" for those abusive projects that require industrial grade stuff that I can't afford. But man I sure would like to have one of those Hilti Hammer drills for projects like this!

    BTW, What diameter microflex are you running, and if you don't mind, what was your cost/foot? I was looking at that stuff in the beginning, but it just pushed me way over budget, and I decided on the hePex and foam in trench method.
  13. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Two 1.25" pex lines, the diameter of the microflex is 6 inches. The microflex lists for 30 per foot. With 4 connectors I got it at 27.5 a foot. The connectors are 65 a piece. Busted my budget, but I knew with farming it would be difficult to arrange foaming at the exact time I needed it done. That proved right with water laying in trench now. I hoped to be under 25k when this started, gonna be more like 30k. A lot of cash to spend just to burn wood. Is your hepex have a tile around it?

    Ya those Hiltis are prime time drills. I think this one just had a bad seal. It didn't lack power for one second. I went through two drill bits though. $$$ Dewalt makes a lot of great tools, affordable too. It won't stop me from buying that same drill again. It was just a seal, the drill chewed through the concrete easily.
  14. deerhntr

    deerhntr Member

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    No. I live in a very area where shale is the dominate component in my soil. So drainage is not a problem. Water does not stand around! My trench was dry when we foamed, and the foam is waterproof, and fortunately drainage is not an issue. I'm sure you have some install specs for that micropex that details the need(or not) of drain tile for you application.
  15. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Light clay/silt loam here, water gets away pretty good. My tile guy dropped in help out and said I had no need for tile here. I put in new tile somewhere every year on this farm.

    I'm sick from rain/wind/bitterness of yesterday. I'll be confined to the indoors today. :(

    Here's some pics as promised!

    Attached Files:

  16. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    a couple more!

    Attached Files:

  17. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Farm stuff has drug me away from piping but I've had some time to reflect on some different ideas. Also, lucked out when I went to the local plumbing supply store. Met a fellow farmer who has a pipe cutting machine. Anything up to 4 inches! He also does gas piping on the side. Interesting fellow. Saved me from making multiple 12" long pieces of 2 inch iron pipe with connectors. These pipe cutting/threading machines are up near 7-8k new.

    I spent some time checking out Grundfos pumps. I haven't done the head calcs yet, because the piping isn't done. However, here are the pumps I'm looking at.

    Primary Loop option 1 Taco 0012 Variable Delta T pump 0-52 GPM, 0-14 head, Amps 1.33 377 bucks

    option 2 Grundfos Alpha 15-55F 0-21GPM, 0-19 head, .65 Amps 231 bucks Question about this ECM pump. Will the auto mode detect when secondary pumps turn on? It detects when pressure drop occurs, but won't there be a minimal pressure drop because of the primary secondary setup?

    option 3 Run of the mill 3 speed Taco/Grundos decent size pump


    I've decided to put the heat exchanger in the garage. So I'll need one pump in a short run to HX, then another pump to pump to house and back 100ft+100ft. Then inside the house I add a pump for each zone and another for DHW or another Alpha with zone valves.

    The past couple days its been in the 50s, oil boiler been quiet for a few days at least.
  18. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    The small pumps I'm looking at are the Grundfos UPS15-58FC 3 speed and the Taco 00R 3 speed. Both are in that 0-20GPM and 19 ft of head for less than 75$.
  19. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    Reed - I used the next size up Grundfos 3 speed pump (26-99) for the house run, which is a 240' round trip. My HX is in the house, but it's location will not affect the pump choice. The 15-58 Grundfos is equivalent to the TACO 007. I just replaced my old 007 that failed with a 15-58 on my house-side circuit (old furnace pump). the 15-58 will be plenty for the house side, but a bit small for the loop there and back from the GARN.

    You can make yourself a little crazy with this phase of the design. Too small a pump is far worse than too big, within reason. For your primary pump you can use whatever pump will meet your GPM needs, as you really have no head loss except for the HX.

    Consider getting a TACO SR50X switching relay controller (X=# of circuits you need to control). The end switch can be used to turn on the primary any time a secondary pump is energized. I used an SR506 as I have 5 pumps to ultimately control, and possibly a sixth for Solar. You can get them as singles or -2,-3,-4,-5 or -5 circuit units. The 506 is only around $200. I used the end switch to signal a seperate, single relay controller for the primary. Here is a pic from page 7 of my write up:

    [​IMG]

    I was planning on changing my house loop pump (the 26-99) to a VDT type pump, but have found no real need to do so. I posted before that my delta T is typically right at 20 with the pump on medium in very cold weather.

    Once you get up and running, you will see how flexible the system is, and the GARN helps make it that way.

    BTW - on Friday night I did not relight the GARN until much later than normal. Temp was down to 120. House was still comfortable, but I was concerned about how low it got. I lit the fire, and was at 150 in an hour, 165 in 1.5 hours. Demand was low (temps were in the 30s) so almost all the heat went into storage. It is amazing how rapidly and efficiently that thing turns cellulose into heat.
  20. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Jim, thanks for the ideas. The Taco rep hasn't called me back yet, I'll definately mention the 506. Maybe a 510, lol. Question about your 506. Are all your thermostats connected to this unit, or is there a "master" thermostat that engages them all. I've been doing alot of reading and searching but it's still not clear how all this stuff is going to work in conjunction with each other. Very reason I threw 4 18-5 thermostat wires in the trench, to cover communication hurdles.

    You are too right about making yourself crazy with this phase. I made the stupid vow of not cutting my hair until the Garn is running. (back in july) I'm on my way to cousin It status. I'm headed over to my pipe cutters to get the next set of pipes cut. Your primary pump is a 3 speed version?

    How far to space the tees in the primary manifold? 4 pipe diameter of the 2 inch primary or 4 pipe diameter of the secondary 1.25 inch? Then at least one foot of straight pipe til the next set of tees. Haven't been able to locate this data here on hearth or the www. Everyone says less than a foot. They don't say if that's outside dimensions or center of pipe.

    Glad your Garn is working so good, sure justifies the expense in the end game!
  21. sbleiweiss

    sbleiweiss New Member

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    There is a good set of articles on the Caleffi site. This one deals with closely spaced T's. The maximum distance between the pair of taps (center to center) is 4 pipe diameters of the pipe that you are tapping into. Closer is better. Taco makes some really trick taps with one tap over the other in the same fitting, but not in your size.
    http://www.caleffi.us/en_US/caleffi/Details/Magazines/pdf/idronics_1_us.pdf
  22. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Scott, Thankyou! This is a great document. Since I've verified the next set of pipes I can get the top half of the manifold all cut to length. Each day chip away at something. Today is T day! lol. thanks again.
  23. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    LOL - you can buy a version that let's you chain up to 4 units to control up to 24 pumps. Maybe more (I forget). It uses a -EXP on the part #.

    Let's back up a step before the SR506. I have no t-stats connected to the SR506. My house currently has 4 zones of BB emitters. The 4 t-stats used to go to the 4 seperate 3-wire zone valves, with the end switch energizing the circ pump. When I set up the system for the GARN, I added a TACO Zone Valve Controller, ZVC-406. This unit has the transformers and connection points for up to 6 t-stats and 6 zone valves, with it's own end switch. I have the output to the zone valves wired to energize the valve, but jumpered for the end switch on the ZVC. This way, whenever a t-stat calls for heat, the end switch closes immediately. I use that end switch to control the primary and secondary pump out in the garage (only two wires needed). The p&s pumps turn on at the initial call for heat, but the zone valve takes another 45 seconds or so to open. I use the end switch on the zone valve(s) to turn on the house circ. This delay allows the secondary pump to send hot water to the HX located in the basement before the house circ is energized and pulls heat from it.

    All my pumps are the Grundfos Brute 3-speed versions. I use the 43-44 on the 1.5" primary(set on low), and the 26-99 on the 1.25" secondary (set on medium) for the house. In milder weather I could turn the secondary pump down to low, but usully don't bother. There is no concern about sending "too" cool water back to the GARN, so return temps are not as critical. I just like to make sure that the delta T does not exceed 20 F by too much, too often, so as to make sure the BBs are getting all the hot water I can give them.

    I think Scott set you in the right direction on the dimesions. Dan's book has the info too.

    For us, this investment has been a 100% success. This year is easier than last year. Next year may be eaiser than this year, but even if it isn't, life with the GARN is good. This is a system we can keep up with well into our old age, God willing.
  24. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    Oh - and get a haircut, ya punk . . . ;-) :lol: :lol: :coolsmirk:
  25. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Jim,

    My setup will be very similiar to yours. Let me repeat what you explained to me.

    I'll have 3 zone valves. (Looking at the Taco EBV zone valves) 3 different thermostats, 1 pump running house loops. I'll need a ZVC 406, too. I'll need to jumper to my end switch to signal the SR506 to energize the primary pump in the garage, the secondary pump circulating to the hx in the garage and the other secondary pumping to house. Makes sense where you have your 506, right there at the manifold. The end switches on the zone valves activate the house circulator after the zone valves open. Interesting. Very logical process. P/S/S pumps ramp up, basically priming the load with hot water then zone valves open and house pumps deliver it.

    In reverse, the T-stat says no more heat. This causes the ZVC 406 end switch to open and de-energize the SR506 and P/S/S pumps. Then the zone valves close which the end switch kicks off the house pump.

    Or I could zone with circulators. That means I would need a SR506 in the house and in the garage. It looks to be the same price going either way. I know the old saying is plumbers zone with pumps and heat guys use zone valves. Heaterman says they don't make zone valves like they used to. Changing a pump out is alot easier than a zone valve. (probably best to get threaded zone valves instead of sweat?)

    LoL i should get a haircut. But it makes me look like a mad scientist, which I am both mad and scientific! I've finally got my pipe through the wall at the right distance. 2 trips to pipe cutter. 2" and 1.5" have big variances in tees and elbows. Trying to get manifold perfectly square. I think garn is at a slight angle, maybe the wall is. Nothing square in this building, over 80 years old. I reread P/S made easy again, never saw the spacing. 4x to center of secondary pipes. So 8 inches. I'll aim for 7, cause we know how piping goes. Closer is better than over 8. Before T's and after will be 18" run. Mounting this beast will be interesting.

    Thanks again.
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