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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. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    If you go with pumps, yes you would use another SRC instead of the ZVC. There are lots of ways to skin this cat. If you use pumps or EBVs, you will not have the delay I have in switching on the house circs after switching on the P/S circs. I am using TACO heat motor zone valves, which use a resistance heater to warm a capsule of wax that expands and opens the valve. This heating process takes about 30-45 seconds, and is what causes the delay in the closing of the second end switch. Honestly, for a BB emmitter system, or really anything but an air:water HX, the few minutes of circulation with less than full temp water is unnoticeable and irrelevant. Build the system the way you feel comfortable.

    BTW - a "bad" zone valve head (actuator) can be changed out in 10 seconds without any plumbing to do. To change out the zone valve body, you could add unions on either side of each one, but the failure rate on the valve bodies is so low, and their life so long, I am not convinced it's worth the expense. I use the TACO 550 "gold" series, but if Steve has found issues with them, you might want to heed his warning.

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  2. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    "Heaterman says they don’t make zone valves like they used to. Changing a pump out is alot easier than a zone valve."


    Heaterman should qualify that statement a bit. The Honeywell 8043 series is now made in......well let's just say south of the border. I replace lots of new heads while right alongside on the same manifold an ancient US made unit continues to function. I wouldn't install Honeywells in my own house or someone elses. The Taco EBV's are a tad noisy but are reliable so far, easy to wire and a piece of cake to change. Takes about 15 seconds. Those I would use if you want to go with ZV's.
  3. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Hope I didn't step out of line, heaterman. Never meant to put words in your mouth. Your comment on quality of zone valves has resonated with me since we last spoke. I've been comparing pumps versus zone valves ever since. I assume the Jim's zone valves are the 570 series.

    When you say "a tad noisy" how loud is that?

    I think I sort out a little detail or two each time someone replies to this topic. Only a million other details to figure out.... hehe

    Thanks
  4. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    I am not a fan of gratuitous product-bashing, but I concur with Heaterman's comments on Honeywell. Overall their product line has deteriorated substantially. I would not use their products if you have another reasonable option.

    Reed - I did incorrectly identify the HM zone valves I use. I am using the TACO 570 "gold" series (not the 550 series). Gold is a good conductor of heat . . . :lol: ;-)
  5. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    The Taco EBV's have a bit of gear noise when opening and closing but I really like the design for ease of use, maintenance and replacement. Depending on acoustics in the room and how the piping is mounted or supported you might hear a faint "whirring" from in you basement. In the event a head would fail (the valve itself rarely if ever does) you simply unplug the wiring connectors, twist off the head by rotating about 1/8 turn, twist on the new head and plug the connectors back in. You don't even need a screwdriver. It actually takes about as long to replace a head as it does to read what you just did here. It's power open and power close so it's a very positive foolproof mechanism.

    If you are thinking of going with ZV's on the house side of your system, you have a tailor made application for a variable speed circ like the Grundfos or Wilo units that operate on Delta P. I probably wouldn't use the Taco Delta T circ myself. They will not ramp down as far as the Grunt or Wilo and power consumption is not much off a regular circ. In your application the Taco probably wouldn't provide any tangible benefit you could realize from an operational or long term $$.$$ standpoint.
  6. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    I'm suprised the EBV zone valves are a little cheaper than the 570 series. From what I've learned about the different choices from you fellas, I'll go the EBV route. I have enough pumps as it is. Plus Jim gave me the basic overview on how to implement it. Better to get threaded or sweat? I'm thinking of cutting those balance valves out and putting the zone valves in their places.

    The Grundfos alpha should work great in the house. Those zone valves create pressure drop when they open and close, which this fancy thing is supposed to detect. Which I question, does this pump need hooked up to the end switch. I'm not totally sure where this pump will be placed, yet. Which is critical for it to detect that pressure drop. If I put where current pump is, it would be pumping through the pressure tank, hence no detection of pressure drop?I'm not replacing it until I know where are the components are going.

    I can tell you aren't too high on the Taco Delta T circs, heaterman. I'm thinking of going the route Jim did. Put a brute 3 speed pump on the primary and keep it simple and less costly. When the barn goes online, move from speed one to 2 to 3. Russ's trouble with them is also a big turn off.

    Thanks guys for being the "Garn Oracles"
  7. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Threaded or sweat depends on your piping. I have never personally used any thing but a sweat style ZV and wasn't awarer that anyone makes them threaded. It would have no bearing on the operation of the valve in either case.

    The circ will power up from the ZVC panel.

    I have hundreds of 15-58's in houses, doing exactly what you are proposing. Simple is good.

    Pump away from the expansion tank. Always.
  8. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    [quote author="heaterman" date="1264719498.

    Pump away from the expansion tank. Always.[/quote]


    Think I can break this rule for simplicity sake, for 2 more months of heating season? I could slide out the old pump, slide this one in simply. BTW the pressure tank isn't working anyway. I don't want to do any more plumbing in there than I have to. One day shutdown, max. 3 zone valves installed, one pump, two closely spaced tees with a valve inbetween. Work out the repiping of the oil boiler, dhw coil, pressure tank, air purgers etc 5 months from now. I'm limited on space on the output side of boiler, plus I'm not sure how the tankless coil in the boiler is pumped to the dhw.

    What is everyone's favorite 2 heat/1cool programmable different weekend/weekday day/nite tstat. I was looking at honeywell tstats, probably made in singapore. Anyone have any preferences?
  9. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Think I can break this rule for simplicity sake, for 2 more months of heating season? I could slide out the old pump, slide this one in simply. BTW the pressure tank isn't working anyway. I don't want to do any more plumbing in there than I have to. One day shutdown, max. 3 zone valves installed, one pump, two closely spaced tees with a valve inbetween. Work out the repiping of the oil boiler, dhw coil, pressure tank, air purgers etc 5 months from now. I'm limited on space on the output side of boiler, plus I'm not sure how the tankless coil in the boiler is pumped to the dhw.

    What is everyone's favorite 2 heat/1cool programmable different weekend/weekday day/nite tstat. I was looking at honeywell tstats, probably made in singapore. Anyone have any preferences?[/quote]



    It's your pump and you can put it where ever you want, whenever you want my friend. :) I do like HW's vision Pro series 8000 series thermostats
  10. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    Russ - generally speaking the sweat version of the ZVs are going to be cheaper than the threaded version. Like Steve, I have never used anything but sweat ZVs.

    If I did not already have all the 570 series HM zone valves I needed, I would have gone with the new capacitor type EBVs from TACO. The HM ZV has the same 1/8 turn power head change out, with the additional need to disconnect the wires under the screw terminals first. The new EBVs are dead simple, and will be using them from here out for my future piping setups.
  11. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Those 8000s are niiice! Touch screen, 7 day programmable 2 hot 1 cool. Oh baby! 5 year warranty is nice. Being able to set the temperatures in the different circuits at different times has to save fuel! They are 3 times more expensive but I'd rather cut less wood than go the cheapie route!

    Got a pretty hefty shopping list here. Grundfos alpha 15-55, 3 taco EBV, ZVC, 3 HW vision pro 8000 T stats. For the house.

    On primary manifold looks like UPS43-44FC, 3-Speed Circulator Pump for primary manifold. The heat exchanger just showed up. Have to decide which pump to pump from secondary to hx then pump from hx to house. The literature doesn't have a headloss for the hx. Something else to find out.

    Still seems miles to the finish line...
  12. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Haha jim same post time almost! Great to get both you and steve to agree on the "best zone valve." Bet that Garn is working hard this week. Got down to 11 here last nite! Brrr.
  13. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Reed, that 43-44 is a high GPM circ that doesn't like to really be much over 10' of head. Ideally, and this would be on speed 3, that circ would be sitting in the middle of its curve at about 30GPM and around 6' of head. Do you have a load that needs that much flow and 2" piping to carry it?
  14. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Steve, I guess I just threw the idea for the 43-44 out there. To maximize use of the 70 plate exchanger for house/garage that's 140,000 btu. Or 14 GPM at 20 delta T.

    The barn is the big question mark. I have NO IDEA what type of heatloss estimate to put on this barn. Here's a description of the barn and my current plan for it. The building is a 60x120. It's uninsulated at the moment. One section of the barn, 10x60 has concrete already there. No option for radiant for this area. I'm planning on walling it off, insulating and putting a couple forced air water/air exchangers for it. Or putting a storage tank tank in, with coils inside it. Fill it with glycol or antifreeze. I suspect it would act like a radiator if I left it uninsulated and eliminate the need for the forced air units. So this area of the barn I would like to keep around 45 when I'm not working out there.

    For the remainder of the building, I want to pour concrete and put in radiant. A 50x70 area with a insulated curtain to seperate the storage side of the barn. This will be the radiant section. Something I won't want to heat 24/7. I'm expecting it will be in primetime use Feb-Mar so the rest of the time it will be off. I can work comfortably if its over 50.

    I want to be careful in selecting these pumps. I will be upset with myself if I undersize the pump when I go to do the barn. This is why I thought the Taco 0012 VDT pump made sense. Correct me if I'm wrong, cause I probably am.

    Always curious....
  15. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Getting to the barn thing................If you are dealing with any uninsulated area the heat loss will be high for sure, but what you are left with boils down to how air tight it is. I've been in places with no or very minimal insulation that were 3-4000 sq ft and while the btu requirement to keep them at 50-60* was high, it was do-able. Others that were maybe half that size and drafty are impossible to heat without btu inputs in the 7 figure range. You may as well not try. My SIL has a 40x80 pole barn with good overhead doors, a moderately insulated ceiling (8" blown) and only 1/2 of foam on the sides. His Garn and associated piping will keep the place between 25-40* depending on the weather. I'd guess he's losing maybe 25,000-30,000 from his Garn enclosure, piping and blower discharge air. To break it down another way, he's maintaining about a 35* temp differential from outdoor with his heat loss from the Garn.
    The other kid has an Econoburn in a 30 x 40 garage with ventilated eaves and nothing but 1/2" celotex and a layer of plywood between the shingles and the rafters. He has a 75,000 btu Modine hung in there and if the wind blows you can hardly raise the temp 15* in the building with it running non stop. On a calm day it will struggle to boost the temp much past 30* above outdoor ambient.

    So.....10x60 insulated to a decent level assuming a 14' ceiling height................Mmmmmmm figure a load of 40 btu/sq ft and you'll be close. 50 x 70 insulated but with one side "open" due to the curtain, I'm thinking in the range of 55/sq ft to get you 40* temp rise from outside.
  16. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    My goal of this entire project is to be energy efficient as possible. If that means spending 10,000 on insulation for the barn, that's what I will do. It will pay me back. With your numbers, on a 60x70 total area, at 55 per square foot is 231,000 BTU. Or 23.1 GPM at 20 Delta T. With the house, barn, garage thats 37 GPM at 20 Delta T. Hopefully with some creative plumbing (eliminating baseboards) I can widen the delta T and lower the GPM for the system as a whole.

    My barn has sliding doors and they could easily be insulated. 2x4 framing. I would like to closed cell foam on the whole barn. No need for wall covering other than fire areas. Heard about a farmer who used open celled and didn't cover the walls. They caught it on fire with a torch and burned the building up around them so fast, they had to drive their 4x4 tractor through the wall! I do alot of torching and welding but that area will be sheetmetaled.
    I'm pretty sure this barn will need 2 supply and 2 returns. I want to heat up warm water for washing the semi. This salt irritates me and 200 per wash upsets me. That's the reason for 70 ft of length. From ground to perlons I'd say it's 20 feet. I'll have to excavate down pretty deep to get room for foundation, foam board and a 6 inch pad.

    Through the barn I also want to supply two bin fans. I bought a small bin for 50 bucks. I'm attempting to dry soybeans. Soybeans are very high in oil content, making them difficult to dry. However, they don't like being dried at high temperature. Perfect scenerio for an water to air exchanger. I'd like to be able to harvest wetter beans. Dry beans 13% moisture and below shatter at the sickle bar and at the auger. They can drop in moisture in the field by as much as 3 % points in a day. You can't harvest 1k acres in a day. Hence the need to dry them. The ambient is generally above 60, so the system can concentrate it's efforts to drying soybeans. I bought a small bin for 50 bucks to test this on.

    I think allowing 240,000 btus for the barn would also cover the drying needs. I recall water to air exchangers like 160 degree water. I'd like to install a Garn at my Dads house. Use a garn to heat his house, shop and dry corn. We burned 15,000 gallons of propane drying corn. If a Garn could supplement and do half the heating, every farmer with a barn house and grain dryer will be lining up for one of these things.

    Sorry for the long post, but it all justifies getting a Garn.
  17. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    To be fair, I chose the 43-44 for my primary based on my projected loads for my house, garage, wood shop and a small greenhouse. My 43-44 is way overkill right now with just the house and partial garage load. On low I rarely see delta T above 10-12 degrees on the primary. My primary loop is 1.5", 7 elbows, and about 30' of pipe total. Not too much head loss. My pump selections were made without the benefit of Steve's input, and without as much knowledge as I have now. I dont regret my choice, but your setup and loads are different than mine, and I defer to Steve's greater experience.
  18. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Insulation is everything Reed. If you get that 4200 sq ft area up to R-25 in the walls (easy to do with pole construction) get the ceiling to even an R-30, you can get that heat loss down to half or around 25/ sq ft. That will make a huge difference in not only the size and type of emitters you can use but also piping and circulator sizing. You'll also have more btu's available for drying the beans. I think your primary goal at this point would be to settle on how you are going to insulate the building and what values you are going to wind up with, then plan your heating system accordingly. If you size everything proportionally to the existing load you will have everything way oversized at the point in time that you do get it insulated. Kind of a chicken and egg thing..............
  19. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    4200 sq ft at 25 btu per sq foot is 105,000 btu or 10.5 GPM. One set of 1.25 pex would do the trick. So worst case I'm 23.1 barn plus 14.0 house/garage. Or at the minimum once I get insulation 10.5+10.0= 20.5 GPM. 37 GPM to 20.5 is a pretty wide range. All ranges of the Grundfos 43-44. The Taco 0012VDT pump also can handle this easliy. Like Jim, my headloss will be low too. 7 Elbows, 16 ft of 2", 16 of 1.5". One swingline 1.5" check valve. The pump will be about even with bottom of the tank.

    Like Jim, either pump I put on my primary will probably be grossly oversized. I hate the idea of rebuying pumps to adapt to the next phase of the plan. Hope I can get a pump picked out that can play "catch all" scenerios.
  20. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    One thing you said that raised a bit of a "red flag" in my mind, was that you sounded like you only wanted to heat some or all the space intermittently... This is not a good match to radiant slab, as slabs are SLOOOW to respond... They are great once hot, but take a while to get there, so unless you are really good at future planning, you will be spending a lot of time in the cold waiting for the slab to warm up, and then wasting a lot of heat as the slab cools back down after you've gone away again...

    I'd certainly put tubing in anyplace I was pouring concrete, just because plans change, and it's cheap "futureproofing", but I wouldn't use infloor radiant for intermittent heat. I'd want to use either Modine style forced air units, or maybe flat panels, in order to get heat into the space faster on demand...

    Where the radiant might work is in combination with one of the other methods is if you want to have a steady "base" temperature, and then pop it up higher on demand... Say keep the space at 35°F unless working in it, when you want it at 55°F. In that case I'd maybe use the radiant floor for the steady load, and modines or flat panels for the bump up.

    If I'm misreading what you intended, don't worry about it...

    Gooserider
  21. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Gooserider,

    You are absolutely right. I completely understand that the radiant is slow to respond. My thought was, on the shop side (forced air units) I can heat it up anytime I need to work. The big shop area (radiant) will have to be planned ahead when I want to work out there. Once I get it up to temp, there it shall stay until all spring prep work is done. Probably won't use the slab area until feb-mar. I don't know what type of temp rise you can get per day, but I expect I would have to start dumping btus in there in January to get up to temp.

    This is why I thought glycol or antifreeze would be a good fit. Need an HX, anyway. If I can get the heatloss under 100k, I might keep it above 45 year round.

    Say it's in the 20-30s outside, I insulate up to r-25 or r-30. What type of temperature raise per day can you expect out of the radiant?
  22. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Not really sure, and I suspect that might be the "wrong question", or at least "insufficient data" - The question will be how many BTU/hr you can dump into the slab, vs. the heat loss of the slab itself. It will be critical to minimize the losses from the slab to the ground, I suspect that while the building insulation is important, the slab will matter more...

    You will need to think about tube spacing, size, slab thickness, etc... As I understand your app, you will be bringing in heavy equipment on the slab, so you are going to have a very thick and heavy duty structure that will have a LOT of thermal "inertia" Obviously need to pump more BTU/hr into the slab than it is losing to the ground and air - the "surplus" is what raises your temperature. My recollection is that cured concrete will take about 1/2 BTU to raise a pound one degree - essentially it's the same equation as with water, just the ratio changes... I would imagine that you can work out how many pounds of concrete will be in your slab, and go from there....

    Since I don't have an app that fits into your description, I haven't paid a lot of attention to them, but I know that Siegenthaler has had a fair number of articles in his P&M magazine tech column on planning radiant floor for large buildings, including some equipment garages and factory type setups. Might be worth reading, especially some of his discussions on "thermal injection" and other distribution techniques.

    Gooserider
  23. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Ah yes, another dimension of math to figure on. I don't expect the cement pad will be thicker than 6 inches. Will ban loaded semi's from entering the barn (over 80,000lbs). The semi is probably the heaviest /sq inch, all another machinery have wide tires, displacing their weights. Have to do some digging around to see the weight of concrete per inch. I expect I will use 2" XPS board under the whole thing. Will require serious excavation. Is R-10 enough under a floor? I'll check into that Siegenthaler. Thanks for the good info.

    I cut half a cord of shagbark hickory today. It fell across the neighbors driveway this morning. Nice straight tree, my first hickory. I'm overrun with maple/ash so I need some really good stuff.
  24. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Six inch would be plenty and if you check with a concrete company I'll bet you'll find 4" will do nicely. We did some gas piping work in a die shop addition (100x200') and they went with 6" because some of the dies they hauled in there weighed over 80 TONS. The GC on the job said they could have went with a heavy mix of 4" but the cost was nearly the same so the owner went 6.

    I have found the key to concrete as well as the foam insulation holding up is how well the subsurface it prepared and compacted. I can only recall one job where we felt we had to use high compression foam, mostly due to the cement crew I knew we'd be working with on it. While it's true that more insulation under the floor is better all you really have to do is provide greater R-value under the cement than the cement itself generates. Which is a factor of 1/inch. So a 4" slab has an R-value of 4 and so on. We typically use 1-1/2" foam but pay special attention to insulating the edges. That's the area most often ignored and can be the area of highest heat loss.

    BTW.......nothing wrong with maple and ash. The Garn will love it.
  25. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    I needed a couple days off from working on the Garn. I get nervous cutting holes in my nice new siding/sheetmetal. So I mull over it a couple days before I build up the courage to tackle it. That day is tomorrow. I'll finish the air intake/flue and finalize rear "garn sweater". Then start putting that manifold together, pics tomorrow nite!

    I think Jim nailed it on the primary circ. The Brute Grunfos UPS43-44 FC on the primary. A tad oversized for now, perfect for later. Need to calculate headloss on it before I order one.

    First secondary pump to hx prob a 26-99 3 speed. Then from hx to house another 26-99 3 speed. Of course the shining star will be the Alpha 15-55 in the house taking care of the rest. I might be able to get away with a 15-55 from primary to hx.

    Glad it will like maple. We have some 175 year plus maples that are literally falling apart. Sad. It's been decided they must come down before they fall on someone or a building. Will take me weeks to cut them all up. We are going to drop two dead oaks tomorrow. Big trees. They are hanging over the road. Probably 3 or 4 cord a tree. Should be interesting.
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