Need advice adding a 1980 Tarm MB Solo to my heating setup

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New Member
Sep 19, 2022
I'm in the process of slowly converting my house from forced hot air to radiant. So far only the master bedroom and bathroom have been converted, but I recently added on a garage with breezeway, which means the time is near for me to rip the flooring out of the main living area and convert it to radiant.

When I remodeled the bathroom, I bought an IBC DC series 166k BTU boiler and installed a hydronic heating loop with 1.25" taps for a future wood boiler and additional taps for 4 heating zones. To date, the boiler is only used for the above sub floor radiant in our master bed/bath. It will also kick on to keep the house at 55 degrees via forced air if we are on vacation (I have a heat exchanger installed in the forced air plenum).

Most of the time the main living area of the house is being heated by a Vermont Castings Defiant wood stove, which takes approximately 5.5 cord of wood per season. I'm afraid the breezeway addition is going to be too much for the stove to keep up with. This combined with the desire to have radiant heat, plus being able to heat the garage space is where the wood boiler comes in...

I acquired a 1980 Tarm MB Solo 55 (155k btu). The stove will be in the garage, which is 100' away from the main loop where the gas boiler is installed. I also need a modine and a 10' section of baseboard for the garage. I want to be able to go on vacation and let the fire go out, which means I have to do something to keep the boiler, baseboard, modine and piping from freezing (glycol or back heat the system with the gas boiler).

A diagram to help:
Need advice adding a 1980 Tarm MB Solo to my heating setup

- Is this going to work?
- Should I isolate the wood boiler loop from the main loop as shown in the diagram?
- Do I need/want hot water storage tank? If yes how big/what brand? Where to install it?
- I was considering isolating the boiler from the main loop and using glycol in the boiler loop. Is this a good idea?