Boiler Piping - Replacing 30 year Old Boiler

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Old 09-27-08, 06:43 AM
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Smile Boiler Piping - Replacing 30 year Old Boiler

This is my first posting. I have been watching this site for the last several weeks and I need your valuable advice in validating the piping design that I am attaching here. I have done the heatloss analysis with the Slantfin program which comes to about 120,000 BTU/HR for my 3800 Sq ft house in Northern NJ. I have decided to go with the Weil McLain Ultra 3 MOD CON Bolier Model 155. I will be using this only for space heating application for the time being, but may use it for a DWH in the future. Hotwater needs are currently met by Rinnai 94SI tankless waterheater which has been working extremely well for the last several months.

The radiant zone heating does not exist currently. I want to incorporate that into the design to accommodate a basement finishing project planned for next year. I have included the specs on most components in the attached schematic. The physical layout will be very close to how it is depicted on the picture. I am thinking of bench assembling the components on an aluminum panel on a and then mount it on the wall to make it very modular. The idea is for the Primary Loop to cirlcle around the aluminum panel so that return lines are connected to the back of the panel. This will make less clutter on the front of the panel. I am not sure whether I need the isolation valves V1-V6. It is not shown in the WM Installation manual I used as a reference. I value your opinions. So please crtique my design and suggest any modifications. Thanks all

http://i391.photobucket.com/albums/o...ePlumbing3.jpg
 
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Old 09-27-08, 07:28 AM
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'Quick glance' comments:

I don't think you need the flow check in the boiler loop.

You can probably save a few bucks on the webstone purge tee, don't think it will buy ya anything with this setup.

Make sure when you install the valve in the exp tank line that the drain is toward the tank side.

I'm not sure that the 0014 is the right pump for the boiler loop, need to think about that.

Yes, you want the valves on the SH loop returns, additionally you probably should install a drain above them to facilitate purging those loops.

You've spec'd isolation flanges for the zone loops, I'm assuming they will be used on the boiler loop pump also?

I would reconsider the boiler size. If you came up with 120K for your heat loss with slantfinware, it's probably already over-stated. 110K is probably over-sized by some margin too.

The bypass valve for the water feed regulator is optional, there will be a 'fast fill' option on the regulator, but the valve will probably allow an even higher flow, and if the regulator gets clogged you have the option of manually filling the system in emergency. I would mount the backflow preventer on the inlet side of the regulator. I'm not sure there is a need for a pressure gauge on the inlet side, but one would come in handy for adjusting the regulator if it were installed on the outlet side, upstream of the final ball valve. (I think maybe when you 'clipped' that portion of the drawing to add into yours, you 'mirrored' the clipping ? Turning that whole assembly around makes sense, the backflow preventer is backwards)

Something else don't look right, but I can't put my finger on it just yet... still groggy from last nights grog...

Lessee what the other fellas have to say...
 

Last edited by NJT; 02-11-13 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 09-27-08, 08:53 AM
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Quick glance comments.

First off, nice job! Clearly a lot of thought and planning in that diagram.

Rethink boiler size. Go smaller. 120k out of slantfin is probably overstated by 10-30%, so you are probably down around 100k. If they make the 105 in Ultra3, that would be a good one. Cheaper, too. And you'd use a much smaller circ on the boiler loop. The 0014 is a real beast.

Check specs on piping for radiant zone, re: spacing of tees, takeoff, etc. Looks like that zone will basically have a fixed max temp. Have you designed the tube spacing, etc. for the ODR temps that will be commonly used?

That is a heckuva wall of circulators, and they will use a heckuva lot of electricity. I would strongly consider going with zone valves and a Wilo ECO pump. Do the head and flow calcs for the baseboard zones and make sure it will cover them. Most likely will. The ECO uses a fraction of the electricity of even one 15-58, much less five. It can also adjust speed based on deltaP (changing pressure/resistance) due to opening/closing zones, so you don't need a differential pressure bypass.

I would keep everything on the mounting panel in front where you can see and get to it.
 
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Old 09-27-08, 05:01 PM
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Thanks fo the reply. I appreciate your help.
I will get the Ultra 105. I think in the long run that will same some dough.

Other comments and responses:

Nj Trooper

"I don't think you need the flow check in the boiler loop."

The flow check is shown in the installation manual from Weil Mclain. Why do you not recommend it?

"I'm not sure that the 0014 is the right pump for the boiler loop, need to think about that."

This is the pump that comes with the Ultra 155 Boiler. If I get the 105, the pump is TACO 007.

"You've spec'd isolation flanges for the zone loops, I'm assuming they will be used on the boiler loop pump also?"

I was not planning to. I will add them. It makes replacing the pump a lot easier.

"You can probably save a few bucks on the webstone purge tee"

The webstone purge tee is only 50$. It makes the assembly a lot neater.

I will modify the water feed assembly based on youur feedback.


Xiphias:

"Check specs on piping for radiant zone, re: spacing of tees, takeoff, etc. Looks like that zone will basically have a fixed max temp. Have you designed the tube spacing, etc. for the ODR temps that will be commonly used?"

I have not designed the tube spacing or anything. This is for a future project. I was just thinking ahead.

Spacing of tees and takoffs - Can you be give me a bit more help here.

Regarding circulators - I will reconsider. I did a search on Uber Eco Pump. Google did not find much. Is there a different name for this pump
?

GEEVEE
 
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Old 09-27-08, 05:23 PM
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On the tee/takeoff spacing, just be sure that the specs (whatever they are, I don't know offhand; there might not even be any) are met to ensure the flow goes the way it's supposed to.

On the ECO. The Wilo website (www.wilo-na.com) has been under reconstruction for a couple weeks.
 

Last edited by NJT; 09-28-08 at 08:03 AM. Reason: poster request
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Old 09-27-08, 09:33 PM
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The flow check is shown in the installation manual from Weil Mclain. Why do you not recommend it?
Not so much that I don't recommend it, just that I don't think it's needed. In the WM installation, they do show it, but all but one of the diagrams shows an indirect also piped to the boiler. In that situation you would need it. I believe that it's a 'remnant' from editing, and that it doesn't really belong on the first drawing without the indirect. If you notice, there's no legend number on it... it's not the first mistake I've found in WM literature, and I have the ball caps to prove it ! but that's another story for another time.

I've doodled on your drawing a bit... I think I know what it is that I was unsure of in my earlier post when I was groggy ... you show the secondary loop as going all the way around the block. It doesn't need to, and I don't think it _should_ .

You mentioned that the positions of the elements in your drawing were roughly relative to actual planned build. I would recommend moving the spirovent physically closer to the zone pump manifold.

I'm recanting my statement that you might wish to add drain valves above each zone return valve. You should be able to use that one drain on the primary loop to do ALL your purging by proper manipulation of the various valves.

I also removed the valve and drain on the boiler loop, as they seemed redundant.

I don't have a 'warm fuzzy' about the low temp zone, not sure I've got that right.

Take a look and see what you think, comments welcome (and encouraged!) from all.

 
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Old 09-28-08, 04:26 AM
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Geevee's mix setup is right, or at least closer than Trooper's. Troop, that ain't right. More later.
 
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Old 09-28-08, 05:28 AM
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Hi guys, can I jump in here?

Trooper, what is that valve between the closely spaced tees? Get rid of that.
I agree that there is no need for the flow check valve on the primary loop. It is only circulating back to the boiler unless a zone is calling. Flow checks on the zones will control any gravity heating.
I have the pdf of the Munchkin boiler recommended piping diagram I am supplying here, just for more referencing. I have installed a few of these and they seem to be a very good mod/con boiler.

http://www.htproducts.com/literature/lp-185.pdf

There is also a great combination fitting for the air vent/expansion tank that saves time and fittings, and has shut off for tank replacement built in also. Only problem is I can't remember who makes it. I hate getting old.

I will think about it and when I think of it I will post it here.

Hope I was some help here, Mark
 
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Old 09-28-08, 08:14 AM
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Trooper, what is that valve between the closely spaced tees? Get rid of that.
Mark, that's a Webstone Propal purge tee that GeeVee wants to use.

Webstone P/S purge tee

I agree that it's overkill on this design, but if he wants to use it, who am I to argue ? I kinda like overkill myself. In a P/S setup with an injection bridge, a valve like that can be a lifesaver when purging...

Troop, that ain't right
Yeah, I din't tink so, but I been 'fuzzy' for a few days...

I also removed the float vent on the radiant loop, not sure if that would do anything, don't think it's needed. IMHO installing a float vent without an air separator is an excercise in futility.

But, the main point in modding the dwg was that GeeVee's 'primary loop' wasn't right. To have a closed loop such as that would require a pump on the loop, the way he's got it drawn makes it possible for flow to reverse on the left side of the loop. In other words, the zone pumps could potentially pull from BOTH directions on that loop. I'll look at it more later today.

Take a look at the two drawings side by side and check out the other changes too...
 
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Old 09-28-08, 08:41 AM
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Revisions to Piping

Hello All.

Thanks for all the feedback here. I have made several modifications. Main changes are using of zone valves instead of the circulators, removing the check valve from the boiler loop and adding the system circulator pump WILO ECO Stratus 16F. Also have added the Taco ZVC 406-EXP zone controller. Couple more questions on the current setup. I am also going for the WM Ultra 3 105 instead of the 155.

Revised Plan

http://i391.photobucket.com/albums/o...ePlumbing4.jpg

1. Should I go with a Tekmar Zone controller? If so which model would you recommend?

2. Zone Valves - I am planning to use Honeywell four wire zone valves. Honeywell well literature states to install the zone valves on the return lines. In the setup as designed they are on the supply line. Weil McLain and Munchkin diagrams show them on the supply side a well.

3. Circulator flow rate is calculated at 12 GPM based on the formula in WM Manual (Flow = BTUH/(TD*500). For my setup it comes to 12 GPM (120,000/(20*500)

4. Is there a quick and easy way to calculate head loss for my setup. I measured the volume of water in the existing piping which came to 12 Gallons. Do I have to measure each circuit separately to calculate the head loss?

5. Will the WILCO ECO Stratus 16 F pump deliver the required flow in the system loop? The pump provides a maximum head of 16 ft and maximum flow rate of 15.5 GPM.

6. The Wilo pump comes in two models 16F and 16FX. They are the same except for the flange orientation. Since the diagram as pictured will be close to the physical setup, which pump should I get 16F or 16FX?

7. In the new design, is the zone valve placement of the radiant cricuit correct?


You guys have been wonderful so far. I really appreciate the time you have taken to review my design. I know you all have busy schedules. Thanks

GV

 
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Old 09-28-08, 09:26 AM
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1. Huge fan that I am of tekmar, I think given the bells and whistles that come in the Ultra3, it would be overkill here. Probably more $$ than a simple Taco ZVC with no added benefit. Unless you are going superfancy (and super$$) and want to add tekmar thermostats, feedbacks, etc. etc.

You also don't need the -EXP. Just a straight ZVC.

2. Supply or return should be fine. If they say return, why not.

3. Don't worry about that, so much as making sure you have 3-4 gpm through each loop.

4. Get the Taco "Selecting Circulators" document for figuring head loss for each circuit. Start with the longest. That's the one of most concern, but it's a useful exercise to do all while you're doing it. http://www.taco-hvac.com/uploads/Fil...irculators.pdf

Also check out the Taco doc "When Zone Valves Close" which I can't put my finger on just now.

5. It should. No problem.

6. Whichever orientation best follows manufacturer specs for positioning.

7. You probably (almost definitely) want to have a pump (with flow-check) on this zone, sized to the head and to provide the proper flow.
 
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Old 09-28-08, 09:27 AM
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Mornin GV!

Better... but the low temp radiant is all whack now. You still need a pump on that loop, and the return line is missing in your revision.

Wait... that's still not gonna work ... you won't get any flow in your space heating loops ... still the same problem with the closed primary loop.

You need a 'differential pressure valve' out on the left side of that loop.

Going back to the 'relative' positions of things, make sure the LWCO is actually installed _above_ the water level in the boiler when you pipe it up. You want that to sense the low water before the boiler is half empty. I realize you probably know this, and the drawing is not entirely 'to scale', but it deserved mention.

I've got some honeydo's to do's ... I'll look more in depth later.
 
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Old 09-28-08, 11:28 AM
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Here's an example, from you know where, that shows how to do the low temp zone, and the diff bypass valve. I did mod the original significantly, mostly just to simplify. I don't know that you need the 'heat trap', but I left it in because it seemed like a good idea.

 
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Old 09-28-08, 11:42 AM
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A quick 'rule of thumb' for piping head is:

(TL X 1.5) X .04

Where:

TL = Total Length of the loop

1.5 takes account of the various tees, elbows, etc, and adds that 'margin' to the length.

.04 represents the 4' of head per 100 feet of 3/4" pipe.

If the loops are different size pipe, you will need to modify that number accordingly, but I think yours are 3/4".

I know how you guys love 'rules of thumb' but this one is close enough unless the piping is actually tied in knots.

You really only need to do the worst case loop...
 
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Old 09-28-08, 11:49 AM
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Beware the rule of thumb. If I used that in my house, it would be HUGELY overpumped.

In the age of spreadsheets, it doesn't take long to do it right.
 
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Old 09-28-08, 01:38 PM
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HUGELY ?

Let's say you had 100' of 3/4" pipe. Straight shot...

That's 4' of head, yes ?

if you took the rule and worked it that way, you would come up with 6' of head ... not a HUGE difference I don't think ... not in the ultimate scheme of things... I know, it's 50% more, but the difference between 4 and 6 feet of head to a circ pump is nothing.

The thing is, you can't select a pump by that fine a margin anyway, you pick the one that is at or the next size up and run with it.

Don't forget, that rule is not just the fin tube element, it's the entire length of the loop, pipe, fittings, and fin tube.
 
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Old 09-28-08, 03:06 PM
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OK, a bit more thread drift...

Using that formula would have put me with NRF-22's on the zones instead of 006's. And they'd be ripping along at 5-6 gpm instead of 3.4.

I'll take the spreadsheet.
 
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Old 09-29-08, 08:11 AM
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We are almost there !!!

We are allmost there!! I have made revisions based on all the feedback. I have incorporated the changes from NJ Trooper's simplified diagram into my original diagram. As mentioned in the previous posts, the physcial layout will be close to what is shown in my schematics. Final schematics is here:

http://i391.photobucket.com/albums/o...ePlumbing5.jpg

Couple more questions:

1. Any suggestions on the injection pump on the low temp radiant zone? Should I go for a WILO pump there also? Or will a Grundfos UPS15-58FRC suffice?

2. Since I am using the TACO ZVC 406 for the zone valves, how will the injection pump be controlled? WM Ultra can control 3 circulators. One is the boiler circulator, one is the system circulator. Can I use the third position for the Low temp zone circulator?

3. Any particular brand you recommend for the Differential Bypass Valve?

4. Is the balancing globe valve a regular full port valve?

5. Any suggestions on placement of temp/pressure guages on the piping? There is a temp pressure guage on the boiler. Do we need another one or more in any other spot.

6. I am not using the heat trap. I will be wall mounting the Boiler and the boiler loop will go from bottom of the boiler. I hope that will serve the purpose of the heat trap.

Any other feedback on the setup. I am ordering parts today.
Also where can I buy the Wilo pump. Google search did not show many vendors carrying this pump.

GV

 
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Old 09-29-08, 08:25 AM
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1. Pump selection for the radiant zone depends entirely upon the ultimate physical characteristics of the tubing layout, number of loops, design temp drop, heat output, etc. etc. Wait until you actually design that system before getting a pump. (But a simple Grundfos, appropriately sized, would be fine.)

2. Dunno. Haven't looked enough at the Ultra3 control package.

3. The Wilo ECO works on deltaP, so you do not need the differential bypass valve.

4. Dunno.

5. Boiler return is nice. Boiler supply is nice. Somewhere on the supply header and the return header is nice, too. But then I like gauges. You could go with fewer.

6. I'd have to look at where they call for the heat trap, and why. What you describe sounds ok at first glance.

The Wilo's are not easy to find, yet.
 
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Old 09-29-08, 09:07 AM
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1. Any suggestions on the injection pump on the low temp radiant zone? Should I go for a WILO pump there also? Or will a Grundfos UPS15-58FRC suffice?

I don't think the payback is there on the Wilo yet, the 15-58 gives you a 55 watt pump on low.


2. Since I am using the TACO ZVC 406 for the zone valves, how will the injection pump be controlled? WM Ultra can control 3 circulators. One is the boiler circulator, one is the system circulator. Can I use the third position for the Low temp zone circulator?

Most of us haven't dug too deep into the controls on the Ultra 3, which has a totally different controller, so it's tough to answer.


3. Any particular brand you recommend for the Differential Bypass Valve?

What's the maximum velocity without one?

If you need one I'd go Taco 3196 or Calleffi 519.

4. Is the balancing globe valve a regular full port valve?

No, but any ball valve can do some balancing, just don't ever use a gate valve.

5. Any suggestions on placement of temp/pressure guages on the piping? There is a temp pressure guage on the boiler. Do we need another one or more in any other spot.

That's up to you. Cheap little indoor outdoor thermometers with the wired lead can be easily employed later if you are curious about any circuit's temperature. Just stick it under a piece of piping insulation and most will even tell you the min and the max temps between resets. Good dedicated HVAC gauges are about $50 and not quite as useful, but look great. Put one on top of any water heater for sure, but after that it's your own judgment call.

6. I am not using the heat trap. I will be wall mounting the Boiler and the boiler loop will go from bottom of the boiler. I hope that will serve the purpose of the heat trap.

As long as the piping is dropping 12 - 18" down from the bottom of the boiler you'll have an effective heat trap. If you are ever thinking of doing DHW off the boiler you should instill a flow check close to the boiler for the heating loop, and also get your tees in for that and terminate them with capped or plugged ball valves. That'll make adding the indirect much quicker. With the indirect you'll want as short of piping runs as possible so keep that in mind when laying it out. Pay more attention to how the indirect will get piped than to "getting" to the heating system. Piping losses are more critical for DHW IMHO, especially if the AC will have to offset them.
 
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Old 09-29-08, 09:26 AM
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On the radiant, if you haven't read this, check it out:

http://www.pmmag.com/Articles/Column...00f932a8c0____
 
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Old 10-14-08, 10:15 AM
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Final Installation Pictures

I am very happy to post some pictures of my completed installation. In summary, I replaced a 30 year old Slantfin conventional cast iron boiler (oh boy that weighed a ton !!!) with a Weil Mclain Ultra Series 3 Mod Con Boiler Model 105. I also abandoned the storage water heater and installed a Rinnai tankless water heater. I got significant help from this forum in designing the system. I appreciate all your comments and feedback and PM.

I dryfitted most of the fitings and did a lot of the prepwork (removing old system, closing out the old vent connection to the chimney, installing the new concentric vent.) The final assembly and testing and startup was done by a licenced plumber so that I have a clean install and can get the town inspection done. I found a plumber who was willing to work with me and execute my design. I also did all the wiring myself. The final cost worked out to be about the same I would pay a plumber who would have done it his way. But here, I got it exactly the way I want it. I am intimately familiar with the design and all the components. This will help in trouble shooting in the future. Also I learned a lot about hydronic systems - thanks to the wonderful people on this site. Overall it was an enjoyable experience for me.

I sourced all the stuff from the net including the boiler. The best supply source was Patriot Supply in NY and the worst was Pex Supply. Their lead times are ludicorus I am still wating for stuff I ordered a week ago !!!.

Next steps - need to install a condensate neutralizer and condensate pump.


I am still interested in your feedback.

GEEVEE

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...erinstall1.jpg

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...erinstall4.jpg

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...erinstall2.jpg

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...erinstall3.jpg

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...erinstall5.jpg

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...erinstall6.jpg

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...lerBefore2.jpg

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...lerBefore1.jpg

http://s391.photobucket.com/albums/o...lerBefore3.jpg
 
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Old 10-14-08, 11:18 AM
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Congratulations. You have a system that is better-installed than 99.95% of the hydronic systems in North America.

Some of the clearances around some components look a little tight, but the camera probably deceives. (e.g., zone valve behind water feed piping) You might want to support the expansion tank in some way, from top or bottom. They can get heavy, esp. if they become waterlogged.

Love the diamond plate.

Very, very nice.

Now get the ODR curve dialed in and enjoy.

Would be really interested to hear how the ECO functions, what settings you end up with, etc.
 
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Old 10-14-08, 11:51 AM
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That is one very nice looking install! Why the tankless instead of an indirect?
 
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Old 10-14-08, 12:55 PM
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Why Tankless

I thought of adding the indeirect heater into the design. Then if my boiler fails, I have no heat or hot water. If the tankless heater fails, I can add an indirect any time since the piping is already done. Also for the full energy save, tankelss is better. I installed a tankless at my brothers place and he is seeing about 40% reduction in gas costs during the non heating season. Will know only by early spring the full effect.

GEEVEE
 
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Old 10-27-08, 05:24 PM
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GEEVEE

that is a piece of ART!

very sexy... lol
 
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Old 10-27-08, 08:08 PM
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How did I miss these pics when you posted them ?

Nice!

Is the system in operation when these pics were taken ? If so, how come the valve on the purge tee is in a 'partial' position ? That valve should be OPEN during operation, and only closed during purge/fill.

It appears that the ball drain on the expansion tank is installed with the drain port ABOVE the ball valve. Kinda defeats the purpose... by putting the drain on the TANK side of the ball, you hook up your hose, close the ball valve and drain the pressure in the tank. From there you can adjust the pressure, or change the tank without any other tomfoolery.

I'm just a little concerned about the weight of that exp tank on those brass nipples... especially if the tank were to fail and fill with water. You might consider adding some secondary restraint.

That ball drain valve on the left side of the loop ... that's not a diff bypass ... correct ? In operation, that valve should be closed. Not really sure it's purpose ? What's it do ?

I bet that diamond plate cost more than my whole system ! but it sure is purty!
 
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Old 12-04-08, 05:18 AM
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Thanks for sharing!

Fantastic work! I also have been lurking here for several weeks (months even), while I procrastinate on replacing my system. Turns out, winter came anyway and I really do need to get off my butt and replace our system.

I will save the details for another post, but it turns out there are a LOT of similarities to your system and I wanted to say thanks to everyone for the dialog and advice shared here. You likely dont always know how many people are reading it and finding it useful - count one more!
 
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