Questions regarding circulator placement, searched already

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Old 12-01-09, 06:58 AM
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Question Questions regarding circulator placement, searched already

I first want to thank all contributors to my original thread regarding my inability to get all of my radiators to reheat. I have adjusted my current installation to the best of my ability for this winter season, with the help of all of the awesome an knowledgeable people contributing to this forum.

My spring venture will be moving the location of my circulator to pump away. currently the circ is on the return, then goes to the expansion tank with no means of air removal at the boiler, as stated in my previous thread.

Here's the scenario and question: My Utica MGB-175HD was installed May of least year before i bought my home. It was plumbed with a bypass and an ESBE thermic valve (140*). I was going to zone with circs, and still want to. The placement of the pumps will be after the bypass, will this affect the operation of the bypass loop? Thanks again for all replies and help. All contributors here are excellent. - John
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Old 12-01-09, 12:36 PM
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Without a pic of your set-up to give a definitive yes or no I would venture to say no. I am not real fond of a system bypass on a boiler as it can affect the flow in the zones. Here is another way of piping with the Thermic valve. See the bottom of the page
Bypass_Piping_Explaination
 
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Old 12-01-09, 02:48 PM
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Here's some pics of John's system:

10K's pics

John, I would highly recommend rbeck's suggestion.

Take a look at that diagram... you will see that when there is a heat call, you will have FULL FLOW in the SYSTEM at all times. This will prevent any problems with balance that we talked about before.

You will also have full flow through the boiler at all times... when it's cold, that full flow will be through the ESBE, and as the ESBE closes the bypass, the boiler will begin to 'inject' that hot water into the system loop.

The way it's set up now, you still have full flow through the boiler, but until the ESBE begins to open, there is little to no flow in the system.

If you are going to re-pipe, might as well do it right!

You probably have already considered the pros/cons of zoning with circs... the circ approach will cost a bit more 'lectricity, the zone valve approach perhaps a bit less reliable.

My personal preference would probably be zone valves... if one fails, in a few DRY minutes, the powerhead can be swapped out and yer back in bizz... a circ fails and even with isolation valves, yer gonna get wet, and it takes a bit longer to change.
 
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Old 12-01-09, 09:15 PM
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rbeck and trooper thanks very much for the replies. in zoning with circulators, my concern was that i would not reap the benefit of the esbe because of the position of the circulators being after the entrance of the bypass.

The way im mentally picturing this happening is that the flow will be pushed through the system properly but not drawn through the return like it is now, due to the placement of the pump on the return. i know my thinking is a little two dimensional (it usually is) and i felt i could overcome the issue by leaving a 007 in the current circ location (just for sheer purposes of the proper flow through the boiler at all times as well as pulling through the esbe) and zoning the branches of the house with circs after that.

I actually ended up speaking to a tech at Utica, his recommendation after we both referred to the same page in Utica's install section of the boiler's manual was that i leave a pump in the return side location (the 007 that was packaged with the unit) to indeed maintain the flow through the boiler, and to zone with circs like i had planned on doing. he said even if i had planned on zoning with zone valves that he'd recommend leaving the 007 on the return where it is and plumbing in a system circ, due to the volume of water that my particular system holds due to the 2 inch lines and all cast iron radiators. Input?
 
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Old 12-02-09, 02:50 PM
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Is this the manual for your boiler? Which diagram are you looking at?
[I meant to post the URL for the PDF for the MGB boiler, but forgot to do it! what a dumb-a55 I am!]

If you haven't looked at the diagram rbeck posted, you need to, because that's what you want to do right there:



This diagram does show zoning with circs, but you can just as easily use zone valves... just place the system pump between the air scoop / expansion tank, and the supply header. The zone valves would go in place of the zone circs.
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-04-09 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 12-02-09, 09:09 PM
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that diagram is exactly what i plan on doing, and i agree with your idea of positioning of the system supply circ, however, the distance between the outlet (supply) of the boiler and the supply manifold is not great.

from the outlet of the boiler to the end of the supply header is 32", and this length includes the low water cutoff and the tee for the system bypass. this minimal length was the reason i was planning on zoning with circs as opposed to using a system circ and ZV's. input?

also Trooper, in reference to the diagram linked by rbeck, i do not understand the relationship of the connection between the supply and return where that diagram specifies "close spaced tee's not to exceed 12 inches." my boiler is not plumbed like this, its got completely separate supply and return piping except for the bypass of course.
 
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Old 12-03-09, 02:37 PM
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in reference to the diagram linked by rbeck, i do not understand the relationship of the connection between the supply and return where that diagram specifies "close spaced tee's not to exceed 12 inches." my boiler is not plumbed like this, its got completely separate supply and return piping except for the bypass of course.
Basically, you are looking at a 're-do' of a lot of the piping.

Those closely spaced tees are what differentiates this PRIMARY / SECONDARY piping scheme with others that don't use the CSTs.

This technique allows "Hydraulic Separation" of the two 'loops'... the piping that goes out and back from the radiators is your PRIMARY LOOP. The piping that comes in and out of your boiler is a SECONDARY LOOP.

The two loops are joined together only for that short distance between the tees. The boiler pump doesn't affect flow in the system, and the system pump(s) don't affect flow in the boiler.

Essentially what happens when there is a heat call, is that one (or more) of the zone pumps will start. There will be full flow through the zone(s). ALSO, the boiler pump will start and run, and if the boiler is cool enough, the burner will fire up.

Once the boiler flow opens up the ESBE, the flow will now go up to the CSTs, and start injecting hot water into the system loop.

At all times during the heat call, there is FULL FLOW in BOTH the system and the boiler. It won't be like now when the ESBE starts to open, a lazy little plug of hot trickles up the supply, the cool comes back and starts to close the ESBE again... you know, the scenario we talked about in your last thread.

So, the FULL flow in the system takes the hot that is injected and distributes it evenly all around the entire loop, making the amount of heat from each and every rad on the loop more or less equal.

So, you are correct that you don't have that Closely Spaced Tee connection now, and that's the big change that you will be making. You will probably be replacing MOST of the near boiler piping, so you are free to design the layout of the piping so that everything fits where it needs to.
 
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Old 12-03-09, 04:47 PM
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what would the consequence be if the near boiler piping was not changed to the closely spaced tee's configuration?
 
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Old 12-03-09, 04:50 PM
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Worst case would be improper flow through the boiler and possibility of burning up the heat exchanger portion and destroying the boiler.
 
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Old 12-03-09, 04:56 PM
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so just so i understand correctly; a circ for the bypass on the return side of the boiler, and a system circ after the bypass will not provide sufficient flow?
 
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Old 12-03-09, 06:03 PM
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one thing that may not be taken into account is that i have a teo pipe system here gents... its two pipe reverse return, the diagram in this thread is depicting single pipe with multiple zones..
 
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Old 12-03-09, 06:43 PM
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I have to think about the two pipe thing for a bit... I don't think I was aware of that during our discussion in the previous thread... that might change things a bit.

If I'm reading you right, you were thinking of keeping the pump at the boiler and adding more pumps to the system basically as-is?

Not good... not right... you don't want to put pumps in 'series' which is what you would wind up doing that way... IF I understand what you are thinking.

You really would want that 'hydraulic separation' so that the multiple pumps don't interfere with each other.
 
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Old 12-03-09, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 10kredline View Post
one thing that may not be taken into account is that i have a teo pipe system here gents... its two pipe reverse return, the diagram in this thread is depicting single pipe with multiple zones..
I don't think it matters. You've still got a supply, and a return from each 'zone', right?

So, you've actually got TWO separate 2-pipe circuits, one at the front and one at the back of the home, and then there's a series piped baseboard around the basement? or is that also 2 pipe?
 
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Old 12-03-09, 06:52 PM
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Two pipe system doesn't matter. The return(s) come back to the left side of the drawing and the supplies out the right side. If you only want a single system pump put it in the pipe after the expansion tank and before the zone valves which would replace the zone pumps in the drawing.
 
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Old 12-03-09, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
I don't think it matters. You've still got a supply, and a return from each 'zone', right?

So, you've actually got TWO separate 2-pipe circuits, one at the front and one at the back of the home, and then there's a series piped baseboard around the basement? or is that also 2 pipe?
Thats correct, supply and return from each 'zone', and yes two separate circuits. It's not piped baseboard, it just a single cast iron standing rad on a small loop. It's odd, i cant explain it lol.

Regarding the pumps, what was said sounds correct. I intended on keeping the pump on the return for the bypass loop, and adding a circulator to each 'circuit'.

I'll plumb it primary/secondary if you guys think its necessary, im not trying to avoid it, i just would like to avoid it if it's not absolutely necessary..
 
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Old 12-04-09, 08:18 AM
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boiler room diagram uploaded to flickr

I have uploaded a rudimentary diagram of the boiler and near piping. this should help if i cannot explain anything clearly enough. please take a look, and if you still recommend the primary / secondary then thats what i will do. if you can edit that image to what you professionally think it should be configured as, you will be my hero. lol. - john

Link to photos :
Flickr: idriveabronco's Photostream
 
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Old 12-04-09, 04:56 PM
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John, I'd like to be a hero, but the PHYSICAL configuration of your piping can only be done by 'being there'. The rbeck diagram is exactly how you want to pipe your system. You just need to make that diagram 'fit' into your physical space.

Keep something in mind... I think those things above the zone circs in that drawing are flow check valves. You WILL need flow check valves if you zone with circs.

I would start the job with a sawzall ... and re-do everything between the boiler and the big steel pipes. Saving anything that I could of course... but not being shy with the power tools!

Not sure what I would do with that single radiator in the basement though. It's way too small to make a zone of it's own. I might be tempted to just pipe it so that there was flow in it whenever either of the other zones called. If it was too much heat I would just throttle down on the valve... or close it altogether if you found you didn't need it. Or maybe put a TRV (thermostatic radiator valve) on it.
 
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Old 12-04-09, 05:44 PM
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After reading my comment about the sawzall, I thought it sounded a bit harsh... as though what you had is gahbaj, and that's not what I meant at all...

If it was MY system, and I wanted to re-do the piping, rather than try to make the primary/secondary fit into the space, I would much rather start with a clean slate. Thus, I would cut back and re-do.
 
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Old 12-04-09, 06:18 PM
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Troop - dont worry about the sensitivity issues bud, a sawzall needs to be used where necessary lol. i need to figure out how to route the new copper to accomodate that type of design. i'll get to working on that. When you look at the diagram and where the boiler is, it looks to me like i have to join the returns at some point and create the CST configuration. and recommendations based on the diagram i drew? i have no problem starting over; im just looking for a little guidance as far as the path of pipes goes.
 
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Old 12-04-09, 06:31 PM
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The diagram is a bit small to these old, tired eyes. As Trooper said, the key here is to reproduce in copper and iron the rbeck diagram. That's how it oughta be. Just fit that into your physical space, and figure a way to manage that lonely basement rad without making it a separate zone. TRV would be my vote.

And keep in mind that only a couple people here are trade professionals. The rest of us are just, well, whatever.

A sawzall in the right hands is a wonderful thing. Sawzalls don't kill projects, people do.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 01:40 AM
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I don't think it would be too far-fetched to say that Sawzall's have probably killed people too, or at least put an eye out! As Norm says, wear your safety glasses! <-note the eye out!

Looking at the pics, it might be possible to leave the return circ, the ESBE, the bypass, the LWCO, all in place. If you were to cut back to those points, you could run the supply and returns to the CSTs from there maybe.

Then, cut back the copper to the system piping, leaving the adapters and a 'stub' of copper in place so you can tie back in to those easily.

Set up a supply and return 'manifold' with the CSTs between, and connect the supply and return from the boiler to them.

It's just that it difficult to get a real feel for the 3 dimensions when looking at photos... whether it makes more sense to maybe move the bypass around a bit to make more room for the other new piping.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 01:42 AM
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Then, after the mechanicals are laid out, you need to also have a control scheme.

Something like a Taco SR panel would probably fit the bill nicely.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by xiphias View Post
The diagram is a bit small to these old, tired eyes. As Trooper said, the key here is to reproduce in copper and iron the rbeck diagram. That's how it oughta be. Just fit that into your physical space, and figure a way to manage that lonely basement rad without making it a separate zone. TRV would be my vote.

And keep in mind that only a couple people here are trade professionals. The rest of us are just, well, whatever.

A sawzall in the right hands is a wonderful thing. Sawzalls don't kill projects, people do.
sorry for the size of the diagram xiphias, you can enlarge it with an option on the toolbar above the picture .

i will do my best to mock up something exactly or darn close to the rbeck diagram.

that single rad in the basement i think im going to leave alone until i decide to re-do the basement, so i will just stub out the new plumbing to accomodate future projects. i understand that not everyone here is a professional, i myself am just a jack of all trades (master of none!).

p.s. - my favorite tools during the kitchen demolition were my electric jackhammer and my sawzall (old mud job til and a lot of wire and wood lathe behind them).

Trooper - I was looking at the SR-504 and am researching the plug in cards to see how i can make it work for me. Thanks for the input guys, please keep them coming.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 11:43 AM
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The SR panel will fit right in very easily...

The plug-ins, I presume you mean the PC-700 ODR module and that sorta stuff... if you do use ODR on your boiler, you just need to be careful that you don't set the BOIL MIN below the temp of the ESBE so that they won't 'fight' each other. You wouldn't WANT to do that anyway, since your boiler is non-condensing, but just for the record...

When we demoed to add the 2nd floor on here, my favorite was an electric chainsaw...
 
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Old 12-05-09, 12:15 PM
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Electric chainsaw? That's demo. I wasn't planning on ODR, maybe a delay on when the system circs started up after the boiler circ and boiler have been running for a minute or two, or even a temp setting. I think the temp setting might be a little too involved but i'll see how it goes. Do they even offer that option? My kitchen came out excellent though, that why i dont feel so worried about re routing some copper. I did all of the electrical and plumbing.. The only thing i couldnt do myself was make the cabinets and cut the granite!
 
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