Changes to Wirsbo radiant heat system


Old 06-09-10, 02:03 PM
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Changes to Wirsbo radiant heat system

Ten years ago, I had a Wirsbo radiant floor heating system installed in a new house. The technology was new here in Oregon at the time, and it was the first installation done by the contractor, who had been trained by Wirsbo. The heat system and hot water for home use are all on the same system. The system includes a 30 gallon Polaris heater, AO Smith 119 gallon holding tank, Taco switching relays and a kazillion zones for my modest 2200 sq home. I want to change several things, and am looking for advice on how to proceed:

1) Separate the water going into the radiant floor system from the water I use at the sinks, etc. Our well water is high in mineral content and I believe the tubing imbedded in concrete throughout the house is building up mineral deposits that will eventually restrict water flow. We don't need the heat upstairs much at any time of the year since the kids moved out, and we don't heat the house at all during the summer months.

2) Calculate the size boiler I really need (I have seen references in other threads to a heat loss evaluation, but don't know how to do that).

3) Find a thermostat that works. The Wirsbo brand thermostats currently installed are finicky and inaccurate.

I will have the work done by a professional, but need to know what I'm getting into before I hire someone to do the work.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 06-09-10, 08:11 PM
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1) definetly get a proper condensing boiler, it will pay for itself in time.
2) do a heatloss for sure, but condensing boilers modulate so it's not as fussy as with a cast iron boiler
3) Tekmar controls are very good for radiant, and the newer Uponor controls are very good as well.
Old 06-10-10, 06:07 AM
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I would suggest installing a system 2000 boiler. You can still use your domestic hot water storage tank and isolate the radiant using a plate heat exchanger. They have various design setups depending on the radiant load needed.
Also it will cut you fuel consumption by 30% or better. Fires on oil or gas {nat or LP}.

Check them out on the web... Energy Kinetics - System 2000 Efficient Heating
Call them and they will give you the name of a dealer near you.

Another plus that its extreamly quiet when running, almost as quiet as a microwave!
Old 06-10-10, 07:47 AM
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Pictures ??

A picture is worth a thousand words.

In an other forum I frequent, "if there is no picture, it didnt happen" is the moto

Are you saying you have an "open" system, ie: the water that circulates in the floor then goes to the shower or faucet?

If so I would first separate the two, to protect your familys health (see 'legionares' over at HH forum for plenty of reasons)

You could explore keeping the polarus (as I recall, its a high recovery rate WH) for domestic HW, and use the 119 gal as a buffer for the for the HW.
Get a modest condensing boiler (TT 60 ?) see pages 21 through 23 for piping arangements for Defentily installing an outdoor reset w/injection system.

I redid my system, keeping the cast iron boiler for now, adding a 80 gal Boiler Buddy, installing an outdoor reset controler, Primary/secondary with injection off the buffer. I am enjoying very even heat in all zones, have the indoor temp set at 65*, and use my existing thermostats to switch off the zone when it goes over my set temp, say 68*. I am very happy with the outcome. when the CI boiler goes to the big scrap heat pile, then the TT gets installed for much fuel savings.

This is just 1 opinion, you will get others I am sure.

Good Luck, you have come to the right place for ideas on your system.

Old 06-10-10, 04:23 PM
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Changes to Wirsbo radiant heat system

Thanks for the suggestions. Here is the response from makers of System 2000:

Thank you for contacting Energy Kinetics.
System 2000 is sold only to heating professionals through a factory-trained
dealership network. This ensures product quality and complete customer
satisfaction. Unfortunately, we have not yet expanded into Oregon - we cover
Pennsylvania, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic states at this time.
However, if you know of a heating professional that would be interested in
becoming a dealer, please have the heating professional contact Don Andreas
at 800-323-2066 ext. 213. He may be able to work something out for you.
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