Splitting loop into two zones?

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Old 10-23-11, 08:40 PM
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Splitting loop into two zones?

Hi,

I'm hoping to get some advice. Yesterday I replaced the feeder valve and and air vent and bled the system. Everything is working great.

The upstairs zone is divided into two loops. One 1" riser goes up through the ceiling, but two 3/4" returns come down from it. In addition, there is a second zone that feeds the basement apartment.

The system has one circulator pump, with two zone valves on the risers.

I'm wondering if there is any way to place a control on one of the loops of the upper zone, so it would have its own thermostat, without opening up the ceiling and re-plumbing the risers. IOW, can zone valves be placed on the return end of things?

Thanks,
Paul
 
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Old 10-23-11, 09:02 PM
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Hi, Just trying to make sense here first.

The upstairs zone is divided into two loops. One 1" riser goes up through the ceiling, but two 3/4" returns come down from it.
So three pipes for the upstairs zone?
I would say the zone length was too long for a traditional loop and they split it.
The two 3/4" lines would be the feeds and the 1 " the return.



The system has one circulator pump, with two zone valves on the risers
What risers are we talink about? One for the basement of course and one for the upstairs loop?

Mike NJ
 
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Old 10-23-11, 09:10 PM
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Hi Mike,

The house is a typical raised ranch, about 52' x 25'. The upstairs zone is divided into:
  • 3beds + 1 bath,
  • LR + DR + Kitchen + entry landing.
There are 8' ceilings throughout.

The boiler has a 1-1/4" black pipe riser, which manifolds off into a 3/4" cu riser which feeds the basement apt, and a 1" cu riser that feeds the upstairs. The returns are three 3/4" cu lines, each with its own drain with ball valve.
 
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Old 10-23-11, 09:25 PM
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I'm wondering if there is any way to place a control on one of the loops of the upper zone, so it would have its own thermostat,
OK good. Explain what you want to control? I would take it that you want to control part of the unstairs loop seperately?

You know before you do this you really need to calculate some things.

Your boiler and baseboard may be working perfect together. Once you start shortening loops you start possibly short cycle the boiler, hence waste more fuel.

What type of heat emitters?
How many ft of element only on each loop?
How many BTU is the boiler?
What temp does the boiler run at?

Mike NJ
 
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Old 10-23-11, 09:39 PM
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Hmm, it's more complicated than I anticipated.
  • It's 7" high baseboard radiation.
  • Roughly, the LR loop runs about 72',
  • the bedroom loop runs about 70',
  • the apartment zone runs 62'.
  • The boiler says 117/131 MBTU. It's oil-fired.
  • It seems to operate at 180d.
Currently the system handles the apartment just fine when it's heating that unit alone.
 
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Old 10-23-11, 10:06 PM
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Do you have baseboard around every wall?

If so, and you peak inside the damper, is there element in all ft as you described above?

Element is the aluminum fined parts behind the cove plates. Get a flashlight and look in there.

You have 112,000 BTU of radiation there is the above is true. Way too much, but zoning it may be a good option.

With all that baseboard you may just be able to turn the temp down on the boiler. You will save fuel, and still meet what your heat loss is for the home.

Whats the square ft of the home?

And what is the reason you want to add a zone? Too hot????

Let us know. I am sure others will chime in later on or tomorrow. There are alot of good knowledgable guys on this site.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 10-23-11, 10:40 PM
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Most exterior walls are radiated. I think all of it is real radiator. The Sq Ft is 1300 above and 400 below.

The reason to add a zone would be to save money.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 03:34 PM
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You have to be careful about making a zone too small. That can cause short cycling which will decrease efficiency. Longer runs of the burner are better than 5 minute run times.

You can put zone valves on the returns. That is how my system is designed.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 03:54 PM
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Thanks, drooplug. That's what I needed to know. I'm not sure we'll go ahead with this, as use of the area tends not to correspond neatly to the two loops. But then it could factor into getting a wood stove at some point. IAC, I'll file this away for possible future use.

Thanks to all for your help,
Paul
 
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