Boiler Buddy Buffer Project

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  #1  
Old 02-09-12, 05:41 PM
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Boiler Buddy Buffer Project

Hello All,
Help Wanted
Please tell me if you think this will work:
http://home.comcast.net/~k16862/Heat/BB01a.PNG

Areas of concern are:
purging ability
major design errors
integral flow checks? or independent
ghost flows
missing valves or checks or?


Thanks,
Peter


 
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  #2  
Old 02-10-12, 04:30 AM
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I would add boiler drains above your ZVs so you can power purge each zone easily.

Assume there will be an expansion tank?

Try to provide 12 pipe diameters upstream of the check valve on the HWH (I realize it's illustrative)

Will HWH be on priority?

Is there a possibility the boiler loop could become air bound?

Nice drawing!
 
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Old 02-10-12, 05:48 AM
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Do manifold-style piping on the boiler supply, not a simple T. i.e., go straight up, then side-port left to buffer, side-port right to indirect

Put exp tank connection upstream of distribution circulator, i.e., between buffer and that circ. That puts the PONPC in a location that ensures positive pressure throughout the distribution system.

remove redundant air elimination on distribution side. Air elimination on top of buffer is adequate.

Are there unions on all 4 buffer connections?
 

Last edited by xiphias; 02-10-12 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 02-10-12, 07:09 AM
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Do manifold-style piping on the boiler supply, not a simple T. i.e., go straight up, then side-port left to buffer, side-port right to indirect
I'm not sure i understand, but maybe, i'll draw something that i think your are describing.

Put exp tank connection upstream of distribution circulator, i.e., between buffer and that circ. That puts the PONPC in a location that ensures positive pressure throughout the distribution system.
I understand and basically agree. However Siggy says to connect the pnopc on this style buffer
tank to either side on the lower piping.
If you look at it as connected to the bottom of the buffer, then the boiler pump and the distribution pump are both.."pumping away"
Locating it on the supply out of the buffer, causes the boiler pump to pump into it.
Thoughts?

remove redundant air elimination on distribution side. Air elimination on top of buffer is adequate
Agree it seems redundant.
Again Siggy books and articles show both types, in some cases. Placement varies and is confusing.
The buffer has a big air eliminator. Siggy also recommends a micro bubble type of eliminator.
hmm.. ??? So i was tying to work both in. ???

Are there unions on all 4 buffer connections?
There can be. Probably good idea. Yes.


Thanks for the comments Xiphias,
Peter
 
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Old 02-10-12, 07:19 AM
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Hi Tim,
Did you open the link?
The drawing pic that is embedded looks lousy.

I would add boiler drains above your ZVs so you can power purge each zone easily.
Did you see them on the returns?
It is piped like this now and is easy to purge.

Question. Where should the zone valves be?? On the return or the supply?



Assume there will be an expansion tank?
Yes, it's the big blue floor standing thing in front of the buffer.

Try to provide 12 pipe diameters upstream of the check valve on the HWH (I realize it's illustrative)
Ahh Thanks for that info Tim!
I'll have to figure that out.

Will HWH be on priority?
No plans to.
I don't use a whole lot of hot water and things are fine now, without it.
Coming from a restaurant backround, i have this "thing" for hot water.
Typically 140-150.
So maybe keeping it that hot, is why i never seem to run out.

Is there a possibility the boiler loop could become air bound?
I wondered about that too.
Maybe the micro bubble eliminator should go on the boiler supply?
dunno'

Thanks for encouragement on the drawing,
Peter
 
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Old 02-10-12, 09:45 AM
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THere is debate over ZVs on supply or return. From what I gather the only pro to being on the return is lower temps, which some claim extend life of the ZV.

From my point of view, you are more likely to get water hammer/noisy ZVs when the are on the return.. as you have all of the water in the loop in motion when the valve closes.

So, barring any installation instructions to the contrary, I would install ZVs on the supply side.

I recommend installing the boiler drain downstream of a ZV installed on the supply side. If you needed to purge, you could connect a washer hose to that drain and pump fresh water through the loop to the boiler drain on the return side.

A step further would be to add a full port or gate valve downstream of the ZV, so you could isolate the valve relatively easily for replacement.

The alpha will maintain the flow when the ZVs open, but what about balancing flow between the ZVs? Do you foresee having to balance them at all?

My last thought is what happens when the HWH and the heating circuit call at the same time. I think this is really just a math problem based on boiler size and HWH size. Is it possible to overcome the 3-way valve and drop the return temps below 130?
 
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Old 02-10-12, 10:14 AM
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Hi Tim,
The existing plumbing has gate or ball valves before every zone valve, the zone valves are on the supply and the returns have boiler drains and shut offs. Balancing has not been an issure currently, but with full ODR, it might be tweakable.
I like your idea of boiler drains on both ends. Will do.

Is it possible to overcome the 3-way valve and drop the return temps below 130?
Yes it might.
But remember we are dealing with low sulpher oil and a safe temp is said to be 115.

Right now i have both the IHW circulator and the system circulator connected to the lo limit on the aquastat. Either or both pumps shut off if the internal boiler temp at the a'stat drops below 120 more or less. When this happens it is typically only for 2-3 minutes, sometimes 4. I think i can live with the IHW dropping the temp below 115 for a few minutes, as it is usually a long enough call to really heat things up.
If the house makes a heat call at the same time, i think the ESBE will probably bypass enough flow to keep things hot enough. IF not it won't be for too long a time.
In the summer from a stone cold start, the IHW and boiler could be cold for a while. If this seems to be a problem, i can connect a aquastat to the IHW return and keep the pump off until the boier heats up some. A more expensive solution would be a delta T pump.

As far as the exiting plumbing goes..
I'm not sure if we are going to replace every valve and re-pipe everything, or just connect to the existing piping.

I'm sure the best plan is to go with all new valves, boiler drains and zone valves along with a nice new, neat set-up.
Three of the zone valves are the Taco greens and are almost 30 years old. The rest all gold. Three are 10 years old and the other two are 4 years old.
Some of the 30 year old gates are greenish white-ish leaky looking.
Everything else looks good.

Peter
 
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Old 02-10-12, 03:57 PM
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Only having glanced over the drawing and the rest of the posts... I'm gonna shoot a few comments.

If you have purge stations as shown on the return side, you don't need more valves on the supply side.

What size is the tapping on the top of the BB ? Why not establish the entire BB as your PONPC by piping the expansion tank and the CWS into the top of the tank? Isn't that BB's recommendation?

Are you using a floor standing exptank?

Agree that you don't need the extra air sep. When water flows into the tank, because of it's size, the flow will slow WAY down and any bubbles, micro or otherwise will float to the top of the tank and get farted out.

Do you need the heat trap on the boiler side of the indirect? If using an IFC pump (or external FC), I would think no.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 05:12 PM
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Glad you weighed in NJT.
Hope you can get a chance to read back a bit.

Anyway.
Tim talked me into the double purge stations, if i understood him corrrectly, see below.

I think i have a few BB drawing with the pnopc piped into the top.
Siegenthaler says to connect to either side of the bottom. I believe doing so, will accomplish what you posit, yes.
Not sure about the tapping, but looking at it, it seems to be at least 1/2 maybe 3/4.

OK on the extra air scoop.

Floor standing tank 20 gal, maybe 15.


As far as the heat trap goes.
There is a check valve on the existing setup, on the return. I have insulation on the supply, but it sure does get hot. So i thought it might be a good idea. dunno' for sure.


Thanks,
Peter
 
  #10  
Old 02-10-12, 05:57 PM
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Latest revision for review:

best quality-
http://home.comcast.net/~k16862/Heat/BB01b.JPG

Peter


 
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Old 02-10-12, 06:14 PM
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I don't know what the details of the debate about the ZV location is, but mine are on the return side and I have no noise.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 06:18 PM
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Hello Drooplug,
What brand of valves are they?

Peter
 
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Old 02-10-12, 06:35 PM
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Correct on supply manifold approach.

Lose the heat trap for the indirect.

Pipe the PONPC on the right side of the buffer like it was before, so you are pumping away from both pumps. Siggy has good point about location.

You can do simpler differential control than iSolar. Try Johnson a419. $60 instead of $350.

Double drains? Why? Just more stuff that will someday leak or fail. Put em on return with FP ball valve below so can do thorough purge.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 07:56 PM
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Hello Drooplug,
What brand of valves are they?
Honeywell

More characters.
 
  #15  
Old 02-10-12, 11:24 PM
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My 7 ZV are also on the return side.. Wirsbo MVAs.. only issue Ive had in 11 yrs is end switches failing (I swap out the end switch for a better unit.. a $1 microswitch and a little labour is better than a $80 MVA ..)
 
  #16  
Old 02-11-12, 04:32 PM
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Zone valves on the supply today is not a problem. Everything today is rated for 240f+.
If the purge valves are ball valves & boiler drains that would be way too many valves for me. If they are the purge set-ups with the little brass flappers inside I would throw them as far as I could away from this job site. They will not work ten - 15 years from now. I like valves but I would locate them differently. I would remove all the ball valves and boiler drains under the zone valves on the supply. Move the ball valves above the zone valves for isolation. I would also remove all the boiler drains from the zones on the returns before the return line.
Use one boiler drain and ball valve on the return manifold. Opening each zone independently you will purge to one main boiler drain on return manifold and have zone isolation incase you ever encounter a zone problem .
Balancing won't be a problem with Alpha pump, the pump will take care of it.
 
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Old 02-11-12, 05:12 PM
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Hmm.
I'm getting confuzzeled as NJT might say.
Every conceivable way possible to do the zones has been recommended.
What to do.
I wish thy that hath differing opinions would start some arguments with each other
Please.
I'd like to settle this:
if possible

I was thinking of something like this on the returns:

http://www.webstonevalves.com/custom...ldrain_det.png


Yes? No? Maybe?
Any opinions?

Thanks,
Peter
 
  #18  
Old 02-11-12, 05:15 PM
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What rbeck is saying is that you don't need a valve on each zone. You can use one 'common' valve for all the zones on the return manifold and save a bunch of money. Those webstones are nice, but that many are gonna buy quite a few cases of beer!

I think these:

purge set-ups with the little brass flappers inside
He means the purge valves with a 'butterfly' flap inside and the 1/4 turn screwdriver slot. He wants you to use these for batting practice.


image courtesy mrsupply.com
 

Last edited by NJT; 02-11-12 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 02-11-12, 05:25 PM
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OK, then. If 'tis agreement thou seekest, I'm with rbeck.

On supply, zone valve, then FP ball valve above.

On each return, only FP ball valve. Then one drain on the main return line, just upstream of the FP ball valve you have already drawn. That way you don't have to spend $$ on those fancy webstone widgets. Each zone can be isolated, and whatever one you are draining or purging goes through to the single drain point.
 
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Old 02-11-12, 05:44 PM
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Try Johnson a419
Nice! Can also be configured to do just what the Ranco control does...

http://cgproducts.johnsoncontrols.co...PDF/125188.PDF
 
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Old 02-11-12, 06:27 PM
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Nice! Can also be configured to do just what the Ranco control does...

http://cgproducts.johnsoncontrols.co...PDF/125188.PDF
Agree this is nice.

I'm not sure i can post purge the boiler without a differential T stat.
It's not like just pumping the heat out into the house.
A single setpoint won't stop the heat from the IHW tank from re-radiating out of the boiler.
The pump must only run as long as the boiler supply is hotter than the IHW return and there is not heat call.

I can't even beging to understand how to purge into the buffer, once the ESBE starts to close.
Maybe a simple time delay when turning off for that pump to give it a few more minutes than the Tekmar control's 2 mintue post purge.


Newest drawing almost ready.


Peter
 
  #22  
Old 02-11-12, 06:38 PM
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Those webstones are nice, but that many are gonna buy quite a few cases of beer!
Have to go with out porterhouse's for a time.
Peanuts compared to what it will cost to change out all the older Zone valves.
3 are almost 30 years old
3 are 10 years old
2 are about 4 years old.

Opinions?

Peter
 
  #23  
Old 02-11-12, 07:07 PM
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Latest version:

http://home.comcast.net/~k16862/Heat/BB01d.JPG




Peter
 

Last edited by PeterNH; 02-11-12 at 07:16 PM. Reason: Drawing Error Globes over zone valves should be Ball Valves
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Old 02-11-12, 07:41 PM
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Belimo makes nice zone valves. Not cheap, but low power draw. Come in normally open and normally closed, too (so do others).

But on a budget suggest the Taco EBV or whatever it's called now (Zone Sentry?).

Post purge is nice, but I wouldn't break the bank doing it. Not sure I understand the logic/action in post 21. Two minutes is plenty.
 
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Old 02-12-12, 09:02 AM
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Two minutes is plenty.
Interesting.
My 20 year old super-stor probably has a foot of iron sediment in the bottom.
It heats water ok, but likely doesn't transfer that fast anymore.
Or maybe becuase i keep it set so high. 150.
I have a manual switch for the pump and it can take 5-10 minutes, after a DHW cycle to equallize the temperature from the boiler supply and the super-stor return.

What temperature do you have your SS set at?

Peter
 
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Old 02-12-12, 09:13 AM
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Belimo makes nice zone valves. Not cheap, but low power draw. Come in normally open and normally closed, too (so do others).

But on a budget suggest the Taco EBV or whatever it's called now (Zone Sentry?).
Hello Xiphias,
Which brand do you think is higher quality/ longer lasting?

I have read about early problems with the original Taco EBV.
Currently they claim all is well.
I'd hate to replace prefectly good working zone valves, with stuff that won't last more than 5-7 years.
Seems to be hard to souce Belimo's online.

The new Taco's are very low power and i have been thinking of using them. 1.5 watts after the cap is charged. Quite low!
Especially if they are going to be open a lot of the time with constant circulation.
Yes, they are now called Zone Sentry.
$72.00 each in quantity.
What i could find for Belimo, seemed to be around $90.00 or more.


Peter
 
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Old 02-12-12, 09:32 AM
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I wonder myself why Taco has changed the name of that zone valve... I believe this is the 3rd incarnation.
 
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Old 02-12-12, 10:04 AM
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3rd times the charm.
or
3 strikes and your out

Which will it be???

wo is me wo is me
 
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Old 02-12-12, 10:56 AM
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Since you are using a floor mount tank, you might not need this, but I'm sure you're familiar with the RBFF gadget?


image courtesy bostonheatingsupply.com

Webstone has a similar, without the gauge and the multi-position valve:


image courtesy johnstonesupply.com
 
  #30  
Old 02-12-12, 11:01 AM
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I think floor mounted is much safer weight wise, etc.
I was wondering if the is a way to adapt that to a floor tank.

Any opinions B+G vs Amtrol.
 
  #31  
Old 02-12-12, 11:25 AM
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Indirect at 140.

Belimo probably best sourced through distributor or supply house.

Taco vs. Belimo? Dunno. Flip a coin. Both have good reputations.

Normally open could be good for the zone(s) that will be constant circ or nearly so.
 
  #32  
Old 02-12-12, 12:46 PM
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With a buffer tank do you really want to post purge?
Personally I would not even use the EBE valve or a bypass. I have cast iron boilers in large cast iron systems. I just pipe p/s, as you are doing, and reduce the flow through the boiler to a 30 - 40f delta-t. The more zones and the use of copper tube baseboard less reason to worry about flue gas condensation. Smaller zones, less need for boiler protection. Flue gas condensation is only a worry if you are not getting above dew point with in a reasonable amount of time before the boiler shuts down. I usually use a boiler bypass on large cast iron systems if not piped p/s. Piped p/s we can just reduce the flow through the boiler. When considering boiler condensation we need to worry more about the volume of cool water more than the temperature. Less water volume in boilers means slow down the flow to mix in the boiler. It all is about flow of cool water to flow of hot water in the boiler. You can do the math to determine the delta-t required to avoid flue gas condensation.
 
  #33  
Old 02-12-12, 02:36 PM
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Hello RBeck,
If i understand.
Having a buffer tank will lengthen the cycle time far greater than what i'm used to seeing now.
Using someting like a Taco 00 delta T pump, would slow down the flow enough that the water could come out hot enough to prevent condesnation inside the boiler.
What about the cold lower corner where all that cold water comes in?

As long as the average of the supply and return are over 120 degrees you don't think there would be a problem?
I can see lots of sunny days, where the out door reset would target 80-90 degree temps. Those temps would heat the cooler zones no problem.
It worries me having 50 gallons of 80-90 degree water returing to the boiler?
Not to worry?

Xiphias, way back, also questioned the need for the thermal bypass.

Thanks for your time,
Peter
 
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Old 03-14-12, 02:26 PM
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Hello Friends,
Well the control theory has hit a snag.
When using a single Temkar control of any type, There seems be no way to have the control run the indirect water heater. (and all the benifits that go with it) - If the supply sensor would be placed on the buffer tank.
The sensor needs to be right at the output of the boiler supply to be able to target the boiler temperature.

Back to square one.

Peter
 
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Old 03-14-12, 04:56 PM
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Why not segregate the indirect control from the 260 ? Wire the a'stat on the wh to the TT on the boiler control, in parallel with the 260 ? You could also fire a simple relay with the WH a'stat in order to gain priority... have SPDT contact break the TT from the 260 and connect the TT from the WH ?

An 'OR' gate if you will.

Run WH pump from another pole ?

(If you do that you can probably get away with the less expensive 256 since you won't need the extra functionality of the 260)
 
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Old 03-14-12, 06:19 PM
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Hello NJT,
Ya, That works, pretty much just leave it wired as it is right now.
I don't need priority. Never needed it, never run out of hot water.
Shame not to be able to use all the built in Tekmar purge capabilities.
Well, i guess we have the ability to build our own purging.

Wish Tekmar would make a control specifically` for buffered systems.

They have a 406, but it is geared to heat pumps and after reading about it for hours today, i don't think it would work for my mess.


Peter
 
  #37  
Old 03-14-12, 06:37 PM
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AFAIK the Tekmar will just fire the boiler to the Boiler Max setting when there is a DHW call. The only reason to use the Tekmar for DHW is 1) cool digital DHW temp readout and 2) simplicity

I don't think you lose anything by sticking with a separate control (other than #1 and #2).

When you use the DHW you also lose return temp monitoring.

Tim
 
  #38  
Old 03-14-12, 06:40 PM
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You could ask tekmar, and/or ask your local distributor, which the tekmar site says is Fluid Industrial Associates in Walpole. They once sent me a very nice diagram for my system when we hit a "do it this way? or that way?" spot.
 
  #39  
Old 03-27-12, 07:29 AM
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Hello Xiphias,
I sent a message to Tekmar via their web site.
I got a nice reply from Sharla, she asked for a drawing, but mentioned the 260 and 401.
I replied that, due to the sudden onset of hot weather and pressing outdoor needs, it would be a while before i could send it.

Peter
 
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Old 03-27-12, 07:35 AM
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Hello Friends,
The Boiler Buddy project has hit another, ugly snag.

When taking a close look at existing piping, while pondering the new set-up, i've found something that has stopped me cold.

About 10 years ago, when i built the model railroad room and addded heat to it, the porch and the garage, the plumbers that did the work used 5/8" Wisbro HePex, to run to the new baseboards.
Sadly they also used Copper Bell Hangers to supoort the pex in the cellar, on the old beams.
Upon looking at the pex in the hangers, i now see where the oxygen barrier has been rubbed loose and is off completely around each bell hanger. About 1-2 inches at each hanger is affected.

I am worried sick about oxygen entering and wrecking everything.

What to do?
a- replace all the old pex and use new hangers.. (diffficult and time expensive)

b- Use heat exchangers and more pumps and expansion tanks? (two defferent temperature zones are involved.)

c- Use some sort of chemical additive?

d- Don't worry, do nothing and leave it as is?

The final plan was just about ready and the work was about to start..

What would you do?

Thanks,
Peter
 
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