Pex for replacing all pipes supply and return on ci radiator oil water boiler

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Old 07-11-12, 11:07 AM
J
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Pex for replacing all pipes supply and return on ci radiator oil water boiler

Hello,
I have searched these forums and have received many great tips tricks and help with many of my repairs and improvements. Now I am in the need of additional help with our old farmhouse which was constructed sometime around 1850. The house has been in our family since 1900 and has seen many changes over the years.
We currently have a Liberty Slant Fin Oil Hot water boiler that was installed in approx.. 1986-1989. This system is not the most efficient and I am aware of this however the reliability has been incredible. The heating system was converted from a gravity feed system to a closed system with a circulator when the old converted coal boiler was replaced in 1986- 1989. The system is controlled by just a thermostat and runs when it calls for heat only along with the circulator.
The sytem has 5 large (4’x2’x1’) free standing ci radiators, 2 small (2’x2’x1’ & 3’x2’x8”) ci radiators, 2 rooms with ci baseboard runs, and 1 large (4’x2’x5”) wall mount ci radiator. These are all connected currently on two separate branch and t runs through the basement leaving no headroom at all. The boiler when installed was plumbed with 1 Ό” copper to the large 3” head pipes that transition down in size as they make their way across the basement and t off to the supply lines to the radiators. The supply lines are between the largest of 1 Ό” down to Ύ” copper for the runs from the basement to the ci rads and ci baseboard.
What I would like to do is replace the big header pipes and all supply lines with pex with oxygen barrier.
I was thinking of keeping the system basically as it is with the two zones coming of the boiler connecting 1” pex and branching it off too the large ci rads on the one side and small rads and baseboard on the other through either 3/4” or 1” supply lines. The returns would be routed the same manner.
I have included pictures of the boiler as it sits now and can supply any other info as needed. I know through many posts that the circulator is mounted on the return side that is wrong by most and the expansion tank is on the supply side after the circulator . Even with this set up we don’t have air problems in the radiators as they only require air bleeding maybe once a year. I also do not see a by pass for mixing return water to prevent condensing? The reason for replacing the pipes with pex is not for savings in heat so much as getting rid of pipes that have had numerous additions of T’s and branches added on through the years and the general integrity of the pipes. Not to mention less head banging in the basement a huge plus. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-11-12, 05:04 PM
R
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Have you sketched out a diagram of the current piping (showing pipe lengths & sizing, valves, fittings, etc.)? How about a diagram of the proposed re-piping? That would give the pros here something better to chew on.

I'm not a pro myself, but IMO you need to get at least some idea as to the flow and head loss of a system before you can successfully undertake a major re-pipe like that.
 
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Old 07-11-12, 05:23 PM
J
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Thanks for the idea. The reason I did not make a sketch of the current pipe route is that it has been added too and amended multiple times over the years due to additional rooms etc that have been added on. The addition of two rooms and also one additional radiator in one room that had base board only. Right now the house heats very even with just gate valves for adjustment of flow that rarely ever needs adjustment.
I will get the pipe dimensions and rough lengths as well as my proposed layout to see if that helps. Thanks again for the ideas and I wish I understood the head loss and flow requirements better.
 
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Old 07-11-12, 05:49 PM
R
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Right now the house heats very even...
That's the key. You wouldn't want to re-pipe only to discover that 1 or 2 of your emitters don't want to get hot any more.




 
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