Toe kick heater and monoflo tee's

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Old 12-18-12, 01:01 PM
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Toe kick heater and monoflo tee's

Ok so let my attempt to get right into it. I have a parallel hot water system feeding 7 radiators. Im doing a kitchen remodel and removed the radiator and attempted to install a toe kick hydroponic unit in its place. I selected a Beacon Morris K120 unit from pexsupply.com I also purchased the soft line install kit to make things easier and serviceable. Problem in short is I have not water flowing through the unit and therefore no heat.

A little about the installation and my system. I have ALOT of water in my system. It starts out with large iron piping. I want to say 4" or so? It steps down gradually as it gets to the end. I think the smallest it gets at the end is 3/4 which is also what is used to run to each radiator. This is also what was originally run to the radiator in the kitchen. In the basement I removed a but of the piping on supply and return side and installed sweat fittings that take the 3/4 threaded iron type pipe down to a 1/2 sweat fitting. Here Ive sweat in the hose barb for the soft piping on the install kit. It makes a short run to the K120 and thats it. I also have ball valves on the supply and return in the basement so I can isolate the unit or throttle the supply if I need to (doubtful). I also installed a bleeder valve on the return side right as it exits the K120 (im a little disappointing it doesnt have one built in or included)

I have bleed all the air from the unit several times. I probably have bleed out a gallon of water through the bleeder just to be sure. Anyway so it doesnt seem to be airlocked. However I still have no water flowing through the system.

I HAVE NOT installed monoflo tees. It does mention that its a good idea i guess I was under the impression that since my original setup didnt use one that this should be fine. Not? Is it something to do with the pressure differentials? I dont know how I would even incorperate a monoflo tee into my system because the current T is like a 4" through and a 3/4" tee off. Plus I wouldn't even want to attempt to disassemble the large piping especially during the beginning of winter.

Can anyone educate me of give me a clue as to whats wrong and what I could do to fix it? If I need pictures to help let me know what you would like pictures of and I can add them quickly.

Thank you for any help!
Ethan
 
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Old 12-18-12, 01:07 PM
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Could you take a pic of the tees on your system?

All the kick heaters I installed always had one monoflo tee either on in or out side.

Yes , why will water go into a 1/2 kick heater when it has a big 4" pipe to go through....

I feel your tees may be monoflow from what you describe but we would like to see pics.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 01:27 PM
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Mike is correct - you need one or preferably two monoflo tees. (Two tees will provide more flow - one is installed backwards from the other.)

I am surprised that your main is 4" - but I agree, not sure where you'd ever find a monoflo tee that size. (Was this originally a gravity system?) You may have to install a globe valve between two regular tees, and throttle the main to divert flow through the kicker. Another idea would be to intall a small jockey-type pump in the supply to the heater and hook it up to run whenever the main circulator pump runs. The pump idea would avoid unbalancing the system compared to the throttle valve in the main.

You may think you have eliminated the air in the kicker, but very possibly not. They can be very troublesome to eliminate the air. Best to install power flush fittings: a ball valve on the return from the heater, just upstream of the tee, and a quarter-turn drain valve just upstream of the ball valve. To positively eliminate air, shut the ball valve and and fully open the drain valve and let it discharge into a bucket. You will save time an aggrevation if you bite the bullet and install the power flush.

A kick space heater has long tubing with many turns, sort of like an air-conditioning evaporator - that alone makes it much more difficult to bleed than a regular radiator.
 

Last edited by gilmorrie; 12-18-12 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-18-12, 03:12 PM
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Before we go all cuckoo for MoFlo's...

I have a parallel hot water system feeding 7 radiators
What do you mean by 'parallel' ?

You have a separate SUPPLY and RETURN pipe running all around?
 
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Old 12-18-12, 04:51 PM
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Good point; I withdraw my monoflo tee comments. But I think we really do need to see photos of the system and how it is piped.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 05:16 PM
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I dont know how I would even incorperate a monoflo tee into my system because the current T is like a 4" through and a 3/4" tee off.
We will wait for the reply but he would still IMO use a monoflo and tap off the 3/4 sides going to the nearest rad....No?

That would be the only logic with a parallel system with 4" main. ( I cant imaging 4" though. I would like to see it.)



I removed a but of the piping on supply and return side and installed sweat fittings that take the 3/4 threaded iron type pipe down to a 1/2 sweat fitting. Here Ive sweat in the hose barb for the soft piping on the install kit. It makes a short run to the K120 and thats it.


Sounds like thats what he may have done....




Would he need to connect supply and return and use monoflo's?




 

Last edited by NJT; 12-18-12 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 12-18-12, 07:24 PM
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Would he need to connect supply and return and use monoflo's?
I think it IS connected to supply and return, but I don't see how one could use MoFlos ...

We know that water flows from higher to lower pressure, that's given. I would think that there would be enough pressure differential between the supply and return to have adequate flow.

Let's wait and see some pics.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 07:31 PM
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You see my post #6 Troop , last pic, where I show the connected supply and return? What syour take?

Not sure you will get proper flow with 1/2 in parallel with all other rads 3/4.... No?. Least resistance?

Just saying...



Yes we will await pics
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 12-18-12 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 12-18-12, 07:55 PM
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Sounds to me like it's possible to pipe it back to the boiler room with 3/4" PEX.
Anytime you deal with old gravity cast iron age, and tie new power circulated age items into the system flow issues arise.

For me, I pipe back to the mech room and add a pump where possible. Even coming off a tee very near the pump can help a great deal. One can even add a globe valve in there to throttle the old oversized CI rads piping to offer a bit of friction.

I think the idea of a monoflow tee would help entice flow on the supply side, but I think a 4" monoflow tee is unobtanium these days. Heck I have never seen them, but I do tend to run quickly away from monflow piping.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 08:24 PM
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TO, I was thinking that only ONE pipe, probably the return could be piped back to the boiler to increase the delta P and have enough flow.

I seriously doubt that it's 4" pipe.

This is why REVERSE return is how all two pipe should be done. Equal length runs to/from boiler in all cases, promotes more equal flow. In direct return systems the delta P decreases the further from the boiler you get. The first rads in the line 'hog' all the flow. Reverse return, no hogging.



Yes, a monoflo would tend to increase delta P, but ONLY if it's not at the end of the line... I mean, how would you pipe a tee on the end of a run anyway?

BUT, that monoflo would affect downstream distribution... might lose flow to downstream rads by 'hogging' flow into toekick.

Home runs back to boiler, best choice.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 08:32 PM
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Ethan, Is the return pipe/tube from the toe kick getting warm? Can you tell if there is ANY flow at all?
 
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Old 12-18-12, 08:45 PM
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Ok not to flood the OP's original question... We have not heard a reply back.

Reverse, or direct, look one in the same. Could be same pipe length and looks no different.

Yes, a monoflo would tend to increase delta P, but ONLY if it's not at the end of the line... I mean, how would you pipe a tee on the end of a run anyway?
I only put my pic at the end of the line but I think it would work anywhere. Would crossing supply and return on one rad with a monoflo affect the system? First on the line? Second? I think not..but would need to Analyze more....

You guys are smarter them me I think and possibly you can state why this would be untrue.

I think you need to get into a whole mathematical formula...




 
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Old 12-18-12, 09:11 PM
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Reverse, or direct, look one in the same. Could be same pipe length and looks no different.
No... not at all the same!

In the direct return, trace the path from the boiler to the first rad, through it, then back to the boiler. How long is that path?

Now, trace the path from the boiler to the LAST rad, through it, then back to the boiler. How long is that path?

yes, a LOT longer.

Which rad will get more flow? Yes, the closest one, it will 'hog' the flow from the downstream rads unless there are 'balancing valves' on each rad.

In the reverse return, do the same path tracing...

They're both the same length, aren't they? This means that the delta P across each rad on the loop will be the same, and that means that each rad (as long as they are the same rads) will have the same flow.

In other words, with REVERSE return, the distance to/from the boiler to each radiator is the SAME LENGTH OF PIPE, whereas with DIRECT return, it is most definitely NOT the same length!


I didn't notice that you had edited the second pic...

No, that would be no improvement at all, and in fact would make for LESS delta P between supply and return of the toe kick because you would be shunting some of the flow through that connecting pipe. In fact, it may even cause less flow through ALL the radiator branches.



NO! NO MORE MATH!
 
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Old 12-18-12, 09:12 PM
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Wow this got a lot of activity quickly! sorry for the delay in my response for some reason my subscribe request didnt go through and i never got an update...

On to a few pictures and answers to questions..


When I say parallel I mean two parallel pipes running the length of the basement. 1 for supply and 1 for return. Then each individual radiator or heating unit has a separate branch off of it for supply AND return. Much like a parallel electronic circuit. I took a closer look and it looks more like 3" piping at the beginning. Still pretty big in my opinion.


Here is a picture of the toekick unit right now. Excuse the mess Im doing a kitchen remodel as i mentioned. The bleeder is on the return side.


This is looking at the boiler. The pipe coming outof the front left as your facing the boiler and then going through the green flow check valve is the supply side. The Taco circ pump is right off the boiler and then into the piping. It makes a bend towards the back of the boiler and then goes straight up into some black piping where the first couple of tees interrupt the flow. It then heads to the ceiling into the 3" pipe. See the next picture.


Here is the view with my back to the boiler. The supply piping is on the right side of the picture and you can see a little white fiberglass pipe insulation I added to it. The return is on the other side parallel to it.


Here you can see the copper piping at the lower left of the picture this is the supply coming from the boiler and then goes into the black piping and some tees. The pipe that my finger is touching is the supply that goes to the toe kick. It is very close to the beginning of the run to the boiler.


Hopefully that clears up a few questions....

Lets take another look at this picture.

Notice the large grey piping coming down on the lower left. See the next picture for a close up.


Above is the return to the boiler. The smaller grey piping in the back is the return from the toe kick. It basically has its own return.... The large grey pipe connects to the mains running the length of the basement and the copper on the right is a direct run to the upstairs bathroom which was redone in copper during a remodel i imagine.


Above is a picture of how I have the soft lines tied in. See the ball valve in the upper middle? Thats the supply. The left hand side that goes down to the boiler is the return.

Sorry for the large amount of pictures and text but I wanted to try and make this more clear...

Thanks again for any help!
Ethan
 
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Old 12-18-12, 09:18 PM
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A few more answers as I read through the replies again..

Its NOT a reverse return. For example at the end of the line it goes up to a radiator. The return from that radiator comes back down to the same spot and connects to the END (furthest away from the boiler) of the return piping. So its a standard 2 pipe parallel?

Also no I do not have warmth at all on either the supply or return piping. The only time I got hot water through the unit or up to the pipe is when I closed the ball valve on the return and opened up the bleeder and let it run for a little while. The system wasnt circulating but the pressure forced hot water upto that one unit.

Ethan
 
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Old 12-18-12, 09:24 PM
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Nice pics. Can you focus on the writing on the tees?
 
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Old 12-18-12, 09:34 PM
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OK... you've still got an air blockage, of that I'm certain.

You are basically piped with home runs back to the boiler, so pressure drop is not the problem.

Did you use FULL PORT ball valves? they don't appear to be but this time of night I can't see...

The way you have the bleeder set up, you will only be bleeding up the supply as far as the toe kick. You weren't bleeding the return from the toe kick back to the tie in near the boiler.

Since you have the valves installed, you can do this easily though.

CLOSE THE SUPPLY SIDE BALL VALVE.

Jack the pressure in the boiler a little bit (pump NOT running) and open the bleeder at the toe kick.

This will force water AND air up the return pipe and out the bleeder.

Guarantee that will work...
 
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Old 12-18-12, 09:59 PM
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iwarosa, See the pic below for an infocus closeup.



Trooper. Im not convinced yet.. See the picture below for another look at the return piping. I have that drain port inline with it. It is before the ball valve. I think they are full port but im not 100% how would I tell? Anyway the regulator with makeup water is piped into the return so when I open up any of the bleeders and the ball valve to the return is open the pressure from that and the water in the rest of the system comes back up through there. Ive bled both way with one valve open and the other closed. Then switched.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 10:13 PM
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Sorry i missed this. Where does this go?


Name:  return.jpg
Views: 4337
Size:  38.8 KB

Guarantee that will work...
Dohhhhhh!!! LOL
 
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Old 12-19-12, 06:08 AM
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haha yeah I saw that garuntee too and im thinking "those are strong words!"

Iwarosa, That picture is of the "stack" that is going down to the boiler. This is the supply side. The copper pipe on the bottom right makes its way to the circ pump and then into the boiler supply port. what you see there is the first couple of tees before it makes its way to the parallel runs that are the 3" iron piping running the length of the house. One of those first tees actually the left exit port of the horizontal tee is the feed for the toe kick heater which also has its own essentially home run back to the boiler on the return side.
 
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Old 12-19-12, 07:09 AM
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This is the return? Where is the feed?
 
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Old 12-19-12, 10:08 AM
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Flip those arrows around. That's the supply. The horizontal Greg pipe in the back against the wall is the return home run from the toe kick. That ties into the large Greg 3" piping coming down from gfhe ceiling on the left side of the boiler as you are facing the boiler.
 
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Old 12-19-12, 04:13 PM
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The horizontal Greg pipe
Is your spell checker flippin' out on us? Is that supposed to be GREY pipe?

haha yeah I saw that garuntee too and im thinking "those are strong words!"
Sometimes ya gotta 'talk dirty' to heating equipment to make it obey...

OK, you are saying that you jacked the boiler pressure to as close to the relief valve will stand, boiler not running, close toekick return ball valve, open bleeder on toekick till no more air.

Then, you jacked the boiler pressure back up to near 30, closed the supply side valve to the toekick, opened the bleeder on the toekick till no more air.

Closed toekick bleeder, opened both supply and return valves and still no flow?
 
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Old 12-19-12, 04:34 PM
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How large is the bleeder you are using? It may not be big enough to get a sufficently powerful flow to purge the air. The cat's meow is to install a quarter-turn drain valve, ball valve, or sillcock right at one of your ball valves, on the kicker side of the ball valve. That will give you a powerful flow that no air can resist. That's what I did with two Beacon-Morris kickspace heaters which I installed.
 
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Old 12-19-12, 05:39 PM
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I know of at least one case where a guy I know installed a 1/4" ball valve with a hose barb. He hung a piece of vinyl tubing under the sink and when he needed to bleed the thing, stuck that hose onto the hose barb, put the hose in the kitchen sink, and bled away... worked great!

A small bleeder will work fine as long as the air is UNDER THE BLEEDER!

In order to MOVE AIR in the piping, you need a flow of like 2 feet per second, minimum.

Yes Doug, I believe you are onto something here!
 
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Old 12-19-12, 06:17 PM
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I know of at least one case where a guy I know installed a 1/4" ball valve with a hose barb.
That's the idea. But I would choose a 1/2" ball valve. I use 1/4" for root valves on gauges.

An alternative to a hose barb is to connect an el and/or nipple to the valve discharge so it can be conveniently collected in a bucket.

Those kick-space heaters can be very challenging to purge air. It seems pretty obvious that this one is air locked.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 04:25 PM
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Sorry i havent been able to respond earlier. I have been busy installing cabinets for the kitchen and havent checked my e-mail in a while.

I jacked the boiler pressure up to around 19psi and bled it with the supply side shut off. Only water came out.

The bleeder i am using is quite small. Its like one you would find on an old radiator that your turn with a key or coin. I suppose I could install a T with a valve or something to make bleeding easier but im not sure what kind of room I have under the cabinet for additional fittings etc. Especially for a 1/2 ball valve...
 
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Old 12-22-12, 04:30 PM
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You can put the drain valve, a.k.a. bleeder, in the basement just next to an isolation valve for the kicker. No need to put it in the cabinet.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 05:20 PM
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Ethan, you ARE going to cut an access door in the bottom of the cabinet for the toe kick, yes?
 
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Old 12-23-12, 06:50 AM
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Good point I guess I could put in the basement....

Trooper - yes and no. There is an acces hole in the to kick area of the cabinet but not on the floor of the cabinet. I wanted to try and avoid this. That's why I purchased the installation kit with the soft lines. Right now all you have to do is pull the grate off and slide the h it right out. Service and then slide it back in.
 
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Old 01-08-13, 03:53 PM
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Ok, Now that the holidays are over and I have my cabinets fully installed and I made my deadline for the granite guys to come make their template im back on the kickspace heater issue.

I can put a larger drain or bleeder valve on this guy. I would prob even have room under the cabinet. I could also put it in the basement as there is room down there of course. My question is wich side should it be on? Supply or return? I think right now I have the 90 brass elbow with a 1/8" tapped hole mounted with bleeder on the return side? I cant remember and have to look at it when I get home. But does it matter whcih side its on?

also the bleeder I have right now is what you would find on a standard baseboard heater run (i think).

gilmorrie
You can put the drain valve, a.k.a. bleeder, in the basement just next to an isolation valve for the kicker. No need to put it in the cabinet.
 
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Old 01-08-13, 05:22 PM
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If you have space and access in the basement, install a webstone propal drain valve. It has a T shaped hole in the ball valve and can allow you to purge on either side of the ball valve.

http://www.webstonevalves.com/custom...l_0412-web.pdf

This is a link to the valve, it's the first in the brochure.

Might do the trick, and you will know for sure that all the air is out.
 
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Old 01-08-13, 05:44 PM
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Yes, I used those on my recent install... like them a lot.

TO, while on the subject of these valves, can you think of a reason to not cut the stop tab off the end of the handle so that no disassembly is required to change which side of the valve the drain is from?

Certainly would make it so much easier when using one for 'dual direction' purging and draining.
 
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Old 01-08-13, 09:28 PM
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none at all.
I think it would be there just so people have a reference as to open and closed.

I don't use them that much, they can get pricey.
At 3/4" and 1" they are good value.
 
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Old 01-09-13, 07:41 AM
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Ok that Webstone valve looks pretty neat actually.

however Im a little confused between the difference of the ball drain valve and the union ball drain. Will the standard ball drain valve still allow me to drain from either side of the ball with out additional valves? If so then whats the differance between the two?

Also they dont seem to have the union ball valve in 1/2?

thanks for the advise guys.

Ethan


EDIT: I guess I see the difference now. The union valve literally has a union built it to remove part of a system I suppose? So in that case I am ok with just the standard ball valve from what I can tell...
 
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Old 01-09-13, 08:41 AM
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This looks like it might be the most accessible point to install that valve. You can lose the 'pinhole' bleeder... there are different varieties of the valve available. One is threaded on one side and sweat on the other... but if you go with the 1/2" you will probably need to adapt down to your steel pipe size (3/4") ... or use a 3/4" valve threaded onto the pipe and adapt down to 1/2" on the sweat side... or use a threaded valve BOTH sides and use threaded adapter down to the 1/2" copper.

I guess you could also use the 1/2" sweat both sides and just cut out the pinhole bleeder and replace with the valve... use the 'slip repair' couplings to join the pipes back together...

Grind the tab off the handle so you can easily purge both sides.



The union valve literally has a union built it to remove part of a system I suppose? So in that case I am ok with just the standard ball valve from what I can tell...
Yes and yes.
 
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Old 01-09-13, 12:46 PM
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Ok i think ill pick one of these up from pex supply. What does IPS mean and CxC and SWT mean?

If I had to guess I would think SWT = sweat and IPS is threaded? However the on that I found on pex supply is CxC and it appears to be sweat both sides.... any ideas?

Here is the link 50612 - Webstone 50612 - 1/2" SWT Webstone PRO-PAL Ball Valve w/ Drain

Thanks,
 
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Old 01-09-13, 05:23 PM
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What does IPS mean and CxC and SWT mean?
I know, gets confusicating as all heck, don't it?

I wish they would throw out the "IPS" acronym. It's vague and can be confused with STRAIGHT threads but all the threads we use are TAPERED.

IPS = Iron Pipe Size but it USED TO mean Iron Pipe Straight. It doesn't denote Male or Female as MNPT, MPT or FNPT, FPT do. (male and female pipe thread.) Sometimes you will see MIPS and FIPS which do denote sex.

Yes, SWT = SWeaT generally the same as C.

C x C means that a Copper pipe will fit in, and be SWT'd in place. These are FEMALE 'sockets'.

Along with this, you may see FTG which means FITTING size. This is a MALE end. It might be used for a STREET ELBOW which has a C on one side and a FTG on the other.

FTG fits INTO a C. (:NO NO NO: don't even go there! )
 
  #39  
Old 01-09-13, 09:30 PM
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Thanks for the info trooper!

I was able to install a quarter turn 1/2" valve by the toe kick and bleed quite a bit out on both the supply and return side. I fired up the circ pump and furnace and the toe kick got hot water flow basically right away. You guys were righ about my bleeder not getting enough flow. It really should be mentioned in the instructions that this type of purging might be required. It doesn't even really mention to place a bleeder valve at all. Kind of am important detail if you ask me.

I think for any future installations I'll be purchasing some of those web stone valves. They seem like a really nice package even for the price. I spent more then the price of one on the tee and valve plus hosse barbs I needded make my own.

Anyway. Thanks for the advise and help on this. I do appreciate it.

Ethan
 
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