How can I lower return temps on a mod con

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Old 11-24-13, 12:44 PM
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How can I lower return temps on a mod con

I have the WM ultra 105 (just install in the spring of this year)
2 zones of finned HWB (Tasco 007 circulators ) plus amtrol DHW tank
I have read numerous times the best bet is to have the return temps 130 or below.
Mine are in the mid 140s
Is there a way I can lower that temp?
Would there be a problem closing the valves a little??
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 12:49 PM
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Actually I just checked and return temp is 150
 
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Old 11-24-13, 02:14 PM
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Is there a way I can lower that temp?
What have you got BOILER MIN and MAX set to?

Were all the settings 'tweaked' when the boiler was installed? Was the 'heating curve' properly set up for your home?

Would there be a problem closing the valves a little??
Yes, that's counter-productive, you don't want to do that.

How is the system piped Charlie? "Primary-Secondary" with closely spaced tees?

Thing about return temps is that they depend entirely on SUPPLY temps and how much 'heat emitter' capacity you have in the home.

As example, let's say your home has 50,000 BTUH heat loss.

In order to maintain the temperature in the home you would have to have heat emitters that are capable of replacing that heat lost at the same rate. So, if you were using say fin-tube baseboard rated at 500 BTU per lineal foot AT 180F WATER TEMPERATURE, you would need to have 100' of baseboard installed in the home.

At lower water temperatures... say 140F ... that same 100' of baseboard will not produce 500 BTU per lineal foot. And it won't keep the home warm.

This means that on a cold day when you need that 50K, the water temperature going to the home NEEDS TO BE 180F or the home will lose temperature.

It also means that the RETURN temps will be about 20F cooler... 160F or so.

In order to keep the RETURN temps LOWER, you also need to keep the SUPPLY temps LOWER, and the only way to do that would be to OVER-RADIATE the home.

In other words, you need to have MORE HEAT EMITTERS installed so that the home can be properly heated with lower temperature water.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 04:28 PM
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My mistake,,,its a WM ultra 80 . NOT 105
What have you got BOILER MIN and MAX set to?
I dont see a min(how can I find that out?) ,I do see a max setting and its at 180.
Were all the settings 'tweaked' when the boiler was installed? Was the 'heating curve' properly set up for your home?
I very much doupt it,And heres why,,,,,,
Getting this installed was a nightmare. 3 different contractors.First guy had me buy a WM ULTRA 155 .After buying it and doing the a heat loss calculation myself ,I found out it was WAYYY to big. So I bite the bullet and went with the 80 ultra(YES,I STILL HAVE THE 155)hopeing to sell on CL) Needless to say that contractor didn't come back. Second contractor fried the board and 2 thermostats ,third contractor came in to repair the second contractors stuff.
Even though second guy new more about it and DID get everything up and running. He said the Outdoor reset sensor and the supply and return sensor are more trouble then thier worth .I ended up installing then myself
Yes, that's counter-productive, you don't want to do that.
OK, Thank You
How is the system piped Charlie? "Primary-Secondary" with closely spaced tees?
YES,it has the Weil mclain easy up manifold.
1" lines gose from the boiler to the start of each zone which then turns into 3/4" lines
1 zone has @60' baseboard
2 zone has @45' baseboard
What kind they are ,I dont know? They stand about 7-8" tall.

In order to keep the RETURN temps LOWER, you also need to keep the SUPPLY temps LOWER, and the only way to do that would be to OVER-RADIATE the home.
In other words, you need to have MORE HEAT EMITTERS installed so that the home can be properly heated with lower temperature water.
2 things sound feasible in my feble mind. PLEASE TELL ME IF I'M WRONG
#1 = This past summer I insulated all the Baseboard piping in the crawlspace.
How about taking the insulation off??
#2= couldn't I tie 20-30' OF FIN on the supply lines in the crawlspace ?
Or dosent it work like that?
 
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Old 11-24-13, 05:06 PM
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You should find that the supply (and return) water temps vary depending upon the outdoor temperature, it's part of the heating curve Trooper is referring too. That's something that the controller on the boiler needs to be programmed for.

If it's warm outside you'll have a low supply temperature. As it gets colder it's going to rise. At some point you'll hit maximum supply temperature.

It's OK if you aren't always below 130.

Right now it's 19 where I am. My return is at 152. If it was 45 out it would be about 122 (temps in f).

Look up how to adjust the heating curve. It's much easier than adding/removing radiation.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 05:10 PM
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Leave insulation on...

If you want to add BB in crawl add to second zone with the 45 ft...


Great you have the manifold........


Here is the user manual..
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/assets...0_0809_WEB.pdf

What is your heat loss calc????? Your baseboard shows 55K BTU it can supply at 180f boiler water...

Page 29 starts with settings in the link above... let us know what all is set at...............
 
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Old 11-24-13, 05:23 PM
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Actually starts on page 84 or so...


http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/assets...0_0809_WEB.pdf
 
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Old 11-25-13, 08:06 AM
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let us know what all is set at...............
Yes, report the settings the control is using now. We'll take a look and see if anything looks out of line.

I don't think adding fin-tube to the crawlspace makes any sense at all. Sure, you would be 'dumping' heat and the return might be a few degrees cooler... but at what cost? Much of the heat you would be dumping to the crawl would end up wasted.
 
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Old 11-25-13, 08:35 AM
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How too lower return water temperature.

What is wrong with using a buffer tank too lower return water temperature to boiler for higher efficiency?
 
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Old 11-25-13, 08:46 AM
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The extra expense of the tank and other hardware, the extra labor to install, the extra floor space that the tank needs.

When the solution may be as simple as reviewing and possibly changing a few settings of the boiler control it doesn't make much sense to discuss the merits, or demerits of a buffer tank.

Buffer tanks should always be a 'last resort' for the above reasons. We're not there yet... are we?
 
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Old 11-25-13, 08:57 AM
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How to lower boiler return water temperature

No we are not there yet and I will be very interested to see a simple solution that will keep the return water temperature below 130f during cold weather.
 
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Old 11-25-13, 05:49 PM
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aandpdan
You should find that the supply (and return) water temps vary depending upon the outdoor temperature, it's part of the heating curve Trooper is referring too. That's something that the controller on the boiler needs to be programmed for.
If it's warm outside you'll have a low supply temperature. As it gets colder it's going to rise. At some point you'll hit maximum supply temperature.
It's OK if you aren't always below 130.
Right now it's 19 where I am. My return is at 152. If it was 45 out it would be about 122 (temps in f).
Look up how to adjust the heating curve. It's much easier than adding/removing radiation.
Yes ,the temps are varying with the outside temp,when I saw the return temp at about the same as the supply temp I panicked alittle.
I did a search on how to adjust heating curvebut came up empty.Is there different search words I should be useing?

lawrosa
My heat loss results are =
UA(BTUhr-F)=851
DesignLoss=55293
year loss=102.1
Fuel cost=$1276(10year=$20327)
Thank you for the link you provided,

NJ Trooper
Yes, report the settings the control is using now
Are these the setting your referring to ?
HIGH LIMIT TEMP= 200
MMSD TEMP = 80(what is that?)
ADJUST OUTDOOR = 0
 
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Old 11-25-13, 07:10 PM
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look in system settings/boiler priority 1/temps.... What are they? Thats for the indirect.

Whats boiler priority 2 temp setting say??

Zone valves right?
 
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Old 11-25-13, 07:15 PM
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No we are not there yet and I will be very interested to see a simple solution that will keep the return water temperature below 130f during cold weather.
The simple solution that is completely impractical is to set your boiler max supply temperature to 130f. Then wait for the temperatures to drop and it's going to get pretty cold in that house.

You may not see 130 during cold weather and that is NORMAL. I hit 130 supply when the temp goes below about 38f.

The boiler is fine with that.
 
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Old 11-25-13, 07:44 PM
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Are these the setting your referring to ?
HIGH LIMIT TEMP= 200
MMSD TEMP = 80(what is that?)
ADJUST OUTDOOR = 0
Yes, some of them...

I believe that "MMSD" is actually "WWSD" and is "Warm Weather Shut Down".

If that's set at 80, and it wasn't you that set that up, then clearly the installer did not have a clue.

Who would want or need to run a heating system when it's 79 outdoors?

You need to first start by reading the manual... even if you don't 'get' what the settings are right away... then go through and write down what each of the settings are adjusted to and let us know.
 
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Old 11-25-13, 07:50 PM
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If that's set at 80, and it wasn't you that set that up, then clearly the installer did not have a clue.

Who would want or need to run a heating system when it's 79 outdoors?
Default is 70f so someone changed it...

Makes me wonder what else is changed and why we are asking before any other suggestions are offered here...
 
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Old 11-25-13, 08:14 PM
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Makes me wonder what else is changed and [is also] why we are asking before any other suggestions are offered here...
Yes... my first impression was that it's not properly dialed in...

I don't think we should do much more mental flagellation until we can see how screwed up the settings are.
 
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Old 11-26-13, 03:00 AM
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You need to first start by reading the manual... even if you don't 'get' what the settings are right away... then go through and write down what each of the settings are adjusted to and let us know
Will do
If that's set at 80, and it wasn't you that set that up, then clearly the installer did not have a clue.
As I posted earlier
Even though second guy new more about it and DID get everything up and running. He said the Outdoor reset sensor and the supply and return sensor are more trouble then thier worth .I ended up installing them myself
I believe that "MMSD" is actually "WWSD" and is "Warm Weather Shut Down".
Couldent find my glasses


Default is 70f so someone changed it...

Makes me wonder what else is changed and why we are asking before any other suggestions are offered here...
I dident change anything,and to top it off I believe the company who did the final setup is authorized WM installer

AS far as the setting go ,do you want each of the System settings where it has
BOILER PRIORITY 1 = DHW / max supply 190f/ modulate on diff 5` mod of diff 5`
MAX time on=30mins(Is that why our showers get cold ?)/ MAX RATE= 85% , MIN RATE =33%
BOILER PRIORITY 2 = FTB, TEMPS= MAX supply=180 / MIN supply 130 /
MAX OD RESET 70 , MIN OD RESET 0, modulate on diff 5` mod of diff 5

BOILER PRIORITY 3 DESIGN TEMPs= MAX 190, MIN 70 ,/ MAX OD RESET 70 , MIN OD RESET 0, modulate on diff 5` mod of diff 5

I do have the TACO SR503 3 zone switching rrelay .Would that make the system setting
 
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Old 11-26-13, 03:00 PM
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Do you have this application manual?

http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...ence_guide.pdf

Is the "Application 9" on pages 26 and 27 the one that most closely matches your system?
 
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Old 11-26-13, 03:51 PM
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No didnt have that manual
Yes the picture on pg 27 looks like mine except I have 2 zones of baseboard
 
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Old 11-28-13, 07:42 AM
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Trying to get 'caught up' from the sudden mass of postings to the forum.

I would get all the settings back to the suggested values for application 9 in that manual. That way you are at a known state and can go from there.

It is very possible that with the amount of radiation that you have installed in the home that you may not be able to do much with the return temperatures. House needs heat, that amount of heat needs to be delivered by the boiler. If it takes a higher temperature water to do so then that's the compromise that must be made.

Unless your home was originally designed to heat with water under 150 supply / 130 return, your system won't run in condensing mode for the full heating season.

This is a point that the sales people either don't understand or don't tell you when they pitch a mod/con boiler.

Still, the fact is that for much of the heating season you CAN run with condensing temps, so it will save SOME fuel, just not as much as it COULD if the radiators were designed from day 1 to heat the home with cooler water.

At this point, one of the best things you can do is to remove all the covers from your radiators and clean them up spic n' span... get all the dust and pet hair out, make sure that wall to wall carpeting isn't blocking the inlet vents at the bottom, move furniture an inch or two away from the heaters... stuff like that to maximize the heat output delivered to the home.
 
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Old 12-16-13, 03:36 AM
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Finally getting back to this.
So sorry for the delay,but we had a rough few weeks following the Thanksgiving
Holiday. Spent 9 days at CHOP (Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia) ,then making arrangments,(gift of life, funeral , burial,)it was just a big mess.
I have to say this,,For those of you that dont know CHOP, this is the GREATEST Children's Hospital I have ever been to
( and to put that in perspective, you know how people get souvenirs from different states they go to? My Souvenirs are Hospital blankets that have the hospitals name on it:) )
NJ trooper, if your forum name has anything to do with your occupation I'm sure youve been to CHOP.
It's a place where they make the best out of bad situations GREAT STAFF from the Drs to the volunteers

Back to the topic , i will set everything back to suggested and go from there
Yes the Baseboards are always clean
The ultra 80 has no problem keeping the house warm, thank god i dident install the 155 (which is for sale if anyone wants it) My heat bill last month was $65 which is just to funny because last year with the oil it would have been a half a tank of oil at $3.80-$4 a gallon.
I was hoping to get the cost saving cut in half, but people said it would be more,They where right:HF2:

I know you didnt think it was a good ideal to put fin in the crawl space, but what about this ideal
My foundation walls are insulated (rigid foam) , I'm thinking ,pull the insulation out of the floor joist under the bath room and kitchen and run some fintube in the bays (pretty much where they are at in the bathroom,but would add a couple more for the kitchen floor, Then incapsulate the bays.
Is this as great an ideal as I think it is,or am I way off track:confused:
Sometimes I get these brain farts:wall:
 
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Old 12-16-13, 04:57 AM
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The mod con stops condensing at return temp of 133 (give or take), this yields about a 88% eff boiler. Your still ahead of the game v.s. the old oil fired beast.

Adding load (more rads [in a previously UNHEATED AREA), will burn more fuel.

Since the boiler does not go from 95% (during nice cool condensing return water), to 88% when the return water hits 133.. its a gradual slope.

Really, I think you would end up paying for more fuel then you would by just letting the boiler run outside the condensing window. You still have a boiler with a modulating burner and outdoor reset. This is a good thing.

Now, you could always replace your old finned tube convectors with modern low water temp finned tubes. That would be money better spent.

Maybe you can sell your 155 and buy the rads.

Good luck
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-17-13 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 12-17-13, 02:38 PM
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how can i lower return water temperature on mod con

I don't understand how adding more heat emitters will cause higher fuel consumption unless the existing heat emitters. are not able to satisfy the thermostat.
 
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Old 12-17-13, 03:02 PM
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how can i lower return water temperature on mod con

I have just found an article by John Siegenthaler P.E. titled Onward & Downward in the sept. oct. 2012 issue of H.P.A.C. page 32 . This article clears up a lot of confusion on boiler water temperature .
 
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Old 12-17-13, 03:58 PM
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If you add more heat emitters (aka LOAD) it will burn more fuel, provided that they are located in areas previously unheated. If you add more emitter to an area that currently has emitters then you will lower the required average water temp needed to heat that space
 
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Old 12-17-13, 05:19 PM
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how can i lower return water temperature on mod con

Thanks Toheating I did not connect more load to mean heating unheated areas which is logical . That article in H.P.A.C shows how we can lower heating bills by up to 30% .If the water temperature can be lowered from 190f to 100f the fuel savings is 30%. Based on the 3 to1 rule of for every 3f water temperature is lowered there is a 1% fuel savings . My boiler water temperature is 110f with an outside temperature of -6f . heat emitters are slant fin 24 ft. in a room 400sq. ft.
 
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Old 12-17-13, 06:47 PM
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Saves, please don't forget whose thread this is... Charlie started this... looks like you are hijacking. The stuff you are talking about now is not really helping Charlie. Please don't talk about YOU, not your thread. Help Charlie if you must post something.

What TO was saying to Charlie is that to add heat emitters to unheated space is adding unwanted and probably non-beneficial heating load to the system. This could result in higher bills, EVEN IF THE BOILER MOVES INTO CONDENSING MODE...
 
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Old 12-18-13, 09:24 AM
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Charlie,

The only effective way to lower the boiler output temperature is by adjusting the heating curve.

The problem is, the boiler modulates the output. It's not fixed. If you add more emitters the boiler modulates HIGHER to maintain the boiler output temp until it's at it's max output. It's going to follow the heating curve.

True, you would need a lower boiler output to heat the building with more emitters but if you don't change the heating curve, it won't happen.
 
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Old 12-18-13, 07:26 PM
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That is not an entirely accurate statement.
You would find that the thermostat will terminate the call for heat due to reaching setpoint before the water temperature got too high.
If the boilers is drastically oversized and the logic behind it modulates the burner too fast then it would get to the higher target temp, but the stat would be satisfied earlier
 
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Old 12-19-13, 03:31 PM
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For simplicity take the thermostat out of the equation. It's no different than him adding emitters into another area that the thermostat can't sense (like the crawlspace).

The mod/con is going to try to maintain the boiler output based on the heating curve. Adding or subtracting emitters won't change that so long as it is within the ability of the boiler.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 03:36 PM
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Agreed, but why would you take the stat out of the equation.
We need a stat to provide some feedback to the system, and thats what it would do in this case.
It would cause the boiler to shut down before the water temp got to high.

The one issue is that some boiler controllers allow the boiler to ramp up too quickly and this does cost more fuel.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 03:34 PM
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I just wanted to thank everyone for all the knowledge that you so willingly share.
I pretty much just put everything at factory setting and left it as is.
I'm quite happy with the results

Heres the $$ bottom line
OIL
On 11-28-12 125 gallons of oil for $457
On 1-4-2013 I took 208 gallons for $736
to 3-13-2013 I took 100 gallons for $398
By the time the new boiler was up and running the tank has may 10-20 gallons left in it
As everyone knows, this has been a brutal cold winter.
GAS Bill to date
11-29-13 I paid $64
1-7-14 = $126
1-24-14 + $159
3-4-14 + $158


Thank You
 
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Old 03-04-14, 10:44 PM
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How to maximize... blend and merge those two zones however you can. Add 40 gallons and another expansion tank. Try and run heat pipes near the cold water piping leading to toilets... lots of ways to lower those return temps.

Set the T-stat(s) to 90 and then dial the ODR curve until it stays a steady 74 except when sunny. Then back the t-stat to 68-70 with minimal setback.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 05:42 AM
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Try and run heat pipes near the cold water piping leading to toilets...
If this has any affect at all, the net result is wasteful IMHO...

Heat the water to the toilet with the boiler, then flush it away...

On the other hand, if you heat the water to the toilet, the toilet tank then becomes another radiator in the bathroom I guess.

But still, a lot of effort for little gain.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 06:09 PM
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Kinda funny,,,,
Until someone flushes the toilet after the cold water has been sitting in heat traced pipes with no stat on them, and no use for 24 hours

then it's a bit more of a surprise
 
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Old 03-06-14, 07:07 PM
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Water goes to the tank... it isn't flushing all the time. Feels more natural when you aren't heating your surroundings just by ummm... reading the paper. I did it at my last house. Don't knock it. For me it was a couple of fittings and a small piece of scrap fin tube.
 
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Old 03-14-14, 12:53 PM
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Charlieplan b,
Can you say how many gallons of gas you burned 11-29-13 to 3-4-14? That way we can compare gallons used of oil to gallons used of gas with the new system. I'm currently deciding between a Energy Kinetics EK1 (oil) and their Accel CS (propane).
Thanks.
 
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