Hydronic heat basement

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Old 12-23-13, 01:12 PM
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PICS Hydronic heat basement

Finishing walk out basement. In the basement I have about 600 sq feet. You can see the windows there are 2 34x38 windows as well as the door and the little window. The long wall with the windows is above grade and about 32 ft long by 7.5 feet tall. It stays very comfortable in the basement around 65 even when it's freezing out. I want to install the baseboard now so I can boost the temp a little. Currently in the house we have 112ft of baseboard being run on two zones. I was estimating maybe 14000 btu for the basement since it is well insulated? House is 6 yrs old. Running on gas Weil McLain gold cgi 4 pin forced hot water. Basically I just want to add another zone to the basement that we will only put on occasionally. Trying to figure out how much baseboard since it's comfortable down there maybe just 24 feet? Location is in Mass.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 01:16 PM
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Here are some pics

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Last edited by NJT; 12-23-13 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 12-23-13, 01:25 PM
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Yes.. 24 ft is exactly right.............. ( Technically 25 ft... but lengths come in 8ft.. so 3 lengths BB)

Hmmm... Are you sure you need our help???
 
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Old 12-23-13, 01:45 PM
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Trust me when I say researched this like crazy. I was thinking like a 16 foot run under the 2 windows then an 8 footer on the interior wall near the workout bench?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 01:53 PM
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I would put all 24 ft along one wall...then loop back in the same baseboard back to the boiler....
 
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Old 12-23-13, 02:01 PM
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With the door I don't think I can get 24 all in one run. Maybe 20.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 02:33 PM
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Just had the Plummer here who's gonna tie it in. He said what you had said "to run it in one run along that wall. I just have to wait for the estimate to rough and tie it in.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 02:43 PM
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Have the plummber check the air in the exp tank on the boiler when he cuts into the system..


Also not sure why there are 4 aavs on your system. Especially that you have an air scoop... ( geez I hope he dont add another one ... )

HAVE HIM CHECK THEM AND CHANGE THE ONES THAT ARE NOT FUNCTIONING...

BEST TO CHANGE THEM ALL IMO WHILE THE SYSTEM IS DRAINED....

Oh. Sorry caps lock got stuck .............
 
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Old 12-23-13, 02:45 PM
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Geez there is another behind the temp gauge I think... Thats 5 aav's........
 
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Old 12-23-13, 02:56 PM
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I am not sure what an aavs?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 03:54 PM
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automatic air vent...

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Old 12-23-13, 05:00 PM
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Ah yes. I know them as taco air vents. They are all over
 
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Old 12-23-13, 05:37 PM
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He had said I have to have another transformer installed to add zone 3. Is that a DIY or should I have an electrician put it in?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 06:01 PM
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It looks like you have Taco Zone Valves. If that's the case, you can put 3 on one 40va transformer, unless there's some special reason he wants another.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 08:44 PM
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There are already 3 valves hooked up to it. Looks one for each zone and the other for water heater I think?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 09:05 PM
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I'm kinda new to furnaces. Isn't the transformer to hook the thermostat up to? Your saying I can run another off this transformer?
You've actually got what we call a 'boiler'. Furnace is the term we use for forced hot air heater.

The transformer is used to power the ZONE VALVES. The thermostat becomes a 'switch' that applies power to the zone valve to open it when there is a call for heat. Just like a light switch turning on a lamp...

There is another switch inside the zone valve that closes when the valve opens. This switch inside the zone valve is called an 'endswitch'. When the endswitch closes it signals the boiler that the valve is open and the zone wants heat.

Each valve draws a certain amount of current. Your valves draw about 0.9 A each. Converting to VA by multiplying 24V X 0.9A = 21 VA EACH.

A 40 VA transformer really only has enough capacity to power TWO zone valves, but Taco (the manufacturer) says it is OK to power THREE valves from a 40 VA transformer. I guess maybe they are thinking that they all will never be open at the same time?

I mean, that's 60VA from a 40VA transformer!

The thing about the Taco valves is that the current isn't CONSTANT at 0.9A, once the valve opens, the heating element in the motor is turned on and off intermittently. Maybe this is the 'saving grace'?

I would say that if your guy feels that he wants to add a transformer, let him. If you want to hook up the transformer, and can wire 120VAC circuits and such, then sure, why not do it and save some trouble and perhaps money?

AT72D1089 - Honeywell AT72D1089 - Foot mounted 120 Vac Transformer with 9 in. leadwires

Mount a 4 inch utility box and run the SAME SWITCHED 120VAC source that powers the rest of the boiler controls to the box. Mount transformer on box.

One nice thing about having multiple transformers is that if one goes down you still have some heat available in the home.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 09:10 PM
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There are already 3 valves hooked up to it. Looks one for each zone and the other for water heater I think?
That would do it!

If I were doing this job and using all Taco valves, I would do some minor rewiring and do 2 & 2 on each transformer. I bet he's already thinking that!
 
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Old 12-23-13, 10:14 PM
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I could probably do this whole job myself but I'm not confident in draining the boiler/tying in sweating the pipes and pressure testing the lines. Thanks for the link. I'll order it and hook it up. So that's the transformer I need? I'm guessing with the 16 ft baseboard, pex piping, thermostat, and zone valve (did I leave anything else out) the guy should be able to do it for under a 1000.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 08:41 AM
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The indirect was never mentioned so you will need another transformer. As far as putting 2 on a transformer that's not necessary.
I live in Taco country and since 77 we've been putting up to 3 on a 40va transformer.
This comes right from Taco themselves.

What you have here is Taco engineering data, mathematics and then you have reality.

You can do whatever you feel safe with but I'm telling you in 36 yrs. I've never lost a transformer due to overloading.
On a personal note I've had 6 zone valves on 2 transformers since 1984 and they're still in operation.
In 29 yrs. I've changed 1 power head. All other components are the same.

This is just my opinion and personal experience with taco zone valve wiring.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas
 
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Old 12-24-13, 09:08 AM
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As far as putting 2 on a transformer that's not necessary.
No, it's not necessary... but if you've got two transformers, why not 'balance the load' ?

I live in Taco country and since 77 we've been putting up to 3 on a 40va transformer.
This comes right from Taco themselves.
Yep... and I did mention that even Taco says it's OK... not that I agree with them, but I do know that 3 valves have been on a 40 VA transformer for years and years and years... and I've even wired them that way. I do suspect that the heat motor being an INTERMITTENT load has everything to do with that. Control transformers are DESIGNED to survive INTERMITTENT overloads. This is why one should NEVER EVER use anything but a UL APPROVED CONTROL TRANSFORMER specifically DESIGNED FOR THE PURPOSE.

The 'intermittent' load on the Taco valves is because:

They use a 'heat motor' design to open the valve and not a synchronous motor as the Honeywell and others do.

A heat motor has a 'wax capsule' attached to a 'bellows' with a heating element coil surrounding it.

When the wax is heated, it expands, pushes the bellows, and opens the valve.

When the valve is energized, the full 0.9A is flowing through the heating element.

When the valve is fully open, there is a SWITCH inside the valve that CUTS POWER to the heating element. The valve stays open as long as the 'wax' stays hot. After the power is cut to the heating coil, the wax does begin to cool and the bellows begins to close. The switch inside reconnects and reheats the wax, keeping the valve open.

One can verify this action by connecting an amprobe to the wire from terminal 1 on the valve and watch it draw current for a few minutes, then not, then draw, then not...

This intermittent 'duty cycle' is the reason one can 'get away with' running three valves on a 40VA transformer.

And a MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
 
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Old 12-24-13, 09:12 AM
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Just picked up another transformer as well as 4inch work box. I just have to open the existing one and find out how to tap into it?
 
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Old 12-24-13, 09:13 AM
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the guy should be able to do it for under a 1000.
That sounds a little optimistic... or are you talking about labor only and you supply the materials?
 
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Old 12-24-13, 09:15 AM
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Just picked up another transformer as well as 4inch work box. I just have to open the existing one and find out how to tap into it?
Should be easy enough...

You will find the 120VAC feed into the existing box wire nutted to the black and white (some are two blacks) primary wires on the existing transformer.

Connect the new wire to those connections, run to new box, connect to new transformer.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 09:54 AM
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No I am thinking everything. The ceiling joists are wide open so the rough should be easy.
I was thinking
16ft of baseboard $150 estimate
Valve $130
Pex maybe 100 feet? $75
Thermostat and wire $50
Then sweating copper at T of existing unit?
And Labor $ ?
I leave anything out?
 
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Old 12-24-13, 11:44 AM
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I leave anything out?
Probably some odds and ends, like pex to copper fittings...

I think labor alone is going to be around 1000 ... unless your guy is REALLY hungry for work.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 12:06 PM
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Angry

$1000 for labor? That's crazy. That pellet stove option in the basement is starting to look like another option!
 
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Old 12-24-13, 12:19 PM
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$1000 for labor? That's crazy.
How long do you think he's going to be there?
 
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Old 12-24-13, 02:37 PM
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Maybe 1hr for rough the ceiling n walls are wide open. Then maybe another 4 or 5 to finish?
 
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Old 12-24-13, 02:50 PM
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I'm sure you realize he's going to probably have to drain the boiler system to cut the piping in... I would count on at least 6 hours as you've estimated, but reality is that he will probably be there all day.

How much is labor these days? 100 - 125 an hour? Remember that labor is not 'profit'... there's LOTS of unseen 'overhead' charges that unless you've ever run your own business you don't think about. Rent, insurance, benefits, vehicle maintenance, tools, fuel, heat, all those bills need to be paid.

But let's wait and see what he come in with.
 
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Old 12-29-13, 07:30 AM
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How would I connect pex to the baseboard? Would there would be sweating? Also I plan on connecting 2 8 footers together would I have to sweat those together?
 
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Old 12-29-13, 07:36 AM
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You need a pex adapter to convert... Yes sweating involve...

The baseboard gets sweated together. One end is swedged so they fit together..

16 ft? Thought it was 24 ft? I dont think 16 ft would be enough...


Also looks like not a lot of room to add a zone valve...


$1000 is cheap IMO...
 
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Old 12-29-13, 07:48 AM
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I can't just use sharkbite? That wall won't fit 24 on 1 run so I will do 2 8 footers on one wall and an 8 footer on another for total of 24. I'm going to do all the work/roughing and have him tie it in.
 
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