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Author Topic: Correct pump and heat exchanger for house and garage  (Read 2587 times)

MarkP

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Re: Correct pump and heat exchanger for house and garage
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2021, 07:37:36 AM »

I stopped at Harbor Freight Tools yesterday and bought a infrared thermometer.  I'm not sure how accurate they are, but they claim to be */- 1 degree.  I went under the house and reversed the lines on the heat exchanger.  Heat goes in the top, and out the bottom now, but that made it going in the port closest to the furnace fan.  I let it circulate about 5 minutes, and checked temperatures.  I have the boiler set on 180 degrees now, but using the infrared thermometer, the hottest part of the back of the boiler, pump, lines, etc, was 155 degrees.  I have an Emerson digital aquastat on the boiler, and I expected it to be fairly accurate.  Could it be 25 degrees less than water temperature, being exposed to outside air?  When I went under the house to check the temperate at the heat exchanger, it shows 98 degrees on any copper surface, and the pex tubing was indicating 130 degrees.  Maybe getting a reflection from the copper causing it to read wrong??  I'm more confused now than ever.  I'll try it again tonight with a Snap On thermometer.  The air temperature coming out of the registers in the house was 110 degrees, measured with a regular thermometer that uses a liquid inside a tube.  I'm not sure if they still use mercury or not, but anyways....  Assuming that the thermometer is "somewhat accurate", that is a huge drop from the boiler to the HE.  What can cause such a drop?  I have 6" -12" of fiberglass insulation around the boiler, so I'm sure it's getting little to no heat loss there.  We had a snow last week, and it didn't melt the snow off the top of the boiler.

When I ran the lines, I used coils of pex, and used foam sleeves on each, and all joints are taped.  Probably not the best way to insulate, but that's what I went with.  I already had a 6 inch pipe underground, as I had used this in the past with a different boiler.  I was able to slide the new pex inside the 6" pipe.  After I sold my last boiler, I kept the open ends of the 6" pipes covered.  If rain water had gotten inside the pipe underground, could this cause a large drop in temperature.  No evidence that it has water in it, but I'm grasping at straws now.   We are having above normal temperatures now, so it's not a good test of heating the home now, but it is to drop this weekend.

I've never had any issues with the last couple boilers I've had, and this one is testing me.   And people ask me why I drink....... :bash:
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Homemade OWB  (Smokey)
Stihl 290, 2 Stihl 170s
Tractor supply 22 ton splitter
One good woman that can cut and split wood
Le Roy, WV

RSI

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Re: Correct pump and heat exchanger for house and garage
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2021, 10:24:40 PM »

Those infrared thermometers never seem to work on pipes.
Can you hold your hand on the line at the heat exchanger? If you can keep your hand on it at all you probably are not near 180. Can you feel a big temperature difference between supply and return pipes?
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MarkP

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Re: Correct pump and heat exchanger for house and garage
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2021, 09:15:18 AM »

I've used several of the infrared thermometers, and while working as a diesel mechanic, the Snap On was the best I've used for detecting a weak cylinder on a truck engine.  It seemed to be pretty accurate.  I have no doubt that mine is a piece of crap.  As for holding my hand on the heat exchanger lines... I can't keep it there for more than a bump.  The pex doesn't seem to hold the heat like the copper does, but  that's understandable.  I can't feel a difference from supply to return, even on the pex line.  I use some dial type temperature gauges on a "craft" that I make here in WV, and I may add a "T" to the line, and screw one of those in.  With the 110 degree air temperature coming from the registers, even with the fan still set to low speed, I'm pretty satisfied that I have a high temperature at the exchanger, but I want to make sure that I don't have an excessive temperature drop.  Our temperature is to drop this weekend, so that will be a good test.  In the meantime, I'll try to get an accurate temperature reading from the exchanger.  I'm trying to knock out all the variables one at a time. 

Thanks again, and I'll keep you posted!!
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Homemade OWB  (Smokey)
Stihl 290, 2 Stihl 170s
Tractor supply 22 ton splitter
One good woman that can cut and split wood
Le Roy, WV

RSI

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Re: Correct pump and heat exchanger for house and garage
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2021, 12:32:34 PM »

If you can't feel a difference between the supply and return pipes with the blower running then it is an exchanger issue. Did you confirm that the water inlet is on the side of the heat exchanger that the our blows out of? (flow opposite directions)
If so then I would guess either it is partially air locked, you don't have enough air flow or it is just too small.
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MarkP

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Re: Correct pump and heat exchanger for house and garage
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2022, 12:11:43 PM »

Sorry I haven't checked in for a while.  I have some health issues, which includes 3 spine surgeries, and I've had a bit of a setback with the lumbar surgeries.  Procedures are scheduled for next month, and I haven't been able to get under the house and check much of anything, but with the recent snow we've had, I can see where the snow melts over the buried lines.  I can see a definite problem within 12 feet of the wood boiler.  The 6 inch snowfall we've had recently hasn't even covered the ground above the line, even with temperatures in the single digits..  That tells me I have a major heat loss in that area.  The stove can't keep up with heating the 1050 sq. ft. garage, and the 1680 sq. ft house at the same time.  I didn't have that issue when I was heating both about 4 years ago.  I'm guessing that the 6" pipe that I buried, that I run the water lines through, has water in it.  I had sold my last stove several years ago, and had tried to keep the pipe covered, in case I was ever to put new lines in with a new stove.  I think if the 6" pipe has water in it, it would create a heat loss/transfer that would melt the snow above it.  This is just theory, and my wife mentioned when she pulled the lines through, there was a little moisture on the lines.  That first 12 feet was buried about 12" deeper than the rest of the pipe, as I had to come up on the house end, to get over the footer.  This is all theory, but for me, it makes sense. 

Now...with my current health, and the first of February around the corner, I've decided that I can't make corrections at this time.  I'll just live with the heat loss to the house, and be glad I have heat in the shop.  Once good weather moves in, I'll decided what my options are to get the water out of the pipe, if that is the case.  Being that close to the boiler end, I may be able to use a shop vac and suck it out.  If not, I'll figure something else out.

As always.... I'm open to, and appreciate your suggestions.  Thanks for the help!!
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Homemade OWB  (Smokey)
Stihl 290, 2 Stihl 170s
Tractor supply 22 ton splitter
One good woman that can cut and split wood
Le Roy, WV
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