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Author Topic: New House....New Setup  (Read 3386 times)

justinb

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New House....New Setup
« on: September 25, 2018, 10:20:01 AM »

Unfortunately, my 4 year old house burned to the ground this last spring.  We have just begun to rebuild and am thinking of doing a different setup in regards to heat.  Previously, I was heating my DHW and house heat through an exchanger in my forced air furnace.  The return line went to my 4 car garage for radiant floor heat.

To cut down on the stress of keeping the burner going all winter, here is my new plan.
--Incoming line to plate exchanger for DHW and then going to radiant floor in basement.  I will no longer use it in my forced air furnace.  From there I can go back to my garage, or run a separate line from the burner to the garage.  Not sure what is best.  I will be putting a hanging furnace unit in the garage instead of radiant floor heat.  The floor heat was nice, but for me the cost for installation wasnt worth it. 

Any thoughts on this?  I thought about supplementing heat by putting a wood stove in the basement, but not sure if that would do much for the house. Obviously, the radiant floor in basement will take care of the basement itself.  House is about 6000sqft with high ceilings
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wreckit87

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2018, 05:11:17 PM »

First, I'm sorry to hear about your loss! Nobody should ever have to go through something like that.

Second, huh?

How does changing the piping arrangement cut down on the stress of keeping the stove going? Running everything in series is likely going to murder your delta T and shock your boiler. What size and brand of underground line are you using and how far is the run? What size pump? You should really have a plate exchanger on the radiant floors and pressurize that side of the system- atmospheric radiant floors are a disaster waiting to happen. I'm not understanding why you don't want to heat the upstairs with the boiler but are considering dragging wood in the house instead. Could you further explain please?
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E Yoder

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2018, 02:52:12 AM »

Yes, sorry to hear about your fire.
I was wondering too about how the upstairs would be heated..
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justinb

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 12:25:43 PM »

I didn't explain that very well.  Let me try again.

 Relying on the OWB for heat all winter has been difficult the last few years due to changing work schedules.  To help alleviate that stress, I am considering using propane to run my forced air furnace instead of using the OWB for it.  I went through around 12-15 cords/winter just for the forced air furnace and the DHW.


I thought I may be able to cut back on wood if I hook my OWB to DHW and radiant floor in basement only.  If the fire goes out on a Tuesday night, it won't be a big deal because only my basement will cool off. 

I would like to save a bit of money on the garage.  Instead of installing radiant floor in the garage, I will install a hanging ceiling furnace.  I'm not sure if I should run a separate line to the garage or T off the the return line from the house.  My OWB has the ability to run 2 supply lines.   I T'd into the return line in my former house and it worked fine, but the garage had radiant floor heat and not a ceiling furnace.
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RSI

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 05:05:11 PM »

Is the garage attached to the house? Do you already have the pipe in the ground? If it is attached and you don't have the pipe in yet, I would just go one size larger on the underground pipe and run it as a primary loop and put everything on secondary loops.

The larger pipe size should be able to supply enough flow for everything.

Do you happen to have a source for cheap decent quality wood chips or other biomass where you are? If so, I would look at a HeatMaster B250. That would allow you to heat everything and not have to worry about keeping up with the wood supply.
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justinb

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2018, 06:57:59 AM »

Yes, the house is attached to the garage.  I have to run a new line from the OWB to the house.  Prior, I had a 5 wrap 1" Pex.   I don't know much about the B250, but i like the idea of a unit that burns less wood.  However, I do not have access to wood chips. 

What type of water temp do I want going to the ceiling unit in the garage?  DO they require a thermostatic mixing valve like radiant floors do?
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wreckit87

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2018, 06:06:57 PM »

Full temp water to the garage unit ideally. They'll perform with whatever, but output is only 1/2 as much at 120 as it is at 180. With burying new line anyway, you might opt to run 1-1/4" underground in a primary loop fashion with the plate exchangers for DHW and basement in series and make the garage a secondary loop with closely spaced tees in the primary loop? Then on a call for heat in the garage it would turn on a pump and pull hot water from the primary for the unit heater. An aquastat on the supply line to the unit heater would keep the fan from coming on until the water is hot enough to avoid blowing cold air. Only do this if the garage will always stay above freezing though; if it has a chance of getting below 40 degrees you'll want that pump running constantly.

You've got a big enough stove that I'd still put a forced air exchanger in the furnace regardless, but that's just me. Why burn LP if you don't have to? You could do that as a secondary loop with another pump as well if you wanted, or else a 3 way zone valve would normally bypass the coil unless you told it otherwise- usually with a secondary thermostat
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RSI

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2018, 10:01:37 PM »

What about not closely spacing the tees? If they are far enough apart, it should get a little ghost flow to keep anything from freezing.
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wreckit87

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2018, 08:09:52 AM »

Depending on the distance to the garage, that may or may not work. Anything over about 40 feet of 1" won't ghost flow regardless of tee spacing
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justinb

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 03:25:30 PM »

I thought of a possible concern with this setup that I did not have with my previous setup.  When I would be gone and not able to burn, I would simply keep the pump running and the warmth from the forced air furnace heat exchanger would keep everything from freezing.  Now that I will not be running this through my forced air furnace, will I have an issue with lines and pump freezing? 
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justinb

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 06:44:40 AM »

Can I just put glycol in the OWB and not worry about it?  Any issues with corrosion?
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wreckit87

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 05:24:29 PM »

Freezing would definitely be a concern if there is a chance of leaving for more than a day with the stove out and no means of backup. Sure, you can fill with $2000 worth of glycol if you want and either maintain it annually or let it kill your system. But I wouldn't. That glycol money would be better spent on a backup heat source IMO
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E Yoder

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2018, 02:28:52 AM »

Agree, I'm not a big fan of glycol either. It's not maintenance free.
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NaturallyAspirated

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2018, 07:56:18 AM »

I did a semi drain of my glycol this fall.  100% water.  Biological and scum down to near 0%.   :thumbup:
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agriffinjd

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Re: New House....New Setup
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2018, 05:15:34 AM »

I'd still put an air exchanger in the furnace, and put a bypass to it.  That way when you're leaving for a week, you can open the bypass and allow the propane to keep the lines warm.  When I leave for a a few days in the dead of winter, I turn off the blower on the stove and let the propane heat the water.  I got back last winter and it was about 0 degrees outside temp, but my water was 120 degrees.  It seems counter-intuitive, while actually making sense, that the colder the outside temp is the warmer the propane keeps the stove water, because the more often the propane furnace kicks on in the house to keep it at a set temp.  Right now, with the outside temps in the 30s, the water temp from the propane furnace is at about 70-80 tops. 

Having the exchanger in the furnace with a bypass also gives you the option of burning extra wood from time to time to save on propane to heat the whole house and not just the basement.

I'm guessing you'd want to run to DHW, then to the exchanger/bypass, then to the in-floors.
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