Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: steamup On: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:19 am

Dennis wrote:steamup,
the uponor is defenitly better product at 200 degrees along with being much easier to install and insulation factors as well along without having to worry about leaking joints.I was looking and couldn't find at place to purchase the uponor pipes, do you have any suggestions where to purchase the uponor pipes.Does the pipes have the oxygen barrier needed. Dennis



Uponor doens't sell through the big box places and is marketed through heating wholesalers. Have your local contractor find some for you.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: Dennis On: Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:50 am

Yanche,
when you said you insulated the 8" pipe, did spray foam the entire 8" cavity or just your heating pipes. I had read the thread about "insulating pipe failure". Also would the black iron pipes rust or corrode inside during summer shutdown or would i need to us some boiler conditioner? I would think the pipes should be ok since its a closed system. Dennis
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: katman On: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:32 pm

Dennis, I'm pretty sure Yanche used the precut HVAC closed cell foam yu can get from a supply house. I wouldn't be concerned about corrosion affecting the iron pipes longevity, particularly if you can find some made in USA. FYI I just got a price from the distributor for the uponor two-pipe bundle of a little less than $24/ft with 1 1/4 oxygen barrier. The one inch pipes would be a couple of bucks less. That comes in about twice the cost of the thermapex insulated product. I did find an Oxbarrier uponor pex in 1 1/2 inch (gives you 1 1/4 inside), but the distributor only has 100 ft so still sourceing here and exploring alternatives. I might have to end up using thermapex on top of the ground to get things rolling this season. Looks like we are stuck in marginal weather for foaming for the next few days and my window wil be closing soon. I'm looking at Yanche's approach again. I think you indicated you were considering copper--seems way too high for achieving my cost recovery target.
katman
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Magnum
Other Heating: Harman PB 105 Pellet Boiler


Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: Dennis On: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:48 pm

Katman,
I was looking at copper for non-corrosion and no underground joints. I have no problems with threaded joints underground, it's been done for over 100 years. I'm just concerned about the pipes rusting underground then compromising the insulating factor of the foam. I have seen the foam sprayed on plastic then wraped with the plastic(not all that waterproof). I'm not sure if the closed cell is 100 percent water tight,if not i could always look into cutting rubber roofing to spray the foam around then glueing the seam togather for a waterproof membrane around the pipes. I'm not all that convinced with plastic pipes,i need to put alot of heat out through the pipes. Dennis
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: gizmo On: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:06 pm

This is how I did mine.You put the pipe underground,
and then pull anything you want through the pipe.This allows
me to change things in the future if I want to with out
digging up the yard again.I went 130' and only loose
about 5 degrees in 3/4' pex.

Insulseal.com
gizmo
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Pea
Other Heating: NONE

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:21 pm

Dennis wrote:Yanche,
when you said you insulated the 8" pipe, did spray foam the entire 8" cavity or just your heating pipes. I had read the thread about "insulating pipe failure". Also would the black iron pipes rust or corrode inside during summer shutdown or would i need to us some boiler conditioner? I would think the pipes should be ok since its a closed system. Dennis

You do not insulate the 8" PVC conduit (chase) pipe. You insulate the water carrying pipes within it. Direct earth burial of insulated pipe is not desirable. The insulation properties degrade, some at installation some over time. It's far better to have a conduit in which you put your pipes. Forget about spray foam. It's the wrong product to use. You want "Armacell" pipe insulation. It's sold at HVAC supply houses. It comes in many sizes and wall thicknesses. You buy it in 6-8 ft lengths and slip it on your pipe. It's closed cell insulation so water doesn't get into the insulation and ruin it's insulation properties.

There are lots of bad installation practices that come from the wood furnace (boiler) side of the industry. Don't follow their folly. Do it right and you will only do it once. Do it like an industrial or commercial job.

Again, use a PVC pipe for a conduit. Either the thin wall (commonly called sewer drain pipe) or the thick wall (schedule 40 or the even thicker wall schedule 80). Make sure you find correct the mating elbows, if your installation needs them. Use standard steel pipe insulated with Armacell closed cell insulation. As an alternate the appropriate PEX product can do the job, but my experience has been it's more expensive than steel pipe. Why, because it's not stocked locally and it's a special order and since it's bulky the shipping costs are high. Steel pipe, fittings and HVAC insulation (Armacell) are available locally.

Make sure you do an analysis of the heat flow required to select your pipe size. Don't cheap out and use too small a pipe size.

Generally you do not need water conditioner.

My 2 cents worth plus, enough said.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: Pacowy On: Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:19 pm

katman wrote:Finally looks like I will have a window for installing the undergroung piping between my pole barn and house so I can tie my Scrapper, jr rebuilt efm 520 into my oil boiler. Only been waiting about 3 years to do this and now the wife wants to use a pellet boiler or "solar panels" instead of coal. Next she will be serving tofu for dinner.


I know this thread is about piping, but I wanted to make sure you know that you can burn pellets, pellet/corn blends, etc. in the 520. As far as I know, the S-20 stoker used in the 520 has been recognized/certified as a biomass burner, so you shouldn't need a different piece of equipment even if you decide to switch fuels. See The efm 520 Stoker-Boiler Qualifies for a $1500 Tax Credit .

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:22 pm

Personally I'd never use iron pipe underground, not the crappy pipe available at a reasonable price. If you do bury iron pipes, do like Yanche said, and enclose the pipes inside a large PVC tube, and plan on having to dig it up sometime, because everything rusts, corrodes and cloggs,, thousands of lead pipes have clogged up from minerals in water, thousands of houses have clogged iron piping .

I put 1" pex-al-pex inside a 3" diameter continous length of black corrugated pipe, it's waterproof. I then put 1" preformed foam tubes around the 3", then another continous 6" tube around the insulation.. So I have two continous, leak free pipes with insulation..

What I didn't do, and I would do if I were to do the job over again would be to use spray foam around the whole deal, then add a sheet of plastic to act like an umbrella for ground water seeping through the ground from rain, snow melt and ice. If the surrounding soil/sand/gravel is dry, it won't pull heat from the insulated outer tube..

I just hate joints, and hate iron pipe,, and can't afford copper.

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: katman On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:22 am

Good point on the pipe Greg. I was going to revisit this discussion after I completed the current phase of my project but since we are back in the discussion I'll do a quick update.

As is obvious (sorry about the indecisive discussion, Yanche!) I was having option overload on the selection of pipes to run the approx. 100 feet from the barn to the house. The reason was trying the balance in costs and performance. I think it was Yanche in one of his discussions who talked about optimizing the cost/efficieny and performance in designing a system. When I first joined this forum a couple of years ago and started planning my remote install, I thought insulated iron pipe inside of PVC was the way I was going to go. However, in my area I simply could not get the pricing on that option to work when compared to what I established as a benchmark. The benchmark I used is the preinsulated, Central Boiler brand Thermapex with dual 1 1/4" oxygen barrier pipes at $18/foot delivered to my site. Uponor makes a similar product that I really like but it is approx. $23/ft. The least expensive way I could do 1 1/4 iron (cheap china iron) in a foamed ditch at approximately $20/ft. If I insulated Iron in PVC or insulated 1 1/4 barrier pex in PVC , both were about $17.50/ft. The cheapest option was if I insulated pex in drain tile pipe, but I just couldn't get excited about the approx $500 savings given the labor involved, plus I view all the other options as much more preferable in both performance and long-term reliability.

I think I will be happy with the thermapex if the heat loss performance is as good as those who use it claim. I will see soon. It was tough to handle 100 feet by myself when I was laying it in the ditch and feeding it in the barn and into the crawl space. It was about 30 outside and the coil had some memory that it did not want to give up, even after I layed it in the sun, stretched and anchored in a straight line for a week.

Go ahead and flame on, but what I am installing right now is a Harman pellet boiler (PB 105). I've got it plumbed into my oil boiler and hope to have the controls done and the boiler on-line sometime next week. A plumber friend of mine (he actually installed the oil boiler 20 or so years ago) came up with the piping arrangement. I wanted series. I think his is parallel. I say I think because I am going by how he describes it will perform. Seems to me it is missing a bypass valve but I am not a plumber.

My EFM, beautifully rebuilt by Scrapper and purchased a few years ago, sits right next to the Harman and my Alaska kodiak stoker. There it will stay until I see how the Harman works. I decided to go ahead and try the Harman pellet boiler for a couple of reasons.

First, my greenie spouse. She has this mind thing: can live with pellets, but wants solar, not coal. She would burn oil when I am traveling because she won't touch the coal. That's a minor problem. The other issue is I can get pellets a mile from the house, but I have to drive probably at least 90 miles to buy bagged coal by the ton at a reasonable price. So, when I add the time and cost of fuel to get coal, coal loses a lot of its advantage.

Personally, I prefer coal. I really would like to have installed a Harman coal boiler with the oil burner option and simply replaced my current oil boiler. Got the chimney right there and I wouldn't have had to run pipe, come up with controls, etc. But I didn't have enough room in the utility room and there would have been some additional complications.

Mike-- I didn't eveny think about burning pellets or other biomass in the EFM--another reason to keep it sitting right where it is for now. Another reason I got the pellet boiler and did the remote install instead of expanding my my utility room is I purchased a "retirement" home. If I decide to sell my place near Annapolis in a few years I intend to include the remote pellet boiler as an option. If the purchaser doesn't want to purchase it I can relocate it to the retirement home. I'll look into what's involved in using the EFM for pellets. If I can switch from pellets to coal easily in the EFM maybe the Harman makes its trip to the retirement home early.
katman
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Magnum
Other Heating: Harman PB 105 Pellet Boiler

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:08 am

katman wrote:First, my greenie spouse. She has this mind thing: can live with pellets, but wants solar, not coal. She would burn oil when I am traveling because she won't touch the coal.


I find that kind of ironic. In my opinion, anthracite is much more environmentally friendly than fuel oil. Last I checked there weren't any wars going on to ensure a steady supply of anthracite. Supporting the anthracite industry today is also helping to reclaim land that was mined decades ago. To each their own...

I think it is a shame that the Rolls Royce of coal stokers has to sit mothballed in the corner and watch a pellet boiler in operation...but do whatever works for you.

Keep us posted on your project as it progresses, and how about some pictures?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:03 pm

Rob R. wrote:
katman wrote:First, my greenie spouse. She has this mind thing: can live with pellets, but wants solar, not coal. She would burn oil when I am traveling because she won't touch the coal.


I find that kind of ironic. In my opinion, anthracite is much more environmentally friendly than fuel oil. Last I checked there weren't any wars going on to ensure a steady supply of anthracite. Supporting the anthracite industry today is also helping to reclaim land that was mined decades ago. To each their own...

I think it is a shame that the Rolls Royce of coal stokers has to sit mothballed in the corner and watch a pellet boiler in operation...but do whatever works for you.

Keep us posted on your project as it progresses, and how about some pictures?

If some of you have been following some of my recent postings you know I'm currently enrolled in a community college HVAC program. The teacher knows me well and let me lecture the class on heating with coal. I fully described my setup and continued on with the environmental advantages. I was able to show by analysis it's more friendly on the environment than a geothermal heat pump (COP>3) when electricity is produced primarily from coal. My local electricity comes from a KY bituminous coal fired plant. Only about 30% of the BTU in the coal makes it to a home as electric BTU equivalent. When you consider the much longer distance the KY coal needs to be transported by barge, the environment diesel pollution is less to get the Anthracite coal to me. Bottom line is for me coal heating is environmentally better than anything else available to me, other than expensive propane. The teacher and the class were amazed. Especially that coal was so, so much cheaper.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: katman On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:42 pm

I hear you loud and clear Rob, but after living with this woman for 35 years I've learned not to argue facts when I'm dealing with emotion. If I had easy access to reasonbly priced anthracite, the EFM would have been hooked up last year. But at $7 to $8 a bag locally--when they have it--I don't think the retail cost of BTUs from pellets at $209/ton is much costlier. Yes, I can drive up to Pa with my little trailer and buy a ton of rice for less than I can buy it at the lccal farm supply, but that would add fuel and time to the cost, offsetting much if not all of the savings.

Yanche also has the nut of all this--I've never been able to convince myself that pellets are greener than coal after you account for transportation, manufacturing and all other factors. All of our energy options pollute. Even solar. All of the manufacturing procesess associated with making solar panels, for example, are fundamentally dirty and consumer energy. But those costs are frequently ignored. I want a clean environment, and I want everyone in the coal and forest business to be employed. I also think we need to be warm, so the greenies (like my spouse) should show us the clean, cost effective way to heat the house instead of simply bashing coal because they don't like it. Meanwhile, after looking over the info Mike pointed me to regarding burning pellets, corn, etc. in an EFM, I may bring that bad boy into play sooner than I thought. Sounds like it can do pellets or coal (corn is way too expensive) by simply changing the settings, or you can mix the two. I'd still have to work out how to get my coal supply at a reasonable cost, but I agree with Rob that it is hard to look at that EFM just sitting there looking for a job. if
katman
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Magnum
Other Heating: Harman PB 105 Pellet Boiler

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:04 pm

katman wrote:I hear you loud and clear Rob, but after living with this woman for 35 years I've learned not to argue facts when I'm dealing with emotion.


Keeping the peace is the primary objective. If that means you have to burn pellets, so be it.

Is the PB105 new or used?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:05 pm

Not sure what winters are like where you are, but I was thinking it might make sense for you to burn or blend the pellets (if they're reasonably priced) when the heating load isn't too bad, and keep a stash of coal on hand for when you need to get the highest output. The concept might appeal to the boss, as well as make some sense in light of your fuel supply issues. Good luck.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Another Plea for help with Underground Piping

PostBy: homecomfort On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:53 pm

steel piping can also fall victim to stray electrolysis, and pin holes if not properly bonded. even if sleeved. pex from usa is close to foolproof, with less line loss due to friction and turbulation from connections every 21 ft.
homecomfort
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Franco-Belge,+ Penn Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Normandie, + Chubby