Where to Install Circulators

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Fri. Dec. 30, 2016 8:09 pm

jrv8984 wrote:It would be at least $350 more to have 2 manifolds and 2 circulators. It's not gonna add that much extra length to the pipe runs, everything is going to be pretty much centered in the basement. But if I have to do that I will.


Why would it be so much more for 2 six zone manifolds, instead of one 12 zone? Why would you need another pump? All the lines connect together, the head and total piping should be about the same.

About the size. I've always run full-sized primary loops, then step down to the split tee, then down again to match the radiant device- even with PEX. Someone with more smaller sized experience might be able to share actual experiences there?

What size are your radiators? I'm a bit concerned about going too small on volume and primary loop circulation because radiators can really use up the BTUs. That's a good thing for the rooms, but can have design considerations.

Reverse return? Not sure what you mean by that?
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler


Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: McGiever On: Fri. Dec. 30, 2016 9:35 pm

A well described comparison:

McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: jrv8984 On: Mon. Jan. 02, 2017 11:51 am

So, if I use a 6 port manifold with an ecm circulator, or use 6 circulators (1 for each room), which is going to use more electricity?

The ECM circulator controlled by a central thermostat, if I'm understanding it correctly is running constantly with TRV's adjusting the flow at the radiators. At the most I would end up with 3 manifolds with 3 ecm circulators for the radiators.

If I use dumb circulators for every room, each room would get a thermostat that calls for heat and then the switching relay turns the circulator on an off. At the most I would end up with 12 circulators for the radiators

I know a lot of this is dependent on how tight and well insulated the house is, and right now the mail man could slip a letter through my walls :lol:
jrv8984
 
Other Heating: Blaze King Princess

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: jrv8984 On: Mon. Jan. 02, 2017 12:13 pm

CoalisCoolxWarm

Why did you use circulators to control every room in your home instead of using a manifold and TRV's?

to answer your questions

I would come off of my primary loop to a circulator and then directly into a manifold, so 2 manifolds I would have 2 circulators,
I suppose you could come off of the primary loop through the circulator, and tee to 2 manifolds.

I currently have 2 - 14-15k BTU radiators, 2 - 9-10k BTU radiators, 1 - 10.5k BTU radiator, A Vaughn Top Performer 70 gallon 150k BTU indirect water heater. I'm going to be picking up some more radiators in the next few weeks.

The long term plans are that the additions box most of the east and west sides of the stone house, making exterior walls interior walls. The south side is going to get a solarium. I would want the new construction to e controlled by one circ/manifold, and the stone house controlled by the other.
jrv8984
 
Other Heating: Blaze King Princess

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Mon. Jan. 02, 2017 12:25 pm

McGiever wrote:A well described comparison:


Thanks for that link. If using an individual zone control/thermostat and circulator, I don't see any benefit.

In fact, I see a standard return as more beneficial because prior zones (earlier in the loop) will be satisfied quicker, then the other zones will get full temp water, if its needs continue beyond prior zones.

If using a single circulator, zone valves, gravity flow, then possibly a benefit there.

At least that is what it looks like to me, but I could be missing something?
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Mon. Jan. 02, 2017 1:10 pm

jrv8984 wrote:CoalisCoolxWarm

Why did you use circulators to control every room in your home instead of using a manifold and TRV's?

to answer your questions

I would come off of my primary loop to a circulator and then directly into a manifold, so 2 manifolds I would have 2 circulators,
I suppose you could come off of the primary loop through the circulator, and tee to 2 manifolds.

I currently have 2 - 14-15k BTU radiators, 2 - 9-10k BTU radiators, 1 - 10.5k BTU radiator, A Vaughn Top Performer 70 gallon 150k BTU indirect water heater. I'm going to be picking up some more radiators in the next few weeks.

The long term plans are that the additions box most of the east and west sides of the stone house, making exterior walls interior walls. The south side is going to get a solarium. I would want the new construction to e controlled by one circ/manifold, and the stone house controlled by the other.


I see our posts crossed, so let me get this one ;)

1. Why circulator to every zone- Each zone has a thermostat and circulator. When a zone is triggered, the primary pump runs, too (and boiler if it needs to), until the zone is satisfied. Using closely spaced tees allows each zone to be independent, not really required to be "balanced" against other zones in the system. Each zone takes the same amount of flow as it returns, leaving the water cooled slightly (based on volume, heatload of that zone, etc), but essentially unaffected balance-wise.

Using different length zones with different piping, number of radiants, mixing baseboard with convectors with radiators or whatever is all simple. Each zone uses split tees, so I balance the zone with ball valves to get equal flow (precision not required) and that's it.

Adding or removing zones or loads don't bother the main system/primary loop at all.

2. Why not TRVs- IMHO, they are much less capable than thermostats. For not much $$, you can have time of day, day of week, vacation setbacks, turn it up when using that room (ie this Christmas we had lots of company, so turned up temp in dining room/kitchen). Much better control over zone temps to meet our needs. Eventually we plan to have a system-wide electronic control setup.

TRVs are PHYSICAL valve devices. I have seen them and standard valves fail, both from constant use and then from use after not being used for a while. Some have had good luck with them, look to them for experience in that area. I'd much rather stick with on/off of circulators. (In all fairness, a similar comment is possible about zone valves, but not exactly)

3. Power usage- since you want to be off-grid, that is a question you will have to answer. If not for that single (very LARGE) requirement, the simple solution would be just buy circulators and use them. Keep one spare that will swap into any position and be done with it. But that may not be your best solution, power wise?

Some folks may be very good at balancing a shared circulator (describing the situation, not sure that is a valid term) system, or even gravity flow systems. I am not.

IF you were able to get it all gravity flow and working without any circulators, that would be ideal, but that's a pretty lofty goal, loaded with gotchas. I personally wouldn't tackle that. Our needs and house changes/remodel would likely make it impossible anyways, LOL.

If I had to be completely off-grid, I'd be looking hard at battery storage capacities, the daily usable solar window, historical "days without generation" etc. and then still have an alternative (generator?) for emergencies. Clearing snow from collectors is not an unimportant task in the winter.

Bear in mind that "no hydronic heat circulation" doesn't just translate into "cold" it can cause freeze damage(!) I'd certainly be using anti-freeze additive (some here can better direct you), in case you have to cut back heating certain areas in the winter.

We have 2 ventless propane free-standing stoves that are attractive and can provide livable warmth in a pinch. I figure we have 3-4 days before the thermal mass of our house puts our hydronic lines under threat, and then I can simply isolate those high risk areas with valves if it really comes down to that. But by then we'd either have the generator going or move portable propane/kerosene heaters into the basement to mitigate.

Big long story, I know, but being off-grid is a MAJOR factor that you'll want to consider in all areas of your system design.

Hope this gives you at least a little bit of help ;)
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon. Jan. 02, 2017 2:22 pm

Zoning with circulators certainly works, but it will use the most energy. I prefer zone valves, especially when paired with a variable speed circulator...although large zones and indirect water heaters should generally have their own circulator.

Grundfos Alpha Installed

It is possible to just put radiators in each room, plumb off a manifold with pex tubing, and run the whole shebang with a single circulator and thermostat. The downside to this type of install is that the radiators need to be matched fairly close to the heat loss of the room, and balancing requires manual intervention.

Does your house have a lot of wind exposure? If it is, you can end up with a situation where one side of the house gets noticeably warmer than the other. With the radiators controlled by multiple zones & thermostats, or a TRV, the system will compensate. With the simple setup I mentioned above, all of the radiators get heat whenever the circulator runs.

Anyway - this thread has taken quite a few twists and turns, but the basics are pretty simple. Determine the BTU needs of each room, figure out the combined flow rate required to serve those radiators, and see if it can be achieved with a single circulator. If not, split the system into two. If having two manifolds for the radiators works well with your split-basement layout, go ahead and do it that way. If you want 4, 6, 10 zones, whatever - figure that number out and report back.

As for being off grid, even the most hardcore solar guy I know will tell you that if you have commercial power available, the most economical solution is to use commercial power sparingly and supplement if desired.
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: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Mon. Jan. 02, 2017 3:48 pm

Rob R. wrote:As for being off grid, even the most hardcore solar guy I know will tell you that if you have commercial power available, the most economical solution is to use commercial power sparingly and supplement if desired.


Yep! Grid-tie. Use whatever you need from automatically selecting source, and sell back as much as you can possibly make to lower your bill. You can even use multiple sources like wind, air, and fire...er..solar LOL.
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler


Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: jrv8984 On: Wed. Jan. 04, 2017 3:16 pm

So, to throw this out there is constant circulation an option with a remote installation coal boiler. Ecm circulators are out of the running because of my wife (don't ask).

From my understanding I could still use a manifold if I'd like and TRV's on my radiators. I just need a pressure bypass between the pump and the manifold so if the TRV's are closed I'm not deadheading my pump.

I'm guessing that 2 pumps running constantly will use less power than 11 pumps running on thermostat calls.

Any thoughts?
I know this thread is all over the place, but I'm trying to weigh my options between using less power, my house construction and future expansion, and what is ok with my wife from a comfort and health standpoint.
jrv8984
 
Other Heating: Blaze King Princess

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Wed. Jan. 04, 2017 3:41 pm

jrv8984 wrote:...I know this thread is all over the place, but I'm trying to weigh my options between using less power, my house construction and future expansion, and what is ok with my wife from a comfort and health standpoint.


Ask away. Now is the CHEAPEST way to find out, LOL.

Cost and efficiency have to roll together.

Not having run (only replaced) a single circulator system (it used monoflow tees and each radiant was in parallel), I can't say much about that, but know some here surely can relate their experiences and knowledge.

As for the 11 pumps part, figure out how long each zone will run each day, on average and add it up.

If every single pump runs 2 hours a day, you have 22 pump-hrs of small pumps per day. Have a zone(s) that needs less heat, savings jump right up. A longer zone, drops down.

I don't have numbers yet, but that is where my daughter's project is heading, to keep track of this kind of stuff ;)

Another factor for a constant circulation design is standby and line losses. You are sending heated water through that pipe all the time, some loss will occur, which the boiler will have to make up.

The cast iron Taco 007 is 0.74amps according to the specs, not sure about others.
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: jrv8984 On: Wed. Jan. 04, 2017 6:25 pm

My math works out that a single circulator running 24 hrs is cheaper than 11 circulators running 2hrs a day.

Any idea how many hours a day one of your circulators runs?

And of course the boiler circulator would be constantly running, and if I'm not mistaken when circulators are in series it more or less cuts the head in half for each circulator.

Suppose I should start a new thread asking about constant circulation?
jrv8984
 
Other Heating: Blaze King Princess

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Wed. Jan. 04, 2017 10:02 pm

jrv8984 wrote:My math works out that a single circulator running 24 hrs is cheaper than 11 circulators running 2hrs a day.

Any idea how many hours a day one of your circulators runs?

And of course the boiler circulator would be constantly running, and if I'm not mistaken when circulators are in series it more or less cuts the head in half for each circulator.

Suppose I should start a new thread asking about constant circulation?


1. I just worked out 22hrs of pumps running vs 24 hrs. Possibly separate pumps will use more energy, with startups, though...but then a single pump or two might have to be larger pumps, as you mention, vs individual?

2. I have no idea how long my zones run now. The tstats have counters, but I don't reset them or record them. That will change in the near future.

3. There are some really smart guys here about circulators, sizes, etc. They can probably tell you if larger piping and only one or two circulators are better than individual and smaller.

Of course, you could always go STEAM, then no pumps, TRVs work great, and all you have to do is allow for drainback to the boiler. :P (I don't have steam, but from what I've read, guys who have them that are proper installs really like them. Not sure about efficiency, just poking the bear)
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: jrv8984 On: Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 4:35 pm

to size your circulator for head loss for the heating zones, you use the round trip of the farthest away zone. But what do you use to size the circulator for GPM? Do you take the GPM requirement for the radiator at the farthest away zone and use that, or do you add up all the radiators in the zones GPM requirement?
jrv8984
 
Other Heating: Blaze King Princess

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 5:09 pm

jrv8984 wrote:to size your circulator for head loss for the heating zones, you use the round trip of the farthest away zone. But what do you use to size the circulator for GPM? Do you take the GPM requirement for the radiator at the farthest away zone and use that, or do you add up all the radiators in the zones GPM requirement?


I think you are asking two things at once?

1. How do I select a pump to get GPM? Ans: Look at the pump performance curve, find the head, and see the GPM for that pump to see if it suits

2. How many GPM do I need? Ans: I used the Taco layout design software. https://www.taco-hvac.com/products/design_tools/hydronic_system_solution/index.html

NOTE: MUST override antivirus to download and install, then remove both TrueUpdateClient files in the C:\Program Files (x86)\HVAC Solution directory. It has adware in it. (Yes, I reported this to Taco about a month or more ago, no joy :( )
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler

Re: Where to Install Circulators

PostBy: jrv8984 On: Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 5:45 pm

let me try to ask this a different way.
say a 15k BTU radiator at a 20 degree differential is
15,000/500(20) = 1.5 gpm

my longest radiation loop will be no longer than 160' so using Tacos formula
avg fluid temp x flow rate x tubing size x length of tubing
.933 x 2.033 x .0034 x 160' = a Head loss of 1.03

so as long my circulator can meet those parameters, I'm fine.
But what about when I add 20 more radiators, how do I factor them in so that I can choose a pump from the curve chart?
jrv8984
 
Other Heating: Blaze King Princess