Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: epd1088 On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:15 pm

OK, after all of the advice on my last post, I am thinking that a stoker boiler may be the way to go. I would like to use radiant in-floor heat using PEX between the floor joists. Basement is unfinished and joists are open. Have any of you done this and what is required. My HVAC friend says that coal will burn too hot but I have to believe that it is possible. I have been looking up youtube videos and it appears that I could do the PEX install myself but would need help with hooking into the boiler. Any input is greatly appreciated.
epd1088
 
Other Heating: Electric baseboards


Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: grumpy On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:26 pm

I'm no expert but PEX is best put in a concrete floor on top of the wood, best in new construction. I don't know how well the heat would transfer through a wood floor if that is what you have. It has been talked about here so hang on, reply's on the way.

As for the stoker no problem, a mixing valve will keep the temps at bay.
grumpy
 

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:37 pm

There are thousands of buildings being heated safely & successfully with coal.
Your ill-informed hvac guy is totally wacked out on how burning coal is controlled.
Coal burns too hot ?
Too hot for what ?
The water in the boiler ?
The aqua-stat that controls the water temp ??
There are many radiant -in -floor systems at work keeping folks comfortable & the system works well thanks to a mixing valve that keeps the water temp at a moderate temp. Will work in concrete or below wood floors.
windyhill4.2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:41 pm

As these guys have said, it is doable. Just wait awhile. I have installed one under wood but am not the guy to lead you in this. It is harder with wood due to woods insulating qualities. But concrete slabs are hard to heat up or cool down with outside temp changes. Hang on, this will be a learning experience.

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: grumpy On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:50 pm

Kevin, how is that working out ? I have forced air, Yuck... but I have Pex in my new basement, not hooked up yet but when I plum it in I was thinking of a second loop and doing Pex under my bathroom and kitchen floors where I have tile, however with the floor and sub floor I have 1.5 inches of wood, will the heat get through, for me it may enough to keep the floor warm but with the OP could it heat the house ?
grumpy
 

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: epd1088 On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:16 pm

I have laminate throughout the living room, bedrooms and hallway and tile in the bathrooms and kitchen. The laminate floors are floating style on an OSB-type subfloor that was already installed when I moved in. Brick ranch built in 1980 and I have an open floor plan for the living room kitchen and den and a hallway leading to the three bedrooms at the other end of the house. About 1600 square feet total. Basement is currently unfinished and is also about 1600 square. Electric baseboard heat throughout the entire upstairs living space and expensive as hell to run during the winter. Separate AC unit during the summer and flexible insulated ducting in the attic space with registers on the ceilings. Older style windows and doors. Trying to find a heating method where I don't have to rely on overseas oil and gas is not an option unless I put in propane which defeats trying to reduce costs. I am burning cord wood in a wood burning fireplace to limit the amount of time that the electric heat cycles on and off but it is not the most efficient use of heat and still tends to leave the bedrooms cold. Been following along here for a few months and decided that I should set up an account and get some advice and information as I live just outside of the Poconos and the cost and availability of coal is quite attractive. Currently have no furnace or boiler so I am pretty much starting from a blank slate which is why I was leaning toward this option. If any of you have schematics or information on how I could achieve this, it would be great. Would love to warm up the floors and reduce allergens while keeping the house warm and comfortable and not having dried out air.
epd1088
 
Other Heating: Electric baseboards

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: grumpy On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:23 pm

Lose the fireplace get a stove, the fireplace will remove more heat then it will provide..
grumpy
 

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:24 pm

Is there any form of a chimney? That is a start.
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520, 700, Van Wert 800 GJ 61,53
Baseburners & Antiques: Magic Stewart 16, times 2!
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck
Other Heating: Slant Fin electric boiler backup


Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: epd1088 On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:18 pm

Sorry... There are two chimneys. One is for the fireplace and has an 8x12 tile liner into the fireplace and an 8x8 tile liner to the basement where I believe the old furnace may have been or where it was going to be set up to install a furnace. The other is an 8x8 tile liner to the basement to a hearth where I believe the previous owner was going to install a solid fuel stove. I was planning on venting the boiler into the first chimney into the 8X8 liner as it is central to the house and near the water heater which is also electric and putting a coal stoker stove on the hearth at some point to assist in heating the basement once I finish it.
epd1088
 
Other Heating: Electric baseboards

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:45 pm

Grumpy, my brother has the wood flooring and it is Hardwood, linoleum, and rug. At first it was the Goodyear rubber hose that ended up with a class action lawsuit and I ended up going in and replacing it with Pex. The problem with wood floors is the transfer rate is not enough to make up for heat loss in a room that far north. With 6X8 windows and up on a high hill facing NW......and a cathedral ceiling. You can pump all the heat you want thru the pipes but only so much is going to TRANSFER thru the wood floor. Currently, he is using full temp water with no reduction. But in the harder months of Eastern Maine, he is still to cool in the cathedral hardwood area. If I was living there now, I would put in some radiators of some sort to help on the colder, windy days.
My house in Maine has radiant in the slab only. It was "fixed" by an injection system that came from my brothers house, tekmar, with an outside sensor and it has worked wonders.

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:53 pm

I don't know how others have fared with floating laminate floors and in floor heat. I have floating laminate with the foam underlayment underneath it and that underlayment is a great insulation barrier. My floors stay a lot warmer with my forced air heat than before I put the laminate floors down. My coal furnace is in the basement. I also do not have OSB, my floors are tongue and groove boards.

If I were in your situation, I would probably either do water with baseboard, or hot air.
SWPaDon
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous
Other Heating: Oil furnace

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:12 am

Similar to SWPADon....A friend of mine has pex under the plywood subfloor / floating laminate floor with the thin foam layer between and that floor does not transfer the heat well. Even in our moderate temps it is noticeably cooler in that room than the kitchen which is plywood subfloor / luan / vinyl. His isn't a coal boiler install, he is on oil. I don't think he has tried tweaking the water temps on that zone to make it better, he is not a do it yourself kinda guy..
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: alpineboard On: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:17 am

I believe that I did a post on this, so I do not feel like repeating the knowledge again, look at my past posts, but the bottom line for underfloor radiant heating is do it right or do not do it. You must use the metal plates, and the best way for insulation is rigid cut press fit and poly foam the cracks, I posted pics of this. Also glue/slilcone rtv and screw the plate on, rtv has a better conduction rate that air.
And Yes, use a mixing valve, 300 foot max tube length for zone. The controls are up to you, hint, I kept it real simple , kept my money in my pocket and it works great. You do not need to buy the hype. But you do need to do it correctly. Want to save $, build your own manifolds. I have seen drs/lawyers throw all kinds of $$$ at poorly designed systems that have all the bells and whistles , but the design from the start was bs, and will never work, poorly at best. Spent $30,000 for a system that they spend twice the money to operate a year, than the system that was replaced, and the funny part is, they are happy with it, for the past ten years.
Oh, and there is a ton of info out there on this, you just scratched the tip of the ice burg. builditsolar.com has a good underfloor radiant heat section/forum. good luck!! r
alpineboard
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert 600
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Tarm 202
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman HXL, Crane 88, Crane 404
Other Heating: Solar

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: BunkerdCaddis On: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:30 pm

I am neither a sage nor expert but I will pass along what was the single greatest investment I made in my heating system, a book.
https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Hydronic- ... 1428335153

Study it, for six months or a year if you have to, I did and it was worth more than any other component I installed. It covers pex underfloor heat and many other forms of hydronic heat. Understand the principals and theory, you'll be glad you did. I am.
BunkerdCaddis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yorker WC-90 or more likely a Van Wert VW85H [to be installed (soon, very soon)(well not as soon as I had anticipated]
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Waterford 105 pulling duty, Saey Hanover II getting dressed for the party
Coal Size/Type: pea/nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydronic

Re: Coal Boiler w/ under floor radiant heat using PEX

PostBy: alpineboard On: Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:00 am

BunkerdCaddis wrote:I am neither a sage nor expert but I will pass along what was the single greatest investment I made in my heating system, a book.
https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Hydronic- ... 1428335153

Study it, for six months or a year if you have to, I did and it was worth more than any other component I installed. It covers pex underfloor heat and many other forms of hydronic heat. Understand the principals and theory, you'll be glad you did. I am.


Yes, good book, a friend lent me his, and stood in front of a Xerox for an hour.
My latest edition to my system is a Taco 008, to replace the 007 , the 007 was doing ok getting it to another building and upstairs at that, but knew that was pushing its limits on head pressure. But can definitely tell the difference with the 008. And the 008 has a more pleasant sound, lower freq, of the water going thru the tubes. Got it in a thrift store, barely used for $20.
alpineboard
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert 600
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Tarm 202
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman HXL, Crane 88, Crane 404
Other Heating: Solar