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Thread: Ripped open the ceiling

  1. #1

    Default Ripped open the ceiling

    I've been back and forth with you guys about this boiler job I'm doing which turned into an additional job of figuring out how the zones were were piped.

    I would like to thank you for all of the advise and education on hydronics and since I finally have the ceiling open in the basement, mention what I found.

    There's four 3/4" copper pipes running the length of the house that comprise two each for the 1st floor zone and basement zone.

    Each of those two zones were piped to the convectors off of 3/4" standard T's with one side of the convector off of one line and the other side of the convector returning to the other pipe in that zone.

    And for some reason, the 1st floor zone has one pipe at the boiler that's 1' copper but 4 feet down where it goes into the ceiling, it reduces down to the 3/4" that runs the rest of the way.

    Today I'm going to break this up and make a series loop out of both of these zones ( all zone done w/ zone valves and one B&G 100 ) and I finally have access to run the torch with both heat shields I have w/o burning down the house. I am always cautious of 50+ year old timbers and flames, I keep a spray bottle of water handy and a fire extinguisher just in case.

    Also, I bit the bullet and will make a separate zone for the two 1st floor bedrooms.

    Thank you guys for all of the help, I do appreciate it.

    Sibi

  2. #2
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Sounds like what you have there is a reverse return set up which is actually just fine. The feed goes out to the convectors and the convector returns are tied into a common return. If he's been having problems with insufficient heat it's probably because there is either air in the convectors, the return or the convectors may be somewhat plugged up. I don't think I'd go to the toruble of loop piping besides which there is too much restriction through the convectors to get away with it.

  3. #3

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    NHM,

    From what I'm seeing now that I FINALLY looked and found some diagrams on the net, what's there is similar to what's called a TWO PIPE DIRECT RETURN. There is one mixing valve on the basement zone but none to be found on the 1st floor zone. Unless they are at the convectors... which is some where I haven't looked.

    I didn't see your reply until I got home today.

    The way I see it, I've screwed up this job thinking that a series loop would be OK because that's what I did today to the 1st floor zone. Haven't touched the basement zone yet. And have done nothing with the pipes to the two 1st floor bedrooms.

    You have no responsibility in helping me figure out this mess that I've contributed to but I sure do appreciate your help.

    What do you think of this? The first floor zone that I looped today is small, just 4 convectors with the first 2 in the biggest area that will need heat the most and the last in the bathroom. If I leave that and series loop a zone for the 2 bedrooms and leave everything else as is... do I stand a chance of having that work?

    If there's heat in each zone that my son can control, which he couldn't last winter, then he'll be happy.... and if I learn something about hydronics, then I've learned something, even if it's too late for this job.

    BTW - where are the mixing valves supposed to be in the system type I mentioned above?

    Sibi

  4. #4
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    There's an awful lot of restriction through convectors. When you loop them the velocity of flow through them drops considerably. You should either restore the oringinal set up or pipe them with venturi tee's.

  5. #5

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    OUCH - Guy - Just Plain OUCH!! (cannot say what's on my mind 'cause this IS a public forum, but you get the idea)

    Ya' know what I should do... can't say that either.

    Thanks for the help, you've given me good advise throughout EVEN if I was too stupid to listen.

    Sibi

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