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Thread: Do I need Primary / secondary piping?

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    DIY Junior Member Crooz1n's Avatar
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    Default Do I need Primary / secondary piping?

    I am having a peerless purefire PF-50 put in to replace an old electric boiler. Its a single zone all cast Iron radiator system. I am trying to make sure its installed correctly. I don't think the installer intends to install primary secondary but to just pull out the old system and tie in the new boiler. Is this OK or will it cause problems? The system install instructions all have diagrams of central heat plus DHW or multiple zone piping.Name:  boiler piping1.jpg
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    Picture is of old system. Return on left.

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    DIY in AZ emd36's Avatar
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    You don't need primary/secondary. It is the way most systems are plumbed in the U.S. Your photo is a bit difficult to interpret. It appears that the pump etc. are out of the photo below the boiler.
    If you have multiple zones, a differential pressure by-pass valve is recommended. I believe that keeps the pump operating at the same pressure no matter what the call for heat. What did your installer do?

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    DIY Junior Member Crooz1n's Avatar
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    Yes its a 2 pipe system with just a single zone. All the radiators get flow all the time. I contacted Peerless and they said that they didn't have to do primary/secondary as long as we had enough flow. They used a B & G NRF-22 which is 22 GPM so I think its OK. (Min flow of 2.2 for heat exchanger) I was just concerned that the Peerless manual did not show a simple direct piping diagram making me think that piping that way may void the warranty.

    The contractor has since come back and changed the pump orientation.

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Hopefully you're not pounding 22 gpm through the heat exchanger! Anything more than 5 would be way overkill as far as the boiler is concerned, but you may need higher flow on the radiation to keep the balance dialed in. Did Peerless spec a MAX flow?

    It's worth air-sealing around the old flue where you've run the venting, since it's a large parasitic heat load due to the infiltration it is driving (even if it's sorta-sealed at the top of the flue, it still needs to be sealed at the basement.)

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I don't see any temperature gauge on the return so I imagine the return temps are coming back pretty darn cold on start up and throughout most of the cycle. At the very least it should have a bypass with a valve running from the feed to the return. There isnt and inspector in the state that would pass the wiring and the gas piping either but maybe VA is less stringent. Also, where does the condensate get pumped too? and is the condensate pump securly fastened to anything or just set on the basement floor.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    I was just going to edit-in that he should check the delta-T it's running, to make sure that it stays within spec under all operating conditions as well.

    The gas plumbing really needs to be looked at too- looks like it could be compromized by the house flexing in a high wind, and the teed-off stub should be at the bottom, below the gas input to the boiler to really work as a crud-trap, like on this water-heater hookup, not up at the ceiling well before the stretched out flex:

    Last edited by Dana; 11-13-2013 at 09:01 AM.

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