Zoning of old radiator heating system

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Ontario Plumber

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hi guys, I'm hoping a few of you can give me some guidance on work I'm doing in my new house. I have an old gas boiler that heats the main and second floor with cast iron radiators. I think the system used to be gravity fed, but has since been updated with a circulator. I am finishing the basement, and I plan to add radiators as my source of heat. I am a licensed plumber in Toronto working mainly new construction. I have plenty of experience repairing leaking radiators and installing new ones, but I have minimal experience when it comes the heating components and wiring.

I need help in selecting the components I will need. I will install them myself and my friend will wire them for me. I want to make the basement its own zone, so I understand I will need two zone valves (one for the basement, and one for the rest of the house). Id like to use taco zone valves in conjunction with Taco's Zone Valve Controller. I also know I will need an additional thermostat for the basement zone and a low water cut off for the boiler. I have a few questions regarding the placement of some of the components/piping:

1. I plan to simply cut into the supply and return on the boiler and add 'tees' which will feed the basement. These 'tees' will be above the height of the boiler. I then plan to '90' down towards the floor and run the piping around the basement walls to each radiator. Does this sound correct or would it be better to have a supply and return manifold for the basement rads? Should I add air eliminators on the '90s' where they drop down towards the floor?

2. Do I need to install a larger circulator with me adding more radiators?

3. Is it best to install the zone valves on the return piping to the boiler?

I would be very grateful of any advice!

Thank you very much.
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