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Forced Hot-water System

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Old 03-01-2006, 12:31 PM   #1
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Forced Hot-water System

I have a technical question about forced hot-water heating system and figure I would find the answer here.

I mentioned to an Engineer that we were planning to change our heating system to force hot-water which he advise that possibly we should re-think doing this. We use our woodstove and if we continue to use our woodstove, it will be risky as the force hot-water system won't run & re-circulate the warm water into the pipes causing frozen pipes if we place our pipes outside and underneath the bedrooms (that part has a crawl space underneath our floors which is open). He has force hot-water heating system in his house in which the maintenance/prevention of frozen pipes is quite expensive. He has an ol barnhouse which is big and quite drafty (like ours). He had to put anti-freeze into the sytem to prevent his pipes from freezing which is costly. Also the boiler system needs to be checked every year as the antifreeze does do a number of pipes/parts plus to add more antifreeze.

I realize that part of our force-water pipes would be placed inside in the basement, and the rest would be placed outside of the house which could risk having frozen pipes.

Would pipe insulation be helpful? What else would be helpful. Do you really need to add antifreeze to the system? We rely on our woodstove and was thinking of having two heating zones. One near the woodstove (front of the house), the other in the back where the bedrooms are that are above the crawl space. Would this method help?
Thank you.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:37 AM   #2
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Re: Forced Hot-water System

Depending on the type and design of your system there may be a few things that can be done to prevent the system from freezing.

Anti freeze is good, and just to let you know not all anti freezes causes chaos to systems, also many times the reasons for the problems with anti freeze is they do not put enough in.

Another option for you to consider, is constant circulation of the system while your wood stove is running this will prevent any freezing.
However if you are using the system for both heat and hot water, you may need to install a three way valve system.

Insulation alone will not help much, adding heat tape is out of the question as the water temptures will damange the tapes and may cause a fire.



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