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Modcon Vs CI Combo

 
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:23 PM   #21
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Remember the sheet iron that held 2-4 tons of masonry in contact to heat up, then RELEASE the heat in the evening & early morning while the coal stoker was sleeping?


The more weight of anything that is INSIDE your home insulation 'blanket' the fewer times your furnace cycles....greater comfort as the delta Temps occur slower, fewer times and the system lasts longer, fewer thermal cycles, fewer starts and stops on the electrical parts and motors.

Thus next spring/summer install blue board/pink board outside the foundation, at least to the frost line, minus 42-8"? Tin it up, or stucco finish to protect it from damage, and a decent appearance.

Keeping the mortar from freezing eliminates frost damage= more decades between maintenance cycles....
A home where none of the STRUCTURAL elements freeze can last hundreds of years as long as the rain screen is properly maintained...

12 inches of rock 6 feet tall, times 100+ feet of perimeter = 22.2 yrds or about 33 tons plus of heat holding materail.

RE: condensate on brick chimney, the critical point is the exit at the top where the gas needs to be ABOVE 212 degrees after warming up... or the acid in the condensate will destroy the mortar at some point.

check to see the flue tiles are in place and intact..

You can piece the fireproofing out of 100% plaster if necessary..sleeve the penetrations, with two layers, don't use the same layout, don't allow the cuts to line up...

Just the cold air intake needs to be isolated from the house interior.

Was your furnace design to use the outside from the double wall pipe for combustion air? does the outside tin piping allow the constant intake of cold air to counterflow into the furnace?

Buy a 36" aluminum pipe wrench 'Rigid'.... remember if you get an old one, the jaws are replaceable, NO cheater bars on the lightweight Al. pipe wrenches please....

Next outage rent a thread cutter and install your needed U joints and valves.

A gas hot water heater would pay for it self in year or two.

The use of elbows may be to control heat expansion effects, remove them at your peril, make sure your expansion tank is large enough for your application, and all and any safety pop offs are functioning and properly plumbed to prevent burns and confusion.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:38 PM   #22
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


I see no evidence of there ever being concrete or other on that old boiler. Bare steel. I do understand what you are saying about the blanket effect. Would love to insulate outside foundation of course but that is not priority and would be extremely difficult here. I think the boiler room foundation would be the easiest and best place to start though. The rest of the basement will eventually get interior insulation.

I see no flue tile out the top of the chimney. Have not tried looking inside-up yet but can see the mortar up top needs repair. Not too bad for 115 year old though! Alsonot sure about the temp up top but there is little white smoke.

The double wall is not designed to bring intake air in. I think there is a stainless chimney top but not sure. Will have a look tomorrow.

I normally would have had that electric tank out almost immediately, but did not expect this much delay in getting the boiler change done.

Thanks for the advice on elbows and expansion. Didn't cross my mind but all elbows after near boiler piping would stay put, and there are only two elbows off that big old reducer tee set up, which will be removed if need be (something might break, redundant, or other. Not quite sure just yet)

But now to back up.
Someone on here or heating help said not too many can run 2 ci boilers the right way. I'm starting to realize what he was trying to say. Parallel primary secondary,
Variable speed circulators, staging controls, outdoor reset thermostatic valves etc to attempt to control all this can become technical and expensive. I don't believe I could dial this in myself.

I very much see the value modcons have to offer. More so every day. If anyone can run 2 ci boilers the right way, they will likely have the expertise to properly install a mod con as well. My fear of modcons stems from...

A: hundreds of horror stories online from contractors and homeowners alike

B: knowledge of how important it is to find the right contractor...

😄 working with m-tracs and the multitude of failures where modulation is concerned.


Yes I would rather run the 2 boilers but...

There is a company in Winkler Manitoba that specializes in hydronics. Only an hour away. They sell pre-made boiler boards etc and think like we do. This is a system and much be approached as such. Check-out their site.

Heating Innovations. Winkler Manitoba.

Trinity tx. Made by NTI is what they sell but I truly believe from all i have read that the installer is 90% to blame for mod con failures. Not following or misunderstanding manuals it seems.

These guys are hydronics and home heating evaluation specialists. That sounds more like what I need.

I am a maintenance fanatic. Boiler failure due to lack of maintenance will in no way be an issue around here.
Cast iron drains will not rot. Yes they need to be changed. 3 feet from the floor down. The rest is now abs.
Condensate neutralizer and pump. Not a big deal right?
Close off that damn chimney. The new liner has done it's job. No need to squeeze every last drop of it's life.

Ceiling needs protection and this boiler needs to go before it goes.
Have a quick look at their site...
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:23 PM   #23
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Above post:

The iron sheet was part of oil and/or coal heater that was in place sometime between 1900-1950... not you current boiler. IMHO

long term a rain cap and flue tile reduce time between repairs.

A snake camera will show any need for masonry flue work.

But as your heater gets more efficient, the more likely you will need a metal liner to the top of the existing chimney to prevent condensation damage. Internal chimneys vs outer wall chimneys are more efficient as the "waste" heat is partially recaptured by the stack, as long as there is sufficient energy left to keep the water created by combustion warm enough to remain in gaseous state. (over 212 Fahrenheit.)

I think you need to spend a little more learning how modern systems work...Do the cheap upgrades, saving $ for a new correctly sized hopefully flexible output system. control artificial Intelligence is getting cheaper every day....


Don't understand the dual boiler unless it was in a large home to shorten runs, and create zones...two separate systems, maybe with emergency cross connects for break downs.

Or maybe the use of the Water heater(with boiler water coil) as the low output boiler with a slightly undersized boiler for high demands??

Basically Heat demand = delta T between desired T(72) and out of doors T(-10 here), modified by solar energy effects, and wind speed increasing Air changes, tiny changes from # of door openings etc...cooking, hot showers .....bath room vents, clothes dryers...

And of course occupancy, and little more from humidity %.

You can measure temps from floor to ceiling, the greater the difference, the larger the need for insulation (a heating season air door on your stairs perhaps?)


But crazy over-regulation/ State interference keep the cost of home heating goods high. Boilers that cost a large fraction of their total lifetime fuel cost = crazy days in the USA,IMHO.

Long term try to preserve multi fuel options, and have some sort of disaster plan in place for long term break downs in the Energy supplies
As our grid becomes evermore fragile from demobbing Nuke and Coal fired plants that work even when pipelines fail, the wind doesn't blow, and make power in the dark nights and cloudy days.

A week now with out heat would frost damage every pipe in my home and month of cold might cause frost heaves in worst cases.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:37 PM   #24
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


The chimney is metal lined from the boiler to about 4' above the brick chimney and the old steel boiler I mention is just a big old shell that was once a coal burner. It just sits there taking space. Not hooked up to anything.

The weil pcg 6 is probably late 70's (weil couldn't tell me anything from the 4 digit serial number) But it is a standing pilot. Amazingly we have been in a -35c cold snap past few days with almost constant -50 windchills and this thing is keeping up. Even cycles every hour and a half or so, but is still in poor shape.
A breakdown now would likely start freezing pipes in a day.

Dual boilers in my eyes is pretty much just for redundancy, but funny you should mention separate systems with emergency crossover connections. I was recently just thinking that would be relatively simple in this case, seeing as each side of that monster Tee set up is for half the house. Two thermostats. One each side of the house. One for each boiler. Primary secondary with three way thermostatic boiler protection bypass. 4 circulators. Very simple. Would eliminate the need for a boiler control and set up complications...

Hwt for heating dhw and a small boiler. Not a bad idea. Get rid of the electric tank with that in mind. It could be hooked up to the heating system later.

There are so many options.

I am most familiar with technology from 2005 and newer, albeit industrial and mostly all engineered air units, radiant tubes and a few standards like super hot, and camus. Most of those standards had tekmar controls, which never failed. I was only exposed to these for about 5 years.

I did a lot of research into mod con technology etc after being quoted for this house, hence my hesitation. No its not the boilers or technologies fault for the bad mod con rep, for the most part I believe.

Dual fuel would be awesome. Biggest issue there is that everything needs electricity nowadays. Even this old weil won't fire up if electrical is down. 24 volt. Or would it? Never tried. Should look at that wiring. It does have a thermocouple, which went last year. 1 hour and 20 bucks later I was up and running!

Fuel costs are sure not going down, and that's a tough one.
Mod cons with internal controls vs Non condensing with external electronics.

Lifespan vs fuel savings.
Fear of breakdowns. (Thats the biggest one)
I don't even particularly like the idea of getting rid of this old weil because it's so tough and simple but it won't last forever.

Btw the expansion tank you mentioned was rusted and full of water. Gauge on the boiler when I got here after the chimney liner was installed showed 35 psi. ( think 3 winters ago)They put the liner in, fired up that boiler and left. No call back. Nothing. I was out of town and came back to that. My first call to one of the only two contractors here. Never had a chance to look at it myself and since I am not a pro and my Wife was here alone I called them and asked them to please go clean it and make sure it was safe. That was it.

As soon as I saw that gauge at 35 psi I realized either the relief valve was bad or the gauge was wrong. Luckily it was the gauge, and the expansion tank. Had to relocate the tank and add a new gauge elsewhere, (didnt dare touch that gauge on the boiler, badly corroded) fill the system for a baseline pressure, which was so far off there was no water in the rads on the second floor with the boiler running for two days, make sure the tank was on par with system pressure etc. These are the guys that expect me to trust them to install a mod con? Not happening.

Sorry. Venting but I do want you to understand why I am here, talking to pros like you who care and want to help...
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:57 PM   #25
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Rent a 14" electric or gas wet demo saw with a cast iron blades to part out the old furnace, more room to work in the Basement/shop.

And any other dead appliances that seem to collect at the bottom of the basement stairs....

You could insulate the ground floor joists and pretty much let the basement drop to ground temps....

Since your chimney is metal lined to past the top, you could add 10-30' of single wall pipe(stainless?) between the chimney and boiler outlet to capture some waste heat out of the exhaust.

You might need heat shielding (dry wall & tin reflector)above the 'economizer' loop, to protect the ceiling wood work.

You might want to keep to electric water heater for use in gas outages?

With the circulating pump power, do you want your boiler running?

maybe a large 12 volt invertor installed on your truck?Car?

penetrating oils/ssprays, Dry ice/ice on inside fitting/heat on the exterior?

For me the primary purpose of Teflon tapes etc, is to keep them from corroding, even a little white grease will slow fittings "welding" or corroding together.

OM, https://www.weil-mclain.com/sites/de...n-manual_1.pdf

Note need for larger expansion tanks when over ~30 gallons total heated water.

And not to exceed 30 psi water test pressure.

Note, until you seal the boiler and the chimney bonnet off from the house, it is sucking heated air out of the house 24/7 all heating season.

This is job one, design/Build the air tight "room" so it will work with what ever you plan to replace this unit when it dies or you upgrade.
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:48 PM   #26
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Demo saw. Great idea. Thanks and Lol. That is the only dead appliance here. Its a huge basement and that thing is not really in the way but won't be at all soon. Plasma or my angle grinder. That's partly why it's still down there. Low on the priority list and will have to wait until windows can be opened down there!

I've located a few of these old weil files. Difference with this one is the IBR which shows 90kbtu. My plate shows 104 but the input and gross are correct at 150 and 120. This boiler has a built in air scoop.(corroded of course) Any idea when weil started using those?

Question.
Ibr considers piping/ jacket losses heating mass etc
Gross is actual heat output.

Is there a way to check true output?
If I check fuel input rate and get a combustion analysis done would that be how to estimate?
This was rated to be 80% efficient but is it now? I clean it and the flames look good. Bit of ash on the bottom and the HX is clean. I had to drain the system at least twice to do repairs ( i know bad. Oxygen) but havent actually flushed it yet. The way this is all set up right now the 104 IBR keeps up and is close to my heat loss estimate of 96 k and my minds eye says this boiler is at this point the right size. If i were to swap this one out for another same size and type( no other changes) could I actually have a higher output than what there is now? I would assume yes but by how much?

There was a pathetic attempt to insulate the floor joists with fiberglass Batts that I took down. My only worry in doing that would then be frozen water pipes? I'm imagining if I did insulate the joists it would get even colder down there? ( Btw I've changed almost all to pex). The main line for about 35' is decent copper but below the joists. Guess a bit of heat trace would work for now.

I had considered a Rheem marathon but given the choice I'll likely go with indirect. I've never heard of a gas outage here but electricity sometimes goes out. I'll keep that inverter in mind and I've considered getting a back up generator anyhow. Some nice set ups out there and
I guess the boiler running without a bypass around that circulator might not be a smart idea!

I.use Kroil and heat the fittings but never thought of cooling inners.
For sealing I use the masters brand metallic pipe joint compound, which must have a fair amount of lead as the containers are quite heavy.

Not quite understanding how to go about the heat capture / economizer loop idea but I'll try to look it up.

Assuming the expansion tank is the correct size. I put that #30 on with the thought that if it maxed out i could just add another. I never got an accurate measurement on total water amount but I estimate around 82 us gallons

Had a small pressure issue a few weeks ago. For whatever reason the cold pressure dropped to 8 psi from 11( no leaks anywhere) and the reducer did not replenish. I opened it up enough to get water back upstairs( it has to be done on this one by turning the pressure up. No quick fill on it) so no longer have an accurate baseline but I see about a 6 psig increase in pressure (to 18 psi) at full run until it hits limit (which is now at 175 which gave me that 20 delta you suggested) and the tank fills about halfway. I'll have to wait until warmer weather hits before changing out that reducing valve and resetting pressures but for now I figure the pressure in the system is ok. Just enough to get a low pressure stream out of the second floor bleeders.

Room plans are in progress, but it is a process. I really like a brick wall room idea down there. That coal chute will come in handy for that!

I'm still hoping to find someone out here who will tell me the things I need to hear and give me the trust to maybe get that mod con, which Ultimately does make sense to me.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:05 AM   #27
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


To check true output of the boiler to the piping/rads, you would need to know actual GPM through the boiler.



1 GPM at a 20F temp rise is 10,000 BTUs.


A single 1 1/2" black pipe at 175F ran across the ceiling in a basement at 50F will lose roughly 320 BTUs per foot of pipe.


However, 2 or more of those pipes ran together in that area, would only lose about 208 BTUs per foot of pipe each, for that area.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:22 AM   #28
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


I see the standard equation as being gpm= btuh delta t x 500. The only time I see a 20 delta t is when the supply temp gets above 160. Otherwise I see about 22-23F delta with this grunfos 15-58 on speed 3. That delta goes up by about 10-12 for each decrease in speed to a max of about 45 on low speed.

So using gross output? of 120k btu it appears that I would be circulating at a rate of about 11.5 gpm but I have no idea if I'm actually producing that 120 gross or if this is the right way of looking at this.

Would any of this info help a contractor help me size? It really seems from what I'm seeing proper pumping is a big part of this (to maintain delta t, which I assume is only best for the boiler, not my rads) and part of that seems to be knowing volume and pipe length etc, which IBR can only estimate?

I think my goal here is to attempt to do some leg work that any contractor would simply not have time to figure out ( barring a bottomless bank account) or at the very least have enough knowledge to know if what I am being sold is not being based on "rule of thumb". At this point I'm basing size of this boiler considering that circulator size is correct( based on delta t) and that I'm actually getting gross output of 120k btu.

Example:
I was quoted on a triangle tube 110 ( which I see is now a 105). The ahri is 82 k btu. From the way I see things operating right now that would be too small. I estimate once the basement and pipes are insulated 88 k btu is minimum.

Put it this way. Would it make your job any easier in helping to install what would be best for my situation if this any of this info were available for you?

Another very confusing item to me is the edr of these rads. I've looked at several sites which have accurate dimensions etc and did the calculations on these rads. According to that my rad edr at 170f would be 49k btu, which I see could not be right... Someone on here said my house must be very cold, which would seem to be right.
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:51 PM   #29
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


88 k btu would be on design day...
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:15 AM   #30
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Or should I assume 550' of pipe + fittings would = over 40' of head which would mean I'm moving almost nothing with this pump, which cannot be true?
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:41 PM   #31
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


At Post # 30: Draw a isometric single pipe diagram, remember PARALLEL loops LOWER resistance, in series fittings/piping increase 'head'.

remember gauge pressure, you might be drawing a partial 'vacumn', i.e. less then local air pressure. (before the pump..)

You don't want the system to drop pressure so much the return water starts to 'boil'/cavitate...

Divide fuel Btus burned per month /over burner on time % /720 hours per 30 month?

Next Spring get an air door test to see how leaky your house is?

You might find it cheaper to MOVE then to fix an un insulated masonry walled home, If your house is two wyth/layers of brick, the cheap fix is to add furring inside with insulation, = a far smaller rooms.
b. add a veneer of brick/block/stone/stucco over 2-3" aluminum faced rock wool,~30,000$+, and the cost of sub frost poured concrete footing to support the masonry.....another 7-12,000$.

You could staple up an Air barrier Now on your basement ceiling to slow the boiler chimney drawing heated air into the basement and up the chimney. Even two coats of quality paint on the subfloor and joists would decrease the permeability/air changes.

No knowledge regarding boiler model selection, except way under sized = bad, way oversized wasting money.

A simple depreciation spread ought to tell when is the best time to spend funds, Don't forget all the other annual repairs and maintenance of an old Brick home, at least 2 % of the sale price, more for one maintained for decades.

Remember you are better off making 50$/hr. working for yourself, and paying a pro plumber $100.00/hr to repair/replace your heater... that would taken you 4 to 8 hrs....
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:54 PM   #32
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


First I do want you to know I very much appreciate all of your advice.

As far as posting that isometric goes for one my drawing sucks and for another I can't seem to find a way to post anything on here other than text.

Even if I could post pics as well it would not do much good. I've taken many pics of what is here and there is not a way that anyone can quite understand this setup just from pics. I have to piece those pics together and explain before it's even somewhat understood. It's quite a situation. Something that really needs to be seen. The gas fitter that did the stove line had his head cocked a few different ways and had a few hums and haws and such!
Nothing I've seen in any of these books or other old houses comes close. But it does work and quite well it seems. It's suprisingly quiet, pump included (can't hear anything from more than 6 feet away) and well balanced through the house...

I read somewhere recently that "Hydronics are the Lamborghini of heating systems. Would you want a Ford mechanic to work on your Lamborghini?"
Something like that. Now I have guys like you trying to troubleshoot that unique old Lamborghini without the ability to see, hear or test it, yet you continue to attempt to help. Highly commendable to say the least...

I know there is no possible way you could estimate my necessary btu. It won't be an easy task for anyone but from what I can tell the flames are good, pump speed is good ( based on delta) and my original estimate of 96 k btu is very close to this 104 IBR and that keeps up at well below the design day temp, so judging simply by the way this operates as of now the sizing seems to be pretty close as is. A tad on the big side. A little small would not hurt. That's easy to temporarily overcome. Sure would be nice to drop that input by 30k btu and get that same output (or equivalent) though! The pipes under the main hallway and stairs to second floor are now heating them up even more with the upper limit increase, so insulating that section of pipes is likely not the best idea. Insulate the basement there first. Force more of that heat up. Less pipe loss through the cold. Then maybe insulate some of that pipe. The rest of that pipe in other sections of the basement can all be insulated as well as the walls = more btuh upstairs.

That pump cannot be on low speed unless the system is already hot or that boiler supply heats up fast but the haet does not go far fast enough. Boiling was considered immediately. Its easy to tell that low is not fast enough. Boiler heats up gast but heat just sits there. High speed must be very close the way things are set up, considering delta t is 20ish. There is no velocity or other strange noises. Pump does not get any hotter than incoming water.
I don't know how after almost 2 years of static cold 11 psi that pressure dropped to 8 but I was able to correct it. It's holding now. I check every day several times. That's been steady for weeks.

It seems I can fix SOME of this. Attempting to design a system is something I now realize is far more complex than I could have imagined. A few books etc is not going to do it. Not even close. I also never had intent on attempting to install my own boiler.

Some piping I can do with guidance. Some without. I do need a way to shut off the six supply and returns and from the few Ive so far done here I see no easy way. I'm hoping from that point someone else can incorporate correct near boiler systems, and that cannot be done before getting someone in here who knows and recommends. I can wrench the pipes myself and there is a lot of it. I would not mind spending the off heat season and all of my spare non heating season time doing what needs to be done in and to that room. With guidance.


I fully understand what costs could be involved with proper insulating of this house, but for the most part I accept it as it is. I knew that coming in. Done it before. Knew more or less what I was getting into. The basement is a different story. A lot more can be done there.

There is some insulation in the walls which are one row of brick over 3/4" shiplap and tar paper. Main floor walls are lath and plaster. Some of which I have removed and spray foamed, fiberglassed and vapor barriered. That made a big difference.

The rest of the main floor walls have at least some blown in. I just don't know yet to what extent. Since they have been nicely done, they will stay that way. No strange cold spots I've seen yet.

All of the second floor has newer pvc windows and was drywalled. Insulating value as yet unknown, but no drafts or unusual cold spots etc. Attics (one I have not found the entrance to. They drywalled that ceiling section of the house) is at least r 40 with lath and plaster ceiling.

The outside walls will stay as they are. The brick can use some touching up and as you mentioned, waterproofed. I have some experience with these old houses and did not expect to be adding much by way of insulation, in or out, as nice as that would be.
I added where I did while renovating and will likely not add more in any finished walls, but all in all this house is pretty cheap to heat, not at all drafty and has absolutely no signs of frost anywhere inside, or cold spots, unlike so many other old homes I've seen. Candles barely move near windows frames etc.temp gun outside shows very little leakage ( considering) thermal image will show more, but all in all It's pretty comfortable.

I have always had good success sealing doors and windows etc. This house has almost no drafts at all, except for the basement, which I've thus far managed the worst of.
This is where my focus will be now. Get that room on the go. I now have a much better idea of what to ask. Thank you.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:40 AM   #33
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


The drawing is for your local use, I think your piping #s(lengths) are shaky.

If you can't draw it, you don't understand it yet?

Lath and plaster on exterior walls?
Thus a stud frame behind, sheathing, then the single layer of face brick?

Not a structurally brick home?

A infrared camera would be damned handy in identifying un-insulated wall panels.

As you tighten up the the air changes an hour #, be aware you increase the possibility of the chimney back drafting CO2 and CO, in the worst case possibility, I'd install a CO detector(basement staircase?) and a CO2 counter if you can afford it.

I'd have at least two pressure gauges installed, one on each side of the pump. Some thing to do during the warm season?

READ The owners manual again till you understand why your system needs the larger expansion tank-age, and check that the old tank isn't water logged/failed.

cheat: 40 gallons+ of near boiling water = 4x the volume needed for expansion, other wise the cycling of pressure up and down fatiguing the metal of system.....All those 1.5" Pipes & Radiators add water volume fast.

Check to see if you have a bi-metal damper to save heat while the flame is out, a cheap upgrade that would pay in less then one year...
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:09 PM   #34
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


I can draw it. It's just not a pretty sight. Lol.
That is actually what I had to do to help me figure out an odd construction technique they used above an exposed beam that runs through the dining room. I was then able to approach the structural engineer at work and get his approval on my proposed repairs. Without doing that drawing, it simply made no sense. That detailed drawing was absolutely invaluable and took me many hours. Drafting is definitely not one of my strong points and creating drawings was probably that hardest thing I had to do during my electrical apprenticeship. (unfortunately incompleted. Life can be harsh)

The supply and returns are very easy to identify. They are completely separated. Not even a bypass exists. Supply line feeds verticaĺly for about 2' makes a 90 then runs about 3' horizontally to a 6" dia.vertical pipe,(and of course that supply line was welded in to that 6" npt 12" vertical pipe that has a bowl welded on the bottom) that 6" pipe is threaded into the 6" tee which is then reduced to six main supplies, some of which have parallel circuits furtherdown. The return is basically the same and this is one of the few places where a union actually exists.
If I wanted to remove that 6" pipe (that has the supply welded to it), I could separate the horizontal supply line union. There would be about 18" of the supply line sticking out of that piece of 6" pipe it is welded to, and could actually use the supply line as a wrench to unthread that thing from the 6" tee.

Correct on the structure of the house and the camera is a great idea. My neighbor has a thermal imager.

I do have 3 Co detectors and thanks I was aware.

The brickwork around the mostly horizontal b vent was broken out in order to accomodate the new liner, which makes a 90 after entering the masonry chimney and was left as is with a good foot of opening all around the b vent. That boiler area is more like a dungeon. It was not suggested to me that it be closed up and to tell you the truth I never gave it much thought.

No damper, and I also did not know a bimetally controlled one exists! We are experiencing a heat wave right now. It's a tepid -25 c during the day, (haha) But in this kind of weather I could easily shut it down for an hour or so to put one in if that will help. We still have a good 2 months of heating to go!

There is a spot about 18" before the grundfos with an actual working gate valve on it that housed the old rusted #30 expansion tank. I can add a gauge there ( without the fear of breaking anything) after that valve and will do so shortly.

When I replaced the tank 2 years ago I tapped into the existing fill valve line, which is fed in directly above the start of the 1.5 " supply. That is where I added the gauge as well.
So copper line from fill valve to a tee at the supply line. One side of the tee for a gauge, the other side with a nipple, ball valve, nipple, tank, support straps, nipple, drain, cap. Easy to add more tank.

Now I am thinking. The pressure may have dropped because the tank is unfortunately on the return line pumping towards the point of no pressure change, that I am now aware of. For whatever reason the fill valve did not respond, so I replaced the pressure manually. Now the pressure in the system is basically unknown, other than what I see with the tank valve closed and the system hot. (Above 120f) The tank is fine, holding air, no water on the schrader end, but since it has been so cold and the system is showing only a max 6 psi increase in pressure and enough to keep the rads upstairs full, I figure it's ok until the temp outside comes up enough to allow me to equalize that pressure and add more tank which still would not explain why a tank this small only fills up halfway. ( tap test) I've run the system for short periods with the tank closed off, and do see more of an increase.

I originally replaced that tank with the expectation the system would require more tank. I am going to do a more accurate pipe length measurement, but there is at the very least 400 feet, plus of course the rads. Again I started out wanting to educate myself enough to make some small repairs etc. but had no idea how involved this or myself would actually become!

I was actually considering moving that pump to the supply side (and add maybe even a thermal or simple valved correctly gauged boiler protection bypass )when the heating season was done and gauge that and the pump from both sides. Not sure if I will as yet. Hoping this will be the last season of this setup, yet it sure would be interesting to observe!

So for now, read again, measure pipes, calculate rad volume, add a gauge and damper, install another tank! Assuming that the pressure should not change at all if the tank sizing and pressure balance is correct?
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:57 AM   #35
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Looked at it again. Pumping towards the tank the pump would see the pressure drop on suction side. Gauge would not. It's on the discharge side. Need that second gauge to see the differences at the very least for learning purposes!
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:57 AM   #36
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Another thought. Maybe that pressure dropped simply because of the extreme and sudden temp change in the basement, which of course would still not explain the fill valve not responding...
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:25 PM   #37
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Yup. Tanks way too small. It's stupid cold out again. Windchill hasn't gone above -40 for 2 days.
I turned down the therm and let return water temp drop down to 90. Pressure dropped down to 14 psig. Then fired it back up. After a solid hour and a half run time ( longest ive ever seen) pressure crept up to 24...
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:23 PM   #38
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Did that reading. Then some digging. Wattage tank calculator.
Initial pressure set at 11 psi/ 58 F
160 ish high limit. 80 gallons estimated. Tank was not too far off.( According to that watts calculator)

Water temp dropped to an abnormally low 40 ish, plus I increased high limit almost 20 and also no longer have an accurate cold fill baseline pressure.
Looks like I need to add one more #30
At least.

So.
Allow return water temp to come down to at least 50f.
Isolate expansion tank from supply.
Adjust system pressure to 12 psi.
Remove existing tank to check for water.
Check and adjust tank pressures.
Add second tank.
Check for air in rads.
Adjust system pressure if bleeding is necessary.
Open isolation valve.
Check psig while opening valve to see that it remained static. (watch for sparks. Lol).
Install gauge on suction side.

If that doesn't work, buy new house. Haha.

Filltrols any good?
Assuming reducing valve is not cooperating.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:07 AM   #39
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Tap test doesn't work if you don't know what it's telling you. At least I'm checking the gauge...
Isolated, drained and tank pushed out about 4 gal of water. 3.5 psi left in tank. just assumed it would almost completly fill with water. It has 12 psi now.
Tank is fine. I had let some air out to bring down total pressure a bit after increasing high limit, (which I've lowered back to 160 until I can get another tank and readjust cold pressure) hence the 3.5 psig.

I know just enough to be dangerous...

Last edited by Kirkhj; 02-08-2019 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Missed stuff
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:45 AM   #40
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Re: Modcon Vs CI Combo


Stuff some paperless fiber glass or rock wool into the chimney around the B-Vent. Un til you can mortar & brick it up tight
Your chimney around the hot vent pipe draw$ heated air from your basement up the stack.....Air that is needed for combustion in the Water Heater.

The large volume of heated water the 6" supply & return legs add thermal 'inertia' to your system, You probably need to adjust the "anticipator" setting on your thermostat.


Borrow the thermal imaginer to check for air pockets in the higher elevation radiators, the dry cast iron will cool down faster....

When the system is Full, it will have max output, and you will have repeatable adjustments on the different circuts.

Line up a couple of back up heaters beforehand, if you plan on cold weather service...

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