ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
ShoutChat Box
Recent Posts
uk electrical trainee to usa quals
by gfretwell - 03/30/20 11:25 PM
Do you count seconds?
by Trumpy - 03/30/20 11:11 PM
All this testing and tagging stuff?
by Trumpy - 03/30/20 10:36 PM
Where is Everyone?
by Texas_Ranger - 03/30/20 06:51 PM
Ground fault remover :-)
by dsk - 03/30/20 01:45 AM
New in the Gallery:
Facebook follies, bad wiring
FPE in Germany pt.2
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 9 guests, and 9 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 2 of 3 1 2 3
Re: Boilers [Re: twh] #192359 02/10/10 01:00 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 85
W
WireNuts29 Offline
Member
Alan,
that is a nice neat job..but don't they sell something in a box that will do the same thing ..ok maybe not. But seriously suppose something were to happen to you would your wife or who ever know how to keep the heat going? or suppose you try to sell your house alot of folks may be turned away by all these " upgrades".

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Re: Boilers [Re: WireNuts29] #192546 02/17/10 09:50 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 13
A
adamh Offline
Member
Wirenuts,

Alan's system isn't as complicated as it looks. The timers and thermostats are standard devices over here (Alan's location is given as France, but I see some U.K. parts in there too) and everybody is used to using them. Most people wouldn't worry about the rest of it as long as the heat comes on when they need it!

Plumbing wise, with underfloor heating becoming more and more popular, that sort of arrangement is not unusual these days. It's built up from several standard setups and any decent plumber and electrician would be able to maintain and repair it. It being neatly laid out and accessible like that would be considered a luxury, that sort of thing is usually hidden in a dark, cramped hole somewhere.

Re: Boilers [Re: adamh] #192550 02/17/10 12:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,471
T
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member
Originally Posted by adamh
(Alan's location is given as France, but I see some U.K. parts in there too)
I see one, the switch:
https://www.electrical-photos.com/showphoto.php/photo/1013
Who can spot more? wink

Re: Boilers [Re: Texas_Ranger] #192559 02/17/10 06:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Alan Belson Offline
Member
Yup! France and in the middle of nowhere! Wirenuts- as Adam says, it's not as complex as it looks and all the parts are conventional Eu heating components. And it is now possible to buy a 'pack' for an underfloor zone, you get the same bits and they charge you over a hundred sobs to connect them with pipes. I can do that, gissa job! laugh

What you see is three separate heating systems running on one board- a conventional 7 radiator setup and two underfloor heating zones. Plus all the other stuff it turned out to be convenient to locate under the stairs. Zoning is only necessary if you want to have different temperatures in different areas. My wife suffers the normal hormone probs of a lady of her generation, a-hem, so we keep the bedroom cooler than the sitting room. This avoids me waking half frozen at 3am with the duvet on top of the dog! I also have a full set of drawings and could knock up an idiots guide fast if needed. Also, I hope to be moving outa here in a box so it's not my main worry! cool I built this for me, the next owner can light a fire if he's cold!

Basically, each area is served by its own programmer, which signals a motorised 2-port valve which controls water flow. Each of these signals a zone circulator to start and also fires up the boiler with a non backfeeding signal. The boiler has its own circulator fitted as a booster as its a long house. All pretty conventional. The boiler and burner are French, due solely to the weight and carriage costs. Every serviceable component has ball or gate valves either side, so any breakdowns can be serviced by a swap out. In an emergency, I can rob the first floor components to keep the ground floor running - [ and I have done this once, before I bought a spare MV and circulator].

All the parts are well known to both French/Brit plumbers, even though I bought most of it in the UK. The 20A UK isolator [ CE Approved] was fitted because a neon-indicated switch like this does not exist here- French electricians would simply fit a panel and breaker, which IMHO is not good practice for regular switching. All the 22mm pipe is British as the French stuff snaps in the benders, it being fully hard.

Tex, In fact most of what you see was bought in the UK. This is because mail order internet is faster than the local tortoises, better quality, far lower prices and has no quibble guarantees. Germany is the best place for the latest oil pumps at keen prices, for instance. I also plan ahead and buy stuff in bulk on my visits to blighty. I can get parts like burner nozzles from New York faster and cheaper- [ would you believe US$4.00 for a nozzle costing US$22.00 here but none in stock?] - than 2 km up the road + the guy I deal with in NY falls over himself to be helpful and professional and he speaka my lingo, near as dammit! It's a sad fact, but French 'guarantees' and customer service are terrible, and I hesitate to buy anything with more than 2 working parts locally. bash


Wood work but can't!
Re: Boilers [Re: Alan Belson] #192751 03/01/10 11:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
T
twh Offline OP
Member
Quote
would your wife or who ever know how to keep the heat going?

From the heating systems that I see, I think that no one cares if it can be maintained. Around here, a fairly common set-up would have an outdoor temp sensor to control boiler flame level (or at least output temperature) with domestic water heating having priority and overriding the outdoor sensor, in-floor zones and forced air zones interlocked to prevent simultaneous heating and cooling, and in the case of potable water being used in the heating system - a circulator that moves water through the system during non-heating periods.

Boilers are generally serviced by plumbers, anyway. I only get called after they've changed all the parts and announced to the customer that it quit working after 3 years because it was wired wrong.

Re: Boilers [Re: twh] #192791 03/03/10 03:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,471
T
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member
Here is our crazy setup we inherited from the previous owner when my grandmother bought the house in 2005:
[Linked Image]

The heart of the system is a standard natural gas water heater, I guess 200l. It supplies hot water to both shoerws, bathroom sinks and the kitchen sink, as well as heat via the green circulation pump at the very top of the picture. Further to the left there is the heat exchanger (silver box) that separates potable water and heat.

There are 3 heating zones. Two supply different parts of the house with heat using copper pipes snaking through the brick walls (rather than radiators).
The third "zone" is one long run of straight pipe that runs through the whole perimeter of the house just above the floor, with the intent of battling rising damp by heating the walls and evaporating any moisture inside the walls (so I was told).

The drying circuit is driven by the left-hand pump and controled via a thermostatic valve.

The two heating loops are conencted to manifolds, red and blue, indicating hot and cold but perfectly mixed up. The pump (pretty much hidden by the manifolds) just pumped hot water into the cold manifold, bypassing the entire loop.

In short dry words that means the whole system worked merely by accident. We since had the heating loop pump removed and the original drying loop pump connected to serve both loops.

The pumps used to run 24/7/365 and the only means of control were two thermostatic valves and the hot water temperature. We connected the pumps to a timeclock and only run the heat for roughly 2-3 hours a day depending on the time of the year, which hopefully cuts down on our gas bills drastically. Note how the original genius just hard wired a power strip and plugged in the pumps...

Eventually we might wind up adding radiators though I guess. The wall heati system is nice as the walls get an even temperature, but it takes at least a full day to get the house warm. That's intolerable for a weekend home during the cold season. We usually rely on portable electric heaters and the wood fired tiled kitchen stove until the gas heat picks up.

Re: Boilers [Re: Texas_Ranger] #192794 03/03/10 05:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
T
twh Offline OP
Member
Quote
We connected the pumps to a timeclock and only run the heat for roughly 2-3 hours a day depending on the time of the year
It's a little colder than that, here. We also can't use a normal water heater because they won't stand up to the constant circulation and fail after a few years. It gets down to -40c for a couple days every year and -30c isn't unusual for a week or two. For the guys from southern US, Fahrenheit and Celsius are the same at -40. It's about the same weather as North Dakota.

We often have a main circulating pump that just circulates through the boiler (hot to cold), and the remote heating loops draw from, and return to, the main loop. Is that what you're describing? The specs I read were that the two sides of the remote loop must be within inches of each other. I think it's to stop the return temperature from being too cold and causing condensation of flue gasses.

I understand about the time it takes to warm up a system with a lot of mass. In-floor heat has the same problem. It also has a cool down problem. Forget about night set-back on the thermostat. It's a definite draw-back.

Re: Boilers [Re: twh] #192797 03/03/10 06:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Alan Belson Offline
Member
twh/tex;

Boilers start-ups on a poorly designed system can mean a long wait to get any heat out! It is even possible to stall a boiler indefinitely and it could be literally raining in your boiler firebox, esp firing nat gas, which will make 8 times the weight of the gas burned as water! If that can't get out of your stack as steam 'cos its too cold.... frown . The answer is a valve between the hot outlet and the cold inlet ports on the boiler. This bypasses hot water back to the boiler inlet at start. An automatic model will drop out when you hit the target boiler temperature and will respond to load too. Modern lightweight fabricated boilers will corrode out pdq if run cold for too long- cast iron is more tolerant.
Here's one automatic adjustable bypass valve type:
http://ecc.emea.honeywell.com/products/ecatdata/pg_du145.html

These cost about =US$45 in France.

I used a cheap manual bypass-valve, [set at 10% bypass by experiment], but then my boiler is a big iron-lump!

I'm running set-back with no probs. We have to wait 5 hours to get the floor hot from cold [1 time per year, September], but I have also got reversible A/C and a woodstove for backup. Once the 12 tons of concrete floor slab heat up, a 2 or 3 hour am burn raises the slab to give us 20C [68F] for the next 24 hours, but we do live near the Altantic and usually have mild winters, unlike Continental places like Vienna or ND. We target 20C [68F] from 6am through 11pm, then program minima 16C [60F] at night, and these temps are remarkably stable. The boiler has never fired at night, even at -15C = 0F outside - the slab never cools fast enough.

Underfloor will never work properly without the investment in insulation. [ min 20cm = 8" Rockwool or equivalent, - I also put 100mm of extruded PS under the slab - and draft sealing, double glazing etc, investments with a payback of 25% or more on capital]. It can't cope with rapid temperature variations or too high a demand. You must limit the heat requirement to less than 100W per sq meter of floor area, for no underfloor can emit more than that without broiling the dog!

To reduce losses further, I fitted a heat recuperating ventilation system to run 24 7 365. Then I got the first summer's POCO bill after lashing out $300+ on CFLs! A 100W vent fan 24/7 = over 200kwh per quarter with her indoors having all the doors and windows thrown open! Now it only runs in winter! Live and learn. blush




Wood work but can't!
Re: Boilers [Re: Alan Belson] #192803 03/03/10 07:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Alan Belson Offline
Member
Tex: Difficult to see, even blown up, but have you got one of these between the boiler ports hot and cold? It's a mechanical bypass [vanne melangeuse suedeoise- never seen one in the UK], with a dial indicating the amount of boiler hot to cold bleed-back. They come in 3 port [voie] versions too. They do tend to gum up solid, so adjusting the bypass is often impossible after a few years.

http://www.ebaneo.com/gamme-1820-vanne-melangeuse-4-voies.php


Last edited by Alan Belson; 03/03/10 07:53 PM. Reason: spelling error

Wood work but can't!
Re: Boilers [Re: Alan Belson] #192804 03/03/10 07:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
T
twh Offline OP
Member
Quote
The boiler has never fired at night, even at -15C = 0F outside - the slab never cools fast enough.
That was my point.

The automatic valves that I've seen are all related to regulating water temperature into the slab. The plumbers are following the manufacturers instructions when the use a pump on a main loop, but tmtowtdi (there's more than one way to do it).

The plumbers I work with keep the water temp going into the slab at about 120F. Higher than that damages the concrete, they say. The heat loss from the slab keeps the surface temperature at about room temperature, but I suppose if the dog was too stupid to move, it would get a little warmer under him. I'll keep the 100w/m sq in mind. Thanks for that.

The recuperating ventilation system, called air to air heat exchangers here, are required in our building code. It replaces exhaust fans in bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens and is interlocked with the forced air system. Everything helps.

I'm not a fan of CFL's, although I use them. LED's are way cooler.

Page 2 of 3 1 2 3

Featured:

2020 National Electrical Code
2020 National Electrical
Code (NEC)

* * * * * * *

2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman

 

Member Spotlight
Scott35
Scott35
Anaheim, CA. USA
Posts: 2,720
Joined: October 2000
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
Trumpy 12
Admin 8
Popular Topics(Views)
264,436 Are you busy
199,267 Re: Forum
188,382 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3