The floors are all lightweight concrete with the gray plastic pipe inside the floor. You know the type that allows oxygen to enter the system. There are no emitters? I assume you mean like a baseboard heater inside the house. The pump is a Taco brand and there is an expansion tank/air separator in the system. The distribution system is a copper manifold with 10 manual valves that allow me to shut down flows to each zone.There is only one thermostat for the entire system which is located only 10 feet from the wood stove. By the way did I mention that last year I replaced the wood stove with a free standing propane powered stove, Hearthstone brand i believe. I understand that radiant and wood or propane stoves are a bad combo to have but the original owner did not understand that and when I moved in it was cheaper to feed the wood stove than replace/upgrade the boiler. So the radiant system has been only used to warm certain floors in the house.
The homeowner/builder apparently ran out of money when he built the house so the planned boiler was substituted with a hot water heater. Now I want to revamp the entire system with a correct boiler, air separator system and heat the entire house with the radiant. Is there someway to add additional thermostats and change out the valves to something automatic? Or should I stick with the manual system? The questions just keep coming??? Where do I stop.
The house is a two story, concrete floors throughout. The floor covering is 70% carpet and 30% tile. There are lots of double pane oversized windows throughout which were designed to take in the views. The first floor is 30% slab on grade and 70% crawl space. The water heaters are under the house in an unheated space. We see some snow in the winter and temps. rarely dip below 30*F but can get into the teens on an occasional Jan?Feb storm.
Let me know if you need more info.
Crank up the heat get you a mop and bucket and try to see how much tubing is in the floor and at what distance they are at from one another.
Then have your boilerman run a heatloss calc that is design for infloor that way it take into account floor covering and the mass of your floor panel..aka emitter.
Then find out what this gray pipe is rated for pressure and temps.
Then you can get a better understanding what course you need to take and at what expense it will be to get there.
At one point I was told the tubing was "polybutylene".
I will test an area that is covered with linoleum to see the distance between the coils. I am assuming that you wet the floor turn up the heat and check where the pipes are by watching for the "dry spots" to show up when the hotter spot evaporates the water first?
My "heating man" is a representative from a company that specializes in radiant heating systems only. He looked at my boiler set up, asked me a few questions about the square footage and I guess he did his calc in his head and stated that he thought I would need one of these two boiler choices. He went back to the shop and had his "specialist" send out a quote for the job. Should I be wary of this type of estimating. Sounds like you have asked me more detailed info than they did.
First big problem is you have tubing with no Oxygen barrier and he's suggesting a copper fin boiler. Not good.
What type of boiler would be good with this type of tubing?
Is Munchkin stainless steel or copper?
I take it Stainless is OK with this type of tubing?
Stainless is good, but all of the components need to be non-ferrous.
You need to find a good hydronic heating guy who is local to guide you through this. There are a lot of variables that we can't see that can make or break a system.
Thanks for your help, I think I am on the right track. After many phone calls I have found a guy who spent many years designing hydronic systems and is now working in the installation field under another contractors license. He came to my residence and inspected the system. He said he would do a heat load calculation and is coming back to check the spacing on the tubing with a heat sensing tool.
He has mentioned using a "Lochnivar Knight" series as a boiler and a Bock indirect tank. He did not like the idea of a Laars boiler because of the "cast iron wet wall" causing problems with my oxygen laden water.
Does this sound like the right track to you guys?
Block indirects are glass lines, not stainless steel. (And not cheap.) You're better off with a stainless steel tank with a stainless coil heat exchanger.
Any suggestions on a good stainless indirect tank that wont leak at welds, has a easy to change aquastat controller, etc. Brand names you have used and reccomend? I was leaning away from the glass lined tank myself due to their inherent problems with breakage etc. I do not mind paying a little more to get a product that will outlast the standard.
I have yet to see one leak. And many are over 20 years old.