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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Finksburg, MD
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    Multi-Aqua Chiller

    I have been researching the best way to heat and cool my house for quite a while now. One thing that has always bothered me was the fact that a system has to be sized just right to work properly. I plan to finish my basement and possibly add other square footage in other areas. Since I'm not sure exactly what my house will look like in the end state and don't like the idea of multple systems it has been sort of a show stopper for me. I've often wondered why at work we add and delete space all of the time without the sizing issues. Since I work in a very large building we have a chiller. I happened upon the website for Multi-Aqua today and this sounds like it may be an option for me.

    What is the downside of this type of unit? I guess for one thing it may be noisy. It looks like you would have to have a wall unit in each and in some cases may be unsightly. Seems that they sell some fan/coils that can be tucked away also.

    Does anyone use these in residential applications? Sounds interesting? I love the flexibility.

    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    in my lumpy chair
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    i personally dont like hydronics in residential due to the water damage that will eventially occur
    I dont warranty Tinkeritus

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
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    11,086
    I don't see any difference between good hydronic piping and standard domestic water piping as posing an eventual water damage hazard, personally.

    I can see the Multi-Aqua being a good option for larger residences, multi-level residences, residences with unusual, tricky architecture. As for noise, if the wall mounted air handlers are as quiet as their mini-split cousins, which are similar in appearance, then they may indeed be quiet units. A ducted fan coil would almost always be more quiet, and IMO offer better air distribution with good duct and supply grill design.

    My daily work involves chilled water systems for a large facility; hard to beat the flexibility such a system provides. I'd be interested to find and observe an operating Multi-Aqua type installation in a residence to see how it performs, and how it would compare if DX systems were trying to do the same thing. I do remember visiting a "zero energy" house on display a few years back. The house was so thermally efficient, it only needed a 3.5 ton chiller to cool both floors...the house was close to 3,000 square feet. This system used conventional air handlers and ductwork; the attic was so well insulated that on a day over 95 degrees, the attic was barely pushing 80. It was not a Multi-Aqua system, but rather something cobbled together from off-the-shelf components, and branded by the guy that cobbled it all together. Nevertheless it was interesting...house was chock full of people that day and it was a bit warm, but not uncomfortable in there. Hard to beat the heat content of water!

  4. #4
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    Jan 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by shophound View Post
    I don't see any difference between good hydronic piping and standard domestic water piping as posing an eventual water damage hazard, personally.
    i dont wont to offend you in any way but
    i think that all of us in the feild has seen water damage both res. and comm. from circulating pumps, valves, and actuators.
    I dont warranty Tinkeritus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
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    11,086
    Quote Originally Posted by lolson View Post
    i dont wont to offend you in any way but
    i think that all of us in the feild has seen water damage both res. and comm. from circulating pumps, valves, and actuators.
    Point taken. No offense taken, either. I had my mind around piping and neglected to consider the items you mention.

    In my own building, the hydronic piping, components, and controls do not pass through or reside in public and staff areas. At least one thing the mechanical engineers did right.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Finksburg, MD
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    193
    I can say that at work we have experienced some leaks one being a load of Glycol on the floor of our datacenter. I walked in one morning and thought it smelled like Sunday Pancake breakfast at St. Charles church.

    I have commited to radiant heat for the basement and 1st floor so water damage is already part of my future. I never knew that water cooling was an option in a house. Sounds interesting. Do these systems use PEX tubing?

    Rob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    16

    Multi-aqua

    Multi-aqua has had some problems approx. 2-4 years ago. many, many,many leaks. They used staybright 8, rather than brazing on the loops at the tube sheets. I have not heard the latest in the last year. There are cheaper (price). They have not been around long enough in this application to have my confidence yet, after the major problems with the leaks. I guess what im getting at is do more research or posts on the multi-aqua equipment. all made be good now, just thought i would let ya know, it was a major headache for us. Check into other brands.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    Take a look at Unico

    The have a 3 and 5 ton chiller. www.unicosystems.com

    You can add a backup boiler to the system for additional heat. If piped correctly with punmps and zone valves kept in a mechanical room, the only option for leakage is pipe quality or bad joint done wrong. You have homes with 100 year old hydronic systems that have never leaked. Just keep valves, pumps, etc down in a mechanical room with a gas or oil fired boiler for backup heat. Probably the most flexible system out there for heating and cooling.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada Occupation:Interprovincial Plumber, Commercial Gasfitter Interests:
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    2,411
    Quote Originally Posted by lolson View Post
    i dont wont to offend you in any way but
    i think that all of us in the feild has seen water damage both res. and comm. from circulating pumps, valves, and actuators.
    And I can show you systems that are over 90 years old and have not leaked.
    I love my job, but paydays Thursday

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,639
    Chiller is the way to go if cost is not a problem and a 4 pipe system is the best so you can heat and cool at the same time Being in N.Y.C I work in many homes that have them
    Last edited by coolperfect; 08-18-2007 at 12:10 PM. Reason: posting

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Finksburg, MD
    Posts
    193
    Thanks for all the responses. I spent some time on the unico site and was very impressed. I kike the way the components latch together, sealing real tight. The ductwork design also seems way simplified let alone the small 2" diameter. They claim better humidity reduction, lower operating costs etc, etc etc. It seems that many pros have good things to say about high velocity systems as well. Why are these high velocity units not more widely used? I was always under the impression they were noisy, but it seems that's not true.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    HiVelocity is pricier

    Not needed in all installations. You can still use a chiller with standard velocity air handlers. Plenty of different fan coil manufacturers out there. The radiant heating you have planned is great, but you might have rooms with carpeting where hydro-coil heating makes more sense. You just have to be careful with having any air handlers in un-conditioned space like an attic or garage. The piping must be well insulated and glycol used.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Finksburg, MD
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    193
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsp View Post
    Not needed in all installations. You can still use a chiller with standard velocity air handlers. Plenty of different fan coil manufacturers out there. The radiant heating you have planned is great, but you might have rooms with carpeting where hydro-coil heating makes more sense. You just have to be careful with having any air handlers in un-conditioned space like an attic or garage. The piping must be well insulated and glycol used.
    Thanks, Yea I understand that using a chiller does not mean use have to use High Velocity. I think I took the thread off topic a bit. Up until nowI did not know that Hydronic Air conditioning was available for residential use. Unico was mentioned and that's how high velocity came up.

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