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monoflo

Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
hey everyone I got called to a no heat call.... the customer was having problems with her bathroom not heating. some knucklehead removed a radiator that was attached to a monoflo system.... and attached 80 feet of half inch radiant tubing obviously it does not heat.... my question is that I read in one of Dan's books I do not remember which one that I can install a circulator pump on the supply-side of the branch piping to the radiant tubing...(original installers used two monoflo tees to divert water to this radiator) and wire the pump with the system pump so on a call for heat both pumps will run....and I will be using a mixing valve before pump to lower water temp....can I do this? And will this work? I know the temperature control will not be good thanks Paul s
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Comments

  • RichRich Posts: 1,002Member ✭✭✭
    What SWT

    would you require at design ? and what is your GPM requirement ?  You may be able to control this very well .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC 732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey , Eastern Pa .
    Consultation , Design & Installation
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    btu

    The heat loss of bathroom is 9000 btus...I do not know the exact loop length because a contractor installed it...I guess the required gpm is 1gpm....using 20f drop....they used 1/2"pex .. I am just getting paid to get it working.... customer will not go for something like a iseries mixing valve...the general contractor who messed it up is paying me....he already called five or so companies who said its not fixable...and last contractor thought it was air and installed a purge setup with no luck ....thanks Paul s...but give me some ideas I'll try to push better control
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,174Member ✭✭✭✭
    Mono-flo's

    I personally don't think you can fix it like you suggest without creating other problems. "The Laws of Unintended Consequences". If however, you can run the PEX back to someplace near the boiler or at least before the first take-off into the system and return after the last one, it might work. Feed the bathroom with 3/4" PEX to the 1/2" PEX to help do away with some resistance.

    That's only my opinion though.
    · ·
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Posts: 2,227Member ✭✭
    9K Heat loss?

    How big is this bathroom?
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    edited November 2013
    heat loss

    Heat loss for bathroom was not very accurate..bathroom is big it's 12x12...with three large windows...and half the floor is over a unheated space...with three outside walls......general contractor installed radiation (about 80 ft of 1/2"pex)...I really need to make this work some how....why wouldn't this work...there is only one more radiator after these tees....the original installer a very long time ago used two monoflo tees for this radiator....need a solution....thanks Paul s
    Post edited by Paul S on
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  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,174Member ✭✭✭✭
    80 ' of active radiation?

    Are you saying you have 80' of active radiation for the room? With Mono flows, you would need 3/4" to get proper flow. Another reason why I finally gave up. Carpenter/Builders that started thinking they were "Heaters". and started doing their own heat after reading a book and having PEX Supply design and sell them a heating system.

    Where I used to work, one of these "Green Contractors" bought and installed a huge In-Floor system with an aluminum boiler and cast Iron circulators with copper and Pex. The whole thing plugged up with iron plaque and stopped working within one heating season in the multi-million designer dream home. With no way to fix the buried system.

    Then they want YOU to fix their Plumbing Picasso.

    Rots of Ruck.
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    edited November 2013
    icesailor

    I'm dealing with this type of stuff all the time...and most of time it's not even a general contractor it's a heating and a/c company who is supposed to be qualified to do this type of work....and these are guys who have 30years on me....(if that means anything)over here in NYC and I guess where ever you go there are people like that..."knuckleheads"as Dan would say...that's why I LOVE this site......and yes there is about 80ft of active radiation in the floor buried in concrete...I tried to read the length that's marked on the pex....but the contractor said not to because he used two pieces of pex and buried the coupling in the bathroom floor...knucklehead....the 80ft of pex is connected to the two 3/4" pipes that the original radiator was connected too...I located in the basement the two monoflo tees that feed that bathroom...and going to install a pump to get them heat....Paul s
    Post edited by Paul S on
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  • WeezboWeezbo Posts: 6,230Member ✭✭✭
    wow ,

    It is different for sure .

    let me see, monoflow , no circ radiant , no mention of any bypass or what i call "Books"

    so you are blasting whatever temp is in the mono flow loop and shooting for a hope and prayer and a hail Mary Pass....whatta deal...well ok i will give you some idea s ,

    go to the supply and return risers and stick in a ball valve on both. chop out the risers to the pex .

    get 120 feet of hydraulic 1/8 " line its a stiff plastic.line

    .

    Feed that line through the pex in the floor . when it comes out the other end tape the piece you fed thru there .

    measure to the tape from the side that is the shortest distance from the tape , write that down and subtract that from 120 '

    .that will be about as useful as a hens tooth buh at least we have something that might give us a clue.as to loop length in 144sq ft room .



    ok , another "Idea", if the line wont go thru walk away.



    you can always use that tool we just made with a couple more bucks into it to thaw most pex runs in floor.



    if it makes it thru you need to spin in two purge valves on both sides of the pex and take and add a discal dirt separator to the supply side of your purge pump and drop a hose into the same bucket from the opposite end of thee loop.

    start with like 3 gallons of clean water and run it around and around thru your purge pump...when you have what seems like flow

    take the bucket of water and set it aside for a while.

    now flush your dirt separator.

    in a glass or something put it aside and then go run clean water thru the pump again in some mop sink or something to clean it up a bit.

    before i say anything more , you tell me the length and what the glass of water shaked out ....and go over to the bucket and carefully and slowly pour off some of the water ...

    what does that look like?

    ok ?
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    bypass

    "No mention of any bypass"....in my first post I said that I would add a mixing valve....so basically you guys are saying it will not work, without adding a seperate zone off the boiler. Paul s
    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,215Member ✭✭✭
    Mono

    Why not cut in 2 closely spaced tees in the main pipe and then use a thermostatic mixing valve and a circulator?

    Carl
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  • WeezboWeezbo Posts: 6,230Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    may be i read this as ,

    "customer will not go for something like a iseries mixing valve..



    andI know the temperature control will not be good thanks Paul s.



    as you want to get accurate info to produce the best that you can rather than a dumb mix ,



    this is America you can TRY anything once , you might not get away with it and it does not mean you Can do something it means you can TRY ... i make different distinctions in the things that i say . you are hearing whatever you wish to hear , thats fine ... you may do the same yah?

    Hope that helps,....



    "

    "
    Post edited by Weezbo on
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  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    weezbo

    I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. But I was talking about just using a thermostatic mixing valve. and Carl I guess that's what I'll do with two closely spaced tees with circulator and mixing valve...thanks Paul s
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  • RichRich Posts: 1,002Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Guys

    Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong .

    Will a radiant zone not turn off when the thermostat has been satisfied ?  Does not surface temp of the floor determine when thermostat is satisfied ? Yes floor surface temp will vary depending on conditions . But under all those conditions the T Stat will satisfy .  The finish floor and tile will only absorb and experience the heat required to satisfy zone , it does not matter what temp is running through the tubing because we are only dealing with one zone that is independent of rest of system  .  I zone aggressively and only zone rooms on the same zone that have similar finish floor R values , have similar use patterns , and have similar BTU per ft requirements .  After years of doing this I have yet to see a floor , no matter what material it was overheat or be damaged . I regularly put hotter water than a particular loop or circuit needs by zoning this way and have had no complaints , in fact have been asked how come it is more responsive than in my house ?  Does anyone see a problem with treating this as an independent zone with a circ (Delta T) , a thermostat and a relay as OP originally was thinking ?

    Remember , when floor surface reaches X thermostat will satisfy , flow will stop and the floor will get no hotter .  Forget the mixing , zoning is less expensive and requires less thought . Control will be just fine with the Delta T circ and a Taco hydraulic separator .  Of course you will need to figure the approximate true length of this circuit and determine the head loss to size this pump but I believe this will be done within what your contractor/ heating specialist is willing to pay for you to correct his mistake . Let this zone operate independent of everything else in the system . The short amount of time that this zone calls should not overheat the other rooms to an uncomfortable level . Good luck
    Post edited by Rich on
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC 732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey , Eastern Pa .
    Consultation , Design & Installation
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
    · ·
  • WeezboWeezbo Posts: 6,230Member ✭✭✭
    i get you wonder will it work ...

    well, the things that i cannot see i systematically do my best to determine , and make the best decision based upon as much information i can glean ...

    at the moment the lenght of pipe and type is a ?

    so is flow ?

    the quality of whatever the system is pumping ....?



    what i know .....the room is 144 sg feet .... its a monoflow ...it has heat loss...it no mojo...
    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,215Member ✭✭✭
    Fly wheel

    Rich,

    I have lived with the setup you describe. The problem I have seen is that you are constantly over/under shooting your thermostat.you also end up with hot and cold spots.

    I prefer outdoor reset. I think fixed temp mixing is usually satisfactory.

    I would never do a high temp radiant.

    Slowly raising and lowering the slab temp is so comfortable.

    Carl
    · ·
  • WeezboWeezbo Posts: 6,230Member ✭✭✭
    the third of of three mono flow systems i helped Up grade"

    in part ,this year had what i think you were hearing spoken to, it is not satisfactory i mentioned that is what is over riding the heating system with the rad panels buh got the well ,

    just make the part work that you install ...lol..

    buh bythe way this doesnt do this and that doesn't do something else and i went and found why that was the case ...

    the other , i added a new boiler repaired all sorts of pipe ,leaks etc code difugalties , and some previous control problems ...



    the other i have basically revamed 90 percent of it and added a booked headder and radiant floor with takeoff with an i serries R with outdoor reset had my tubing and finished product tested and inspected that has an additional bby pass built in after it as well to pick up an additional mono flow main temp as the third step from the original mono flow 's bypass over the heating emitters .or its "Book". to me monoflow bypasses are some what like having a way to get back on the same page.



    i have seen dumb mixes drive pex tubing however there are a variety of ways to produce Heat ...and a whole lot of ways to get a grip on the comfort side and control side . i tend to do what i work on by determining what the established flow is that i have

    and what it is i have to deal with to then narrow down what is what...

    the bounce you describe you build in might not in all cases prove satisfactory does any of that make it in your book ? it probably is not something that you can see from your house i understand that , sorry , for making that distinction in what i am hearing

    you say ...dumb mixers work well in garages where the "Occupants " are cars and trucks that dont care what floor covering or what the temp happens to be at any given moment ... for the most part.
    · ·
  • WeezboWeezbo Posts: 6,230Member ✭✭✭
    Zman

    i type slow ..

    and the fly wheel effect or bounce is indeed a hefty consideration ...
    · ·
  • GordyGordy Posts: 3,645Member ✭✭✭✭
    Hmmm

    I think there will be unintended consequences to the rest of the system.



    I think 80 Lin. Ft. Of 1/2" pex for 144 sf 9000k heat loss realizing there is cabinets shower bath tub taking floor area is under radiated.





    Question is Paul do you want to be the hero to get a radiant floor working that will under perform anyway. With possibly ... Likely upsetting balance to the rest of the system? Which may rear its head only in certain scenarios.



    If anything run your supply/return back to the boiler for the radiant with a mixing valve, and add a rad to the bath where it was tied in before....it's going to need it with that heat loss.





    Is the floor insulated?





    Rich doing as you say with a floor that does not meet the load don't you think it's going to run for long periods over heating other rooms? This radiant loop is near the end of the run.
    · ·
  • WeezboWeezbo Posts: 6,230Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Gordy ,

    this is a trick question

    ever hear someone tell you what they did ,steer by that information , only to find out later they lied? : )) well,

    all i am trying to get straight is what it actually is that he has to work with FIRST.

    if its "A boiler ...well thats great lol...
    Post edited by Weezbo on
    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,215Member ✭✭✭
    Heat loss

    Gordy,

    The heat loss is obviously flawed. No matter how you look at this the system will not produce 9000. You just can't get that much energy out of 80 feet of 1/2" tubing. Although this setup is a bit of a compromise, it may be the best option.



    The real question is, why does Paul keep ending up as the " cleanup man" how can he get his foot in the door earlier and get it done right the first time. Maybe marketing to a more high end client would help.

    Carl
    · ·
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 4,680Member ✭✭✭✭
    Cleanup Man

    Great description -- I've been wondering the same thing for awhile now.  More importantly, why clean them up improperly when you know better?  It just tarnishes the reputation you've worked years to build.



    The hardest lesson I had to learn was when (and how) to say "no" when the job (or the customer's expectations) were not not a good fit for me.  My income nearly doubled the next year.
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    clean up man

    cleaning up to the best of my ability is probably 30 percent of my work.... I have to do something to get this heat running even with just the 80 feet buried in concrete... this knucklehead contractor it gives me a lot of work.... there will be a lot of writing on the invoice to CYA....thanks guys Paul S
    · ·
  • WeezboWeezbo Posts: 6,230Member ✭✭✭
    Learning is

    what this is all about .

    Paul , Gordy 's suggestion of the additional rad was not all bad...Zman and Swei's input is invaluable , these are the circulators you would benefit from having in your life ...
    · ·
  • GordyGordy Posts: 3,645Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Flawed heat loss

    If the heat loss is flawed then see what it is no? Who shelled out 9k?



    Should this not be the first step to see if what Paul wants to do is in vein to begin with?



    Right now Paul is asking for a band aid, and everyone is offering one. The thing is the cut might run clear up his shirt sleeve, and we can only see the wound on his hand so what size band aid?



    I'm like Weez to many unknown variables gotta see the whole hand.



    9k heat loss is not impossible with a three sided room 3 large windows over a crawl space......depends again more unknowns.





    Paul if 30% of your work is cleanup is this what you really want to do? These guys are going to keep doing sub par systems so long as someone is there to fix them. You need to reverse that role!
    Post edited by Gordy on
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  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 2,795Member ✭✭✭
    Supplemental Heat

    This bathroom will require supplemental heating. The pex can do some floor conditioning, but it will never be warm enough with 80' pex. Not even close. Add a towel bar, wall panel or toe-kick convector. I wonder if plates were used?
    · ·
  • RichRich Posts: 1,002Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Clarification

    After reading Paul's comments several times I came to the conclusion that the budget was certainly capped and he was going to attempt a band aid repair . In an attempt to offer a solution that would keep him within an unrealistic budget I made my suggestion . I know full well the consequences and I believe that Paul does also and would inform the parties of how this fix would influence the rest of the system .

      I would figure out what the actual heat loss is , attempt to come up with a proper design and configuration and offer to do that . Upon their decision to not spend the required monies I would walk away as the other companies have done . Gentlemen , I give one price for jobs dealing with a certain scope of work , that price is a guaranteed maximum price for the best system for a particular building based on information given me by the end user , that price may be too much (often is times they had unreasonable expectations ) then we can explore lesser systems but still better than 90% of the garbage others are installing , afterwards if the price is still Too high I bid them farewell .  Many times I hear from these same folks after a heating season or 2  and much frustration later . At that point in time after they were told how the system they were allowing to be installed would operate there are no more questions or doubt about your knowledge .  This is a help site for all , even other professionals , I offered help along the lines that I believe Paul will go anyway .  If Paul wants an ethics or business class he should look elsewhere and not to us .

    Paul , if this builder or others regularly do this to you or expect you to fix others or their screw ups , get rid of em . They will return , they always do , been there done that .  If this is in fact 30% of your work base you need to replace that work with other work . Hell I turn down work in Northern NJ all the time because of lack of resources (qualified labor) . I'd bet I could get that work and you could do it . That would probably replace the frustrating portion of what you do .  
    Post edited by Rich on
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC 732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey , Eastern Pa .
    Consultation , Design & Installation
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
    · ·
  • RobGRobG Posts: 1,209Member ✭✭✭
    Insulation?

    With 80' of pex and no under-slab insulation your fighting a losing battle. Without supplemental heat you WILL lose.

    Rob
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    just

    Just got back from customers home....I explained everything to her....she is willing to pay a little extra to get it done right....radiant will be done with its own zone off the boiler...I want to use a delta T circulator....now off monoflo system I want to add something like a towel rack radiator....now controlling the radiant...do I use regular thermostat?...how would you guys control this?....and any more ideas , ? Thanks Paul S
    · ·
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 4,680Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Radiant bathroom control

    Bumble Bee is too big (008 equivalent curve) and Taco does not offer the VDT in sizes smaller than an 007 (also too big.)



    I would use a 1/2" Taco iSeries-R valve followed by one of the itsy bitsy ecocirc vario pumps.  No need for a stat unless you want a high limit -- just tweak the reset ratio and pump speed until you get a comfortable bathroom and forget about it.



    Towel warmers work best on the higher temp loop.  No need for controls there other than the manual valve they come with.
    Post edited by SWEI on
    · ·
  • RichRich Posts: 1,002Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Bumble Bee

    set up as Constant T  has a curve similar to 003 when operating at 9 watts and like the 008 when operating at it's peak 42 watts . The 2 curves between those are not really comparable with any other 00 family circulator .  Have no idea what you'll need in the way of flow / head for this , just pointing out differing HEC-2 curves .
    Post edited by Rich on
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC 732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey , Eastern Pa .
    Consultation , Design & Installation
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    edited November 2013
    bumblebee

    Ok...so there is no way of knowing length of loop and etc....if i use a TACO bumblebee circulator..set up constant setpoint temp....how would i get that temp?....i will be supplying and returning the radiant back to boiler...does this pump just get a constant power supply source with no means of control?and if i use a i series mixing valve 3 way 1/2 inch with a small vari ecocirc.....i would just setup outdoor reset curve thanks Paul S
    Post edited by Paul S on
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  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,174Member ✭✭✭✭
    Will it work?

    If one works, the other won't. And the one that won't work will be the new one.

    I love a good challenge and will go to no end to fix something. I don't think that this can be fixed with a simple fix. It almost reminds me of that thing we drew in High School Drafting Class, the things with the tube that was an optical illusion that couldn't be built.



    My mother used to tell me a story/poem when I was a little guy.

    There once was a thing

    That couldn't be done

    And no one could do it.

    Along came a man

    Who thought he could

    And so he set right to it

    He tackled the thing

    That couldn't be done

    And by God, he couldn't do it.

    Anything can be fixed, some things are harder than others. That will be hard, not easy.
    · ·
  • GordyGordy Posts: 3,645Member ✭✭✭✭
    Like SWEI

    Suggested.



    Glad to see the owner allowing you to try and get it right Paul.



    Hopefully a nice towel warmer won't be a problem piping into the original rad piping that was there before.



    I think with a floor that can perform warming comfort, and a rad to supplement will turn a mess into elegance. Hope it all works out, just make sure the rad is big enough for what ever the actual heat loss calcs at.
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,174Member ✭✭✭✭
    Fixing the mistakes of others:

    Its my experience that if they had called me (you) in the first place and it had been done properly, it wouldn't need someone with your expertise. I have NEVER met a Contractor who EVER made a mistake in his life. Well, that's not quite true. There's the time he might tell you about the time he thought he was wrong and then he came to find out he was right.

    If you put a fingernail, like your little pinky, on it, ownership of the mess will be transferred to you. If and when you are unable to do a cheap fix to get the contractor out of a mess of his own doing, you inherit the . When discussing it with the next "Pro" he gets to look at it, he will fail to mention that HE screwed it up but that you were the one who last worked on it and couldn't fix it.

    In every circumstance I have ever tried to repair that is as bad as you describe, without a complete start over, it won't ever be acceptable. And you haven't found the worst of it yet.

    Just my experience and thoughts, For whatever they are worth.

    The stories we can tell.
    · ·
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 4,680Member ✭✭✭✭
    Bottom of the curve

    is a bad way to operate pumps.  Their hydraulic efficiency suffers as the RPMs drop, and whatever control algorithm they use has little authority.  I really, really, really hope Taco offers the 'Bee with more of their pump ends.  I'd love to see a larger version (somewhere between a 0010 and 0014) and a little one (similar to a 006) which could modulate down even below the 003 range.
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,174Member ✭✭✭✭
    Horse waste:

    Paul, maybe you'll understand this analogy.



    You can NOT put two bushels of horse stall waste into a one bushel basket.



    You have three bushels of waste, you will need six to fix it, and they only want to give you one bushel.

    Don't sell yourself short. If you are good and worth it but work cheap, the Bozo's will find you like rotting flesh and all they'll give you is the bones after the buzzards have picked them.

    A very good friend/competitor once shared with me about his customers in general.

    "If you dropped dead in front of them in the middle of a job, they'd step over your body to get to the phone to find someone else. Once they finally found someone, they'd come back to check to see if you are alive and maybe call 911."

    He's right.
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    edited November 2013
    i need you

    Guys to clarify a few things...i used bumble bee a few times for setpoint on injection pumping, only a few times not too familiar with the different features, i have the manual for both just explains installation methods with some sort of control, but if im not using a way to control this via thermostat. What is the sequence of operation....i failed to let you guys know that the boiler is a GE downfire (oil)....if i just use a ISERIES with a regular pump , just the bumblebee circulator, or both of them together(bumblebee & ISERIES). what im failing to grasp is without a tstat what is preventing the room from overheating?if thanks Paul S
    Post edited by Paul S on
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  • GordyGordy Posts: 3,645Member ✭✭✭✭
    Rest of the house

    Is the rest of the home controlled by a central thermostat?
    · ·
  • Paul SPaul S Posts: 503Member
    yes

    Yes, the rest of the home is contolled by 2 tstats.....one for monoflo radiator system and one for a extension of the home that has baseboard heat....thanks Paul S
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  • GordyGordy Posts: 3,645Member ✭✭✭✭
    Soooo

    Towel tad,for bath will be on mono flow stat. And are you making the RF a zone on its own,or slaving it with the mon flow stat.



    part of me thinks let the reset curve on the I series handle the floor. May be some dialing in. But thinking if it is the only zone that calls boiler will short cycle. So part of me says slave to the mono flow zone, and maybe suffer some floor warming in the shoulder season.
    · ·
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