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Final Recomendations

brad_14 Member Posts: 25
Sounds like the general consensus is the 110 will be more than adequit.

The two supply houses here were both trying to sell me the 175?? I was the first guy in town to order and install joist trak from all three of the supply houses nobody here has done extruded aluminium??. That was a problem when I first started looking for a radiant design and contractor here in town, there was so little wisdom. Sure there are guys doing radiant but the first guy wanted to run pex in the joists and just staple it to the sides then run double bubble underneith. Second guy wanted to run 2 100K BTU boilers. Third guy didn't want anything to do with a joist install and only would do concreate. Needless to say there are very few radiant jobs here and I have talked to some with very poorly planned ones that don't work well. Thank god for forums like this. The viessmann sales rep has also been very helpfull.

I do really like the viessmann but the one thing that concerns me is they really seem like they are geared towards working with viessmann trained techs. My plumbers are not in fact the only guy I could find here did't want to even talk to me because I am doing the pex install. right or wrong? It seems like from reading posts Triangle Tube is willing to work with thier customers even if they are the end user home owners, is this a fair assumtion?

I never mess around with gas, but when somthing breaks my first inclination is to figure out whats wrong even when I hire somone to come fix it. SO I really apreciate when a company is willing to post there service manuals online etc.
I am a wireless engineer by day so schematics and circuit diagrams don't bother me most days ;)

I installed my first 250' loop last night and it went ok. Only 8 or 9 more! I did find using an impact with a self feeding 1" bit works very well. Those impacts are so usefull.

What about the Taco line of zone valves and controllers they seem pretty straight forward. The supplier I deal with most carry Honeywell, TACO or Uponor. I will end up with 6 zones not including the IWH and in the future I may expand to 7 for a bonus room above the garage. My smallest zone will be 2X250' of pex in joist trak, would that be considered a micro zone? I could maybe pickup a few more square' and possibly add 200' to that.

One thing I was going to ask is that Viessmann always claims thier boiler is near silent, what about the TT prestige is it fairly quiet?

Thermostates what about the uponor or honeywell ones?

Here's a bone head question. Can the ciculator installed in the Prestige 110 be used for the heating system circulation?

Thanks again guys I really apreciate your advice.



  • brad_14
    brad_14 Member Posts: 25
    Final Radiant Recomendations

    I need a few recomendations.

    My new construction up here in N British Columbia is 1800' rancher with a 1700' walkout basement and 700' attached Garage. I have built it tight and used fairly high R Values. Roof is R50 cellulose, walls are R22 mineral fibre + 1" R5 foam, windows are low e Argon and foundation is ICF.

    Basement slab has R5 foam. It is 2 zones one with 3 250'max loops and one with 4 250'max loops on 12" centres except 6" on outside walls & bathrooms. Garage is 3 250'max loops on 12" centres. Main floor is Joist Trak 8" spacing 480 of them total with all 8 screws in each one(those little impacts work great). I have yet to install the pipe but there will be 3 zones ( Approx) 1 with 2 250' loops 1 with 5 250' loops and 1 with 3 250' loops. Once pipe is in I intend to insulate joists with R22 mineral fibre. Most of the mainfloor with be bamboo the remaining is tile.

    Boilers I have tried to convince myself I can afford a viessman with a vito cell but I can't. That being said that is why I went with the joist trak so I can run one lower temp. So a Triangle Tube Prestige with a smart tank is top of my list. The heatloss for all of this space was done by local supply house at 112K BTU. I plan on going with the Prestige 110 and a smart 40 or 50. The 175 is a couple $k more and I really don't think I will need it. The house is currently heated with a harmon P61 pellet stove and I run it at bare minimum in -10c weather the Harmon is capable of 61k BTU and only needed +half capacity when we had -39c earlier this winter. Do you think a 110 will cut it? Smart 40 or 50? We have 3 full baths 1 half & laundry with a front load washer. We are a family of 4 our kids are 2 & 4. Will the 110 utilize the Smart 50 properly or is the Smart 40 going to be more than adequite?

    Zoning should I zone with valves or circulators, Valves seem more logical I think, I am green here I don't 100%understand why one way or the other. I do want outdoor reset. Thermostates?

    Myslab manifolds are 1'off floor level. Joist ones, in joist? recomendations?

    Recomendations for the simplest way to run all these 250' loops. Joists are 2x10 16". I have not tempted one yet but it scares me just thinking about it.

    Well that's about it. I need to order the boiler soon and get my pipe done so my Plumbers can come sometime late January.

  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Not sure I understand...

    ... are you saying that the pellet stove was able to keep up with the heat loss when it was -10°C and -39°C, or not? If the stove was adequate, then even the 110 will be oversized most of the time (except when making hot water)... in that case, it might make more sense to go with a smaller Prestige (if they exist) or even a T80 Munchkin, for example.

    Given your insulation schedule, I wonder if the heat loss wouldn't be less than 100kBTU/hr. Did you attempt a heat loss calculation of your own? What are the design-day conditions in your locale?

    As for zoning, I've seen it done both ways. Many installers prefer to zone via circulators because it's less work and circs are preceived to have fewer reliability issues. However, in many scenarios a single circulator on a zone will be grossly oversized. 3-speed circs like the Grundfos 15-58 and the smaller -42 series might help fine-tune circ response to a particular zone without undue expense.
  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790

    That's quite a heat load for a 3500 sf total main floor and basement with new construction. The Solo 110 is almost certainly oversized for your home, though I do like the boiler. If only there was a smaller version. Likely you can look at boilers in the 80MBH range, but without knowing all the details it is impossible to say. On the low-fire end, the Vito 6-24 is 20MBH and the Solo 110 is 30MBH, so there isn't a huge difference there (though it is 50% more), It would help with boiler short cycling to use the 6-24 or another 80MBH 4:1 modcon. Contrary to popular belief, the Vitodens does not need to be installed only with a Vitocell.

    One nice thing about your system wrt a slightly oversized boiler is that you have higher mass in the radiant floors to help lengthen the cycles. The Solo 110 will probably work fine. Avoid micro-zoning if possible.

    Zone pumping in residential applications almost never gives you the proper flow rate through your zones, particularly if 15-42's or 007's are used. I would use a single system pump and zone valves with a differential pressure bypass valve.

    Caleffi manifolds in the housing boxes are very clean.

    Running pex in under floor fin is fairly simple. You need two holes at one end of all the joists if you have a finished ceiling, which it sounds like you do. When you are laying out the loops for a zone, stand below and measure the length of the joists in that room. To determine the length of pex that will be required take the length of the joists and muiltiply by 2 and add 2 feet for loop ends in each bay. Multiply that by the number of joist bays in the zone and you'll know the length of pex needed. That will give you an idea of how many loops you need. Remember to allow for tails to get back to the manifold. The ideal place to drill dimensional lumber joists is approximately the middle third of the depth in the middle third of the span. That is the area of minimum shear. It's not that handy for pulling pex. If you have "I" joists, you have more flexibility.

    Hopefully that isnt too confusing and helps in some way.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322

    Sell one of your kids and get the Vitodens, you'll never be sorry. Kidding of course :)........just barely, but just kidding :)

    Consider a single circ that is sized for maximum flow and head, use a pressure differential bypass and zone using manifolds with actuators. Viega has a nice manifold/actuator/zone control setup that anyone who is moderatly "handy" can install.

    If you are currently heating the house with the 61K wood stove at -39C, I have to think that the 112K heatloss is high, way high! What design temperature did they use for the calc, -100*C?

    Don't worry about having a boiler large enough to drive the indirect to full capacity. Remember that most normal homes run just fine with a 40-50 gallon gas water heater that's fired with a 40,000 btu burner.

    Save a few $$ on the indirect by using something other than Viessmann. I have many Vitodens out in the field driving indirects from HTP, Weil McClain etc. They may not have the makeup capacity of a Viessmann but I've never had a homeowner complain about any of the installs we have done. Maybe you can afford the Vitodens without selling a child if you do that. ;)
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909

    Hi Brad,

    The Prestige is a fine unit. It is VERY quiet.

    You can not use the pump that comes with the boiler for the system so you will have to add others.

    We use both Honeywell and Taco zone valves and have no issues with either. The Taco zone controls are excellent.

    We use the Uponor stats on our radiant jobs and have no complaints.

    Any chance you could add that smallest zone to another?

    Mark H

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  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790

    Make sure the piping follows Triangle Tube's schematics closely since it sounds like your local installers are relatively unfamiliar with some of the more recent advances hydronics. Having worked for the patent holder for the original Thermofin extruded plates, I know it has been quite difficult to persuade the industry to accept them, and even now the market is just catching on.

    I am not a big fan of the Honeywell zone valves, as they seem to have a higher than normal failure rate of the motors.

    I am a little concerned that the 110 is oversized, particularly during the spring and fall. Your design heat load is probably around half that. During the spring and fall your heat load will be very low, and even on low fire the 110 could easily be 2-3X oversized. This can shorten the life of the boiler. Some people are installing buffer tanks to help cut down on the cycling of oversized boilers. Have you had a detailed heat loss calculation done?

  • brad_14
    brad_14 Member Posts: 25
    Zones and heatloss

    I could possibly join two and then just have 2 zones on the main one would be the main living area with the pellet stove and the other the bed baths den office laundry. it would almost be a 50 50 split in terms of square'. That would reduce the short cycling I assume?. That would also make a TACO 6 zone controller work into the future because I would only use the 5. Anything to reduce wear/tear and improve effieceincy I am open to.

    I had two detailed heat loss's done by two different suppliers both around 112K BTU. I did a couple of the rooms manually with a calculation I found on line by one of the manufacturers. I was getting lower #'s for the most part But even the tables I was using didn't seem to be able to accomidate things like R50 roof and R27 walls. My neighboor just built a 3 storey post and beam about the same overall square' but it's a loose structure overall with R28 roof and R22 walls and he has no problem heating with a 30KW electric/wood forced air.

    I must say we can get a cold winter but most of the time it is like today -5c. Our winter is October - April In February we usually get 2 weeks of -30cto-40c.

    With the TACO Valves would you go with thier newer EBV or more traditional 570 style?

  • Wayne_16
    Wayne_16 Member Posts: 130
    Triangle tube boilers

    Prestige boilers are very quiet when running, at this point this is the only modulating boiler they install. Nice neat installations. The installers like them for many reasons.
  • Wayne_16
    Wayne_16 Member Posts: 130
    Triangle tube boilers

    Prestige boilers are very quiet when running, at this point this is the only modulating boiler they install. Nice neat installations. The installers like them for many reasons.
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