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Mike T. and Brad W: I'm goofy

ralman Member Posts: 231


  • Kevin Pulver
    Kevin Pulver Member Posts: 67
    Concerning ARCO gravity hot water

    I re-measured today with the ol' trusty pocket rocket.
    I love that tool!
    One 2 inch supply and 2 inch return. One 2 1/2 inch supply and 2 1/2 inch return. Somehow, I thought the returns were smaller when I looked the first time. It pays to measure!
    So your instincts were right! You said my data sounded goofy, and it was. Thanks. Is 2 and 1/2 inch stuff hard to find? I've never used any. Kevin
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    I've used some 2 1/2" stuff and not hard even here in Swampeast MO. Not used much for heating systems but common in fire protection systems.

    For a conversion all you'll need are reducers for the large pipe. Personally, I'd take the mains out back to the first horizontal fitting then install a reducing bushing down to 3/4" on the 2" side and 1" on the 2 1/2" side. Combine the two into 1". I know this will look TRULY goofy but it's an extremely safe rule of thumb.

    By using the reducing bushings instead of bell reducers you'll turn the remaining portions of the mains into virtually inexhaustable debris collection areas when you keep the flow nice and low--just like gravity--via the TRVs. Still install the wye strainer, but you'll probably never see anything caught in the strainer...
  • Kevin Pulver
    Kevin Pulver Member Posts: 67
    I understand Mike

    Sounds like a good idea. I also measured all my rad piping today, and 2 of the ten are 1" and the rest are 3/4".
    All but two have plenty of room for horizontal TRVs.
    Two are pretty close. Approx 3" from center of pipe to wall. I suppose the vertical knob would fit better there than the horizontal knob huh?
    I know at least SOME of the hand valves are on supply side. I will verify all are before installing TRVs. Of course I need to get the job first, but lots of investigation involved before I can even give an accurate bid.
    I doubt many locals here will have anywhere the knowledge you have lent to this project. I am going to make sure the homeowner understands the difference in doing it right.
    If I get the job, I'm gonna buy you a steak! I'll keep you posted. Kevin
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    With 3" from the center of the pipe to the wall you won't be able to use the "side-mount angle" valve body with any actuator. Do though verify that this truly is the supply.

    If this is the supply you will have to use the "angle" valve body. The operator will be vertical and you MUST use a remote sensing operator. In a tight space like that you might want to use the remote operating and remote sensing operator but every additional "remote" ability adds substantially to the cost of the operator. It is however easy for the user to see the current setting regardless of whether the operator is mounted horizontally or vertically.

    The self-contained operators are certainly the most economical, but again they MUST be installed horizontally. I'm almost certain this rule holds true for TRV actuators from any company.

    Write me privately if you want Danfoss part numbers or contact a distributor for a Danfoss "basic" hydronic catalog. They're an enormous company and you almost have to know exactly what you're looking for before you begin a search at their website.

    Believe me--I FULLY understand when you say local distributors may not have the least idea what you're looking for. While I've always ordered the Danfoss stuff from a stocking distributor in St. Louis (even if my "special" setback-capable remote sensing operators had to ordered direct from Denmark) I ordered one differential pressure bypass valve from a local source. Never again. I had to find it for them in their own catalog. Counter man kept asking over and over, "What's it called?" and "What's it do?". Even when I found the page CLEARLY titled "Differential Pressure Bypass" he STILL asked, "What's it called?"
  • Dave_4
    Dave_4 Member Posts: 1,405
    2.5\" Pipe

    is quite common. Takes a good size wrench but you needed to buy one anyway, didn't you?

    In our specification work we screw pipe to 2" and weld 2.5" and up.

    The Pocket Rocket is great, isn't it? It is my second favorite pocket tool.

  • Kevin Pulver
    Kevin Pulver Member Posts: 67
    Love that pocket rocket!

    Yeah Brad, I recently bought a set of 3 foot Ridgid at an auction. I like to buy tools BEFORE I need 'em. They're iron, so they'll stand a (shhh!) cheater if I have to. No hammers though, I DO have my limits.
    Mike, I agree, it took me a LONG time to find anything in the Danfoss website. It reminded me of the Honeywell website. All these TRVs will be the angle body, but the two close ones will require as you said, the vertical actuator/thermostat, with the remote sensor. I am saving these threads. The longer we talk here, the more complete picture you are painting me. First came the "what", and now I am starting to see the "why". I've got another possible conversion I need to look at. I'll be better prepared for that one, and know what to look for. Thanks again. Kevin
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,987


    I hate pocket rockets. My service manager calls me a couple of times a year. He's very smart with anything that is NOT piping. He always asks "between schedule 40 and 80 does the inside dia. change or the outside dia. change????????/"

    Then I explain (for the 100 time) that the od stays the same. And then I say "look you use the same dies on both, thats how you remember"

    Ok Brad I don't think I wanna know about any other pocket tools.

  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    Watch out. Two different "angle" bodies.

    One is called the "side mount angle", the other just an "angle". The "side mount angle" is the one typically used on a standing iron radiator as the operator will be horizontal.
  • Kevin Pulver
    Kevin Pulver Member Posts: 67
    Got it Mike.

    If I want the operator horizontal, I gotta get a "side mount angle" valve body. Isn't it nice when you explain what you DON'T want, and THAT is what they send? Kevin
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Danfoss TRV Part Numbers

    Side-Mount Angle Valve Bodies (all NPT)

    1/2" 013G8013

    3/4" 013G8018

    1" 013G8023

    1 1/4" 013G8030

    Angle Valve Bodies (all NPT)

    1/2" 013G8014

    3/4" 013G8019

    1" 013G8024

    1 1/4" 013G8031

    Common RA2000 TRV Operators

    Self-contained: 013G8200

    Remote Sensing (6' capillilary): 013G8202

    Wall-mount (combined remote operating/sensing): 013G8562 (6' capilliary); 013G8565 (16' capilliary)

    Wall-mount (with separate remote sensing): 013G8564 (both 6' capilliary)

    Self-contained programmable setback operator (no remote sensing/operating options): 013G2750

  • Kevin Pulver
    Kevin Pulver Member Posts: 67
    Thanks Mike

    Those numbers should really help avoid confusion.
    Of course, "Nothing is fool-proof, to a sufficiently talented fool!" Kevin
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    You're quite welcome.

    Once you start your heat loss calculation let me know--either here or privately.

    The basement can be an utter wild card in a gravity system.

    I don't know what brand of mod-con you're using but you're likely to wind up in the middle between the smallest available from a few sources and the smallest available from everyone else.
  • Kevin Pulver
    Kevin Pulver Member Posts: 67
    How do I contact you privately Mike?

    We're working on the heat loss now. Thanks, Kevin
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    When you click "reply" to anyone's message you'll find their email address as a hotlink in the "Author" line.

    Otherwise, [email protected]

  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    My 15-20 Minute Time Estimate for TRV Installation

    That time estimate is the best case.

    Remember--I'm not a heating contractor. While I'm a former restoration/renovation contractor, I'm pretty much out of any trade except for me. I work on gravity systems on the side just because I can't stand to see them destroyed.

    I've generally installed the TRVs in a home under renovation and didn't have to worry too much about any mess. I've sometimes worked alone, but at my leisure and only 1-3 rads at a time--and even then I've been known to hurt myself. If doing a true "day" I've ALWAYS had a helper.

    If you remove the tapping bushing and tailpiece you'll get a decent amount of truly nasty water. Have PLENTY rags!!! (I prefer old bath towels.) There's a strange art to "pivoting" a cast iron rad (the front return-side leg will stay in place) without in any way harming a hardwood floor but until you get the knack you can easily make awful marks in the finish or even cut through the finish.

    Above about 75 sq.ft. EDR, rads--to me at least--become extremely difficult to handle--that's when I hurt myself when working alone. Above 100 sq.ft. and it's difficult for two. With rads much smaller than 75 sq.ft. EDR it's nearly impossible to remove the tapping bushing without laying the rad flat--and you'll need at least two people to do that--if you do this in a finished home lay the rad down on a SOLID layer of towels!

    Given the number of rads on this job (presuming fully finished spaces and full cleanup and no familiarity with the job) I'd consider 2 people * about 16 hours for the TRV installation. Good if you alternate between the boiler and TRV installation.
  • Kevin Pulver
    Kevin Pulver Member Posts: 67
    More excellent advice Mike

    Draining the system to remove boiler should help some, but I know there will be plenty water left over. I was considering a Shop-Vac to suck up the water when I break things loose. That, and maybe some of the fancy stick-down plastic carpet protector made for muddy feet. A bunch of towels as you said, and I should be ready.
    I've got the new Rector-Seal "Golden Grip" internal pipe wrenches which could be helpful too. I think your two day estimate would be pretty good considering things often don't go as planned. I'll keep you posted and email you if I run into anything over my head. Thanks again! Kevin
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    Of course the system is drained but there's still the natural "gunk collection area" at the bottom of any standing rad and if you remove the tapping bushing to remove the tailpiece you've immediately opened a good chunk of that "collection area". The smaller the tapping size, the more truly filthy water you'll get. Remember--water has NEVER moved through these rads under gravity flow at any semblance of "velocity"!!!

    Use the TRVs and and directly connected mod-con and flow through the rads will still be VERY low and not enough velocity to even possibly "pick up" the gunk in the bottom of the rads. Without the TRVs and with a typically sized secondary circulator it might just pick up some of the crud... Removing an old rad to the outdoors and flushing at least four times (one each for each "side") is never a bad idea, but my humble opinion is that 1) it's rarely done regardless and 2) if you're using the TRVs there's little chance of any problem.

    I've removed and flushed every rad in my own house only because when I bought it the system had frozen--only two rads didn't leak and I had to disassemble nearly the entire system and even some of the of the mains. There's also a rather convenient 2nd floor balcony so I didn't have to move the monster rads down the steps... I've only removed the rads to the outside in other jobs when the rads themselves had to be repaired--once out there I flush--but otherwise, I don't remove and flush.

    I did have one TRV clog one time. It was in my own house. This in the first or second season with a B&G 100 and the original cast iron boiler. Kept moving the operator back and forth MANY times and it cleared itself.

    After that heating season I found out why! It was at the very end of one main pair and I hadn't removed the final horizontal portion in the repair. Investigated and found it had been re-piped at some point with about 3' of galvanized 1" pipe. Had not noticed before that it was galvanized because it had been painted because it ran through a basement bathroom. This--the ONLY galvanized pipe in the ENTIRE system--was UTTERLY scaled up inside. A 1" pipe had barely the diameter of a kiddy pencil! My lesson here is NEVER, EVER, EVER use galvanized pipe in a gravity system!!!! I later bronzed that rad and removed it and again flushed--it was truly cruddy.

    Regarding pipe scale: In my town at least I see extremely little scale/pitting in every gravity system I've worked on. I'm almost certain that all were originally connected to "city" water even if there were old cisterns that they later used for irrigation. Hard, alkaline and enough chlorine that fish people say, "Use twice the recommended amount of dechlorinator." Some scaling and some pitting but all it's really done is make the surface MUCH rougher. Nothing at all loose--you have to pick at it quite forcibly to remove anything. Given my experience with water softeners added to old galvanized pipe systems however I would NEVER allow newly softened water in an old gravity system. In the domestic systems I've seen it quite literally begins to "clean" the pipes. Aerators clog so rapidly that EVERYONE removes them, many modern "cartrige" type faucets--particularly single-handle kitchen die rapidly and even simple "jamb up" valves with rubber washers require frequent washer replacement if not seat replacement/re-grinding. Only problem I've seen with water softeners originally installed in copper systems is what I consider rapid failure of tank-type gas-fired water heaters.

  • ralman
    ralman Member Posts: 231
    Tell us more.

    What is a pocket rocket? What is your complete list of pocket tools?
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,393

    I need a smiley face on your message before I even begin to answer that last question :)

    A Pocket Rocket is a pipe measuring caliper available on this site.

    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
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