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Xtreme Mechanicals (Pics)

@scott markle: Electric backup is for the summer. During that time I can shut the entire boiler down and run solely on solar & only use electric on the days when it's too cloudy to generate much solar heat. (That's how I get those $15 gas bills :-)) The electric to the solar tank is shut off in the winter when the boiler is operating. So in the winter, the solar tank acts as a pre-heater for the indirect. The schematic is missing a shutoff valve on the indirect side so I can see how you can get confused. I Hope that helps.


  • Longtime Lurker
    Longtime Lurker Member Posts: 4

    When I first discovered heatinghelp.com about 5 or 6 years ago, I came across a post of an install with custom digital temperature meters that I thought was really cool. It got me thinking not only about how to duplicate that look but also improve the overall look of the mechanical room which, for most homeowners and contractors alike, is treated like an afterthought because, frankly, hardly anybody ever goes in it. After all, in this age of high technology, we put up with a lot crappy workmanship in utility rooms. For instance, how many of you can decipher the handwritten circuit descriptions on your electrical panel? I decided to tackle some of these issues in my install which I completed last year.

    1. I solved the digital meter issue by using automotive meters. Mine came from Dakota Digital, who provided outstanding technical support, pointing me to the Radio Shack ac/dc voltage converter that could power the meters.
    2. I farmed the aluminum cover panel out to a firm called bnplasers.com. It took 2 fabrications at $50 a pop to get it right.
    3. I used my computer and labeled everything, which really assisted in the install as well as troubleshooting along the way. However, the install wasn’t all about eye candy. In addition to hiring a firm to install my solar hot water heater (which cut my May-October gas bill to just $15—this year mostly for a gas cooktop--from around $100.00 before the solar tank install), I found a programmable electronic timer (the square device with the blue buttons above the digital meters) that helped cut my winter bill. It basically does the same thing for my indirect heater that an electric hot water heater time does: i.e., shut off calls for hot water during the day when nobody is home and at night, when everyone is sleep. After the first year with my boiler, I quickly became suspect of claims that indirects’ have standby heat loss of less than 1 degree per hour. Maybe in the labs. But the fact of the matter is that my boiler was short cycling during the day in an effort to keep the indirect at 140 degrees. That $79 relay timer paid for itself in weeks by cutting my winter gas bills by 20% or more. My boiler doesn’t short cycle anymore.

    Anyway, that’s all. OK, professionals you can grab your darts and start throwing now :-).
  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
    Very Impressive for home built

    It looks like something out of an old audio power amp panel. Congratulations.
  • bobbyg_2
    bobbyg_2 Member Posts: 139

    no darts. I am impressed. Is the solar a drain-back system? Or does it have glycol? What type of solar panels. Evacuated tube or flate plate. Well thought-out system...very impressive.

    Great Job!
  • No darts

    from here either,,,very impressive!!

  • Longtime Lurker
    Longtime Lurker Member Posts: 4
    Xtreme Mechanical

    @bobbyg: It's evaculated tube with glycol.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Nice Work

    and I like the name "Xtreme Mechanicals".... I think you could sell quite a few of those panels!

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    Hope you don't mind

    but, I'm gonna steal your Idea (with the auto gauges). I think it's great!
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    It's groovy!

    I like it a lot!...I still have a nice collection of old panel meters,from old ham radio operators. Even have a vibrating reed line frequency meter, which I use for monitoring line voltage/freq. in my ham shack.
  • scott markle_2
    scott markle_2 Member Posts: 611

    Why would you want electric backup on a pre heat tank? A two tank system has the advantage of being able to extract more energy from your collector because it is generally at a lower temperature than a stratified two coil tank would be at. If you are providing electric backup to this tank you are loosing the ability to harvest from the collectors in marginal conditions. If your collectors can produce a small amount of heat in these conditions say 90 deg but your tank is maintained above 100 by the backup then there is no delt t to extract that heat.

    This is not intended as a dart just a design refinement suggestion.
  • Fisher_2
    Fisher_2 Member Posts: 1
    Where did you buy

    That indirect tank setback control you referred to?
  • Ted_9
    Ted_9 Member Posts: 1,718

    does this boiler have an internal circ?

  • RE: Where did you buy

    It may not be available anymore. The online store I bought it from no longer stocks it. Google "DTM-9 Seven day electronic timer", maybe you can find it elsewhere.
  • Live/Learn
    Live/Learn Member Posts: 97

    If it's an MZ40 boiler as listed in the diagram, then yes, they have an internal circulator.
This discussion has been closed.