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design question for pros

Derheatmeister
Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,517
I separate myself from the Plateless stapleup,12"to16" on Center "Heating/Plumbing Contractors"!

Coming from Germany i adapt to the lower temps ,I like to put my tubes 6" on centers , which requires more tube and manifolds and cost more!(Not for the Cheap Contractor)
In a trade off i can lower the design temp and give the customers some great savings and the possible interface to Geo or Solar!Some HO get it! Low temp, cont. flow with TRV's.. works great!good luck. Richard.

Comments

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    Question to pro's on hydronic system design temp?

    I know alot of you do both replacement and new system work and i am wondering how many of you follow the european train of thought of lowering your max water temp on design day ?Are you when taking this approach infroming the HO's of what is going on or are you just taking the same approach in design 180 degree water and sizing your radition for that temp and maybe install a ODR control and at design day your at 180 .In my case it seems that most are doing nothing in concern of lowering design temp and basically look at me like i'm from another planet and this is completly true on mod con install on complete renovation jobs ,i am also wondering how the pro's feel about a manidated max temp for hydronic heating say set by a fed or local goverment arthority to help reduce engerny usage.thanks for your thoughts if any peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314


    Clammy around here many design for 200 to 210 for water temps when bidding systems. Means short baseboard and almost no chance to use a ODR properly when changing in the future. We design for 180 max water temp for radiator and baseboard jobs. I also see many 120 to 140 degree radiant floor installs. Makes it hard to compare apples to apples when bidding. New regs will just mean more rules that wil be ignored.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    my thoughts

    well my thoughts on it are just from looking at the costs of fuel in lets say europe where they have a manadatory max design temp they do this because they realize that generally low water temps increase system eff not boiler eff and also cut down on heat lose from piping even though i know some have some of the toughest insulation codes for piping unlike here.i would fiqure some smart contractors here would shoot for this and maybe make a grab at over system eff not over just a boiler eff which is nothing if hook up to a system that does not benefit from a boiler that really shines at low temp production then **** that it's eff is not waht it rated .on systems that are designed for 200 and over 200 degrees well i see it as a total waste unless your using this type of sysytem as injection to lower temp systems to allow smaller pipe sizes to be ran saving in increased piping or electrical comsumption .i would guess as all things the real guiene pigs are as always the small guy( HO)instead of the larger users of ulities (gov)i would also guess we will finally take the lead or follow when one or two more years go by and our fuel cost match the rest of the world but f it we all can just get another blanket or sleep with a jacket ,thanks charlie peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    to richard

    Richard last i remenber the max temp for the germans was some where around 164 for say a panel rad system but that was about 10 or so years ago .in designing base board system i shoot for about 160 at outdoor design temp and have had no complaints ,as for radiant no one i know seems to give a damn most don't want to spend a dime for a motorized mixing valve using ODR they use standard fixed mixing valves and set them so they won't have call backs plus most are using rubber hose or staple up with pex no plates what a waste so it makes it quite hard price wise to sell up espically when your the only guy screaming a mantra espically to GC's who i personally shy away from .thanks for reply and making me feel like i'm not alone i try to sell ODR but alot of times there always a snag in the homes design that shoots it down usually additions that just won't cut it when ODR is being used and HO don't want to add additinal radition to even things out thanks peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,517
    Stick to your guns! and good things wiil happen

    Good for you, just open with :That you will cost more than the Insignificant systems! But,if they(The HO) want a good system they will pay "more" now and will have the Savings,Realibily and safety with a proper designed system!

    It Blows me away almost every week i see that the installers that had the heat loss done by a Supply house decide that they "wanna change things" and cut corners which results in "Cranking the temp up" to unsafe elevated infloor temps and off gasing/ ruined wood flooring..

    Most of my customers are HO that have been "Burned" by "Plumbers"and Wanna be heating contractors or GC.

    I just pulled a General contractor out of a ditch yesterday after he ran off due to Ice just to be nice...after i winched him up we started talking he asked me if i do new construction and i basicly told him that i do not work for Contractors because they DO not have the HO best interest in mind and most of "them" want to cut corners all of the time and I just Deal with HO...He did understand!
    In the past i also thanked some Bad "Heating Cotractors" for putting bad system in so that i can change the system later...
    IT is bad for the Heating industry but it keeps me very Busy!

    Have you tried Panel rads yet? you will be able to lower your temps even more! Richard. :)
  • A.J.
    A.J. Member Posts: 257
    Don't take it personally

    We run into the same thing around here in western Pa. I always start off with a base price when list a couple upgrades ( outdoor reset ) and their advantages . Let the customer decide on the type of install they want and don't take it personally. Yes we are designing for lower water temps. I think it will become more and more common in the years to come .
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,517
    Stick to your guns! and good things will happen

    I always open with: if you are serious about this (and i am),I will talk to you and yes you will pay "More" now but in the long run it will pay for it's self.

    Also i will not be compared against Insignificant ill designed systems!Most of my Customers are HO that were "Burned" by a "Plumber", a Wanna be Heating contractors or a GC !

    I do not deal with the GC! I will deal with the HO directly!

    It's a daily thing that i get to see that the "heating contractor" had the heatloss done by one of his Supply house and decides to "Do it his way" and starts cutting back on the design just to have to "crank up" the heat to the infloor which results in elevated unsafe surface temperatures which sometimes ruins very nice wood floors!

    Bad system's keeps me very busy(Change out's) but it is bad for the industry !

    Have you tried some Panel Rads yet? you may be able to lower your temps even more! good luck and keep up the good work ..Richard.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    yeah

    i've been trying to sell panel rads and it's a hard one i have installed a few with good results ,I 've installed them in my own home running at 130 at 5 oat and i love em running them off a munchkin 3 years no promblemo ,i've got a few munchkin out there running fine no issues longest about 6 years and i have been servicing them yearly thanks for the boost peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,743
    I decided years ago to not install baseboards as a general rule.

    I will move or add a baseboard to an existing baseboard system but that's it. If they want baseboard fin tube they are to call someone else. Just not my cup o tea. I always try and design to 150 to 160, sometimes even down to 140 for radiator jobs. I don't get much resistance from clients when I explain the reasoning. Won't get every job but can get our fair share. Re: plates etc. I always try and use plates. last large radiant retro could not as the floors were skip sheeted across the joists and then sub floor on the skip sheeting. PITA!! No way to get good contact to sub floor due to skip sheeting. Not my most favorite install but had to go with clips and higher temp. Tim
  • S Ebels_2
    S Ebels_2 Member Posts: 74
    You are barking up a tall tree there Clammy

    Trying to sell a low temp high efficiency system to a GC is impossible. They only have one thing in mind....especially right now. And that is "how can we keep first cost down." sure a lot of them talk the talk to their customers but they don't walk the walk. They are interested in how many sq ft they can sell to their client and what bells and whistles they can add on themselves.

    Like Der Heatmeister said, I will not even speak with a GC anymore about design and/or cost. I ask him, if given the opportunity, to speak directly with the customer. If he says no, I walk. Plain and simple. I usually remind him that I work for the customer, not him, regardless of what he thinks.....on the way out the door. Arrogant? No! I simply know a LOT more about HVAC than he ever will 99 times out of 100.

    I have to say that until the Great Depression II hit here in Michigan I had a lot of customers that sought me out and asked me to design a high efficiency system for them, bypassing the GC. Then they would go to Bob the Builder and tell him this was what they wanted and who was going to do it. That worked well. Alas, no one is calling anyone these days. Not a single new construction building permit in the entire county since February. Not one.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    Your right

    Both steve,richard and tim are right it is a hard sale espically to a GC who i also stay away from but the saddest part is the supply house who push nothing but base board and it seems that a few still do terrible heat lose it seems they do like 30 btu per sq ft while one i am aware actually does do a real heat lose but still add a little bit sort of insurances but none offer low temp as even a opition and there radiant lay out are quite funny and always seem to have about 4 or 5 differnt temps .I really don't do new work and i quess i'm a little lucky that way because it is quite dead as my buddies who do have told me .Even fixing ole junk is getting slow for myself but as always got a few ambers sitting in the ash peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Your own style

    Clammy, most will always see better design connected with higher costs, and stop. Whether it's a homeowner, GC or installer. I've been designing hydronic systems around constant circulation and lowest temps for 18 years. That's when I first went to ISH and saw the methods and materials. I have a personal ethic to stick with what I do best, and not try and compete with those who just want it "cheap". In every market, cheap, cheaper and cheapest seems to dominate. The exceptions are few. We can blame it on the lack of training, shortage of skilled technicians and limited codes that allow water heaters as a heat source. Tax incentives may help, but I see far too many installs that are simply a D-minus. Not very encouraging.


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  • Tim, you can design baseboard fairly easily, down to 120 or so. why not do it?
  • Cosmo_3
    Cosmo_3 Member Posts: 845
    nice to se the good ole' boys around....

    Hey guys,

    Like some of you I have also gone down the road of doing a few showcase radiant jobs for builders, and watching them marching future prospects in the mechanical room I took so many hours to create, use my sweat to sell more/bigger houses..... only to eventually not give me the next job because my proposal was a percentage point higher than some guy from out of town.

    Not to mention that these same GC's now owe me some bucks....

    I have been trying to find a systematic way that to use software that could give my potential customers a payback schedule without opening myself to liabilities and so far have been unable/scared to do so.

    I will try to be a little more active here now, I miss having the wall as my daily ritual but unfortunately I am constantly running... :(

    Take care boys
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