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60 year old radiant , still holding tight

Ron Jr._3
Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
We changed out this old Low York boiler in Westbury , NY today . Original boiler and burner and circ body . The system had 3 zones , 2 of them were radiant . The 2nd pic is of the special 3/4 inch nipple they used to throttle down the temp going into the slab . The other pic is the radiant manifolds in a pit in front of the boiler . Had to dig out 2 - 5 gal buckets of dirt and crap to uncover them .

The last pic is the amazing work some fly-by-night company did with some flexible lining . The decided the thimble was optional . The customer called the company that installed it 5 years ago . Disconnected phone number .......


  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
    We used the Peerless WBV3

    Kinda the only thing that will fit back in there , and have the swing door open too .

    We were able to snorkel a smoke ell into the liner temporarily till he can get a better contractor in there to fix it properly .

    Amazing that we find homes with the radiant still connected . Mine went dead almost 10 years ago . And I miss it way too much .........
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,826

    radiant. Send a picture to the CDA Copper Development Association. Nice work on the replacement. Did you tile the floor also :)

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    My house is from the early 1950s.

    It has radiant in the floor downstairs (main heat load). All piping was copper. Oil fired GE boiler (I replaced the GE burner with a Beckett about 30 years ogo when I could not get parts to fix it). I replaced the GE with a W-M Ultra 3 gas burner in May 2009. The radiant still works and does not leak.
  • Ron Jr.

    Just curious, when you replace an old beast like that do you guys flush the system, or is it better left alone?
  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
    We did a little " un-tileing " :)

    Had to break some of the tiles to uncover the pit the pipes are in. And chip a few so the boiler could sit where the old round one was. There's still probably a few hundred Levitt homes that have working radiant. And were the only company left that'll repair em. Thanks Hot Rod.
  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603

    Naa. We wouldn't take a chance flushing a radiant system this old. Sleeping dogs and all that. .............. :) We left the feed off cause its a matter of when for the radiant to spring a leak.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    do you guys flush the system

    Since I am not a contractor, I do not have a policy. I can tell you what the contractor who replaced my boiler did.

    They had to drain the system because they replaced the heat emitters upstairs, and they had to change some piping in the radiant heating downstairs. Then they had to replace the water (of course) so they turned the supply on and opened the purge valves, one zone at a time. This is probably nearly a flush, but they did not put chemicals such as Rhomar in and do what I suppose a thorough flush might be. It has now gone through an entire heating season without leaking. (I turned off the supply and watched the pressure, and it did not go down. I now have an LWCO.)

    The former owner suggested I flush it every year (I have no idea what he did), but that seemed stupid to me, so I never did it. The old system was strange. It had no LWCO, no pressure relief valve, ... . It had an operating aquastat and an emergency aquastat in the boiler. There was a B&G F3TU or F8TU Dual Unit gizmo for feedwater supply, but it specifically says this must not be used as a pressure relief valve.
  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
    Hey JD

    Is this the type of boiler you had ?

    Yep , every one of them was set up just like yours . The B+G dual unit is not up to code now , but back then ............. was there any codes back then ?  :)  The relief valve does work , but the 1/2 inch relief opening isn't up to any codes I know of .

    All of these boilers had the 2 aquastats like yours did . The lack of a LWCO was very common on hot water boilers . I only saw them on commercial applications until it became code in the not too distant past .

    Flushing the system yearly woulda been a pretty bad idea . All that new water rusting out the system ..........  I remember not too long ago a homeowner mistakenly hooked up the hot of the washer on the boiler's drain . And the homeowner who connected a saddle valve for the fridge ......... to the oil line .

    You said you have a new gas boiler ? Was it relocated ? Did they install a mixing valve for the radiant ? You definitely do not want 180 degree water going into the slab . Hot feet and a shortened lifespan for the radiant could happen .
  • Hydronic Poetry

    That's what I call your work, Ron, Jr.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
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