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Worth it to DIY radiant with EKPak?

sa_2 Member Posts: 1
Hi there,

I have an Energy Kinetics EKPak that's maybe 4-5 years old.  It's configured with 3 zones, 1 for a DHW tank and 2 for radiators on the first and second floor.

I just put in an addition (replaced a cold room that previously had one radiator) and put 1/2" PEX in a 3" slab over an insulated foundation.  I have a manifold in the crawlspace ready to hook up to the EKPak, but I'm having a heck of a time getting quotes for the tie-in.  The company that installed it came back to do yearly maintenance and write up a quote; they did the first, not the second. 

Since I don't understand my heater that well, I thought this would be a good chance to dig in and learn it.  However, the system seems to baffle people which I think is why I'm not getting many quotes back, and the ones that come back don't inspire me with confidence.  Part of the system looks dead simple, and part of it confuses me.  So my basic question is, is it worth it to figure this out, or should I put my energy into chasing down a contractor who installs Energy Kinetics pretty often?

The simple part is that the installers left two capped tees coming off the supply and return pipes that go off to the first and second floor.  The only thing between the pipe to each floor and the bulk of the system, is a zone valve wired into the Energy Kinetics controller.  I haven't taken off the cover so I don't know how complicated it is inside, only that each zone has 3 corresponding status LEDs.  But looking at the system, it *should* be the case that all that's needed is a zone valve and a bunch of copper run to the radiant manifold.  There are 2 circulators already, looks like one for the tank and one for the radiators, so hypothetically I shouldn't need another one...I think.

The confusing parts arethe heat exchanger that connects the tank with the radiators, the placement of the circulator close to the tank, what might be lurking inside the controller box, and whether this new radiant zone really is as simple as the existing radiator zones.

So, what say you?  Should I give it a try and just stick a zone valve in line with new copper to the radiant manifold, should I go read some books real fast, or should I wave the white flag and re-start the tedious process of calling HVAC contractors and twiddling my thumbs waiting for quotes?  I have photos that I can post if that's helpful.


  • NRT_Rob
    NRT_Rob Member Posts: 1,013
    it's a little specialized

    someone who knows something should probably be involved. this isn't your typical boiler setup. if you figure it out on your own you're just as likely to oversize things enough to pay for professional help... or nearly, at least.

    if this is a radiant zone you probably need mixing.
    Rob Brown
    Designer for Rockport Mechanical
    in beautiful Rockport Maine.
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