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John MillsJohn Mills Member Posts: 766
Actually it is pretty sad to see:

Dan, if I'm not supposed to post links to other sites, kill this!


  • MIke_JonasMIke_Jonas Member Posts: 209
    Funny no, sad yes.

    I see worse than that on a weekly basis.

    I find it sad.

    For all of us who have a proper hot water heating system and appreciate the benefits of hydronic heating, there are many that have systems just like that one shown in that thread. These are the people that hate hydronic heating and rip out all of their radiators.

    I had a lady ask me how could such a nice guy such as myself be involved in such a "despicable" form of heating as that provided by a boiler. Her words. She had a system just like that one shown.

    When I advertised on this site, I'd get calls from diyers in my area that were assisted by others on this site in building their own system. All were worse than what you refer to.

    I find it a shame and I believe it brings us all down.
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Member Posts: 3,022
    Hall of Shame

    This project goes immediately to the Hall of Shame. Too bad the homeowner didn't hire a hydronics expert. Often the argument is cost, rather than competence. The selection of a tankless water heater as the heat source is just one of many errors. You may want to inform the carpenter that there is a tool called a torpedo level, and pipe hangers are used to hold the piping plumb and square.
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,525

    This is a shame and as Mike pointed out, our trade will be the one made to look bad.

    "The landlord hired a carpenter to install the system". I think that explains about everything. He tried to do it on the cheap and used the Internet and a carpenter instead of hiring a pro. Why not get the carpenter to cut your hair, do your bridge work and remove your gall bladder, too? After all, he'll do it for less than a pro. I'm not belittling carpenters as I have a carpentry license myself, but a man has to know his limitations.

    I recommend for the tech who posted this on HVAC Talk to come here and get some advice. Maybe we can help him, but this cob-job needs sawzall surgery.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 1,484
    edited January 2012
    I bet the carpenter

    has a sawzall........or least the plywood and the sprayfoam look
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 1,929
    Not sure if I'm seeing

    this right, but I could swear the water isn't even circulating through the water heater. This is dreadful.
    Ramer Mechanical
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122
    edited January 2012
    No way

       That guy was a Carpenter. Not one thing level, or plumb, forget about a tape measure. If he is I would hate to see the house. New trade "Hydronipentericians" local 000. I think he subbed out the pipe insulation.

      I wonder how many trips to the hardware store that took. Bet I could buy dinner with the gas alone. Gimme a 5 gallon bucket of assorted fittings I can try to make anything work!

  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9
    Well I'm here

    Hello all. I was referred to the site and would like say any and all constructive help would be much appreciated. I know that this system is a mess and that it almost never shuts off, in addition to costing a fourtune to run. I would like to give my landlord a sensible solution to fix this mess. Weather it's letting him know he was scammed and it needs to be redone or highly modified for correct operation. If all else fails we will have to move but honestly were not in a position to move at this point.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122
    edited January 2012
    For starters

     Need to know the heat loss being dealt with.

     Is there enough baseboard to meet that load.

    Is the supply, and return piping large enough to give the baseboards the required flow rates.

     The Takagi JR needs to be piped primary secondary do to its high head loss HX. Instant hot water heaters are not boilers, and end up being extra energy hogs. They will work, but not efficiently.

     It would SEEM the components, are all there, and then some. I would perform sawzall surgery, and start over.........I would be embarrassed, And I am a Carpenter. Hydronic heating is my second passion. No one in any trade with any type of pride would do work like that for someone, and except money let alone for themselves......Scammed I say yes.

  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9
    Heat load calculation

    Ok, so I did the most comprehensive heat load calculation I could. It includes walls, windows, doors, floors and ceiling. Used heat transfer coefficients for all materials using typical thermal properties of common building materials. My final BTU/H = 323,511.27 It appers to be built to cost. Many leaks around doors and windows. Also very little insulation. The home has 10ft ceilings. And is 14,650 sq ft. I did it on excel and can post it to the forum later so anyone who would be willing and able to look at it can. I included a 10% correction factor but am thinking I should bump it up to 15%.
  • nugsnugs Member Posts: 77
    300,000 btu/hr heat loss

    and that pissy little boiler.  Good luck with that.

    What can be said.  All the valves, controls and circulators can be salvaged as can some of the piping but it all needs to be torn out and done again using a much bigger boiler if your heat loss is accurate.
  • Ex Maine DougEx Maine Doug Member Posts: 160
    What's that old expression....

    It costs two times to do it twice and sometimes more to do it right.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122
    323000 btus

    Is this a joke?

    Even if you had the right size boiler the piping would never deliver that many btus. Not that a Takagi Jr. is even a boiler its a instantaneous water heater only capable of 140000 btus.

    Start over.

  • Tim P.Tim P. Member Posts: 50
    A good first step

    A good first step, that you can do yourself, is remove the white cap from the pressure relief valve under the Takagi.

    I would also check clearance to combustibles for the vent.  It should be on the label.

    Beyond that, I don't know where to start.
  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9
    edited January 2012

    Ok so I have to make a correction. A bit over tired and I wasn't home to double check but it's 8 foot ceilings. 10' sounded to high but I knew I just had to change a few numbers in excel and let it do all the math for me. I made my correction my new number is 304,493.21 BTU/H with the correction factor of 15%. I can tell a few walls don't have insulation and the house has cold corners. Also I will post my spread sheet as soon as I can tonight. I couldn't find a way to do it from my phone yet. My spread sheet is a generic format that I made for commercial heat load/loss calculations, and adapted for the residential home I'm in.
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,771

    I think you may very well be over your head. Where are you located? Is this  the only heat source in the house? 14.k is a huge place.... kpc
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,525
    305K Btu's?

    With a 14,650 sq. ft. home in the Adirondacks? That works out to about 20 btu's per sq. ft. and you said there are some walls uninsulated. What are you using for a design temp?


    Can you post the spread sheet? I would think that even a well insulated house would need at least 25 to 30 btu's per sq. ft. in that climate.

    At any rate, that on demand isn't gonna come close to giving you what you need.

    Also, you should break the calc. out into two zones and measure how much baseboard there is in each. Also, the size of the supply and return piping to each zone.

    Having the above info will be the starting place for sizing and designing the system correctly.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9
    edited January 2012
    Spread sheet

    Posting my spread sheet for the heat loss calculations. I could use the help of a second look. Its been over a year since my last one and I do feel like I am messing up something simple.

    Having trouble getting the file to attach. made it into a PDF as well to see if that helps.
  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9
    edited January 2012
    Air changes per hour

    My Air changes per hour was wrong. Didn't change it from original design spreed sheet. Will take advice on a recommendation for the Air Changes per Hour factor but i used the formula below. Also the uninsulated walls are nominal and compensated by a ventless wall heater in the room and not factored into the calculation.

    ok infiltration formula used ---> =1.1*((2.2/60)*(room area)*90
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,525
    edited January 2012

    Something's not adding up right; I'll run the numbers when I get a free moment (not sure when that will ever come).

    Maybe someone else will want to check them over and give input.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9

    I thought I better list some of my assumptions for the calculations. I checked for insulation and r values of all building materials however the book I was giving isn't the newest edition. The walls have vinyl siding, 3/4" soft wood, 5.5" insulation and dry wall, air films also taken into consideration. Floors are raised crawl space uninsulated with 3/4'' sub floor and linoleum/fux hardwood laminate. Ceiling has the same 5.5 mat insulation with blown insulation ranging from 2" - 6"( just varified today because I stopped taking the landlords word for it after my first round of calculations were that of a new home with excellent build quality.) Air changes per hour used is 2.2 air changes/hour for poor windows and not sealed well. The air leaks at some will blow a lighter out! Doors are uninsulated metal with cardboard cores. Also from what I saw in the attic it looks like it was converted to hydronic from forced air, probablly when he bought it at auction several years ago.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Not laughing:

    Where did you ever find whatever you are using to do the calculations.

    I've never seen anything like that in my life. I've used a few heat loss programs in my time. Every one was based on room size and adding all the rooms up. Doing the room sizes gives me the needed radiation. You are talking about no insulation and then having 5.5" of insulation in the walls and ceilings?

    I've used old DOS programs based on Manual J, and a few windows based ones. I use the Slant Fin Freebie that is based on IBR H-22 heat loss guide which I used for years before computers. I found everyone within 10% one way or another.

    Taco supposedly has one on-line you can use but I've never been able to find it or use it.

    Post the room sizes, window areas, ceiling heights, wall and ceilings insulation when applicable, and amount of exposed walls per room.

    I've never seen a 300,000+ BTU house. I'm not saying that they don't exist, I've just not run into that many.

    Your posted information means nothing to me. I don't know about every one else. Its just that I don't calculate that way.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122

    At 1765 Square feet living space. Your going to run about 53000 btus thats 30 btus a square foot loose as a goose.

    Do you know if all the base board emitters were in place before the carp got his hands on the system?

    Seems like the emitters are okay just maybe the heating plant got sent through the transporter, and came back in quite a disarray.

    I'm with Ice sailor on the program you have going on.

  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9
    More Info

    The system was replaced by the carpenter but had been "designed" before him and he came in to replace what was ruined by freeze damage. However they used 3/" PEX to connect all the new baseboard and not copper as it was before.

    I do all my calculations with Excel. Using formulas I have posted below that I was taught. My professor also taught some mechanical engineering courses and felt it was necessary for us to learn many of the same ones. With Excel I can go to a cell and enter (=1+1) and it will just say 2 in the cell or (=cell D3+1) and whatever is in cell D3 is added to 1 and the cell just gives me an answer. So the PDF I uploaded is like a picture of that. It in no way contains the equations I used.

    However the formulas are more complicated and I can do one and drag it down and it does all the rest for me. Very easy to use and even easier to make a mistake with. I made a BIG error when designing my new template in Excel with the infiltration formula. Which was only caught because I have received feedback on here. Its been over a year since my last Heat Loss Calculation and I'm rusty. So thanks for the feedback. Its been helpful. Below are some of the parameters I used for my calculations that the PDF can't show and can only be seen with Excel inside each cell.

    In reference to the uninsulated walls its only 3 of them. And from what i can tell they used to be interior walls until some remodeling. Turning a entry room into a deck.

    By the way I talked to my old professor and he told me he copied what I have from a older Manual J book. So its not new but should be close.

    U Values- Wall=0.06 Ceiling=0.06 Floor=0.52

    My formulas:

    Transmission Heat Loss Q=(U Value)*(Area)*(TD)

    Infiltration Mistake Q=(1.1)*(2.2air changes/60)*(area)*(90)

    CORRECTION Q=(1.1)*(2.2air changes/60)*(area/60)*(90)

    U Value Q=1/total R value

    Dimensions LxWxH

    Living Room 31x19x8

    Bed Room 1 12x12x8

    Bath Room 8x7.5x8

    Bed Room 2 12x12x8

    Spare Room 12x5.5x8

    Hall 3x7.5x8

    Kitch/D.Room 12x24.5x8

    Utility Room 7.5x8x12
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,584
    Infiltration calculations...

    ASSumptions will get you OVER sized in a hurry...

    Let's use a formula tha tI am familar with that makes sense.

    31 X 19 X 8 = 4,712 cubic feet.

    Each cubic foot holds .018 btu's per cubic foot per degree F temperature differential.

    The differential in temperature is 90 degrees F (seems extreme, what is the local design temperature for your area?)

    The number of air changes per hour is a function of openings in the wall, and exterior exposed walls. In reality, they are usually much lower than anticipated. For this example, lets assume 3/4 of an air change per hour. Instead of "guessing" how many ACH you are dealing with, it is better to pay for a blower door test, and then the guess factor is eliminated, and you can also see exactly where you are losing air to, and can fix it and make it less. Money well spent in my opinion.

    Back to the formulae. Volume X delta T X capacity per cubic foot X ACH = btuH infiltration losses.

    4,712 X 90 X .018 X .75 = 5,725 btuH for infiltration for this room.

    Not sure what the parameters you are using are or how they were derived, but this formula has done well for me for 35 + years, and have only had one experience where the actual infiltration was SIGNIFICANTLY higher than I'd calculated, and that was due to another trades errors (sheet metal, unsealed in an attic area).

    The balance of your calculations look sound (U*A*DT).

    As for your mechanical mess is concerned, I'd start from scratch when the weather allows, and straighten out the system. The use of a tank less is ill advised in this application, and will continue to be problematic. It is a basic misapplication of an appliance that happens a lot, and ends up with the same results just about every time. (rip out and redo). It can put out "heat", but can't deliver true "comfort".

    Just for informations sake, what does the 1.1 stand for in your formula? (thermal capacity of air?)

    What about the 2.2? (ACH?)

    And the 60's? (both of them) (minutes/hour?)

    And the 90? (delta T?)

    As for delta T, it is not wise to chose the COLDEST temperature differential ever seen, because historically, it occurs so rarely and it ends up significantly oversizing the system which results in short cycling, and short life expectancy of the connected equipment. There is usually a localized standard for "design" condition that should be used.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122
    edited January 2012
    Slant fin

       I did a heat loss using slant fin. 51484 total. Made some assumptions erroring to the loose side. You seem to have double the lf of baseboard slant fins program is requiring which is good.

    Edit: used 72* indoor design temp, and -15* outdoor design temp.

  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9
    Formula info

    To answer formula questions:

    The 60 is min/hour and temperature differential is 90. Coldest day I have seen in the last 5 years is -33F no wind factor. And this year despite it being mild it hit -18F little over a week ago. The 1.1 is the thermal capacity of air. I know it varies a bit but that's what I was taught. 2.2 is from a chart I have on air changes per hour based on room size under 900sq.ft. w/ no infiltration barrier, no vapor barier, no attempt to fill cracks and penitraions, vents and exuast fans not dampered, and winter infiltration.

    Thought I'd mention we're at an elevation of about 1300ft

    Also found the Taco design software and it's just for evaluation. Which I gave a go but kept crashing.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Delta "T":

    Why are you using a "Delta T" in a heat loss calculation? Don't take this the wrong way but its sort of like those two dim-witted brothers Minney Pearl used to tell stories about. One brother was dragging a long chain across the yard and the other brother stopped to ask him why he was dragging the chain, across the yard. To which the other brother replied, "Have you ever tried pushing one?"  Or the other one where the brother had a mule standing in front of the barn and was standing on a ladder with a saw, cutting two pointed triangles above the door. The other brother asked what he was doing. To which the first brother replied that the mule was too tall to get in the barn, and he was making way for the mules ears. The other replied, "Why don't you just dig a trench"" To which the first brother replied, "Its his ears that's were too long, not his feet."

    Delta T has absolutely nothing to do with heat loss. You MUST do an accurate heat loss for the building and know what you need to heat each room, and the total loss of the building before you can design the heat delivery system. Your thought process has way over thought this project and process. The carpenter/wood butcher is clueless and severely under thought the process. Forget about how he thought. He's wrong. Don't taint your mind with his mistakes.

    If you can get that Slant-Fin heat loss program somewhere, it will give you what you need. Every time. It will give you every heat loss parameter you will ever encounter and if by chance you find something that isn't listed, you will find something either side of the question. It gives you what the lowest design temperature for the ares location. And just because it goes down to -35 degrees, doesn't mean you design for that temperature because that only occurs one or two days per year and at night. And if the house is zoned, if one zone is set below the set point, it actually increases the size of the system, theoretically.

    Or, go to the IBR/GAMA web site and find their H-22 heat loss guide and #250 advanced system design manual. It will give you anything you want to know, explained in a language that most of us retards or low achieving knuckleheads can understand. I never took any classes, I just bought the books and figured it out myself. If you have any sort of engineering background (as you say you do), it will be a walk in the park. The nice thing about that Slant-Fin program is that when you fill it in, it gives you a nice printout that you can show to whomever that needs to see it. That doesn't mean they will believe it.

    I started doing my own calculations many years ago because everyone I had figure my heating jobs, sized radiation as if they house had no insulation. Like they were taught to do. That meant that a room with a 2'X4" wall, 1/2" Sheetrock, plywood, tar paper and shingles, would loose .25 BTU's per Sq Ft per degree, per hour where if you put 3.5" of fiberglass insulation in the same wall, the loss dropped to .07. Over three times the heat loss. That meant wall to wall baseboard and then some and a bigger boiler.

    It makes my head hurt, just thinking of how your professor is telling you how to do it.

    Way too much thought has gone into a simple exercises. The way Mark Etherton does it is a variation on what I am telling you. It works for him and he has vastly more experience in this than I ever will. But our results will be the same. A properly heated building. How we get there is the only difference.

    I just remember "The Kiss" Keep it simple (but don't be stupid. 
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    I just did a search for what I wrote about from GAMA/IBR where I got replacements for my old ones last year and they don't seem to list them anymore.

    IBR used to teach classes all over the country on how to do heat loss and design but stopped years ago. They still offered the manuals. Unless someone knows differently, all these corporate takeovers have again eliminated something that we little guys could use. If you don't have to pay big bucks to Corporate headquarters, it isn't worth it.  
  • GordanGordan Member Posts: 891
    Temperature differential he's talking about

    is between indoor and outdoor air temperatures. That drives heat loss through both conduction and infiltration.
  • Jim PompettiJim Pompetti Member Posts: 549

    does he have a level?
  • Jim PompettiJim Pompetti Member Posts: 549

    does he have a level?
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122

     If he does he does not know how to use it Jim. Or he used it for a pry bar, and still thinks its good.

  • Hvac_nerd25Hvac_nerd25 Member Posts: 9

    Ok, so I got an email from beenthere and he noticed a few things wrong in Excel that I missed. Ya just stare at the same thing for to long and need that second pair of eyes to see what you've been missing. The corrections have brought my calculations to a more reasonable number of 141,709 BTU/hr. My Excel file has two Sheets and the formulas used numbers from both Sheets and I had doubled up some totals by accident. So as I said before, makes life real easy when its right. Enter values get an answer. Wrong formula, wrong answer.

    Also my Delta T is the temperature differential of inside air and outside air to calculate the Heat Loss Transmission. I was told that its an engineering level calculation that's dumbed down a bit but will be within 3% of a mechanical engineers design even with ASSumptions.

    I'd like to be clear that I'm not knocking other formulas or design programs. Its just the way I was taught and despite being rusty I'm confidant that it works well. The expression those who can't do, teach. doesn't apply for a gentleman that moved to teaching because he couldn't do the work anymore. Age will get us all.

    So thanks for helping me clean out the cobwebs and getting to the bottom of this. I will see my landlord tomorrow and the "experienced installer" he has found and have all the info I need to prove he was scammed when told a water heater was a boiler.
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