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Please Judge my layout...

JavelinJavelin Member Posts: 100
Heating Pros... The boiler TT Prestige 250 has been ordered and the plywood is up and waiting. Now I'm wrestling with the layout. I'm a graphic designer by trade, so admittedly a little crazy and decided to do a life-sized layout on paper so I can count necessary valves, fittings, pumps, etc. I have two layouts (attached) one a "straight" layout, and another with a secondary loop layout. I'm guessing that the secondary loop one is the way to go, but also had some feedback that it might be unnecessary give my system... Here are some facts/questions to consider if you would:

1) My system is an old (1911) gravity fed hydronic system that has been converted to gas with pumps. All of the current near boiler piping is 1.5" copper (reduced down from 2.75" black iron).

QUESTION 1: I'm planning on doing most of my new near-boiler piping in 1.25" as that's what the boiler outlet/inlet size is, then just converting up the 1.5" near the old boiler where I tie into the current circuits.

QUESTION 2: I have on my mockup an air separator... Given the fact that my system is old and probably had a bunch of gook in it, would a dirt separator make sense also? If so where do I put it..

QUESTION 3: Do I need/should I be using a low-loss header like the Spirovent Jr. that combines air and dirt separation and hydronic separation? A colleague mentioned that I might not need this as the new high efficiency boilers thrive with cooler water returns and had something to do with my big old cast iron pipes.

(DUMB) QUESTION 4: I've always seen pumps installed vertically.. is there any reason why they can't be put in horizontally?

THank you all.. Please see attached PDF layouts (crazy as I am) and some photos of the current boiler setup and new proximity of plywood.


  • RichRich Member Posts: 2,224
    edited August 2013

    you should certainly add a dirt separator , a magnetic one at that and locate it on the return side piping .   You can install the circs horizontally , however the motor must be horizontal , this should be whether vertical or horizontal .  You may actually want to invest in the Caleffi 5494Sep4 , Air , hydraulic separation , dirt (magnetic) .  The 1 1/4 models are available I believe and the 1 1/2 will be available in September . You can certainly use the 1 1/4 unit  It is an investment but worthy of the cost , especially in a system such as yours .  You must not orient the Return tee in the position in which it is depicted , both tees must be oriented the same way .  You may also want to use Taco Bumble Bee ECM pumps for your zones , since your system was gravity you should get away with 9 to 22 watts without problem and also keep your Delta T right where you want it no matter the conditions .  Also move the boiler pump to a location on the return between the boiler and any fittings , Do not put it on the supply as shown .  Please keep us informed
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC 732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey , Eastern Pa .
    Consultation , Design & Installation
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • gennadygennady Member Posts: 677

    Double tees are piped wrong way, will not work the way it is piped. 250 is a size for extremely large mansion, are you sure this is a right size?

    Also if you using zoning, you will most of the time use boiler in on off control, not modulation. No efficiency there.
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,099
    edited August 2013
    Heat loss ?

    Did you do one?

    I hope you did not purchase the 250 TT based on the boiler size you have in place.

    Agree with Gennady on the ts
  • JavelinJavelin Member Posts: 100

    Thanks for the input guys.. I'll rework the layout. Yes, Joe S. from this board did a detailed heat loss and I did my own also with an iPad app. It's an old 5,800 sq. ft. house with little insulation, but new windows for the most part. I'm pretty confident in the heat loss calc which came out at 207,025 BTUH.

    Thank you in advance for your expert advice!
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    35.7 BTUs per square foot

    Seems quite high.  Where are you located?  Is there any hope of getting some additional insulation installed?
  • JavelinJavelin Member Posts: 100

    Thanks SWEI, I'm located in Philadelphia, PA... There will be some insulation added (primarily above the third floor ceiling (in the attic crawlspace)) - but for the most part, all the walls will not have insulation as they are very nicely trimmed with good condition plaster, etc. We've gutting the bathrooms (over the next 5 years) and will be adding insulation on those wherever we can.
  • JavelinJavelin Member Posts: 100
    Try Try again....

    Heating Pros,

    Attached is a revised layout integrating a Caleffi low-loss header, air sep, dirt sep combo. Please have a look. I take your "return tee" comment to mean that there can't be a straight flow "through" the tee on the return if there isn't one on the supply... Is that what you mean? If not, and it still looks incorrect, could you let me know what you mean by "orient the same way".


    Planned Main pumps:

    Bumble Bee Variable Speed Circulator w/ Integral Flow Check, 1/20 HP

    Planned Secondary Pumps:

    007 Cast Iron Circulator with Integral Flow Check, 1/25 HP

    Planned Hydronic Separator:

    Caleffi 1-1/4" Sweat Union Hydronic Separator

    The old boiler I'm taking out is a WM 350,000 BTU boiler (280k) output, so the new boiler (while still large) is substantially smaller and much more efficient.

    This obviously isn't my occupation, so any input anyone has to increase efficiency, costs savings would be greatly appreciated for this heating season!



  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Insulation options

    Is this an old balloon-framed house?  If so, you can often get a hose up from the basement/crawlspace for dense-pack cellulose without much impact.  I highly recommend talking with a couple of good insulation contractors before you commit to the boiler sizing.  Emphasis on good.  There are artists and hacks there just like we see with boilers.
  • JavelinJavelin Member Posts: 100

    Thanks SWEI, I did talk to one in the area that specializes in old houses and he said our house wasn't a great candidate do to the furring strips behind the plaster or something like that.. said it would be difficult for the foam to infiltrate where needed. I've also read horror stories about mold and the like behind walls that can't properly breathe... so I think this sort of insulation is years off (if ever).

    I know it's important and like I said, I've replaced 26 windows in the house with high-efficiency argon, yada yada, and I plan to insulate attic with blown-in and traditionally insulate bathrooms as we get to them, but there will still be a lot of heat-loss through walls unfortunately I think...
  • R ManninoR Mannino Member Posts: 422
    Boiler Circulator

    TT shows the boiler circ on the supply in the manual. Also your pumping through the boiler circ with the indirect circ in. Moving the boiler circ to the supply solves that issue.
  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,668
    edited August 2013
    Chiming in

    The existing system is an old gravity hot water system, so I don't see the need for a dedicated boiler circulator, due to the system resistance being so low (or negative, really; gravity operation). The system comes out to a friction loss of about 2-3 ft. hd. And the boiler has a Pressure Drop of 4 ft. hd. @ 20 gpm.

    Yes, the heat loss SEEMS high, but my Manual J software has it all written out. See the photo below. His uninsulated walls make up for nearly half of the heat loss.
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I'm not a big fan of spray foam

    dense-pack or wet-spray cellulose are far less likely to cause issues since they breathe.

    Anyone who does wet-spray (sometimes called damp-spray now) has made an investment in both equipment and training which sets them apart from the crowd.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Heat loss

    Can't see your attachment but I have no problem believing it.

    If there is literally no way to insulate the walls, I'd still suggest he re-work using the planned attic insulation and then size the boiler.  Hopefully that will get him down to where a WH 199 or PTS 175 can meet the demand.
  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,668

    I figured in all of the attic insulation already. He's going to be doing that work in the near future. 
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • ChrisChris Member Posts: 3,056
    Near Boiler Piping

    What pump did you choose for your primary/boiler pump? You do realize your not going to move all that boilers capable btu/hr through 1-1/4" pipe unless you size that pump correctly and a UPS26-99 isn't going to be the right pump. What is your system side flow rate requirement?
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
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