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reasons for 100% glycol

clammyclammy Member Posts: 1,996
Doing a basement redo all baseboard home with a few hydro air units and went to drain our loop and found the boiler had no make up water and was labeled 100% glycol .Thought it was quite strange being the home is a primary residence .Aside from being a large home close to 5 to 6000 sq,ft,.I was amazed at the crappy layout and design of the heat and domestic water system.For boiler they have two standard pilot wm no primary secondary no stage controller and 15 zones with no isolation valves on supply or return .They are using 2 larger grunfos pumps in parrell with no relays just a on off switch .I had to look twice and could not believe that s local company would even leave a tag on the equiptment aside from getting rid of the ac condensate with a condensate  pump only to dump it in a 1 1/2 piece of pvc they stuck into the slab below the concrete.If you where to look at the outside and inside of the home you would be amazed at the fine craftsman's ship put into every detail then go and look at the heating system and shake your head .I did not check the ph of the glycol but it stunk to high hell and a lot of the heating systems solder joints look like crap and a few are dripping or deteareating to where the copper looks like it will give out .I always see a lot of terrible work but the total lack of any quality and planning on this is a new level .I could approach the owner about these issues but being I am the only one who see the issue I ,m best to leave it all finish the work I am there to do and say nothing .The way this things set up it has to cost about2 grand a month to heat w a domestic hot water bill of at least 500 bucks there 8 re circ lines and all separate hot water supplies from the tank the water heat cycles every 10 to 15 minutes and not one one of any pipes are insulated .The home owner staes that they never have to turn the basement heat up wonder why .There has to be about 40 to 50 lengths of copper in the boiler room ceiling alone with no insulation and so close there is no way to even get 1/4 wall pipe insulation on it .Ya just can't make it up the cheap price wins with the bonus of high ulities bills .Ps they put like 4 hrv units over 4 months ago they must work great like 100% eff espically when you get paid but don't even have them wired to any thing .peace good luck clammy what a rant I needed it


  • Service opportunity

    Probably after spending lots of money on the fine woodwork in the house, they had to economize on the plumbing/heating, and anyway "old Bob" owed the contractor money!

    Why not see if the homeowner would be interested in some corrective action on this system, before it eats them out of house and home.

    The glycol is probably there to keep the uninsulated pipes on the outside wall from freezing, but pure glycol has a higher freezing temperature than the correct mix of water-glycol!--NBC
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,693
    One does run into

    the dangdest things.  I can see no reason whatever to use 100% glycol.  First, as Nick noted, the freezing point is higher than a 50/50 mix.  Second, the heat capacity and heat transfer rates are much lower than a 50/50 mix.

    Which is what I would use, even though it does make some aspects of maintenance more difficult.

    As to what the original installer was thinking?  Maybe he got a kickback on the glycol?  Who knows...

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 1,996
    some thoughts

    I have no idea about the reasoning except for the  hydro coils in the attic which could have easy had a freeze stat or temp alarm installed and had no freeze issues  I could see from the looks of it all the pipes where ran on inside walls and the home is very tight a mix of masonry ,brick and deco stone with 2x6 outside wall .The owner builder did a great job on everything excluding the heating .In my view if you want a multi million dollar home ,at the least who would want to look at baseboard nor some massive commercial refrigerator blowin out heat and maken a racket really rich people just have a nice walk in ref freezer and a real kitchen staff .Theres the difference between pretend money and being loaded most are pretend wanting to be loaded and acting it .peace and good luck clammy
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Member Posts: 1,177
    I think I'd ...

    ... put what you saw wrong in writing and give it to the homeowner.  Seems to me you're not doing him any favors by not telling him.  Just stick to the facts.  It's up to him if or how to respond, but at least he'll know there is a problem.

    Yours,  Larry
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