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2 kick heater questions

oreo123 Member Posts: 44
Not sure if I posted this in the correct catagory.
I have a 2 loop system. One loop per floor.
First floor loop works fine. Gas boiler 125k in and 100 k output. Slant fin.
Second floor has all kick heaters for 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The room at the end, which is the biggest, does not get enough heat. I just pulled apart the kick heater and cleaned the coils, blew out the fan motor and bearings, lps'd the bearings. I do have a bit more airflow.
Put a type k thermocouple on the supply and return side and read a temp difference of 13 degrees so I know its taking some of the btus out. I believe its 10k btu unit.
1. My question is if there was more water flow would I get more heat out of a kickheater?
Boiler is in basement say 8 feet to first floor, and another 9 feet for first floor, second floor is around 9 feet ceilings, and then in attic there is another 2 feet. Adding it up I get 28 feet lift. Previous owner made a loop in attic and feeds each kick heater down to the second floor. Boiler is in basement and there is a taco 007 pump on the return side or each loop. Also noticed at boiler that the supply to that loop is at 200 which is too hot and btus are going up the chimney :-(
2. Debating if a 010 would improve things OR even adding a pump in the attic (3rd floor).
No, I did not design this monstrosity heat loop, we bought the house like this in blazing summer heat so it was not on. Had I done it I would have baseboards all around the second floor and had nothing in the attic.


  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    The runs to the heaters are in a series loop or is there a main loop and each heater has a supply and return to the main?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,823
    what size line to the 2nd floor? What was the temp reading of the water at the end of the loop?
    You may be running out of BTU on the train.....
  • oreo123
    oreo123 Member Posts: 44
    From basement 3/4 pipes to third floor.
    Third floor / attic has big loop in 3/4 all insulated. I installed monoflows on supply and return side to push the water down to second floor - for each kick heater. I have valves and closed off most of the flow to the first heaters in the loop and they are quite warm. There are air floats in the attic so I know there is no air in the line.
    I hope this answers your question.
    If it were so cold here I would close off all of the heaters before it to see if the last room gets hot. And I now think that I need more water flowing.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,823
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Valving off after monoflo tees adds massive head. It is the same reason you don't cap the supply and return when you remove a radiator from a monoflow system. Did you orient the tees correctly?
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,616
    You already have 2 tees per kick heater and then you throttled a couple at the beginning of the loop . You just keep making the head required for this loop greater . How many BTUh do you require for each room and what is the TDL of this circuit . You have a very large head loss that may or may not be served well by a 007 which is a high flow low head pump , although very versatile you may be asking a bit much from this circ. Figure the head for the circuit including all the tees and valves and replace the 007 with the properly sized circ for your system .

    These links should help
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    We've seen many postings here, where someone replaced a series 100 with a 007 on a monoflo system, and had problems. They are similar head, but the 100 has about twice the flow. I believe Steve from Taco said that the 0010 would be a good replacement for a series 100. Notice, I'm tap-dancing a little. As Rich says...ya gotta do the math, to know fo sure.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited January 2015
    First off, Mono-Flows don't like to go DOWN, and the 3/4" main is way too small for the Mono-flows to work. It needs a minimum of 1" to work. You will need at a minimum of two mono-flows on each coil for it to hope to work. A bigger pump will be a good start though.

    Put your probes on the main in the attic. Compare the difference with where it comes up (supply) and where it goes down (return). Draw out the attic loop on a big piece of yellow legal pad paper. Draw the fan coil loops off the main. Write your heat measures for all the main and the drops. Its good if it is insulated. Slit the insulation and slide the probe in the insulation next to the pipe.

    Once you've charted out all the temperatures, you can visually "see" what is going on. If the temperature at the top of the supply, before it gets to the first Mono-flow tee, and is (say) 160 degrees, but along the way, the temperature drops to say 120 degrees, the pump is too small and you need a bigger pump. Like the Taco 110 or some variable or multiple speed pump.

    The end kick space heater takes a lot more water that the smaller bathroom ones. That one should have been fed first. That one definitely needs two Mono-flows on it.

    "" Adding it up I get 28 feet lift. ""

    That has NOTHING to do with your problem. As long as the "tridicator" gauge on the boiler shows that the pressure on one scale has the arrow/pointer at a place where the other scale is equal in feet or "altitude", there's water to the top floor. Whatever air elimination devices there are in the attic, make sure that the caps are always closed. Open one now. If you get a squirt of water, the pressure is OK but tighten the caps. Don't leave them loose. They will suck air and turn the system into a "open" system.

    When it gets REALLY cold outside, do NOT turn the upstairs thermostat down excessively. The insulated pipes in the attic can freeze and break. The heat from the first floor can satisfy the second floor thermostat and cause it to not circulate the water.

    If the insulated pipes in the attic are in an unconditioned or unheated space, and exposed to the cold air, get a roll of 6" fiberglass insulation and cover over the whole length. It doesn't have to be pretty. What won't be pretty is if it freezes and breaks on you.
  • oreo123
    oreo123 Member Posts: 44

    I will get a better thermocouple and do better measurements in the attic. It will take me a few days. I will also make a drawing of everything upstairs. Pipe sizes, runs, and temperatures with all zones working. I want to do it on a cold day.
    For the first time in weeks the room at the end of the loop got to temp of 69 degrees (room thermostat set point) - granted outside temp got up to 25 from the near zero. I did blow out the fins with compressed air and I did lps the squirrel cage motor - resulting in a bit better air flow.
    - Thanks for everyone's help so far.!
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    You are choosing an engineers approach. In the few days you'll spend charting the problems. The guys here would have it fixed.
    icesailorBob Bona_4
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    You need one like this with the temperature probe that reads the resistance of the thermocouple.
  • oreo123
    oreo123 Member Posts: 44
    I have this one ordered
    I have the meter already. Broke my last thermocouple - crushed it with other tools.
    Space is limited trying to get at the pipes.
    Want to check it on a really cold day.