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purge upside down TruFlow manifold ?

seandarcy
seandarcy Member Posts: 21
edited January 2016 in Radiant Heating
I'm not getting enough radiant heat in two baths serviced by a Wirsbo 3x manifold, installed about 10 years ago. I searched for how to purge the loops. Then realized the contractor installed it upside down! And no flow meters. See manifold pic.

Also, this manifold is fed by a circulator that has a bypass. That is, the feed from the boiler manifold splits, one to the circulator the other to a pex tube. See circulator pic. The return to the boiler manifold has the reverse. I assume the tube from the circulator goes to the TruFlow manifold. No clue where the pex tube goes. Does it just loop back to the return ?

So is there any way to purge the bath loops off the TruFlow manifold ?

Do I need to get someone in to reinstall it correctly ?

Comments

  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    edited January 2016
    What's doing the temp mixing for the radiant? Yes, those manifolds should be turned over per Uponor spec. One reason is so the loop actuators don't collect water in the event of a leak, and burn. The actuators should be on the return side. It's good practice to have the return manifold on top of the 2. There is a way to bleed each loop but it involves manipulation of the actuators or seperate removal to isolate the loops. It's even more clunky in your case bc there's no isolation valves at the manifold. Put your running sneakers on :)
  • bmwpowere36m3
    bmwpowere36m3 Member Posts: 512
    My roth manifold (flow meters and no actuators yet) is upside down, no issues with purging or anything else. The only, small, concern is if a leak develops and you have actuators they could fry.

    My piping goes upward, so if the manifold was installed "right side up", then the PEX would go down and loop back up (kind of pointless).

    As far as purging, I don't see the issue... you have a vent/purge thing integrated on the end of the manifold. Close one loop, purge away and open. Repeat for the other. Get a copy of Uponors manual for the manifold, likely it'll describe in detail how to purge it.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    That's what has to be done sometimes, looping down then up to the manifold, to get the proper orientation.

    Depending on where the OP's makeup water is fed in, you normally want to shut down the return home run when purging.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Purging is rarely the issue, unless you have absolutely no heat, and can hear what sounds like bubbles floating around your system. I suspect a lack of proper insulation (wasn't a code requirement 10 years ago) and or the need to boost the supply temperature by either raising the boilers operating set point, or adjusting the mix down temperature of the three way valves shown in the pictures.

    Check to make sure you have insulation below the floor to cause the heat to go up instead of down.

    If it is insulated, then try turning the mixing device up to increase the supply water temperature and give it 24 hours to stabIlize.

    If that doesn't work, we will have to know who's boiler you are using and what its control parameters are set for. Also, that is a Wirsbo (predecessor to Uponor) manifold, and I do not believe they came with flow meters, only the newer Uponor manifolds did.

    You have some homework to do...

    ME
    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.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,882
    If ever you need to run loops up, Caleffi builds inverted version manifolds, specific that when ordering. We flip the air vents.

    Add the low current draw 6564 actuator which is a NEMA 5 enclosure.

    Use the 6564 actuators on chilled water manifolds or if you have a concern with dripping.

    Actuator thread sizes are common, but the pin stroke may not be that same, if you consider swapping actuator heads, need to check that or they may not open or close fully.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    seandarcySWEI
  • seandarcy
    seandarcy Member Posts: 21
    First, thanks for all the responses. As a complete newbie, all this was very helpful.

    More background. The boiler is a Weil-McLain Ultra 155 series 2. It feeds an indirect hot water heater and 6 circulators: 3 air handlers , 3 radiant heat (one of which feeds the Wisbro manifold). The other two radiant zones do not have an intermediate manifold.

    "What's doing the temp mixing for the radiant?"

    Absolutely no clue. AFAICT, there is none.

    Right now, the bath floors do not get above 72F. Last winter they were set at 80F, and stayed there. The radiant tubing was installed over R 15 insulation. From the pic you can see the supply temp of 105F and return temp of 85F. Since the temp is high enough, I thought gpm was likely the problem, and therefore an air problem.

    One suggestion was to "adjust[] the mix down temperature of the three way valves shown in the pictures". What 3-way valves ? I see the upside down actuators on the return. And caps on the supply manifold.

    Another: "you have a vent/purge thing integrated on the end of the manifold. Close one loop, purge away and open.Repeat for the other." I see the "thing" on the return manifold. But since it's upside down, I haven't wanted to open the vent, which is on the bottom. Wouldn't that just let air in ?

    And how do I close _one_ loop ? I can isolate the entire manifold at the circulator and the return, but how to close one loop ?

    If I can't isolate a single loop, can I purge both loops at once ? That is, I'd close the manifold off at the circulator and the return. Following the uponor video, connect a garden hose to the top of the "vent/purge thing" . Then I put a bowl (?) under the "thing", and open the the vent at the bottom. Would that work ?

    Thanks for helping the clueless.
  • seandarcy
    seandarcy Member Posts: 21
    And hot rod: I looked at the caleffi manifold. Very interesting. If I can't get this manifold to work, I may switch to the caleffi this summer. Even I might be able to install it !
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    seandarcy said:

    First, thanks for all the responses. As a complete newbie, all this was very helpful.

    More background. The boiler is a Weil-McLain Ultra 155 series 2. It feeds an indirect hot water heater and 6 circulators: 3 air handlers , 3 radiant heat (one of which feeds the Wisbro manifold). The other two radiant zones do not have an intermediate manifold.

    "What's doing the temp mixing for the radiant?"

    Absolutely no clue. AFAICT, there is none.

    Right now, the bath floors do not get above 72F. Last winter they were set at 80F, and stayed there. The radiant tubing was installed over R 15 insulation. From the pic you can see the supply temp of 105F and return temp of 85F. Since the temp is high enough, I thought gpm was likely the problem, and therefore an air problem.

    One suggestion was to "adjust[] the mix down temperature of the three way valves shown in the pictures". What 3-way valves ? I see the upside down actuators on the return. And caps on the supply manifold.

    Another: "you have a vent/purge thing integrated on the end of the manifold. Close one loop, purge away and open.Repeat for the other." I see the "thing" on the return manifold. But since it's upside down, I haven't wanted to open the vent, which is on the bottom. Wouldn't that just let air in ?

    And how do I close _one_ loop ? I can isolate the entire manifold at the circulator and the return, but how to close one loop ?

    If I can't isolate a single loop, can I purge both loops at once ? That is, I'd close the manifold off at the circulator and the return. Following the uponor video, connect a garden hose to the top of the "vent/purge thing" . Then I put a bowl (?) under the "thing", and open the the vent at the bottom. Would that work ?

    Thanks for helping the clueless.

    https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/e1/6eaf7c894f2d730ea67f0d27153c65.jpg

    If my eyes do not deceive me, in this picture, there is a mixing valve (brass colored) behind the circulators. Looks like a Watts fixed position, non compensating type of valve. If you are not comfortable making adjustments, you should find a qualified pro. If you're not hearing gurgling in the pipes, I doubt it is an air binding issue, but without being there, is impossible to tell. If there is a differential between the supply and returns, it indicates flow. It might also help to purchase a non surface contact thermometer from Home Depot or the like to gage floor surface temperatures.

    ME
    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.
  • seandarcy
    seandarcy Member Posts: 21
    You're absolutely right. There's a TACO 5000-2 mixing valve. See pic.

    Looked that the TACO instruction sheet. It says to turn the green knob counter clockwise (facing the wall) to increase temperature. I can't move the knob either way just using my hand. I'm afraid if I use a wrench I'll break the plastic cap.

    FWIW, it seems the installer installed the valve with the green cap on the adjustment nut. The valve is so close to the wall, there's no way now to remove the green cap.

    Any suggestions ?
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    Looks like the cap is upside down, and the corrosion around the stem is telling you the guts need replacing.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    The valve has unions on it. Loosen them and you can rotate it.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    https://www.taco-hvac.com/archives/102-080.pdf

    What Kurt said. Poor installation habits on the installers part. Really poor. People don't take future needs into consideration. They just blow and go, and let someone else worry about working on it.

    ME
    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.
  • Hilly
    Hilly Member Posts: 426
    Not sure about the Taco but the webstone and watts I've used both have setscrews on the top part of the adjusting knob. It needs to be released first and the knob lifted slighting to permit turning.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
    The 5000 has to have the cap taken off and then turned over to use as the "wrench" to turn the adjustment screw. I don't see any way the cap can be taken off and used the way it needs to be.
    Rick
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    If the OP loosens the unions and rotates the valve 90°, the cap and cartridge will both become accessible.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
    The valve is a three port mixing valve. You can not change the direction of the "head" without re-piping the valve.
    Rick
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Right, but the knob and the cartridge will become accessible -- at least enough to adjust or replace. Repiping the AB port so the stem is oriented parallel to the wall would be best, of course.