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When a radiant-heating system goes wrong

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 634
edited September 2018 in THE MAIN WALL

When a radiant-heating system goes wrong

Read the full story here


  • pitman44
    pitman44 Member Posts: 18
    Cute story with a point, Dan. I passed it along to my wife. I'm sure she'll appreciate it. Especially the Catholic guilt.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,490
    LOL. Thanks.
    Retired and loving it.
  • JohnP
    JohnP Member Posts: 6
    Really enjoyed the story, as always.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,490
    Retired and loving it.
  • NYplumber
    NYplumber Member Posts: 503
    Awesome one Dan! Not sure how I missed that one in 2014!

    "We knelt and then sat and I took off my right shoe and felt around the floor. It was radiant for sure! My foot found the buried tube right away. Marianne gave me the elbow and I put my shoe back on."

    That me Dan, lol!
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,490
    Couldn’t help myself. LOL! Thanks.
    Retired and loving it.
  • CCretired
    CCretired Member Posts: 1
    I retired after 40 years in the HVAC Plumbing supply business, received all of your emails over the years, whether from "Dan" or "Erin or Dan" or "Heating Help", read some of your books which i always enjoyed, and actually met you after a Ashrae? show in Chicago in a Wilo party on I think the 94th floor of John Hancock Building. Anyway, I missed reading a few over the years but always planned on catching up, I still have all of the emails in my mail box, and I am going to try and read what i can, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I am sure I will the rest.... Thanks Dan for the stories.
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,262
    Thanks for reading, @CCretired. I hope you're enjoying retirement.
  • Mikvaman
    Mikvaman Member Posts: 1
    Dan, Here is another golden rule in the " Golden Rules Of Hydronics"

    "God will not change the rule of physics, for economic reasons, even for a House of Worship"!

    Moses Fischman
  • CravinMorehead
    CravinMorehead Member Posts: 2
    I have the Lutheran Guilt! (same as Catholic guilt, only with more music). I too was getting involved in my church's HVAC issues until my parents (involved with church politics) said to me - "Hey Stupid - I guess engineering school doesn't teach the no good deed goes unpunished thing"!
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 130
    Excellently told story. I take it that the original contractor refused to fix the issues, which sound major? I wonder why the ODR was cut.
  • Labenaqui
    Labenaqui Member Posts: 72
    Our newly built, modern church in 1953 with radiant floor heating replaced a creaking, wooden 19th century chapel with hissing and clanking radiators. Serving a 7 AM Sunday Winter Mass in the new church I would soon note the parishioners shedding their coats. Beautiful heat!
    Left for university, married and moved from the area. It wasn't 20 years and the radiant piping had failed, to be replaced with convection cabinets shoved by the side altars and around the perimeter. Guess we hadn't perfected radiant heating yet.
    To your point of not ever volunteering, my current 19th century, NY Architect-designed Historical Stone Church recently replaced its old steamer, too. A typical contemporary copper-piped soldered header was installed with no insulation of course. Oh, for an iron-piped, dropped and insulated header and runs. The wet steam clinking with occasional clank stop after a while.
    Hotter than a pistol in the boiler room, too .....
  • neilsturrock1057926
    neilsturrock1057926 Member Posts: 1
    Thanks, Dan, that gave me a good laugh (I hadn't seen this story before)!
    It rang so true with my personal experience of advising (free) on an underfloor radiant system. My brother had a new house built by an 'underground house expert' (personally, I would exchange the word expert for charlatan). This was designed without any reference to me with my 30 odd years of teaching in a School of Architecture (modesty normally prevents me from saying that I was the first PhD in the UK whose first degree was in H&V Engineering)!
    The floor slab was getting too hot and so my advice was sought. The diverter valve had been put in on the Flow instead of the Return! Water was going through the underfloor circuits at boiler output temperature instead of being mixed with the Return from the floor!
    When I pointed this out to the Architect (and 'expert') he tried to blame me! He reasoned that my brother must have been advised by me from the outset which was utter nonsense.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    Oh man....I'm on my large church's board and we have 10,000 square feet of radiant slab...and over 400' of fin tube in another part of the building. 

    A boiler replacement is in the works and I'm driving the train. 

    The Golden Rule, I'll be praying! 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!