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Advice on New Manifold

dabineridabineri Posts: 10Member
I am wondering what the opinion here is on the 'newer' manifolds that include supply and return temperature gauges, air bleeder valves, and a flow meter on each zone. Are these a good investment? Do they hold up over time? How accurate are the flow meters?

Thanks for any advice on using these types of manifolds. Anyone used these types?

Example: https://www.supplyhouse.com/Uponor-Wirsbo-A2700702-7-Loop-1-Stainless-Steel-Radiant-Heat-Manifold-Assembly-w-Flow-Meter

Comments

  • MykeWhyteMykeWhyte Posts: 19Member
    How much does it cost to replace the send and return manifolds with newer ones?
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 472Member
    Try to build copper manifolds with all those goodies incorporated. The premade ones are money well spent
  • HaroldHarold Posts: 198Member
    I am taking a shot at Cross Manifold. Supply House sells them. They have the manuals on their web site. They are SS. And they are fairly pricey. But I looked at equivalent manifolds using SS and the spread seems sort of reasonable. The box has all of the things you may have to supply after installing a bare manifold.

    They use a little robot to move around the bank of valves and turn them on/off based on the heat call for the loops. It is not necessary to feed the busy little robot. Their controller can take thermostat inputs or dry contacts from external controllers like Tekmar.

    As I type, 3 of them are being installed to replace failing manifolds. They need a good bit more space than conventional manifolds. If you have enough space; not a problem. They look impressive for you customers.

    The installation is simple. Just like any old manifold, but no motors/valves that need to be purchased and installed.

    My feeling is that they are well designed and manufactured. Time will tell. I believe they are owned by Slant-Fin, so they are likely to be OK for parts.

    So far, the only thing we have issue with is the annoying habit of the O rings falling out of the down pointing water connections. Or partially falling and then sitting wrong. Not a serious problem; just annoying. Maybe a different size O ring or a bit of something a bit sticky; but not permanent or likely to enter the water stream. They do ship a few spare O rings.

    Be sure to order the correct nipples. There are 4 or 5 types for the various connection tools.

    After things have run for a while, I will post my experience.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,229Member
    I think it is part of the Ultra Fin family!
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • duffy_4duffy_4 Posts: 64Member
    I have used cross manifolds on a some of the last 5or6 jobs I did in different applications. Found them to be quality products and malcom at ultra fin to be extremely helpful and responsive to any issues or questions I had. Think the cost is comparable to other manifolds that would require individual loop actuators and a zone control manager
  • RetrosPexRetrosPex Posts: 54Member
    Manifolds: I'm glad to read these comments. I'm in the same process, evaluating building manifolds versus buying them. I have almost all the copper parts here already, but even so I think purchasing them is still a very viable idea. I was focused on Uponor and Caleffi, and have come to the conclusion that the Caleffi is more attractive for me. I like the way it is set up, and the pricing of their options.

    I am also looking at the Cross system. In fact just an hour ago I received a package of Ultra fin samples and a valve sample from Malcolm. I see what Harold commented on about the o-rings falling out. It does look very nicely made. My question is about longevity of the plastic valve assemblies, and the actuator motor. A ball screw with a stepper certainly is nothing new, but how they applied it is very clever. And, I agree with Harold....the price is overall pretty competitive when you look at the whole picture. But I'd need 2 units, maybe 3. Ouch.

    Keep the comments coming!

  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,229Member
    moving parts under pressure in fluids.. I think a key question is how a product is cycle tested under various temperature ranges with high TDS or hard water, ideally 50- 100,000 cycles to assure longevity
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • RetrosPexRetrosPex Posts: 54Member
    Hot rod: I agree completely with your statement. It is the unknown that can bite you in the butt. I emailed Cross, and asked them if they had done testing, and what the MTBF might be on some of those critical components. Malcolm was very quick to respond, and immediately sent me out samples to look at. I asked about pricing on spare parts, and indicated that I would want to purchase them upfront with the system if I chose to go with them over Caleffi. Their response was that the warranty is 10 years, and they can overnight the parts. My response to that: it is super cold here, and in that amount of time our pipes could freeze. As I type this, the actual temp outside is -20F with no wind chill factor. In a couple days, it is suppose to hit -28F with wind chills approaching -56-58F. I suggested to them that it would be a very important marketing decision to supply those parts.

    Also, that system is a plastic ball valve that the actuator simply rotates. Looking at the design, I'm worried that a small piece of crud is going to score the ball or socket, and allow leakage. Maybe it will never happen. But I need to make a decision, and right now it looks like Caleffi for me. I hope this info is of value to someone else trying to make a decision.
  • RetrosPexRetrosPex Posts: 54Member
    needed update: I just checked my email, and Malcolm with Cross offered to supply spare valves with the manifold. Also, he commented that if they fail, they fail in the position they were in. Good point. So, you could have heat while you got things repaired. HMMM more to think about....
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,229Member
    RetrosPex said:

    Hot rod: I agree completely with your statement. It is the unknown that can bite you in the butt. I emailed Cross, and asked them if they had done testing, and what the MTBF might be on some of those critical components. Malcolm was very quick to respond, and immediately sent me out samples to look at. I asked about pricing on spare parts, and indicated that I would want to purchase them upfront with the system if I chose to go with them over Caleffi. Their response was that the warranty is 10 years, and they can overnight the parts. My response to that: it is super cold here, and in that amount of time our pipes could freeze. As I type this, the actual temp outside is -20F with no wind chill factor. In a couple days, it is suppose to hit -28F with wind chills approaching -56-58F. I suggested to them that it would be a very important marketing decision to supply those parts.

    Also, that system is a plastic ball valve that the actuator simply rotates. Looking at the design, I'm worried that a small piece of crud is going to score the ball or socket, and allow leakage. Maybe it will never happen. But I need to make a decision, and right now it looks like Caleffi for me. I hope this info is of value to someone else trying to make a decision.

    I like thier out of the box thinking, it is a clever product, using common vending machine type of components. They have supported the UF product well, I think they will the manifold also.

    It is not always the product or design per say, mostly the conditions they are subjected to. The fluid quality is key to all hydronic "stuff"
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • duffy_4duffy_4 Posts: 64Member
    The support from Malcolm via information and spare parts or when one client complained about noise issues was excellent. I like and use a lot of Caleffi products and manifolds as well,both quality products IMHO. Hot rod is correct regarding water quality in these systems I attended one of his classes on the subject and subsequently purchased Caleffi hydro fill cart ,now all new systems are cleaned,flushed and filled via hydro fill cart. When I go back for service I noticed the flow gauges are still clear and readable instead of grey ,black or cloudy and unreadable.
  • RetrosPexRetrosPex Posts: 54Member
    Very interesting. I'm going to look into your comment. I'm not familiar with that hydro fill cart. I have a high temp 20" filter cartridge piped into my storage tank with a simple pump, and timer to occasionally turn it on and filter the water.
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