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Best way to get glycol into a system?

ratio
ratio Member Posts: 2,934
Turns out I get to pipe in a small radiant system that's going to use glycol in the snowmelt side of the system. What's the cheapest-yet-easiest way to get it from a 5 gal bucket into the system? Old-time boiler shot feeder?

We don't commonly do hydronic heat, so buying a specialty tool isn't especially likely (although I could throw a fit if necessary); but I'd also like to make it easy for the owner to do what they need to do later on down the line.

Comments

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,775
    edited December 2020
    Pouring it in the most economical way if you know how much to add . Using a pony pump and bucket for purging after the proper mix is in . You can also use the pony pump and bucket to add . Letting the head water drain off as much as possible .If not enough to reach the temperature mark you need to add more pure and drain off some of the mix .. A refractory gauge is used to meet that goal .. I would recommend not to guess .

    PS ...A leak check prior to adding would be important .
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
    ratiofenkel
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,283
    I use a transfer pump of some sort or another. The 18V Milwaukee is great for most small systems, but the 1/2" HP cast iron 120v units work better for larger systems. Some use septic style or sump pumps, even jet pumps meant for shallow wells. If you have a really small system and cost is an issue, a basic drill pump will likely work. Puddle pumps are fine too with low pressure at a lower cost than a transfer pump.
    ratioZman
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,761
    I recommend a $1,400 Caleffi purge cart.

    And as @Big Ed_4 said, a refractory gauge to check your levels.

    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
    ratio
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,934
    I sure like the cart, but it seems a little more than I need for less than 10 gallons. Averaged out, that's less than a gallon/year. I will be using a refractory gauge.

    Sounds like I'll be picking up a little drill-powered pump. Better than trying to pour it in!

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,052
    Those drill motor, garden hose pumps are fairly inexpensive.
    A plant sprayer🤔
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ratio
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,206
    ratio said:
    I sure like the cart, but it seems a little more than I need for less than 10 gallons. Averaged out, that's less than a gallon/year. I will be using a refractory gauge.

    Sounds like I'll be picking up a little drill-powered pump. Better than trying to pour it in!

    Make sure its diluted before you pump it. Pumping concentrate will kill a lot of small motors. 
    ratio
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,581
    This is about $90 at Harbor Freight.

    I've used it to pump 55 gal drums of 100% glycol.

    A pump cart like Johnny posted is the best setup if you're doing SIM or radiant floors.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/i/m/image_26961.jpg?01AD=3HxRvRY3_aRmvX0vL5M35gpkZHZkUefA83XgbsWKNVJyugxDGWaGs3Q&01RI=4DE2B1909AC4537&01NA=na
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    ratioSuperTech
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,001
    GroundUp said:

    I use a transfer pump of some sort or another. The 18V Milwaukee is great for most small systems, but the 1/2" HP cast iron 120v units work better for larger systems. Some use septic style or sump pumps, even jet pumps meant for shallow wells. If you have a really small system and cost is an issue, a basic drill pump will likely work. Puddle pumps are fine too with low pressure at a lower cost than a transfer pump.

    Those Milwaukee's are great little pumps. One of those with a cordless drill is a great way to turn your local pond into a nice skating rink as well :)
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    ratio
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,283
    Zman said:

    GroundUp said:

    I use a transfer pump of some sort or another. The 18V Milwaukee is great for most small systems, but the 1/2" HP cast iron 120v units work better for larger systems. Some use septic style or sump pumps, even jet pumps meant for shallow wells. If you have a really small system and cost is an issue, a basic drill pump will likely work. Puddle pumps are fine too with low pressure at a lower cost than a transfer pump.

    Those Milwaukee's are great little pumps. One of those with a cordless drill is a great way to turn your local pond into a nice skating rink as well :)
    For sure, I finally broke down and bought one about a year and a half ago. Don't know how I got by so long without it, the self priming feature is easily worth the cost of the pump. I have easily run 5000 gallons of glycol through mine and it's still going strong! Cold PG at 100% sure takes awhile but it moves it without complaining too much
    ethicalpaul
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,052
    Warm glycol pumps much easier also 
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,775
    That Milwaukee pump looks nice .
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,988
    This was how I filled the glycol loop out to my garage. i routed the pipe so it mostly drained, it slopes down to the basement under ground but I had to go over some drain pipe fro the downspouts and a gas line to the grill so I ended up with a little uphill section. i used a shop vac to remove as much water as possible from the underground system then I mixed the concentration I wanted in a bucket and pumped it in. The pump was from harbor freight about a decade ago and I thin was around $30 back then. The full 3/4 tubing makes a big difference in the flow. It was able to purge it and pressurize it to about 20 psig. You could do something similar with a sump pump or submersible utility pump.


    ratio