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Setup heating system for radiant panels (NYC)

Tsikura
Tsikura Member Posts: 5
So I'm going through some remodeling/retrofitting and the latest change we came up with was switching from the current 1-pipe steam heating system to a hydronic setup using panel radiators (Buderus). However, it seems I just can't get a single heating company to give me decent feedback or proper heat loss calculation/estimates. We want to switch because currently the system is very overkill (275K BTU boiler), the pipes are zig zagging over each other killing our basement ceiling height (pipes as low as 5 feet with 7 foot ceilings) and found spots in the first floor (2x6) where 3" holes AND notches were cut to pass pipes through.

I have 2 floors and a basement and mostly interested in heating the top two floors with a total of 10 panels. No baseboards. One guy, a family friend, said to just pipe every radiator in series with H-valves with 3/4" pex. Another contractor said 1/2" pex is just fine for each series and zone. The house layout is pretty much just 50x12 feet so the pex runs wouldn't be very long.

I've been going through so many youtube video, reading Modern Hydronic Heating, trying to grasp how everything works and so far it seems the homerun method would be best but still have questions.

My biggest interest right now is for ideas on where to go. If there are any companies/consultants online that could help fabricate a system if I provide exact measurements, I'd be willing to pay the money. I'd pay for hydronics software to calculate some of this data but it's not all clear to me.

I don't want to break any forum rules but if I could provide more info to get public or private help, please let me know if it's okay!

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,559
    What you are proposing is not a do-it-yourself project. Nor is it going to be cheap. Since you have decided to abandon the steam -- probably a mistake, but that's your call -- you will need a new boiler, quite possibly new boiler exhaust, all new piping, and the new radiators and the controls. The sizing is, of course, critical -- and the first step.

    There are a number of contractors in "Find a Contractor" above, most of whom I know and know to be good. None of them are going to provide a heating load calculation, never mind a design, free, as to do it right takes time. But the place to start is to find one who works in your area and work with him or her.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Tsikura
    Tsikura Member Posts: 5
    edited June 28
    I'm not asking for free as I already mentioned.

    The ceiling of the 1st floor (2nd floor) plaster and lathe has already been removed so that is completely accessible. The floor for the 1st floor is also being opened up to replace the subfloor and sister new 2x6 to help with some floors that started to dip.

    Don't get me wrong steam is great but like I mentioned, there's several locations where 3 inch holes were made in 2x6 (actually 1.75x5.5) which is not something I could live with.

    you will need a new boiler, quite possibly new boiler exhaust, all new piping, and the new radiators and the controls.

    Yes I know I will need a new boiler, I can't just re-use a steam boiler for a hot water system. There is a lightwell shaft right where the boiler room is for whatever exhaust. Piping for pex or even copper is not a problem. Radiators already mentioned to be Buderus panels from supplyhouse and based on online estimates for heat loss for each room.


    This is not going to be a do it yourself project. I'm actually looking for advice so I can get contractors on board in the area.

  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 435
    It would help if you mentioned your general location. State? Region etc. Buderus panel radiators are "top shelf." There are other brands that work as well. 1/2" homerun pex lines to a manifold set work really well. Very do-able if everything is opened up for renovation.
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 435
    Sorry, I just noticed your title with NYC. There are quite a few contractors on this site in...that area.
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,165
    @Tsikura   Where in NYC are you located?
  • Tsikura
    Tsikura Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the replies guys! Still reading stuff on this topic!

    I'm in Queens, Ozone Park area. There's only 1 business I've spotted online that I'm going to try giving a call tomorrow. They seem to be good with radiant heating. If there's any contractors on this site, I'd be happy to pay for their services. The find a contractor option at the top when I try my zip code seems to be mostly for servicing steam systems.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,714
    I can help you with design options if you want to give me a call. I can't do any installations in Queens for a while though. Manhattan is keeping me very busy these days.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
  • Tsikura
    Tsikura Member Posts: 5
    JohnNY said:

    I can help you with design options if you want to give me a call. I can't do any installations in Queens for a while though. Manhattan is keeping me very busy these days.

    Thank you so much for the offer! I'd be glad to pay you for that design help. I've been learning a lot myself and going to have a discussion with a local plumber soon.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,714
    Tsikura said:

    JohnNY said:

    I can help you with design options if you want to give me a call. I can't do any installations in Queens for a while though. Manhattan is keeping me very busy these days.

    I'd be glad to pay you for that design help.
    Yeah, that's definitely how it works.

    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
  • Tsikura
    Tsikura Member Posts: 5
    JohnNY said:

    Tsikura said:

    JohnNY said:

    I can help you with design options if you want to give me a call. I can't do any installations in Queens for a while though. Manhattan is keeping me very busy these days.

    I'd be glad to pay you for that design help.
    Yeah, that's definitely how it works.

    lol. Just had to reiterate that for some reason since Jamie posted what he posted earlier about "free". Thanks John.