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Need Serious Help!!!

Im in need of some serious help guys. I live in Northern Wisconsin and purchased a house with excellent acreage. Problem is there is no primary heating system. Looks like the people lived exclusively off wood heat and took the stove with them when they left. Ive done forced air systems in the past, but this place presented a special challenge. Its on an uninsulated slab, space is very limited, and a forced air system would require all exposed ductwork due to the layout of the house. I decided the best way to go is hydronic baseboard heat.
This is the layout of the house. There is a loft above the dining area as well. I dont know if it needs heat or not. Since we bought it in july, its unbearable to even stand up there its so hot. Even with windows open. So i jumped the gun and bought a bosch zbr 35-3 wall hung condensing boiler. Was brand new for 600 bucks. Couldnt beat that. So i searched for a contractor to install the system. Well turns out nobody will touch it unless they install "their" boiler. Stupid as imo money is money. So i started researching.
So it seems primary/secondary is the way to go. I would love to split it into 4 zones using circulators on the returns over zone valves. The dining/kitchen/living room is basically all open concept. Was thinking of putting all that on one zone, each bedroom on its own zone, and bath/mudroom on a zone. Not sure if thats right or not. Otherwise im not opposed to running the secondary as one big series. But i dont know how to size the radiators either. Im on a very limited budget to do this, and even more limited time.

Im willing to pay someone for their time that can draw out a layout for the house. And for the primary/secondary setup so i know what i need. I can install, setup, and get the system running. But im by means no fluid engineer and this is my first experience with this. I would love to learn as it goes along as well.
And i have about 2 months max to complete this. Otherwise we are forced to live in campers this winter over my dumb decision to buy this house with no primary heating source.


Comments

  • Resko1
    Resko1 Member Posts: 8
    I read about sizing btuh for a room. We are in zone 7 (coldest) and house is not well insulated. I was told 60 btuh per sqft for zone 7, then add 6 more for poor insulation. So in the drawing in the last post, i calculated btuh needed per rokm by multiplying square footage by 66. So im thinking thats how many btu of total baseboard i need in the room but im sure thats not right. I read else were that you have to know the temp leaving the first radiator in order to size the second one. But i have no way to know what the temp is leaving the first radiator. I think flow rate has something to do with it as well. So i found a calculation that say total btuh needed devided by 10000 gets you flow rate. Not sure about that either.
  • Resko1
    Resko1 Member Posts: 8
    Also setting up primary secondary loop i created a rough sketch
    Im doubting myself here as well since a buddy said something about a hydronic seperator. Then another person said to use special manifolds with valves and flow meters on them. This whole process is becoming extremely overwhelming since people keep giving me tips of advice, but not willing to help the whole process. And its confusing since each person is doing things different ways. Its why i would love for someone to just lay it out, simple and efficient as can be, im willing to follow along and do the work, but i need someone whos knows their stuff. The northwoods is full of backyard pipe fitters but everyones way is the best. I dont have the propane, electricity, or time to throw away anymore.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,343
    First, you need to do a proper heat-loss calculation. Only then will you know how to properly size your baseboard and other things.

    Slant/Fin has a simple calculator on their site:

    https://www.slantfin.com/slantfin-heat-loss-calculator/
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Resko1
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,010
    Steps to design a hydronic system. Do them in order

    1. Heat Loss 96k seems high I would bet you would be in the 60-70k

    2. Pick the design water temperature (the lower the water temp the better but you may run out of wall space for the baseboard if you lower the temp too much)

    3. with the heat loss and the btu output and the water temp known now you can size the pipe and the pumps and draw a piping layout

    4.you need to decide how many zones?, pumps or zone valves? Are you heating DHW with the boiler


    That will get you started

    Sometime some of the supply houses will do a little back of the envelope design but you would be better off with a contractor.


    Did you not get a home inspection?

    Maybe you should pick up a wood stove until you get this worked out. Time isn't on you side

    Zman
  • Resko1
    Resko1 Member Posts: 8
    edited September 2021
    Steps to design a hydronic system. Do them in order 1. Heat Loss 96k seems high I would bet you would be in the 60-70k 2. Pick the design water temperature (the lower the water temp the better but you may run out of wall space for the baseboard if you lower the temp too much) 3. with the heat loss and the btu output and the water temp known now you can size the pipe and the pumps and draw a piping layout 4.you need to decide how many zones?, pumps or zone valves? Are you heating DHW with the boiler That will get you started Sometime some of the supply houses will do a little back of the envelope design but you would be better off with a contractor. Did you not get a home inspection? Maybe you should pick up a wood stove until you get this worked out. Time isn't on you side

    I did the heat loss calc at slant fin and it was totally different then what i had! 70k btu total now. Seems the center dining room dont need nearly as much as exterior rooms. Kind of what i figured. I stayed with 180 deg water temp since the kitchen is VERY hard pressed to get 15ft of multi-pack in there with all the cabinets. Bath as well with shower and vanity.

    So how do i size the pumps? Is putting the living room/kitchen/dining on one zone a good idea? Im not sure how i should go about zoning this. Or if i even should. 
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,330
    Why would you invent a boiler piping plan when the manufacture gave you a good one?



    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    SuperTechSTEVEusaPA
  • Resko1
    Resko1 Member Posts: 8
    Dont have the manuals for the boiler. Suppose i should have looked there first!
    pecmsg
  • Zoning:
    Usage - Bedrooms, living areas, office, playroom, etc. should all be zoned separately.
    Exposure - West facing rooms with a lot of heat gain should have their own zone.
    Flooring - Example: rooms with tile floors should be zoned separately from rooms with hardwood. (This is only for radiant heated floors).
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    Resko1
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,010
    @Resko1

    Standard 007 pumps will probably work...but you should check.

    Once you decide on zoning sketch out the piping for each zone & once you know how much baseboard is on each zone you can size the pipe.

    Size the pipe for how much flow you need in that zone.

    For instance 50' of fin tube @ 550 btus/foot of fin so 50 x 550=27500 total btu

    27500/10000 (20 deg drop in water temp) will give you a flow of 2.75 gpm

    Size the pipe as follows:
    1/2" pipe=1.5 gpm max
    3/4 pipe = 4.5 max
    1"= 8 gpm max
    1 1/4=14 gpm max


    so for 50 ft of fin tube you would use 3/4" pipe

    Repeat this for each zone. Size the piping around the boiler and for the manifolds and headers at the max total flow of all the zones and size accordingly

    Then measure the total pipe footage from each zone supply and return and include the baseboard length in that total.

    Once you have that total footage for each zone multiply that footage x 1.5 to allow for fittings.
    Post your results and we/I can calculate the head. we need the pipe footage x 1.5 and the flow required for each zone to check the pump head
    Resko1SuperTech
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 494
    edited September 2021
    AS late as it is, you may as well invest in an Ashely Hearth console heater for $1,029.99 plus tax and freight from Northern Tool that is rated for 2000 square feet.
    It burns both wood and coal. It will heat up the place quickly for the time being and you will be able to cook on it as well. You already have the stove pipe and chimney so it makes sense to use it.


  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 308
    edited September 2021


    Did you not get a home inspection?

    It's never too late, I'll do one now.
    Inspector has determined home has no heating system. Inspector has determined this is bad. Purchaser may get cold, and pipes will freeze. Also missing a few GFCI outlets, and blah, blah, blah not up to the latest building code.
    Send $1000 to me for this insightful information.
    Just because most people get home inspections, doesn't mean everyone should. I didn't. It was the right decision for me and my property. It may not be the right decision for other people and other properties.
    Some buyers obsess on insignificant details and miss the big picture. That does not lead to good purchase decisions. No property is perfect. They all have positives and items to be addressed. I suspect the OP purchased North Woods acreage, and got a free house as part of the deal. A timber valuation may have been more important than a home inspection.
    I like your suggestion to pick up a wood burner. Electric resistance heaters for emergency use are cheap to buy, and will be a bargain to operate if they are needed. Redundancy is important in rural northern Wisconsin.
    Because of Winter, almost all homes in that area are forced air, with plumbing that allows easy winterizing (sloped to drain into a tub or sump pit in a basement). How is the well piped into the home?
    Could you turn the un-insulated slab home into a garage, and build a proper insulated winter home in the future?
  • Resko1
    Resko1 Member Posts: 8
    So i did heat loss 2 ways. First way i used outdoor temp as -40. Thats the coldest we get here. Resulted in this.
    Second round, i used energy star 99° rating of -12 for the closest city in my county. Then i came up with this which is drastically different. And i used indoor temp of 70° for both models.
    Which one is correct? Or are they both wrong? All other factors were correct.
  • Resko1
    Resko1 Member Posts: 8
    Ebebratt-ed
    Thank you! I will be getting to that next once heat loss is good to go.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,534
    You should be able to find a design temp for your city/town. It won't be the coldest it ever gets, it will usually be several degrees warmer. For example the design temp for metro detroit is around 0 F but the record is around -15 F. The thought is that it only gets to that record temp for a few hours and the mass of the structure helps it carry through that period.
  • Resko1
    Resko1 Member Posts: 8
    WMno57 said:
    Did you not get a home inspection?
    It's never too late, I'll do one now. Inspector has determined home has no heating system. Inspector has determined this is bad. Purchaser may get cold, and pipes will freeze. Also missing a few GFCI outlets, and blah, blah, blah not up to the latest building code. Send $1000 to me for this insightful information. Just because most people get home inspections, doesn't mean everyone should. I didn't. It was the right decision for me and my property. It may not be the right decision for other people and other properties. Some buyers obsess on insignificant details and miss the big picture. That does not lead to good purchase decisions. No property is perfect. They all have positives and items to be addressed. I suspect the OP purchased North Woods acreage, and got a free house as part of the deal. A timber valuation may have been more important than a home inspection. I like your suggestion to pick up a wood burner. Electric resistance heaters for emergency use are cheap to buy, and will be a bargain to operate if they are needed. Redundancy is important in rural northern Wisconsin. Because of Winter, almost all homes in that area are forced air, with plumbing that allows easy winterizing (sloped to drain into a tub or sump pit in a basement). How is the well piped into the home? Could you turn the un-insulated slab home into a garage, and build a proper insulated winter home in the future?
    Unfortunately i didnt get any inspections or even view the house before purchasing. The market here is insane right now! Most property has accepted offers within 48-72hrs. I jumped on it the day it was posted due to being in our price range and acreage involved. I got screwed big time. Ive already spend the past 2 months correcting structural issues and pulling all new electrical thru the house. Now that portion is done, i need primary heating and i can close up the walls. Its a very nice place for the area if it was done correct. And with the acreage is worth way more then what i paid when im done and settled there.

  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 494
    Again, buy an Ashely coal and wood heater.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 717
    WMno57 said:
    Did you not get a home inspection?
    It's never too late, I'll do one now. Inspector has determined home has no heating system. Inspector has determined this is bad. Purchaser may get cold, and pipes will freeze. Also missing a few GFCI outlets, and blah, blah, blah not up to the latest building code. Send $1000 to me for this insightful information. Just because most people get home inspections, doesn't mean everyone should. I didn't. It was the right decision for me and my property. It may not be the right decision for other people and other properties. Some buyers obsess on insignificant details and miss the big picture. That does not lead to good purchase decisions. No property is perfect. They all have positives and items to be addressed. I suspect the OP purchased North Woods acreage, and got a free house as part of the deal. A timber valuation may have been more important than a home inspection.
    +1 

    When I bought my house I got an inspection. He noted all those minor details like you pointed out. And missed all the major issues I've had to deal with since then. 

    Back then I was 22 and didn't know nothing. Today I know what to look for and would perform my own "inspection" The only exception to this would be if I found something that was a deal breaker and needed an actual inspector to document it.