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SteamtoHotWater Member Posts: 122
edited August 2023 in Radiant Heating

I decided to go ahead and make the primary 1 1/4” because it seemed like the safest thing to do. I’m a little nervous as I haven’t had to sweat pipe in over twenty years. It was a summer job and, as I recall, I kind of sucked at it.
I’ve been pondering this boiler install for a couple of years. I’ve been lurking and reading for about a year. I started seriously researching back in May. Then it took me a good couple of months before my current basic understanding of how involved this little project of mine has become.
I’ve got a couple weeks of demolition ahead of me. And I’m guessing it will take me at least four weeks to install everything. So, right before it gets too cold, after I’ve got everything assembled, expect me back - desperate for advice on how to turn the damned thing on.

I just wanted to especially thank, in no particular order:
Mad Dog_2
And anyone else I may have missed who gave their valuable time to help me out. You people obviously have a passion for what you do. I’d gladly buy you a beer or coffee.
Instead, a fun(?) game for anyone who wants to play.
What did it all cost?*
  1. $8,000
  2. $10,000
  3. $12,000
  4. $14,000
The correct price includes everything you see in the diagram, plus a valve control module, a couple of thermostats, 2000’ of PEX, 260 extruded aluminum plates and a few odd tools.


*(I know prices are verboten, but hopefully this will slide as I’m not soliciting or comparing and they’re just ranges)


  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
    Thanks, but there are too many regional prices, determined by things none of us can control, which is why this site does not allow discussions about pricing. That is how this site works. Please respect that. It’s not a game. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,246
    Soldering tips:

    Ream the burr out if you cut the tube with a tubing cutter. A pencil reamer, pocket knife or Unibit in a cordless drill.

    Sand the tube, even if it is brand new

    Clean the fittings with a fitting brush, even new ones

    A light coating of flux on both parts

    Heat the tube and fitting evenly all around

    Once the solder melts at the joint take the torch away

    Solder flux burns, turns black if it is over heated, then you need to clean both pieces and start again 

    Solder flux burns just above the melt point of soft solder, so it is easy to over heat it

    Bridgit solder melts at low temperature and fills loose joints nicely, a good choice for beginners 

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,734
    Tinning flux makes it a lot harder to burn out the flux before the surfaces wet.

    Heat from the opposite side where you apply the solder. Put the torch mostly on the heavy part of the joint. the hot part of the flame is at the tip of the inner cone.

    Use a vise or pliers or at least gloves if you use a unibit for reaming for short pieces. I had the burr catch on the bit and flip the nipple around and over the tip of my pinky where the burr on the other end made a nice slice in my pinky.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,065
    You are going to have a great install! looking forward to the results!
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 611
    Wouldn't have to order anything extra..

    I would put the drain valve under the boiler instead of a regular ball valve. That way you can easily flush the primary heat exchanger during maintenance.

    I don't think you need a drain valve on the left anyway. You have two low point drains (sep4 and expansion tank valve).
  • Pulse
    Pulse Member Posts: 78
    Why have you decided to do a mixture of sweat and press?
  • SteamtoHotWater
    SteamtoHotWater Member Posts: 122
    dko said:

    I would put the drain valve under the boiler instead of a regular ball valve. That way you can easily flush the primary heat exchanger during maintenance.

    Noted. Thanks.
    Pulse said:

    Why have you decided to do a mixture of sweat and press?

    Because manual press tools only go up to 1". I could have rented a real press tool, but it's hard to know how long I would have actually needed it. So sweat the 1 1/4" and press the rest.

    Thanks for all the sweat tips. I will abide.