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Need Help With Radiant Floor Heating-How to operate my system

2

Comments

  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Okay I finally got the parts in (relief valve and expansion tank). I will add these and fill the system to 10psi of water. I noticed the expansion tank comes pre-filled at 12psi. I am guessing I need to lower that to 10psi is that correct?

    Thanks
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,405
    It is always good to verify the pressure before installing the tank.
    If you are running 10 PSI, it should be precharged to 10 PSI.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Okay I added the relief valve and expansion tank. I am not sure exactly what the psi of the water should be for this system but I added 10 psi of water and ran the circulator pump for 20 minutes without the heater plugged in. I did not see any leaks in the room with the manifold and equipment or in any of the rooms. Hard to tell under the hardwood floor zone. I noticed that on the flow meter the first and third flow meter were bouncing up and down slightly but not the second flow meter. What would this indicate on that loop?

    Is there a way to get that flow meter to work as well. I would like to know before I plug in the heater.


    Thanks :)
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 17,457
    yes, fill from one end of the system, purge air from the other end.

    In your case add water into that hose bib connection and purge air from the valve at the end of the manifold.

    There are also small air bleeders on the top, end of each manifold got bleed as the system runs and warms for a day or so.

    Turning off valve A forces the water in one direction.
    Water goes in to the valve, through the boiler, around all the loops and pushes the air out the valve at the end of the manifold.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Hot Rod thanks for that info. I did not know about the valve at the end of the manifold. So do I need to have the hose still connected and running and then open the valve at the end of the return manifold? Should I connect tubing to that valve at the end of the manifold and immerse into a bucket with water like bleeding a brake line? Also can I leave all the loops open when doing this or do I need to turn them all off and purge air from one at the time. I am confused still a little about how to fill and purge the system correctly. I think that there is air in there that might be causing loop 2's flow meter to not flow.

    Thanks
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 17,457
    I would hook a fill hose to that upper red handle drain valve #1

    Turn off the blue valve #3 at the return manifold.

    This forces the water and air down the pump, around the loops, it stops at the return manifold, valve 3 and you purge it out of that barb hose connection at the end of the manifold.

    That should be a hose connection if you remove the barbed adapter on the end of the manifolds.

    I'm not sure on that brand manifold what open that barbed hose connection, maybe look for a screw slot, or Google that manifold for instructions. Stick the hose into a bucket as you mentioned and watch for air to stop.

    If possible purge one loop at a time to be sure they all flow, it takes a few minutes sometimes. The red plastic caps on the top manifold when removed should shut off that branch.

    After all 3 are purged open valve 3 to allow the boiler to fill and purge through the air vent up high. Pressurize to 12 psi, plug in the pump and look for the flow indicators on the manifold to jump up. Power the boiler on after you assure flow in the system.

    Keep an eye on the pressure gauge as you fill & purge, if pressure exceeds the relief valve, you may get wet.

    I'd also turn off all the power to the boiler and controls, just saying.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Thanks for those details I will try this as soon as I can. I did notice that the gauge dropped a little from 10psi since I added water to the system. I did not purge the air so I am hoping that some air has escaped from the air vent at the top making the gauge go down some. I am hoping that this does not indicate any type of leak. Here is how much it went down since last Sunday (5 days) http://imgur.com/YNarWQD

    I really appreciate all your help.:)
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 17,457
    The pressure will change as the temperature drops, of course. i think you are fine

    Winter is coming to the north country, get 'er going.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Okay I have made some progress. I bleed the air out of the system into a bucket using a clear hose to see the air. After doing so I added 12 psi water and plugged in the Titan heater. It did heat the water although the standby light stays on. I ran the circulation pump and the flow meters were not moving so I tested turning the red caps on each loop and they do move sometimes. I am uncertain on how many turns the individual loops need to be turned in order to set the proper GPM for each loop. I actually am not sure what the flow is suppose to be. After reading a manual on a manifold similar to mine it said that it should not exceed 2 GPM. Any input on what setting for flow would be great. I left the heater plugged in and ran the circulation pump for about 20 minutes but i did not feel any heat on the tubes of the return side of the manifold. How long does it normally take to feel some heat on that side? I am not sure how long it normally takes a radiant floor system to heat up. Is it days or hours? I have a big wooden stove that I plan to use for the main heat while I am home if I get this radiant system to work what should it be set to, maybe 40 degrees? Here is a pic of the system now, I have since added a pipe to the relief valve but did not take a pic of it after that. http://i.imgur.com/CanH3BC.jpg


    Thanks so much! :)
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,405
    I think you want the balancing valves wide open for now.
    It sounds like the flow switch is not closing.
    How are your skills with a volt meter?
    Does it sound like the water is moving? Are the gauges moving at all?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    I can hear water moving and once in a while the gauges move.If I turn the red caps all the way down and then open them all the way up and then slowly down most of the flow gauges red indicators will move. Other times they bounce slightly on there own.I did not adjust with the key that comes with the system I did however count the turns all the way clockwise and then back counter clockwise and it was 8 turns. I have a meter not too great of skills. :)
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    edited October 2015
    Z Man where is the flow switch in the tank less?
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,405
    Any chance they printed an electrical diagram on the back side of the panel?
    In an earlier post I cautioned you about blowing yourself up. It seams only appropriate to mention the potential for electrocution. :s
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    LOL I hear that! I will take a look and see :)
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,405
    What happens if you unplug the unit, press the red button in the center of that middle thingamajig with the 4 black wires and one red wire and plug the unit back in.
    If that doesn't work, you will need a wiring diagram or someone that has worked on one of those.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 17,457
    Sounds like slugs of air keep coming around. That would make the flow meters on the manifold bounce, and keep the low water switch in the boiler open and closing.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Zman I will try that and hot rod it could be air might try to bleed it again. I will keep u posted. Thanks!
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Okay I looked inside the tankless heater and the reset button was already in, I guess that is normal. Could not find a diagram on the electronics. So here is what I did. I plugged it in and started the circulation pump and let it run for 1 hour and started to notice the floor closest to the system started to warm. I then ran it for another hour and the next nearest room I felt some warmth building. I ran it for a third house an two of the bedrooms in some spots seemed to be gaining heat. I then turned it off. Now the return side of the manifold where the loops connect as well as the manifold after 3 hours did not feel hot, but I do think they were not as ice cold as they were in the beginning. So maybe it just needs more hours or even a couple of days to fully heat??

    The standby light is still on the Titan heater not sure why. I may just get another Titan unit and replace this one.

    So is this sounding like it might be functional this radiant system?


    Thanks :)
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 17,457
    Depending on how cold the slab is, and how well insulated below and around the edges. It could take hours, maybe a day or more to ramp it up to temperature.

    You might have 16 yards of concrete in a slab that size, at @ 3900 lbs per yard that is 62,400 lbs of mass to warm, be patient.

    As you can see it is best to let the system run, setting back a system like that is not an option, you have a massive flywheel.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Zman
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,405
    If you have a multimeter with an amp clamp, you can check the performance of your heater. As Hot Rod said, it may take awhile.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    I got an answer from the tech suport dept at Titan regarding the issue of the system being in the standby mode. Here is what they said.

    "You will have to remove the unit from the wall. Remove the screen on the inlet side and turn the unit on its side and give it a few taps and the flow switch should come sliding out along with a small spring. Once you have that out clean the parts and the inside of the inlet tube with either a steel wire brush or and old toothbrush. Then put the parts back and you should be fine."

    I am wondering if I close both manifold valves the red and the blue handled ones and then open the red handle drain valve and drain that into a bucket would I have tons of water leaking if I disconnected the compression fitting on both sides of the titan heater. Also would this introduce more air into the system upon reconnecting the compression fittings and opening the manifold valves and running the system? I might have to connect the water hose and fill and purge if so.

    Thanks
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,405
    You should not lose much water as the heater is at a high point. One the pressure tank has been depressurized, it will only bee the water above the switch.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Okay here is the latest update. I replaced the Titan heater with a new version of the same model. Purged the air and recently ran the unit for 3 days. I had the thermostat set to 65 f. I wanted to test this system without the aid of the iron stove to see what would happen if I were to go out of town. The temp outside was 24-34 over those days. I left to go to Chico for the night came back to find the unit still running after 3 days of pretty much being on all the time. I noticed that the floor closest to the heater was the warmest while the other rooms 3 with concrete floors were warm in certain spots. I could not tell in the room with the wooden floor. The circulator was set to run on low and I noticed that on the 3 loops the 3rd loop on the return side seemed to be a little colder than the other two. The flow gauge is showing 1\4 gpm . Given the size of the heater maybe two pints of water heat up at a time, would the system be more efficient if the circulator were turned to high or the manifold valves adjusted to flow higher like 1\2 gpm?


    Thanks
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited December 2015
    Run your loops wide open for now then you can balance after slab gets up to temp. Facilitates getting any micro bobbles out of loops also. Lots of mass to heat up.

    You can also see if you need to bump the circ speed up.
    Zman
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 17,457
    And you may still not have enough output from that heater?

    What is you weather like these days, if it cannot catch up, or keep up either you are not moving the energy, or you lack horsepower.

    Open all the valves wide open, try to get .5- .7 gpm per loop. Circ pump to highest speed to see if you can get all the loops and rooms warm.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Honestly I would hate to speculate with little information about slab detail. That is insulation under it, and at the perimeter. Also thickness of slab, tube location in the slab....bottom, middle?

    If there is insulation lacking in either location you have to ramp up, and maintain. Days depending.

    Another thing that jumps out at me is the supply, and return piping to the manifolds is that 1/2"? If it is. 1/2" only has the ability to supply 15k at reasonable flow rates. It seems to be reduced down by the boiler pic.

    My guess as HR iludded to is horse power at the boiler.
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I will try with valves and circulator wide open. It is 1/2 inch I think the previous owner did that because the connection to the titan heater was 1/2 inch. If it would help I would change it to 3/4 for sure!

    I might have to add more horsepower I am guessing maybe a bigger tankless or a boiler.

    Will test this and get back with the results. :)
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Titan does not give enough info. Other than it will serve one to two baths in a warm climate....... Point of use........I say ditch the POS and get the right tool for the job.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 17,457
    But we still don't have the load info. I guess you could size to what the loops are, or what you assume them to be.

    The Titan should have the KW on the label
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,901
    Drain & dry the hydronics & forget about it. Why mess with it if your energy source is electric? Eventually you can install radiant electric in ceiling which has advantages over floor radiant. In the meantime buy some oil filled electric radiators. You'll have better than control,save money,and have time for more productive stuff.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    hot rod said:

    But we still don't have the load info. I guess you could size to what the loops are, or what you assume them to be.

    The Titan should have the KW on the label


    11.8 kW. 39k btus. Through 1/2" piping.

    Your right we know very little HR.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    jumper said:

    Drain & dry the hydronics & forget about it. Why mess with it if your energy source is electric? Eventually you can install radiant electric in ceiling which has advantages over floor radiant. In the meantime buy some oil filled electric radiators. You'll have better than control,save money,and have time for more productive stuff.

    I don't know if I would throw the baby out with the bath water. There are nice electric "boilers" on the market.

  • Big-D
    Big-D Member Posts: 21
    Gordy is right, there are many good electric boilers on the market like Electro and Thermolec. Here is what we are using for electric boilers. www.nextgenboiler.com. All components pre-engineered into one cabinet. They claim fast installation time, their right!
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,901
    What advantage has HW heating with electric resistance for energy source? Now if bridger intends to eventually use a heat pump then there may be some point to make existing system functional. But why rush the job? A couple of hundred dollars worth of electric space heaters will do the job. If he needs new electric circuits job can be done faster than pressure testing pipes and then fixing leaks. Also this forum proves how many problems happen with HW radiant.
    Rich_49
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 17,457
    It sounds and looks like a DIY homeowner install or an online package deal. Before you spend a lot of $$ be sure those 3 loops can cover the load of the rooms it is intended to heat.

    Increasing the boiler power to a constipated distribution system, or under radiated room will not get the result you are after,and may reward you with a large power bill.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • bridgerguide
    bridgerguide Member Posts: 37
    Hot Rod I like your view on this not sure how to determine if the loops can cover the load of the rooms.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    jumper said:

    What advantage has HW heating with electric resistance for energy source? Now if bridger intends to eventually use a heat pump then there may be some point to make existing system functional. But why rush the job? A couple of hundred dollars worth of electric space heaters will do the job. If he needs new electric circuits job can be done faster than pressure testing pipes and then fixing leaks. Also this forum proves how many problems happen with HW radiant.

    Not sure where your post is going? Your saying electric resistance power plant has no place in hydronics, or hydronics has no place as a heat source method of envelope conditioning.

    Sometimes electric is the only source of energy a homeowner has to power hydronics. Just because a boiler fuel option is electric. This does not mean it's not conducive to hydronics so long as the right type of heat source is used.

    But as @hot rod pointed out if the emitters are shy of covering the load then nothing will help.


    Plenty of hydronic systems out there trouble free for decades. Mines one of them been running for over 60 years all radiant. No leaks.




    Rich_49Zman
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,695
    Uponor radiant ready 30E
    jumper said:

    What advantage has HW heating with electric resistance for energy source? Now if bridger intends to eventually use a heat pump then there may be some point to make existing system functional. But why rush the job? A couple of hundred dollars worth of electric space heaters will do the job. If he needs new electric circuits job can be done faster than pressure testing pipes and then fixing leaks. Also this forum proves how many problems happen with HW radiant.

    This forum does prove that there are alot of incompetent installers and consumers that end up as prey . Alot of problems can certainly happen with hydronic systems . I cannot remember when a poor install of hydronics ever caused a catastrophic or fatal fire . I have however heard of electric mats and the like causing these along with portable heaters and other stuff with plugs .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,901
    No heat or not enough heat or broken pipes can seem pretty catastrophic to homeowner.
    Rich said:

    Uponor radiant ready 30E

    jumper said:

    What advantage has HW heating with electric resistance for energy source?

    This forum does prove that there are alot of incompetent installers and consumers that end up as prey . Alot of problems can certainly happen with hydronic systems . I cannot remember when a poor install of hydronics ever caused a catastrophic or fatal fire . I have however heard of electric mats and the like causing these along with portable heaters and other stuff with plugs .
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Heating a home with space heaters,spending the time, and money to do so seems pretty darn extreme to me when there is a potential to salvage a system in place. Previous owner said it leaked. New owner says its holding pressure......

    Who knows what previous owner did, or did not do. Maybe he filled the system to 60psi, and it leaked, maybe it does not leak at 12 psi. Maybe the relief on the water heater was belching, and that's a leak. No one knows. Time to figure it out.