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  • How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

    First:
    thank you guys' help, our old solar panel hot water system works for us now and for two weeks we only turned on electric once. It is not bad. The water (80gallons) can be very hot, greater than 180F if you want.

    Second:
    Winter is now coming. This year will be the first year for us to pay heating bill becaues we just owned a house. We are neverous. A 1600ft ranch only has one zone (oil, in MA). We are thinking about split it into four zones.

    Can you guys give us some education about this? how to do it (does not neccessary means I am going to do it by myself)? how much cost it may be? or give us some links we can learn from there.

    thanks,
    Last edited by lmei007; 09-18-2007, 11:40 AM.

  • #2
    Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

    take some pictures of your piping. sometimes you get lucky and piping is such that zoning is easy, like if all bedrooms are on one side and happen to be on the same circuit. you should have a few circuits to play with anyway.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

      [quote=lmei007;94720]First:
      thank you guys' help, our old solar panel hot water system works for us now and for two weeks we only turned on electric once. It is not bad. The water (80gallons) can be very hot, greater than 180F if you want.

      Second:
      Winter is now coming. This year will be the first year for us to pay heating bill becaues we just owned a house. We are neverous. A 1600ft ranch only has one zone (oil, in MA). We are thinking about split it into four zones.

      Can you guys give us some education about this? how to do it (does not neccessary means I am going to do it by myself)? how much cost it may be? or give us some links we can learn from there.


      Have you thought about the possibility of a TWO pipe hydronics system with non electric zone valves so you can fine tune the system and even when you put these valves to zero they are designed to maintain 40 Deg to prevent freeze ups.


      I have 23 cast iron radiators in my home and my Oil heating bill was over $1,400 per month!!!!

      I decided to remove the regular valves and install non electric (two with remote bulbs) then installed two boilers (gas) ( the following year) rather then one big boiler and my heating bill last winter was less then $600 per month.

      Then you can also play games with set back thermostats and outdoor indoor sensors.

      Hot water heating has a lot of gamers one can play with it


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

        Good to hear you got the solar hot water system going. You will be very happy with it. Was it just the pump that needed replacement?

        Take Bills idea and post some pictures of the piping arrangement and the radiation you are using. It will help us stear you in the right direction. And let's see that oil boiler!

        Now 1600 sq ft isn't so big that you need 4 zones. If you can zone easilily by all means go ahead and do it but don't spend a fortune on piping. You are trying to save money and be comfortable after all.

        You can look into the radiator valves that Sylvan spoke of. My guess he is using a Danfoss valve. I'm not a big fan of them. Way too expensive and probably not right for this application. He also posted some other useless information that doesn't apply here as well.

        Nervous about oil prices?....you should be. Buy your heating oil now during low peak usage to get the best price. Don't wait til mid December to fill up. Have the boiler serviced by a tech expierienced in oil burners. This alone can save you alot of money now and in the future. If it's in poor condition consider going to high eff. natural gas if it's availible or use LP.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
          Good to hear you got the solar hot water system going. You will be very happy with it. Was it just the pump that needed replacement?
          Yes, with you guys help, I figured out that 23 years old Taco pump stopped working. I tried to change it but could not find that 006-2BC pump. Finally I added a new 006-4B pump in a new place. I removed the propeller from that old pump, it was damaged, and left it in where it was. I also redo some piping and make the system deattachable without further cuts in the future. The guy replaced the hot water tank (3 yrs ago) did the piping wrong (solar in and solar out was switched.). I corrected it. The system was so dirty inside that it was blocked after I fixed the hot water loop. I have to flush them out with high pressure water.

          I learnt a lots from you experts and my practice, and it works fine now. we are happy with it because it is free to us and it starts saving us hot water bill already.

          The last three photos show the difference before and after my modifications:
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/lmei007/

          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
          Take Bills idea and post some pictures of the piping arrangement and the radiation you are using. It will help us stear you in the right direction. And let's see that oil boiler!
          Here are some photos about my oil hot water heating system: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lmei007/. I am not worry about the piping because i think I may can do it by myself. I am not sure how to do control and how to wire them together. It is a plumber' job or an electrician's job?

          thanks,

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

            you have to get more pictures down the line. could be monoflow tee system but i can't see from pictures. also looks like you have the fuzzy washes,- asbestos insulation.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

              Originally posted by BILLG View Post
              you have to get more pictures down the line. could be monoflow tee system but i can't see from pictures. also looks like you have the fuzzy washes,- asbestos insulation.
              Thank you Bill, I will take more photos. I did not have time to remove the ceiling last night. The basement is finished in that portion.

              In which photo you saw the asbestos insulation? Behind the radiator? or the pipe insulation? It is not good then. What I should do if it is true?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

                where the black pipe goes out through wall of the boiler room. it's the white stuff. call an asbestos abatement co.
                Last edited by BILLG; 09-19-2007, 04:36 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

                  First off, what are your reasons for breaking this system into 4 zones?

                  You haven't been in the house during the winter months so you really don't know what it's going to cost to heat it.

                  Are you considering an addition or finishing off the basement and adding heat there?

                  If you are zoning to save on utility costs; you won't. You will never make back what it's going to cost you in materials and labor to zone it properly through energy savings.

                  If you want to zone it to have a better comfort level then you should do it right. And for that you need someone trained in hydronics to evaluate your system in person. It would be way too involved to try and walk you through it here.

                  Try not to disturb the insulation on the heat pipes it is probably asbestos like Bill said. If you have to cut some of it away wet it down with a spray bottle 1st before cutting and take all precautions when dealing with it. Eyewear, gloves, resperator and disposable coveralls.

                  Now about those pics....the ones labeled: sensor? is actually a motion sensor for the alarm system not at all related to the heating system. That Honeywell Chronotherm III programmable thermostat is not user friendly at all. This doesn't mean it should be replaced but newer models are much easier to use, read and install.

                  Not sure of the age of the boiler but just because it might be 20 years old you need to replace it. The burner is the main component and it looks fairly new.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

                    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/vide...045338,00.html

                    Check this out, it was on This Old House. Don't use this as an instruction guide but so you can see what's involved.
                    Buy cheap, buy twice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

                      Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                      http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/vide...045338,00.html

                      Check this out, it was on This Old House. Don't use this as an instruction guide but so you can see what's involved.
                      Thanks. Useful article and at least I have a big picture now. I like the wireless thermostat. Is wireless thermostat good enough now? it should be easier to install but how about maintainance?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

                        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                        First off, what are your reasons for breaking this system into 4 zones?

                        You haven't been in the house during the winter months so you really don't know what it's going to cost to heat it.
                        My house is an open space 1600SFt ranch, not include basement. I cannot image how many energy will be wasted if all rooms are in one zone, including two rooms with radiators in basement which are totally empty now. Right now we only have 3 people here including my 3 yrs old daughter.

                        I heard the previous owner never live here and have it rented to other people. So he never care the energy waste.

                        I think I am a handyman. I should do something to avoid those terribly wrong things.

                        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                        Are you considering an addition or finishing off the basement and adding heat there?
                        Yes, in the near future if possible. but only add heatings because right now the big family room, which is an addition yrs ago, is using electric heat. And also plan to add more heatings in finished basement rooms. So 4 zones is for now and more zones may needed in the future.

                        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                        If you are zoning to save on utility costs; you won't. You will never make back what it's going to cost you in materials and labor to zone it properly through energy savings.

                        If you want to zone it to have a better comfort level then you should do it right. And for that you need someone trained in hydronics to evaluate your system in person. It would be way too involved to try and walk you through it here.
                        That is why I try to learn how to do it and then I can get an idea about the cost. If we want to go ahead, I may do the piping part and ask a perfessional to wire them together. This way we may can lower the cost. But I don't know if it is possible.

                        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                        Try not to disturb the insulation on the heat pipes it is probably asbestos like Bill said. If you have to cut some of it away wet it down with a spray bottle 1st before cutting and take all precautions when dealing with it. Eyewear, gloves, resperator and disposable coveralls.

                        Now about those pics....the ones labeled: sensor? is actually a motion sensor for the alarm system not at all related to the heating system. That Honeywell Chronotherm III programmable thermostat is not user friendly at all. This doesn't mean it should be replaced but newer models are much easier to use, read and install.

                        Not sure of the age of the boiler but just because it might be 20 years old you need to replace it. The burner is the main component and it looks fairly new.
                        Thank you guys. You are really expert and know everything in this field.


                        More photos are in, including two diagrams. One is the existing pipe line diagram and one is my draft for the new 4 zone pipe plan. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lmei007

                        I don't know if we should use one pump for one loop or it is ok using one for all the loops? I think it should be better to use only one pump (if it is powerful enough) for all loops.

                        How about use Taco Heat Moto Zone Valves or Electronic Ball Valve (EBV) Zone Valve, Taco SR506 Switching Relay, Taco ZVC406 Zone Valve Control and thermostats from Taco or Honeywell?

                        thanks,
                        Last edited by lmei007; 09-21-2007, 07:49 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How to split one heating zone to multiple heating zones?

                          Originally posted by lmei007 View Post
                          I like the wireless thermostat. Is wireless thermostat good enough now? it should be easier to install but how about maintainance?
                          wireless thermostats should be used as a last resort. they are buku bucks and more maintenance, thermostat wire is cheap. no reason why you can't run it in your 1 story home.

                          pumps and flow checks are the way to go, they last much longer. but you can save money by using zone valves.

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