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-   -   installing baseboard on CI steam system? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/installing-baseboard-ci-steam-system-72874/)

wombosi 06-05-2010 10:28 AM

installing baseboard on CI steam system?
 
I'm helping a neighbor with a bathroom project.
His house has cast iron steam radiators all on one zone.

Previously someone had installed a very small baseboard hot water unit in the kitchen, which is simply tapped off one of the large iron pipes.

I'm wondering if this generally kosher to do, and if I can do the same thing in the new bathroom.
I've done lots of baseboard plumbing with copper pipes, zone valves, etc... in my own house and for friends, but I have no experience with running iron pipe for cast iron radiators.

What's very important to my neighbor is to be able to have the bathroom on it's own zone.

Can I simply chop into some iron pipe, adapt on some 3/4" copper with a zone valve wired up, and run a regular baseboard hot water unit to the bathroom, with a return?

Or, do I need to go iron pipe and iron radiator here?
Any particular things I should look out for either way?

Thanks a lot.

NHMaster 06-05-2010 11:27 AM

You don't run baseboard off a steam system unless you run it as a water leg from below the water line of the boiler which can be very tricky depending on size, distance and head. tell him to run a piece of electric baseboard. It will cost a whole lot less

wombosi 06-06-2010 01:28 PM

thanks NH.
i found out it's actually a hot water system using CI radiators. all are on one zone with big iron pipes. there is one little baseboard unit that is T'd off one of these lines.

i would like to run a new zone to an addition using copper or pex and two baseboard units.
i just need to figure out how to put this on its own zone.
i guess i need to come right off the boiler itself?

just a guy 06-06-2010 03:53 PM

you would need to isolate existing zone (whole rest of the house) with either a zone valve or install flow valves and add circulators indipendent to each zone along with a circulator zone relay

NHMaster 06-06-2010 04:16 PM

It should come off the boiler. You will need another circulator and flow/check valve along with a relay and thermostat.

wombosi 06-06-2010 05:56 PM

thanks guys.
i've uploaded a photo of the friend's boiler for you.

http://bentraining.com/images/boiler.jpg

i believe the two shutoffs in the foreground are the return lines?
and the upper green thing in the background is the one circulator pump, with the lower pump coming off the indirect water heater.

the question is, where and how do i branch off this thing with a new zone?
i'm fairly good at fitting pipes, but not so skilled in the overall design of plumbing and heating systems.

i will eventually consult a plumber, but i would love to hear any and all help from you guys.

should i run baseboard units in the addition? i have two of them i can give my friend, one brand new, the other one fine, ready to use.
any advantage to sourcing some iron radiators?
should i use PEX or copper? does it matter?

so basically next to the upper circulator pump can i simply install another T onto that "header", install a 2nd pump, followed by a zone valve, shutoff valve, then plumb the lines, and add another shutoff valve where the threaded cap is in the foreground for the return - (another iron T with another threaded cap left)?

thanks a lot.

SuperPlumberGuy 06-06-2010 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schmolze (Post 452217)

so basically next to the upper circulator pump can i simply install another T onto that "header", install a 2nd pump, followed by a zone valve, shutoff valve, then plumb the lines, and add another shutoff valve where the threaded cap is in the foreground for the return - (another iron T with another threaded cap left)?

thanks a lot.

Exactly...remove the plugs and add another set of tees, then just copy one of the existing zones, they were done properly. You will be using a check valve not a zone valve.

Pex vs. copper.....either one is fine, but, if you use pex make sure it is heat pex (has an oxygen barrier)

radiators vs. baseboard......because it will be its own zone either will work fine, use whatever will look best.

wombosi 06-06-2010 09:42 PM

thanks superplumberguy. i appreciate the response.
could you please elaborate on the check valve setup?

i've used a "flap" style check valve on a washing machine, but am not sure what type you mean for a heating system.

also, if this guy only has one thermostat, if i just use a check valve, how do i have any control over the circulation of hot water into my new zone?

i just don't understand. please enlighten me.

many thanks.

SuperPlumberGuy 06-06-2010 09:59 PM

You are not going to use a flap style (swing check is the right term) You are going to use one designed for heat commonly referred to as a flo-check(for iron pipe) or a swet-check(for copper) their purpose is to keep water from flowing through the new zone when one of the other zones is calling.

As for controlling the new zone, the new thermostat will turn on the pump(and boiler if needed) you will need another switching relay like NHMaster said

wombosi 06-06-2010 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperPlumberGuy (Post 452304)
You are not going to use a flap style (swing check is the right term) You are going to use one designed for heat commonly referred to as a flo-check(for iron pipe) or a swet-check(for copper) their purpose is to keep water from flowing through the new zone when one of the other zones is calling.

As for controlling the new zone, the new thermostat will turn on the pump(and boiler if needed) you will need another switching relay like NHMaster said

hm. ok.
so what about preventing water from flowing into the old zones when the new zone calls for water?

and what about the switching relay?

i wonder whereabouts in MA are you? if you're close by maybe i could hire you for a thorough brain-picking...

thanks.

NHMaster 06-06-2010 10:09 PM

There should be a flow check on the existing zone

wombosi 06-06-2010 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NHMaster (Post 452309)
There should be a flow check on the existing zone

OK. is the flow check mechanically operated? i guess i'm confused as to why the check valve is called for here as opposed to mechanical zone valves.

if both zones had flow valves and one zone called for water, wouldn't both flow valves open up?

thanks.

SuperPlumberGuy 06-06-2010 10:17 PM

I am in Hanson...Eastern Mass

The other two zones already have check valves on them. That is the brass thing above the ball valves on the return.

The relay is basically just a switch so the t-stat (low voltage) can turn on the pump/boiler (line voltage)

wombosi 06-06-2010 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperPlumberGuy (Post 452315)
I am in Hanson...Eastern Mass

The other two zones already have check valves on them. That is the brass thing above the ball valves on the return.

The relay is basically just a switch so the t-stat (low voltage) can turn on the pump/boiler (line voltage)

cool. i'm in western MA in the berkshires. oh well.
so i only need the check valves on the returns?

thanks so much man.

SuperPlumberGuy 06-06-2010 10:33 PM

Anything west of Worcester may as well be a different country:)

The check valve can go anywhere in the loop, it does not matter. The water is either moving or its not.


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