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Heating a garage

Oldtech

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/14/2019
Rick, I'm not sure what you mean there about a "primary" loop. We did my son's 3600 sq foot shop out here in cold Sk and it is great. We ran one loop around the outside, then the second one flowing the opposite direction, and so on. There is no cool spots in that shop, and no heat at the ceiling to waste.
 

Rick Gilbert

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/03/2020
Rick, I'm not sure what you mean there about a "primary" loop. We did my son's 3600 sq foot shop out here in cold Sk and it is great. We ran one loop around the outside, then the second one flowing the opposite direction, and so on. There is no cool spots in that shop, and no heat at the ceiling to waste.
What I mean is at the boiler there is a loop that comes out of the boiler,with all the safety stuff,low water cut off,expansion tank AND a 007 taco circulator that circulate the water in a circle. ....then after 18th inches of straight pipe start your secondary piping with another circulator that supplies to the radiant floor with temp gages so you can regulate the water temp going into the floor ( check out Dan Holohan pumping away)your return goes back in the secondary a ways down this set up allows constant temp going to the food and warm water back to the boiler,which means Huge savings in fuel,your best temp for water going to the floor is 78-82,check you tube etc, good luck
 

nothingbutdarts

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Last Subscription Date
08/15/2019
....then after 18th inches of straight pipe start your secondary piping with another circulator that supplies
May I ask why you specified 18" of straight pipe? And Thank you for all the information! Our hydronic floor heat where I work has the main circulation loop like you are talking about then the water out to the floor comes off the loop.
 

Rick Gilbert

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/03/2020
May I ask why you specified 18" of straight pipe? And Thank you for all the information! Our hydronic floor heat where I work has the main circulation loop like you are talking about then the water out to the floor comes off the loop.
I miss spoke (my bad) that's for the air eliminating vent,should have 18 inches so the air bubbles can rise up to be vented out before it hits the vent. ; )
 

nothingbutdarts

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Last Subscription Date
08/15/2019
What else can a person do, the boiler I bought a few years ago (2002) that is still in the shipping crate is a Natural Gas unit, I need to run propane. I called Burnham Boiler, (now US Boiler) and they said a LP conversion was not available. Is there any other way to run a natural gas unit on LP without rejetting it?
 

DustyBar

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/14/2020
I had a friend living in Quito, Ecuador, at 9000 feet elevation. He had to redrill all propane jets to get them to work at all. He would solder them shut, then take a number or letter drill and re-drill them by hand. It worked for him just fine. Generally the jet is a fair distance away from the flame so it doesn't melt the solder out. Can always redo the solder and drill again if it isn't right the first time.
 

Steve Kunz

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
I have soldered jets and redrilled them. I used silver solder, but like Dusty said they are not right by the flame so regular solder would probably work.
I have a hanging natural gas furnace in my shop. Before I ran a gas line to the shop I used it on propane, so I soldered the jets shut and redrilled them smaller. Then when I ran the gas line I drilled them back out bigger.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
How about that. I’d never thought of using solder. That’s clever.

My mom’s furnace was 75 kBTU/hr input, and would roast you out. So I measured the jets, and made new ones out brass hex stock with 2/3 the cross section. I wired the old ones to the burner with a label, in case they were ever needed, but it works beautifully at 50k, and has been for ~20 years.

Keith
 

dkamp

eMail NOT Working
And another option, is to take the jets you have, is to put them in a collet in your lathe, drill them out larger, and tap them for a brass screw, thread it in with loctite. Then spot and center-drill it with a smaller drill size... repeat for ALL the jets, and then test-fire with either a CO meter, or visible... shut the boiler down, remove ONE jet, drill it out slightly, re-fire, and give it the visual test again. You'll be on the lean side from the git-go.... As you get closer to stoichiometry, the color will be a nice pretty blue, mebbie a tiny tip of yellow. When you have ONE burner exhibiting the right color, drill all the rest at that same size.

A good way to get an IDEA of what size jet you need, is to look into jet kits for other gas appliances. Let's say your furnace is rated 100kbtu, using 5 burner orfices. That's 100/5=20kbtu per orfice. Now you might find a 75k furnace running 4 orfices... you're in the same orfice flow realm... so look up THAT furnace's orfice size difference for NG vs LP. The drill size YOU need, will match that pretty darned close...
 
Last edited:

nothingbutdarts

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
08/15/2019
If a person could have bought an LP conversion kit for this unit, it would have been smaller orifices', if the same conversion was done @ 9,000', would the orifices need to be even smaller??
Would it hurt the boiler at all to run it without any water in it just long enough to check out the flame while trying to get the drilling process done?? It is not yet connected to anything & I would like to see if I can do the drilling to get it set correctly.
 

dkamp

eMail NOT Working
I would NOT fire it dry- it would overheat and be destroyed in seconds... but just connect a garden hose to the inlet, and put another, with some restriction on the outlet. This will protect it, and also demonstrate just how well it'll heat water.

Yes, higher altitude will require smaller orfices, as the oxygen content at that elevation will be substantially lower in proportion to the fuel pressure being regulated.

Also- you can NOT reduce the pressure to affect a leaner mixture- pressure at the orfice is necessary to effectively mix oxygen, and project it down the burner PRIOR to combustion. Too low a nozzle pressure will reduce the gas velocity, causing the flame to come right up to the orfice, and burn it away.

Propane's energy density is a fair chunk higher than natural gas, it takes less, with the same amount of oxygen, than NG, hence the smaller orfice.
 

Kevin O. Pulver

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Age
54
Last Subscription Date
02/14/2020
you size the amount of pipe to the building for btu,s needed then figger how many btu,s the pipe gives off per ft at 135 degrees @ 3 gallons per minute then make sure your lower output raring number is higher than that number (I will tell you this unless you have a boat load of pipe in that 780 sq ft building you got more than enuff boiler for the job also put in a bypass between the supply and return pipe at the boiler to prevent thermo shock because of the lower hi limit temps run with plex pipe....
Please help me out if I'm missing something here. Am I correct in thinking that the boiler only cares what the total heating load of the area is, and not how many feet of tubing you have in the slab?

Also the bypass from Inlet to Outlet is mostly to adjust return water temp to prevent the flue gases from condensing and causing acid rain on your heat exchanger.
A non condensing boiler wants to keep the return Temps above 130 degrees.
A condensing boiler loves low return water temps and actually extracts the heat out of that acid rain happening in the flue. Put one on a snow melting system and they really get some high efficiencies.

There's a lot I don't know and understand, but in full disclosure I did do radiant floor heating in Nebraska and Kansas for about 20 years. The biggest job I ever did was a 22,000 square foot truck shop and I had over three miles of tubing in it.
 

Kevin O. Pulver

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Age
54
Last Subscription Date
02/14/2020
Yes Dan holohan is THE man when it comes to all questions hydronic or steam Heating!
I remember when my friend the wholesaler first loaned me that book, "pumping away" in about 1998, and I got so excited reading it.

Because Dan will make you understand what's going on in the pipes and why you should lay out the system components a certain way. I immediately bought a few hundred dollars worth of his books and got myself a cheap education. I even went to a seminar in Colorado one time he called, "wet stock". I used to spend a lot of time at heatinghelp.com which is his site.

In a nutshell, in that book he explains why you should have your circulator pumping away from the expansion tank/ air separator/make up water fill valve, rather than toward it- and why it will work better and automatically remove air from the system that way.

The boiler doesn't know or care how many feet of tubing you have in the building- though it is important. If your Loops are too long, you need giant expensive circulators to try to push the fluid. And your temperatures will drop more than you want by the time they get back to the boiler. (Excessive delta T).


A boiler that is too big will simply short cycle and lose efficiency. (although the newer modulating/condensing boilers sometimes have a like 5 to 1 burner turndown or greater- to essentially give you a variable size boiler for days when it isn't so cold out.)

But a boiler that's too small on the other hand will never heat the building enough.

In my mind, one of the greatest misconceptions people have is that if you simply let the too small boiler run long enough it will catch up. But it won't!
At a given outdoor ambient temperature, the two small boiler will achieve a certain indoor temp, but no more.

Imagine if you have a 55 gallon barrel that is shot full of holes with a rifle. Now you put a garden hose in it and start to fill it up.
At a certain point/level it will reach equilibrium- where the amount of water flowing out of the garden hose is being matched by the amount of water that is flowing out of the bullet holes. You can let that hose run for eternity and it will never "catch up" and get the barrel any fuller.

At this point you have two choices. Either start "plugging holes", which means decreasing your total heat load by adding more or better insulation, or making the building smaller, (or start with a warmer outdoor ambient temperature- which only works if you want to move your building from Wisconsin to Florida)
OR, you can get a bigger hose- which means a bigger boiler!

But just like computers, boilers have gotten a lot more efficient and shrunken drastically.
They are no longer like that giant beast grandma had in the basement.
The last farm shop I heated for a guy was a pretty good size 10,000 square foot building (100 ft x 100 ft). With maybe 18 foot sidewalls.

I don't remember the BTU output rating of the boiler, (perhaps 300,000) but the physical size was about like a 2 drawer file cabinet!

On the coldest day of the year (which might be designed as 10 below zero with a 30 mile an hour wind), you can stand in a building like that and shut your eyes and the comfort is such that you can imagine it's that perfect spring day when you don't even need heat.
Or you can Crank It Up and lay on that hard cement floor under the truck, and the normally cold concrete feels like that warm concrete next to the swimming pool Last Summer!

It really is an amazing thing!
 
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