Category Archives: House Systems

HVAC, Water, Electrical, etc.

Rebate!

We received our $180 rebate from Xcel Energy for our $300 Energy Audit. Now we are qualified to apply for other Xcel Energy rebates for insulation and a new energy efficient boiler which this house really needs. Here is what … Continue reading

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Sewer Simulations

What? Now we have to replace the sewer to “code”? Yep, that is a permit’s requirements. These fussy cities, what do you do? Umm, figure out the code? I was able to download the codes after feverish searching on the … Continue reading

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More Sewer Fun

The previous post accounts for the biggest open question about the plumbing in the master bathroom–do we need the dry vent for the toilet? Well, what would it hurt anything right? In the family room bath the toilet is at … Continue reading

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Another Sewer Installment

Figuring out the sewer layout has been a bit more difficult than anticipated. One of the most difficult is communicating the completed design. The diagrams of each plumbing layout just didn’t have enough accurate information. All the tees are actually … Continue reading

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Radiant Heat Intro

This new slab floor and our goal of energy efficiency point towards even, warm floor, radiant heat instead of the existing baseboards. Since hydronic radiant heat requires a lower temperature than baseboards, it is capable of incorporating several different heat … Continue reading

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Manual J Calculations

Manual J is a product of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America for determining the heating/cooling load to size equipment for a home. They have a spreadsheet available on their website that requires filling in all the product info for … Continue reading

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Uponor Wirsbo Complete Design Assistance Manual 4th Edition

The very best resource I found for understanding the requirements and design parameters of radiant heating was a book borrowed from my friends who installed their own radiant system a few years ago. It is a large paperback from Uponor … Continue reading

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Courtesy Inspection

Laying the drains and vents for the house took several days. We had hoped to have an inspection after only 3 days of layout and gluing but after 3 days we ended up asking for a courtesy inspection instead of … Continue reading

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Plumbing Disaster!

Construction is exhausting work. Sometimes being tired at the end of a work day will lead to an error of judgement that causes a “disaster”. Unfortunately this happened while pressure testing the new drains for the first time. It was … Continue reading

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Designing a Kiva Fireplace with a Boiler Stove Insert

I have always admired Kiva fireplaces. They seem both rustic and homey. And this house already has a rough stucco wall in the living room area so a Kiva seemed to be a perfect fit. Our architect, James Plagmann, drew … Continue reading

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Passing the Underground Rough In

Signed Sealed Delivered. 12/10/12 It was not easy to pass the plumbing inspection. Not because the inspector was difficult or picky, quite the opposite. Our inspector was VERY helpful and wanted to see us pass and recommended wet venting the … Continue reading

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Structured Plumbing

We are interested in wasting as little water as possible and to that end, we designed a structured plumbing system that allows for the hot water to circulate within a loop system of pipes to deliver hot water at the … Continue reading

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Insulstar!

Quite a bit of time went into researching the insulation for under the slab. The engineers were concerned about the insulation holding up to the stresses that the wafflemat would be mitigating. Apparently no other customers of Wafflemat had required … Continue reading

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Water Loop in Action

The water supply trunk loop is connected and stubbed out. This is the longest above the concrete connection. The pipe near the wall will connect the washing machine and the other connection will run to the guest bathroom. This long … Continue reading

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Radiant Design Revisited

Since the excitement of the new floor is out of the way, time to go back and talk about the actual layout of the oxygen barrier Pex used in the radiant floor. The references and calculations used to design the … Continue reading

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Radiant Installation

Unfortunately the pex roll was unweildly and as the first zone was unrolled, the pex became extremely tangled. The 1000 ft. roll came in a box and did not have a plastic sleeve to hold it in place. Several crimps … Continue reading

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Radon Mitigation

Zone 1 has the highest concentration of Radon in the ground. Radon has been found to be a naturally occurring cancer causing element that is concentrated in homes that have direct contact with the earth especially in Level 1 (Red) … Continue reading

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Triangle Tube Boiler

We first heard of small, highly efficient, condensing boilers from Melissa when she did our Energy Audit. After some research, I found many recommendations for the Triangle Tube boilers. They have stainless steel heat exchangers, and copper piping. They are … Continue reading

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Boiler Flue

The boiler flue and air supply need only plastic pipe to connect to the outside. Most new furnaces use PVC now instead of metal flue. I didn’t want to put another hole in the roof so I ordered a concentric … Continue reading

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Boiler Struggles

Planning for the boiler install has taken quite a bit of study. Similar to installing the radiant system itself that required learning about pex, radiant pipe layouts, Manual J, heat loss calculations, flow rates, btu’s per square foot, etc. etc. … Continue reading

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