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Forums > Active Threads > Home and Garden > Barns Pole Barns

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radiant heat in floor tube stuff

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agentorange
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 117 Pacific Northwest
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2004-03-04          78795


Anyone build a garage, outbuilding, shop, etc and use a water heater with pump to cycle hot water thru that secret tubing in floor. Should work pretty good.

-ao

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radiant heat in floor tube stuff

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 928 Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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2004-03-04          78798


I have hot water floor heat in the slab of my garage. It is run with a boiler however. I expect that the boiler is more efficient at heating up a continued stream of water while the hot water heater is better at maintaining a reservoir of ready hot water.

I do have "instant" hot water in my house. This is done with a circulating loop and pump as you describe. One thing that I have noticed with this setup is the wide temperature range between where the hot water heater kicks on and where it kicks off. This loop also has a solar water heating panel on the roof to recover some of the heat lost during the circulation process, but it does not seem to be all that effective. I am not sure that the panel is installed correctly.

I don't ever use hot water floor heat in a shop building, because I tend to drill into the slab and anchor heavy equipment and so forth. Drilling into one of those water lines would really ruin your whole day. ....

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agentorange
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 117 Pacific Northwest
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2004-03-07          79143


AC5ZO - that's good insight, thanks.
For all the trouble with slab poor and such could easily install a gas heater on a thermostat for less trouble/$$.

It takes me long enough to research, plan, and execute without getting all complicated and such.

-ao ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2004-03-07          79148


I think for the barn, I might go the route of Murf as he used an old radiator, fan and water feed. He must have a drip pan underneith as he says he runs cold water through it in the summer and cools the shop also. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7152 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-03-08          79230


Eric, I have a small stainless steel 'eavestrough' under the lower edge of the radiator which drains out a 1/2" tube and into the top bung of a plastic 55 gallon drum which sits horizontally next to the unit, the lower bung has a tap and a piece of clear tubing going vertical as a level gauge. It provides me with all the water I neeed for rads, batteries, etc.

Because the radiator is out of a Powerstroke equipped Ford p/u it is far bigger than the plenum is, as a result it had to be mounted on a 45 deg. angle across the airflow in the plenum. This doesn't seem to affect the airflow to any noticeable degree.

I'm debating changing the system a bit. A neighbour of mine at the cottage has a coil of flexible copper tubing wound around the chimney of his woodstove, it leads to an old water heater, from there it gets pumped through insulated pipes out to his garage where it goes through an old car radiator. An old household furnace blower unit provides all the airflow. He runs a 50/50 water/glycol mixture for freeze-proofing. He says he scavenges enough heat out of 25' of uninsulated stovepipe to keep his (well insulated) 24'x24' shop/garage heated to a minimum of 45 degrees all winter.

In my case I'm thinking of an outdoors wood-fired boiler. In the winter it will heat the shop and greenhouse, in the summer it will heat the pool and a hot-tub.

Best of luck. ....

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 928 Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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2004-03-08          79243


There is no problem with mounting the coil at an angle. Freon air conditioners often use an "A" shape coil to get more heat exchanger in the ductwork. It works fine.

I guess that if I was wanting to heat the garage, I would not use a coil around the stovepipe. It is just stealing heat that would otherwise go into the dwelling and routing it via a lossy medium to another space. There could be a whole host of other good reasons to use the liquid transfer loop, but efficiency is probably not one of them unless the place where the coil is connected is outside of the heated space for the wood stove.

I am building a new shop right now and I am planning to use a wood pellet stove. I can leave it set to a fairly low level when I am not there. My current shop (at my old house) has a natural gas furnace hung from the ceiling. I like the ceiling mounted furnace, but I don't have access to natural gas at the new place and I don't want to put in a second propane tank. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7152 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-03-08          79246


My neighbours logic was that he didn't want to have to tend to two fires, and since he lives in a forest wood is free for the taking.

I agree that the theory of stealing heat from a dwelling is inefficient but in his case he measured the flue gas temp. as it left the building and it was still above 200 degrees, and this was after installing radiating fins on the pipe to scavenge heat for the house already. He figured if it was already leaving the house it was lost, so if he could reclaim some of the 'lost' heat it would be 'found' heat.

If it wasn't for the fact that I have more wood than I can ever burn I would be putting in a bio-mass pellet burner or corn stove before a wood pellet stove. In many areas local farmers will happily sell you corn at a VERY good price, delivered, and if you have a bin they will even load it. There was a story in a farm paper last year about a fellow in the mid-west who had a small feed bin (500 bushel ?) next to his house, it fed a corn-fired furnace through an automated auger. He claimed to be heating a big house and shop (via a water coil on the furnace) for about $500 a year worth of corn.

Best of luck. ....

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radiant heat in floor tube stuff

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 928 Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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2004-03-08          79250


Where I grew up in Missouri, we raised corn primarily as feed for our livestock. If I was still back there, using corn as a fuel would make a lot of sense. Here in NM, they don't grow much corn and it is expensive by comparison. Wood pellets are common here. I expect that most of our heating fuel is going to be more expensive, although our winters are shorter and milder. I use propane at the house for heating, but the new shop is about 400 ft from the house.

I am open to suggestions on my shop heating. Some have suggested solar options since we get so much sunshine, but the payback still tends to be very long (~15-20 yrs). I have not bought the wood pellet stove yet, and since it is starting to warm up, I probably can wait till next season.

As a final fallback, I can always put another propane tank in the ground. But I was using about $400 worth of propane per month during the coldest part of the winter this past year. Prices are high and since this is a petroleum product, I don't expect the prices to get better, soon. So, for the new construction I was looking for something entirely different. Cut and split firewood runs about $150 per cord delivered here. I live in pretty rugged desert terrain. The only trees are the ones that I plant, water, and protect from insects.

Murf, I understand the thinking about the wood stove and the liquid loop. It makes sense to only tend one fire. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7152 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-03-08          79255


Michael, I'll bet the corn is plentiful & cheap 500'ish miles north-east of you. I'd also bet you could easily find a long line of farmers more than willing to drive it down to you.

I guess it depends on the local price of wood pellets or bio-mass pellets.

A local company up here makes a stove that quite readily burns wood chips, it has a gravity feed hopper so chip size is rather moot. If you could find a good supply of ground up pallets or other scrap wood you could get a lot of heat for not much cost.

IF your EPA reg.'s allow it waste motor oil is another good choice, lots of small shops are willing to pay to get rid of it.

Best of luck. ....

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 928 Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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2004-03-08          79258


I think eastern Colorado and most of Kansas is wheat. I am sure that they plant corn, too, but I don't have any idea what the percentage is. When you get up through KS into Nebraska, corn starts to become the more dominant crop.

Let me ask a couple of questions in response to your most recent post.

Since wood pellets and corn are roughly the same size, will any wood pellet stove work with corn? I imagine that wheat would burn well too, but corn has more oil, so I expect that the BTU value is better.


What type of furnace is required to burn spent motor oil? I found one company called Clean Burn that makes a waste oil boiler that I might be able to use to heat my house and shop with waste oil. I called a local recycler and they can supply 1000 gallon lots for 60 cents per gallon. I think that I may need to look into this further.

I am not sure about the EPA. It is funny here. Across the county line (five miles from where I live) they regulate when you can burn wood in your fireplace. They literally have "No burn" days. Now in the county where I live, we can burn anytime. In the other county, they limit your ability to drill a well into the aquifer. Here you put up a house and drill a well for your needs. I am sure that the other county has made the provisions so that smoke from my county does not drift into their airspace on the "no burn" days and that the water that I use from my well is physically isolated in the underground aquifer from the water in their county. ;-)
....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7152 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-03-09          79303


Let's see now.

Wood pellets and corn ARE roughly the same size, and several makers advertise that their units can handle both, but I'm told (by a friend in the business) that there is a slight difference. I seem to recall that it was a) BTU's and b) the debris left behind, this mandated a difference in the fire pot between the two fuels.

ANY oil furnace can be adapted to burn waste oil. There are companies that make them, but I'm told (by the same friend as above) that the difference is that they have some sort of multiple nozzle burner so that the orifice size can be varied on the fly to match the heat value of the oil being burned. Extra filters, etc., are also required. I have seen a 'home-made' one, a mechanic up here made one for his shop. It is a standard oil furnace with a much larger nozzle & pump and multiple filters and sediment traps. He did a little 'experimenting' at first to get the nozzle size right, etc., but says it has been trouble-free for several years now. In fact he allows home-owners to bring their used oil to him since he doesn't generate enough to satisfy his heating needs. I know there are several manufacturers out there, if you do a search by "waste oil furnace" I'm sure you will find lots of them. I have linked to a 'home-brewed' oil stove a fellow is doing, I thought it might be of interest to you. I think you, like myself, are if nothing else interested in clever ideas and concepts.

Feel free to email me directly if you want a more detailed take on it.

Best of luck. ....


Link:   Homemade Oil Heater Project

 
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Trakorb
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8 Oregon
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2004-03-09          79351


Just one thought on the topic of heating shops. If you have any machine tools, the warming/cooling cycles tend to give you a condensation problem to contend with. I like infrared over the areas I work in. You can get them pretty cheap from Enco, less so from Graingers. ....

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agentorange
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 117 Pacific Northwest
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2004-03-24          81028


all great points, thank you

It would be like me to over-engineer this thing and come up with a super-whamadyne radiant floor system only to drill into it with a roto-hammer

thought food indeed

-ao
....

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