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jltimm

Outdoor Boiler install?

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I thought I'd ask a question on the Outdoor Boiler install I will be doing soon. For you guys that have an Outdoor boiler, or knowledge in this area, what did you use for your underground pex tubing? I can purchase the insulted tubing from the dealer for $12 a foot, but that seems steep? Is there a cheaper way of doing this, or should I just do it right the first time and not take any chances?

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I had an outdoor boiler installed last year. I also had the same concerns as you...but ended up going with the manufacturer's encased insulated piping. Now am glad I did. It works great. Very little heat loss from boiler to house (Also from boiler to another out builing.) yes it is a little bit more expensive, but you get what you pay for I guess. Why spend the money on a new boiler ...then cut corners on on item that is so crtical in the performance of the system?

My recommendation is go with the good piping....maybe negotiate the price with the dealer.

Roger

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I don't have any specific experience, but here's a couple of thoughts.

Who is going to do the install? If it's a contractor they're going to want to get it done as quickly as possible. If you're going to do it you may be able to spend some extra time and save some money and make a difference.

A thought I had was why not dig the trench and then build a chase out of high denisty foam insulation and run the pipe through that. I also suspect that you would want to go deeper rather than shallow. The greater the difference in temperature between two items the fast the exchange of heat. So if you have it up towards the surface you're going to lose more heat. If you have it down below the frost line you'll lose less.

So, how much screwing around to you want to do? No matter how it's done it seems to me that putting down a couple inches of high density foam insualtion on top of the pipe would make a difference.

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I think the foam board insulation is only rated to 150 degrees? I also heard someone that used foam board insulation had issues a few years down the road.Pipe insulation doesn't have much of an R value I don't think? Otherwise I could put pipe insulation on the 1" pex and then run it in drain tile. Lots of options, but I'm unsure of which method to do? I will be doing most of the install myself.

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The insulated enclosed piping I was referring to is made by/for Central Boiler. Might suggest you refer to their HSOforum for more info. I had that installed and IMO, it is very good...just a bit tough to when trying to make a radius.

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We used the 1" al-pex(kitec) and the preformed round foam and then stuffed that into 6" draintile. This is what Aquatherm reccomended to us. We purchased the pex and foam from them and the draintile from the save big money store.

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Interesting..... A few questions for ya. What did the preformed round foam cost,what lengths did it come in, and do you know the R-value of the foam? The save big money store also has 1" pex at a save big money price!

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Good question, that was 2 summers ago. You could call aquatherm. I just remember it is cheaper then the insulated pipe. Does the m store have the al-pex? I know they have the regular pex but make sure the pipe the pipe has an oxygen barrier. That is the reason for the al-pex(kitec) pipe. I will try and look back and see what the cost was.

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What's the need for the oxygen barrier pex? I tried to get a hold of Aqua therm, but they close at 4:00 p.m.

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It has to do with the antifreeze in the system and if the pipe does not have an oxygen barrier the oxygen can absorb through the pipe into the antifreeze and ruin it. What kind of boiler are you installing? Do you have in floor heat or heat exchanger in forced air furnace?

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It's a Central Boiler 5036 and I'll be getting a heat exchanger installed for forced air heat. I don't plan on using anti-freeze for the system.

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The antifreeze also helps to protect the system, not just from freezing. I like it, that way when we go away for a weekend we can let the fire go out and not worry about it freezing. I bought all our antifreeze at Mnarnds. I looked at mine reciepts and the 6" round opreformed foam for the pex was $2.00 a foot and the 1" al-pex was a $1.35 per foot. This was from aquatherm in the summer of 2007. Good luck with your install.

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Don't have anti-freeze in mine but have people available to come over and pitch in some wood when/if I'm gone. If I didn't have that, I'd probably run the anti-freeze. Protcting the system is done with the corrosion inhibitor. That you'll add into the water then test the water. Just follow the instruction in the test kit. Real simple.

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