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October 14: Installing the Aquastar propane backup water heater

The Aquastar is a heat-on-demand unit that senses the temperature of
the water coming from the 80 gallon solar heated water tank and
fires up it's propane burners in proportion to the amount of heat
needed to get the water output temperature to a preset level (140F).  This
water is then circulated into the radiant floor.  Ideally the Aquastar
only runs at night or when the outside temperatures on sunny
days drops below freezing.  I am using model AQ125-BLP-S that is
rated for propane service in a recirculating solar installation.

I installed the unit (minus case) and the power vent unit today.
This required cutting an 8" X 8" hole in the side of the barn for the
exhaust vent.  It was interesting that I ended up with a perfect
8" square by 3" thick section of spray in foam insulation - a
perfect demo piece!

The power vent is an exhaust blower that turns on when it
senses gas pressure in the Aquastar manifold (i.e.. burner lit).
It is only needed when you are concerned about negative draft,
or you don't have room for a tall vent pipe.

Yesterday I finished plumbing in the heat exchanger manifold.

My utility room is looking more and more like a submarine
inside with all this complex plumbing on the walls.  It certainly
feels like I have plumbed an entire submarine at this point!

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