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October 20: Solar heat at last!!!

It wasn't easy -- but I have a working solar/propane heated radiant floor!

The tough part was that I spent 4 hours this morning adding in a pressure
tank and pressure gauge per Naoto's recommendation -- and the Aquastar
propane heater still wouldn't operate!  I was very upset and called
Naoto at Solar Market.  He was very understanding ad offered to drive up
(1+ hour trip -- in his bio-diesel fueled Mercedes!) to bring a larger
Taco pump and install it.  What a guy!

I was concerned that installing a larger pump with a different housing
would require substantial re-plumbing of my system, but Naoto
had a flash of brilliance and removed the motor and impeller from
the new pump's housing and observed that it had the same bolt
pattern as the old pump motor.  We found that in fact we could
just bolt the new motor into the old housing without any plumbing
work at all!  Here is Naoto disassembling the pump and bleeding the
air from the system.

Finally the Aquastar heater worked and produced a temperature of 150F

Here's the new pump motor (Taco model 006 at lower left).  It looks identical
except for the color, but is almost twice as powerful as the Model 007.
I have to wait for the second pump that will be installed later for the 2nd floor
radiators that I have yet to unpack -- I have to finish the walls upstairs first.

So here's the whole system working -- you can see the blue propane
flame inside the Aquastar heater (cover removed).

Becky and I had a dinner engagement, so I left the system running
at 5:00pm -- feeling like a parent leaving a child for the first time.
We returned at 10:30 to find the temperature in my workshop at 70F
and the heater had shut off.  Outside temperature was still in the low 50s.
The floor was comfortably warm!  YAAY!

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