Wondering: Am I Wasting Money? Am I Losing Heat Underground?

By:Warren Walborn

Try This Simple Test...
 

You can check your underground pipe for heat loss in about 5 minutes. This is called a “Delta-T” test which is simply a measurement of how much heat is lost through your underground pipes into the earth, or the air. The instructions for the Delta-T test are as follows:
 

  1. MAKE SURE ALL LOAD IS TURNED OFF.  All unit heaters and furnaces must be disabled, and no hot water faucets can be open during the test. Make sure nobody is taking a shower, and your furnace blower fan are off, otherwise the test results are useless.
  2. Using a digital thermometer, take temp readings at the back of the furnace on BOTH the Feed Line and Return Line.
  3. When taking readings, apply temp sensor, cover with insulation, and secure in place with Velcro or tie strap.  Make sure sensor is touching metal surface. Leave attached at least 90 seconds or until temp stops rising on readout display, whichever is later.
  4. For FEED LINE, apply temp sensor to fitting or pipe close to furnace back wall.  We want the true furnace water jacket temp, before any heat loss from the pipe.
  5. For RETURN LINE, apply temp sensor to fitting or pipe at least 4 inches from furnace body.  We want the temp coming back from the line, before it mixes with the water in the water jacket.
  6. Do NOT use an infrared thermometer on PEX or PAP tubing. It will not give an accurate reading. An Infrared thermometer can only get accurate readings on metal fittings or pipe.
  7. Record these readings. If you see temp differences larger than one degree per 100 feet of underground pipe, you are experiencing larger heat loss than is acceptable.


If your heat loss is TOO HIGH, you should consider replacing your underground pipe. Be sure to only use Heat Mizer brand pipe from OutdoorBoiler.com so you can maximize your savings for decades.

Contact OutdoorBoiler.com for more information M-F from 9am-8pm at (231) 221-0104.

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