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Thread: Linda's Greenhouse Pictures

  1. #16

    Closed system, I think

    We need the guys in on this, Linda, we're going to confuse everybody. I'm thinking you could set it up pretty much as a closed system, just use the same water over and over, after all where would it go, and if you could, think of how much water it would save as opposed to one that is filling and refilling all day. Also you can save on energy costs by putting tepid water back into the intake so the heater doesn't have to work as hard to heat it once again to the thermostat setting.

    but then when you heat and cool water you may have to deal with evaporation somewhere, so there should be some device to add additional water when you need it. My Earth Science days are long behind me, so I'm handing this over to Gene, Jim, Shepp and greater minds than mine! My experience with water heaters is of the Off/On variety. I will say adieu here and see what kind of developments the guys on here can come up with, with good cheap water heat.

    Jim, my thinking is that one hot water heater might do it for both green houses of that size if they are close together, if you work out your tubing right, you would probably want to just bury a segment of the pipe underground to connect the two, no? You could provide ambient heat in the second greenhouse by just running a loop of pipe up into the air to act as a small heater, then back under the gravel. Would the water be running continuously or heating on a timed basis? Probably continuously for colder climates and on some kind of timer for us tropicales down here in the "Where's my Frost!" winter.

    Don't forget to share your blueprint with us when you work out all the tech details!!!
    Marguerite, GrannyGarden
    www.kirbyville.net
    www.tex-la.net

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    80

    Yes, a closed system

    Yes, Marguerite, that's what I was trying to point out, when I mentioned that the returning water to the holding tank might cool off a bit there. Plus I mentioned that we would have to have some way to be able to add water when necessary, to the holding tank, as it doesn't seem like that same water would last forever. When fresh water was added to the holding tank, the existing returning hot water would heat up the fresh cold water in the holding tank a bit, therefore saving costs of having to heat up that fresh water. Sounds like you were understanding what points I was trying to get across and putting it into different words so it could be understood in a different way. We are thinking alike here! Anyone know a plumber?! LOL
    Linda-So. Oregon, Zones 6/7

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    9

    Recirculating from Hot Water Htr.

    Jim, Marguerite, Linda

    Recirculating the water from the hot water heater is easily done from the hot water side with return to the HW Htr. drain valve at the bottom of the tank. A small recirculating pump is put into this loop to circulate the water on demand (most likely thermostatically controlled.) (This type of recirculation is done for homes to provide whole-house instant hot water. You can do a google search for instant hot water recirculation pumps which also show installation diagrams; however, many pumps used for this purpose are low-flow pumps used just to circulate a small amt. of hot water to keep the HW pipes warm. ) You may need to use a circulation pump designed for a HW furnace systems. You may be able to contact a local Heating / A-C company and get a working circulation pump from a replaced HW furnace. They usually just junk this stuff -- who knows you may be able to get the old thermostat controls to go with it!

    Good Luck!

    JohnM

    Note: You would always want to have the cold water supply hooked up as in a normal HW tank installation to keep the system filled with water; also every HW tank requires a working pressure relief valve and in some areas an expansion tank is required. Be Safe!!

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    80
    Wow John! Thanks for this useful information! I had forgotten about using that drain valve that comes off the bottom of the hot water heater. After all, it goes outside and I didn't see it! LOL Now I need to do a copy and paste of all of these last replies concerning this subject and email them to myself so I can print them out and save them for my husband, who will have to put this all together for me! Then when the time comes that we are able to build the foundation for my greenhouse, I'll have all these tips to get all the copper tubing into the gravel flooring and get the hot water heater system situated, before we put all that glass up! Thanks so much for all your expertise!!!

    I just thought of something else! What about putting a few black 55 gallon drums in that copper tubing loop somewhere, so the hot water will also flow into those drums and you could use that heat from the water as bottom heat for rooting cuttings, by placing flat lids on top, that the trays of cuttings could sit on them? Those drums would also be creating and giving off more exposed heat! Am I getting too carried away here? Hey, there's A LOT of open space in my greenhouse, as you can tell by the pictures!
    Linda

    P.S. Now I'd like to figure out a way to save all this water that is flowing right down the middle of our back yard! We have 3 seasonal springs that overflow on our property, that creates 2 streams that flow diagonally down the middle of our yard. Actually only one stream flows down the middle of our fenced part of our yard. The other stream is outside of our fenced area. Not possible to dig a BIG pond in our yard! LOL Would be nice to be able to have a second holding tank, just for that water. Then I could use that to water everything in the greenhouse, for a while anyway. OK, one problem at a time! LOL
    Linda-So. Oregon, Zones 6/7

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Z 5/6 Ohio
    Posts
    10
    was reading the posts on hot water as heat . how about a pump from a swimming pool ? a little on the costly side but there made to be run constantly but not sure if they can take the heat . i know that alot of pools have heaters so it might not be a problem. also try going to www.radiantec.com and see if they might be able to help i have them sending info on floor heat for my new home that i am building.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    no copper pipes

    use what is called cross thatch tygon 3/4 inch.
    forget the swimming pool pump also
    taco pumps makes the pump you are looking for.
    its the same pump used on my outdoor woodburner.
    heating and cooling dealers know of them.
    if not pump is a little more than 1 hundred bucks my pump has run for 5 years so far.
    shepp zone 5/6
    http://www.hardyheater.com/


    http://www.centralboiler.com/applications.php
    Last edited by shepp; 01-22-2003 at 05:46 PM.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    80
    Thanks Ron and Shepp for sharing your ideas here! I really appreciate your input!

    Ron, I went to the radiantec web site you mentioned. Their diagram set up is what I'm considering in the floor of my greenhouse! Well, not having them do it, but the set up is very similar. Looks like a great idea!

    Shepp: Thanks for your advice on using cross thatch tygon 3/4 inch! We have never heard of that, but will go to some plumbing supply stores and ask about it! Will also ask about the taco pump! Why not use copper tubing? Is it because of the price difference, or the amount of heat that each will give off? Interesting! I also went to go look at the sites you sent! Some valuable information there!

    When I was telling my husband, who was an electrician for 25 years, about the whole set up that we have been talking about, he said that he knows what it is that I want in my greenhouse to heat it. He said that when he was growing up in New Jersey, they had radiant heat using hot water, and he helped his father put in a couple of units when they did home/apartment repairs. So I guess he's got the basics down!
    Linda-So. Oregon, Zones 6/7

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    Dont use copper in concrete

    it will react and destroy the copper.
    use the cross thatch.
    if you need a place to see it look at the plumbing on a pepsi /coke machine. that fills cups of pop.
    and look up" this old house "i think they have reference to radient heating on there website.
    just thought i would save you a headache down the road.
    also lowes has it along with other suppliers of building materials.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    80
    Thanks Shepp for this information! When you mentioned not to use copper tubing in concrete, I was wondering what you were refering to. I went back to my post about changing our minds concerning the use of redwood/cedar decking and flooring, and changing to block. I left out a VERY important word that changes the meaning of what my inside flooring will be! I should have put in there that we were changing to block for the PERIMETER FOUNDATION, that all that glass will be sitting on! I will have gravel flooring, with the copper tubing snaking around under the gravel. Does that make more sense now? Sure hope I cleared that mistake up! I will also be having lots of weight rolling around that gravel floor with wheelbarrow, garden cart filled with dirt and supplies, plus a flat bed cart that I will load plants on to wheel out to my selling area. Can the cross thatch tygon hold up to that? I'll go see if I can find This Old House on the net now, and check out what they say about radiant heating. We have a Lowes about 45 miles south of us. It might be worth checking it out with them too. Thanks again!
    Linda
    Linda-So. Oregon, Zones 6/7

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    i still wouldnt

    i really think i would concrete the floor and slope it to channel the water to a drain.
    and no i wouldnt use the tygon cross thatch under gravel. or copper. you would have holes in it before long.
    i would say put the tubing ,copper or other in the benches if you use a gravel floor. it really doesnt take long for the gravel to start collecting potting dirt , and looking a mess. plus the high humidity when you hose it all down. the greenhouse you have was built as a living space.not a full production greenhouse.
    of course i dont know your intentions.good luck either way.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    80
    Thanks for your ideas here Shepp! This gives me more ideas and things to check in to and discuss. This sure helps to find out these things BEFORE the fact, instead of after! Thanks for the wish of good luck! I'm sure I'll need it, since I will have to be running this greenhouse and nursery business by myself! I'm working on dividing up plants that I have in my gardens, and digging up runners (volunteers) and getting them potted up. When I have a day where it isn't raining of course! LOL
    Linda-So. Oregon, Zones 6/7

  12. #27

    What Rain, girl!

    What kind of excuse is that, woman? Get them pots up under that patio and pot up a storm. Recently, it was TIME to do vegetable seeds, I wasn't ready of course, never am, so I got my bestest buddy Bodie next door to come over and haul me in a bag of potting soil from my driveway arrangements, laid down several layers of newspaper all over the living room floor (hardwood oak, blush blush) and got to potting away. Seeds are up, gardening seaon is saved, more small emergencies in store! Ya gotta be a tough cookie to make it big in this business, Linda! Make no excuses, take no prisoners!

    Now I have about, on visual inspection, at least 200 madonna lilies to pot up into, I think I will put them into 4 inch 6 packs in flats, so I gotta capture my little high school buddy to drag me in some more dirt and start up again! Ann says to leave them in small pots until they are large enough to put into the garden. Would you believe that almost every seed from those pods I was saving appear to have sprouted?
    Marguerite, GrannyGarden
    www.kirbyville.net
    www.tex-la.net

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    80

    You Silly Woman!

    YES, MOTHER! You silly woman! I don't have enough of a cover over the patio! Besides, the pots and bag of dirt would be there, but the plants I have to dig up and divide are out in the rain! It wasn't raining today, so I HAD to get out in my veggie garden and weave more of my blackberry vines in and out of the wire fence! So I doned my leather gloves and fought with the vines attaching and entangling themselves to me and got most of them up off the ground and twined in and out of the fence. They are already starting to get buds on them! I've already dug up 15 volunteer plants and potted them up for sale. There's lots more of them that are coming up in the first section of my veggie garden! Put 4 pots and the garden fork out by my huge rhubarb plant so I can get it divided one of these days. So, I'm working on it, a little at a time! I'm trying!

    You put that stuff on your oak hardwood floor?!!! Well, I guess it would be easier to clean up whatever got off the paper, than it would be on my carpeting! Besides, my husband would NEVER allow me to bring that stuff in the house!!!

    It's already time for you to plant vegetable seeds?!! My word, I have at least another month before I can start on that! It's still too cold for them to be outside at night! I already have friends that want to buy lots of them from me! Plus, one lady I know, who owns a craft shop in town, has asked me to grow different kinds of gourds and she will buy all that I grow, that I don't want! A few months ago, I sold her all my dried birdhouse gourds that I didn't want, and she sold them in her craft shop within a month!

    Of course I believe that almost all of those pods sprouted for you! Nothing about you surprises me! LOL Sounds like you have a lucky green thumb! I wish you the best in your garden ventures!!!
    Linda-So. Oregon, Zones 6/7

  14. #29

    Well, Lin, I don't have anyone here to make me behave!

    Yes, I went ahead and planted starts for cole crops, I have some kale going, cabbage. and the rest of my pepper seed are on the top of the refrig for bottom heat or up and in front of a window to get strong daylight. Anything that we cannot get planted here by early April at the latest will burn up by June, so we have to do greens and beets and things like that during "the winter months". My seeds seem to be slow to size up, probably need to put in some grow lights which I'm always three weeks behind in everything, but I've made two makeshift cold frames next to the house under a little porch roof to harden these things off as they become large enough. We are having temps in the 60s with lows at night around 45, so all I have to worry about are two or three more days of really cold temps, but under plastic and mulched with shredded newsprint, they should be just fine until time to set them out in rows.
    Due to several recent hospitalizations, I am having to do most everything near the front door area or drag an oxygen tank out to the back. Which dampens your enthusiasm for dirt daubing. And it is kind of wet back there also. I have lettuce growing in tupperware bins along the sidewalk. It's not a public area, just my little play area, so I just try to keep it basically neat. I will try to get some tomato seeds in the next week or so and start them in bins as well. Yes, that digging in muck is not much fun, is it? I get a new pair of rubber boots about twice a year, both for the sucking Texas mud sounds and the fire ants when it is hot. Sounds like you have a great start there on plants! For lettuce and greenery, about all you need is strong light, nutrients and plenty of water. The middle of March I will be planting purple hull peas and by the end of the month, it should be warm enough to set out most of my pepper plants with little cloches made from plastic milk jugs, and put these excellent potato plants out in the garden. Keeps me happy and out of trouble. It is so interesting to hear what gardeners in the other parts of the country have to contend with. Here ours is "beating the season" so we can grow what we want on the first spring day. I'll probably buy some six packs to set out too. I'll admit the living room floor is not my first choice for a potting bench! LOL I use paint throw cloths and plenty of newspaper. When I get a chance I stick several 3 gal pots of cuttings to propagate, up to 30 cuttings per pot. I have a bunch of brugsmansia and spirea ready to individually pot up right now, as well as "all them Madonna lilies" which will be a real challenge to bring as many of them to planting out size with Ann's instructions. Probably a good time to start a bunch of rose cuttings and camellias also. Seeds unfortunately are not my best thing! Basically a city woman, I've been lucky in finding a couple of 80 year old gardening buddies who know a lot of secrets and tips as mentors.
    Marguerite, GrannyGarden
    www.kirbyville.net
    www.tex-la.net

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