John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum

FINISHED IN 2020! Sharward's Partial Garage Conversion
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Author:  doublehelix [ Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:05 am ]
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Ouch! I have taken that drive many, many times. (I grew up in Sacramento, and most of my family still lives there).

Good luck, it can be hell in bad weather, and take 8 hours or more when it is really bad.

Author:  sharward [ Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:57 am ]
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Hey James! Long see no time. Thanks for tuning in!

I'm in Reno (actually, sparks) right now, enjoying a buffet lunch after shoehorning the HRV into the car. That's one big sucker! :shocked:

The drive over the summit was beautiful at times, somewhat concerning at others. There were no chain restrictions on passenger cars on the way over and hopefully none in place for the way back when I'm done stuffing myself.

I took some pictures of the adventure and I'll post 'em later!

--Keith :mrgreen:

Author:  sharward [ Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:52 am ]
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Photos from today's HRV fetch experience...

Like you've never seen a freeway with snow on the sides of it... ;)

Thankfully, chains were not required -- but I had them just in case.

Here's Donner Summit -- 7,227 feet above sea level. It was about 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

The HRV is in a large box across the back seats. I had to cut part of the top of the box in order to squeeze it in.

This is Donner Summit on the way back at a rest area. Like what the wind is doing to my -do? ;-)

Tomorrow is going to be a busy ducting day (I hope)!

--Keith :mrgreen:

Author:  Ro [ Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:40 pm ]
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so euh, where's that HRV you supposed to pick up, eh 0_O

Author:  doublehelix [ Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:18 pm ]
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Glad you made it OK! Those pictures sure bring back some great memories.

Now GET TO WORK on that ducting young man! ;)

Author:  sharward [ Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:11 pm ]
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No pictures yet, but man, I've been busy.

I decided to install the HRV in the attic above the laundry room, instead of the laundry room near the ceiling as I had initially planned. This was partially due to the fact that the unit with top ports was back ordered and all I could get was the one with side ports. The more I thought about it, the more I concluded that an attic installation made sense in my case.

Fantech indicates in the installation manual that attic installations are normally not recommended due to the potential for freezing conditions in the attic (my attic rarely, if ever, gets that cold), inconvenient access for maintenance (my wonderful attic ladder makes access a breeze 8)), and complexity of the installation (in my case it is actually easier).

I borrowed my neighbor to assist me in hoisting the HRV into the attic using a rope (picture Wile E. Coyote on a cliff, ready to drop anvil onto Roadrunner ;-)). It's hanging from two separate trusses now. I knocked two >8" holes in the attic wall at the back of the house, ran about a hundred feet of flex duct (I know: not ideal, but I did upsize the duct, and this is a really powerful unit, so I think I'll be OK), installed the hoods on the exterior, provisioned an electrical outlet for the HRV, and nearly completed the ducting attachments to the HRV itself. Some complications this evening prevented me from finishing that milestone -- I had hoped to take photos of it all being done but I ran out of steam and patience.

Once the ducting is finished, I think I'll raise the unit a couple of inches (so the attic ladder doesn't obstruct the HRV access door at all), wire up the electronic controller, and finish work on the silencers.

I'm kind of bummed that I didn't finish it all by the end of my week and weekend off, but I did get a lot accomplished and I should have the fresh air system finished by next weekend.

I must say that doing the mini split and now this HRV makes me really appreciate the skills and knowledge of HVAC engineers, technicians, and installers.

--Keith :mrgreen:

Author:  jwl [ Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:39 am ]
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Yay, progress!

Congrats, Keith. Glad to see you back at work. :-)

Author:  sharward [ Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:41 pm ]
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BEHOLD! My HRV installation is complete! (I think! :roll:)

Here's the HRV mounted in attic, next to attic opening. There's easy access for maintenance from telescoping attic ladder.

Here are the ducts, facing south. The foreground duct is exhaust from the studio. Behind it is the supply duct that feeds the studio. Then the long lines going towards the back of the house are the main exhaust and supply lines. Those duct lines are long -- over 40 feet (unfortunately). I really had only three options and the path I took was the one of least resistance. At least the runs were mostly straight, and all the lines are upsized to 8".

Rear of house. Making 12" diamater holes in stucco is challenging -- doing it 12 feet off the ground is even more so.

Left is fresh air intake; right is exhast, next to bathroom exhaust. I still need to clean up and perfect the seals, paint, and put mesh back on to prevent birds from nesting in the ducts, but it's been raining a lot lately.

HRV condensate lines. Left pipe connects to drain tube of unit; right pipe connects to secondary drip pan.

Here's where the HRV condensate lines connect to the existing condensate lines on the house A/C system. Yes, I made sure that there's significant downward slope on all of the lines. I hope there's no objection to my tieing into the existing A/C condensate lines. (I can change this if necessary but I'd rather not! :shock:)

Right side of HRV. Attic light switch changed to switch/outlet combo to provide power to HRV. Here's a good look at how the condensate drain line connects to PVC pipe. (Oh, and pay no mind to that vertical duct -- that's the vent for the clothes dryer.)

Digital control for HRV. Allows humidity level to be programmed at which point unit goes into override mode. Can also command 15, 30, or 60 minutes of override. Override fan speed is selectable. At the moment it is running for a 15 minute period on high, after which it will turn off automatically. I think I'll mount this controller to the right of the mini split below the disconnect switch (kind of where it's dangling in the photo).

Next on the agenda (tomorrow) is finishing up the silencers. That should complete the picture and, barring unforeseens (and barring any objections from Rod! :roll:), I hope to schedule my inspection for the coming week.

Assuming I pass it, next will be insulation, and then drywall! :twisted:

Author:  camistan [ Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:49 pm ]
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Hey Keith!
Just looking over your pics on the ERV installation. GREAT JOB! Since the ERV and the HRV are "couZins", I thought some of the following info may be of interest to you. I've got a Fantech ERV (due to myclimate). Basically, I think the priciple difference between the HRV and the ERV is very little. Keep in mind that I am attatching my ERV to my air handler system.

I'm just curious as to the distance your return/supply lines run from your HRV to the outside. I contacted Fantech about the duct run lengths. My runs are about 21ft from the outside to my ERV with one 45 degree bend. Here is what the tech wrote back to me concerning my duct distance...

I would also recommend that you shorten the flexible supply/return ductsfrom the outside to the ERV as your current installation is veryrestrictive. Shorten (10'max) the flexible insulated duct to the outsideand use hard duct or pipe from the ERV to the air handler this will givebetter airflow. If the supply and return duct runs to/from the ERV arethe same length and number of bends balancing should not be required.However if there is a great difference in the run lengths or number ofelbows (10' - 15') the ERV should be balanced.

Here is a quote from my next question I asked him on the effect of my longer duct runs and his response...

Greetings Ian,

Thank you very much for your reply. I wanted to ask you what effect having

the 21ft. flexduct would have on the ERV unit and it's performance.

Unfortunately, the flexduct lines are already installed, vents are installed

on the outside and walls are already up and painted in all areas of my

basement except my studio. To be honest, the way it is set up now is the

"lesser of 2 evils". The ERV unit is within 3-5 ft of the air handler making

for a short connection there. Even if I were to move the unit so the

"outside" lines were within 10ft, that would make the lines that connect to

the Air Handler a lot further away. Just looking at those 2 options my

instincts tell me it would be better to be closer to the Air Handler, but I

could be wrong. Smooth hard duct is very much less restrictive than flexible insulated. Right now shortening the duct is not something I can do, so

now I'm wondering what effect that will have on:

1.) My incoming "outside" air sent to my supply duct from my Air Handler.

With your current set up the airflow from the unit is approximately 150cfm. 2.) The exhausted air from my air handler return. I have no way of calculating this. 3.) The defrost part of the

Unit. No effect. 4.) The "wear and tear" on the unit No effect. 5.) The longevity of the motors. No change.

Hopefully you can answer these questions. I appreciate all your help.

Here is some other info you may already know, but may find useful...

Also, In the area for Heating it has 3 listings at 32 degrees F. Are these

for High-Med-Low settings? Correct.

In the the area for Cooling it has "Total Recovery Efficiency" at 44% and

36%. Are these efficiency numbers for the "high" & "med" settings only? Do

these percentages mean that the unit will recover 44 & 36% of the cool air

exhausting through the unit and return those percentages of cool air to the

hot (95 degree) incoming air? If this is the case, using 1 ROOM as an

example (with the supply & return going to that 1 room only) if my temp in

my room is 74 degrees (which should be my return temp) and the outside temp

is 95 degrees, what will the supply temp from the ERV be? Okay – 95° in and 74° exhaust temp, 95 – 74 = 21 x 44% = 9.24° to be added to the exhaust = 83.24° air from the ERV.
(From the ERV ONLY, not the "mixed"air from my ERV-Air Handler-Heat Pump)

Using this same example, what would the final temp coming out of my register

in my room be if my Thermostat is set to 74 degrees and the outside temp is

95 degrees? (In other words I'd like an approximate temp of what I could

possibly expect between my HVAC unit and what the ERV will "mix" into it)The temperature at your register should be at or very close to the set temperature depending on the losses in the duct system which I have no way of calculating.
Remote Control question

I have an EDF5 remote control. Can this control be hooked into my air

handler/heat pump to turn them on when the humidistat control runs above my

setting, or is it the Air Handler ONLY that can be turned on/off with the

EDF5, OR, can NEITHER (Air Handler-Heat Pump) be turned on/off with the

EDF5? Using the external furnace connections on the ERV will turn on the HVAC system blower when the EDF5 calls for the ERV to run.

Hope some of this may be helpful...

Author:  BradJacob [ Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:04 am ]
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Hey Keith -

Nice progress man! You're coming along nicely. Your attention to detail is obvious. What is your ETA for finishing?

Keep up the great work!!

Author:  sharward [ Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:21 am ]
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Hey Cam, great to hear from you bro. :-)

That's great info you've got there.

I'm prepared for the possibility of having the system balanced by a pro if necessary - the balancing damper control knob is (still) accessible.

I had considered using rigid ducting but in the end I opted to go with upsized insulated flex for simplicity and cost. I got a really big HRV relative to the size of the room so I figured I could afford the "waste" of fan efficiency as it fights against the static pressures associated with the flex duct..

I hope there aren't any major problems with this implementation as I have pushed the limits on my permit lifespan - if it expires I must reapply, pay more fees, and subject my project to the rigors of updated efficiency codes that may require substantial reconstruction and costs. :roll:

I have messaged Rod for him to take a looksie. I'm crossing my fingers and toes in anticipation of his response: :shock:

--Keith :mrgreen:

Author:  rod gervais [ Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:11 am ]
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a couple of coments / questions-

how is the equipment physically attached to structure to keep it from "floating" and potentially damaging a pipe or something?

Exactly where does the existing condensate drain system drain to?

Secondary system?

I am surprised that the manufacturer does not require you to use traps on the condensate runs -

If I was the building official I would probably make you install an indirect waste connection to the existing (the existing is a potential source of contamination)

Otherwise - you know my feelings on flex - so I won't bother with that - and (in general) it loks like it should work well for your needs.........


Author:  sharward [ Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:12 pm ]
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Hi Rod,

It's not shown in the picture, but the condensate tube drops down a couple of inches and then rises where it connects to the PVC. Is that a sufficient trap? The installation instructions called for a "P trap" (a 270° bend), but there wasn't enough clearance for that due to the drip pan beneath it. (The tube would have kinked.) I can see about getting some elbow fittings to fashion the 270° bend if you think that's necessary (and I'm guessing you do! ;-)).

The condensate lines all ultimately terminate outside. The main (direct) one dumps out on my home's west wall on the side of the house, near the ground, while the secondary one comes out on the same wall but above a window so as to (supposedly) get the attention of inhabitants that something is wrong.

The unit is hanging on chains connected to hooks on two separate trusses. It can swing about an inch or two in all directions but it would ot cause damage to any plumbing or anything else.

I'm just about done with one of the silencers now. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow.

Oh, and the weather was sunny and dry today so I caulked and painted those exterior hoods. Wow, they look like they were installed at the same time the house was built. :-D

--Keith :mrgreen:

Author:  Cram [ Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:31 am ]
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Sharward, that's quite the addition to your build. Great work.

Rod's question of the drainage prompts my point from our history in our house:

I had to change the trap on our AC unit which is in the attic space similar to yours.

The reason was because the winter freezes the water in our trap and it seems that the pvc held for a number of years, but I noticed dripping on to the ceiling below one spring. I replaced it with a flexable trap.

I couldn't see from the photos whether there is a 'trap' in your condensation drip line. AND I'm not sure that you'd get the freeze in Sacramento, but it happenned to me and figured I could offer the example for folks reading this in colder climates.

I, like many here have been watching and learning from your build thread. Thanks for the effort you put into documenting this process.

Author:  sharward [ Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:16 pm ]
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I passed my inspection today. :-) Well, kinda. I can't believe it, but in spite of my being extremely careful not to get my condensate lines swapped, I did exactly that. :oops: I need to do a bit of rework on the PVC pipes. It's not a big deal, but it's pretty embarrassing, because I can't tell you how many times I looked at them and told myself not to make that mistake! :roll:

I was also asked to make the HRV more sturdy. It currently hangs on chains. I think I'll change that so that it's sitting on blocks inside the drip pan, similar to how my A/C system is set up.

My experience with the inspector was mixed. It started with a very awkward and frustrating phone call. He couldn't understand why I'm requesting these inspections one at a time, rather than the customary "all at one time" inspection of framing, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing (N/A). I had to explain that while I probably could have and technically should have been doing that, my inexperience and some aspects of the build made these disjointed inspections either necessary or desired. It worked out very well in the end but that initial phone call really tested my patience, and I'm sure it did the same on the other side of the line. I should be excited about the outcome, but that interaction kinda messed with my psyche. :roll:

OK, here are some more pictures.

Last weekend I sealed and painted the hoods. I'm really pleased with how well they turned out.

Here's one of the silencers, redone with the duct liner.

Here's what's kind of funny. I had such a difficult time finding Linacoustic RC™ - Fiberglass Duct Liner w/ reinforced coating system in a small quantity. Well, I ended up buying "whatever I could," "settling" for a product I found at Grainger Industrial Supply: a "noise absorbing duct liner" by a company called "Industrial Noise Control." I looked it up on Industrial Noise Control's Web site It wasn't exactly a "small quantity," but at 25 linear feet, it's less than the 100' foot rolls I was being offered elsewhere... So I ordered it and picked it up a few days later. Well, imagine my susprise at the irony that this Industrial Noise Control product is actually...


:lol: :lol: :lol: So, apparently Industrial Noise Control doesn't actually make this stuff! :lol: :lol: :lol: They just put Johns Manville's product in a cardboard box with their name on it! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sheesh -- if they had just been honest about that on their Web site and thus in Grainger's online catalog, I'd have bought it months ago! :x

I probably paid too much for it, but oh well! :?

I have a lot left over, so when my build is complete, assuming I don't need the extra for outer leaf silencers (which I'm trying to get away with not building them if I don't have to), I'll probably sell it off here on the forum.

This weekend I'll try to fix the PVC and see if I can get the HRV more sturdily mounted.

I also think I've come up with a method of mounting my outlet and switch boxes in such a way that will accommodate my multiple layers of drywall. (I'm doing 3 layers of 5/8", plus 1/2" OSB in some areas.) Normal boxes and attachment methods don't work for such thick wall surfaces. In short I'll be attaching some 2x4 blocks between the studs, rotated so that they're 3.5" high and set back a little from the face of the studs, then I'll screw the boxes to the board through holes in the backs of the boxes. It will be kind of a pain to do, but after spending a long time at a wholesale electrical supply today, I think it's the path of least resistance. It will make more sense when I have some pictures to show you.

--Keith :mrgreen:

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