Award Winning Re-Piping for Calvary Lutheran Church
Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Minnesota was originally built in the 1950’s and uses hot water wall convectors, baseboard and fan coils to heat the sanctuary, church offices, classrooms, kitchen and meeting areas. Over the years multiple building additions were added as well as zones off the old boiler system. Uneven heating and constant air bound zones were common. Over the years many contractors tried their hand at solving the problems with various valves, bleeders, pumps, controls and piping strategies. About 10 years ago the old boilers were replaced with modern high efficiency boilers which added a new dimension to the system’s ills. Again more components were added to try to keep the congregation warm. Air in the pipes was a constant issue especially in the expansive sanctuary of the church. Every day the heating system needed to be checked and often the sanctuary zone would be air bound. Air would need to be bled, water added to the boilers and all the wall radiators needed to be bled with a screwdriver. After having the systems go down over a dozen times last winter, the church leaders decided to find a solution once and for all. A committee was formed to start a fact finding process. This resulted with interviews, diagnosis and bids from over 15 contractors. Finally it was decided that Koegel Plumbing & Heating Solutions presented the best solution to cure the current problem, prevent future issues and cut energy cost.
To fix the heating system it would be necessary to strip out the many layers of pipe and multiple pumps. All of the boiler piping and most of the distribution piping was removed back to the walls of the boiler room. With a clean slate, the system could be redesigned so the old distribution piping and new boilers could work in unison without air or flow issues. All of the work needed to be finished within a two week period without disrupting daily church functions.
The entire heating system was drained and all of the old pipe and components were cut out. The old steel and copper was scrapped by church volunteers. The floors were cleaned and all the walls were painted to show off the new system. Copper was used for all of the systems new piping with sizes ranging from ¾’’ to 4’’. A hydraulic separator vessel was installed in the piping between the boilers and the distribution piping. This device allowed the old system to link to the new boilers without flow or air issues. New high tech and super-efficient circulating pumps were installed to assure proper flow to all zones when needed. The system was filled and tested 2 weeks from the start date.
Kurt is proud to have won the Caleffi Excellence October 2014 plumbing and heating contest