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Going on Vacation - Tell me my thermopex wont freeze

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by hartkem, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    This is the first time I will be away from my boiler since installation. I will be gone for 7 days and the temperature will be in the 20s and 30s through the day and possibly down to single digits temps a few nights. My thermopex is buried 36 inches down from the house to the outbuilding but I am concerned about where it makes a 90 degree turn to come up through the floor of the boiler shack. I suspect the area where the pex crosses under the outside wall it probably isn't buried as far down just because of how stiff that thermopex is. I have an electric heater inside the building set at 40 degrees. I have a danfoos valve in the bypass but the thermostat will be closed once the water cools. I drilled an 1/8 hole in the thermostat when I installed the danfoos. I am thinking about removing the pump wires from the eko controller and wiring a plug on the end to plug it into the wall outlet while im gone. Maybe I don't even need to run the pump. Thoughts?

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  2. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Personally, without any further expierementation, I'd pump it 24/7. It's not worth it for the couple of dollars it costs to pump it for 7 days. This being said, I'm from the polar arctic (Maine LOL) and anything less than 6' deep will generally freeze.

    However, we don't know your situation, and the thermopex is well insulated. I guess I'm saying if it were me, the pump would be on when I'm gone with an outdoor installation.

    TS
  3. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    I wish there was a way to tell the eko controller to keep the pump on constantly
  4. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Wire the pump to a switch in parallel. Call it your "vacation" switch.
    Taylor Sutherland likes this.
  5. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Could you do a simple re-wire on your controller & pump so that the pump plugs into the controller via an ordinary wall plug type plug - then when you're away unplug the pump from the controller & plug it into a timer?
  6. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I did this on my setup I call it my test switch. In the fall, I test the whole system just in case a circ is stuck, better than a nice steam bath.

    TS
  7. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    Wouldn't that put voltage to the eko controller. I know the relay would be open inside the controller but is there any chance of damage to the electronics?
  8. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Isn't the circulator pump a separate entity? Power enters your fancy controller, and then goes to the circ pump after the controller determines that is a good idea?

    Take the lead from the circ pump and get it 120V. Done. Your pump runs and it keeps the water from freezing.

    ac
  9. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    you can find small snap on "freeze-stats" that would kick on the pump only when it gets to a near freezing condition. These are commonly used when air handlers, with hot water coils, are mounted in attics.

    Google freeze stats
  10. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I wired my Econoburn lead for the pump to an outlet. I have my circulators wired with a cord. It makes for simple replacement and I can run them with a cord to a different outlet for testing. Down side is you have to make sure that it never gets unplugged during use.

    Depending on the location of the danfoss you might want to take the guts out of it for the vacation. I doubt that a 1/8" hole will work too well. Might be kind of hard on the pump to not move water.

    If you know exactly where your lines are buried you could put down a sheet of foam board and straw bales on top. If it is 40 degrees in the building it take a long time for the frost to penetrate the ground. Run your pump to make sure though.

    gg
  11. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    I would be more worried about frost penetrating that deep toward the end of the winter than I would now. I'm not telling you to do nothing but I'd be willing to bet money that the pipe wouldn't freeze even 1 1/2 to 2 feet down at this time of the year. Of coursr that's in tropical Vermont!
  12. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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    The eko will turn the pump on when it gets to 40* it has built in freeze protection. In order for it to keep the water underground from freezing you have to bypass the danfos or remove the thermostat in it.

    Rob
  13. hartkem

    hartkem Member

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    Im aware of the eko freeze protection but since i have a heater in there it wont come on. I put the thermopex below missouri frost line with the intent of only keeping the boiler shack from freezing. Im just a little gun shy due to the cost and work involved if something went wrong.

    i think it would be ok but do i want to chance it? I wish the danfoos had a manual overide instead of having to remove the thermostat. I wonder how many times the cover can be removed before the gasket needs replaced. i should probably get a few gaskets on hand
  14. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    What everyone said. The wire between my boiler and pump just has a standard 120 VAC male and female connection. So I can just unplug from the boiler line and hook up an extension cord to my circ pump and run it. If it was me rather than ruin my vacation wondering i'd run the pump 24/7. For less than $10 you could add standard plug connections if you don't have them.
  15. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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    If you put in a bypass when you piped it then you would be all set........LOl that was about the only thing I did right when i installed mine

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