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Help with Freeze Alarm and double Thermostats

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mikeyd, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. mikeyd

    mikeyd New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    Hi everyone,

    Background
    We have a cabin with an electric forced air furnace as the primary source of heat. When we're there I heat using a Lennox Ladera that was installed this past spring. In previous years, during the shoulder season, I’ve left the heat on but at times there really is no need as the temps don’t really start to fall until early January and the cabin is well insulated. The need to leave it on is simply there because I can’t get to the cabin to turn the thermostat on when the temps start to fall (i.e. final visit in late November but leave heat on because I won’t be back until the holidays). We leave the heat on because it’s a 4-season place and doing the total shut down is a PITA each time.

    Solution
    Enter the Deluxe Freeze Alarm, a little widjet that you can remotely call into and control 2 preset thermostats. It will also call out to you when the temps fall below a certain programmable temp. I’ve recently wired it up and have set T1 to OFF and T2 to 6 Degrees (Celsius) to be able to control the heat requirements as necessary. As heating requirements dictate, during the shoulder season, I leave the unit active on T1 (off) or active on T2 (heat on). As the season progresses I will set T1 to 15 degrees so that I can call into the freeze alarm box while we travel to the cabin (3 hours away) and find it relatively toasty when we arrive.

    Problem
    T1 is a LUX CAG1500 Clean Air Cycle thermostat which now doubles as an air circulator when the cabin is heated with wood (you can preset the fan cycle to run in certain increments every hour Vs leaving the fan on continuous – very handy). After we have the fireplace on for awhile I simply move the thermostat to the clean air cycle to circulate the air. While I’m still drawing electricity to run the blower it’s no where near the load with the furnace on (6 element 27kw) and the fireplace keeps us going for pretty much the entire day and most of the night for our weekend stay.
    http://luxproducts.com/thermostats/cag1500.php

    T2 (I’m pretty certain) is a Honeywell RTH2520B which we used all of last year with no problems.
    http://yourhome.honeywell.com/home/Products/Thermostats/7-Day-Programmable/RTH2520B.htm

    After wiring the unit to the electric furnace and thermostats I seem to be having a problem with the blower motor kicking in when activating T2. It will call for heat and get the motor started but the fan seems very sluggish and will not kick into “high†it seems. As I mentioned, I used “T2†all last year set to 6-degrees with no issue. Based on the schematic I was given from a friend of mine who has dabbled in HVAC controls, the “Green†fan signal wire does not wire directly to T2 with the Freeze Alarm box as it goes to T1 only. There is a common wire used to bridge the 2 together. I tried making an explicit connection for the Green fan signal from T2 to the furnace but it still did not fix the problem. When using T1 there appears to be no problem. My simple solution for now was to switch the temperature configurations for T1 and T2 so I had some assurances the blower motor was working properly. (i.e. T2 now = “OFF†and T1=now set to 7=degrees as the CAG1500 won’t go any lower).

    Answer
    Enter my good friends at Hearth.com …… I wish I had the picture of the diagram but don’t have it with me. Does anyone have any experience with the Freeze Alarm and what might be causing this or some insight on how the fan signaling works?

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  2. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I'm not really following all this, but wouldn't it not make sense to leave the t Stat to 45* and not mess with it?

    The house alarm I have, you have the option to tie into the thermostats so they can be controlled online or with i phone. Vivint is the company.

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