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Oil hot water supplement?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Reckless, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    A gallon of oil a day translates into over a hundred $ a month for HW. Way too much,go electric. The lowest economical setting in the meantime? Try turning it down 10 degrees at a time and give it a day or two to decide.

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  2. Reckless

    Reckless Feeling the Heat

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    Looks like honeywell L8148A 2nd pic is at the 180 and 3rd shows the stopper not letting me go lower.
    IMG_1343.JPG IMG_1337.JPG IMG_1339.JPG

    ***Edit***Now that I have that model number I found this http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/honeywell-l8148a-aquastat-relay.25911/ Maybe a wood furnace (in series) and a new aquastat will be the answer to all my questions? (try to pick one up on the cheap)
  3. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    You need to realize that it's not good for a boiler to go stone cold especially if you need it for backup.. My boiler tends to leak if it goes cold iron and there is no backup if you let the boiler go cold. Couple this with high electric rates in many places such as here where I live and you may save very little if anything plus my boiler can deliver hot water 24/7 if needed... I will also add that letting a boiler go cold is not good for the boiler either as a warm boiler doesn't have condensation/rust problems..

    Ray
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    My Burnham boiler is 8 years old or so, set up as a cold start since new, and hasn't leaked yet (knock on wood). I put in an electric water heater since I figured it would pay back quick over the indirect.
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I only convert the boiler to cold start if im going to install an electric HWH. In this case its so much cheaper than running an oil boiler just to make HW. THey are so ineffecient as they continuall lose the heat up the chimney while on standby. Many new boilers are "cold start" The only reason to keep a boiler at a set temp is if the boiler provides domestic hot water. Surely your not suggesting to run a boiler only required for space heating all summer just to over come condensation. IF your basement has humidity issues it will affect more than just he boiler. I use a dehumidifier in summer to overcome dampness/high humidity.
  6. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    This Burnham boiler is 25 years old and I have no plans to replace it..
  7. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Thats about its rated lifespan . Soon it may leak even when kept hot. although you could get a few more years out of it. IS it OIL?
  8. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I have seen oil and other boilers go much longer than that.. Where do you come up with this info?

    Ray
  9. Reckless

    Reckless Feeling the Heat

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    Mine is closer to 30 and it is oil and has no signs of failing (only leaks when cold)
    raybonz likes this.
  10. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    30 years is the figure I always heard....mine started going south at only 15 years, but the cheap bastid that owned the house before me (I think) left it off and stone cold all summer, except when he needed some HW. At least that what his ex told me. And made me buy the 75 gallons of #2 he left in the tank from him (at the going rate $1.50/gal)!

    I think the price runup in 2008 would have killed him....I paid $1000 for the peak fill.
  11. 4acrefarm

    4acrefarm Member

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    My oil boiler is shut down and run cold start for backup. It leaked when cold once, several years ago. I put an electric tank in and never looked back. I burned an entire tank of oil before I realized I needed to change.
  12. Circus

    Circus Member

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    I don't know your boiler but the American Standard I'm familiar with had a flat plate which is replaced with the coil assembly if hot water is wanted. If you replace the coil assembly with the original flat plate the leak might be gone. Though the leak is probably just an old O ring on a sensor or something. Maybe the leak will stop on it own after a week or so. Try to get the flat plate.
    PS If your boiler is really that old, I bet the flue pipe is Swiss cheese.
  13. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I think the OP should def try shutting down, and see if the leak repeats/closes up. I think running at low aquastat settings, with condensation and soot, is worse on the boiler than just shutting it down in the summer, and running it hot (e.g. 160-180) during the heating season. The parasitic losses in the winter are at least helping to heat the place. The losses are mostly out the sides, and not up the flue, if the boiler has a flame retention burner (commonly a Beckett).
  14. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    If you're thinking about adding on a wood unit (presumably a boiler) - you've just gone to a whole other level of possibilities we weren't likely considering.

    Time to step back & think long term evaluation.

    But first, for right now, there has to be a way to turn that boiler down - I'm not familiar with that stat though & it's hard to tell without getting hands-on. Even if you do get it turned down, the sound of the burner cutting in with no call for heat on hot summer days would be like nails on a chalkboard to me - I would do whatever it took to make a new electric hot water tank work in your situation. Even if that came down to replacing your boiler with a new cold start one.
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    From their warranty,but your right some do go much longer depending on conditions. I have a few much older than that. Every case is different and call for different solutions. I also agree that condensation can be a problem as well but in my case my coal boiler puts out a lot of standby heat which would not be desirable in summer plus the amount of coal needed just to keep it lit makes it non cost effective for summer use. If your not using that much oil in summer, by all means leave it be. You cant use a cold start boiler for domestic hot water anyway.
  16. Ansky

    Ansky Member

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    Yeah, I estimate that I am spending about $100/mo to heat my DHW with my indirect oil burner. I also estimate that I will spend about $40/mo to heat that water with an electric heater. So after the upfront cost, I think I'd have less than a year break even. The problem is that the $60/mo savings is only for the months that I don't require oil heat and I can turn the burner off. For parts of jan-mar, we supplement with oil heat, so the burner will be on anyway. So now I'm paying additional electric and oil.

    The other issue is I don't want to ruin the burner by shutting it down for 8 months. It's a Buderus system (supposedly a nice top notch system from what people tell me) and its only 9 years old. You guys are scaring me with this leaking issue when cold. I'm not sure what to do at this point.
  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Boiler going cold is not a problem unless high humidity is present. In a low humidity situation you should not have a problem. Problem is, basements are notorious for high humidity.
    raybonz likes this.
  18. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I don't think you'd get much condensation anyway in letting a boiler go cold. It's just sitting there at a constant temperature. If you had cold water running through it, that would be another story.
  19. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    You cant use a cold start boiler for domestic hot water anyway.

    You can't? Why?
  20. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    That should be obvious. A boiler that is not equipped with a double aquastat does not maintain water temp thus "cold start" rather is activated from a call for heat from a thermostat. I have changed several boilers to a single aquastat so as NOT to maintain boiler temp when not calling for heat ,and then installed an electric HWH. Of course you could convert a cold start system the other way as well. The idea is to eliminate the fact that a boiler continually lose,s heat up the chimney when sitting idle. A wasteful way to store water that has just been heated with $3.50 a gallon oil
  21. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Right.

    So if that "cold start" is activated by a call for heat from an indirect hot water tank, then you're heating DHW with a cold start boiler.
    Justin M likes this.
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    In that case it may work as long as the cold water from your boiler doesnt start flowing through your indirect hot water tank before it reaches a high enough temperature. If you boiler is off long enough the water in it may be room temp.

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