New Boiler Install

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

McKraut

Feeling the Heat
Sep 1, 2011
325
South Central PA
I am pulling out my EKO and putting in a different boiler. I will be reaching out to all of you for help in getting this up and heating. I am still taking down the old setup but am thinking about how to plumb the new one. I learned most of what I needed when I did the original install in 2012, but in 2021 I don't remember the majority of what I need to know.
My first questions concern the circulator. The EKO used a Laddomat and the Switzer would not require that. I need to know if a Grundfos UPS 15-58FC that I have will be able to move the water to the house. The line going to the house in 1&1/4" PEX that travels ~100 feet.
The second question concerning the circulator is how to get it to turn on. With the EKO setup, the Laddomat was always running as long as the water was 140*. With this new setup, I only want the circulator to run when there is demand. I assume I would have to use a relay, but that is as far as I can get. The main boiler controls are in the house, so I would need the relay to run on thermostat wire if that is possible. Any advice?
Thank you for your help,
Bob
 

E Yoder

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2017
598
Floyd, VA
A simple relay with a 24v ac coil would work fine to bring on the pump. 90-370 is a common part number for various brands.
A 15-58 will move water to the house but we don't know what load it's tied into. So I don't know the flow rate needed.
 

McKraut

Feeling the Heat
Sep 1, 2011
325
South Central PA
How would I go about wiring the relay? My control panel is a Tekmar 401. I have reached out to them for help and I have absolutely no response. I still have the 401's installation manual but most of that is way over my head. If you can help me out, that would be great.
 

chew72

Member
Oct 27, 2009
96
NS, Canada
Do you have a little more information on your set up. How many zones? Does each zone have its own circ? If I understand this correctly, when any zone calls for heat you need the boiler circ to run. Are there any more tekmar controls.
 

McKraut

Feeling the Heat
Sep 1, 2011
325
South Central PA
I will attach the original schematic that was designed for me. That will answer a lot of the questions that I can't. Thank you for looking at it for me.

Bob
 

Attachments

  • Gough Controls final.pdf
    479 KB · Views: 46

McKraut

Feeling the Heat
Sep 1, 2011
325
South Central PA
Do you have a little more information on your set up. How many zones? Does each zone have its own circ? If I understand this correctly, when any zone calls for heat you need the boiler circ to run. Are there any more tekmar controls.
There are only three zones that are being used. Each zone has a circulator on the supply side. Your understanding is correct. When the zone calls for heat, I will need the circulator for the zone to turn on, and also the circulator from the wood burning boiler to turn on.

Thanks,
Bob
 

Tonty

Member
Jul 24, 2017
79
Kansas
I am pulling out my EKO and putting in a different boiler. I will be reaching out to all of you for help in getting this up and heating. I am still taking down the old setup but am thinking about how to plumb the new one. I learned most of what I needed when I did the original install in 2012, but in 2021 I don't remember the majority of what I need to know.
My first questions concern the circulator. The EKO used a Laddomat and the Switzer would not require that. I need to know if a Grundfos UPS 15-58FC that I have will be able to move the water to the house. The line going to the house in 1&1/4" PEX that travels ~100 feet.
The second question concerning the circulator is how to get it to turn on. With the EKO setup, the Laddomat was always running as long as the water was 140*. With this new setup, I only want the circulator to run when there is demand. I assume I would have to use a relay, but that is as far as I can get. The main boiler controls are in the house, so I would need the relay to run on thermostat wire if that is possible. Any advice?
Thank you for your help,
Bob
This may not apply to your install, so take it for what it’s worth. On my Switzer I like to keep my circulator running when no heat is called for. It helps keep the water from getting stratified and keeps a true reading on my temp gauge. That way I know what the water temp is when I fire the boiler. I know what my whole storage temp is, not just the top where the gauge is. I can easily go all day with my heat zones not calling for heat, meanwhile I’m running water through my domestic hot water coil, which cools the water in that portion of the tank. If I keep that pump running, it helps keep the water temperature even.
 

McKraut

Feeling the Heat
Sep 1, 2011
325
South Central PA
This may not apply to your install, so take it for what it’s worth. On my Switzer I like to keep my circulator running when no heat is called for. It helps keep the water from getting stratified and keeps a true reading on my temp gauge. That way I know what the water temp is when I fire the boiler. I know what my whole storage temp is, not just the top where the gauge is. I can easily go all day with my heat zones not calling for heat, meanwhile I’m running water through my domestic hot water coil, which cools the water in that portion of the tank. If I keep that pump running, it helps keep the water temperature even.
Thanks for the insight. It makes sense to do it that way, so I will stop looking for help with the pump. I'm always trying to save energy and I figured that the constant running was necessary.
Bob
 

Tonty

Member
Jul 24, 2017
79
Kansas
I’m not sure what I’d do in your circumstance. Will the circulation be going through the 100’ of underground line? That may make a difference on your decision. Mine only circulates in my boiler room, which is attached to my house.
Okay, here is the scenario with the Switzer. It works best if you know exactly what your water temp is when you fire it. I always weigh my wood, and the weight I put in is based on where the water temp is and how high I want to hit. On my size of boiler, 1lb. of wood will raise the water temp 1*F. If my top thermometer is reading, say 140, but the bottom of the tank is 100, I’m not going to reach my targeted temperature of 200. The average tank temp in that scenario would be 120, but I only put 60lb. of wood instead of the 80lb. I needed for the 120 temp. That’s why I leave the pump running so the water is all the same temp. It’s not a big deal; it just feels good to hit the targeted temp. 🤷🏽‍♂️😁
If you are circulating through the 100’ of line, perhaps you will lose more heat than you wish and it won’t be worth it. You could perhaps put another pump tee’d off the long loop and make just a short circulation loop. So many decisions…🤔
 

E Yoder

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2017
598
Floyd, VA
Letting it circulate continuously would be the easy way for sure.
You could trip one pump with any of the zones but to my simple brain it would take about 4 or 5 relays.
 

McKraut

Feeling the Heat
Sep 1, 2011
325
South Central PA
I’m not sure what I’d do in your circumstance. Will the circulation be going through the 100’ of underground line? That may make a difference on your decision. Mine only circulates in my boiler room, which is attached to my house.
Okay, here is the scenario with the Switzer. It works best if you know exactly what your water temp is when you fire it. I always weigh my wood, and the weight I put in is based on where the water temp is and how high I want to hit. On my size of boiler, 1lb. of wood will raise the water temp 1*F. If my top thermometer is reading, say 140, but the bottom of the tank is 100, I’m not going to reach my targeted temperature of 200. The average tank temp in that scenario would be 120, but I only put 60lb. of wood instead of the 80lb. I needed for the 120 temp. That’s why I leave the pump running so the water is all the same temp. It’s not a big deal; it just feels good to hit the targeted temp. 🤷🏽‍♂️😁
If you are circulating through the 100’ of line, perhaps you will lose more heat than you wish and it won’t be worth it. You could perhaps put another pump tee’d off the long loop and make just a short circulation loop. So many decisions…🤔
When I had the EKO hooked up, the circulator ran constantly as long as the boiler temperature was over 160, which was almost constantly. If there was another option, to have the pump run only when the zones called for it, I would do that. So far there hasn't been much help with that. I understand how relays work but putting together (correctly) a solution to my problem is not going to happen.
As far as heat loss goes, I have never measured it, but I assume it is not a lot. My lines are buried 4' and have at least a foot of insulation all around. I followed all of the advice on this forum when doing it, so I think it was done correctly.
 

McKraut

Feeling the Heat
Sep 1, 2011
325
South Central PA
I agree
Letting it circulate continuously would be the easy way for sure.
You could trip one pump with any of the zones but to my simple brain it would take about 4 or 5 relays.
I agree with you and that is why I came here for help. I will say that the lack of help has been disappointing, but I do appreciate the help I have gotten. I am not great with hydronics but I am good at following other people's guidance and instructions.