New to OWB and Need Help

Lelila Posted By Lelila, Jan 8, 2019 at 8:32 AM

  1. E Yoder

    E Yoder
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    Jan 27, 2017
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    I've seen systems with copper baseboard not heat well when tied into an OWB simply because the baseboard was sized for 180+ degree water. Possible with oil, but difficult with pumping in from the OWB.
    Pictures of how its plumbed is critical (as many have mentioned), the point where the hot water from the OWB is put into the system would affect the supply temps to the baseboards. Done wrong it could mix and deliver lower temp water, and barely heat the house (like you're describing).
     
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  2. maple1

    maple1
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    How far are you from Upstate NY? :)
     
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  3. Lelila

    Lelila
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    Jan 8, 2019
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    I'm ready to write off this system I'm so angry and upset, but I do tend to get over emotional over these things. -20 with the wind chill last night. 60 in the house this morning. Installer coming today to check system. We do not have a heat exchanger. We didn't with the IWB in our old house and didn't see why we needed to with an OWB. Drastic Mistake? We are not heating domestic water either. The Oil fired boiler kept up with the cold temps so why can't the OWB? Maybe my logic is wrong. The OWB is set at 185/170. Reading the manual we found that the manufacturer suggests 195/190. Did the installer set the wrong temps at install? In a house like this I need every degree.
     

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  4. Woodman1

    Woodman1
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    Jan 15, 2018
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    Sit down, take a breath and probably a drink. Most of us that don't do this type of thing for a living have had our share of frustration too. I would loop the owb to itself to keep it from freezing while you get this figured out. Then pressurize your oil boiler and get it back on line on its own heating the house like it was. Then figure out how low water temp it takes to heat your house. Finally get a flat plate hx and set the low point on the owb to what you now know the house needs and separate the two with a plate hx. Good luck
     
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  5. Eureka

    Eureka
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    It would be easy to put a flat plate exchanger in there and repressurize the oil boiler. That is really how that system was designed and should remain. E Yoder brought up a good point with baseboard temperatures, which again might not be a big deal to remedy by adding some or swapping out for a different style emitter if it’s all somewhat accessible. Get that original system back to normal and then you’ll want something more like this image
    913E6946-EF3F-485B-BC50-92F476B121E8.jpeg
     
  6. Eureka

    Eureka
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    Also wanted to say that Heatmor is a very capable unit from a good company so don’t let the current install make you write it all off yet.
     
  7. maple1

    maple1
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    We didn't with the IWB in our old house and didn't see why we needed to with an OWB. Drastic Mistake?

    Maybe. Whose call was it? It should all be on the installer, unless he got over-ridden by the owner. If he does this for a living, he should be capable of plumbing it so it works - this is kind of fundamental stuff for a pro.

    Your old system was pressurized. (Or at least it should have been - we are still kind of in the dark a bit on your whole setup). Now it isn't, by omitting a heat exchanger. Which would have consequences for the old system.

    Check our Eurekas diagram.
     
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  8. maple1

    maple1
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    Just looked at your last pics. Those high arced spots in your OWB pipes, before they come down to hook to your IWB, are prime spots to trap air and make an air lock.

    Piping should have a defined high spot with a means to let air out at that spot. Because air collects at high spots. A closed pressurized system would have auto air vents. An open system might have a T with a valve you manually bleed it out of.
     
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  9. warno

    warno
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    Maple1 is right about those high loops. If you didn't have a good pressure for purging the air from those lines it could have made its way back into them. Take a good flash light and shine it on the back side if those lines and see if you can either see air bubbles training through there or a definitive space between water flow at the bottom of the line and an air pocket above. The circulator has to be running to do this.

    I used to do that in my system to see if I had air traveling in the pex. My light on my phone was bright enough to shine through the pex and make it glow.

    Also, I'm assuming, that big red tank up high in your pics is the expansion tank for the indoor boiler and it looks to be valved off. If it was pressurized that would need to be open to that system to allow expansion and contraction of the water.
     
  10. E Yoder

    E Yoder
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    Jan 27, 2017
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    A good ways. 12 hours maybe. I'm in western VA.
    Why?
    What I mean is running an open system OWB above 180 can invite boiling problems (sometimes) or risk tripping a high limit in the OWB.
    Then when the lower temp (170-ish) water is tied into a really high temp copper baseboard system they don't deliver the btu's the oil did if it was turned up.
    May not be the case here.
    Wonder what circ is on the OWB? There still are some missing details.
     
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  11. maple1

    maple1
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    Well, if you were close, you could probably have them running right in no time. Half joke, half serious. :)

    Yes, there are all kinds of missing details. Which would take a lot of time to sort through, from here, if we had them. Which is why IMO the installer should get this fixed, pronto.
     
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  12. maple1

    maple1
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    There is likely a double whammy going on here that could be a very serious situation. Not only is the OWB not getting heat into the system - but it could also very well be that the install has compromised the existing system so it is not working right anymore either.
     
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  13. Woodman1

    Woodman1
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  14. E Yoder

    E Yoder
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    Jan 27, 2017
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    Maple1, you're right. Too many details missing to diagnose from a distance. The original installer needs to get it working.
     
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  15. Lelila

    Lelila
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    Jan 8, 2019
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    What a weekend! A Double whammy I'd say. He connected the supply to the return and the return to the supply. I'm about at my wit's end with this guy. He said he's coming back to fix it. Well I bet he is, because I still owe him 6 bills that he's not going to get if he doesn't.

    I'll let you all know what happens once he comes and straightens this fiasco out. We're also insulating every nook and cranny of this place. I've become a master caulker.....
     
  16. leon

    leon
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    Feb 3, 2013
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    I am coming in late to this but;

    Has all the air been vented from the entire heating system??


    You have a steel compression tank to maintain pressure in your closed loop hydronic system.

    The system has to be closed to maintain pressure in the system in order to circulate the hot water through your entire heating system.

    I have a steel compression tank in my system with my coal stoker boiler and I am able to run my system with 2-8 PSIG with no issues with 225 feet of 3/4" fin tube baseboard(WHICH I HATE) .

    If you have an automatic water filling valve in your oil system you need to be sure it is shut off as the steel compression tank is most likely flooded and no longer has the 1/3 air 2/3 water ratio which explains everything and your installer is unfamiliar with how a simple steel compression tank heating system works.

    NOW:


    If the oil heating system has now/is now an entire open system with the forest eater the system will not heat very well at all as there is no point of pressure change.

    I see now that the steel compression tank is closed and has no airtrol valve in the opposite end to drain excess water from the tank.

    IN SAYING that if the entire system is now an open system you have a lot of problems that need to be corrected quickly as the system should not be operating at more than 12 P.S.I.G.

    You need a licensed plumber or steam certified plumber to correct this quickly as you have a number of problems that need to be corrected.

    I need to see more pictures of the entire heating system as there are hidden problems that you have to deal with.
     

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