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Old 02-28-2012, 09:38 AM
 
123 posts, read 199,892 times
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Default Oil burner question - how are people controlling their hot water?

I finally closed on a house last week in LI that has an oil burner. One of the first things I noticed is how scalding the hot water gets, as it literally goes from cold to hot in an instant.

Looking up info on this, I realized I might need a mixing valve attached to the boiler. However, we called two boiler repair companies on LI today and both advised against getting the mixing valve (saying its more trouble than it's worth) and seemed to imply that you just deal with the hot water issue.

Having a small child, with another on the way, is this what people do? Seems way too easy for a child (and adult) to burn themselves pretty badly. However, I guess this is what the previous homeowner did.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Island of long
3,503 posts, read 5,457,423 times
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How is your boiler making the hot water? Is it a indirect tank or is there a coil in the boiler?
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:40 AM
 
123 posts, read 199,892 times
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Coil in the boiler
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Island of long
3,503 posts, read 5,457,423 times
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That set up sucks. I personally would add a indirect hot water tank rather than add the mixing valve. You can still keep the boiler and leave the coil in it. But if your budget is small I guess the mixing valve will work.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Island of long
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On another thought...are you sure it doesn't have a mixing valve already and its just not working? 180 degree water will def. scaled the little one. Be careful.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:28 AM
 
2,630 posts, read 1,891,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruhkus View Post
I finally closed on a house last week in LI that has an oil burner. One of the first things I noticed is how scalding the hot water gets, as it literally goes from cold to hot in an instant.

Looking up info on this, I realized I might need a mixing valve attached to the boiler. However, we called two boiler repair companies on LI today and both advised against getting the mixing valve (saying its more trouble than it's worth) and seemed to imply that you just deal with the hot water issue.

Having a small child, with another on the way, is this what people do? Seems way too easy for a child (and adult) to burn themselves pretty badly. However, I guess this is what the previous homeowner did.
2 options I can think of (I have the same setup):

One is check the aquastat. Grey or other metal box on the face of the boiler (often a Honeywell). The face plate comes off and there are 4 dials (2 boiler temp, 2 hot water temp). You can lower the high temp for water to make it less scalding. This also saves money in the summer as less oil is burned kicking the burner on and off keeping it at 180 degrees.

2nd is add the mixing valve. It takes a burner guy less than 5 minutes and is helpful to be able to adjust the flow and temp yourself.

Indirect hot tank might be a nice idea (not sure how it's so much more efficient) but I have a levitt cape and there is no space for a separate tank. Would have to relocate the entire burner and build a room for it. If I could afford to take on that project, I'd switch to gas!

Just my humble opinion. Best of luck.

Last edited by mongoose65; 02-28-2012 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:30 AM
 
1,905 posts, read 1,640,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruhkus View Post
Coil in the boiler
Not the best setup. Very inefficient.
Suggest getting an indirect tank as rocafella suggested.

I have 3 zones on my oil boiler.

Zone 1 - Downstairs baseboard heat
Zone 2 - Upstairs baseboard heat
Zone 3 - Indirect Hot water tank.

Yes, the boiler runs all year but I dont have to worry about my hot water tank leaking every 10 years. Warranty on my indirect tank is 30 years.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
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Why isn't lowering the temperature on the water heater not an option? I'm genuinely curious - is this a problem with an oil powered water heater?
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twingles View Post
Why isn't lowering the temperature on the water heater not an option? I'm genuinely curious - is this a problem with an oil powered water heater?
Because you need the higher water temps to heat the house.
With a coil system, it uses the boiler water to heat the water too. Since the coil is small it doesnt have a lot of heat to give up, less if you lower the water temp.

You might also find your house cold too.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Island of long
3,503 posts, read 5,457,423 times
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Mongoose....are you sure the 4 settings(2 high and 2 low) can be used simultaneously in the heating season?

Even in the summer months you dont want to reset a cast iron boiler lower than 140 degrees to prevent damage from condensation.
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