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Old 12-14-2007, 10:15 PM
 
29 posts, read 87,459 times
Reputation: 24

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Hello eveyone, I havent posted in a while, some of you may remember me from previous posts. Well, we made it to Maine! Moved from Florida and BAM! got hit with snow the first week we were here! So much for the mild maine winters last few years! LOL!! I love it!

Can someone help me understand how my heating system works? I have a forced hot water oil burning heating system. It also heats the hot water for the faucets. It uses a normal thermostat on the wall to control the home heating, but i dont understand how it keeps the water hot for the faucets when the heat is not on. We are running out of hot water pretty fast, so I have to turn the thermostat up so that the furnace kicks on, then along with the house geting warmer, I get some more hot water. It does have a hot water storage tank, not very large, but I dont see any sensors or switches that control the furnace for just the hot water. How will we get hot water in the summer months? I must be missing something.... any help would be appreciated!

Thanks!!

Dave
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:33 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,085 posts, read 31,523,505 times
Reputation: 16632
Hot water heat and your hot water tank run on "zones" for each section of house that runs off a thermostat there is a zone. A typical house my have 2 or 3 thermostats depending on what areas you want different temperatures. Bedrooms cooler, living room warmer, bathroom frigging hot. The hot water tank should have it's own zone. Each zone can call for heat independently. That way you get hot water during the times you don't want the heat on, like during the summer months. I wish it were during the day, I would get ahold of my brother, he is a plumbing/heating guy and could tell us exactly where to look. It sounds like either you have a bad zone valve, or circulator pump. But that is off the top of an Electricians head and not a real heating guy.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:53 PM
 
29 posts, read 87,459 times
Reputation: 24
Thanks for the reply. The house is small, and only uses one thermostat and is on one zone. It has some zone valves but they are disconnected and in the open position. So the house is one large zone. Maybe this is why I am having trouble. I will have it looked at soon, I just wanted to learn more about it in the mean time.

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:59 PM
 
9,124 posts, read 30,942,153 times
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The boiler has a small coil inside it that holds a small amount of hot water for faucets/showers, which is totally isolated from the water that circulates through the baseboard or radiators. When you call for hot water from the faucets, there are aquastats on the boiler that sense the temperature of water inside that coil, and fire the boiler when you need more than the tank holds. You could try adjusting the aquastats to a higher temp (if yours are adjustable), which will require less hot water at the shower/faucet and make the hot water last longer. These aquastats are what will keep you supplied with hot water in the summer when the heating system is off.

Turning the thermostat up to try and keep the hot water in the coil hot isn't the answer as you've found out- it's causing the boiler to heat not only the water in the coil but also the water in the circulating heating system, which is wasting oil and also overheating the house.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:26 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
733 posts, read 3,900,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
You could try adjusting the aquastats to a higher temp (if yours are adjustable), which will require less hot water at the shower/faucet and make the hot water last longer. These aquastats are what will keep you supplied with hot water in the summer when the heating system is off.
CAREFUL - if you're not intimately familiar with the controls on your boiler do not adjust the aquastats. There are high limits for the boiler and high limits for the domestic water coils on some installations. Inadvertently cranking up the high limit on the boiler may cause serious problems. Hire a good boiler man [not a "scorched air" technician - a boiler technician] and have him [or her] teach you how the system operates.
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