Disconnecting hot water from boiler

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-03-05, 10:16 AM
liveone
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Disconnecting hot water from boiler

I have a 50 year old-ish American Standard steam boiler in a house I recently purchased. The boiler also provides the hot water supply to the entire house. For the 3 weeks I've live there I've been unsuccessful at keeping a hot water supply for more than 2 minutes. After a short time the water becomes mildly warm and slowly drops from there. Taking a shower longer than a minute requires full hot water and no cold and it's still barely tolerable

The only thing I can come up with is that the tank in the boiler is so small that as soon as hot water is called for and distributed, the cold coming in to replace it is cooling the entire tank way too quick for my taste.

I'm going to install an electric hot water heater in the basement to remedy the situation. The question I have is this...

How do I isolate the current system from the boiler? Can I just cut off and cap the cold inlet and hot outlet of the hotwater heating portion of the boiler? Should I cut and cap the hot water outlet only and leave the cold inlet to make sure theere's always water in there?

Basically, do I have to make sure there is water in the hot water heating portion of the boiler to prevent damage?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-03-05, 11:45 AM
Victorious1_1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
You may not have to install the extra hot water heater.

Try raising the low limit switch up 10 degrees. This will keep boiler water at a higher temperature and possibly give you the make up temp you seek.

Post back to let us know if that made the difference you seek.

Vic
 
  #3  
Old 01-03-05, 12:18 PM
liveone
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
That was one of the things I've attempted over the last few weeks. I raised it from 165 to 175, then 175 to 185.

Result was that it did start hotter, but still cooled off just as quickly.

I've also tried adjusting the mixing valve and eventually ended up just shutting it.

Only two things have worked so far. The first was to turn down the inlet valve to allow less cold water into the tank. I had hot water long enough to take a decent shower, but the water pressur was like trying to shower in the rain. The second was to crank the thermostat up to get the boiler running for 10-15 minutes. Then the water starts scalding hot, and gradually cools to where it should be over 5-10 minutes.
 
  #4  
Old 01-03-05, 01:51 PM
KField's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3,245
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One suggestion that should resolve your issues without causing any new ones would be to use your existing coil and add a circulated storage tank to hold 40 gallons of hot that will be ready at all times. It basically uses a 40 gallon water heater that does not eat electricity. To the heater you add a bronze circulator pump and a couple of pipes and what happens is your boiler heats the water through your existing coil and puts it in the tank until the whole tank is full of hot water. Then when you shower, you take water out of the tank and the boielr replaces it when the thermostat on the tank senses cold water. It works very well and lets you turn the boiler low temp down to about 150. I can explain in further detail if you think you would like to try it. Keep in mind that if you add an electric water heater, you cannot just turn off your heating boiler in the summer or you will probably cause some serious problems with it. If you are going to have it on, you may as well use it for hot water.

Ken
 
  #5  
Old 01-03-05, 05:41 PM
liveone
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Ken - thanks for the suggestion. Sounds like a bit more than I'd like to tackle right now - and a bit more expensive than I'd like.

Like I said above - the boiler is around 50 years old - if not more. It's burning through oil like you wouldn't believe. I figure having a new natural gas boiler installed in the spring would not only increase efficiency and save money, but hopefully put off the disaster I see when the boiler goes kaput and it's 5 degrees outside.
 
  #6  
Old 01-03-05, 08:26 PM
liveone
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Wow - do I feel like an idiot now...

I did a bit more research on my exact boiler and found that it is indeed a 50 year old American Standard Arcoline. It does NOT have a hot water tanks, but utilizes a tankless coil for hot water.

So.... can I disconnect this safely and just use a regular hot water heater until I replace the boiler, or should I keep it connected to keep water in it?
 
  #7  
Old 01-04-05, 05:09 AM
KField's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3,245
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You can just disconnect the coil and forget about it. Don't plug the openings though or you may generate dangerous steam pressure in the coil. Leave them open and they will dry out and cause no future problems. Do your homework before switching to gas because a 50 year old oil system uses a lot of fuel. A modern oil system will be just as efficient as a gas system and has some benefits of its own.

Ken
 
  #8  
Old 01-04-05, 08:07 AM
liveone
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the advise! After discovering it was a tankless coil I had suspected as much.

When you say a 50 year old system uses a lot of fuel, I'd have to say that is an understatement! I really need to get this thing out of my house this spring or I'll end up in bankruptcy court before the end of next winter!
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: