amtrol boilermate questions


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Old 04-03-07, 12:23 PM
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amtrol boilermate questions

new house and it has a boilermate wh7 system(gas) with a 4 zone radiant floorboard heating....what does this do and how does it work?? I have never dealt with one of these, and the buzz is that they are more efficient and heat water faster.....do I need tokeep an eye out for anything?? it does not have the electronic sensor, just a knob for controling temp....what upkeep does it need?..bleed off preasure ever??......how do I turn off the baseboard in the summer...sorry for the amount of questions, just don;'t know what I have!!
 
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Old 04-03-07, 08:16 PM
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BoilerMate, etc.

Normally the only things you need to do to the BoilerMate are: Once a month open the bottom drain valve & drain off a couple of gallons or until the water is clear. There should be a temperature & pressure relief saftey valve at or near the top of the tank which should be opened once a month by lifting the little lever. This will cause the expulsion of hot water so be careful. If there is not a pipe coming from this relief valve & going toward the floor, there should be. When opening the valve, just put a bucket under the pipe to catch the water. You need only to flush a quart or two thru the valve. I can't begin to tell you how many of these relief valves I've seen which would not operate due to deposits built up in them.

To turn off the baseboard, simply turn your thermostats down or "off". People think(?) I'm crazy by turning up my own heat at least once a week during the summer. This few minutes of heat will do no harm & will help keep any zone valves &/or circulators exercised & prevent problems when the heating season rolls around next fall.

The BoilerMate supplies your domestic hot water & is much more efficient than the average water heater. It works via it's own thermostat (the temperature adjustment knob). When the temperature in the tank drops, a signal is sent to fire the boiler which in turn starts a circulating pump sending hot boiler water thru a coil in the BoilerMate & heating the domestic water.
Here is a link to Amtrol's web site with a lot of information on the BoilerMate:
http://www.amtrol.com/boilermate.htm
 
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Old 04-04-07, 07:50 AM
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thanks

Thanks for the advice.....not knowing what you have or how to take care of it is a little scary....thanks again
 
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Old 04-04-07, 06:02 PM
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Thumbs up Thinking Ahead

I'm glad you asked & are willing to learn BEFORE you have trouble. We get many questions from people who have lived in their houses for several years without knowing anything about the heating equipment. When it quits, we have to go thru the whole process in an emergency situation. If you have any questions, now or down the road, we are here & glad to help as much as we can.
 
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Old 05-03-07, 07:47 PM
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Question Boilermate Plugged

I have a Boilermate wh7 indirect waterheater that seems to provide hot water, but at less volume ( we run out sooner during showers, etc.). I tried to drain some...didn't even know there was a valve tucked behind the little access panel til I read your suggestion....but, nothing comes out at all. Could it be the sediment is packed so deep that it's plugged? Is there anything I can do, or is there some trick to the drain valve? Thanks.
 
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Old 05-03-07, 08:48 PM
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Plugged(?) valve

It is possible the valve is either plugged or broken. If yours is piped as shown on page 5 of the installation manual here; http://www.amtrol.com/pdf/boilermateIO9040-586revC.pdf
you can leave the water inlet valve open while slightly opening the drain/purge valve. If no water comes out, the valve is probably no good & needs to be replaced.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 10:03 AM
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Boiler Mate Service

An indirect-fired water heater uses the higher out put of a boiler/home heating plant to heat domestic hot water for bathing. They are similar to a thermos bottle with a coil of fintube coiled inside the tank. An extra zone is dedicated and often prioritized (running before and exclusive of other zones).

If you have a boiler, an indirect or "companion" water heater is one of the most efficient ways to produce copious amounts of hot water.

As for service. Draining water from the boiler drain at the bottom of most water heaters is recommended by all the manufacturers I am aware. However, one of my earliest memories when working with my father (a Master Plumber) was; don't ever touch the drain or the relief valve of a water heater of boiler unless you have to.

40 years later I find it still sound advise.

If you are running out of hot water with an Amtrol indirect I would look for a coil limed up and would find a professional to test for performance and remove the coil for inspection and cleaning if necessary. I you don't have soft water this procedure will likely be needed at some point.

An indirect water heater should last 30 years with a minimum of maintenance compared to conventional water heaters at 10 or so.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 08-09-07 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Company name and address edited
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Old 06-08-07, 04:21 PM
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Relief valve

I open the relief valve on every boiler I service. End up replacing quite a few but if I don't open them at least annually during routine maintenance, I am negligent in my duties to insure as safe operation as I can.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 05:11 PM
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Relief Valves

Yes, it does generate business and the manufacturers recommend it, but I have never seen one fail in an unsafe condition. When they leak, I change them.

MA
 
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Old 06-08-07, 05:22 PM
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Relief Valves

I have actually ripped the test lever off trying to get them to open. Never did get them open, just replaced 'em. I don't care about the revenue replacing them generates. It is a safety device.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 05:37 PM
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Relief Valves

Don't get me wrong, I change them, when their age or obvious poor conditions warrants it. I change them when I recondition an older boiler. But to try every one, every time is overkill in my opinion. After "I" paid for a few that my customer's refused to pay for... but hey we have "double backflow preventers, RPZ's and you can't be too safe, especially if someone else is paying for it.

My point is, I can't find any documented critical failures of properly installed current production relief valves on water heaters or boilers. We just get the hypotheticals.
 
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Old 07-03-07, 12:24 PM
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Cleaning your Boilermate

If you are planning to replace the relief valve, I would suggest cleaning the internal heat exchanger coil which over time builds up scale and decreases the efficiency. Amtrol recommends using a commerical ice machine cleaner which is non-toxic for potable water. Pour the contents into the valve opening and after replacing the valve, turn on the system and let the water heat up to temp. Then shut the unit down, wait to cool, and open the drain valve to remove any scale deposits. I spoke with a Amtrol tech support person (very helpful) when I noticed my unit was calling for heat more frequently causing the oil-fired boiler (Slant fin) to kick on more often. During the summer I reset the boiler aquastat to 120 and I still have sufficent hot water.
 
 

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