Hi Lo aqua stat setting on Utica boiler


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Old 01-17-09, 03:44 PM
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Hi Lo aqua stat setting on Utica boiler

Hi!

I know this is a common question and I have read some of the answers in the forum. But I kind of need the answer spelled out for me. I dont want to make a mistake.
I have a Utica boiler with a Honeywell aqua stat. The whole system was just installed about four years ago. It runs on oil and my homes water is heated through the boiler. I also have hot water baseboards. This past week during a brutal arctic wind my furnace misfired and shut down. I called for emergency repair and he replaced the nozzle. That was two nights ago. This morning my furnace shut down again. I pressed the reset button for 60 seconds and it restarted. I was told later the shut down probably happened because the below freezing temps caused my fuel to gel. Since then I just can't seem to bring the house temp back up to where it was
(70) before it shut down. The house was at 54 degrees when I discovered the furnace off at 11 am. It is 5:30 pm and even though I have the thermostat set for 74 degrees it is only 64 degrees in the house. Thats with running the oven all day and electric heaters in the bedrooms. Can't wait for the electric bill next month...lol.
I think the problem is the aqua stat on the boiler is set at Hi 180 Lo 160. So my question is what is the proper temp setting on the aqua stat so I can bring the heat back up to and maintain 70 degrees? If it helps the outside temp right now is 15 degrees and falling. And the house is a ranch that retains cold since it is brick exterior and plaster interior.

Any help is thoroughly appreciated. I would hate to have to call a repairman on a Saturday night just to set a thermostat. Thanks in advance! :-)
 
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Old 01-17-09, 03:55 PM
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No problem with those settings... you can try raising the 180 up to 190 ... but:

The boiler is currently running properly? or no?

If it's running properly, I don't understand why you still don't have heat.

Are the baseboards hot?

Did the service guy close some valve or something that should be open I wonder?
 
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Old 01-17-09, 04:42 PM
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Thanks for the fast response. I went down and raised the Hi to 190. Maybe that will help. When I first checked the Hi Lo settings at 3 pm the high was set at 170. At that time I raised it to 180. Hopefully 190 will do the trick. The furnace is operating and sounds like it is functioning properly. And all the baseboards are warm. The problem is the house temp can't seem to get above 64 degrees. I have had the household thermostat set for 74 degrees since restarting this morning and raised it to 78 at around 4:30. Hopefully 190 will do the trick. Thanks so much for your help!
 
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Old 01-17-09, 06:53 PM
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One thing that is almost always neglected is cleaning out the fins in the baseboards... it's not an easy job... that's probably why.

You would be amazed at the difference in the amount of heat output though when the dust and debris is cleaned out from the fins. The covers snap off (lift up on the cover, pull out at the top). Vacuum them real good and see if you can find a brush that gets between the fins to loosen the dust. Even a light dusting of dust is enough to cut down the heat output.

Keep us posted...
 
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Old 01-17-09, 07:02 PM
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So the baseboard is warm ?

Is your main circulator running?

Can you prove it?
 
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Old 01-17-09, 08:22 PM
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If you moved the high limit up to 190 make sure you move the low limit up to 170, a 20 degree swing is desirable. Also, set the thermostat to where you normally do and leave it alone, raising it to 74 and then 78 does not make the house heat up any quicker than if it was set at 70!! The thermostat does not make the flame in the oil burner any bigger. LOL
 
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Old 01-18-09, 02:07 PM
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If you moved the high limit up to 190 make sure you move the low limit up to 170, a 20 degree swing is desirable.
Lights, sorry, but that ain't right...

The HIGH and LOW must not be any CLOSER than 20, but there is no reason at all they MUST be 20 apart...

The LOW is for heating the domestic water only, and if 140 or 160 provides enough hot water in the home, then that's what they should be set at. Anything higher is simply a waste of fuel.

The LOW shouldn't be set any higher than needed to provide adequate domestic hot water.
 
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Old 01-18-09, 03:00 PM
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Thank you for all the help NJ Trooper. Problem solved! Raising the Hi to 190 made a world of difference. The house is now a very comfortable 70 degrees. The setting of 190 over 160 is working very well. I suspected that the Hi Lo settings were the problem. I was just a little confused about exactly what the temp should be set at for the winter. The last time I messed with them I made my house colder. I didn't want to do that again...lol.
To answer the other question, I took off all the covers and cleaned the fins throughout the house about two weeks ago. And that improved the amount of warmth in some of the colder rooms.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 01-18-09, 03:10 PM
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Yeah, the circulator is running. I dont know how I would prove it other than to tell you I can hear it running. It was also replaced with a new one about 13 months after I had the furnace installed. One month after that warranty ran out so I had to pay for it. I was pretty annoyed.
The problem is solved. It was definetly the Hi Lo setting. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-18-09, 03:27 PM
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LOL... Lightsout, tell my father that! He lives with me and I have had to lay down the law with him and tell him to leave the thermostat alone. He thought he was saving me oil by turning the heat down at night when everyone was sleeping. It is just common sense to me that if you turn the heat down on the thermostat the furnace has to work that much harder and use even more oil to get back up to a warmer, more comfortable temp. The rule in my house is that I am the only one who is allowed to touch the thermostat. :-) I always keep it set at 72 in the winter which in turn keeps the actual temp of the house at a constant 70 degrees. Good advice indeed for anyone who might be following this thread. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-18-09, 04:14 PM
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JG, yer talking about two different things!

What Lights was saying is that if you turn the thermostat UP and the boiler fires, turning it up HIGHER won't make the house heat up FASTER.

On the other hand, your Dad may be correct! Shhhh, don't tell him I said that!

Setting a t'stat back CAN save fuel. I'm not saying that it WILL, just that it CAN. There are a LOT of factors involved, and there was a recent thread that went into all that.

Basically, how much you save all depends on how fast your home will RECOVER from the setback period, and how MUCH you turn it down.

I think you said your home was brick and plaster? You might not save all that much from a setback. There's a lot of mass heating up and cooling down. Your recovery time is likely very slow (evidence recent events). But certainly 2-3 degree setback overnight MIGHT save a percent or so... so humor him... let him set it back a couple degrees... give him a big kiss and say "THANK YOU DADDY FOR SAVING ME MONEY!" then, as a reward, let him smoke a cigar in the house ... it'll make his day, I guarantee!
 
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Old 01-18-09, 09:48 PM
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I thought that this unit had a domestic hot water coil but after re-reading the post it doesn't state either way.

Trooper, I stand corrected. I have always been under the impression that it was a good practice to stay within a 20 degree temp. differential between the high and low limit when using a domestic hot water coil and the reason being that if the boiler temp. continued to drop while you were taking a shower then the hot water exiting the shower head would also drop and you would have to keep turning the shower valve "Hotter" to keep the water temp. where you liked it.

Example: Boiler temp 190, water temp entering coil 50, water temp. exiting coil=130

Boiler temp 140, water temp entering coil 50, water temp. exiting coil=?? I would think lower than 130
 
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Old 01-18-09, 10:08 PM
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NP Lights, them dang triple aquastats ain't the easiest things to understand! Especially the DIFF setting... confounding I tell ya!
 
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Old 01-18-09, 10:50 PM
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The last couple of days this website has been confounding!!! One minute it's OK and the next minute it's screwy!!
 
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Old 01-19-09, 01:10 PM
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JG if they dont put antigel in your oil in winter, tell them to! I have outside tanks and usually they do put it in. Also for anyone with external tanks be careful about the gauge on top of the tanks. Apparently snow from my roof falls and dislodges the gauge and water gets in the tank and then in the line and it freezes! had it happen at least 3 times in 10 years here. So first time is no heat and it's cold, i remembered to go out [*** sorry lucky, I couldn't leave your suggestion here, it's NUTS! ***]

Originally Posted by lightsout06810 View Post
The last couple of days this website has been confounding!!! One minute it's OK and the next minute it's screwy!!
i agree, i've typed out responses and hit post and went to nothing..good news is that when i went back to the main page and into the thread the post was still there!

moral of story, copy all posts you make until you are sure they posted
 

Last edited by NJT; 01-19-09 at 04:01 PM.
 

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