What should boiler settings be? Old controls..

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Old 08-31-09, 08:46 AM
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What should boiler settings be? Old controls..

OK. I am relatively new at this. I live in Massachusetts where it get cold in the winter. My single family house has a Arcoliner tankless boiler, model # 1BTJ2, that I would bet is around 50 years or more old. I bought the house about 18 years ago. It is oil fired with a becket burner. The burner has a Honeywell R8184 ingintion control. Early on when we bought the house we had issues with no DHW when the heat was on ( forced hot water baseboards). My Father who was a plumber at the time did an acid flush of the boiler and also added some type of restrictor valve to slow down the flow through the coil to allow the water in the coil more time to heatup. None of which helped much. He installed a Crown MS40 ( 40 gallon) indirect tank about 10 years ago. The Arcoliner has an old Detroit Lubricator aquastat on it set to 200. I am assuming this is the high setting. The back side of the burner has another old Detroit Lubricator aquastat that is set to 173. The adjustment is set on these by unscrewing a dial and moving the dial. There doesn't appear to be any differential adjustment. Very old probably. Where the pipes come out the back of the Arcoliner where the lower setting aquastat is there are two water pipes that have been cut. I am assuming this is because maybe the water does not flow through the boiler coil anymore?..... but I don't know what I am talking about. The indirect has a Honeywell Aquastat that is set at just under 130, maybe 128. I don't see any other adjustment for differential at all on the indirect heater. I am wondering if I can go about adjusting the settings during the Summer and winter to use less oil and what the settings should be while still having DHW in the fall and winter and enough heat for the winter. The question is what to adjust the settings to and how to determine what is proper. Also is it OK to have the old Detroit Lubricator aquastat? Thanks for any insight you can offer or info you can direct me to help me out.
 

Last edited by white951; 08-31-09 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 08-31-09, 12:42 PM
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buy a new boiler.... betcha only get 77% efficiency. invest in a new 82 - 85 % unit that will fire your house and indirect tank. add in an outdoor reset which will automatically do what you are asking. otherwise, you can set high and low limits back for the summer. set the high limit around 150, low limit to 130. be aware that tweaking old controls may drive you into the parts replacement death spiral. look at energy kinetics, buderus, etc.
 
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Old 08-31-09, 07:41 PM
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Hi

I have your same boiler. I am still using the tankless coil inside the boiler. My aquastat in the back controls my domestic hot water temperature and has some control of the circulator motor for heat. I am not sure what yours is doing? Maybe make sure it is really still wired up and in use. Maybe being used some how as a low limit for your heat? The aquastat in the front set at 200 is your high limit . This will only come into play when there is a call for heat. As long as there is a call for heat your burner will stay on until 200 deg is reached and will then shut off. There is probably a 10 deg built in differential so your burner will not turn on again until boiler cools to 190 degrees(If wired the same as mine). I would think you could turn down your high limit to 190 maybe even 180 or 170. Maybe some of the pros here will comment on where to set it depending on your personnel heat-load/system/setup.
I would think your aquastat on the indirect tank is controlling your burner for the summer. 130 should be a good setting. Most likely your burner is turning on when your domestic water drops to 120 deg and burner turns off when water reaches 140 deg. I would watch your temperature gauge on the boiler/indirect tank for a few days to see what is doing.

Yes, it is an old boiler but you have to give it some respect. Try to find a boiler today that is going to last 50+ yrs.
 
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Old 09-07-09, 12:39 PM
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Mikeeven,

That 200 high setting is what I have been wondering about. I was wondering if I could get away with a lower setting and still be comfortable and use less oil. No so called experts responding yet.
 
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Old 09-07-09, 02:48 PM
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No so called experts responding yet.
Well... when ya say it like that... I don't think we have any of them.

You could turn the 200 down to like 180, but I doubt you would notice the difference. You've got an old boiler and it's probably doing the best that can be expected.

Without tracing out the wires, there's no way to tell what the other control is intended for...

You have another thread that you started that had a few responses, as I recall.
 
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Old 09-08-09, 06:38 PM
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white951

I would just wait for winter and turn your thermastat all the way up. See when your burner shuts off and when it turns back on. Then you will know your hi and low limits for heat. If it truely is 200 deg I would lower it to 180 and observe how your house is heating. No sense in touching anything untill you see whats going on. Like NJ Troop said "Without tracing out the wires, there's no way to tell what the other control is intended for."

For summertime your indirect should be controlling your burner. I would hope your burner is not going on nearly as much as when you were using your tankless coil in the boiler.
 
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Old 09-09-09, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
You could turn the 200 down to like 180, but I doubt you would notice the difference. You've got an old boiler and it's probably doing the best that can be expected.
Thanks for the response NJ. Why do you think I would not notice any difference?
 

Last edited by NJT; 09-09-09 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 09-09-09, 03:57 PM
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Just turning the high limit down 20 degrees is such a small change... chances are pretty good that the boiler doesn't normally get that hot during operation anyway... I would bet that for a huge portion of the winter, the heat calls from the thermostat are satisfied before the boiler hits the high limit...

but in any case, I doubt it's enough of a change to even notice.
 
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Old 09-14-09, 02:41 PM
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What about the temp setting on the indirect? I don't know why it is at 130. It was installed about five years ago. If I turn it down to 120 and hot water is plentiful then will the burner run less and use less oil?
 
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Old 09-14-09, 04:06 PM
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Maybe a little... but before you do that, you might want to hit Google and type in ' legionella ' and read some of those articles.

Do you know if there is a 'tempering valve' installed on your water heater? If you have one, there will be three pipes on it, one is the hot from the heater, one is the cold from the house supply, and the third leads out to the fixtures in the home.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 06:09 PM
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Doesn't look like there is a tempering valve coming off the indirect heater.
 
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Old 09-16-09, 05:39 PM
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I guess it's kind of a 'balancing act' then...

Most indirects are pretty well insulated, and lose very little heat when just sitting there.

If you turn the temp down, in order to get the same temp of water you want for your shower, or to wash dishes, etc, you will need to use more of the hot water, and mix in less of the cold... and this would mean that you would introduce that much more cold into the tank to be reheated.

I imagine that turning the temp down could end up costing MORE! because even though you aren't heating it as HOT, you end up heating MORE...

Pretty much everything in life is a compromise, no?
 
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