Need help fine tuning radiant boiler setup


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Old 11-12-09, 04:41 PM
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Need help fine tuning radiant boiler setup

Need some help fine tuning my boiler setup. The contractor that I hired to install my system told me that he was short one relay and when he received it, he would return and install it. He said the system will run fine the way it is now. Hereís my problem: Itís been over a year with no returned phone calls and e-mails, so I have finally realized that he is not coming back. I would like to make the changes myself as I am on a tight budget. The way the system is hooked up now has circulator #1 running 24/7 and this is constantly circulating hot water through the hydronic coil for the ducted heating upstairs. This heat constantly radiates up through the ductwork and our kids bedroom is right above and the room is always so hot. Does anyone have any solutions for me? Iíve attached a wiring diagram and a piping layout of how the system is currently hooked up. The basement is a heated slab and the upstairs is a forced air hydronic blower. Each floor has its own thermostat. Circulator #2 cycles on/off with the basement thermostat. It seems to work fine. I need to get circulator #1 to not run 24/7. Do I need another circulator for the hydronic blower piping run? The 2 Erie spring return valves are not even wired up, they are just both open all the time. (Donít know why they are there if not even being used?)
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks




 

Last edited by pegar; 11-12-09 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Picture didn't work
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Old 11-12-09, 06:27 PM
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One thing is right away obvious... it seems you have taken the time to document the system, and a great job I must say! If the wiring diagram is correct (and I assume that it is) one thing immediately jumps out at me... he's got this thing wired up to be calling for heat 24/7 ! and that jumper from Z to the 501... no, something is definitely screwball here, and I think it's your installing contractor... this thing is gonna cost a FORTUNE in fuel to run like that...

I need to study it some more before I can make my suggestions, so bear with me...
 
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Old 11-12-09, 06:43 PM
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Is the air handler also used for Air Conditioning?

[never mind, I answered my own question... your model number tells me there is no cooling coil. You do have a 3 speed blower motor though, and no internal circ pump, or valve... just a straight 3 speed heat only air handler]
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-12-09 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 11-12-09, 07:10 PM
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Pumps on the return, a no no.
What is operating that 4 way valve ?

The air handlers t/stat should control the zone valve for the air handler.

The #6 and #5 are the endswitch from the 501 to call the boiler as well as the red and white from the air handler. Remeber to remove the Rh - Rc jumper in the stat.

Your good to go
 
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Old 11-12-09, 08:11 PM
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I don't think it's quite as simple as TO is making it out to be...

The way the aquastat is wired to the 501 has possibly fried the transformer in the 501 or the aquastat, because the way it's wired puts the secondaries in parallel, if they were out of phase, one of them is fried ... and I'm wondering if that's why they jumpered the thing the way they did.

I see no reason for this to be a warm start aquastat, and keeping the boiler at 180 24/7... with the T and TV jumpered, that is exactly what's happening. That's why the heat is constantly flowing from the ductwork... there's constant flow of 180 water through the coil.

The wire from Z to C is wrong.

The wire from R to T&TV is wrong.

The jumper from T to TV is wrong.

From what I can tell looking at the PDF for the air handler, the thermostat wiring to it is wrong. It appears that the thermostat should go to G and W ... On the control board in the air handler are a pair of contacts T & T that should go to fire the boiler... TO, take a look at these PDF files and tell me if you don't agree:

air handler install

control board
 
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Old 11-13-09, 03:56 PM
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Thanks for your responses. I do have an "A" coil installed for A/C but it is not hooked up yet. The 4 way valve is a manual mixing valve, honeywell V5442N. It controls the slab water temperature by mixing the loop return and the feed to get the desired temp. Should the one pump be relocated?
The Taco 501 does seem to work properly. When I turn up the basement thermostat, the 501 light turns on and the circulator pump starts running, turn it down and the pump shuts off.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 11-13-09, 04:41 PM
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This is an odd one.

You could repipe this to a real primary/secondary with the AH load and the radiant load each piped directly off the primary. Get that mixing valve out of the existing "primary" loop.

Then follow standard piping practices and control for a two-temperature system. See John Siegenthaler's Modern Hydronic Heating for some simple, effective approaches.

And I second what TO said about getting the pumps to pumping away as well. And move the fill to somewhere where it will actually help purge the system, preferably where the expansion tank connects to the system.
 
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Old 11-13-09, 05:04 PM
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NOT the final word!

I'm a 'fixer', not a 'designer', but I've taken the liberty to scribble on your drawings with some of my ideas, based on what I know of your system. These drawings are to spur discussion only, and NOT to be taken as the 'final word'!



I'm only as familiar with your air handler as I can be by reading the PDF files from the web... and they leave a bit to be desired, but these wiring changes would be a HUGE improvement! Some of the as built stuff is 100% JUNK!



Note changes in BOTH pump locations, and system fill. I didn't do anything with the zone valves... not sure why they are there... and there should possibly be a check valve on the air handler loop...
 
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Old 11-13-09, 05:14 PM
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Always agree with Xiphias! Thanks for jumping in...

It doesn't look like the mixing valve in in the primary loop now... not sure I understand that part... there are to 'loops'... note the return from the air handler into a return manifold.

But yeah, P/S piping would work best with this.
 
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Old 11-13-09, 05:27 PM
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You would have one primary loop. The AH would be piped with a set of closely-spaced tees.

The radiant would have its own set of closely-spaced tees. The mixing valve would be on the radiant return where it should be, before the rest of the system.

Here's a pic of what that might look like for the radiant (without the AH, fill, and other niceties, of course):

http://www.myplumbingportal.com/RH/H...507-fix-lg.jpg
 
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Old 11-13-09, 05:38 PM
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Repositioned some stuff for clarity... shall I draw the P/S setup?

 
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Old 11-13-09, 05:56 PM
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Something like this you tawkin' 'bout?

 
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Old 11-13-09, 05:59 PM
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Almost. The AH is correct. See the link to the Siggy drawing above for how the mixing valve is piped.
 

Last edited by xiphias; 11-13-09 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 11-14-09, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by xiphias View Post
Almost. The AH is correct. See the link to the Siggy drawing above for how the mixing valve is piped.
It's a 4-way mixing valve though, maybe it's not appropriate for this application? Siggy drawing is a standard 3-way...
 
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Old 11-14-09, 03:27 PM
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The way Siggy did it does not (obviously) require 4-way mixing.

I suppose one could do it as a 4-way mix and pipe it right off the primary, but I think the 3-way and CSTs off the primary is more elegant, potentially more efficient, and won't mess with the primary loop flow.
 
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Old 11-14-09, 05:14 PM
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The 4-way valve will work fine like that with the closely spaced tees (see Tekmar EO21 fig. 12)... but let's forget about the P/S secondary altogether, because I don't see the sense in completely rebuilding the whole system, adding another circ, with the associated controls, chucking a perfectly good 4-way valve, etc...

The MAIN thing is to get that jumper off the T and TV connections on the aquastat! That is just plain RIDICULOUS!
I really would like to know what that jackleg was thinking... or perhaps NOT thinking!
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-14-09 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 11-14-09, 05:27 PM
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I think we scared Pegar off...

Going back to the drawing just before the P/S one ...

Those zone valves are going to have to be made operational, because whenever the radiant floor calls for heat, the AH will also get flow, and vice versa... that explains why they are there.

So, in addition to everything else, there will have to be wiring for those, and integrated into the rest of the setup... a Taco ZVC would probably be best for that...

Pegar, you said there is a cooling coil in the AH? That was added later, correct? Because the model number on your drawing indicates that the unit you have is straight heating. The HEATING coil IS an A-coil also...
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-14-09 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 11-15-09, 07:31 AM
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Yes, there is an A/C coil installed afterwards. Do you have any ideas as to how the zone valves can be wired up to stop the constant flow of hot water to the air handler? The zone valves have 2 black wires and 2 red wires coming out of them. They are Erie model AG13A02A. If I can get a simple fix done right now, I can look into getting the system redesigned properly next summer (in the off season) as it is starting to get fairly cold out now.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 11-15-09, 09:48 AM
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The very first thing is to do is do something about the boiler staying hot and the circ running 24/7... take a look at the modified wiring diagram I posted.

The wiring from the basement circ relay to the aquastat are fairly simple changes to make.

A bit more difficult is the air handler part... you need to find the control board inside and look at the install PDF's that I posted for that... the one that shows the control board shows a pair of terminals on that board labeled T T ... you will need to run a wire from those as shown in the modified diagram. You will need to use this same wire to use the zone valves, so you need to get that in first.

Also, from what I can see in the PDF files, the thermostat may not be wired correctly... you need to check that also.

These are only the first steps... once this is working, you will get MUCH less heat in the AH coil, and the boiler won't stay hot 24/7... but of course, the zone valves won't be wired...

There's two ways to wire the valves. You can purchase a Zone Valve Control panel... like the Taco ZVC 403... click here for PDF OR...

You can add a 24VAC control transformer and wire the valves discreetly, like this:



This drawings shows a basic wiring scheme for two valves. The thermostat wiring shown is actually coming from the 5 & 6 terminals on the 501 relay, and from the T T terminals on the AH. The wires shown going to the boiler will go to the T and TV terminals on the a'stat.

Note: your current aquastat can be wired in such a way as to eliminate the need for the external transformer as shown in this drawing:



Note that this drawing shows Honeywell valves and a different aquastat, but the Erie valves and your aquastat are very similar.

There's a bit to think about here... if you feel up to the task, I'm happy to work with you to get this working, but am limited by not knowing anything much about your AH...
 
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Old 11-15-09, 11:13 AM
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Here's the two ways you could wire the zone valves if you choose to do it discreet wiring without the control panel:



 
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Old 11-19-09, 05:56 PM
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Thanks NJ Trooper,

Sorry I don't respond very quickly as I have two boys heavily involved in hockey and I don't get alot of free time. I've read your posts and done some research on the internet and I tried rewiring the Taco SR501 properly and found that the power light does not go on, the boiler does not start and the circ pump doesn't go on either. The transformer must be fried in it, so I will have to go buy a new relay. You were right in saying something must be fried. When I get a new one I will post back the results for you.

Thanks again
 
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Old 11-19-09, 07:00 PM
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No prob... yeah, when I saw how they had it wired, I kinda thought that something was up with at least one of the transformers.

Ya know what though? You _could_ still use that relay... if you put those two wires back in, and did the rest of the wiring like I showed... the relay in the aquastat can power the relay in the 501... since the damage is already done... it's just that jumper between T and TV that has to go.

Keep us posted!
 
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Old 11-19-09, 07:21 PM
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This should save ya $50 or so...

 
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Old 11-21-09, 06:14 AM
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What would be the specs on the 24VAC transformer? I went to my local plumbing shop and the only transformers they had were the ones for doorbells.
 
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Old 11-21-09, 07:26 AM
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You need a 40 VA CONTROL transformer. Doorbell transformers wouldn't have the capacity to run two zone valves.

Here is a 'basic' 40VA transformer from Honeywell:

Honeywell 40VA control transformer

Did you figure out the wiring on the air handler yet? In order to wire as I've shown, you need to confirm that the T T terminals that I saw in the brochure are really there... if not, some other way of controlling the boiler from the AH will need to be determined. Also, the color codes of the thermostat wiring should be verified.

One more thing to mention, in case you don't have the installation brochure on the Erie zone valves... the BLACK wires are the MOTOR, and the RED wires are the ENDSWITCH.
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-21-09 at 08:04 AM.
 

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