Burnham Boiler - Intermittant Hot Water


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Old 01-03-10, 07:31 AM
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Burnham Boiler - Intermittant Hot Water

I have a Burnham boiler in a house that I am renting. There is 4 zones and all seem to be heating properly.

What I am having an issue with is the hot water in my shower. I get very hot water for about 2-3 minutes then warm/cold. This happens during the first shower of the day. Other times, I can get hot water for about 15 minutes.

Any idea what can be causing this ?

The boiler is running at about 28psi with a a high/low setting of 160/180 degree.

Thanks !
Tom
 
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Old 01-03-10, 11:32 AM
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That type of behaviour is more or less 'normal' for that method of making hot domestic water.

Not to say that there ISN't something wrong though.

As a renter, I have to remind you that you don't own that equipment, so should not be doing anything to it. It's the landlords property and if you mess something up, it's gonna cost you...

Your best course of action is to alert the landlord that there are issues with the hot water and hopefully they will be dealt with.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 03:15 PM
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Thanks. I know I'm taking a risk looking at it. I'm not going
to do anything major, just more of I want to be informed about how the system works. I'm used to hot air systems. My landlord won't do anything as it does produce hot water.

The shower head has a high flow. I might change it out to a reduced flow high pressure one to make the hot water last longer.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 04:34 PM
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informed about how the system works
No prob...

Inside the boiler, behind that plate with all the bolts and the gray aquastat box is a 'coil' of copper tubing. The boiler is kept warm by means of the 'LOW' setting on the aquastat (the DIFF also) in order that the domestic water flowing through the coil is heated.

Problem is that over time they get 'limed up' and lose the ability to transfer heat to the water as fast as it's being used. A temporary remedy is to have the coil professionally cleaned with an acid solution... or replacing the coil altogether.

Are there just two pipes for the domestic hot water? One going in from the cold supply, and one going out to the hot taps? OR, is there a 'gadget' _between_ the two in/out pipes? That gadget, if there, is a 'mixing valve'... they sometimes go bad...

The settings on the aquastat: The HIGH controls only the heating. It's the hottest that the water should get in the boiler. The LOW controls the temp that the boiler stays warm at... and with it set to 160, it is set as high as allowed. The LOW setting is never to be set closer than 20 degrees to the HIGH setting. Check the DIFF setting, and if it is less, set it to 20

As for the cold showers in the morning... one thing you can do is run the hot water when you first get up for long enough until you hear the boiler kick on... then wait to take your shower until you hear it kick back off again.

And yes, the low flow shower head is a great idea.

running at about 28psi
Which is quite high actually. If the gauge is to be believed (which it probably isn't) this is on the verge of popping the safety relief valve and spewing hot water out the relief vent!

If you want some 'ammunition' for taking to the landlord, take some pictures of the system and post them on photobucket. Maybe we'll see something that is amiss... then you can tell them that 'some dude on the internet said so' ! ha ha ha ... yeah, that oughta get a laugh!
 
 

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