Empty House with boiler heating and hot water.. what would you do?

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Old 10-16-12, 05:21 PM
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Empty House with boiler heating and hot water.. what would you do?

Hi all,
I bought a house, but am living somewhere else till Summer (where everything is paid for by a company, yes NO bills).

The main issue is even though the house is close, I don't want to have to run to it everytime it drops near freezing and turn the boiler on. I'd rather be able to control it from outside over the internet. I already have a wifi thermostat, however it still runs to keep water hot for showers, etc. I imagine that will waste a LOT of oil over the winter. I'd also like to be able to come in on a moments notice and spend the night, with regular heat etc. so I'm not really wanting to winterize the place.

Has anyone heard of a simple way of turning power on or off via the internet. It really doesn't even have to be a boiler specific switch, just any kind of remote switch I guess.

The other option would be to make it so it stops trying to keep hot water in the tank for the sinks, etc. I think you guys refer to this as COLD start.. I would then have to change settings everytime I wanted to shower - right?

Are there any other options you can think of? Thanks for your help in advance.
 
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Old 10-16-12, 05:40 PM
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You could drain all the water systems, and pour antifreze into the parts that can't be drained.
 
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Old 10-16-12, 05:43 PM
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Freezing isn't what he is concerned about. He wants to be able to have a warm house and a hot shower for the couple times he goes over and not break the bank with his warm start boiler during the other times.
 
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Old 10-16-12, 06:04 PM
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J3ffrey, just to clarify a bit...

Your boiler has the internal coil for domestic hot water and is definitely a warm start? i.e. you have a triple a'stat?

Your a'stat is an L8124A ?
 
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Old 10-16-12, 06:05 PM
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What is the condition of the boiler? Did it get inspected at all during the purchase and sale of the home? Gas or oil?

You want to be careful about making it a cold-start, there are some things to consider, particularly when dealing with an older boiler.
 
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Old 10-16-12, 06:05 PM
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yes, I thought of winterizing the house, but then I'd have to drain the radiators, etc etc etc, everytime.

The problem is the place I'm living is shared living so I can't really bring a "friend that I met at a bar" (ahem) over here... I'd rather just bring her there.. For that reason alone witerization just isn't the optimal solution.

I was hoping that there was something I could use to just signal power to ON for the boiler or off..
 
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Old 10-16-12, 06:12 PM
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The boiler is 2 years old or so, it's been regularly cleaned and inspected just fine.

Hey NJ trooper I'm not sure exactly what it is. I'll swing by tomorrow and take some pics.. I might have even posted them before, let me go back through my other posts and figure it out
 
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Old 10-16-12, 11:22 PM
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A telephone transponder might be the simplest and cheapest "remote" switch. Best ones require a code number rather than just a ring signal.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 01:30 PM
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What about something like this?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...&pf_rd_i=typ01

Would there be anything dangerous in putting this somewhere in the line? A boiler doesn't use that much power does it?
 
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Old 10-17-12, 01:54 PM
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Old 10-17-12, 02:06 PM
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Those devices require a full-time Internet connection to the house. If you have that then they should be fine with one caveat; the boiler is hard-wired and these devices are for a cord-connected appliance.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 03:26 PM
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For some reason, I'm not all that crazy about the notion of having to rely on a manually-operated, remote switch in order to turn a boiler on and off during the winter. Aside from the potential technical hiccups, there's also the human element (having to constantly monitor the weather forecast and judging whether or not to "flick" the remote switch on or off). I guess my point is, don't forget to factor in your peace of mind here.

Another thing you might want to take into account: the internal tankless coil mentioned by Trooper is in almost all cases the worst (i.e., most expensive) way to produce hot water for use in the home. A stand-alone modern electric tank would probably be an improvement, and an "indirect" style hot water tank even more so. With that in mind, if you intend on spending several years in the new home, then it might be worth your while to get rid of the internal coil now and go with either an electric or indirect tank. In both cases you would be in a better position to convert the boiler to a true cold-start, and you will definitely save money on hot water over the long haul.
 
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