Peerless Furnace and Hot Water

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Old 11-03-12, 10:24 AM
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Peerless Furnace and Hot Water

We have a relatively new Peerless Furnace that heats our three story home as well as our water. There is a hot water collecting unit next to the boiler which I believe is set at 130 degrees to keep the water warm when not used. We are attempting to use the furnace just to heat our water because we have a large wood pellet stove that heats our home very well. The furnace kicks on all the time even though the house is well above the temperature set on our thermostats. Our water is scalding hot and burning us. I would like to adjust the water temperature. I also hope to conserve oil by doing this. Need help please?

Thanks Oakey
 
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Old 11-03-12, 03:59 PM
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You do not have a furnace, you have a boiler. Furnace is the generic term for a device that heats air for distribution through ducts.

Depending on this "hot water collecting unit" your boiler MAY be operating normally. If the "collecting unit" is just a storage tank then the domestic hot water is heated by a coil located inside the boiler proper and the boiler WILL fire on a frequent basis to keep the boiler water hot in case someone wants to use some hot water.

HOWEVER, if the "hot water collecting unit" is an indirect domestic water heater then it uses pumped boiler water through a coil in the "unit" to produce hot water. The indirect water heater will ONLY allow the boiler to fire if it needs to heat (or re-heat) the water in the indirect heater tank.

In either case there SHOULD be a "tempering valve" installed in the discharge piping for domestic hot water. It IS possible that this tempering valve (if installed) has failed.

Please post several pictures of your installation, both close ups and from a distance so we can see how all the parts are connected. Please make sure the pictures are well lit and in focus.
 
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Old 11-03-12, 08:51 PM
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Furd thanks took pictures but I am having a hard time creating an album on this site to down load them too. The instruction call to locate the Pictures & Albums' link which I can't find. Any help you can offer on how to get these pictures downloaded?
 
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Old 11-03-12, 10:16 PM
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It is best to upload the pictures to a photo hosting site such as photobucket.com, make the album public and then post the URL here. The direct hosting of photos on the forum is problematic.
 
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Old 11-04-12, 12:39 AM
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Interesting system. It appears as if you have a "tankless coil" in your boiler and that coil supplies the storage tank. If I am correct in my thinking then the pump near the bottom of the storage tank should be controlled by a thermostat under the jacket of the storage tank to run when the water in the storage tank drops below the set temperature of the thermostat. Where does that electrical cord that comes out of the upper side of the storage tank, droops down and then runs into the overhead go?

Does this pump on the storage tank run continuously? It should not be running when the tank is hot. The thermostat for the pump should be behind the access plate behind the pump. I suspect that this thermostat has failed. If you could remove this access plate and take a picture it might help. Unplug the electrical cable from the tank (if indeed it IS plugged in to a receptacle that I cannot see) before removing the access plate as it is quite possible that the thermostat connections are not guarded against contact. There may be some fiberglass insulation in the way and you will need to carefully move it to see the thermostat.

Also, do you have a "tempering valve" in the domestic water system after it leaves the storage tank? It will look like one of these pictures from Google Images. https://www.google.com/search?q=hot+water+tempering+valve&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=mKa&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&channel=np&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=GAuWUMytLcr5igKr8IHIBA&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1024&bih=606
 
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Old 11-04-12, 01:29 AM
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I will take some pictures in the morning and post them up.

Furd I can not take any photo's until the morning. To answer your question I have never heard the holding tank pump running. Just the Boiler kicks on a lot. You are correct that cord from the holding tank plugs into a receptical above the unit. I opened the cover and found the thermostat it was set for 140 degrees. The cover said the factory setting it for 130. I took a screw driver and brought it back to the factory settings. I can not find any tempering valves after the storage unit. But I did notice that the pipe that runs down the front of the unit say's cold at entry point but is hot as a buzzard to the touch. The second to last photo 213519.jpg if you blow it up with the magnify glasses it's say's cold but is scorching?

Thanks
Oakey
 
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Old 11-04-12, 01:48 AM
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That pump is a very quiet model so you might not hear it running. You can try unplugging the cord from the storage tank and see if the "cold" water pipe cools off. It is the nature of the beast for the boiler to start and stop to maintain the hot water temperature, especially is the pump is running continuously.

When you take the pictures concentrate on the piping from the cold water main to the circular plate on the boiler where the control box is mounted, the second pipe coming out of that plate to the storage tank and any piping from the storage tank outlet back to the cold water piping. I know how your system is supposed to work, I just need to see all the components to be certain of where to start looking for the most likely trouble spot.
 
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Old 11-04-12, 01:04 AM
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Thanks. I will take pictures tomorrow and put them up of the pipe configuration.
 

Last edited by Oakey; 11-04-12 at 01:07 AM. Reason: miss spelling
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Old 11-04-12, 03:35 PM
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Furd having issues getting the pictures uploaded as links?

Don't know what I am doing wrong. I did it last night no problem but I have been trying all day and the link text comes up but you can't click on it?

By the way you were correct that pump is silent if you touch it, it does vibrate when it's on. I thought you nailed the problem because when I was taking photo's this mornimg it was vibrating to the touch for a while but when I came back two other times it was not running. I left the plug from the storgage unit unplugged for a few hours last night but that cold pipe is still scorching hot. The water is still scalding hot even after I adjust it.

I hope to get these 21 photo's up tonight.

Thanks Again

Oakey
 
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Old 11-04-12, 08:17 PM
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Furd,
This is common in the north east which I am not a big proponent of for three reasons.
1. Boiler maintains temp all the time
2. Piping to the tank is usually done in 1/2" slower recovery.
3. Tanks usually not as well insulated as an indirect
 
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Old 11-05-12, 12:57 AM
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Oakey, try leaving the pump (water heater) unplugged overnight or all day and see if the temperature drops. I see something in the pictures that really doesn't make sense to me. It looks like a fire protection sprinkler head installed in the domestic cold water pipe to the boiler tankless coil.

I was looking for a check valve or flow control valve in the piping between the tankless coil and the storage tank or pump. If this thing stays super hot even without the pump running then if is probably because of thermo-siphon operation. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense if it worked reasonable well for several years.
 
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Old 11-06-12, 06:00 AM
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Furd I just purchased this place in January of this year

The hot water has always been super hot. Up to this point I have been very busy to bother with it. I will unplug storage unit this morning and let you know later about it. You are right that connection looks like it's for a fire sprinkler system.
 
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Old 11-06-12, 05:03 PM
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leaving the unit unplugged all day

the water became a little better then warm.
 
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Old 11-08-12, 08:25 PM
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That leads me to believe the pump thermostat (the one inside the storage tank access) is stuck shut and needs to be replaced.
 
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Old 11-09-12, 10:11 PM
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In addition to Furd's line of reasoning, I would like to know the settings of the aquastat dials.

The gray box mounted on the circular plate on the boiler has a cover that can be removed by loosening one screw on the side and sliding straight off.

TURN THE POWER TO THE BOILER OFF! 120VAC INSIDE ! YOU CAN BE KILLED!

Slide the cover off and tell us the settings of the three dials you should see inside:

LO

HI

DIFF
 
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Old 11-10-12, 11:35 AM
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Thanks Furd and Troop

Furd: I will have pictures up soon of that thermastat? I have no idea what brand this storage unit is. Where would I get a replacement thermastat?

Troop: I opened the Honeywell box. The high on that unit was 180 and the Low was 150.
Are these correct settings?

Thanks Oakey
 

Last edited by Oakey; 11-10-12 at 11:39 AM. Reason: addition to post
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Old 11-10-12, 03:21 PM
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Old 11-10-12, 03:52 PM
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That looks like a old Ford.Maybe a electric hwh stat would fit ,it just surface mount.Your brothers looks like a compression fitting,someone will walk you thru it and then again my eyes are not great.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 04:26 PM
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The high on that unit was 180 and the Low was 150.
Are these correct settings?
Should be OK. Once you get the problem with the tank thermostat fixed up, you might try bringing the LOW down to 140. It would 'probably' still provide enough hot water and might save you some fuel.

What's the DIFF set to?
 
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Old 11-10-12, 04:35 PM
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Where would I get a replacement thermastat?
That does appear to be a standard hot water heater 'clip in' thermostat. You should be able to find that at a home depot or lowes for not too much money.

By the way, when that pump is running, the motor will be as hot as, or a bit hotter than the water that is being pumped.

Before replacing the thermostat though, take a meat thermometer and measure the temp of the hot water at the taps. The thermostat appears to be set to 130 and 130 water is quite hot to the touch. Let's make sure that you really do have a problem before changing the thermostat!
 
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Old 11-10-12, 06:04 PM
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I agree with Trooper, that is a standard electric water heater thermostat. I think the first step is to make sure the thermostat is securely held against the tank and then turn the setting down to the minimum and let it run for 24 hours. If there is no change then you need to replace the thermostat.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 08:00 PM
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Troop the Thermastat is set for 130 the water temp...

is running more around 140 or 143. I will lower the setting to 120 and see how that feels.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 10:01 PM
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I, and many other people, prefer to run the water storage at 140 degrees for two primary reasons. First is that it precludes the growth of bacteria such as causes Legionnaires disease and the other reason is that it effectively gives a greater capacity of hot water. We ALSO strongly recommend the installation of a tempering valve to lower the temperature of the hot water supplied to the distribution system to a lower and safer temperature.
 
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Old 11-11-12, 10:27 AM
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I don't think you have a problem with the equipment really... it sounds as though it's working but you don't like the 140 water at the tap (neither would I!).

At this point I would leave alone the thermostat settings, and make plans to install the tempering valve that Furd is recommending. This will allow the safety of the hotter water in the tank to prevent bacteria growth, and only allow 120 water to the taps.

It's a couple hours of plumber time to install that valve...
 
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Old 11-11-12, 06:16 PM
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I changed the setting and the water at the tap is 125 o 130 is that a problem?
 
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Old 11-11-12, 06:21 PM
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just read Furds post I will bring the settings back up we don't need any issues

Thanks. Can I install that valve myself is it complicated?
 
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Old 11-11-12, 06:38 PM
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Do you have the equipment and ability to solder copper pipe? It is three connections on the valve.
 
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Old 11-11-12, 06:45 PM
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Can I install that valve myself is it complicated?
Not terribly complicated, whether or not you can do it yourself depends on your skill set and how comfortable you are cutting into your domestic water lines and soldering pipes.

There are some 'Sharkbite' models that have 'push fittings' if you aren't able to solder. Even if you can solder pipes, sometimes it's darn near impossible to get the pipes DRY which would make it impossible to get a passable solder connection. Push fit gets around this problem, but make sure that there are CLEAN cuts on the pipe, and NO BURRS, and no 'torsional stress' on the connections.

There are two types... the ones shaped in a TEE are Thermostatic controlled, the ones that have 'offset' pipes aren't always thermostatic (some are, so check before purchase) and avoid the ones that are not even though they are considerably cheaper.

Basically, you install the valve on the HOT line to the taps. The outlet of the storage tank goes to the HOT input to the valve, the MIX port on the valve goes to the taps. You will need to tee off the cold line into the water tank and install a tee with a pipe to the COLD input to the valve.

There's LOTS of them available!

Mixing Valves , Taco Mixing Valves , Watts Mixing Valves , Honeywell Mixing Valves - PexSupply.com
 
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