Single Stage Boiler, Outdoor Reset Question

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Old 11-18-12, 10:54 PM
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How to Optimize Peerless WV-DV / Traingle IDHW Setup

Hey everyone,

I have been reading posts on this forum for the past 3 months since we moved to our new place and I am trying to optimize our system for optimal heating/cooling and oil usage.

Here are some stats:

- Location: Upstate NY
- Boiler: Peerless WV-DV, 100+k BTU (bought in 2009)
- IDHW: Triangle 50gal
- Hot water Circulating Pump
- Control: Honeywell L7224C
- Thermostats: ECOBEE SMART SI, wireless smart thermostats
- Oil Price: $3.79

Details:

There is a single recirc pump for all three boiler zones on the boiler control 1) IDHW 2) First Floor 3) Second floor. There are seperate air handlers for the two house zones.

As I travel allot for work, I have installed a timer on the recirc pump to limit heat loss and save on power, along with a timer for the IDHW (wired in line switch to red hot wire) to only have it allowed to ask for more water during AM/PM shower periods and at 2:00pm just for recharge - it also allows me to turn of the IDWH in the winter (when away) but still heat the house for pipe issues

We have a 2700 sqft home (2 adults, 2kids), newly built in 2010, but I want to optimize the system as much as possible.

Questions

- Will I gain much going cold start? Right now it is set for 180/130 per the guy who installed the IDWH, but NJTrooper and other seem to advocate for cold start. I imagine it will help more in the summer?

I tried to turn it off, but the stupid 7224C (not U) does not support this...with that in mind any recomendations on what I should buy to allow this and perhaps also have some neat savings features? Will I run into Hot water recycle issues?

If I go with the aquastat 7600, it says it only supports 2 zone valves,? Does my 7224 support more than 2?

- Will an outdoor reset control help? or what about a heatmanager?

- Is there any way to make the boiler fire for longer? According to the ecobee web stats, it runs for 5-6 mins max during a heating cycle (for house heat). I tried to change it on the thermostat, but I didnt do anything, so it must be a setting on the boiler

- Does it make a different how the zones and priority are wired? Is there such a thing as priority with a single circ pump? Right now the two wires from the honey control are all wired in parralel with the three zones? Could I even change this?

- Other ideas?


Thanks sooo much in advance!
 

Last edited by gsimmons2005; 11-18-12 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 11-19-12, 05:48 AM
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Some thoughts in order of best to least
1) Tekmar house control with indoor feedback thermostats, allows good ODR yet will let you boost water temp due to indoor feedback and advanced software.
2) Tekmar 256 boiler control, or even 260/261 that will control DHW, along with switching controls to allow your # of zones
3) Just cold start.
-) add ECM circulators to system to save electrical costs

ODR has been said to gain 30% fuel savings, ECM circ's can save 50% or more on thier usage.
The Tekmar house control has a gateway to allow remote access to most aspects of the system.
Unfortunately it does come with a cost, and I see you have the ecobee stats now. Those are not cheap, but you may be able to ebay or CL them.
With out doubt, there is fuel that can be saved though the use of good controls and cold start, also proper piping and making sure there is no thermal migration during no heat calls on the indirect that will pull heat out of the indirect when there is no call.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 10:07 AM
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For single stage boilers, the outdoor sensor is used to just adjust the high temp setting and differential for the boiler? What else does it adjust in the setup and operation of the boiler (assuming you go cold start)

As for the house control, we have forced air, so the hydronic thermostats I dont think would make sense? How is that tekmar setup done?

Lastly, the setup is done using a single circulator for all three zones, we had tankless coil and then converted to IDHW, so they didnt install a sep circ pump for that. Is it worth getting a seperate circulator installed just for the IDHW?
 

Last edited by gsimmons2005; 11-19-12 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 11-19-12, 01:02 PM
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Single Stage Boiler, Outdoor Reset Question

Right now I have a 3 zone peerless, single stage boiler setup. Two of the zones are heat, and the last one is the indirect tank (converted system recently from tankless).

There is only a single circulator on the entire system (since was designed for tankless) and the honeywell control does not have cold reset.

I would like to do a simple, cheap exchange of the honeywell L7224 and replace it with a Tekmar 260 control so I get some effeciency with cold start and an outdoor reset. I know to make outdoor reset and cold start more effecient I will have to install a seperate circulator on the hot water heater (not hard) and then wire it all to the 260.

Main question is...do I need a zone control unit in addition to the 260? or can the 260 control my 2 heating zones with one circulator and the IDHW with its own circulator?

 
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Old 11-19-12, 04:34 PM
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Can we merge this into your other thread? Yes? OK... will do.

We'll get into more specifics after, but I have a couple questions first:

You said:

I have installed a timer on the recirc pump to limit heat loss
What do you mean?

When you say " recirc " pump, are you talking about the CIRCULATOR pump that moves the boiler water around the system?

How so do you have a timer on that pump? Please elaborate.
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-19-12 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 11-19-12, 05:41 PM
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you do not need to use a zone control box, it just makes things tidy and clean.
Tekmar house control stats will work very well with air handlers, no question there. There is huge saving and comfort to be gained by reseting the water going to the air handlers.
All the benefits of indoor feedback work no matter what the terminal unit is be it infloor or finned baseboard.

I like to use a circ on the indirect as it usually has a different head loss than the system does so I can use the correct circ. Many people use a zone valve, and there is nothing wrong with that.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 05:56 PM
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- Will I gain much going cold start? Right now it is set for 180/130 per the guy who installed the IDWH, but NJTrooper and other seem to advocate for cold start. I imagine it will help more in the summer?
I believe it would be substantial enough to warrant doing. Yes, probably more so in the summertime, in addition there won't be extra load put on the A/C system removing the heat being shed by the boiler.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 05:59 PM
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I tried to turn it off, but the stupid 7224C (not U) does not support this...with that in mind any recomendations on what I should buy to allow this and perhaps also have some neat savings features?
It could be replaced by the 7224U, the Aquasmart, and others.

Will I run into Hot water recycle issues?
I don't understand what you mean by this?
 
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Old 11-19-12, 06:02 PM
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If I go with the aquastat 7600, it says it only supports 2 zone valves,? Does my 7224 support more than 2?
You can wire any number of zones to any aquastat with the proper wiring and controls.

What the literature means is that the control itself will work with 2 valves, more valves would require different wiring or a control panel.

I believe that your current control is only SINGLE zone, and that you have external wiring in place to control the other valves.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 06:06 PM
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- Will an outdoor reset control help? or what about a heatmanager?
ODR will help. With a CONVENTIONAL (NOT condensing type) boiler as you have, the amount of savings will be limited by the fact that you can not run the low limit down much below 140F without causing problems with flue gas condensation. This is called a PARTIAL reset.

As opposed to condensing boilers that are specifically designed for low temperature use, which will allow running all the way down to room temperature. In fact, the more they run below the condensing point, the more latent heat is removed from the flue gas and the more efficient they operate.

HeatMangler... for various reasons, I'm not 'down' with the technology... I don't recommend them for anything but grossly oversized systems and to cure short cycling issues. (sorry JH!)
 
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Old 11-19-12, 06:11 PM
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- Is there any way to make the boiler fire for longer? According to the ecobee web stats, it runs for 5-6 mins max during a heating cycle (for house heat). I tried to change it on the thermostat, but I didnt do anything, so it must be a setting on the boiler
Is there a PUBLIC view available for the web stats? I'm curious as to what you see... sounds interesting. OR, is there a 'demo' on their website?

If you are running 5-6 minute burner cycle, it might indicate some oversizing of the boiler. (most are!) but that's not a TERRIBLE run time.

Most of the newer aquastats allow adjustment of the HI LIM DIFFERENTIAL. I think you model does not have this setting either? Take a look see, let me know.

Setting the HL DIFF larger will allow the boiler to cool further in between cycles, running more heat into the home without the burner running, and when the burner DOES refire, it will fire longer.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 06:14 PM
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- Does it make a different how the zones and priority are wired? Is there such a thing as priority with a single circ pump? Right now the two wires from the honey control are all wired in parralel with the three zones? Could I even change this?
It sounds like your zones are wired in what I call the "rat's nest" method. Individual wiring between the thermostats, a transformer, the valves, and to the boiler.

If so, there's really no way to obtain a water heater 'priority' function.

You could install something like a Taco ZVC panel which would clean up the wiring and provide a priority function for the water heater.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 06:15 PM
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Chew on this info for a while, I'll be back later to address more recent Qs.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 08:56 PM
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Thanks everyone for the reply's...esp NJ Trooper I attached some pictures for reference

I am not sure what a "zone" is specified as, but I essentially have three pipes coming off a line from the boiler (on both return and intake). Each of the pipes has a honeywell zone valve (small rectangular box) that turns on/off when there is a call from the respective thermostats. The red hots all are capped back to a single red hot from the boiler, while the yellows run to the zone valves. Two of the pipes are my heating zones for the house (2 sep air handlers), while the third is going to the indirect tank. There is only 1 boiler circulating pump for the three pipes and the thermostats are all wired into the air handlers and then into the zone valves. The IDHW stat is running direct to its zone valve. All of this is driven by a 24v transformer on the wall that runs to the boiler, then to the honeywell aquastat, the zone valves and then to the air handlers and finally to the ecobee wifi thermostats.

To answer your questions

1. I have a recirculating pump (forgot the "re" part) for the hot water in the house, it runs from the indirect water to provide instant hot water. That is on a timer so I am not constantly sending around

2. For the boiler settings, Ecobee (like nest) has online stats that show inside/out temps and cycles of the boiler. For any heating cycle you can see how long the tstat called for heat from the system. You can google "ecobee graphs" to see them. See my picture


I went in and exported them to excel, the average run time is 3.75 minutes per cycle, with a max of 5 min, min of 1.5 minutes

3. There is no HL differential on my aqustat (just HL, LL, LDF)


My followup questions (thanks in advance)

A. You say I will have flu gas issues below 140...I assume my direct vent system does not help resolve that? I think only the condensating boilers will fix that?

B. Is there a huge benefit to having a dedicated circulating pump on the IDHW zone? Right now it is a zone valve only and does not have "priority" per say as there is one circ pump for the entire boiler setup. The bekett guy said it would help since that circulator could run longer and extract more heat from the cooling boiler, which you wouldn't want for the heat zones. Right now I dont seem to have an issue with hot water demand issues as 50 gal seems plenty big for the two showers.

C. I looked at the Tekmar 260, it fits the bill without the need for zone controls and it allows me to cold start in the summer and set HLDF. Plus it has an outdoor reset which should help things further. However, it wont do priority to the IDHW unless I install a circ pump on that zone line. It works with a valve approach (that I have now), but does not give priority.

Assuming I spend 3k on oil annually, and the Tekmar is $350 do you think I would really benefit from installing one or am I throwing money at a sinkhole? If I dont need to really get a seperate circ pump for the IDHW (aka need plumber), I can install this myself, leave the pipes in place and still reap the benefits...if there are any!

D. Assuming I could remove the low limit, should I set it to off, or leave it at 140?

I am just trying to save some money on oil before I make the natural gas switch in a few years. I would switch now, but the boiler is 2 years old, its a new house and I have already spent enough money on other things (like paving driveway, dog fence, etc...)

E. What should I put the differential at? 10, 15, 20 degrees? This is for the HLDF

Sorry if I have the terms messed up too, I am just getting to know HVAC!

Thanks again! Do you have a paypal account I can send a few bucks to for your help?Name:  P1030643 (Small).jpg
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Old 11-20-12, 06:26 AM
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to answer your questions.
1) yes, we are taking boiler heat exchanger condensation issues. Though that venting scares me.
2)If the boiler shuts off during a DHW call then I would add a circ there as you likely do not have enough flow for the indirect, or the indirect will not take the entire output of the boiler.
3)While you can continue with the wiring as it is now, a Taco ZVC404 is not much money, it will clean the wiring up nicely, and it has DHW priority on zone 4.
4)Set the low limit lower, and use the tekmar control to set your limits. Keep the high limit set at 200 to 210. Lower is better, but its only a safety limit at this point.
5) if the tekmar has an auto differential, use auto if possible. Large differentials can negate the benefits of ODR, but so does short cycles. There is a happy medium though, but your have to do trial and error.
 
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Old 11-20-12, 11:35 AM
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TOheating, thanks for the response

- I hear you on the venting, but I inherited that!
- When the IDHW makes a call, the boiler keeps running until the aquastat on the HW stops, then the boiler runs for a few seconds and turns off. I have never had the boiler stop in the middle of a IDHW call, as once its temp is met, it flips the switch on the control valve.

The current circ pump seems to handle all three zones pretty well, so I am still not certain what the benefits of adding a dedicated circ pump for the IDHW? I understand I get priority if there is an issue where water is needed ASAP (before the heat), but I have yet to come accross that issue yet with the valves? Are there other benefits that I am not seeing?

- Even with the taco zone control, will it really be priority without a seperate circ pump?

Thanks
 
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Old 11-20-12, 12:04 PM
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If so, there's really no way to obtain a water heater 'priority' function.
My boiler does priority using a relay.

I am just trying to save some money on oil before I make the natural gas switch in a few years. I would switch now, but the boiler is 2 years old, its a new house and I have already spent enough money on other things (like paving driveway, dog fence, etc...)
If you don't have the money, then you don't have it. But switching to natural gas is going to give you the most savings out of everything. For every gallon of oil you use, you would pay $1.73 if it was natural gas (local prices may vary).

Depending on what natural gas boiler you buy, you may be able to use some of the new controls if you install them on your existing boiler. A zone control would be quite useful, but a separate ODR may not be if you buy a mod/con boiler.
 
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Old 11-20-12, 01:51 PM
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You say I will have flu gas issues below 140...I assume my direct vent system does not help resolve that? I think only the condensating boilers will fix that?
No, the water temp (and the flue temp) is controlled by the aquastat setting on your boiler.

Using the clothes drier or flexible HVAC venting for your flue gas is not a good idea, if that is what it is. If it's for lining a chimney, then is it approved for this application? And it should supported and slope upward.
 

Last edited by gilmorrie; 11-20-12 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 11-20-12, 03:26 PM
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At low boiler temps, you will have condensation in the heat exchanger. That condesnation will damage the cast iron.
 
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Old 11-20-12, 03:49 PM
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My boiler does priority using a relay.
Yes... and the ZVC control panel incorporates these relays. It is of course possible to wire a single relay to achieve priority even with "rat's nest" wiring, but the cost will be so close why bother? Might as well clean up the wiring and get priority at the same time.

- Even with the taco zone control, will it really be priority without a seperate circ pump?
Yes. The zone control panel will sense when the water heater is calling and will prevent space heating calls until it's done.

You don't NEED a separate pump for the water heater. It WILL improve 'recovery times' though, but if you don't have an itch, you don't need to scratch!

In fact, if you don't have problems with long recovery times now, without the priority, you may not even need to bother with that aspect at all.

Thanks again! Do you have a paypal account I can send a few bucks to for your help?
Nope... not allowed here. Even if it were I would insist that you 'Pay It Forward'.
 
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Old 11-20-12, 04:53 PM
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Using the clothes drier or flexible HVAC venting for your flue gas is not a good idea.
I'm kind of hoping that we are going to be told that the label on that vent material at least says something like " Z-FLEX " ...

I am sure that it's the 'right stuff', my issue with it is the fact that from the camera angle in the pic it appears that it could have been installed in a more workman like manner. It seems as if it's too long and meandering around. Could it not have been shortened and routed more cleanly?

Also, I see no evidence that there are any support straps for the vent, and it may in fact be dipping 'down' and back up again.

It just looks kinda 'shaky' if you know what I mean...

the outdoor sensor is used to just adjust the high temp setting and differential for the boiler? What else does it adjust in the setup and operation of the boiler (assuming you go cold start)
It only adjusts the high limit setting, not even the differential. Nothing else.

If you use the 260 Tekmar, I might suggest NOT using the zone control panel and wiring per "A260-2" in this PDF file:

http://www.tekmarcontrols.com/images...e/260_a_06.pdf

If you use the ZVC panel, you will probably have to jump through hoops to figure out how to wire it properly. The Tekmar diagram is tried and true.

The other option if going with the Taco ZVC panel is to use the 'enhanced' variety that allows use of their own version of the 260, the PC700 , which is basically the same thing, and plugs into the zone panel.

The ENHANCED model of this panel is NOT simply the same old ZVC panel, OR the "EXP" version. Be careful if ordering that you get the correct one. Make sure that you don't get 'new old stock' that does not have the 'POWER OPTIONS' plug if you decide to use the PC700 with it.
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-21-12 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 11-20-12, 05:00 PM
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FLUE GAS CONDENSATION

It is basically the same thing that happens when moisture in the air condenses and forms a dew on the grass, but it happens at radically different temperatures.

The 'dew point' of oil fired flue gas is somewhere around 115-120F. Gas fired dew point is around 135F or so.

What this means is that whenever the flue gases contact a surface at or below the dew point, the moisture (water vapor) in the flue gas will condense out and form a 'dew'. This dew is ACIDIC because it absorbs the carbonic, sulfuric, and other acids that are formed during combustion.

If this condensate is allowed to persist, it will 'eat' anything it comes in contact with. The PH is probably in the area of 4-5.

This is why it is important to not allow the boiler to fire below the temperature at which this dew will form. You do not want to allow prolonged operation with the return water to the boiler at a temp below the dew point.

Since the RETURN water is going to be 20-30F COOLER than the supply temp, you need to make sure that the supply temp is high enough to safely operate.
 
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Old 11-20-12, 06:24 PM
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Yes, the ZVC 404 has priority on zone 4.
Wire your IDHW zone valve to zone 4 as per diagrams and you will be ok
 
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Old 11-21-12, 05:31 PM
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After re-reading my earlier post, it sounded kinda confusing, so I'm going to try again:

If you decide on using the Tekmar 260, I would choose NOT to use the Taco ZVC panel and wire it as shown in the Tekmar diagram.

If you wish to use the ZVC panel, make sure you get one with the EXP 'power options' plug and instead of the Tekmar 260, use the Taco PC700 ODR module which will plug directly into the panel. (the PC700 is I believe made by Tekmar for Taco by the way)

If you try to use the Tekmar 260 with the ZVC there will be some wiring challenges to overcome. Not impossible, but not the simplest solution.

Does that make more sense?
 
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Old 11-21-12, 06:25 PM
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Why not just use the Beckett Aquasmart with wireless outdoor temp reset and be done with it. it will cost less and it is standard equipment on that boiler now.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 07:08 PM
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Not sure the aqua smart has the ability to override the reset curve during a DHW call
 
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Old 11-22-12, 05:15 AM
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Dhw

Sure it does - how could you do ODR without it?
 
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Old 11-22-12, 08:20 AM
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Well... you certainly COULD do ODR without a DHW override... the problem wouldn't be with the ODR, but rather with the DHW not firing the boiler to high limit.

The AquaSmart DOES have priority[correction] ODR override for the DHW calls, as do most of the other newer aquastat controls. Typically they allow pushbutton configuration of the action of the ZR input.

This aquastat uses technology that senses heat load by the time and duration of thermostat calls (INDOOR FEEDBACK) in addition to tracking the rate of change of boiler temperature. They are calling it "HeatManager" technology but it is NOT the same thing as the 'old' HM tech... There is an algorithm programmed in that uses this info to adjust the 'setpoint' of the high limit.

There IS an 'add-on' module available that also provides ODR ability though, and it will use the info from the OD sensor in addition to tracking thermostat calls and boiler temp feedback.

[late edit: NO, I believe the above paragraph is wrong... after studying the manuals in more detail, it appears that if the wireless ODR is attached and functioning, it ALONE adjusts the boiler and the 'HeatManager' functions are disabled. So, it's one or the other... either HM tech, or ODR]

Here's the AquaSmart install brochure:

http://www.beckettcorp.com/protect2/...martmanual.pdf

Manual for add-on ODR:

http://www.beckettcorp.com/Protect2/...duleManual.pdf
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-24-12 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 11-24-12, 12:40 PM
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You have to use DHW priority because if the indirect calls for the burner to run as a heating call and the outside air temp is over the high temp for the curve then you will try to heat the indirect to 140 with 130 water in the boiler.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 05:35 PM
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Well, I installed the aquasmart along with the wireless ODR sensor. Works great - I also wired up the DHW priority so it heats to 180 when it calls. Even though I only have zone valves and no zone control, I just ran a wire from the DHW aquastat to the aquasmart (along with the zone control), so it opens the zone and forces the full 180. I realize this may up the temp when the heating zones are calling for a lower temp, but all this means is a little overshoot in the temp.

The wireless sensor works well and you can change the high/low reference temps and the heating curve. It is great as it lowered my temp from 180 to 140-150 this past week, which saved me some $$$. The ODR uses lower limits than the heatmanager algorithm, which is nice

Thanks everyone for your help!
 
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