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Lukewarm water unless I run enough to get boiler to kick on... advice?

Lukewarm water unless I run enough to get boiler to kick on... advice?


  #1  
Old 07-25-15, 06:06 AM
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Lukewarm water unless I run enough to get boiler to kick on... advice?

My home and oil-fired hot water heater are 12 years old. The hot water heater runs off the in-floor radiant heat boiler system.

I only have lukewarm water at any time of day if it's been more than 5-6 hours since I last ran the hot tap. Taking a shower when I haven't been around to get the water warmed up is very unpleasant.

About five minutes into a continuous hot water run (more or less depending on the amount of water, dishes vs laundry for example) the boiler kicks on. But it takes another five minutes to generate enough heat to create even a little steam. Once the water is hot, it can get hot enough to burn you.

I can deal with less than hot most of the time, but I want to get a hot shower without needing to run a ton of water beforehand. What's going on?
 
  #2  
Old 07-25-15, 06:12 AM
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How about a make & model? What type of settings are on it? Pics might help.
 
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Old 07-25-15, 06:22 AM
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Weil-McClain Gold Plus 40
Temp dial is set in blue-green range (midway between low and very hot). Haven't turned it up because of the seriously steaming hot water I get once the thing has been running for a while.
 
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Old 07-25-15, 06:35 AM
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Is it the same at all the hot water taps? Are the hot water pipes insulated? how far does the hot water have to travel before you use it?

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 07-25-15, 06:40 AM
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Yes, all the taps are the same. The pipes are not insulated. The heater is in the basement and all the plumbing in the house is in the same corner of the house, so straight shot up to two sinks and washer on the first floor, and two sinks and two tubs on the second floor.

And thanks!
 
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Old 07-25-15, 06:44 AM
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Also all three floors are heated in-floor. Never had a pipe freeze.
 
  #7  
Old 07-25-15, 06:50 AM
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Did the system ever work properly?

Possible problems:

1. The heat exchanger, usually a coil for the domestic water inside the boiler, is clogged with lime or other deposits making it more difficult for the water to get heated.
2. A circulator pump, operating as a separate heating zone, to churn the boiler water about the heat exchanger coil is defective.
3. The thermostat (aquastat) to control the boiler for domestic hot water purposes is clogged with lime, defective, or not adjusted properly.
4 Space heating pipes are not closed off during the summer so when the boiler kicks on for domestic hot water, its contents loses heat to the floor slabs for several minutes before there is enough oomph to heat the water in the domestic water heat exchanger.
 
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Old 07-25-15, 07:03 AM
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Great thoughts and I will have those things looked into. Thank you.

This has been an issue since the beginning, but was less noticeable when there were more people living here. If someone beat me to the shower it was always hot when I got to it. I've switched to showering at night so I have a better chance of getting the water hot enough before I get in.
 
  #9  
Old 07-25-15, 05:48 PM
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What is the boiler temperature during the summer (no space heating) after several hours have passed with nobody using hot water?

What is the boiler temperature just after reasonable use of hot water and the hot water temperature has risen to be satisfactory?

To keep the hot water from being too hot at the tap you can install a tempering valve. This bleeds some cold water into the hot water main supply line near where that line exits the boiler.
 
 

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