Water heater or boiler

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by Timbuck2, May 27, 2018.

Help Support Plumbing Forums by donating:

  1. May 27, 2018 #1

    Timbuck2

    Timbuck2

    Timbuck2

    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    set up : triangletube phase 3 water heater , peerless oil boiler.
    The recirculating pump on my boiler is constantly running and the Honeywell zone valve that goes to the domestic hot water is always in the open postion , if I disconnect the power from the hot water heater the recirculating pump stops. Is this normal? Also the piping above the closed zone valve next to it is hot causing heat in the room upstairs even though that zone valve is closed. I'm not sure if this is a hot water heater problem or a boiler problem.
     
  2. May 27, 2018 #2

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

    Senior Member Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    740
    Location:
    Melbourne, Florida
    post a picture
     
  3. May 28, 2018 #3

    jwwing

    jwwing

    jwwing

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Valley View, Texas
    It sounds like a plumbing problem.

    Running the recirculating pump to the house all of the time is a choice. The installer apparently assumed that it should run all of the time if that kind of recirculating pump is connected to the power for the system rather than its own line. I always put a timer on my recirculators because I can shut them off for at least half the time that way and the savings is phenomenal. I use a simple adjustable timer and plug it into a strategically located wall outlet - not to the system power. But, that said, with the pump running, the zone valve must be open or it is just running without doing anything. I, therefore, have had to assume that you have a separate hot water tank without a circulatory pump to the house and that the circulating pump you are talking about is pumping hot water into an exchanger for the hot water tank so that it takes advantage of the already heated boiler water. If that is the case, the pump might be necessary to keep the temp of the hotwater high enough for domestic use. It still would shut off from time to time so that the water doesn't get too hot in the hot water heater.

    More clarification is needed regarding both of your questions.

    The other zone valves should not be hot. There should be no hot areas away from the water heater or even above it. If the pump running is not causing the heated areas you mentioned, then you need to look for a plumbing problem - the system installer should be able to explain it. I suspect that it is plumbed improperly.
     
  4. May 31, 2018 #4

    Timbuck2

    Timbuck2

    Timbuck2

    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jwwing, thank you for your reply and sorry for taking so long getting back. This is what i found on the hot water heater. How Phase III Works
    When the Phase III thermostat in the inner tank calls for heat, the boiler and circulator start. Boiler water is circulated around the outer tank and heats the domestic water in the inner tank. After transferring its heat, boiler water is returned to the boiler to be re-heated. When the thermostat in the inner tank reaches its pre-set mark, the boiler and circulator shut off. Am i to look at the thermostat in the hot water heater as the culprit ?
     
  5. May 31, 2018 #5

    jwwing

    jwwing

    jwwing

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Valley View, Texas
    I doubt that it is the problem - I also doubt that it works like that. The temperature of the boiler is controlled by the boilers temperature controller. The hot water thermostat would cause the circulator to run and if that caused the temp to drop on the boiler, it would run - they would be separate. But that is a minor clarification of your description.

    The hot water heater has no additional supply (like electric to use when the boiler is not in use)? (That is a curiosity question really.) The boiler is being kept hot to supply the hot water heater in off-season by the sounds of it.

    Anyway, the boiler is separate, so the only thing that could be the problem is the hot water (circulator) thermostat is being kept on but it doesn't overheat. And the circulator runs all of the time. This suggests that the boiler is not set high enough to satisfy the hot water heater's thermostat or the thermostat failed. The odd thing that is not explained is why the area at another zone is hot. It almost sounds like another path for water circulation has been found and the pump is not turning off because it cannot supply the place that is accepting water from it.

    Are you air conditioning at the same time? I would check that something is calling for hot water such as a room heater, but the air conditioner is keeping it from getting satisfied (that would explain the hot area on the other zone). Another possibility is that the circulator also provides instant hot water to the system throughout the house and is on for that reason. If you have a form of instant hot water that bypasses the hot water into the cold water pipe to get hot water in a few seconds to a specific part of the house, that could be failing. You might not know that you have that kind of system. Go to each room where there is hot and cold water and see if both are hot when you open the faucet - cold first. If it is and you have this kind of system, it could be circulating because the sender says that hot water is being used even though it is not.

    That hot area that you mentioned should be investigated. You should not experience heat at any other zone than the one being used for hot water. It might get warm, but not hot - unless that zone is calling for heat.

    Hope this helps. I am in Texas so it is hard for me to consider that you might be still heating at this late a date in the year LOL.
     
  6. Jun 2, 2018 #6

    Timbuck2

    Timbuck2

    Timbuck2

    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Update : brought in the plumber who originally installed the hot water heater and boiler, he replaced the thermostat in the hot water heater. He also changed the zone valve for the heat even though it wasn't calling for heat the water in the pipe was getting so hot it traveled up the line making it feel like the heat was on .
     
  7. Jun 2, 2018 #7

    jwwing

    jwwing

    jwwing

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Valley View, Texas
    Good move on your part to bring in the original installer. Did he give you a good price to fix? Please update if anything further occurs, especially if either of the problems recur.

    Interesting that the plumber replaced the zone valve - a certain amount of heat will travel up the pipe, but he must have suspected that it was leaking enough to cause it. Be sure to keep tabs on that one.

    Did you check for any of the other things that I had suggested? I take it that your system has no recirculating into the hot water lines of the house in any form of which you are aware.

    I designed and installed my own boiler and hot water heat system in my new house in 1973, but did not take hot water from it although I did consider it. Boiler systems have improved immensely since then and that one was pretty good. Dinky oil burner boiler the size of a half of a counter top refrigerator could heat the entire 3500 sq ft in Minnesota.
     
  8. Jun 2, 2018 #8

    Timbuck2

    Timbuck2

    Timbuck2

    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes he suspected that the zone valve may have been faulted due to the high temperature of the water with the boiler always calling for hot water, it was a precaution since we had the boiler out of service. The boiler is the only thing with a recirculation pump and I don't have an air conditioner that runs through the system. The price to get me up and running and back to normal wasn't to bad but in NY everything is a little bit more lol. I always try and fix things when i can but this was a little out of my league and I appreciate the help .
     
  9. Jun 3, 2018 #9

    jwwing

    jwwing

    jwwing

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Valley View, Texas
    OK, sounds like all is good.

    I think that you misunderstood my suggestion about the air conditioner, though. If the pump was somehow leaking into a zone that was faulty, with your air conditioning system running at the same time, the heating due to the leak might go unnoticed. The rooms on the zone might seem a little warmer, but the A/C would compensate sufficiently so that you wouldn't notice. Very inefficient, but possible.

    BTW There is a type of instant hot water that is very clever in that it uses a sender unit at the distant faucets that identify to the recirculating pump that a faucet for hot water has been turned on. It connects the hot and cold lines together to that zone of faucets so that the recirculating pump sends hot water to the zone and specifically to the faucet that is open while returning the cold water in the hot water line through the cold water line. The result is nearly instant hot water at that faucet. So all one has to do is furnish one unit in say the farthest bathroom from the heater with a bypass solenoid that operates off switches connected in parallel that are temperature actuated so that by turning on one of the switched faucets, the bypass solenoid is actuated, and the pump is told to send hot water, the faucet that is open receives hot water and the pump shuts down when the temperature is satisfied. Very cheap and very inexpensive to implement. This obviously can be zoned as well so that the wiring is less complex and it can be done with bell wire and 24 vac solenoids. Pretty clever, especially for larger, sprawled-out homes. That is what I was alluding to regarding hot water recirculating pumps previously. If one of those bypass valves was stuck on, calling for hot water, it would run continuously. and you might have a hot spot like you mentioned was what I was thinking. You might have had such an arrangement and not been aware of it.
     

Share This Page