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    Jaybeach's Avatar
    Jaybeach Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 16, 2015, 04:51 PM
    How do I wire one thermostat to run two circulators
    How do I wire one thermostat to run two circulators on my 3 zone Weil/McClain hot water oil burner?

    I have a separate hot water heater with its own circulator. My house has three floors and 3 separate circulators (zones). The second floor is 30 feet by 50 feet. The third floor is a loft that is 30 feet by 20 feet which over looks and is open to the second floor below on two sides.

    The problem is the loft thermostat rarely calls for heat because the second floor heat rises & satisfies the third floor (loft) thermostat. This causes the heat pipes to freeze in adverse weather conditions because the water in the heat pipes located in unheated areas is cold.

    I have tried raising the loft thermostat and lowering the second floor thermostat and using three ceiling fans to move air around. Nothing seems to work without constant attention.

    Right now I have shut down the loft (3rd floor) thermostat to avoid frozen pipes. However the second floor baseboard does not have enough output to heat the volume of space. I have 21 foot ceilings. The footprint is 30ftx50ftx21 feet high ceilings and two walls are 90 percent glass.
    I am thinking the answer is to put the third floor (loft) thermostat (circulator) and the second floor thermostat (circulator) to operate on the second floor thermostat only.

    Can this be done by wiring or do I have to do some cooper repiping?
    Thank you for your help.
    Sincerely
    Jay
    Grady White's Avatar
    Grady White Posts: 1,417, Reputation: 59
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    #2

    Feb 16, 2015, 08:38 PM
    You need to connect the loft thermostat wires to the same relay terminals as are the second floor stat. There should be some kind of relay near or on the boiler. Pictures of the boiler area, including any controls would be helpful.
    marcus169's Avatar
    marcus169 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Feb 18, 2015, 02:54 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Grady White View Post
    You need to connect the loft thermostat wires to the same relay terminals as are the second floor stat. There should be some kind of relay near or on the boiler. Pictures of the boiler area, including any controls would be helpful.
    PLEASE ADVISE ME: HOW DO I SEND YOU PHOTOGRAPHS?
    THANK YOU for your help.
    Marcus169 alias Jaybeach
    Cat1864's Avatar
    Cat1864 Posts: 8,007, Reputation: 3687
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    #4

    Feb 18, 2015, 03:14 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by marcus169 View Post
    PLEASE ADVISE ME: HOW DO I SEND YOU PHOTOGRAPHS?
    THANK YOU for your help.
    Marcus169 alias Jaybeach
    Grady is asking you to post pictures to the thread not send them directly to him. This way everyone can help you work through the problem.

    For directions on posting pictures please follow this link: https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/art/ho...to-700273.html

    If you need more information on posting pictures please ask. We will do our best to help.
    Grady White's Avatar
    Grady White Posts: 1,417, Reputation: 59
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    #5

    Feb 18, 2015, 09:21 PM
    Thanks Cat, now if I can remember that for more than a day or two...
    marcus169's Avatar
    marcus169 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Feb 19, 2015, 06:09 AM
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    Attention "Gradywhite"
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,047, Reputation: 10852
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    #7

    Feb 19, 2015, 08:25 AM
    Let me guess, you are in a region that is seeing colder than normal temperatures, for a longer than normal times. I don't see tying your therms together, to manipulate your heat as effective, or efficient to prevent freezing pipes.

    The problem is the loft thermostat rarely calls for heat because the second floor heat rises & satisfies the third floor (loft) thermostat. This causes the heat pipes to freeze in adverse weather conditions because the water in the heat pipes located in unheated areas is cold.
    Where are the pipes and why haven't you invested in wrapping them in electrical heat tape? What are the walls made of?

    I have tried raising the loft thermostat & lowering the second floor thermostat & using three ceiling fans to move air around. Nothing seems to work without constant attention.
    What are your current settings? How old is your house? What have you done to insulate doors and windows? I don't know what you mean by constant attention, but where I grew up October to March was preparation and vigil, and jacking the heat up. Is it easier to rig your therms, which I doubt works out very well, or heat tape the pipe?
    marcus169's Avatar
    marcus169 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Feb 19, 2015, 02:42 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by talaniman View Post
    Let me guess, you are in a region that is seeing colder than normal temperatures, for a longer than normal times. I don't see tying your therms together, to manipulate your heat as effective, or efficient to prevent freezing pipes.
    Hi talaniman
    Where are the pipes and why haven't you invested in wrapping them in electrical heat tape? What are the walls made of?
    The pipes are in an enclosed attic type area that you can not stand up in, it is partially over the kitchen area, and partially part of an overhang, that has vinyl soffits that have holes in the vinyl which allow air into the area.. It is on the north west side of the house facing the long Island sound. To access the area I cut a hole in the kitchen ceiling which is sheet rock, and crawl into the area to get to the pipes.
    What are your current settings? How old is your house? What have you done to insulate doors and windows? I don't know what you mean by constant attention, but where I grew up October to March was preparation and vigil, and jacking the heat up. Is it easier to rig your therms, which I doubt works out very well, or heat tape the pipe?
    The house, on the beach, is 16 years old with Anderson windows and 21 foot ceilings. I keep the thermostat upstairs higher than the second floor thermostat but, as the heat rises from the second floor, I have to keep raising the loft thermostat or else it never turns on again because it becomes satisfied. Then the heat water becomes cold in the heat pipes & freezes.
    I had the problem with pipes freezing several years ago and went into the crawl space and partially wrapped the bathroom water pipes that I could access with the electric heat wrap and added blanket installation. I was able to partially wrap the heat pipe with electric wrap as well. But, there were areas of the heat pipe I could not access or wrap so I just put installation. This worked for a few years then last year we had a nor west storm with 50 plus mph winds & frigid cold weather that caused the heat pipes to freeze. The pipe froze in the ceiling area below the enclosed area and in the bathroom wall that feeds the baseboard in the bathroom. The pipe that feeds the baseboard is on the other side of the bathroom wall that is in the enclosed area. This has been an on again off again recurring problem. (I have had frozen pipes 3 times resulting in minimum damage to sheet rock & wood floors) At first it was happening when we had nor easters, high winds cold temps then I seemed to fix it and we had a nor west high winds & temps which did me in again, I also have 4 ceiling fans that I use to move the air.

    Now, this is the first year that I have drained the loft area heat & water pipes and shut down the heat. The result is I have not been able to get enough volume of heat to control the temperature in the house: for 2/3 nites that have 50 +mph winds & below zero temps..
    I am thinking by tying the zones together there will be hot water in the heat pipes all the time, instead of just sometimes. And this should result in more volume of heat in the loft area and lower the risk of frozen heat pipes. Also I hope this would give me peace of mind.
    I am going to open up the kitchen ceiling again to go back into the area to add more installation and try to protect the area more better...much more better..

    I really appreciate your concerns & look forward to your advice.

    I am thinking this is a better choice than adding antifreeze to my heating system..
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,047, Reputation: 10852
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    #9

    Feb 19, 2015, 06:00 PM
    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate you bringing more clarity to the situation. Yeah those wind chill factors are killer during arctic blasts, but for the money and peace of mind, and HEAT, we brought out the space heaters, both electric, and kerosene.

    Not only can they be a great supplement to the house heat, but a couple strategically and safely placed can make those worries of pipe freezing a whole lot easier to live with. I would rather you invested in a wood burner than modify your heating system so some smart SUPPLEMENTS would be my suggestion.
    Grady White's Avatar
    Grady White Posts: 1,417, Reputation: 59
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    #10

    Feb 19, 2015, 07:32 PM
    You have to determine which ciculator is for which zone & how they relate to the zone control panel. Once you find out which set of stat wires controls which circulator, you can move the circulator wires for the loft to the same set of terminals to which the second floor circ is connected. The relays in the zone panel should certainly be able to handle the extra load. Wired this way, whenever the second floor stat calls for heat, the loft will also get heat. You should disconnect the loft stat at the zone panel & put a little tape over the ends just to keep them out of trouble.
    marcus169's Avatar
    marcus169 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Feb 20, 2015, 01:03 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Grady White View Post
    You have to determine which circulator is for which zone & how they relate to the zone control panel. Once you find out which set of stat wires controls which circulator, you can move the circulator wires for the loft to the same set of terminals to which the second floor circ is connected. The relays in the zone panel should certainly be able to handle the extra load. Wired this way, whenever the second floor stat calls for heat, the loft will also get heat. You should disconnect the loft stat at the zone panel & put a little tape over the ends just to keep them out of trouble.
    Hi Grady...Is there any downside to doing this procedure to my heating system? The reason I want to do this is to add more volume of heat to the space as well as keep hot water in the loft heat pipes without worrying that the heat pipes in the loft(3rd floor) will freeze.I do not want to start using space heaters etc to supplement the cold area, as was suggested.
    Grady what do u mean when you say the zone panel can handle the extra load? Is that electric load? Or extra water load/volume? Is the 1 circulator for the 2nd floor able to push /pull the extra volume of water to/from the loft(3rdfloor) baseboard heat? Now, the loft heat pipe water will always be as warm as the second floor heat pipe water. ( this should resolve the issue of having stagnant cold water in the loft heat pipes, when it was on its own zone circulator).Now, the water in the loft heat pipes will be moving/hot water and will be less susceptible to freezing...
    Finally, now the 3rd floor loft circulator is disconnected & the water in the baseboard heat pipes has been drained... Do I refill the heat pipes with water first? and then make the wiring connections you recommended.

    Now I will get piece of mind and not worry that I will have frozen pipes...
    Hip Hip Hooray!

    This is my first time using askmehelpdesk.com...a little bit of a learning curve..but not bad...Very favorable results from you & the community members.

    Thank you very much for your concerns on my behalf.
    Sincerely,
    Marcus 169 alias Jay beach


    Grady White's Avatar
    Grady White Posts: 1,417, Reputation: 59
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    #12

    Feb 20, 2015, 03:34 PM
    The only downside I can see is the loft is probably going to get warmer (how much?) than you want since the second floor stat is going to be the control.

    I was referring to electrical load in the zone panel.

    There is another way to avoid frozen pipes & that is to have the system filled with boiler anti-freeze. The principle is the same as for your car. The anti-freeze compound is different.

    If the pipes are now drained, before it is refilled it should be tested with low pressure air (10-15 psi) to verify there are not leaks.

    I honestly think the anti-freeze route is the way to go. You could possibly replace the second floor baseboard with high output type, presuming it is standard capacity now.
    marcus169's Avatar
    marcus169 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #13

    Feb 21, 2015, 06:41 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Grady White View Post
    The only downside I can see is the loft is probably going to get warmer (how much?) than you want since the second floor stat is going to be the control.

    I was referring to electrical load in the zone panel.

    There is another way to avoid frozen pipes & that is to have the system filled with boiler anti-freeze. The principle is the same as for your car. The anti-freeze compound is different.

    If the pipes are now drained, before it is refilled it should be tested with low pressure air (10-15 psi) to verify there are not leaks.

    I honestly think the anti-freeze route is the way to go. You could possibly replace the second floor baseboard with high output type, presuming it is standard capacity now.
    Hi Grady
    OK u have given me a lot to think about. I have looked into antifreeze. It seems my system only has one relief valve (instead of one for each zone) resulting in air bubbles causing more purging to the system. I was advised this would dilute the antifreeze percentage each time it is purged. It seems the way the manifold was installed the zones are stacked which leaves no room between each zone pipe to install a vertical relief valve on.
    I believe I have regular baseboard, how big a job is it to replace with high output baseboard. How much would I gain with high output.
    I did see some videos demonstrating installing antifreeze without draining the system using a pump. The video suggested that cleaning a residential system prior to installing antifreeze is rarely done. I was also told that homeowners insurance does not cover antifreeze damage.
    Once again I want to thank you for all your advice.
    Sincerely
    Marcus169
    Grady White's Avatar
    Grady White Posts: 1,417, Reputation: 59
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    #14

    Feb 21, 2015, 04:35 PM
    High capacity baseboard will give you about 850 BTU/ft vs about 590 for regular with both at 4 gpm & 180* average water temp.

    Antifreeze damage?
    One relief valve is all any system should have. Did you mean air vent?
    marcus169's Avatar
    marcus169 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #15

    Feb 22, 2015, 01:55 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Grady White View Post
    High capacity baseboard will give you about 850 BTU/ft vs about 590 for regular with both at 4 gpm & 180* average water temp.

    Antifreeze damage?
    One relief valve is all any system should have. Did you mean air vent?
    Hi Grady,
    If the system does leak the damage that the anti freeze does is not covered under home owners...


    I guess air vent? Should each zone have one installed on the copper pipe in a vertical position by each circulator. This vent would prevent/release air bubbles from getting into the system..

    WOW..High capacity will give me a lot of BTU gain. Is the profile ( height) of HC baseboard the same as regular. Can u have HC & reg baseboard on the same zone?
    What does installing high capacity baseboard require: draining the boiler, cutting cooper pipe & installing new baseboard...


    Grady: if I choose to try the antifreeze option, I still would have to continually keep raising the loft thermostat to get the heat to come on, then it would be much hotter in the loft compared to the second floor. (as opposed to having the 2nd & loft on one zone, then it would only be somewhat(a few degrees?) hotter in the loft area) does that make sense?


    I am starting to think that the first step might be to
    try combining the 2 zones . Then I can think about your other suggestions. Installing high capacity seems like a big labor expense.
    It seems the antifreeze might not totally resolve the issue .What happens if you get an air pocket in a zone & you have to purge the system. Then u would have to add antifreeze to bring the percentage back up to standard.?

    Thank you for your continued professional advice on my behalf..
    Sincerely,
    marcus169/Jaybeach
    Grady White's Avatar
    Grady White Posts: 1,417, Reputation: 59
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    #16

    Feb 22, 2015, 06:08 PM
    I guess the idiots will pay for water damage from frozen heating pipes even since there was not a heater malfunction.

    Some who knows what they are doing should have a rig to purge & add antifreeze at the same time. It's not a complex or expensive set up.

    In the brand I use, std bsbd is 2 11/16" deep & 7 3/8" high where hi cap is 3 3/8" deep & 9 1/8" high.
    marcus169's Avatar
    marcus169 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #17

    Feb 23, 2015, 04:07 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Grady White View Post
    I guess the idiots will pay for water damage from frozen heating pipes even since there was not a heater malfunction.

    Some who knows what they are doing should have a rig to purge & add antifreeze at the same time. It's not a complex or expensive set up.

    In the brand I use, std bsbd is 2 11/16" deep & 7 3/8" high where hi cap is 3 3/8" deep & 9 1/8" high.
    Hi Grady,
    I have asked three "Master Plumbers" about antifreeze installation & none have got back to me with any info or quote. I called Weil/McClain who gave me a phone number for the company they recommend-I spoke to the salesmen who told me someone will contact me & I am still waiting...
    Grady I thought each zone has to have some kind of "pressure/air release valve that allows/prevents air pockets/bubbles from forming in a particular zone blocking the heat from working.
    What happens if I get an air bubble & I have to purge the zone to get rid of it. Now the percentage of antifreeze in my zone will be reduced... Then I have to add more antifreeze?
    So, last year I had air in the system & the oil guy came & purged the system twice... that did solve the problem for a few hours.. then I still had no heat in one zone,, so after trial & error he determined the thermostat on that zone was bad... ok problem fixed heat works... now instead of emptying the boiler water into the yard(which is 12 feet from the boiler).. he put the hose into my slop sink which goes into the cesspool which backed up into the 1st floor bath tub... (of course this was during a frigid winter Sunday afternoon... Now my cesspool is backed up at 8 pm on Sunday & I can not get anyone to come... so, Monday morning the cesspool guy comes.. & he can not find the 2nd pool... only the first... so he starts probing my side yard & pierces my underground main electric line... he was wearing RUBBER WORK BOOTS... now I have no electric to the house... are u with me Grady
    Now the cesspool guy tells me its not his fault,, & he is not paying to get it fixed... I am now running my generator just to survive..
    So, now five days later we come to an agreement & the cesspool guy gets one of his electricians to come & fix it... all kinds of stories before it is fixed.. once it is working I find out not only did he hit my main line he hit a second underground line that controls my shed & outside lights.. on & on & on.. this is all true,, well I thought u would appreciate my tail of woo... I guess u can add this to your book... I am sure u hear them all...
    That High Cap profile will interfere with some my electric outlets in some of the existing baseboard locations. Oh well u gave me a lot of options to consider...
    Now once again I want to thank you...
    Sincerely
    Marcus169
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #18

    Feb 23, 2015, 04:30 PM
    Aren't these guys great?

    (Just my 2 cents: I personally wouldn't have an open loft in the Northeast. I'd put in a floor.)
    Grady White's Avatar
    Grady White Posts: 1,417, Reputation: 59
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    #19

    Feb 23, 2015, 06:30 PM
    Seems as if it weren't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all. Mr. Murphy seems to have moved in with you.

    If you said, I don't remember where you said you lived, other than the beach.

    Please bear in mind every plumber on the east coast has been up to his ears in alligators lately. If you have water & it isn't running where is isn't supposed to, you are a lower priority.

    Each zone does not need an air removal vent if there a good one on the boiler header. Even if purging is required at some point, someone with the know how & the right equipment can do it with out diluting the antifreeze.
    marcus169's Avatar
    marcus169 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #20

    Feb 25, 2015, 07:26 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Grady White View Post
    Seems as if it weren't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all. Mr. Murphy seems to have moved in with you. YEPPP

    If you said, I don't remember where you said you lived, other than the beach.

    Please bear in mind every plumber on the east coast has been up to his ears in alligators lately. If you have water & it isn't running where is isn't supposed to, you are a lower priority.

    Each zone does not need an air removal vent if there a good one on the boiler header. Even if purging is required at some point, someone with the know how & the right equipment can do it with out diluting the antifreeze.
    YEP.. MR. MURPHY has been here and has decided to extend his vacation! I live on Cedar Beach just east of Port Jefferson NY.50 miles east of Manhattan on the north shore of L.I. across the Long island Sound from Bridgeport Conn.

    When you say "good one" what kind/brand of vent do I ask for?
    Yeah, someone with "Know How", I am still looking... I will wait for the spring when they are finished with emergencies...
    I have gotten much better advice /alternatives from you than from any one else..
    As of now I think I will rewire the 3rd floor thermostat to work on the 2nd floor thermostat and find the right guy to install antifreeze in my system.
    Thank you very very much.

    Sincerely,
    Jaybeach






    Thanks again

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