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My gas bill seems out of control, I have a New Weil McClain

Plumb Bob
Plumb Bob Member Posts: 97
He means the latter. You should have a bypass (you don't need pri/sec pumping.) What you may need is a bigger pump, or it may help to run your current pump all the time (i.e. directly wired to 110vols). It's hard to say without seeing the system.

It is not clear to me as yet that you have any problem at all.

Comments

  • Buckeye
    Buckeye Member Posts: 11
    My gas bill is out of control. I have a NEW Weil McClain Boiler

    Im in ohio and it has been mild this winter.

    The boiler was installed by a guy I have had do alot of work for me, he is a certified hvac guy and actually has a boiler in his own home. He installed a Weil McClain 175000 btu hot water boiler. He called W.M. and spoke with them on how exactly to size it. Counted all the radiators, all the sections on them, height of each radiator, type of material the house was built with (brick, see my link), height of each story and dimensions of each room. There may have been other criteria, but Im pretty sure about the ones I mentioned. We have not been able to get out the bleeder screws and put in the key type yet, so the radiators have been a pain to bleed. Some of the radiators have a cold spot in the top corner on the exit end, but it doesnt seem to me that would cause the system to run more. We turned down the water temp. from 160 to about 145 and it seems like the gas is not running as long or as much to heat the water, but the circulating pump is running alot more. My hvac guy said to try that for a while and if it is not keeping the house warm enough we will have to turn it back up.

    Is it better to turn the water temp. up higher or lower. Any ideas on how to conserve on gas.

    I am going today to look at putting in a woodburning insert in my fireplace.

    Here is a link to pics of my boiler.

    http://new.photos.yahoo.com/risterfamily
    any help would be greatly appriciated.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    What I think happened

    The sizing method you used was for sizing STEAM radiators. There you must take into account the full connected EDR regardless of heat loss of the house.

    (Now, one always hopes that the radiators match your heat loss, that is the best of all worlds. The reality is, no one goes back to remove radiator sections in a steam-heated hous when they insulate and tighten up the house. They let them be. Still, the EDR method is really the only reliable way to size a steam boiler. Not your situation, but for comparison...)

    Your system is hot water as you said. The only way to size a HW boiler is to the calculated heat loss of your house, period. That your radiators may have been sized for the old, uninsulated condition (even with windows open) does not matter. That only means that you have over-sized radiators and that translates into lower water temperatures.

    Radiators are not heat loss.

    So.... What is the calculated heat loss of your house?

    What is the actual connected EDR installed?

    Tell me those and it will tell me much.

    Beautiful house by the way! Did you get to insulate it? The other part of your high gas bills is a high heat loss and unless you do something about that, it is what it is...

    Brad
  • kevin coppinger_4
    kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
    well it would appear....

    to me from the pictures that you have an older gravity system set up. That system has a lot of mass and water to it. The installler may have meant well but is obviously over his head. Gravity systems need special piping to work w/ newer boilers....There is no bypass to protect the boiler(so it is probably condensing and using a ton of gas to get the system up to temp. You need to find a way to get the air out of the system since it is probably acting to undersize the rads....the boiler also is not a high eff. unit.maybe 80%...Others will have more comments I am sure....kpc

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  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,226
    Those are good points.

    It sounds like some good information was given to the WM people and I'll bet the boiler is well-sized.

    The piping needs help. Look into redoing that installation as primary/second system with a Tekmar 260 control and constant circulation.

    Also, I doubt that 3-speed Grundfoss is providing the flow you need.



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  • kevin coppinger_4
    kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
    actually...

    a Grundfoss 15-58 is a good choice...in gravity systems you are trying to mimic gravity flow...overpuming a system will lead to huge imbalances...constant circulation and trv are your best bets...kpc

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  • Plumb Bob
    Plumb Bob Member Posts: 97


    In your subject line you said your heating costs are out of control, but in the rest of your e-mail you didn't discuss that at all. So it's difficult to understand why you are posting. What is the problem exactly? Please give specifics.

    Yes, if you turn the water temperature down, the circulator will run more. This is normal, and will give you more even and comfortable heat. It will not make a big change to fuel consumption.
  • Buckeye
    Buckeye Member Posts: 11


    The piping needs help. Look into redoing that installation as primary/second system with a Tekmar 260 control and constant circulation.

    Is this a relatively easy install? what about the price?

    What is the actual connected EDR installed?

    I dont know what this is and where can I find it?

    How can I calculate the heat loss from my house?

    There is no way that I can change all the existing piping in this system, in leau of that, what other options are there?
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    piping

    You don't need to change the system piping. Just the boiler piping. The EDR should not matter because it is not a steam system. Heat loss you can calculate with a computer program but the installer should have done that.

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  • Buckeye
    Buckeye Member Posts: 11


    In your subject line you said your heating costs are out of control, but in the rest of your e-mail you didn't discuss that at all. So it's difficult to understand why you are posting. What is the problem exactly? Please give specifics.

    Im in Ohio and it has been really mild here. Last month I used 300 cubic ft. of gas. The month before it was like 450 c/ft.

    I plan on installing a wood burning fire place insert to supplement the gas. So I posted a question here:

    http://www.oldhouseweb.com/newBB/topic-11995.shtml

    some one on that site sent me here.

    My house is about 2500 sq. ft. brick with plaster and lath walls that are right against the brick, no way to insulate the walls. I have insulated the attic floor and plan to do the ceiling but am trying to wait until next summer to finish that. I have all thermal pane replacement windows and I have weather stripped the doors.

    Im just a working guy and trying to get by as economical as possible. I just want to keep my family warm with out going bankrupt.
  • Buckeye
    Buckeye Member Posts: 11


    In changing the boiler piping do you mean changing the internal piping in the boiler or the piping that is between the old system and the boiler?
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,849
    You mean 300 CCF? or about 310 therms?

    That is alot. I expect in Ohio it's a bit colder than lower NY. (Homeowner here.) But with only 2500 sq ft --even if only partially insulated--sounds like your boiler is more than double the required size. Probably should be less than 200 therms, muc less with good insulation and boiler setup. (Outdoor reset, etc.) This website has links to free heat loss software

    David
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    i agree Brad,

    shame a condensing boiler wasn't installed..would have cut the gas bill in half.

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  • Buckeye
    Buckeye Member Posts: 11


    CCF is how it is read. Columbia Gas of Ohio’s current total rate is $1.26934 per hundred cubic feet (Ccf), effective from January 2, 2007 to January 30, 2007 (per web site)

    I know that last month it was $1.01 Ccf. and my bill was $309
  • Plumb Bob
    Plumb Bob Member Posts: 97


    > Im in Ohio and it has been really mild here. Last

    > month I used 300 cubic ft. of gas. The month

    > before it was like 450 c/ft.


    I still don't understand the problem. I don't know what the weather was (quantitatively, in degree-days) and I don't know what the heat loss of your house is. So I don't know if this bill is too high or not, and I don't know how you know this.

    Brick houses always have higher heat loss. Your bill may give degree-days for the month. What is your usage in BTU per square foot per degree-day? There are approx 100,000 BTU per cft. Divide the cft by the sq ft in the house and again divide by degree-days, then multiply by 100,000. If this number is between 10 and 15, this is probably fine for a brick home.

    What was your energy consumption last year in the same month? Again, divide by degree-days and sq ft. If you don't do that, you don't know if it is worse or not.
  • scott w.
    scott w. Member Posts: 207
    comparing gas bills

    Buckeye,

    Your gas bill for a 2500 sq. ft. seems a might high high compared to my three story 1928 english tudor. It too was a gravity system converted to a pumped system. My boiler is a W/M Ultra 230 (mod con) with an indirect hot water tank for domestic hot water.

    My house has three stories and is a bit over 4000 sq.ft.
    Gas supplier here in Western Pa is also Columbia. They charge something in the range of 1.13 per ccf. Our weather should be similiar if you are in eastern Ohio. My consumption of ccf for Oct 15 thru Nove. 15 was 174. November 16 thru December 15 was 266 ccf. The thermostat was set at 68*

    Several question: Do you heat your hot water by gas? How many in the family? How long are the showers? How much laundry? How many times a day is the dishwater run? That will have more of an effect on consumption. I assume you have a regular hot water tank that does not work off the boiler.


    On November 7 I lowered the boiler temp from a max of 180* to 140* The outside temp is in the teens and the house is nice and toasty with the thermostat set at 68. The third floor is cool. Just not enough heat off the third floor rads to make it toasty up there.

    I was heating domeatic water but those two months, no showers, no laundry, no dish washer, Only the painter washing out the brushes and rollers at the end of the day.

    Something to think about. Look at the same period last year before your new boiler was installed and compare the usage to this period. Is it similiar or higher what was the temp for the period last year?
  • Buckeye
    Buckeye Member Posts: 11


    > He means the latter. You should have a bypass

    > (you don't need pri/sec pumping.) What you may

    > need is a bigger pump, or it may help to run your

    > current pump all the time (i.e. directly wired to

    > 110vols). It's hard to say without seeing the

    > system.

    >

    > It is not clear to me as yet that you

    > have any problem at all.



    in terms of electric usage, do you know if the pump like running a light all the time, or more expensive than that?
  • Buckeye
    Buckeye Member Posts: 11


    > Buckeye,

    >

    > Your gas bill for a 2500 sq. ft.

    > seems a might high high compared to my three

    > story 1928 english tudor. It too was a gravity

    > system converted to a pumped system. My boiler is

    > a W/M Ultra 230 (mod con) with an indirect hot

    > water tank for domestic hot water.

    >

    > My house

    > has three stories and is a bit over 4000

    > sq.ft. Gas supplier here in Western Pa is also

    > Columbia. They charge something in the range of

    > 1.13 per ccf. Our weather should be similiar if

    > you are in eastern Ohio. My consumption of ccf

    > for Oct 15 thru Nove. 15 was 174. November 16

    > thru December 15 was 266 ccf. The thermostat was

    > set at 68*

    >

    > Several question: Do you heat

    > your hot water by gas? How many in the family?

    > How long are the showers? How much laundry? How

    > many times a day is the dishwater run? That will

    > have more of an effect on consumption. I assume

    > you have a regular hot water tank that does not

    > work off the boiler.

    >

    > On November 7 I

    > lowered the boiler temp from a max of 180* to

    > 140* The outside temp is in the teens and the

    > house is nice and toasty with the thermostat set

    > at 68. The third floor is cool. Just not enough

    > heat off the third floor rads to make it toasty

    > up there.

    >

    > I was heating domeatic water but

    > those two months, no showers, no laundry, no dish

    > washer, Only the painter washing out the brushes

    > and rollers at the end of the day.

    >

    > Something

    > to think about. Look at the same period last year

    > before your new boiler was installed and compare

    > the usage to this period. Is it similiar or

    > higher what was the temp for the period last

    > year?



    Scott,
    This is our first winter in this house. It had an old coal boiler that was converted to gas. When I bought the house it was inoperable.

    I stated in another post that the walls are plaster & lath right on the brick. No space to insulate. I did insulate the attic floor. I have tried to stop the air leaks where I have found them.

    Everything may be fine, I may just have to put up with high gas bills, I just thought that they seemed a bit out of line. I am definately putting in a wood burning insert before next winter. I have spent over $1000 in gas and have been basically freezing with the thermostat set at 62. I think a wood burner will pay for itself in no time at that rate.

    We do have a gas hot water heater. I have 2 small kids, they bathe together and my wife and I try to limit our shower times as well. As for the cloths, maybe a load every other day or something.

    You have a converted gravity system. Does the circulating pump on yours run constantly? Is that maybe the key, turn down the temp. at the boiler and leave the pump run more often?
  • kevin coppinger_4
    kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
    Buckeye...

    the set up you have WILL kill your boiler...forget about your gas bill...unless you want to drop another several thousand dollars to have another one installed. Have it done right and your gas bill will drop, your comfort level increased and it will be the last boiler you will need for 20 years....

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  • scott w.
    scott w. Member Posts: 207
    Buckeye

    Listen to these guys comments on your boiler piping. If the piping is not correct this will cost dollars in fuel and the life of your new boiler. Find a reputable firm that knows how to correct your problems. Keep reading this site you will learn a lot.

    Buy Dan Houlihan's book Pumping Away which is available on this site.

    Interview your heating contractors. If they are familiar with or have read Pumping Away you may have a knowledgable person.

    Yea this will cost money to make it right but you can't afford not to do it. The money you will spend on the insert might be enough to fix your boiler piping problems.

    No my circulator pump only runs when the boiler is heating the water.

    I read my gas meter once a day. During the warm days usage was between 6 and 10 ccf per 24 hr period. During really cold (teens) days more like 12 to 15 ccf per 24 hr period.
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