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Efficient boiler settings

Alan_11Alan_11 Member Posts: 64
If this is wired to be cold start then whenever the burner runs you should be able to look at the lights on the right side of the taco relay and see why the burner is running. 100 gallons in 6 weeks does not seem excessive ,see how many degree days elapsed in that period for your area in Maine. It's only 2 or 3 gallons a day.Is the house well insulated, including the basement ceiling?


  • John_11John_11 Member Posts: 40
    Efficient boiler settings

    I have a brand new home in Maine, 1344 SF Ranch w/ an unheated full basement. I have a cold start boiler (hot water baseboard) with a boiler mate for my domestic hot water. We moved in 6 weeks ago and I was below 1/4 tank of oil so I put in 100gals thinking this would last us most of the summer.

    There was a few days and nights that where a little chilly last month so the furnace was on some for heating. Please note we are very cautious about turning the heat on and if it is on we have it set no higher than (66-68 max) and we turn it down at night to 65. Well safe to say I got a call from the wife saying we have not hot water resulting in no oil. We went through over 100gals in about 6 weeks (mostly used to just heat hot water). (100 gal cost me $429.00)

    I must not have something correct here. The boiler temp is currently set to 175 deg and the boiler mate water temp is set at about 130 deg. Do I have my temps wrong? What is the most cost efficient temp the boiler temp should be set to? Can this temp be turned down in the summer since I do not need the higher temp to heat the house?

    Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
  • kpc_20kpc_20 Member Posts: 19
    a couple of....

    things. Was the boiler set up w/ control instruments? A cold basement will suck heat out of any & everything. What is your hot water usage? kpc
  • John_11John_11 Member Posts: 40
    more info...

    Hum..Control instruments? This is where I am defiantly going to show my lack of knowledge in this subject. It does have a High Limit Aquastat Control, and it has the primary control. It is set up with 4 separate zones (with circulators for each) one of which is for my domestic hot water. The boiler is a Utica boiler: Starfire III Water Series, model number SFH3100W. The website for this is unit is . It is an energy star unit too!

    Usage. 2 adults and 2 children (3&7) daily showers. Dishwasher (new energy star) runs about every other night. Front load washing machine (5 years old energy star), typically uses cold water though.
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,220

    painful lesson in the inadequacy of AFUE as a comparison tool.How are the circs being controlled? And what type of boiler control?

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  • kamneykamney Member Posts: 15

    Sounds like boiler is toooooo large. New home 1300 sq ft maybe half that. Just a thought
  • John_11John_11 Member Posts: 40
    More info

    I have a Taco SR506 Control. This is a 6 zone switching relay. Does that answer any questions?
  • kpc_20kpc_20 Member Posts: 19
    did they do...

    a combustion test? Also a Utica starfire is a pin style boiler.they ar not the highest eff. boiler. by any means...kpc
  • John_11John_11 Member Posts: 40

    I was not told any type of testing was done to the system. What types of thing should I get tested?

    Weird.. I had the wife turn off emergency switch to the boiler after she was done with the hot water. The boiler had been off for 8 hours and when I turned it back on tonight and I thought for sure the furnace would have kicked right on to heat the hot water. It did not so the water temperature was satisfied? The other day I was down stairs and the boiler had kicked on 3 times in one hour without turning on the hot water on at all or the heat. It just does not seem like something is right.
  • Toddid Goldsmith'sToddid Goldsmith's Member Posts: 77
    Efficient boiler settings

    John, Who made the Aquastat,and what is the number? Are the aquastat, and primary control, one control, or are they two seperate controls?
  • John_11John_11 Member Posts: 40

    The Aquastat was provided with the boiler "pre-wired" and it is seperate from the primary control. I can get the info off the Aqustat later if that will help.
  • Toddid Goldsmith'sToddid Goldsmith's Member Posts: 77
    Efficient boiler settings

    Does the aquastat have a digital display? How do you it is cold start? Does the aquastat control any of the circulators? Is the aquastat a Honeywell? Todd
  • John_11John_11 Member Posts: 40

    I do not have a digital display. If I open the aquastat case there is a dial. This is a cold start boiler and the aquastat is a Honeywell L8148A1124 (supplied by manufacturer). I do have a separate controller for the circulators so the aquastat does not control the circulators.

    Thak you for your help.
  • Toddid Goldsmith'sToddid Goldsmith's Member Posts: 77
    Efficient boiler settings

    Hey John, With an "8148" the only way the boiler should fire is a thermostat is closed, or the aquastat from the indirect is closed. What is connected to T&T on the aquastat? It's not jumped is it? Todd
  • John_11John_11 Member Posts: 40

    In the Aquastat control it has the t-stat wires (wired in the correct spot, not jumped) go out of that box and then go into the Taco SR506 Control. In this control the wires are tied into the section that is labeled "isolated end switch". Look here and you will see where I am talking about...
  • John_11John_11 Member Posts: 40

    Yes, I can see the lights on the right side and see what is running. I am not sure the correct hdd number that you would need but the is what I found for this 6 week period.
    Max:42, Min:4, Ave:25.

    My basement is not heated and the basement ceiling is not insulated. This is a new house so it is well insulated.

    I am planning on buying a pellet stove for the basement so how much of the piping should I insulate, domestic hot water from the boiler to the mate only? Should I insulate all of the hot water pipes exposed in the basement?

  • Bob Bona_4Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083

    sounds about right John. Actually better than average.. I envy you.

    Your settings sound right too. Don't turn down the high limit or your indirect recovery will be too long. The boiler will only go there on a call.
  • Chris SChris S Member Posts: 177
    basement ceiling not insulated

    In Ny our energy code requires the basement ceiling to be insulated. I have mixed feelings on this however the rim joist must be well insulated. This is a big area for heat loss. seal up any drafts with caulk, insulation, foam as required and insulate this area with R-30 if not already done

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  • Joe MattielloJoe Mattiello Member Posts: 590

    The cold start boiler with an indirect water heater is more efficient then a tank-less coil with a triple aquastat comparatively speaking. Personally, I wouldn’t want to maintain 140 degrees minimum temperature 24 hours a day 360 days a year with oil at $4.30 a gal. You can run your system more efficiently using an outdoor reset control, but because you have a non-condensing type boiler your cost savings parameters are 140 to 175 degrees. Of course domestic water always overrides the reset control, and fires the boiler to high limit for the fastest recovery. For your reference I attached an informational document on outdoor reset.
    Joe Mattiello
    N. E. Regional Manger, Commercial Products
    Taco Comfort Solutions
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