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YvonneB Member Posts: 14
Hello All,

It has been a while since I have posted -- years.  I mostly read.  But, today I was introduced to the Tekmar 279.  I was in the field for 20 years and now I am in the wholesale industry.  I wish I had this controller then.  I am interested in those who may have used this controller and the results you have seen.  I am looking at the San Francisco market to really push this because I believe if the controls works how it is marketed that we could "save the country billions" in natural gas.

San Francisco requires 13 hours of 68 degree heat in the coldest apartment. With our extreme changes in temperature from morning to the afternoon (32 degrees to 70 + degrees); this controller with both indoor and outdoor sensors and a time clock; and the capability to slow down the cycles per hour!!!  It is a no brainer!

Please let me know your results and if you would put the system in again?

Thank you for your input,



  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,786
    edited January 2012
    excellent experience

    I purchased a Tekmar 279 in the fall of 2008.  I have it set up for 2 indoor sensors, one on the north and one on the south.  I have it set to control off the coldest, which ever it may be.  I keep a 24/7 set point of 71 and the Tekmar does an excellent job of maintaining that, with little or no perception of temperature fluctuation between cycles.  One thing that is difficult to deal with in steam systems is that the amount of time that it takes to produce steam varies greatly depending on how long it has been since the last steam cycle.  The Tekmar compensates for this with a condensate sensor that is used to indicate when steam has been established.

    The one thing that I would comment on is that the recomment that the sensor be located on the takeoff that feeds the last radiator to get steam.  This makes good sense.  However, for a 2 pipe system, the recommend that the sensor be on the outlet, or the return pipe on the last radiator to get steam.  By following the directions, it would cause the system to totally heat up every radiator on every cycle, and this of course would cause terrible fluctuation of temperature.  I put my sensor on the lateral to the last radiator, the same as is recommended on a one pipe system and it works great.  I have the cycle length set for auto.  Most of the time it will run 60 minutes cycles, but once in a while it will start a new cycle early when necessary to prevent fluctuations.

    How much has it saved?  Not sure.  There were many other problems with the system, 90% of the traps were bad, master traps had been installed to compensate, vents had been added to some of the radiators, distribution was uneven.  It has taken another 3 years to resolve all of thoses other issues.  Distribution issues were finally resolved by the addition of inlet orifices.  These are great!

    The first season, I did try to have it run a set back.  It seemed to me to be rather sluggish in coming out of the setback, but the issue could have been caused by other problems that have since been resolved.

    Yes, I would put the same system in again.  And additionally, in the back of my head I think about possibly restoring the 7 plex back to single family use.  If I was to do this, I would still use the Tekmar for control.  I have spent quite a bit of time in the building in the winter time and I appreciate the way that it maintains such a steady temperature.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
  • Luv'nsteam
    Luv'nsteam Member Posts: 278
    As a homeowner that

    Loves steam heat and has learned much from Dan and The Wall, what exactly is the Tekmar279?  Is this a control that would be beneficial for a single-family home with a Peerless WBV-03 steam plant? 

    I have read about the benefits of controls that monitor outside temps, however, I do not understand how they actually save money on fuel.  If the interior of the home is cold, what difference does the outside temp make?  Any explanations will be helpful.

    Thank you,

  • YvonneB
    YvonneB Member Posts: 14

    Hello Mike,

    The Tekmar 279 regulates the amount time the boiler fires with in an hour.  I takes in the data from the indoor sensor and outdoor sensor to regulate how many times it fires.  As you probably already know that once the radiators heat up it takes a certain amount of time for the radiator to loose it's heat... which in San Francisco leads to over shooting of the room temperature.  You can google the controller and check it out.

    Good luck

    Yvonne B.
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