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GB-142 Control

Dave_22
Dave_22 Member Posts: 232
Hello all- I am looking at ways to better control my GB-142 than the RC-10 controller i now have. No setback abilities is kind of a major bummer and with the $$ of propane I'm looking for ways to save. My system is one zone with panel radiators and TRV valves. I got pricing on a RC-35 but that is a BIG pill to swallow! Anyone have any suggestions? Almost considering outdoor reset and on/off control with setback instead.

Comments

  • Hydro
    Hydro Member Posts: 20
    edited January 2014
    RC35

    I hate to tell you but that is the cherry on that boiler sundae my friend, its a lot of $$. for that control, but it is a great option. Buderus used to make a couple of other room sensors, that were much less money, and had way less features, you may find some old ones kicking around the warehouse, however the RC35, is a room sensor, and a controller, that overrides the AM10 module, and also acts as a thermostat. It has weekly and week end programs, you can adjust the heating curve, the night setback, it has room setback if you need it, you can adjust your potable water temp., and check everything out in your slippers, no need to go downstairs! Best money I ever spent. You don't want to put hub caps on that hot rod do you?!?!
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there"
  • Hydro
    Hydro Member Posts: 20
    edited January 2014
    RC35

    sorry, just found that picture
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there"
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,606
    AM10

    You should get the AM 10 outdoor reset control and have its curve setup properly. This is considerably less expensive than the RC35 which isn't necessary unless you use multiple inputs. You'll replace the RC10 with a standard thermostat.



    Don't even consider setback: it's counter-productive to the logic of a mod/con, particularly the GB142 which has no boost feature. The German engineers think Americans are foolish for using setback with a mod/con - and rightfully so.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Hydro
    Hydro Member Posts: 20
    AM10

    The AM 10 comes standard with the GB142 anyways, This guy was asking for something with more control, you don't NEED it obviously, but if you want to have more control over the entire system, and be able to check multiple readings without having to go downstairs take the cover off, then why not?
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there"
  • Dave_22
    Dave_22 Member Posts: 232
    RC-35

    I never got an AM-10 with my boiler. I don't think it was out at the time. I did get a RC-10. Although " i guess" it works ok, my wallet begs to differ. 2x6 construction, less than 1800 sq ft and $400/mth in propane. Panels were sized for 125F water temp. I know some say setback is counterproductive with a M/C boiler but i don't know if i agree with a radiator system. I may just run a test by manually setting back the thermostat and monitor gas usage. I'd pay for the RC-35 if i knew i was going to get some bang for the buck!
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,606
    AM10

    The AM10 didn't come with the boiler until about 5 years ago. The RC10 did until then. It appears from his post that is what his situation is. He also stated that he didn't want to shell out the $$ for the RC35. Therefore, the AM10 seems better suited for him.



    The RC35 is a great control, but it's far more than most people need or WANT. This one said he didn't want it. Therefore, no need to push it at him.



    A large part of this business is not just being a good mechanic; it's also learning to listen to what your customers are saying.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,606
    edited January 2014
    Savings

    You'll get no more fuel savings , for the most part, with the RC35 than you will with the AM10. Outdoor reset is the energy saving feature that your system lacks; both controls will give you that.



    As Hydro said, the Rc35 has a lot more features, including indoor feedback, but at many times the price of the AM10.



    By the way, please don't post pricing: it's against the site rules.



    Panel rads with TRVs are exactly what that boiler's designed to operate with. It's the most common setup in Europe.



    What water temp is the boiler set at now? If 125* is what the system was designed at, that's what is should be set at.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Dave_22
    Dave_22 Member Posts: 232
    RC

    I didn't think you set the water temp when you use the RC-10? I know the dial is in "auto" which lets the RC-10 control. I think 125F was the design point at the lowest outside temp. Am i missing something?
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,606
    edited January 2014
    RC10

    The temp setting on the dail becomes the highest water temp for the rest curve's calculation. Setting it to 125* will cause the curve to be re-calculated for that to be its design water temp.



    By the way, what size is the 142?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Dave_22
    Dave_22 Member Posts: 232
    GB

    Boiler is GB-142/24

    I'm going to have to try to adjust the dial like you mentioned. I know in the past when i move the dial from Auto to a temperature value, the burner would shut off. Maybe it was just because the water was hotter than it need to be.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 819
    edited January 2014
    reset vs. setback

    obviously if your design water temp for low outdoor design conditions is 125 deg. you

    should be condensing all the time. so you should check that setting first.  i

    don't know buderus controls but folks are saying there is a dial. i've

    got a friend running one and i need to stop by his place so i'll check

    into it. i think he is still running setback thermostat but not sure.

    he's got modest to low insualtion, old house, probably similar sq. ft. 

    underfloor radiant with pans on the 1st and cast iron rads on the

    second. i'll see if i can get how many btus he's pouring in in a month

    although it being nat. gas it doesn't hurt as much as propane.



    but as to reset vs. setback, i do some of both myself, despite european sentiments, although you have to think differently to integrate them.



    generally those old worlders are not going to design their systems with an amount of radiation that can quickly raise the room temp to make up the setback at fully condensing water temperatures. and that goes double for anyone running baseboard here in the states but you do have the european emitters.



    i don't know about buderus controls, but usually the reset controllers (i.e. water temp controls) are not going to let the temp above the design temp. even if room recovery is slow. so the key to running setback is you have to anticipate. if you want it warm at 6 in the morning, you have to turn it up at 3:30 or 4. Ditto for coming home from work if you use a daytime setback.



    of course one answer to this is more radiation, which lowers your design maintain temps and give yous the capacity for faster recovery.  i would think this is sensible with panel rads if you can handle it from a decor (and capital dollar) sense.  not as sensible with floor radiant which i don't generally set back but i believe my friend is actually setting back his floor. don't know that there is payback in extra radiation in the long run, even at this year's propane prices vs. say tightening the envelope -- which does the approx. the same thing.



    I mean $400 of propane, thats maybe 130 gallons, midwinter price this year?  so thats 91,000x130/(30x24) = avg. 16,430 bt per hour input or about .  that doesn't really seem that high.



    i've got similar square footage. half on radiant, half on baseboard.  i run deep setback on the baseboard with anticipation in the timing because i reset boiler temps but not below 140.  (and NO setback when it is really cold, to bar baseboard freezing although what i really need is just a controller that cycles for warm return at maybe hour frequency when temperature is in single digits.)  I ran through about twice your rate at 257 gallons a month in the middle of the polar vortex in RI, including domestic hot water. The boiler is not condensing so that accounts for 10% of the difference.  And i've got a lot of glass. . . eer all glass.  my wife said we didn't have enough windows . . . i don't know i kinda got that frank lloyd wright skyscraper thing going for my house.



    Our degree days for this month 1114 which hits quite reliably our cold season consumption of  .23 gallons per degree day.



    if you're saying you have 2x6 studs, i assume you mean fiberglass that deep? howse your siding?  i would tear it off and wrap in foam. Considering doing that on my windows but might defeat the purpose. guess i gotta get the curtains up. so i think you could pick up a little bit with strategic use of setback but i don't think you're doin' that bad.



    next best thing is try to support the reduction of the ethanol mandate to help reduce the dislocations in the propane market. aside from the shear stupidity of the ethanol mandate on its face, in a year of wet harvests, like this year in the northern plains, an excess of propane is diverted to dry the corn they are going to make into ethanol . . . this is our mensa quality energy policy at work and one of the only places the obama adminstration is actually proposing doing anything remotely sensible.  - credit where credit is due.  Maybe it is raw politics and they figured out the heartland isn't exactly blue territory but i don't really mind if they do the right thing for the wrong reasons.



    of course the propane market is affected by conversion from oil and pickup in market share but that is a curve that has been recently predictable and infrastructure and supply were anticipating that to an extent whereas they weren't anticipating what happened with the corn harvest. and while the greatest price dislocations have been in the midwest (50% increase) obviously that means that truck transportation and direction of flow from remote rail and pipeline terminations has been to the midwest thus inevitably contributing significantly to the 25% increase we've seen in the east since those trucks and midstations have been sending thier uncontracted supply after the higher prices.



    and because this is such episodic use, you can't defend the capital investment in piping natural gas to meet the demand which only comes end of season and even then varies year to year and region to region in case one is wondering why they would use an expensive btu fuel when theoretically the heartland is overflowing with nat gas.



    guess i've come a long way baby from where i started -which is usually what happens.  if you are still reading at this point, only 2% chance. what can you tell us about your degree days, insulation, propane pricing and whatever else is on your mind.



    brian
  • Dave_22
    Dave_22 Member Posts: 232
    GB

    Holy long-windedness!! :)

    Thanks for the hefty reply. Degree days 1140, R-19 insulation., was told not to talk about pricing (but your assumption is good).Vinyl siding covering up T-111 original siding, decent amount of glass. I guess i just assumed this high performance little bugger was going to land me monthly costs of half of what it is. If i could save a little by setback- that's what i would try. In reality, I turn my thermostat down to 60 at 10pm, i grin and bear it in the morning and don't turn it back up until 4pm when i'm home from work. That's a lot of setback time! I've only manually tried this scheme for the last week so i don't know how it's going to turn out.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 819
    edited January 2014
    you've got manual setback!

    so you're blowin' my doors off on consumption (in the golf score sense) as you can see from my novel. you have a perfect setup for envelope improvement.  take the vinyl off.  put 2" of foam on the outside or more if you could afford but 2" works pretty well. i tend to glue the foam and then glue 1/2" osb over it and then put the vinyl or whatever back (and do that to the roof when you replace the shingles esp. if you want cathedral style full envelope or just go up in the attic and blow another foot of something in although you have to get the soffit details right or venting the space that is left will end up defeating all the insulation you put in which is why i like the foam on the outside and forget the friggin venting).  Get a good detail worked out for windows and roof/wall interface and that will cut your bill in half i bet. (obviously you could blower door the place and check the obvious like window and door seals. speaking of low hanging fruit.).



    but meantime, you've got manual setback already instituted.  one thing i would be careful of during polar vortex is that you don't have any rads so proximate to cold that they could freeze when you setback.  although if i'm recalling your setup right (Dan, wish you could see all the posts even though you click reply to one!!?) you do have circulating loop that would bypass a single frozen rad.  what about where the piping itself is located.  nature should have made any problems obvious already but . . .



    and on price. i'm pretty sure the ideas about not discussing price are meant not to have you goin on about x manufacturer is $45.00 and y is $48 or this distributor is 2% more than that distributor as many of them contribute intellectually and through advertising to the site and it would be biting the hand the feeds to use threads for that kind of exchange which might purposefully or accidentally disenfranchise folks who have supported this site and could lead to more kind of troll work trying to run up or down particularized manufacturers or solutions. (like the guy who popped up the other day complaining about warranties on boilers running gas burners, which isn't discussing price precisely, but especially when he refused to identify his interest just came off as someone whose business interests were served by discouraging conversions . . . . but i digress).



    but i frequently discuss pricing generally because how else are you going to figure what makes sense to invest in.  if you can't discuss what fuel costs are compared to the approx costs  and service life of various improvements then you can't figure out what the payback for them is.  so far the main criticisms of my posts is logorrhea and not giving away pricing secrets, but we'll see . . .



    best ,



    brian
  • Dave_22
    Dave_22 Member Posts: 232
    GB

    Rip everything down and 2" of foam all over?? Bet the payback on that would be 10 years! lol. I'm gonna move to Arizona instead! Just doesn't seem work it to me. i have metal roof too, so i'm not pulling that stuff off in my lifetime! O well- thanks for the info. Put a sweater on kids, thermostats going to 55!!
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 819
    arizona is nice, but outsulation is where its at

    Sure, anything you do in your circumstance is going to have a long payback window. But remember, even if you are moving to arizona, unless you are planning to torch the place and collect the insurance, showing someone a real low heating bill is a serious sales tool. 



    If you have metal roof, that isn't necessarily your option.  you could foam from inside, esp. if you are currently insulated at the attic ceiling level, that interior foam can make a really nice detail and you allow for someone to open up ceiling options, but, all in all your bill isn't really that bad so maybe you'd rather join me advocating for an end to the ethanol mandate and leave well enough alone.



    i have to tell you though, i do both -- very slowly.  we just did a mudroom with R-13 and 2" foam outside and foam over the old poured floor with channels routed for 3/8 pex and that is the most comfortable tighest space i've ever built.  it used to be the coldest room on the farm.  even with a steam radiator right nexts to the washing machine i couldn't stop it from freezing.  this year it didn't freeze and i hadn't even gotten around to manifolding and filling the floor (just did it last week). so quality of life - at least for this guy who has to maintain the washer everytime the pump freezes - is improved.



    i'm a big dollars and sense guy but of course one should give some credence to factors they are concerned about that defy monetization.



    brian



    PS- your degree days are pretty similar to ours.  where are you at.   i only know where your are not, i.e. arizona.
  • Dave_22
    Dave_22 Member Posts: 232
    GB

    Buffalo,NY Brian. Yes- degree days appear similar. Another thing in the house is vaulted ceilings- no attic space. I think i have R-30 up there. Maybe one day the gas company will put in some lines.