Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Bypassing ODR, need some real heat NOW while it's only chilly outside

Wrench
Wrench Member Posts: 17
edited October 2014 in Thermostats and Controls
It's 55 outside now, 51 inside this morning.

Got the Burnham ESC with an OEM ODR going as we've got sniffles and want some real warmth, but lighting a match would put our more warmth than what the baseboards are doing now.

I know it's capable of getting hot and that the electronic ODR is holding back the system by limiting the temperature going to the baseboards. We need some real heat, NOW. Efficiency doesn't matter. We're sitting in chairs huddled under light blankets because of the ODR limitations.

We've got the thermostat set as high as it goes because I recall reading somewhere if it didn't meet the call within xx minutes it'd boost it's own temperature. I just looked, it's thermometer reads 112 degrees after being on for three hours.

How can I bypass the darned thing?

Comments

  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Sounds like the ODR isn't set up properly. Have you looked into changing the parameters?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Sounds like you need to carefully read the I/O manual. You really have to read it carefully for comprehension. The "Re-Set" ratio is hard to connect in the brain.

    You may need to get someone that understands how to set it up. It sounds like your outside set point is off.
    Jean-David Beyer
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Is this new or has it been a few seasons?
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    I agree on checking all the temp settings. On the ESC (I have an ESC4), the ODR changes the high limit temp. Should be able to turn off the ODR on the IQ control panel by cycling through options, until you can get it set correctly.

    I haven't had any issues with mine yet. Been running well for almost a year now.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    Works great when it's cold outside.

    Doesn't do so well when it's more like just chilly outside.

    How does one temporarily bypass it so the boiler just runs at, say 150?
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    The front panel comes off the boiler, then you can, I believe, enable or disable the ODR (it's a plug-in 'expansion' module on ESC boilers). Or you can just crank up the high limit temp for the Outdoor Reset.

    There are two little LED readouts and 3 buttons on each module. On my boiler the programming instructions are on a sticker on the inside of the front panel. The Reset came with it's own manual, of course, but the sticker or the manual that came with the boiler tell how to make changes to temperature.

    Makes me wonder if there isn't a pumping or zoning or bypass problem or something else going on here.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 830
    All you have to do is disconnect thermostat or set it to 90 and set system to constant flow. Whoever installed system mixed 2 different ways of control. ODR must work on constant flow. And then if problem will not be solved adjust slope and shift of odr.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,001
    Do you have the manual?
    Different settings are required for different systems.
    Don't disable it just set it correctly.
    You probably want 130 degrees on your warm day and 180 on coldest.
    Post the manual for your reset curve if you need help.
    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,001
    Here is your manual.
    The settings in question are on page 13.
    I bet they left them at the defaults.
    Try changing the lb setting to 130-140
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Gennady is hinting at something you need to think about. Are there by chance zone valves or pumps on this system?
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    edited October 2014
    There are two circulators, I looked expecting someone might ask and they are both TACO 007 F-5 (I think that's what my scribble reads) simply on or off models. Based on a prior comment, are they supposed to be running all the time, or only when the thermostat is calling for heat? It's simply two independent zones with no crossovers or bypasses etc. Domestic hot water still has it's own self firing gas tank, an old inefficient Rudd, so there is no demand for domestic hot water on the Burnham boiler.

    And also because it was asked, no changes have been made since initial install:

    HL 191
    DF 30
    OR 0

    DS 180
    PT 0
    SS 180
    TB 10
    LO 0
    HO 70
    LB 140
    HB 190
    LT 130
    F/C F

    It has the ODR plug in and a low water cutoff plugin. The low water cutoff has a reading of 85. It has run 2,279 hours and 23,483 cycles.

    This is a moderately well insulated balloon framed 160 year old (circa 1850's) farmhouse type home that gets a lot of wind in rural Boston area. The boiler is a Burnham ESC and it supplies two loops of old copper pipe with aluminum fin baseboard. Lines are insulated in the basement with foam. I clean the spiders etc from the baseboard annually both with a vacuum and leaf blower. I know, that's an extreme but this place is full of crawly things.

    Confidence in the installer is low. Only permit obtained for install was for a gas line, the system and related trades were not covered. From other posts, I learned the importance of and asked about, installer does not own efficiency testing equipment. I've also been concerned because the dual stainless vent is about 13" above grade and although it hasn't been overtaken yet, am always checking snow around it.

    Should I make any changes in those settings, or did I miss anything descriptive?



  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    When was it installed? You're in the Boston area or Massachusetts area? If you're concerned about the venting (I would be), I'd be jingling up the local inspectional services agency and ask the proper AHJ if an inspection was ever done and if vent terminations 13" above the ground are permitted in that area and if not, why was it passed. Unless the snow load in the snowiest month in your area is only 1", that won't cut it. The manufacturer says 12" (.333 Meter) and most towns in your area list a minimum of 24" of snow. That means the minimum termination elevation could be as high as 36" above grade.

    I'll post a link where you can get the info is you ask.

    If the gas piping was done by a Massachusetts licensed plumber or gas fitter, he should have known what the height limitations were in place because it was covered in the CEU of that period. And the gas installer is responsible for the venting, regardless of who actually piped it. Technically, unless the person who actually did the venting didn't work for the licensed Massachusetts person, he allowed someone to work off his license. Which can get you in to a heap of trouble. Was the installation inspected? Is there a yellow sticker on the boiler someplace from the local Inspectional Services? Make them do their job. You've already paid for it.

    JMO.
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    edited October 2014
    Of concern for a rural Eastern Massachusetts install?

    The only permit issued was for the gas pipe. I believe there should be one for the install, electrical work and oil tank removal. The installer told me everything was all set when he took final payment and I trusted him. I was at Village Hall (a/k/a government offices) awhile back looking into the age of this place, and noticed there were no other permits issued around the time of the install. Plenty of permits are on file going back decades, but unrelated to the boiler. There's a small yellow card tag hanging on gas pipe near the boiler which reads "This Gas Piping has been Tested, Inspected and Approved" and it's signed by the Inspector of Plumbing and Gas Piping. I also just noticed the cast fittings and threads leading to them are heavily rusting. It can be damp in the mostly dirt floor cellar.

    I don't mean to delve offtopic from the boiler settings. Still want very much to address that.

    Thank you.


  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,231
    I live just south of Boston and when I had my new boiler installed two years ago, the inspector just waited to be sure the gas pressure gauge didn't move and then walked out the door. No sticker or tag on anything - must be a cost savings measure.

    I've also seen a lot of vents too close to the ground, I warned one guy around the corner that his exhaust and air intake was dangerously low. We usually get at least one storm a year that drifts 24" on that side of the house.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    edited October 2014
    Solved, but not the right thing to do.

    It's in the 40's outside now, windy and 59 indoors. If I left the boiler on it's own, the readout says it'd run at 148 and that's not good for a quick high shot of heat. It might be good for a setting where it's simply on. I want a quick shot of real heat, or might need a quick shot of something else!

    I ran a paperclip between the two rightmost terminals of the ODR box making it think there's a demand for domestic hot water when, in fact, there is no hot water demand on the boiler at all. So bottom line is that it's running at a hot temperature and actually heating the house. Wonderful!

    Someone posted that the circulators should be on all the time when a boiler has ODR, is that the way it should be? That makes some sense for when the heat is on 24/7, but it is not the way this is designed to run during the heating season.

    There must be some way to simply bypass the ODR and have it run at a high temperature, but how without messing with paper clip connections? My wife won't do that!
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Is there a boost feature in the Burnham ODR control?
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    Yes, it's shown as TB 10 in the above specs I was asking about.

    That's just too slow in the shoulder season to allow for instant high baseboard output when the thermostat is turned on.

    We're sitting here huddled under blankets with the heat going. A means of instant high baseboard output must be within reach!

    The old boiler would have this place warming up in a heartbeat. I know they are different animals, but what we're seeking shouldn't be out of reach.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Through all this what is your thermostat setting? If your running ODR you should not be setting back, and yes your system should be running 24/7.

    Seems to me that your letting the indoor temp drop so low that the boiler running in its most efficient setup cant keep up. You need btus to heat the house whether its a shot of heat all at once, or a little injection to keep desired setpoint. The same energy use is involved....possibly more if your going to always boost a shot of heat with higher water temps.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    And here my friends is the killing point of ODR. People want to feel HEAT coming out of those heaters. If Mother is cold, there is no way to satisfy her by telling her how much money you are saving or how "Efficient" the system is.

    If Mother is cold, she might get in bed and get under the electric blanket set on high to get warm. YOU won't be in there with her. Unless you get the heaters to put out hot air.

    I've said this to a stone wall for years. If you are going to have ODR, there needs to be a control that raises the heating medium on a temporary basis if the room temperature drops below certain parameters.
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    edited October 2014
    No, I understand what you are writing of but this is a shoulder season and the heat remains off most of the time. Cool nights and warm days, a good time for manual control and an ideal time for the warm weather shut down we don't have. Warm weather shut down probably wouldn't fare well with this system once the heating season sets in.

    But when it's dank and chilly in the morning, we want some heat. Not to have the heat on 24/7, just a quick shot of warmth.

    It was asked what the thermostat is set to. It's off, and when we turn it on simply want a brief shot of real heat in the shoulder season. Is that too much to ask for without having to use a paper clip jumper to make the boiler think it's providing domestic hot water when there is actually no call for it?

    Once the heating season sets in, typically he end of next month and we don't mess with the thermostat, I know the system will perform better.

    Someone wrote the circulators should be on 24/7 with the ODR, and someone else the system should be on 24/7. Is that to say the circulators need to be on continuously independent of thermostat activity , or that the thermostat should be cycling the system continuously?
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Continuous circulation is generally configurable using the boiler controls. If the boiler has separate boiler and system pump outputs, the system pump can usually be set up to run as long as the OAT is below WWSD, while the boiler pump fires only during a call for heat (plus whatever the post-purge setting is.)

    Between the ODR parameters, WWSD, and boost settings, we can usually get things to work. Lengthening the 'tail' of the ODR curve (starting at a higher OAT using cooler water) is one strategy, but the trick to tuning is to bypass the thermostat(s) as Gennady suggested. Be prepared to spend a few days making your initial adjustments. You'll probably need to re-visit those a few times during the season as things cool off and warm back up again.

    The exception here would be deep setbacks, which are not really compatible with most hydronic systems. If you absolutely positively can't live without setbacks, it's better to implement those with the fluid temp rather than the TT terminals. If the boiler controls don't have a way to handle this, you can trick the ODR using resistors and a relay. There are other strategies like repositioning the ODR sensor and zoning based on solar gain or external heat sources, but those are mostly helpful in correcting room imbalances
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    My system only had a problem when I needed "instant" heat after storm Sandy turned off my power for 6 1/2 days. The house dropped from 69F to 58F that is too cold. For that I made a short-term solution: upped the reset curve by 20F for a couple of days. Then I put it back where it belonged. The long term solution was to have a natural gas fired backup generator installed.

    But as far as outdoor reset is concerned, I did it by trial and error, and since I cannot adjust the outside temperature as I wish, It took several years to get it just right, but only a week to get it better than the installing contractor did.

    My Warm Weather Shutdown turns all home heating off when it goes above 70F outside. (it still does domestic hot water with an indirect.) Both my reset curves (one for a radiant slab zone and one for a baseboard zone with oversize baseboards) start at 50F outside temperature and end at 0F outside temperature. It is a coincidence that the endpoints turned out to be equal. Design temperature around here is 14F. I used to have those curves stop at 6F outside temperature, but last winter it got down to 2.8F outside and it did not quite keep up, so now I run them down to 0F.

    For the radiant zone, the supply temperatures at these limits are 76F to 128F. For the baseboard zone, the supply temperatures at these limits are 110F to 140F (hot enough because the baseboards are so large). This means that in shoulder season, I put 76F into the slab zone until the temperature outside gets to 50F, when it can go up to 128F if it gets all the way down to 0F outside. I put 110F into the baseboard zone until it gets below 50% outside and it can then go up to 140F if it gets cold enough.

    While I have thermometers with fancy setback controls, I do not use setback. It makes no sense to setback a radiant slab at grade, and it takes way to long to do setback in the baseboard zone because the reset curve is so close to the heat loss that there is not enough to recover from setback under normal conditions. My controller does allow the system to boost the supply temperatures if the desired thermostat is not satisfied for a while. For example, I could make it boost the temperature 10F if it does not satisfy the thermostat in 2 hours. And after another two hours it would do additional 10F boost (if it could do so without going past the upper limit of the reset curve). I tried that in the baseboard zone, but with even 2F setback, it can take many hours to recover. It does not make sense if you are doing outdoor reset.

    Now my boiler is oversized about 100%. That was the smallest boiler in the product line. So in the shoulder seasons, the cycling rate is a bit too high. I put such low temperatures into the emitters that they can not dump it as fast as the minimum firing rate of the boiler produces. For that reason, I run the supply temperatures to the baseboard system about 10F hotter than I really need to heat the space, but it reduces the cycling rate of the boiler.

    Abandon setback who enter into ODR.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,001
    edited October 2014
    Your settings look fine. If anything they are a little high.
    The low water temps you are reporting do not jive with the boiler settings. I suspect that something is incorrect with the install.
    Can you post pictures of the piping and wiring?
    https://file.ac/mPla-g192JE/iq-outdoor-reset-instruction-sheet.pdf
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    I removed the connections to the outdoor sensor and added a junkbox resistor in it's place. The system reports that it is -4 outside. Problem solved.

    When the real winter sets in I'll remove the resistor, connect the outdoor sensor and let it perform as designed.

    Please clarify the comment about circulators running all the time. I have two zones, each with their own 007 circulator and each zone runs independent based on one of two thermostats in use. The circulators are on only as long as the thermostat is calling for heat, ie there is no pump overrun time as the system is designed to have. Is that all OK?

    Thanks for the help.
  • Eric_32
    Eric_32 Member Posts: 267
    Many boilers will default to high limit if the outdoor sensor is unplugged/damaged and not reading ;). You probably could just unplug it and will do the same thing.
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    I tried that but was uncomfortable with the error message presented. With the resistor in place, it simply thinks it's -4F and will run for brief periods just to take the chill out of the air as sought.

    For sure, once the persistent cold of winter sets in the ODR will function fine on it's own.

    Please clarify the comment about circulators running all the time. I have two zones, each with their own 007 circulator and each zone runs independent based on one of two thermostats in use. The circulators are on only as long as the thermostat is calling for heat, ie there is no pump overrun time as the system is designed to have. Is that all OK?
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 830
    We had a call from a customer last year. She was very upset.
    " It is 11 degree outside. My radiators are not hot. You are lucky I have 72 F temperature inside".
    KC_JonesEric_32
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    Can the ODR curve be shifted for a different style emmitter such as hydroair for your satisfaction?

    The premise behind constant circ is that there's no catch up between ambient conditions and heat loss...the system is on cruise control and water supply temps are matched to building's needs.

    You presently have a on/off demand situation.
  • Wrench
    Wrench Member Posts: 17
    edited October 2014
    Someone in the household has cancer and the thermostat is set to 78F 24/7 (some are awake seemingly all hours) with humidifiers running. Everyone's content, especially a live in aide from a tropical island.

    The outdoor sensor is still disconnected at the ODR box and because of a junk box resistor across the sensor terminals the boiler thinks it's -4F outside. Having boiler run at the maximum hot water setting has worked well.

    It was mentioned earlier in this thread, under what circumstances would it be beneficial to have the pumps (one Taco 007 for each of two zones) on all the time? Also, in the photo above, is the vent too close to the ground?

    Thank you.