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Thermostat or Pump Control with Auton On Feature for Cold Weather

Is anyone aware of a thermostat or pump control that would exercise or turn on a zone for a few minutes to prevent a freeze-up. I have a customer that has a hot water zone that doesn't run that frequently as they have a gas fireplace, the house is warm enough so the heat zone doesn't call frequently enough so the water cools offs and will sometimes freeze. The piping for the zone is on an overhang off a split level home, I'm guessing there is a draft and when the weather is cold and windy it will freeze-up due to limited use.

I'm looking for a thermostat that will turn on the zone pump maybe 5 minutes every 24 hours or so, I'm not sure if there is a pump control that could do the same thing. The existing pump control is a Taco SR-506 and they use the priority feature for the indirect water heater.


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    The gas fireplace uses more energy that the zone will ever use. The cost of the repair far outweighs any savings by keeping the zone turned down in cold and windy weather when the zone will freeze. Its my experience that if there is a draft on these exposed pipes. they can "catch" and stop flowing in well under the 55 minutes that the zone is off and not being exercised. Once the "Catch" is made, it can be days before anyone notices that the zone doesn't work and before it thaws and leaks.

    Why is it that people want to save money and turn DOWN thermostats when it is the coldest outside? Pipes always freeze when someone does that.

    When the temperature goes down, the thermostats need to go up. How many houses did I see with one zone, put in a wood stove to save money (wood was $250.00 a cord) and with the thermostat in the living room, and the wood stove cranked, the thermostat never called and the house froze up with the people living there?

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Somebody posted a link a few months back to a product that did this. Can't seem to find the name at the moment, but it does just what you described.
  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
    Most of the mod-con internal boiler controls will do this.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,728
    Dan Foley has a product they use when hydro air units are attic mounted. Maybe the brand name is FreezeStat?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • eddah357
    eddah357 Member Posts: 4
    Ill check on that brand freezeStat
  • Someone recommended "Thermguard" , back in febuary. I have not used one. The thread is titled "woodstove supplemental heat- freezing pipes".
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    That's the one I was thinking of http://www.bearmountaindesign.com/
  • eddah357
    eddah357 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks SWEI, looks like a product that might work
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    No experience with it personally, but it seems to fit your description.