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low pressure gas event in Rhode Island and response

archibald tuttle
archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
edited January 2019 in Gas Heating
I know there are folks here more retentive than myself, and I respect the care exercised in thinking through problems. My inclination is that the complete shutoff routine instituted by the gas utility after this low pressure event was overkill when trying to return service in the middle of the winter.

Pilot safeties have been around since the 1920s if not before. Most automated electronic equipment would have locked out anyway. So the main danger is someone trying to figure out what was going on turned on a stove burner and then didn't turn it off and doesn't pay attention for some hours after restoration. Given the recent memory of the Merrimack Valley apocalypse I get that the normative protocol when service has been interrupted is to a cursory check by gas company before turning it on but when service is off to 7000 people and its single digits I wonder about how absolute that protocol should be.

Even if one were to believe that temperatures were moderating and its too late to protect against any damage that actually occurred during the first cold night, the incident was grossly prolonged by the dogged insistence on shutting off every service. To me this was going too far even if simply turning the gas back on the first night would have been rash. Being a community with summer homes many people were not home and locksmiths had to be engaged to get into vacant homes. If the home is vacant, then nobody was going to turn on the gas burner and leave.

Whereas in the Lawrence incident the gross overpressurization brought the piping itself into question that was not at all the case here. And if efforts to block additional and redundant delivery capacity for natural gas continue , this unprecedented incident could be repeated. (enbridge isn't speaking in terms that can really be accurately parsed yet. there definitely was an equipment failure but they are presently indicating that that was contributory not exclusively causative and that the extreme low temperatures and high use were the background cause. cutting against that explanation is that gas generators had not been asked to swith fuels, although reading between the lines, it seems that they were running right up to capacity so that what would have been a nuisance equipment failure had a magnified effect - and the fact that it only showed up at the very end of the spur seems to corroborate that.)

So it might be time to think on these questions. I don't mean to be cavalier but I do wonder about the actual risk vs. the actual harm caused by extending this outage to a full week over an hour of outage. I also think we might do well to have controls on hydronic systems that continue to circulate in response to cold temperatures and lack of boiler response. many do but some don't. perhaps an electric auxilary incapable of heating the house but provide enough btus to prevent the tubing freezing is an alternative to the obvious anti-freeze 'solution' which has it's own complications.

thanks for your thoughts.

brian

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,462
    Looking at it from the viewpoint of a retired engineer, Brian, one actually has two almost completely unrelated problems. The first is a strictly engineering problem: how does one handle a reduced pressure situation? Beyond the obvious -- install enough pipeline capacity to keep it from happening (and good luck with that), what next? There are engineering solutions, such as an addition to the gas pressure regulators (either each connection, or each high to low distribution) which locked off on a combination of low input pressure and sensed flow -- but it would have to sensitive enough to pick up a standing pilot. Nevertheless, that could be done. That would minimize the number buildings which would have to be visited and turned back on (or left until wanted!). There might be others -- that's just off the top of my head.

    The other problem, though, has nothing to do with that: it's the liability. One building going boom from a pilot or stove burner that's off, or one family carted out feet first, and you can easily pay for the people to go around and turn off and then turn on the gas and reset things. Bluntly, no responsible company is going to take the risk. For the people who got cold or who's plumbing froze -- a settlement can be reached, and the cost is at least predictable and controllable.

    I ran into somewhat analogous problems with regard to environmental ground water contamination -- or perceived contamination. While the contamination could be mitigated and controlled, the perception and related lawsuits could not -- and in several instances the best solution was bankruptcy and walk away.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Intplm.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,567



    The other problem, though, has nothing to do with that: it's the liability. One building going boom from a pilot or stove burner that's off, or one family carted out feet first, and you can easily pay for the people to go around and turn off and then turn on the gas and reset things. Bluntly, no responsible company is going to take the risk. For the people who got cold or who's plumbing froze -- a settlement can be reached, and the cost is at least predictable and controllable.

    -- and in several instances the best solution was bankruptcy and walk away.

    And that's what is going to happen unfortunately. Then everyone gets to share the burden with higher insurance rates.

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,308
    I agree with Jamie on the re-light procedure needed because of true dangers and liability.
    In my small village that might have 300 NG meters, the fire dept.
    (with 20-25 members), would go meter to meter and shut off the valves. Each would be tagged as such and documented by that team leader.
    No one can turn the valve back on except an employee of the gas company of which we have 3-4 qualified for relighting.
    Being on the fire dept, but not a NG employee does not allow me to do any of the relighting. (Even with 40+ years of dealing with NG).

    The NG company may have to go to the end of each main and bleed air until they are certain the pipe has only NG and no air.
    NG with an air mix of a certain ratio is explosive, you may not get a pilot flame but a bang.

    There would be those leaving stove burners on and leaving the house. Or a gas log lighter that has no safeties at all.
    There are still a few "live" pilot lights that do not provide 100% shut off.
    There are knuckleheads who would take the cap off a drip leg to see if there was any gas yet and not put it back on.
    Most homeowners are incapable of lighting a pilot light on WH or stoves.

    Certainly a situation the company wants to avoid.
    We might be able get everyone here back with heat before freeze ups. Depends upon the supply pipeline issue.
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746
    Good ad against switching to gas.

    Or was it orchestrated to get public support for a gas pipeline?? Don't put it past these corporate CEOs, they are evil.

    Or could be someone screwed up, this nation is inundated with managers and top brass that aren't capable or doing their jobs, they rose by brown nosing.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    exactly my point, if the utility is made to compensate everybody who's house freezes my guess is that would cost more than the remote chance somebody would go boom. but in the present environment that scant chance is worse press than the absolutely sure fact that the utility will be hounded by the 7000 people who don't have gas (and their class action lawyers).

    in the end the ratepayers will pay which only bothers me because i'm a ratepayer . . . even if the liability waivers in the tariffs and contracts hold, the regulators will force a bunch of CYA stuff that will be charged to ratepayers. maybe some of it is merited but I doubt all of it will be. nor will they think of everything, they are always fighting the last battle.

    that said, i could have put this on the wall because I dont think most homeowners are well aware or most hyrdonic systems well designed to anticipate outages. I tend to use control and physical intervention rather than anti-freeze partly based on btu capacity and because working on the system is more of a pain in the butt if you go for it and fialure of expansion tank is going to likely to lead to diluting and loss, but maybe the peace of mind still outweighs. but I think this area is a bit of an achilles heal for hydronics, most esp. for the baseboard portion of the industry. and i would have thought it possibly worthwhile to have some organized mechanism for calling forth an industry strike force to help in the event of a mass outage like this . . . being right here inthe home of TACO I would have liked to see John Hazen White call out the guard so to speak.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    Gbart,

    Occam's razor favors your second explanation rather than your first.

    I'd love to see good alternatives to these utilities, but I haven't seen any viable one's offered just yet. So I'm in favor of more pipeline capacity, but there isn't any big decision pending - unfortunately.

    brian
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,462
    Brian -- there have been some big decisions in the past couple of years on pipeline capacity, both in Canada and the US, and for both oil and gas. And they have all rejected any expansion in capacity. In that political and regulatory climate, it would be nothing short of insane for the management of an oil or gas company to spend any time or money on coming up with plans for new capacity -- and with the political buzz in the US being what it is, I doubt very much that that will change.

    There is no free lunch -- as a lot of people are finding out.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    JUHNGE,

    I get that people can do stupid things. In some ways that is why i feel the smart thing to do would have been to turn the gas right back on. Give people 3 or 4 days to screw around and things could be worse.

    I haven't messed with gas logs so I'll defer to those who have on whether the state of the art (and how much of the installed base) has flame sense safety. I agree there is still some stuff out there that doesn't shut off the pilot itself but i've not seen any circumstance in 45 years when this was much more prevalent where an unlit pilot or multiple unlit pilots was a safety problem. The last oven i saw that didn't have a safety on the main valve was a 1928 glenwood. I still have it although its on propane these days.

    It seems to me that gas is designed to mix with air where it leaves the pipe and the gas in the pipe is separated from the ignited gas by an orificed so the real issue when there is air in the pipes themselves would be the possibility of an ignition source traveling back into the pipe? Maybe this is a broader problem than I've contemplated although I like the next guy have held a flame to the pilot orifice to see if the gas is there yet in the micro equivalent of this circumstance, even when you purge to somewhere near the appliance. Although this was not a case where the local system was opened so i would think modest entrained air would be more a problem for putting pilots out after they had been relit. But maybe there is a history of problems restarting where there has been ignition in the appliance or house piping?

    I posted here to get set right, so I don't mean to reject the cautions you offer but to consider them. Your organization of the fire company to do the shutoffs seems an admirable solution. What you describe is a kind of a bucket brigade approach and utilitizes a core of folks who train together and are probably already trained on getting gas shut off. How long did it take you to run that drill?

    I think its maybe over cautious not to train and involve the fire company in restarts for that kind of systemwide shutoff. I get that there is liablity and perfection concerns but those are areas that public policy might sensibly address and how hard is it to train someone to shut the gas right off if the meter is turning significantly on being opened and leave that address for the gas company. Maybe I'm just overly risk tolerant because my dad had me bringing the propane system for heat, hot water, cooking and refrigeration back online at the seasonal cottage since I was 12.

    Grid claimed to have had 1000 people on the job and it took them 4 days to get 7000 people shut off. Those numbers seem a lackluster to me (other than that some homes were unoccupied and they had to get police and locksmiths which is where at some point i question the protocol although maybe this could be better managed by the gas company taking contact info from every customer for a second with a key and if the owner or the second doesn't respond within 24 hours your bust the door - obviously this isn't a problem in neighborhoods where meters are outside).

    brian



  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    jamie hall

    absolutely agree. my point was that there aren't any pipeline decisions pending and , as you suggest applications are being chilled by opposition. the brilliant press around here doesn't ask whether this gas interruption will spur pipeline capacity but whether it will spur alternative energy. Do they have any idea what it would take in watts to replace the btus we get from gas.

    You think energy is expensive now, wait until its free.

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,308
    I can't give you the exact ratio with the air in gas critical issue, just that I understand it to be a possible risk.

    As far as the "re-light" protocol in our case, we would be faced with this if there was a border station or pipeline failure/shutdown.
    One valve at the border station would shut off all 300 customers.
    (we are talking small town here).
    Then when gas was restored to the border station, the relight process would began.
    Before that all individual services would have be shut off.
    We are fortunate that all meters and regulators are outside with most of them in the alley. A few at the building.
    Just about all services are 7" pressure.
    Just a few with 2 PSI in the building.
    So valving each one off is a fairly simply job.
    But each structure would have to be accessible in order to turn the gas back on. Lighting pilots and checking for open valves etc.
    In a small town such as this (650 people) someone knows somebody to let them in a locked house in the event of an emergency like this. (relative, neighbor or landlord...maybe key under the mat etc. )

    The fire department gets an annual refresher briefing from the NG rep concerning gas leaks, exterior shut offs, the shut down and relight process, plus info about the location of the major high pressure gas line about 1/2 mile south of us.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    thanks JUHGNE, obviously a little easier in a small town and maybe more tendency to work together. i'm taking your point about the mix in the pipe under advisement. but say that everyone should get shut off. isn't it possible to have the meter turned on and if it doesn't start turning then it is known that there isn't anything on? If it does start turning you turn it off and tag it for a gas company check.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,308
    If I were on the job, the meter rotation would work, for me, yes.
    But, again still on the job, I would not leave it on if I could not get into the house.
    Consider time delay T-stat for starting or programable T-stats.
    For each appliance, you want to see the light off with your own eyes.

    For the NG relight, you are placing a lot of responsibility on those 25 or so FD members.

    The protocol must be followed by the NG company to insure safety and reduce liability.
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746
    Unfortunately we have to have regulations, when we didn't corporations were not responsible and hurt and killed thousands.

    If they responsibly design pipeline and do them without hurting people and the environment all is well, the Deepwater Horizon is a prime example of a corporation not following environmental laws, imagine if there were none and just because it doesn't affect you doesn't mean it isn't hurting someone or the environment.

    We're on the brink of a major fish and corral die off, fracking and pipelines run irresponsibly have put our drinking water at risk and caused thousand of earthquakes.........but as long as there is profit it's ok right?

    Many of these mega utility giant national monopolies haven't invested in their infrastructure at all, then we have incidents like this and the fires out west and the gas issues in Mass.

    The core problem is greed and irresponsibility.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,462
    "The core problem is greed and irresponsibility. " -- I agree @GBart -- with one addition: the greed and irresponsibility are not exclusive to the big companies. Those two sins are very common among the correctly termed consumer class as well, and they interact with each other.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    GBart, that is fair counterpoint but the way i (and maybe Jamie) view it, corporations are just us. They can't make money if we don't want to buy the stuff they are bringing to market. The regulatory push started with the Cuyahoga River burning, there was little disagreement even amongst the greedy consumer class that the balance wasn't right. But now we have a created an NGO class that is just as self interested as any corporation who perpetuate their relevance by convincing us that the Cuyahoga is still burning.

    I simply don't believe that the current situation is quite as gloomy as you paint, nor that the current efforts to block gas pipelines have actually to do with some purported shortcoming in their construction and operation. The people trying to block these don't want the energy coming here.

    Fair question whether we overlook shortcomings or the pipeline companies are too cozy with the regulators, i just feel essentially the same way about those pushing back, that they have no more claim to be selflessly advancing my interests than some company that i pay for gas who is also theoretically advancing my interests.

    When we all have affordable nuclear fusion for our basements somebody is going to get stuck holding the wires and the pipelines but I'm betting a 30 year investment in gas infrastructure is not a waste at this point. If you want to argue if the welds should be xrayed better or the material should be 1/8" thicker no worries, but if you want to argue we're going to be heating the northeast with solar and wind I'm thinking calling my views of gas as the best alternative in the meantime polyannish is the overstatement of the year.

    best,

    brian
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    edited February 2019
    "I simply don't believe that the current situation is quite as gloomy as you paint, nor that the current efforts to block gas pipelines have actually to do with some purported shortcoming in their construction and operation. The people trying to block these don't want the energy coming here."

    This doesn't tel the complete story, at least with moving more natural gas from PA to New England. The company who wanted to build the now cancelled pipeline wanted the rate payers to foot the bill for a larger than "necessary" pipeline, so the company could liquefy the surplus pipeline capacity and sell it into the international market place. They neglected to tell the public this minor little detail, and when it came out, people were pissed.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,462
    edited February 2019
    Brewbeer said:

    "I simply don't believe that the current situation is quite as gloomy as you paint, nor that the current efforts to block gas pipelines have actually to do with some purported shortcoming in their construction and operation. The people trying to block these don't want the energy coming here."

    This doesn't tel the complete story, at least with moving more natural gas from PA to New England. The company who wanted to build the now cancelled pipeline wanted the rate payers to foot the bill for a larger than "necessary" pipeline, so the company could liquefy the surplus pipeline capacity and sell it into the international market place. They neglected to tell the public this minor little detail, and when it came out, people were pissed.

    Sorry. Not the whole story. First, when there was excess gas, yes it would have been sold abroad -- which would have reduced the cost at home. When there wasn't, those folks freezing in the dark might have had some. Second, that terminal was designed to flow both ways. Import when necessary, export when available. As it is, I have no sympathy at all for the folks in the NGOs who killed it -- and a lot who didn't know enough to disbelieve their propaganda and now have to go without.

    I might add that that is by no means the only pipeline expansion or electrical high tension grid expansion which has been killed recently.

    If I read the headlines correctly, there is a very vocal group which insists that we can be entirely fossil fuel free in 12 years. Nope. Not going to happen.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    People who believe the world could be fossil fuel free in 12
    years are dreaming and don't deserve the headlines they get. That's just crazy talk undeserving of people's attention.

    I strongly disagree with the decision to cancel the new line to Dracut, no one rational can say the capacity isn't needed. Infrastructure reliability upgrades are badly needed and I'd gladly spend an extra buck toward that end.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    Brewbeer (is there anything else . . . )
    It's fair to argue about what burden the ratepayer should shoulder and whether certain parts of these undertakings should be funded by private interests or they must not represent solid investments. That, of course is the same regimen I demand of Alternative Energy, to no avail, that even if you are an anti-carbon fanatic, you don't force ratepayers to buy some stupid absurd expensive project (e.g. deepwater wind) and then sell the result into the market and hand the loss to the ratepayer. You say we want alternative energy and take bids for who will provide it the cheapest.

    Thus, I do think the Mass DPU rear guard action of putting ratepayers into the pipeline busines was marginal methodology (and notice it was opposed not just by enviros but by other industry players who offer peak response , e.g. LNG storage.)
    That said, three other new england states have gone the other way although in modified form.

    No one really argues we have winter peak constraints and associated soaring spot pricing so it is reasonable to consider the ratepayers interest in abating. The question is how to do it without turning right back into the old big brother utilty on its 5 year plan. I recommend that they solicit bids for peak response so that electric transmission lines, gas pipelines and gas liquification and storage facilites can compete to provide the cheapest hedge.

    Maybe in the end, that means the ratepayers would only commit to funding a third of a pipeline but i bet even that would catalyze industry investment to follow that (not to mention that they would have the capacity interests of ratepayers in multiple states to aggregate).

    These are still difficult threshold based decisions because generally you got to build several hundred miles of pipeline regardlesss of its size. Ditto on transmission lines. I think the targets have to be med-long in order to get realistic options and infrastructure amortization contemplated. If you're just talking a year at a time, what they are doing now is trucking LNG around which is the silliest thing one can imagine, except for what happened in Newport.

    let me know when the next brew is ready.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,462
    It's an interesting conundrum, isn't it? Somebody has to come up with the cash to build the capacity. Who is it to be? Private investors? Well, they'll want some kind of return on their investment, which means that the rates will have to reflect that -- but the public, acting through the public utilities commissions, won't approve a sufficient rate of return. So -- no private money. OK, then let the State build it! Ah... where does the money come from for the State to do that? Just raise the taxes. Sooner or later, the general public has had enough of sky high taxes, and says no.

    Any suggestions?

    Of course then once the money is found, you have to find a place to put the project. This can take a decade -- or more -- of proposals, studies, hearings, approvals, appeals, more studies, more hearings, more appeals -- with no certainty of the outcome.

    By which time a) the proposal is obsolete and b) what money hasn't gone to the lawyers has gone somewhere else where it's actually useful.

    As I suggested before, no private enterprise is going to even try; an executive who suggested such a thing in today's climate will be looking for another job and, frankly, should be.

    As I said -- any suggestions?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,555
    The procedure is the procedure which is the most safe if not convenient. In all my years working for a gas company I have never seen it done any differently so that safety is never in question.

    I was involved with another incident many years ago in the same area (Newport). Someone had shut down a main feed valve to all the gas on the island and 5,000 customers lost service. We did it exactly the same then as was done now and it is the safest way to go just not convenient for customers. That is why we have lawyers.

    I attended a gas safety conference many years ago in Cleveland (the old AGA headquarters was there). There was a presentation given on this very subject by Ted Lemoff (NFPA) and he gave the exact same protocol. It is not going to change.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    my suggestion is public utility organized bidding for peak shaving service over a 20 year horizon - perhaps multi state in the NE of ISONE wide. I feel like that length is a little long, maybe 15 would do the trick. The real issue is if unforeseen public policy or market shifts leave this as stranded investment. So 5 or 10 is safer for a surer bet, but that is the whole point about hedges, they are a bet. If you can keep the cost of the hedge low enough, even if you don't use it, it gave you more stable pricing and supply.

    That's where the anti-carbon people lose me, because essentially they need discount rates near zero to make their schemes work out. They aren't at all selling 'insurance policies' against climate shifts. They are looking for us to spend a dollar today to maybe save a dollar in the future. Nobody thinks that is a good idea. But to spend a dollar today to maybe save $10 or 20 in the future, different calculation. I'm not sure the correct ratio but the utility regulators should consider the potential for savings against the cost. It's a shorter term future than climate change (well, unless you subscribe to the Ocasio-Cortez school of though) but the discount rate still matters because there isnt a 100% probability that the hedge is engaged. I would not be in favor of asking the ratepayer to invest $1 in infrastructure for $1 in potential rate savings. It has to noticeably better than that. Of course there is also a value to redundancy and the ability to prevent service interruption as we see from the incident that started this thread and its possible to consider those in the equation.

    If these hedges were slam dunk obvious the private market would be in - and as you point out - they would want their pound of flesh for it. In some senses this was already done by the investment in liquified natural gas storage and is one of the reasons that those concerns objected to ratepayers buying gaspipe that competes with liquified back up that was built privately. And then if you invest in either, you are subject to further political and technological risk. The coal plants they are shuttering have been on the receiving end of both of these, being challenged by immensely hostile regulatory environment and the advent of directional drilling lowering natural gas prices -- except under conditions of pipeline constraint (folks focus on fracking which has been around almost as long as oil wells, that's nothing new, it's the directional drilling that really changed things).

    I highly doubt there is going to be any battery or technology development that will supplant the relative ulility of natural gas for heating and electric generation over the next decade, but over two decades you're way down the pike with unpredictable public policy and technological developments. We don't have the capability for individual members of the public to lock energy supply for long periods which would allow folks to choose say a floating rate which might be lower now but spike in the future or a fixed rate for 20 years from a company that would aggregate that demand and build a pipeline. But we do have the provision of utility oversight that allows such considerations for a significant fraction of the customer base at once. I just think the Massachusetts approach was a little too blunt old school public utility framework. But I think it can be accomplished - other than if we give in to those who oppose pipelines, generating, fossil fuel in general.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    edited February 2019
    If that happened to me, the gas company can turn it back on with no inspection of my house at all. (I happen to know that they will not do that.) Most of the gas I use goes to my WM-Ultra 3 heating boiler with attached indirect hot water heater. That unit has no pilot light at all, but, essentially, a spark plug to fire the burner if necessary (it acts as a flame detector when it is firing). I have an electric stove an electric dryer.
    My only other use of gas is my backup electrical generator which is outside my house, quite near the gas meter. It has its own shutoff valve, and it does not use a pilot light to start the engine.

    BTW, if the heat exchanger temperature of my boiler gets down to about 40F, it tries to fire the boiler and turns on the circulators. If it then gets up to 45F, it will stop that. I do not know if it turns off the circulators if the boiler does not fire; I hope not. I think this is mainly for when the homeowner sets his thermostat(s) off or if it goes dead.

    I can select individually which circulators run if this should occur. Should I run the circulator to the indirect or not? I assume if I do, that hot water would end up heating the house a little bit, but then I would run out of hot water sooner.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,760
    All the circulators should run if the temp gets that low. Moving water won't freeze as fast as still water will.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
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