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Brand new energy kinetic system2000 not heating up zone 2 in a reasonable amount of time

mtnbikerchk
mtnbikerchk Member Posts: 1
edited February 17 in THE MAIN WALL
We have a small ranch with a finished basement. Zone 1 is the main level and zone 2 is the basement where the boilers is. The boiler is sectioned off in a separate room.

So far the hot water in the house is great, the upstairs heat is great but the basement zone 2 takes FOREVER to get up to temperature. I feel like the heat trickles out of the baseboard heaters whereas it used to pour out.

FYI we replaced a 35 year old Weil Mclain boiler.

We had the installers out twice now and their best guess is the old boiler was set at higher temperature so they increased the temp by 10 degrees. He said everything is hot and the baseboards are hot and it should be fine. SO why is it taking HOURS to heat up zone 2?

It just doesn't make sense to me.

Thanks for your help.

Comments

  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 294
    edited February 17
    Assuming the basement loop is purged of air, and the boiler temperature is similar to what it was before - that leaves the flow rate.

    Did the basement zone have its own circulator before? Does it have its own circulator now?

    Once the basement zone is up to setpoint, does it maintain it?
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 158
    Measure the radiators for temp, or the output and return lines. There's always a chance there could be some air in the system. If you can hear water in the pipes you have air inside. How far back to do you roll your basement thermostat? You said they raised it 10*, but how high is the set point? If it's a lot lower than your old boiler was set for which is very likely, then that could explain the difference.
  • mtnbikerchk
    mtnbikerchk Member Posts: 1
    Thank you both.

    Robert - I don't hear water so I think the air is out. There is no bleed thingy on the basement I think he said it just circulates back. I don't believe it had its own circulator. Yes it does maintain it.

    Max - we don't know what the old boiler was set at but that was his best guess. We turn the thermostat down to 55 at night and up to 67 during the day. It's a small space and the heater covers half the room. Maybe 600 sq ft?

    I think we'll watch tomorrow and see what happens.
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 158

    We turn the thermostat down to 55 at night and up to 67 during the day. It's a small space and the heater covers half the room. Maybe 600 sq ft?

    12* is a big set back. I don't have the numbers but I've *read* that too far a setback doesn't save any money and might actually use more energy to recover. You might be better off setting it down to 60F at the most, although I know that doesn't explain your situation.

    Did you set the thermostat down to 55F with the original system, and what is the set point of the new boiler now that it's been raised 10*?
  • mtnbikerchk
    mtnbikerchk Member Posts: 1
    MaxMercy said:

    We turn the thermostat down to 55 at night and up to 67 during the day. It's a small space and the heater covers half the room. Maybe 600 sq ft?

    12* is a big set back. I don't have the numbers but I've *read* that too far a setback doesn't save any money and might actually use more energy to recover. You might be better off setting it down to 60F at the most, although I know that doesn't explain your situation.

    Did you set the thermostat down to 55F with the original system, and what is the set point of the new boiler now that it's been raised 10*?
    We don't do it to save money actually. We have workout space in the basement and it really needs to start off cool for the kind of bike training we do.

    The thermostat is set exactly the same on the old and system. I can't remember what he said - we were also talking about water temp and I have that stuck in my head (which we did not change and is set to 120 and unrelated).
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,847
    If you don't have a separate circulator, there is a chance that your new circulator has put the system out of balance and maybe you need some balancing valves to send flow thru that loop.
    If you do have a separate circulator/zone, there could be a mechanical problem.
    Would also need to know more about components and how the zones are controlled.
    steve
    MaxMercy
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,851
    I like @STEVEusaPA idea. The re-pipe of the near boiler piping may have set the balance off. The water will take the path of least resistance and if both zones are calling, then the least resistance may be the upstairs zone. The way the tee fittings were configured as opposed to the way the tees are configured now may be part of the problem. A picture of the near boiler piping from several different angles will be helpful. The way the zones are controlled is important too...

    And finally, are there any other changes to the slow heating zone? like new carpeting? Restricting the airflow thru the baseboards, by new wall-to-wall carpeting that reduces the space under the radiator to a fraction of the needed space for proper airflow, could be a contributing factor. Other factors could be that something fell inside the pipe during installation that could be restricting water flow. Too many things to speculate on... Pictures will help.

    Yours Truly,
    Mr.Ed
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    MaxMercy
  • mtnbikerchk
    mtnbikerchk Member Posts: 1

    I like @STEVEusaPA idea. The re-pipe of the near boiler piping may have set the balance off. The water will take the path of least resistance and if both zones are calling, then the least resistance may be the upstairs zone. The way the tee fittings were configured as opposed to the way the tees are configured now may be part of the problem. A picture of the near boiler piping from several different angles will be helpful. The way the zones are controlled is important too...

    And finally, are there any other changes to the slow heating zone? like new carpeting? Restricting the airflow thru the baseboards, by new wall-to-wall carpeting that reduces the space under the radiator to a fraction of the needed space for proper airflow, could be a contributing factor. Other factors could be that something fell inside the pipe during installation that could be restricting water flow. Too many things to speculate on... Pictures will help.

    Yours Truly,
    Mr.Ed

    There are definitely no other changes. We've been working from home for nearly a year and my husband works downstairs so he's keenly aware of the temperature.

    I'm going to talk to my installer again with help from EK. I will get you pics tomorrow. I'm sure the suspense is killing you :)

    Thanks for all your help. I'll report back.
    MaxMercy
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 132
    It would be useful to know the water temperature drop through that basement zone. If it’s over 20°F you have a flow problem.

    Bburd
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 294
    Your old boiler was likely oversized and set at a higher temperature than necessary.  

    If the rest of the system performs well the easiest solution would be a smaller setback.  That is a large room with a lot of thermal mass to try and swing 12 degrees.  I have the same issue with my wife's treadmill in the same room as my desk.  We compromised and split the difference.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,816
    Does the basement eventually come up to temperature? 12° is a large swing. Same thermostat? No new carpeting jamming up the bottom of the baseboard? 
    Can you tell if the basement zone is one continuous loop, or does it branch off to each baseboard section separately?
    Possible slab leak?

    T2 and Z2 should both be lit on the Energy Manager. The zone valve for zone 2 should be open. There is a lever on the zone valve and it should move freely. The zone valves can close even with a heat demand if the return temperature gets too low, but for the most part, it'll be open. 
    If the zone valve is open, then there's still air in the loop, or something's not right with the basement zone piping. Or someone put too much heat on a ball valve and popped it.

    STEVEusaPASuperTech
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,590
    The basement zone should be supplied with the same temperature water as the rest of the home. If you are feeling a difference in the temperature of the baseboards from one zone to the other then the problem is water flow to the zone. I would check the lights on the energy manager when the thermostat is calling for heat and make sure that the thermostat and zone valve are working properly.  I'm suspecting that air in the lines could be the problem.  Possibly the zone valve could also be the culprit.  It shouldn't be too difficult for the installer to figure out if the rest of the home is heating normally but the basement is not.  Perhaps its an issue with the installation.  Pictures of the boiler and piping would be helpful.  
  • Alan Welch
    Alan Welch Member Posts: 241
    An important question no one has asked- how long does the burner run?  If it only runs for a minute or 2 than the problem is probably in the  piping.  From a cold start, it should only take a few minutes before the zone valve opens and the return comes back hot. If it takes a long time see what kind of flow comes out when purging.   Perhaps something got lodged in the pipe or a balancing / butterfly  valve was left closed. 
  • mtnbikerchk
    mtnbikerchk Member Posts: 1

    An important question no one has asked- how long does the burner run?  If it only runs for a minute or 2 than the problem is probably in the  piping.  From a cold start, it should only take a few minutes before the zone valve opens and the return comes back hot. If it takes a long time see what kind of flow comes out when purging.   Perhaps something got lodged in the pipe or a balancing / butterfly  valve was left closed. 

    The burner runs continuously until it gets to temp. Then it maintains.

    They came out again yesterday and said the temperature was set too low so it couldn't pump out enough hot water?! Said he said it to 215. Well this morning is no better.









  • JoeHNJ
    JoeHNJ Member Posts: 16
    @mtnbikerchk , As per my PM to you yesterday, we would be glad to coordinate with your contractor in order to resolve your issue. Please PM me with your heating contractor name.

    Please make sure SmartBoost is turned on from the options menu on the Display Manager (it should be easy to find using the self-guided on screen prompts. This will boost the operating temperature to increase the baseboard output when a zone has not been satisfied for either 25 minutes or 45 minutes (your choice).

    Because zone 1 and hot water are responding quickly, we need to focus on zone 2. You mentioned the zone is about 600 square feet, if it’s 20’x30’ then it may have about 120’ of ¾” copper tubing and baseboard. At 1 gallon for every 40’ of tubing, this holds about 3 gallons. The boiler is probably flowing over 5 GPM through that zone, so when the zone valve first opens, if you don’t feel the return getting warmer in about a minute, there is a flow restriction in that zone.

    Similarly, if the supply is 180°F (as shown on the gauge in your photo) and the return is very close to that temperature, that means all of your baseboard is up to temperature and it will output all it can. SmartBoost will bump the temperature up and increase the output of the baseboard by up to 25%.

    If the zone has been purged so there is no air and the return is coming up to temperature quickly, then the time to heat up the zone is related to the output of the baseboard. You can estimate the output of the boiler by the on and off cycles, so if the burner is ON for 3 minutes and OFF for 7, it is outputting 30% (3 minutes out of 10) of its full capacity. If this is similar to the feet of fin tube (at 500 to 600 BTU/ft; not bare copper), then the heat up time is limited by the installed baseboard.

    As another general note, System 2000 does not have a hot burner door or high off cycle losses, so your boiler will not act as a heat radiator in the separate boiler room. Prior, your boiler room could have been much warmer from the boiler (although much of that heat would have been vented out the draft regulator, which is not required and should not be installed on a System 2000).
    Joe Harazim
    Technical Support
    ENERGY KINETICS
  • mtnbikerchk
    mtnbikerchk Member Posts: 1
    After two days of diagnostics, adjusting settings, measuring rooms and basebords and heatloss calculations it has been determined that it was probably the old boiler giving off heat that helped to raise the temperature of the basement. I can't express how thankful I am to the people at Energy Kinetics (especially Mark) for taking the time (including 8pm on a Saturday night) to work with me on the questions. I will forever recommend them to my friends, family and anyone who will listen.

    And hey, maybe if my current career doesn't work out, I can have a future as an HVAC tech ;)
    RogerSuperTechErin Holohan Haskellszwedj
  • Roger
    Roger Member Posts: 171
    Thank you @mtnbikerchk - it's our pleasure to help and I'm grateful to our team members like Mark that so often go the extra mile.
    Best,
    Roger
    President
    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
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