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Constantly running circulator and fuel efficiency

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lobuc
lobuc Member Posts: 14
I have been lurking for a couple years here and finally decided to join, love the solutions and knowledge shared.
We have 2 (12ish years old) 6 section cast iron triple pass buderus oil boilers with a tekmar odr. Each boiler has a circulator before the hydralic separator and there is also a main system circulator after separator that constantly runs. This heating system is at my church and I have been for the most part the primary maintainer. I installed wifi thermostats to control the 10 or so zone valves and drop temps when not occupied, these valves are at each area/room not in the boiler room and not utilizing the end switches.
My plan is to fish wire from the primary use zones back to boiler room, to a relay that will then trigger the system pump. It seems to me that it would be much more efficient than a constantly running circulator with 2" uninsulated copper throughout. I am guessing the original system was just one big boiler and circulator. Not sure why it was done this way when upgraded 12 years ago, seems with a few more steps they could have made it much more efficient.
Am I going the right direction or am I missing something? Suggestions appreciated.

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  • lobuc
    lobuc Member Posts: 14
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    The zones are fine line type baseboard and an air handler with coil.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 1,000
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    Are you missing something? sure maybe, the circulator could be a delta p or delta t circulator.

    the tekmar controls the circulator based on demand and ODR temperature below the warm weather shutdown. Why would you add an additional relay when the tekmar turns the circulator on with its internal relay? i mean that is one of the reasons for the tekmar.

    what size circulator is the system circulator?

  • lobuc
    lobuc Member Posts: 14
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    I am pretty sure the only inputs to the Tekmar are the outdoor temp and supply water temp. I believe the installer tied the circulator directly to the home run/power supply of the tekmar, meaning if tekmar is powered up so is the circulator. The Tekmar model #264 and circ is up43-75f. In near future planning to upgrade to a Grundfos Alpha but figured I should get the system as efficient as posssible before adding something else to it.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 1,000
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    if the circulator is tied into the power supply it would run all summer unless you power down your tekmar. if that is how your handling it then move the circulator power wire over 1 terminal to P1. Then the circulator only comes on when the ODR is below the WWSD. you need a demand so your installer might have just jumped it in the tekmar but there would be a transformer 24 volt feed to .
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,840
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    I guess you need to decide who the boss will be. The WIFI thermostats or the Tekmar with the outsides air reset.

    What is hooked to your boiler demand input on the Tekmar?

    I would wire a thermostat or and outdoor air lockout to that input. That is probably all you need to do if the other controls are wired right.

    If I understand the Tekmar correctly you need something to give it a go signal then the boiler will fire and the outdoor reset will take over.
  • lobuc
    lobuc Member Posts: 14
    edited November 2023
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    I just double checked, the demand is tied into the power supply so if the tekmar is powered up then so is the demand 120v line voltage nothing 24v. The pump output is actually wired correctly on p1. Problem is unless it's summer it's on 24/7 location is interior Alaska. Seems wasteful when zones aren't calling, it is always demanding, never satisfied it's just radiating off the large copper tube in between floors where it is not needed and boiler just continues pumping BTUs needlessly.
    I am not a boiler tech just a handy type that happens to own a few rentals and have done most of my own repairs and installs for many years.  I have used outdoor resets with much smaller systems before but also used stats to make the demand, pump only runs on a call on my rentals and personal property.
    I am not in this business daily as most of you are you. I would like to make the system as efficient and trouble free as possible. 
    Oh wait now I understand only after comments above and opening it up to inspect. It appears all I need to do is disconnect the 120v from demand, then install the new wires I will be fishing through from stats or end switches just have to make sure it's at least 24v.  Easy peasy we're gonna be saving $ soon.