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Residential Creaking Pipes - Outdoor Reset Control

Jay_12 Member Posts: 46
Hello Richard,

Please call us at tekmar for control selection. The phone number is 250-545-7749.


Jay Vath
tekmar Control Systems


  • Richard A. Pike
    Richard A. Pike Member Posts: 2
    Residential Creaking Pipes - Outdoor Reset Control

    I have loud creaking pipes in my home. From my research I know this is related to the expansion of the copper pipes against wood.

    I have a 15 yr old Burnham Boiler that works well

    My research also lead me to look at an outdoor reset control to temper the temperature swings and reduce the creaking.

    I have located a Tekmar 360 Home control, with 3 RTU 62 thermostats as a possible candidate. Can anyone give me feedback on,
    - is this a good idea ?
    - what plumbing in addition is required, ie do I need to mix hot water with col to get the correct output temperature)
    - who should install (an electrician or a plumber)

    Thanks in advance.

    Richard A. Pike
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    OD Reset is almost always a good idea...

    And it will reduce creaking by slowing the rate of expansion over a much longer time period.

    Key points in your case to consider:

    1. Protect the boiler from too low a return water temperature. This means decoupling the boiler from the radiation-side with a mixing valve or other device.

    (A modern condensing boiler does not have such concerns and thrive on colder return water, which makes them more efficient. So if you ever change your boiler to a condensing type, the decoupling portion for boiler protection is not required. But it may be for different temperature loops such as radiators versus radiant floors).

    Naturally this means a heating contractor and piping involvement. Use the Find a Professional feature on this site.

    2. Once the radiation-side is decoupled, you can run the temperature from the highest temperature needed on the coldest day, down to near room temperarture on a mild day. Temperature range of this loop could be as high as 180 (maybe less and now you can find out how low you can go!), and as low as 70-75 on a 55-60 degree day. Neat.

    Deep reset saves money and gives better comfort in the bargain.

    3. The boiler can be set-back in parallel but to a narrower range, maybe 180-190 at the high end down to 135-140 at the low end. Remember boiler protection. The boiler is maintained higher than the loop temperature by about ten degrees usually, to keep it under control. This hotter primary "boiler-loop" water is injected into the secondary "radiation loop" based on what the secondary loop needs to be. That in turn correlates to the outdoor temperature at a given time.

    So, bottom line, an electrician and heating contractor would be required, but a good heating contractor should be able to get it all done with an on-staff or retained electrician for one-source responsibility.

    Once you do this, you will be a huge hit at parties, women will fall all over you and want to be invited over to see your etchings.... Not sure if OD reset leads to divorce, let me get back to you on that :)
  • Richard

    The addition of the reset control will in fact reduce the expansion noises you are hearing. This is generally caused by terminations through the floor that are too tight aroung the pipes or pipes that are locked in between floor joists expanding whenever 180°F water starts to flow through them.

    All of the advice that Brad gave above is good advice but one question I have is how you are currently making your domestic hot water. Is this with a seperate water heater or an immersion tankless heater in the boiler? If you are planning on operating an oil-fired boiler with tankless for reset, it won't work well unless you use the boiler simply for primary-secondary injection into a system loop while operating the boiler at high temperature.

    If you are making your hot water with an indirect heater and utilizing the DHW Priority, you will still hear the expansion noises every time the DHW call is finished and the System pump(s) turn back on. You will also still hear the expansion occuring whenever it is close to design temperature outside and the system water is close to the 180°F mark. Hope this helps.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Good points, Glenn

    Glad to see you on the mend, by the way. Take your time but still looking forward to seeing you back at full strength.

    Your points about DHW are well-taken, another facet. What I love about this forum is that between multiple postings, a concensus is apparent and if not that, the pros and cons are fully expressed. And all the details that make a more complete answer, emerge. Love this age we are in.

    Be well always,

  • Joe Brix
    Joe Brix Member Posts: 626
    Another suggestion

    Move to constant circulation on the zones with a mixing valve. By slowly changing the water temp, the piping wouldn't contract and expand as much. Maybe look at one of Tekmar whole house controls with mixing control like a 371.
  • Richard A. Pike
    Richard A. Pike Member Posts: 2

    Many thanks. I think this could is the way to go.

    Now I need to educate my self and select the correct control(s). I have noted there is a separate DHW tank, its connected to the boiler (looks like it s connected to the diagfragm only). I also need to locate the model and instruction on the heater itself (not sure where I can find that).

    My choices so far are a Tekmar 370 or 371 with appropriate RTUs or the Burnham E5000 (I believe this is a badged Tekmar but could well be wrong). What should I consider before spending the cash on the units themselves and are there any discount places I can buy the equipement from ?

    Again, many thanks ..

This discussion has been closed.