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  • My hot water mess

    I just bought a house, it has radiant hot water "zones" for heat. In addition the water heater for hot water use consist of a zone that runs to a electric hot water tank. this tank is not plugged in, it dosnt even have a element, the zone just runs through the coil and heats the water in the tank. This is my problem, if I turn my house thermostat down the furnace never turns on and the hot water tank never gets heated up. to fix this for the moment, I shut off the house heating zones by shutting the valve in the utility room. This made hot water flow in a reverse direction UP the cold-in on my hot water tank and suddenly my toilets heated along with every tap in the house. I could clear it out by running the cold water for a couple mins but it just heats back up a little later. This dosnt seem right, the thermostat being my biggest concern (I like to keep my house cool, but I need hot water too!) does anyone have any ideas?
    dhaselea

  • #2
    Re: My hot water mess

    Do you have a Boiler?
    If so, what kind?

    I am going to need pictures of your system if possible that clearly display what runs where as your description is a bit fuzzy.

    Do you have a manifold for the radiant floors? Do you know where it (or they) is/are?

    The way it sounds, is as if you have an indirect fired tank, with radiant. Did the previous owners also use this system and/or install it or have someone install it for them? Also - it's not an electirc tank if it doesn't have elements - sounds like an indirect fired tank where you use water through the coil to heat the water tank indirectly.

    Are the zones in all rooms of the house? Is the Furnace the back up?


    Typically how most would do it, is you would have what's called a primary loop which will be copper or steel piping whch runs in a loop from your supply to the return of your boiler. There should be 4 tees on this loop. 2 of the tees are the supply and return that go to an indirect fired hot water tank, and the other 2 of the tees would go to the supply and return of your radiant heat (hot water in the floors) manifold(s). When there is a call for heat, either to heat up your hot water tank indirectly through it's boiler coil, or a call from the radiant floors, the boiler fires up and the pump starts circulating the primary loop and then the secondary loops pull water out of this primary loop to heat the hot water tank or the radiant floors depending on which loop is pulling.

    There are also "versions" of the above system that you can do, but this is the basics.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My hot water mess

      water heater heating the floor also ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My hot water mess

        Sounds like your boiler is incorrectly wired, the DHW zone sounds like it isn't tied into the boiler circuit itself...which likely means the previous homeowner did the wiring.

        It's too complicated to tackle if you aren't familiar with boiler circuitry, you can either live with it or call a heating specialist/plumber/HVAC tech.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My hot water mess

          Scott K, in "homeownerology" a furnace is a boiler.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My hot water mess

            Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
            Sounds like your boiler is incorrectly wired, the DHW zone sounds like it isn't tied into the boiler circuit itself...which likely means the previous homeowner did the wiring.

            It's too complicated to tackle if you aren't familiar with boiler circuitry, you can either live with it or call a heating specialist/plumber/HVAC tech.
            What he said
            West Trail Mechanical Ltd
            Service. Commitment. Expertise.

            www.westtrailmechanical.ca

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My hot water mess

              Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
              Scott K, in "homeownerology" a furnace is a boiler.

              And where I come from that is blaspheme!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My hot water mess

                I was going to try and diagnose this mess but there's not enough info for me to go on. I'd like to think that the wiring is screwed up or perhaps they forgot to install an aquastat on the water heater but without a map who knows. This really needs a service man to tak a look and see.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My hot water mess

                  Dhaselea,
                  Is you occupation odd or are you an O.D.D.?
                  ANYONE CAN TAKE THE HELM WHEN THE SEA IS CALM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My hot water mess

                    You should have multiple thermostats, one for each zone. Hot water storage tank being a separate zone is a typical installation, not at all incorrect. May be a bad zone valve for hot water zone. When you say you turn the thermostat for the house down and get no hot water as a result, it makes me think the themostat you are talking about is controlling something other and more than just the zone where it is located, which is wrong.

                    It's going to be a mess to diagnose this here.... extensive pics and step by step testing and reporting back by you will be required which will be difficult to accomplish if you don't have skills in this area and time consuming even if you do.

                    Strongly suggest you ask around for referrals and hire a pro.

                    If you have some skills, and the time and interest level to see it through, we can help and probably will. I can't promise to as this is not my area of expertise, but will contribute what I can. If you want to go there, start with pics of your boiler and zone valves and hot water storage tank.
                    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My hot water mess

                      Shutting off your heating zone should not make your hot water travel up your cold water line, your boiler water and your domestic water should have no contact at all, it sounds like your wiring is wrong when you call for hot water your heating zones should stop and give your domestic hot water priority,you do get hot water traveling up your cold water pipe somewhat in normal thermal expansion but not like what you are talking about.do you have circulator pumps or zone valves.

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