Lurkalot

A more efficient heating control system?

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Hi all
We have recently moved into our new house, but I would like to try to reduce our oil usage. We have a traditional system with an oil burner, radiators, a hot water cylinder in the hot press, and a header tank the in attic. In the hot press there is also something like an immersion heater in a very small tank that can heat water on demand but also heats the water in the cylinder (a willis heater).

 

The problem is the heating controls are very basic, just one timeswitch on the wall in the utility room that turns the boiler on/off and a cylinder thermostat the operates a valve on the pipe to the hot water cylinder coil. There is no room thermostat anywhere. I was thinking of just changing the timeswitch in the utility for a time/temperature controller but unfortunately the utilitly room faces south and is one of the warmest rooms in the house. I'm wary that having the thermostat here would turn the heating off while the rest of the house is sill cold. Also with the current setup we have no way of heating the hot water for taps/showers without having the heating on too, other than using the immersion.

 

Any ideas on what we can use? Is using the immersion heater when we need hot water without heating the best option for us?

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Posted (edited)

If you get a wireless stat you can move it aroun, for one.

Edited by Ferdinand
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I hadn't realised you could get wireless time controller thermostats but now I see there are quite a few types available. I could just try it in a few rooms until we find one that works well for the whole house.

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Posted (edited)

A modern wireless thermostat/timer will also allow programming up to 6 time-slot temperature targets. For example in the morning 18 degrees is enough as people get up and ready for the day.

 

If the family is up and about at the weekend doing things like gardening then between 10 am to 4pm  16 degrees will do, later in the evening say 8pm to 10pm you might want a cosy 22.

Edited by epsilonGreedy

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Thermostatic Radiator Valves would help a lot allowing you to some extent set the temperature in each room.

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2 hours ago, Lurkalot said:

Hi all
We have recently moved into our new house, but I would like to try to reduce our oil usage. We have a traditional system with an oil burner, radiators, a hot water cylinder in the hot press, and a header tank the in attic. In the hot press there is also something like an immersion heater in a very small tank that can heat water on demand but also heats the water in the cylinder (a willis heater).

 

The problem is the heating controls are very basic, just one timeswitch on the wall in the utility room that turns the boiler on/off and a cylinder thermostat the operates a valve on the pipe to the hot water cylinder coil. There is no room thermostat anywhere. I was thinking of just changing the timeswitch in the utility for a time/temperature controller but unfortunately the utilitly room faces south and is one of the warmest rooms in the house. I'm wary that having the thermostat here would turn the heating off while the rest of the house is sill cold. Also with the current setup we have no way of heating the hot water for taps/showers without having the heating on too, other than using the immersion.

 

Any ideas on what we can use? Is using the immersion heater when we need hot water without heating the best option for us?

to make it better you need a  bit of a plumbing alteration 

 so you can have hot water +heating under separate control from the boiler .

 make a drawing the system and post it up and I,m sure NICK --will tell you want you need to change 

 

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12 hours ago, ProDave said:

Thermostatic Radiator Valves would help a lot allowing you to some extent set the temperature in each room.

How easy is to to fit thermostatic valves, at the moment they just have manual ones?

 

10 hours ago, scottishjohn said:

to make it better you need a  bit of a plumbing alteration 

 so you can have hot water +heating under separate control from the boiler .

 make a drawing the system and post it up and I,m sure NICK --will tell you want you need to change 

 

I wish I could, I don't understand it myself though, from the boiler two pipes go straight into the slab, then in the utility room there are a few pipes going from the floor to ceiling but I can't work out what each one does

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Lurkalot said:

I wish I could, I don't understand it myself though, from the boiler two pipes go straight into the slab, then in the utility room there are a few pipes going from the floor to ceiling but I can't work out what each one does

pipes go into slab from boiler ?

so you have underfloor heating as well as radiators?

and there will be 2 pipes going to dhw tank ?

does the oil boiler heat the hot water -or is that just from the willis heater ?

If you cannot work out the plumbing or draw a diagram  of it 

no one on here will be able to help

so you will need to get a plumber in to sort it out

 how old is the boiler --is it self condensing type?

 

 

Edited by scottishjohn

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10 hours ago, Lurkalot said:

How easy is to to fit thermostatic valves, at the moment they just have manual ones?

 

I wish I could, I don't understand it myself though, from the boiler two pipes go straight into the slab, then in the utility room there are a few pipes going from the floor to ceiling but I can't work out what each one does

 

TRVs are normally easy to fit, and only cost a couple of ££ each. However, some people like me have been known to make it more difficult by crossing threads etc.

 

We probably want confirmation from a resident plumber. eg different types.

 

The thing to remember with TRVs is that they only provide a limiting value on temperature, and no control of heat output, ie how fast it gets there, except to stop it at X degrees.

 

F

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23 hours ago, scottishjohn said:

pipes go into slab from boiler ?

so you have underfloor heating as well as radiators?

and there will be 2 pipes going to dhw tank ?

does the oil boiler heat the hot water -or is that just from the willis heater ?

If you cannot work out the plumbing or draw a diagram  of it 

no one on here will be able to help

so you will need to get a plumber in to sort it out

 how old is the boiler --is it self condensing type?

 

 

No sorry maybe i described that wrong, there's no underfloor heating, just two pipes from the boiler that both are routed through the concrete floor of the boiler room. I can see where the pipes go up to the first floor in the utility room, but all the plumbing for the ground floor radiators is under the concrete floor.

 

The boiler does heat the hot water as well as the radiators. The problem I have is working out where the pipes in this image go, there's 6 of them, one of them has the two taps on with a join to another pipe. Not sure why, anyone have any ideas?IMG_2935.thumb.JPG.f4ec5f9c0cad958e8932e20e04229487.JPG

 

Boiler is a 2011 grant euroflame 50-70, doesn't say on the label if it is condensing or not and from what I can see online it was available in both types, is there a way to see if it is condensing or not?

 

 

22 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

 

TRVs are normally easy to fit, and only cost a couple of ££ each. However, some people like me have been known to make it more difficult by crossing threads etc.

 

We probably want confirmation from a resident plumber. eg different types.

 

The thing to remember with TRVs is that they only provide a limiting value on temperature, and no control of heat output, ie how fast it gets there, except to stop it at X degrees.

 

F

Is there a better option than a TRV that does control heat output?

 

Thanks all

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48 minutes ago, Lurkalot said:

No sorry maybe i described that wrong, there's no underfloor heating, just two pipes from the boiler that both are routed through the concrete floor of the boiler room. I can see where the pipes go up to the first floor in the utility room, but all the plumbing for the ground floor radiators is under the concrete floor.

 

The boiler does heat the hot water as well as the radiators. The problem I have is working out where the pipes in this image go, there's 6 of them, one of them has the two taps on with a join to another pipe. Not sure why, anyone have any ideas?IMG_2935.thumb.JPG.f4ec5f9c0cad958e8932e20e04229487.JPG

 

Boiler is a 2011 grant euroflame 50-70, doesn't say on the label if it is condensing or not and from what I can see online it was available in both types, is there a way to see if it is condensing or not?

 

 

Is there a better option than a TRV that does control heat output?

 

Thanks all

 

Probably not for £5 each.

 

Others may have different suggestions.

 

F

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certainly trv valves have been virtually std on all systems for years now ,so you can have rooms at different temps --so yes they should be fitted anyway and a good starting point..

 I certainly do not like the idea of copper pipes buried in concrete --they could corrode with the lime in the concrete +you will be loosing lots of heat into the concrete 

sounds like a real FIY job all round .

time to call in a REAL heating engineer and get some on site advice  and i,m pretty sure what will say 

 

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I've got a previous version of this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Salus-RT510RF/dp/B072KL746L/ref=sr_1_1?adgrpid=52787712865&hvadid=259071927018&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9046536&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=18112310960691005442&hvtargid=aud-613328383199%3Akwd-296995634591&keywords=salus+rt500rf&qid=1554979521&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

The thermostat sits about 10m from the receiver with walls and doors in between.  It's worked fine for quite a few years.  This could solve part of your problem.  I think there's quite a few other makers of wireless thermostats.

 

If you have the installers' instructions for your boiler, or can find them online, they might show you how to control the heating and hot water separately.

 

I have no plumbing experience and next-to-no electrical knowledge, but I managed to wire up my Salus without any problems.

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Thanks everone who helped, I now have a Salus wireless thermostat in our living room and the room is keeping to a better temperature and I can already tell the boiler is running less of the time. I'll have to keep an eye on how much oil is being used now.

 

I spoke to a plumber who's had a look and it is not a condensing boiler, that will be something that we will have to change too. The plumber luckliy had done some work on one of the other houses in the same estate which was plumbed the same way and could tell us how it was done. The two manual valves on that pipe in the photo control the flow to the radiators, one for upstairs and one downstairs. This does allow us to have just the hot water on by manually closing both valves. He's going to give us a quote for upgrading to automatic valves connected to a controller that can assign seperate times for each zone.

 

I have also noticed there a big difference in how hot the radiators get, I'm assuming this is down to needing to be balanced?

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As I said above, I've no plumbing experience, but...

 

It sounds like your radiators need balancing, but they could also be bunged up.  I had a problem with our radiators and did a survey on them with an IR thermometer: left, middle and right at both top and bottom - thinking that if they were very sludged-up, the bottom middle reading might be much less than the others.  (All radiators on full and boiler running for an hour.)

 

Anyhow, the differences in overall temperatures led me to fiddle with some of the lockshields and now have things running OK.  Have had a magnetic filter installed and did run the system with a cleaner for a couple of weeks and this might have contrubuted too!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lurkalot said:

have also noticed there a big difference in how hot the radiators get, I'm assuming this is down to needing to be balanced?

yes.

presuming not full of sludge.

 not a big job if you have valves both end of rads to uncouple them and flush them out ,but as your boiler is pre self condensing+ hardly any controls  i am guessing  its time to think about big upgrade to everything maybe ?

Edited by scottishjohn

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Yes, definately will have to do a big upgrade soon with a new boiler, TRV's and controller. Probably not going to be cheap though so it might have to wait a month or two. Until then I'll try balancing radiators and checking with a thermometer as DavidFrancis suggested to see if there are any signs of sludge. Is it correct to aim for a difference of about 12 degrees celcius on each radiator?

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2 hours ago, Lurkalot said:

Yes, definately will have to do a big upgrade soon with a new boiler, TRV's and controller. Probably not going to be cheap though so it might have to wait a month or two. Until then I'll try balancing radiators and checking with a thermometer as DavidFrancis suggested to see if there are any signs of sludge. Is it correct to aim for a difference of about 12 degrees celcius on each radiator?

 

I would consider doing rads at the same time as boiler.

 

They may be reasonably priced, and all the gunge could just end up killing your nice new boiler.


F

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