Inquiring minds want to know – part 1

As technology is expanding and growing in the home, it is also showing up in the mechanical rooms today and hydronics can be intimidating to a homeowner. Chris in CT, a homeowner, contacted me and had some questions for Ask Dave! Let your customers know what to expect when it comes to the latest and greatest that you are installing.

 Hi Dave!

I am the owner of a brand new oil-based heating system that was installed September 2013. The most exciting products of the system are the FuelMizer and BumbleBee circulator, both of which I asked for. I also have the Taco Sentry valves installed, but those aren’t as fun to watch operating!

 I actually watched the “Taco World” video and browsed your website extensively before making a decision to go with these products. I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for having such great documentation/videos on your website. You have no idea how helpful that is to both folks in the trade AND to home owners trying to understand the benefits to these products. (If you missed TacoWorld, watch it here)

 First, I realize that messing/tinkering with things should be left to the pros, but I also want to make sure I understand the system well enough in the event I ever run into issues.

 Second, I did have a number of questions about the Fuelmizer and Bumblebee (awesome name by the way!). My HVAC company did a great job on the install, but I like to understand the work performed.

 I’ll list these questions by product:



 1) The TSTAT light is blinking Red — does this mean the Fuelmizer lost signal with the external TSTAT? Todays temp is 75F outside. 

Answer: The blinking LED Tstat is informing you that the system is in Warm Weather Shutdown (WWSD). This means on warm days outside, even if someone inadvertently set the thermostat to a high heating temperature, that nothing will happen except for operation of the hot water tank. This prevents a waste of energy because on those days where it is nice outside and some windows are open that the heating system stays off.

2) The crew set the Fuelmizer to 10 degrees for now — does this sound like a reasonable ODT to start with? I realize there is a LOT of data that goes into calculating this. To be brief, my house is a 1967 Raised Ranch approximately 2000 sq ft. Original insulation (in other words, not much! haha I do have about a foot of insulation in the attic), and also new windows.

Answer: The outside design temperature (ODT) is the coldest temperature typically reached in your area of Connecticut. This maintains also the best control of the water temperature based upon any outside temperature. (Take a look here or here for a deeper explanation)

3) As an FYI, we left Dipswitch 1 “ON” for the 140 minimum temp, which sounded reasonable to me.

Answer: 140 degrees F is the minimum temperature typically determined upon the type of boiler that is installed. Based upon the boiler and oil as your fuel source, this is where it should be.

Thanks Chris, enjoy your new heating system as the colder temps are rapidly approaching. Next time I will revisit Chris’ questions for the BumbleBee.


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