Freeze prevention in certain zones in HW baseboard heat

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Old 11-08-18, 06:18 AM
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Freeze prevention in certain zones in HW baseboard heat

Hi,
I have Weil Mclain Ultra 155 which has built in Freeze Control option but as far as I know
it is limited to only boiler means that periodically it will turn on boiler and circulator pump and circulate hot water in primary look
only. I do not think it will open zone valve and circulate hot water through any Zone.

I have total 12 zone in my house and out of 12, I have 3 vulnerable to freeze (Basement, Garage and Room Above Garage) since these area
are exposed to outer water and in past winter pipes have frozen in Garage and room above Garage. Whereas Pipe were broken in one of the outer
room in basement. I like to avoid this situation.


Here is how my setup is:
12 Zone valve connected to total 4 transformer (3 zone each) to Provide 24V and to Thermostat. Sample wiring Pic attached.
When any zone calls for heat it will send 24V to Boiler, open the zone valve and Boiler will turn on and circulate hot water.

How can I circulate Hot water to certain zones periodically to make sure it does not freeze, also, I want to avoid doing so
during summer.

Can I use any of the below control to only certain zone and keep the same setup with transformer for other zones ?

1) Argo AZ-4CP 4 Zone Valve Control
2) Taco ZVC406-EXP-4 6-Zone Valve Control Module with Priority
3) i-Link 6 ZONE VALVE CONTROL WITH PRIORITY FOR HYDRONIC AND RADIANT HEATING SYSTEMS

I am thinking of Argo or i-Link zone controller option since taco seems to be required to buy extra board to handle priority and pricing seems to
be higher too.

Can Do use controller for some of the zones only and keep same setup for rest ?.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-08-18, 03:49 PM
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I don't know of a commercial product that will do what you want. It can be done easily with a multiple pole relay but the unknown parts is when would you want it to run ?

Based on outside temps ?
A re-occurring timer delay relay ?

You'd need a way to tell the circuit when you want it to do safety heating.
 
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Old 11-08-18, 05:39 PM
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Put another thermostat in each critical spot that is subject to freezing. Set it to something like 40 degrees and connect it in parallel with the existing room thermostat for that zone. The zone turns on when either the critical area gets too cold or the room thermostat calls for heat. No relays or other unusual components are needed.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 11-08-18 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 11-08-18, 07:09 PM
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That is good Idea. I am going to add thermostat in parallel or move existing to basement room which is on outer wall and gets colder than inside part of basement.

What Pete Suggested is also, interesting idea as well. I like to know more from Pete how can I add Relay solution based on outside temperature ? Lets say if it is lower than 40 degree it will periodically open zone valve for 20 min.

@ Pete,
Would you please tell me more details about how can i turn on Zone Valve for smaller time of period below certain temp ?. My Weil Mclain Ultra 155 Boiler already have outside temp. sensor
 

Last edited by mamin; 11-08-18 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 11-09-18, 05:12 AM
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Are you saying that no matter how high you set the t’stat in the troubled areas, the water in the baseboards could freeze? If so, I would try to increase the insulation in outside walls adjacent to the baseboards. One could come up with a t’stat/timer control that would do an allright job, but it can’t detect water freezing, so the solution is to circulate hot water 24/7.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 08:31 AM
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I have large basement I do not want to increase temp. and waste energy. Since inside temp is always above 50 it does not kick in but outer room baseboard gets freezed. I think adding thermostat to that room will resolve issue or do what Pete suggested to have relay added based on outside temp. and if outside temp drops below certain level, it will open given zone valve periodically to make sure water circulates in very cold weather.

Another solution I am thinking is to add space heater in troubled area and it will turn on with temperature controller outlet at certain temperature but that will be electric solution and not sure how safe it is

In past it was frozen twice and I do not want to get into again.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 08:57 AM
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What if your power goes out for a couple days?
 
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Old 11-09-18, 09:13 AM
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circulate hot water 24/7
The water does not have to be hot to prevent freezing, just moving will do it. Perhaps a setup that treats the problem zones as secondary loops on a primary/secondary connection with closely spaced tees and a separate pump running 24/7. Hot water would be introduced only when the thermostat calls for heat and opens the zone valve.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by guy48065 View Post
What if your power goes out for a couple days?
In that case my entire house in danger. I have generator to solve this issue. It has happened in past several times in NJ.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 11:01 AM
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M,
Just a thought and not having to do a thing. You can put those 3 zone vales on manual so that when any other zone calls the water will flow through those zones also.

With 12 zones it's a pretty safe bet that something is going to be calling at some point all winter.

You can do this during the coldest months of the winter or anytime you worried about freezing. I'm thinking with 12 zones nothing probably runs for too long but most likely steady for short periods. Enough to keep water circulating but not overheating.

If you want to go the stat route they make a simple temporary construction stat which is just a sensor you would tie in as a stat and they make them in different temp. settings.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...tats&FORM=IGRE
 
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Old 11-09-18, 11:19 AM
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put those 3 zone vales on manual
Good idea as a way to have constant or frequent flow in those zones.

Just remember that if the associated thermostat does call for heat it will "reset" the valve to automatic. You might have to set the thermostats to a low temperature (or turn them to OFF) to avoid reset, or remember to set to manual again.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 12:32 PM
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To 2j's point, I've never run into that or thought about it. Once I switched the lever it always stayed until manually set back but if it is the case you can just disconnect 1 wire at the zone valve to interrupt power from the stat until ready to set back to automatic.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 12:53 PM
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Thank you all for your great ideas. I learned so many different things which I would have never known. I think I am going to take simplest approach which is adding thermostat and wiring back to original thermostat so based on temp. of vulnerable room it will call for heat and make sure zone does not freeze up. Since it is in basement and I have dropped ceiling in basement, it will be easier to run wire.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 01:47 PM
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I was thinking about this. Locking the zone valves open would cause those zones to heat up too much. They wouldn't initiate a boiler startup but they would cause it to fire on boiler water temperature.

You could add a manual bypass ball valve (across the zone valve) to each of those trouble zones and then just open it a small bit to keep the hot water moving. It wouldn't take full flow to keep the pipes warm.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 02:20 PM
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Pete,
There is a chance of overheating depending how the other stats are set but as far as causing the boiler to fire up, the boiler would only react to the working stats and the manual setting would have no influence by itself on the boiler because the boiler only reacts to the stats.

It would be as though you had removed the ZV's with a piece of pipe. It would just give the water another avenue to travel besides the zone that is calling.
 
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Old 11-09-18, 02:51 PM
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To be even more precise: The boiler reacts to the limit switches on the zone valves that are controlled by the stats.

In my experience setting zone valves to manual will not engage the limit switch.

And yes, on my Honeywell ZV electric engagement will take the valve out of manual position. The motor drives the valve just enough further than the manual setting to engage the switch and then the valve returns to closed (via spring power) when power goes off (after heat call from thermostat is satisfied.)
 
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Old 11-09-18, 03:58 PM
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2j's
That's good to know. I wasn't aware of that. Taco is the main zone valve and basically all that's used in my area so I have very limited working experience with Honeywell. Being in commercial for a few years have experience with their actuators and Barber Coleman not so much residential Honeywell.

Thanks for the tip.
 
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Old 11-10-18, 04:43 AM
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Just moving water through the zone susceptible to freezing requires additional components including another circulator pump. This means additional chances for failure that could include diluting of fresh FHW with recirculated water that might prevent proper heating of the affected zone when it really does call for heat.
 
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