Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News April 2015

The home heating oil industry has a long and proud history, and Fuel Oil News has been there supporting it since 1935. It is an industry that has faced many challenges during that time. In its 77th year, Fuel Oil News is doing more than just holding

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/484540

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 67

By GeorGe Lanthier* M any of you probably have a lot of customers that are "greatest generation," "baby boomers" and oth- ers who travel in the winter time on vacation and for other reasons. I'm a bit of a snowbird myself, since it's eas- ier for us to travel during the holidays when no one can go to classes because of the work load caused by the seasonal weather. We traveled again this year and my wife was concerned about the house, as was I. This was the second year we traveled during a "polar event." Last year they were "polar plunges," this year "polar vortexes." Who comes up with this stuff? Anyway, the ques- tion of course was "what happens if the heat goes off?" "Well, a lot of things," was my reply. First of all we have a Riello oil burner, which, to many people's surprise, does have alarm contacts. I'll come back to those contacts. Virtually any brand of oilburner control today either has alarm contacts on board or as an add-on. In Figure 1 is an example of an add-on using the Beckett GeniSys. Honeywell also uses an add-on system with their R7284. In Figure 2 is a Carlin ProMaxx 70200 that has them built in as do many Carlin mod- els. Beckett, Carlin, Honeywell and ICM use a "dry-contact" (no voltage) switch that closes or makes when the alarm function is engaged. That switch is always made when the control goes into "safety lock-out." Working with a homeowner's alarm company, that switch can be easily connected to notify the alarm company that the burner is not operating. A word of advice, if I may. Don't make these con- nections yourself, work with the alarm company, and trust me on this! In addition to the burner "lock-out" function with our oilburner we also have a heat sensor alarm in the house, Figure 3. This is for non-burner failures, like controls, circulators, zone valves— whatever is having a failure. The house thermostats are set to 53°F. The sensor trips at 45°F and we're a long way f r o m f r e e z i n g pipes (32°F). S p e a k i n g o f frozen pipes, let's make something very clear that we already all know. Pipes don't freeze at 53°F or 45°F or even 38°F, they freeze at 32°F in unmoving water. Every year I watch the talking heads on the internet and TV and listen to them on the radio expound on how to prevent freeze-ups, and although there's a lot of advice given the most important one almost never is. Once a pipe freezes, fix it and insulate the hell out of it—period. In the fall of 2012 we added a laundry room to the second floor of our house in unused attic space. The pipes were super insulated and so far through two polar vortexes and three polar plunges, no freeze-up. Insulation is cheaper than plumbers, fuel and pipe and it works— fact! If you have a customer who goes through this nonsense every year, you can keep their stupid blood money, I'm not interested. Back to alarms. I n 2 0 1 4 w e h a d t h a t n e w b o i l e r installed. Along with that we added a lot of new piping to help accommodate our life style, Figure 4. We added a larger water filter and a system by-pass. When we travel, which we do a lot of for classes, we shut off the house water supply just in case. The by-pass is for the boiler. The house supply is shut off, but the boiler still has its water supply. But, because poop happens—and I've seen a lot of it—we also have a water alarm. You can see the unit in Figure 4 and the sensor in Figure 5. If the boiler or tanks (dhw and well) or any of the charge piping fails the alarm goes off and someone responds. The water alarm, burner alarm and temperature alarm are all tied into our security system and cost less than $400 to be installed. Again, cheaper than HVAC/ HYDRONICS 36 April 2015 | FUEl Oil NEWS | www.fueloilnews.com Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 1 Figure 2 alarm Contacts

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Fuel Oil News - Fuel Oil News April 2015