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14-07-2019, 22:44   #1
macgrub
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Please help me understand my heating system

Hi Everyone,
I recently bought a house and I'd like someone in the know to explain how my heating system works. I don't intend to fix it or anything like that but I'd like to know what does what. Or to be more specific, how my water + radiators heat.

I have a gas system boiler with a programmable timer in the kitchen. This only has the option for time programmes and on/off.
I also have two thermostats - one downstairs and one upstairs.

In the hot press, I have a cylinder and coming off it are several pipes, one having two valves. I assume these valves are linked to each thermostat ? With the heating on, I've turned the thermostats up and down but neither valves work. What I've found is, even with the stats turn down to 5 degress each, the radiators still operate.

Am I correct in thinking that when the stats are down low, those valves should be shut off and no hot water should go to the radiators but only the shower water heat instead?
My second query is, would a system like hive work with my setup?

I've added a crude image of my setup if it helps.

Thanks for any advice.
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14-07-2019, 23:10   #2
corkgsxr
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You have timer that operates the hot water. And you can add upstairs and downstairs or just one by the stats.
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14-07-2019, 23:17   #3
mickdw
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Clearly it should kill the flow to the rads when stat is turned down.
Check your stats and valves to see why they are not reacting.
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15-07-2019, 07:53   #4
macgrub
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You have timer that operates the hot water. And you can add upstairs and downstairs or just one by the stats.
Cheers. This is the same timer as the one below my boiler ? I've only one, as far as I can see.
I'm wondering why my timer doesn't have a button for just hot water.
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15-07-2019, 08:11   #5
johnayo
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Cheers. This is the same timer as the one below my boiler ? I've only one, as far as I can see.
I'm wondering why my timer doesn't have a button for just hot water.
We have a manual valve in the hot press for changing between hot water only and complete heating system.
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15-07-2019, 09:29   #6
John.G
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Cheers. This is the same timer as the one below my boiler ? I've only one, as far as I can see.
I'm wondering why my timer doesn't have a button for just hot water.
If you switch off power to the timer do the valves close?, if not you should find a lever at the side of the actuator(s) which may be latched open, by just pressing (unlatching) this lever downwards then the valve(s) should close under spring pressure and you should hear a slight whirring noise from the actuator.
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15-07-2019, 12:27   #7
macgrub
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If you switch off power to the timer do the valves close?, if not you should find a lever at the side of the actuator(s) which may be latched open, by just pressing (unlatching) this lever downwards then the valve(s) should close under spring pressure and you should hear a slight whirring noise from the actuator.
Neither of those actuators seem to work either when power is toggled on/off at the timer or at the thermostat.
When I turned on the system, water is flowing through each valve where the actuator is which suggests to me the actuator may be broken/burned out.
There is that lever that you suggested, however.

Are these actuators for diverting flow of hot water to each floor in my house depending on what the respective thermostat setting is at?
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15-07-2019, 12:29   #8
macgrub
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We have a manual valve in the hot press for changing between hot water only and complete heating system.
The outlet pipe from the middle of my cylinder doesn't have any valve between the tank and the actuator/valve. That pipe has a T-junction with one side going down through the boards and the other side go to each of the actuator/valves (and then down through the boards).
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15-07-2019, 12:43   #9
John.G
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Neither of those actuators seem to work either when power is toggled on/off at the timer or at the thermostat.
When I turned on the system, water is flowing through each valve where the actuator is which suggests to me the actuator may be broken/burned out.
There is that lever that you suggested, however.

Are these actuators for diverting flow of hot water to each floor in my house depending on what the respective thermostat setting is at?
If you have a room stat located downstairs and upstairs the yes I would think that they should control their individual valves which suggests that the actuators are broken, with a healthy un powered actuator you should feel the spring tension when you pull on the lever before latching it in manually.
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15-07-2019, 15:51   #10
macgrub
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If you have a room stat located downstairs and upstairs the yes I would think that they should control their individual valves which suggests that the actuators are broken, with a healthy un powered actuator you should feel the spring tension when you pull on the lever before latching it in manually.
On the manual lever, One side says 'Flushing' and the other side says 'normal'.
Even if the actuator is broken, can I still test that lever?
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15-07-2019, 15:58   #11
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On the manual lever, One side says 'Flushing' and the other side says 'normal'.
Even if the actuator is broken, can I still test that lever?
If the actuator spring is faulty/broken then the lever will feel "sloppy" as against a nice steady resistance when opening a healthy actuator lever. (towards the flushing side which is just open in effect, the reason for the "flushing" is to facilitate the filling of the system with all motorized valves open manually to help remove any air locks etc)
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15-07-2019, 21:28   #12
macgrub
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If you have a room stat located downstairs and upstairs the yes I would think that they should control their individual valves which suggests that the actuators are broken, with a healthy un powered actuator you should feel the spring tension when you pull on the lever before latching it in manually.
.

My programmable timer doesn't have a hot water only option. It's one of those ones with a notches for selecting times. But it just turns the heat on or off and my water heats too. Does this mean a programmable time with the hot water option switch wouldn't work with mine?
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15-07-2019, 22:31   #13
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.

My programmable timer doesn't have a hot water only option. It's one of those ones with a notches for selecting times. But it just turns the heat on or off and my water heats too. Does this mean a programmable time with the hot water option switch wouldn't work with mine?
When you say it (timer) just turns the heat on/off then this may just mean that
the timer gives a run signal to the boiler, the boiler will then just cut in/out on its own boiler thermostat, the motorized zone valves, if operating properly will, depending on the ustairs/dstairs stat settings will heat one or two or no zones but the water will still circulate through the hot water cylinder coil and the hot water will eventually almost heat up to the boiler stat setting.
The system may also possibly be wired (more or less properly) so that the timer supplies power to both zone valves via their thermostats only, if either or both of these valves open then a auxiliary set of contacts in the motorized actuator(s) will give a run signal to the boiler, again the hot water cylinder may eventually almost heat up to the boiler stat setting but is purely dependent on one or both zones calling for heat. If the system is wired this way then you could install a separate timer supplying power via a (installed) cylinder stat to a motorized valve installed in the hot water cylinder heating coil, this in turn can be wired via its auxiliary contacts to fire up the boiler even with no (ustairs/dstairs) heating zone calling for heat, very useful in the summer time.

The normal way is to install a 3 zone programmer, which gives all the above benefits but is controlled from one programmer.
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15-07-2019, 22:36   #14
macgrub
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Originally Posted by John.G View Post
When you say it (timer) just turns the heat on/off then this may just mean that
the timer gives a run signal to the boiler, the boiler will then just cut in/out on its own boiler thermostat, the motorized zone valves, if operating properly will, depending on the ustairs/dstairs stat settings will heat one or two or no zones but the water will still circulate through the hot water cylinder coil and the hot water will eventually almost heat up to the boiler stat setting.
The system may also possibly be wired (more or less properly) so that the timer supplies power to both zone valves via their thermostats only, if either or both of these valves open then a auxiliary set of contacts in the motorized actuator(s) will give a run signal to the boiler, again the hot water cylinder may eventually almost heat up to the boiler stat setting but is purely dependent on one or both zones calling for heat. If the system is wired this way then you could install a separate timer supplying power via a (installed) cylinder stat to a motorized valve installed in the hot water cylinder heating coil, this in turn can be wired via its auxiliary contacts to fire up the boiler even with no (ustairs/dstairs) heating zone calling for heat, very useful in the summer time.

The normal way is to install a 3 zone programmer, which gives all the above benefits but is controlled from one programmer.
Thanks John,
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16-07-2019, 21:56   #15
macgrub
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.

My programmable timer doesn't have a hot water only option. It's one of those ones with a notches for selecting times. But it just turns the heat on or off and my water heats too. Does this mean a programmable time with the hot water option switch wouldn't work with mine?
Hi John, I've discovered some more about my system.
Each of my actuators have four wires but on each, two are not in use. What I've seen, the thermostat acts as switch to the actuator; when the stat turned on, there's power going to the actuator.
So my assumption is, the boiler is on and water is constantly going to the showers etc, and diverted if power is sent to the actuator via the thermostat.
Happy to understand it some more. But I was hoping to get hive system which I don't think would be possible now?
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