As HVAC professionals begin getting their sleepy boilers ready for the upcoming heating season, they know that the first few weeks can be hectic, as dormant boilers are lit and unexpected startup problems pop up all over. It’s typically a time with some long days and a steady stream of calls from residents and building operators.
Professionals who’ve been doing this for a while, know that even if a boiler has been professionally inspected and serviced during the summer months, idle heating systems are still susceptible to both sediment and corrosion. Sediment settles out of the cold motionless water and compacts in pumps and valves, and of course as Mr. Young famously said, “rust never sleeps.”
The physics of heating system inactivity conspires to create a rich set of winter startup problems for commercial heating professionals. As a premiere manufacturer of advanced heating control systems, the experts at Heat-Timer® have seen their share of these startup problems, and taught building managers a few tricks for using our controls and room sensors to diagnose these issues.
1. Preventing Pump Problems. Because of this summer’s accumulation of sediment and rust, pumps are one of the first things that a technician checks when they turn on the boiler. Often a pump won’t start because the impeller is embedded in sediment. If the pump does start, it may leak through dried out seals. This often leads to a pump disassembly, cleaning and rebuild, or full pump replacement.
This expensive fall pump ritual can be prevented with a little exercise. A pump lead lag controller like the Heat-Timer® PLL can exercise boiler pumps by running them for a short period every week during the off-season, keeping seals wet and flushing out sediment. The Heat Timer® PLL also has low flow alarms which when interfaced to a Platinum series controller, can alert the boiler service company or building manager that there is a pump failure at any time during the heating season. Often these problems can be diagnosed and resolved without a visit to the boiler room, thanks to our BuildingNet® interface or mobile phone app.
2. Oil Fired Boilers – For oil fired boilers, clogged fuel filters can be another start-up problem as a summer’s accumulation of black sludge is stirred up and sucked into the filter when the oil tank is filled in the fall. This can cause hard to diagnose boiler lockouts as the burner is intermittently starved for fuel unless that oil filter is monitored with a vacuum sensor like Heat Timer’s Oil Filter Monitoring Kit. An oil filter monitor connected to a Platinum controller can give a building manager plenty of warning that a fuel filter needs to be replaced, so that it can be changed at the next regular boiler service, rather than during a late-night emergency call after a boiler lock-out.
3. Plumbing Decay – While pumps and filters are the obvious problem areas during boiler start up because they are right there out in the open, there are invisible problems in the boiler room too. Pipes, condensate tanks and the boilers are eternally and invisibly rusting from the inside out. Boiler tube leaks are common start-up problems on older boilers. Iron pipes can suddenly develop pinhole leaks. Steam traps can fail to close properly. Even when these leaks are as obvious as a puddle on the floor, it can be days before someone goes into the boiler room and notices it. On the other hand a leak from a steam line or steam trap can be hard to see even if a service technician is looking for it, and water leaking from inside the boiler may evaporate and go up the stack, but not before causing further corrosion problems in the burner and the flue ducting.
Fortunately, the days (and nights) of discovering water leaks only after the sump pump alarm goes off are long gone. Sensitive boiler feedwater meters connected to BuildingNet® through a Platinum controller continuously measure boiler make-up water usage. Building managers can use BuildingNet’s trending tools to visualize long term changes in boiler water usage week to week or season to season, helping identify water leaks while they are still small and inexpensive to fix rather than after they have flooded the boiler room, shutting down the boiler and damaging equipment.
Heat-Timer® Controls Save Money and Maintenance Headaches.
There is a lot to keep an eye on in those first few weeks of boiler operation, especially if you are responsible for multiple buildings. Knowing that your boiler controller has your back, monitoring everything going on in the boiler room can make waking up the boilers a lot less stressful. Heat-Timer® has been helping boiler service professionals wake up the boilers for over 80 years with a deep toolkit of controllers, sensors and alarms.
If servicing the boilers keep you awake at night, consider upgrading to Heat-Timer’s Platinum controller with a BuildingNet® remote interface.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/service-your-boilers-before-winter-arrives/
In many organizations, it’s common practice for IT to standardize equipment. It might seem that this policy only benefits IT, but everyone in the organization wins. By doing this, technicians only need to learn to configure and troubleshoot one type of system, over time familiarizing themselves and improving service. When there is only one supplier, it reduces compatibility problems that leave two suppliers pointing fingers at each other, while the technician and users are left without a solution.
Similarly, large manufacturers will specify the same brand of equipment in all factories worldwide. A technician can walk into a factory in Shanghai, Tennessee or Germany and know how to operate and repair the equipment. Cost savings discovered in one plant can immediately be used in the other plants, maximizing efficiency worldwide.
Most building managers don’t have properties located all over the world, but wouldn’t it make life easier if an HVAC professional could walk into any building and know how to operate and repair the heating system? Or learn how to optimize the heating system in one building and then be able to apply what they learned everywhere? While every building and every boiler is different, getting cozy with one heating control manufacturer is possible. Why not then learn the most versatile, and advanced heating control in the market so that you can be sure you’ll have a product that works in all kinds of applications both complex and simple? Heat-Timer® can indeed allow HVAC techs to live the dream, through its series of Internet Heating Controls.
Why should you change to a single boiler control supplier?
Modern boiler control systems are a complex network of old and new technology. A boiler technician has to understand how a controller connects to burner controls developed decades ago, while also being able to install wireless equipment developed more recently. Then there are settings for sensors, outdoor reset and alarms, and the parameters used to control dozens of control elements accessed through some kind of a menu structure. It’s no wonder so many HVAC techs are looking for an EZ button here.
Even an experienced professional can take a long time to configure and optimize an unfamiliar boiler controller. That is learning time that the contractor or building manager is paying for. If the contractor only works with that brand of controller occasionally in one building, then re-learning needs to take place every season. Any person who occasionally needs to switch between an Android and Apple smartphone phone knows the time and pain of re-learning.
Perhaps the most important benefit of standardizing your boiler automation systems around Heat-Timer® Products, may be economic. Other controllers tell you what they save as compared to before they were installed but Heat-Timer® self-learning controls are the only ones in the world that have data showing we can save as much as 20% additional energy costs over an existing boiler outdoor reset based control system. That’s because our boiler management software “learns” the unique heating characteristics of your building, its hot spots and cold spots, and can anticipate how to get acceptable comfort, for the least amount of fuel.
Heat-Timer® has a controller for every heat and hot water configuration found in a commercial building. Period.
It doesn’t help to select a single heating controller supplier if they don’t cover all the bases or just cover them a little. Because we are the industry’s largest and longest manufacturer of heating controls, our ability to save money on energy through sophisticated boiler control is unmatched. While some competitors brag about their 2nd or 3rd generation control, our evolutions are well into the double digits. Starting in 1937 with the first outdoor reset control.
Whether maintaining one or ten systems, a building manager needs a control that can handle all the possible steam heating or hot water configurations within their buildings. You need centralized management of multiple boilers, multiple boiler rooms, in multiple buildings. Our Platinum series controls in conjunction with our BuildingNet website/mobile app, and wireless sensors, were designed for this purpose. Heat-Timer® Platinum Series controllers can manage steam and hot water boilers in every configuration, including condensing, non-condensing, staging, and more, as well as integrated control and monitoring of domestic hot water.
In addition to the boiler controllers, Heat-Timer® makes pump controllers, electronic tempering valves and a variety of wired and wireless sensors. All of these components are engineered and tested by Heat-Timer to work together. Sometimes, it’s good to stay in the family.
Getting cozy with Heat-Timer® means getting cozy with BuildingNet
BuildingNet is the Heat-Timer® control online portal. It allows building managers and HVAC professionals to monitor and control every aspect of operation from anywhere there is a web browser. If you’re a phone guy, then download our free mobile app where you can monitor alarms and sensors throughout your building.
You can stay cozy on your couch when you get cozy with BuildingNet. Building managers initially choose Heat-Timer® controls for their energy savings, but the experience of our remote internet and mobile app management of those controls brings a quality of life benefit that is just as compelling. The operational benefits are endless. You just have to live it for a while.
Heat-Timer® means peace of mind
In the end, the advantage of going with Heat-Timer is peace of mind. No more worrying whether your control is really saving all the money it could or should be. No more worrying whether you’ll remember how to adjust the control. No more worrying that you’ll need a midnight trip to the boiler room to diagnose or fix an issue with heat in the middle of winter.
Standardizing on one heating control manufacturer is the right move for your commercial HVAC business. Cozy up with Heat-Timer®
Contact us today for more information on your heating control needs. Visit https://www.heat-timer.com/
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/get-cozy-with-one-heating-control-supplier-heat-timer/
Heat-Timer® corporate office and manufacturing facility is conveniently located in Fairfield, NJ. Here, Heat-Timer® manufactures its electronic controls, sensors, valves and actuator products using specialized computer controlled equipment and automated testing systems.