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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Outdoor temp sensor to control oil burner

    We have baseboard hot water heat and heat with oil. Our domestic water is also heated by the oil burner. We often travel for extended periods and I hate to waste oil keeping the system warm if outside temps are above freezing.

    I would like to install an outdoor temp sensor/switch that I could wire into the oil burner circuit to keep the oil burner off if it is above freezing, and only kick it on if temps fall below 32F. When kicked on, the zoned thermostats would maintain a minimum temp to prevent pipes freezing and such.

    I poked around Amazon and such looking for such a sensor/switch but no luck. Can anyone suggest something that would work for this application?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Outdoor temp sensor to control oil burner

    I'm not sure if there is such a thing for a mid-efficiency oil fired system. I know that high efficiency gas boilers have this pre-installed. (some do, anyway). But to take that out of a different application and hard wire it to an oil burner may not be safe.

    One thing I can think of is your aquastat. It's usually a small grey relay box on the front of the boiler that operates the burner in conjunction with the zone thermostats. It's basically a thermostat for the boiler water. The aquastat on your system may be set at a higher temp, meaning it keeps the boiler water hot most the time. I would ask your service man about changing the temp. of the aquastat before you leave the house for long periods of time, so that the boiler water doesn't freeze but it doesn't stay excessively hot either. The aquastat is the place to start.

    Other than that, keep looking around for a product that is an outside thermometer for the burner. Maybe some photos of your system? Those are always helpful to see that brand of the burner. That may tell us if there might be an opportunity for an exterior thermometer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Outdoor temp sensor to control oil burner

    Try looking for an "Outdoor Reset" that's what you want and there's plenty of info on the Net. To avoid any problems down the road you should have A Tech that knows what he's doing put it in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Outdoor temp sensor to control oil burner

    I think you can consider yourself very lucky that no heating failure or burglar break-in has occurred so far---I'm not criticizing your penchant for taking numerous vacations, most of us, including me, have relatives or friends in different parts of the country, or even overseas & there is no one to watch the house for a week or two----that's why we have the internet now! A remote-controlled device can be hooked up where one can monitor the home for burglar & heating problem prevention from anywhere in the world. In your case, you can decide to combine both burglar protection with heating failure protection, or just opt for heating problem protection at this time.

    There are a number of remote control systems that are controlled by a small hand-held device that can access the internet (or ethernet) from anywhere in the world; others can be hooked up to an iPHONE or iPOD-type device or even a remote telephone; they allow you to remotely monitor or change the home temperature up or down, & have freeze alarms that will advise you that the heat is off & there is a freezing pipe danger to your heating & plumbing pipes----this is extremely important if you have hot water heat, as you do; the one Achilles' heel to hydronic heating is that it is EXTREMELY VULNERABLE to heating system failure & subsequent pipe freezing & bursting; the boiler can malfunction in several ways and go into lock-down, the heat is lost & the heating pipes freeze & burst causing very serious damage to the home----without a freeze alarm, where the remote system can advise you that a heat failure has occurred, this flooding can go on for days, or even weeks before anyone notices that something is wrong; thus, you have to have an arrangement with a next-door neighbor, or close-living relative, or heating service company who has a house key & can enter your home in the event you get a freeze/no heat alarm on your remote unit----the man who runs the first site listed below had exactly this tragedy happen to him before he put in a remote monitor----this is not an endorsement of his company in any way; you should read through & examine as many companies as you can in your Google search before you decide which one is best for you; some sites allow you to buy the equipment & set it up yourself, if you're handy and you can save $$$$ doing so.

    Google "hydronic heating internet remote control for vacation home freeze alarm"

    Also Google the same phrase substituting "ethernet" for "internet" to get additional sites.

    A few samples below:

    http://www.remotehomeowner.com
    http://www.smarthome.com/3053/IP-The...Adapter/p.aspx
    Last edited by Dobbs; 03-12-2012 at 03:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Outdoor temp sensor to control oil burner

    Quote Originally Posted by fredess View Post
    We have baseboard hot water heat and heat with oil. Our domestic water is also heated by the oil burner. We often travel for extended periods and I hate to waste oil keeping the system warm if outside temps are above freezing.

    I would like to install an outdoor temp sensor/switch that I could wire into the oil burner circuit to keep the oil burner off if it is above freezing, and only kick it on if temps fall below 32F. When kicked on, the zoned thermostats would maintain a minimum temp to prevent pipes freezing and such.

    I poked around Amazon and such looking for such a sensor/switch but no luck. Can anyone suggest something that would work for this application?

    Thanks
    I would agree with Dobbs --- you wouldn't want to do that.

    You should consider having an outdoor reset installed as Sten mentioned.
    This system monitors the outside temp and works to adjust the boiler water temperature accordingly. So, on warmer days the boiler doesn't need to bring the water temperature up to maximum as would be needed on cold days.
    Combined with adjusting your thermostat(s) lower ( say 52 degrees ) while away from home will save a lot of oil.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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