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OFSO
14th Jan 2014, 12:49
My old central heating boiler, which expired ten days ago after twenty years of faithful service, was carefully put to sleep each spring and awakened in the autumn. Put to sleep meant blowing out the Eternal Flame, turning off the gas, and turning off the power. Relighting it in October was always a b*gger and took about ten minutes or more until a few molecules of gas noticed the valve was open and wandered down from the pipe in the street far away.

However the new one, installed yesterday, has no pilot light and as far as I can see when it's not heating, the only other consumer of energy is the digital display on the front.

My question is therefore: is there any point in turning it off during the summer ? From an engineering standpoint I'd have thought it better to leave it on and give it a ten minute run once a month, the usual practice with boats, cars, wives & girlfriends etc. to keep them limbered up and ready to go.

handsfree
14th Jan 2014, 13:05
I don't know if there is any point but I have a similar pilotless boiler. I just turn it down to the frost setting and forget about it apart from as you're suggesting " a practice run every now and again."

If I'm away for a lengthy period (a few weeks) I do shut it down.
If I remember.

Andy_S
14th Jan 2014, 13:17
My question is therefore: is there any point in turning it off during the summer ?

Is it not controlled by a thermostat?

SASless
14th Jan 2014, 14:05
Thought about reading the Owners Manual?

Fareastdriver
14th Jan 2014, 14:11
It doesn't make any difference whether you turn it off or not unless you are worried about the cost of the digital display.
The boiler will not turn on the gas and light it until the gizmo inside tells it to. During summer that situation will not arise so it will stay out. You can turn the gas off if you like but it will not make any difference.
Turning the electrics off is another matter. The boiler will have a battery to keep the memory chip going so that it will keep the time and rerurn to the program after a power cut. Turning it off for the summer may run this battery down so when you switch it on again you have to reset the time and all the program.

It's up to you. Is the time spent resetting worth the amp or so that the digital display will use.

Leaving it on will warn you, if the lights go out, that there is something wrong with it.

vulcanised
14th Jan 2014, 14:20
I leave mine on all year round. There is a front panel switch that goes to water only but I believe that simply tells it to ignore the thermostat.

Did they install something like Magnaclean?

Tu.114
14th Jan 2014, 14:56
How do You obtain warm water? If the central heating provides You with it as well, there typically is a possibility to select the heating and the warm water circuit on or off independently somewhere in the menu.

Mine runs in full mode during winter (as long as needed), but as long as is possible for SWMBO to bear is switched to hot water mode only. If I would leave it in full, it would likely only run during cooler summer nights when the outside temperature governs the heater to provide a higher output temperature (the system is only governed by OAT and a freely adjustable curve showing the relation OAT to required output temp.) but the houses thermal insulation makes this unnecessary and a waste of money.

OFSO
14th Jan 2014, 16:03
Thought about reading the Owners Manual?

Yes I thought about it but it's in Castilliano and Portuguese, neither of which I read (or can even be bothered with) and there isn't an English version on-line. By law, manufacturers have to supply documentation here in Catalan, in this case they haven't. (Just found an English installers guide on the net.)

In any case I wasn't asking what the manufacturers say but for practical experience by JB-ers, far more reliable.

How do You obtain warm water?

Out of the tap, no seriously, from a completely different source. Two sources, if you must know. Because of the general unreliability of such things as water, gas, electricity, telecoms etc. in Spain, it's best to split your utility resources. Only the wood supply for my stove is completely reliable.

racedo
14th Jan 2014, 18:17
Thought about reading the Owners Manual?

Pussy........

Lancelot37
14th Jan 2014, 19:17
A problem not so far mentioned is the fact that many circulation pumps fail because of lack of use. Being usually only about 35 watts they don't have much oomph to start up if any rust is in the system. I run my system about once a week for 10 minutes in summer.

Hobo
14th Jan 2014, 19:31
What make and model is the boiler OFSO?

OFSO
14th Jan 2014, 19:48
I refuse to give the make and model. If I do I will be beset with members of JB telling me they had one and it bust five minutes after the guarantee ended. I know you lot.

Good tip Lancelot. The pipes here are pretty large, dating from 1982, but still won't hurt to exorcise, sorry exercise the system on a regular basis. The last circulation pump survived twenty years but from the amazing speed that the radiators heat up on the new boiler compared to the old, I suspicion that the old pump hadn't got long to live.

vulcanised
14th Jan 2014, 19:49
That's why I enquired about Magnaclean (or similar) Lancelot.

My installer insists on fitting one to his new systems and when I cleaned it after a few months the amount of black sludge it had held on to was impressive.

Fareastdriver
14th Jan 2014, 20:53
If you a good corrosion inhibitor into a system before commissioning it you wont get a build up of sludge.

Ancient Mariner
14th Jan 2014, 21:09
SWMBO doesn't understand thermostats either. To her regulation does not exist, she is an on/off person.
If she is hot she will turn the thermostat to zero, and the fan off to make sure, if she is cold she will do the opposite. Very annoying, but I gave up explaining the virtues of thermostats 30 years ago.
I have found this trait in most women.
Per

ShyTorque
14th Jan 2014, 22:00
If you a good corrosion inhibitor into a system before commissioning it you wont get a build up of sludge.

Unfortunately, on an existing system where only the boiler is changed, a lot of the black sludge already created remains in the radiators. We needed a new boiler after the old floor standing "Glow-worm" finally gave up after almost thirty years. The "Magnaclean" was recommended, in fact it was a requirement of the extended parts and labour warranty/service contract (obtained at far lower cost than those advertised by the "majors" in the British media, btw). The unit paid for itself after a couple of years because the extended warranty, provided by the local family heating specialist who fitted the boiler, was a really low-cost deal.

Having said that, whatever it would have cost, I just wanted a really reliable system because I was spending a lot of time away from home and didn't want the family to suffer further system unreliability, especially with a young child in the house.

I decided to check the Magnaclean after six months, rather than wait a year for the service agent. I knew how totally filthy the system had been with the original boiler, because when it began playing up in its death throes, I'd had the garden hose connected to it, pressure flushing it through for many hours, in both directions.

The core of the Magnaclean unit was filthy, the bowl was almost completely full of black rust! I cleaned it out and then left it for another six months till the first annual service became due. That time it wasn't nearly so dirty. Now, about five years on, there has been hardly any contamination in there each time it's been serviced.

The "new" boiler did fail, btw, just outside its five year warranty! The expansion vessel's internal diaphragm failed, so the system kept shutting down every couple of days due to pressure loss. Water was being dumped from the overflow valve every time the central heating came on. But it didn't cost me a penny to fix.

However, to answer the OP's question.... I say switch the system off if you feel happier doing so BUT make sure you get it up and running again in good time for next winter! If you leave it, then it fails when you first need it, the heating repair man will be busy because everyone else forgot, too. :ok:

OFSO
15th Jan 2014, 20:00
I have found this trait in most women.

I would query the word "most" in this context !

After numerous rows about the thermostat being turned full up "so it gets hotter" I bought a clockwork rotary switch from an electronics company and fitted it in an easier place to reach than the thermostat (which in any case is electronic and hence "complicated".)

The rotary switch can be turned on for any amount of time up to one hour, the heating stays on for the set period as the switch slowly unwinds. Then it goes off unless someone can be bothered getting up and turning it again.

I tried last night explaining that in any case the heating only stays on (i.e. boiler lit) until the maximum set temperature is reached and then goes off, leaving only the pump running, but I could see eyes glazing and decided to leave it.

get it up and running again in good time for next winter!

Winter conditions in NE Spain are either
- Sunny, which means zero degree nights and eighteen degree days; or
- Overcast, which means ten degrees day and nights; or
- Tramontana blowing, which means 20% humidity, 160kph plus wind, and sub 10 day and night. It's easy to get lulled into a false sense of security by a mild day.

the heating repair man

The guys who installed my new CH on Monday all went home with a bottle of Freixnet each: I hope they don't forget me if I'm in need of their services.

Capetonian
15th Jan 2014, 20:17
Women only understand off/on in this context. I have tried to explain to mine that putting the heat dial to high when getting into the car on a cold morning won't heat the interior up any faster than leaving it on the normal setting. However, that's not as bad as the neighbours who on a cold morning let their car run for about 5 minutes at about 2000 rpm (brick on the throttle pedal). I've tried to explain that it's unnecessary, pointless, harmful to the car and the environment, wasteful, noisy, irritating, and idiotic, but quite honestly our cat has more intelligence. In fact, I think even the goldfish does!

Russell Gulch
15th Jan 2014, 22:02
OFSO, I also have a CH boiler that I only use in cold wx.

My only pre-fire-up check is to undo the small plastic bung on the circulating pump which gives direct access to the pump spindle (it will then weep a bit of CH water so a rag will help mop up).

Twiddle the spindle with a flat blade screwdriver to free up the pump spindle after 4 months of inactivity, re-install the plastic cap and press GO on the boiler.

Never fails.

Russell.

BlankBox
16th Jan 2014, 03:01
SWMBO doesn't understand thermostats either. To her regulation does not exist, she is an on/off person.
If she is hot she will turn the thermostat to zero, and the fan off to make sure, if she is cold she will do the opposite. Very annoying, but I gave up explaining the virtues of thermostats 30 years ago.
I have found this trait in most women.
Per

...get a commercial thermostat with a lock....YOU set the temperature lock it in and all the twiddle twaddle makes no difference...most women 'll believe their eyes and be happy with what THEY set...something like black magic..:E

ChrisVJ
16th Jan 2014, 06:32
Women not understanding thermostats. Mrs VJ exactly the same. I could have written it word for word.

My take on the boiler. I'd not run it at all during the Summer. After ten minutes you might still get acidic condensate in the heat exchanger. Leave the electricity on. Shouldn't do any harm and cost only a few pence for the whole four/five months.