Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by claudia, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. claudia

    claudia New Member

    Does anyone know why our thermostat is always calling for "aux" heat? We have not changed the setting, and the temps are not very cold at the moment - 30's/40's.

    ("Aux heat" is shut off in the breaker box at this point, because we would otherwise already be in the poor house by now.) I'm beginning to wonder whether our system was sized correctly. Any ideas?
  2. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    What brand and model # is your stat?

  3. claudia

    claudia New Member

    It looks like "Emerson Blue Heat Pump 5/1/1-Day Programmable Thermostats" 1F82-0261, 2" display. Thank you for any help you can offer.
  4. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I do not know that stat however, Most modern stats are programmed for COMFORT. When you set your stat to 70*, the stat wants 70*... not 69.8* or 70.2*. Because Geo has long run times the stat "learns" it should bring on AUX even though the house temperature may be very close to set point.

    Most high end stats will have programing that allows you to adjust how much AUX is engaged. You should have your contractor set this up WITH you. That way, you know what to do and so does your contractor.

  5. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    White-Rodgers, Emerson,

    bought them, is very good with online I/O manuals. Try their website and look at the installers programing.

    Are you comfortable? Do you think you want that AUX heat?

  6. claudia

    claudia New Member

    We have had the AUX shut off in the breaker box, because it would otherwise constantly be running. Last year the capable installer confused some thermostat install issues and accidently heated only with AUX heat for a while. Our bill was $750 while the thermostat was set at only 60 degrees. At this rate I would rather make a fire in the livingroom. So the thermostat shows AUX, but (hopefully) it can't actually access it.

    Anyway, I've learned to be leary of this system. Will it freeze up this winter? Will the PEX burst at some point? I also noticed that the basement zone is not requesting any heat and apparently still keeps the basement warm. After some research I wonder if the 1st floor (ranch) is also heating the basement and therefore is always asking for AUX because it is overtaxed sending heat up and down. I saw another installation w/batts and reflective boards nailed to the bottom of their basement floor (not ours). Could this be the reason? Thank you. Happy New Years!
  7. Geoaid

    Geoaid New Member

    Have you checked to see that your Geo Heat pump is working properly. not in fault for some reason and therefore not producing heat, which then causes the aux to get called. Can you check the heat output from the pump? Is the compressor going or does it fault out? Is there any fault codes on the unit? If your refrigerant is low (shrader valves can leak eventually causing low refrigerant levels. Are all the dip switches set correctly. (check the manual) If you can't find a problem, then your system could be undersized. Good luck.
  8. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    You have a radiant ceiling in the basement.

    Heat goes to cold, but it is lazy. It is going to stay in the basement rather than try and move through the floor. Hot air rises not heat.

    I could use a few photos. Especially of your piping and manifolds.

  9. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Where are you located? Any photos?>
  10. claudia

    claudia New Member

    We are in Michigan. I will take some photos, but I don't know how to post/send them AND we have an old-fashioned dial-up connection, so it could take a while or time out.

    We do have heat in the house, and I can hear the geo running. Should I be ready to stuff our basement ceiling w/batts and staple reflective cardboard this year to keep the heat on the main floor (is this what you do?)

    Maybe then we wouldn't have to keep the AUX locked out by the turned-off breaker (as it keeps crying for it on the thermostat) and next winter it wouldn't ask for AUX heat?

    Your thoughts are always appreciated.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  11. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Nice Plumbing

    but I do not think there is enough flow. If the manifold is 1 1/4" then the piping to it may be 1" pipe. It looks to me like it is just 3/4" pipe, which will only move 39,000 BTUH according to Burham's Hydronics Heating Helper.

    The other thing that jumps out at me is the high CV of the Honeywell zone valves. I wonder where they go. Other manifolds?

    I am guessing that the system was off when the picture was taken as there is little or no delta T on the manifold.

  12. claudia

    claudia New Member

    With this system, I guess I better buy more tissue boxes...sniffle

    The pipes are too small? There isn't anything I can do about this, is there? How badly will this impact our heating efforts?

    You are right, the system wasn't running yet. At the time I was still excited about having it installed and took a picture. I will try to upload the pictures I took today. Or, could I e-mail them to you directly somehow? I promise to send only appropriate pictures...;)

    Not sure about the CV.
  13. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    CV is the restriction on flow

    caused by the valve. In a high temperature system the impact of the restriction is lower.

    I am guessing at the pipe sizes.

    One could fix the issue one of two ways. Make the pipes bigger or the heat load smaller. I can think of a few differant ways to make the loads smaller.

    While out shopping for tissues by all means get some more insulation.

    If you can not upload the photos send me a PM and I will give you my email addy. I would like the make, model of the main system pump. Not the loop pumps.

    We will get this system to be all it can be.

  14. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    You need to describe you system better here. Do you have radiant heat only? What thermostat is calling for aux. What is your aux? Strip heater in additional ductwork? Or another source? Do you have a buffertank?

    A radiant system should not have a room thermostat controlling an on/off zone valve calling for aux heat. There should be a boiler control, potentially activating another stage. So more info is needed.
  15. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Where abouts are you in MI? I believe we may have spoken before (are you in real estate?).
    We need to start over at design and work our way out.
  16. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I took the liberty to post Cladia's PM to me. Their was not really much "private" in there, so other can jump in here as well.
    The explanation could be simple.
    First, zone thermostat for radiant should only turn a zone valve (or pump) on or off. No need for back up heat. You appear to have multistage thermostats when you only need a simple, single stage thermostat. Since it does not get satisfied quickly, it calls for aux heat, without having any effect.
  17. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I agree with Doc sometimes fixes can be simple even if design is flawed or equipment not matched well.
    Not everybody knows geo....not every geo guy knows radiant heat.
    Good news is usually the'll get close.

    There is no reason you would have a bill that large (if the house is South of 10K sf) to maintain 60F.

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