In my house the ground floor (not basement) heater zone is freezing and pipes are breaking. Apparently this is because we run the wood-stove, and it keeps the thermal sensor high so the boiler won't run. As a result it's freezing the pipes. I am probably never going to do this (or be allowed to), but would it ever be possible to splice in a timer circuit, to active the boiler every now and again to stop the freezing? What is the typical electrical layout of this system? (all out of curiousity)

PS: It's controlled via thermostat

  • Since it's a zoned system, yes you need a timer to make that zone run a few minutes every hour. – Tyson Dec 31 '17 at 13:25

How can the hot water heating pipes freeze if they are in the basement conditioned warm space? Where are these pipes located that would allow them to freeze? That question being asked, you could wire in a timer to run the circulating pump for the hot water system to keep the water moving in the whole system. If the basement has it's own zone valve, you could wire the timer to open the zone valve to allow water to flow through that zone. If you are not using the boiler for heat why not just set the circulating pump to run when the temperature is low enough to allow those pipes to freeze. If the piping is in an unconditioned space, say under the floor or in a crawl space, then you will have to heat the unconditioned space or allow the basement zone water to mix with the rest of the system. Just some ideas.

  • We had a couple of pipes freeze. And even one corner section in the living room had to be disconnected permanently because it was frozen solid. These are on the inside of the house, up against the walls.. they're radiators. I don't know how they could get so cold, but they must have been losing heat to the wall somehow? – bobiscool Jan 2 '18 at 6:06
  • +Running the wood-stove tricks the thermal sensor, and allows the boiler to stay off for long enough to let it freeze. Also we need the boiler to heat the rest of the house, the wood-stove doesn't do it all. I don't believe that the basement is heated at all. – bobiscool Jan 2 '18 at 6:07

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