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Programable Thermostats

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Can anyone suggest a easy to install programable thermostat for a boiler? Thank you!

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Assuming you need a programmable thermostat for heat only, myself and others have used LUX ELV1001 (I think that was the model). The packaging will indicate something like "heat only" for "baseboard heating" (might also say something about "line voltage" or some such thing).

Others have said they are available from Home Depot. I ordered mine through my local Orchard Supply Hardware for about $50--I think people said the Home Depot's price was cheaper. My only complaint is that it only comes in putty grey so is noticeable against mahogany.

NOTE: If I recall correctly, the voltage coming into the thermostat is *not* stepped down so be sure to turn the circuit off before disassembling. Also, to save yourself some headaches, before disconnecting the wires from the old thermostat, tape and label them as to which terminal they go into on the back of the current thermostat. This will make attaching them to the new one easier.

It's been a while since I did this, so I might not have remembered everything. Others, more capable, have done this before me so I trust they will jump in and correct any errors/missed steps in my explanation.

Good luck.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: May 8 2003

I had my thermostated replaced by Anderson when I had them out to check my radiant heat system in 2003. The cost of the unit and the installation was around 50-60 bucks. Took the guy 2 minutes to do it, and he didn't need me to turn off the power. I think he was brave because he was messing w/ live AC power.

- J

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

I just had an electrician replace some plug-ins and light switches and he didn't turn off the power at all. Brave soul!

The thermostat is low voltage. I think I have actually connected and disconnected without cutting the power. All by accident, of course!

jimmyip: what brand is your thermostat?

Joined: Mar 2 2004

Eichler original thermostats are 110 volts. Thermostat choices are severly limited for this unusual situation. If you have someone work on your boiler, have them install a transformer and relay next to your water heater and boiler. Then your thermostat can be like everyone elses in the USA. You can purchase a user friendly model. Eichler may have saved $5.00 per house using a thermostat that doubled as a high-voltage switch for the recirculating pump. That's why the wires are so big. Years ago, I was amazed to discover the strange high-voltage thermostat. Eichler 'blew it' on this little feature, and left us all running around individually trying to solve the problem.

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Can't decide if it's a machismo thing, "familiarity breeds contempt", or just ignorance, but I'm constantly surprised by the number of people (electricians and homeowners) willing to work with live wires. I think it's a good idea to develop the habit of shutting off the power --even if it's lower voltage power--how long can it take? If you make it a habit to work with live wires, you're setting yourself up for a rude awakening if you forget when dealing with high voltage.

Years ago, I spoke to an electrician doing repairs for the landlord of an apartment I rented. He turned off the circuit. I was so surprised, I asked him about it. He said he used to be one of the "cocky ones" until he drilled into a live wire by accident and he ended up on the other side of the room.

More recently, a not so lucky tale. A friend came last month to visit--it was the first time I'd seen him since his accident last year. He was wiring in the garage and they think he was electrocuted although they couldn't separate damage from that versus the fall. It knocked him out and his wife found him on the floor. He was hospitalized for awhile while he collected his wits (literally) and they ran tests. To say he wasn't himself is an understatement.

After a year of recovery and therapy, his short term memory is still problematic, he can't smell 90% of what we can, and he has lost the midrange in one of ears. Can't tell if its damage or frustration, but his temper has gotten shorter-fused too. Hell of a thing to have happen to a great guy. Certainly a freak accident but... why take the chance.

Turn off the !!! power.

Jake

Stepping off my soapbox now ;-)

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

I asked Anderson for a new LUX thermostat (the kind that Jake mentioned above) and they were out. They managed to find the very last one available in a Home Depot near San Francisco and sold it to me for what it cost them (what service!). Anderson said Lux will sell them in batches of 150 though.

Just a warning at how hard they are to find in the Bay area. I couldn't find one on the internet either. Maybe Anderson has found a stash since then or if anyone can find them, others might appreciate knowing where to find them.

Lynn in Palo Alto

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Joined: Apr 8 2004

I searched for a while and finally found this thermostat supplier online: http://www.thermostatshop.com. I emailed and asked for a recommendation, given that the system requires a 110V thermostat for hydronic heat. Their recommnedation was the Aube TH140-28 Thermostat (24vac to 240vac &
Millivolt). ~ $88 with shipping, but beats getting the blank stare at Home Depot.

Many of the other thermostats for 110V are for baseboard and in-floor electric radiant heat, so are rated for the much higher resistance of those systems.

The same company makes a relay that you can use with a 24V transformer and any of the many programmables available, but the combined cost and time spent to install makes the single replacement a better option.

I'll post an evaluation when I get it an install it, hope it doesn't get too cold before that! :)

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Joined: Jul 8 2004

I found an online site (just purchased one today) that sells the LUX ELV1 (thanks Jake) but is sold under the ACE name for $39.99. If you compare ACE 4191698 with that of LUX ELV1, you will see that the descriptions are nearly the same. Additionally, if you look closely at the associated picture, the ACE product has the LUX label on the lower left of the thermostat.

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Joined: Oct 10 2003

A-dad, you rock. I'm up late ordering one online now. BTW for anyone else interested in the same product and that website, I did some web snooping and if you enter the promo code ACE525 at the checkout you can get 5 bucks off (hmm, but it doesnt seem to apply if you ship it free to the local store...).

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Joined: Oct 10 2003

Following up, I just picked my thermostat up from the local ACE store yesterday after ordering it online. The unit doesnt say LUX on it anymore, but the instruction sheet does.

OK now if only Renman or someone else will tell me how to turn the power off so I can install this thing....

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Can't remember exactly what I did--I think I boosted the thermostat up until the boiler kicked in then switched the likely circuit breakers until the boiler shut down. Does that makes sense--someone else comment...

Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Jul 8 2004

Just installed the unit. Took me about 30 minutes. Should have only taken about 5. Here are two things that you might find helpful.

- I have a switch near my boiler that allowed me to turn of the circuit to the thermostat. No need to run out to the circuit breaker.
- The new thermostat, when first installed, was in the "On/Heat" position, even though the temperature in the room (73) exceeded the thermostat setting (60). The unit uses a relay(?) to switch between On and Off. Mine was stuck in the On position for whatever reason. To fix it (?) I had to raise the thermostat setting above room temperature (like 74), and then lowered it back to the desired setting (60). The relay "clicked" Off (at 72) as I lowered the thermostat setting.

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Joined: Oct 10 2003

I just installed mine thursday and it seems to be working well.

I first had Anderson Radiant come out to do a leak check and explain to me what all the knobs and dials do. I think it was Glen Wagner who was here.

I showed Glen the thermostat in question (before I installed it), and he was actually a little curious as to where I got it. It appears it IS the one they typically use (which seems like a very good sign to me!) but they were not aware of it being available thru ace hardware -so double props to Alessdad for finding them!

I too just turned off a power switch to install mine, but Glen cautioned me that sometimes the circuit to the thermostat may not be shut off by the switch at the boiler.... I took a chance and it was OK, but still, good to keep in mind.

Glen also cautioned that I might find either 2 wires behind the wall (a white and black pair) or a bundle with a red and black exposed. Now dont anybody quote me on this cause its 2nd hand, but if you see red and black wires, they hook up as you would expect to red and black on the thermostat. If you see only white and black, white goes to black on the thermo, and red goes to black on the thermo.....

Fortunately I saw red and black wires, so I hooked up as expected -which I would have done naively anyways had Glen not told me the details :)

So, now if anybody needs an original Honeywell thermostat to make your renovation exceptionally true to period, let me know before it goes in junk drawer.

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

Sorry FXlarry,
I've been really busy and not been able to get on line as much as I'd like.
I know someone that is looking for that thermostat.

Jake-Every properly trained that I have worked with in the union, non-union, commercial, industrial and residintial application have worked on live circuits. It is not a macho thing, it is a necessity for certain troubleshooting methods. The rule is: Do not complete the circuit through you body. It is no more dangerous than using a table saw or driving a car.
If you stop paying attention to what is important, the impact could be lethal or painful. Do you think PG&E will power down the entire substation
to accomidate the installation of a larger electrical service? What about downed power lines during a rainstorm? I am sure that you appreciate the fact that someone out there works on energized circuits, as it directly impacts you at some point.
There are even questions on the test for the C10 (electricians) test at the CSLB about proceedure for working on energized circuits.
I am not advocating that anyone without the proper training EVER attempt
even removing cover plate from a switch or outlet, accidents do happen, and a flat #1 screwdriver tip will fit inside an outlet almost perfectly, so don't attempt it (I was electrocuted at age 4 plugging in my alarm clock before my first day of school). I grew up to become an electrician (among other things).

renman

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Renman,

Point taken. There are situations in which properly trained electricians must, and do, leave circuits live. And, you being a certified electrician and me being simply a handy (or not so handy) homeowner, I obviously bow to your superior knowledge of such situations. (And appreciate your many valuable contributions and insights on a host of remodeling matters.)

As you have noted, the situations in which circuits should be kept live are pretty explicit (troubleshooting and large installations being the most common). The fact that some trained electricians chose to work on live circuits even when it is *not* strictly necessary is one of choice--and one which even qualified people in the field can agree to disagree. As I mention, some have been unpleasantly surprised. (As for it being as safe as running a tablesaw, I agree. My school's shop teacher was missing a couple of fingers--a testament to what happens when even a skilled technician let their attention wander with safeguards removed...)

We agree that the situation for homeowners is very different. For untrained homeowners performing electrical tasks, the risks of working on live circuits far outweigh the convenience of doing so. This is not their living, this is their life. So, I stand by my comment that, as a rule, homeowners should develop the habit of shutting circuits off first. You sound the more cautionary note (with which I also agree) that the average homeowner should not attempt any but the very simplest of electrical tasks.

Amazing how many people think if the lightswitch is off that they can't receive a shock. Or that standard household current can't kill you. Ignorance through inexperience is more common than you'd think...

Always a pleasure to chat with you.

Best regards,
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Jun 28 2003

Hello All,

From my recent experience, I will definitely hire an electrician to perform the even the simplest of tasks.

I thought I was savvy enough to replace an electric switch. But thankfully I hired an electrician.

What happened was that I need the kitchen fan switch replaced. This switch shares the common wall with the living room. The electrician turned off each of the circuit breakers until the overhead kitchen light went off. (My conventional wisdom would say, "hmm, kitchen light off, therefore all kitchen electricity is off.) He then tested the switch with some probe and it turns out the electricity was still on!

Turns out the that wall switch shares the same circuit breaker as common wall the the LR.

Well, I have learned my lesson. I can't imagine what would have happened to me had I replaced a "simple electrical switch."

David

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Joined: Jan 18 2008

I did some more digging around and on the LUX website it say this for the LUX ELV1
" Not for use on:
Conventional 24V Heating and Cooling Systems
Hydronic (Hot Water) Systems"

Isn’t the radiant heat system a Hydronic system? Has anyone had issues with the one available from ACE that has the same specs?

-------------------------------------------------
Try ACE online
by alessdad on Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:58 pm

I found an online site (just purchased one today) that sells the LUX ELV1 (thanks Jake) but is sold under the ACE name for $39.99. If you compare ACE 4191698 with that of LUX ELV1, you will see that the descriptions are nearly the same. Additionally, if you look closely at the associated picture, the ACE product has the LUX label on the lower left of the thermostat.

All that you touch, and all that you see.
Is all your life, will ever be.
-Pink Floyd

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Joined: Oct 10 2003

I've had mine running since it was installed (see earlier in this thread) and it seems to be doing fine. I dont know what the symptoms would be if it werent doing fine, but it seems to be doing its thing, turning the heater on and off. -Larry

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