No thermostat on heating system

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by Rughead, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Rughead

    Rughead New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Scarsdale, NY
    Hi there. How does one install a thermostat on a heating system if none currently exists? We have simply two electical switches to turn the system on and off. The landlord says that's how one controls the temperature in the flat but it isn't always practical nor do I think it's a terribly efficient use of fuel. I can post some photos of the switches but doubt I can take any of the antequated diesel burning boiler/furnace. Any advice is much appreciated. Cheers and best regards from sunny but cold Amman.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,055
    Location:
    New England
    I lived in Amman for awhile...from what I hear, it has grown considerably since I left. Around the 8th circle, it was still desert and Allia had not opened yet (but was almost done).

    Most thermostats here are designed for 24vac. There are some that will work on higher voltages. You need to determine what voltage is being switched, then you'd have a chance of picking one that should work. A thermostat is basically just a switch, but you need one that can work at the voltage and current needed at the switch. You may need a line-voltage switch (which would be around 220vac). The voltage was very volatile when I was there, fluctuating radiacally.

    If you are handy, you could use a low-voltage thermostat to control a contactor or relay if it is switching much current rather than trying to find a thermostat that would work. Depends on what's available.
  3. Rughead

    Rughead New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Scarsdale, NY
    Hi Jim. Yes Amman has certainly changed since you were here. We're Starbucked out now. 8 circles and growing. Lots of new Iraqi money since 03. More Mercedes here than in Germany. Am renting a nice rooftop flat in Abdoun. Finally got the water pressure issue addressed and now on to the heat.

    Appreciate some advice on why a thermostat is benificial. Does it save fuel, keep an ambient temperature, make the furnace more efficient? Something to convince the wife and landlord that it's better to have than have not. They both seem to think it is simply easier and less costly to turn the burner on and off. BTW our water is heated by the same furnace.

    I've done a bit of reading on thermostats and know where to place it, mechanical vs electronic, etc. but as there are two switches that one must turn on to start the furnace, I'm not about to start disconnecting them and attaching thermostat wires. What do you think? Leave well enough alone or call in an expert? Anyway thanks for your time and advice. Cheers and best regards, Ric Hanna.
  4. BigLou

    BigLou New Member

    Messages:
    138
    Ric,
    All a thermostat does is automatically flip the switch for you. It will make keeping a steady temp easier but probably not increase the efficiency. It would probably increase fuel usage trying to maintain a temp like in the middle of the night when you are sleeping.
    you said there are two swicthes, what does each one do? You said furnace but it gives you hot water do you mean boiler? or is your home heated with hot air ?
    finally do you know the voltage of the switches ?

    Lou
  5. Rughead

    Rughead New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Scarsdale, NY
    Hi Lou. I presume the two switches are for both the furnace/boiler and the water heater (which is the furnace boiler). All I know is one must put both on to get hot water or heat in the radiators. They heating system is hot water thru plastic pipes to radiators in the rooms. I'm just renting the place but the landlord knows even less about this sytem than I do. When there's a problem he calls his "pipe fitter" relative who fools around a bit until whatever is wrong is fixed, until it goes out again. After I bled the air out of the radiators when winter arrived and we still had very little heat in the radiators his guy came and then I watched him remove literally kilos of soot and other debris out of the furnace which indicated to me that it had seldom, if ever, been cleaned or serviced in its life. No wonder it wasn't igniting. Now seems to be operating OK but the wife still complains that it's either too hot or too cold. We cannot regulate the temperature except by simply turning the switches off and on which doesn't seem very efficient to me. But hey, what do I know?

    How can I tell the voltage of the switches (which are illuminated with a small yellow light when on)? Maybe I should just let well enough alone....
    Cheers, Ric.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,684
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    T'stat

    As long as the thermostat does not have a heat anticipator circuit, and is rated for at least your maximum voltage, it will control any lower voltage. It is possible that you need a double pole single throw 240 volt thermostat if both switches do the same thing on two different wires.
  7. Rughead

    Rughead New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Scarsdale, NY
    T'stat

    Thanks HJ. I'll consult with the local heating chap and get this sorted. Cheers, Ric.
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