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Old 11-19-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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Freeze protection in utility room?

Just had a new Munchkin T50M installed. My only concern is with protecting the utility room from freezing pipes. Living in Alaska it gets pretty cold and the room that the boiler and my older (separate) gas water heater live in is an outside access utility room, about 5 ft x 3 ft, and I know it gets pretty chilly in there. I understand that the boiler itself has freeze protection and will fire off the boiler at 38F, running the circulator on the primary loop.

With my old setup, the boiler was on a standing pilot and also kept internal temps at 170F or whatever the boiler return was set at, so there was plenty of excess heat being dumped even when there was no demand (and there usually isn't demand because I run a woodstove nearly continuously, so the boiler is basically backup), adequately keeping the space well over freezing. However, now with spark ignition and direct venting the only source of heat will be from the water heater (minimal) and whatever freeze protection firing I get from the boiler.

I went ahead and had the installer pipe in two extra Tee's so that I could easily add a third zone and a small bit baseboard for the utility room itself, probably running a low temp thermostat at 35F or so (if I can find one...).

Does that seem like a pretty reasonable solution to the problem? Or can anybody think of anything that is smarter/easier?


BTW- the reason I'm not going with glycol in the system for freeze protection is that I am essentially also protecting inlet/outlet of the water heater within this space as well... make sense?
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:30 AM   #2
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I think I'd install some baseboard in that room.
But, I'd keep the rooms temp higher then 35. Pipes near a wall, can be a lot colder then 35 when the room is kept at 35.
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