Waterfurnace Thermostat help

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by greeby, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. greeby

    greeby New Member

    Hi All,

    I’ve been a lurker here for a few months and just this week got a Waterfurnace 5 Series 4 ton unit installed.

    The installers got me up on my loops late Friday afternoon in the day and will return next week to complete the installation (buffer tank, humidifier, air cleaner etc).

    I’ve been reading all I can across the forums about how geo system are meant to maintain a constant temperature and not to use drastic setbacks etc.

    I opted to get the AXB board and the color TPCC32U01 communicating thermostat (Waterfurnace special) and have turned off the schedule and set the unit for a constant 70 degrees.

    I have noticed that about 30 seconds after the unit kicks on for heat in stage 1, the second stage kicks on almost immediately. This seems like a bad thing after all the reading I have done (and a waste of money).

    Knowing that this is almost certainly a function of the thermostat I got the book out and started checking settings. I looked at the installer pages and found that the Differential is set to .5 at stage 1, 2 and AUX heat (the default). This seems like a bad thing. I left stage 1 set at .5, moved stage 2 to 2 degrees and AUX Heat to 4 degrees. This seems to have solved the stage 2 issue. I also set the Smart Heat Staging to a 60-minute delay. The unit seems to be operating fine in 1[SUP]st[/SUP] stage mode and keeps the house nice and toasty. It still goes to stage 2 if I up the temp 2 degrees.

    Are there any other tweaks that need to be done to make me more energy efficient?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Member

    Sounds like a reasonable strategy, but I can't confirm by experience. My WF is about 20 years old and my thermostat for my Premiere Two Stage HP doesn't have any user options, there may be some on the circuit board. But, I haven't had a complaint about the way it works. As I don't like 70 degrees at night for sleeping I turn ours back to 62 degrees if it isn't expected to be below 30 degrees over night and to 65 no matter how cold it gets. Recently we've seen single digits over night and while I use a fire wood insert for supplemental heat when I get up in the morning the insert is cold and the thermostat is waiting my start at working it up. I never set the step up more than 2 degrees over the current temperature, but on real cold mornings I will see the aux heat indicator come on for a few minutes then off for a few minutes. On warmer mornings the Stage II raises the temperature fast enough the command program doesn't call for aux heat. In fact in the spring and fall when we are not asking a lot from the HP I physically disconnect the (also two stages) fist and only stage of aux heat I have wired. Then I can ask the HP for an addition 4 or 5 degrees and not be concerned that the aux indicator light comes on and stays on, the aux is not on. Still, my Stage II HP COP is lower than the Stage I, by about 20%, so an argument to keep the temperature alone and let the Stage I handle the heating may pay off economically against my method, but as I said I like cooler temperatures at night. Being retired I also have the time to build a wood fire in the morngin to help the house get back up to something near 70 degrees. I'm happy with 66 degrees myself, my wife likes it warmer. I'll leave it for you to guess who wins on that discussion.

    It is time for me to think about buying a new HP (ground loop good for many more years) and I am thinking both about a rebuild of my current, new compressor at least, or stepping up to a newer unit. A thermostat that allows more user control could lean me toward a replacement unit, that and a 20% or so improvement in COP/EER and maybe better production of hot water. I've read here about some problems with the newer (than mine) evaporators... your unit is still too new to test that problem as I read it is a failure a couple of years down the road. My evaporator has never been a problem.
  3. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Hi Greeby,
    I am building a new home and the HVAC contractor just started up my Waterfurnace system this AM (3 ton Series 5 with the same thermostat as you have). The rep told me that if I bump the setting such that the differentail is 2 degrees or more, the electric heat will come on. Like yourself, I am not real keen on this setup. Was just wondering if the settings you described above are still working OK for your system?

  4. greeby

    greeby New Member

    Hi Batman,

    So I made an adjustment to the above.

    I am at 1st stage 1, second stage 1 and 3rd stage 2. So basically if the thermostat is set for 70 degrees stage one will engage at 69 degrees, stage 2 will engage at 68 degrees and stage three will engage at 66 degrees (after a 60 minutes delay).

    I also have the Smart Heat Staging set to 60 minutes. That keeps the electric elements off for 60 minutes after the thermostat calls for stage 3 (I think).

    It's working very well for me. It's been pretty chilly here in south central PA since my install (getting down to the single digit some nights) and the system has kept up well. I have not hit stage 2 very often and never hit the Aux heat at all.

    It's been a bit of a learning experience for me. When the installer left he basically handed me the book for the thermostat and said it's pretty much self explanatory and left me to figure out anything other than the defaults.

    If you have the AXB board and the color thermostat...does your energy monitoring function correctly? Mine is not working and the dealer says there's a bug in the thermostat firmware and WF is working on an update to correct the issue.
  5. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Thanks for the reply, Greeby!

    I like the ability to manage the stage 3 heat. Load calcs show that I shouldn't need to go there until temps get down to below zero. I waffled between a 3 and 4 ton unit but decided to go with the 3 ton.

    Your comment about the energy monitoring was timely. I was about to contact Waterfurnace (or the dealer) regarding the readings I have been observing. Correct me if I am wrong, but the month-to-date power used would be the "Average Kw" displayed multiplied times the hours displayed, resulting in the KwH used. On this basis, the energy monitor is giving me a LOWER value from one day to the next. Obviously, this is not accurate as this figure MUST increase going forward if the unit has any run time on any given day.

    I am curious as to when your dealer informed you about the problem? Since my thermostat was just installed last Friday, I am assuming that Waterfurnace is knowingly allowing their dealers to install units that are defective (or with defective firmware). It concerns me that I have chosen equipment from a mfr. that would do business this way. I guess I'll be having a serious conversation with the dealer.

  6. greeby

    greeby New Member


    I just had my install completed a couple of weeks ago and the energy monitoring never worked. On the third trip the tech called WF and was told it's a known issue and they were working on a firmware update for the thermostat to correct the issue.

    The only reason I chose the AXB and the high dollar thermostat was the special WF did in November.

    And yes, WF knew about it and the dealer did not. No notice from WF at all.

    The dealer is not pleased.
  7. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    I took advantage of the special promo too. Like yourself, i would not have sprung for the extras if that had not been the case.

    Thanks for sharing info with me.

  8. greeby

    greeby New Member

    My dealer told me today that the firmware fix should be out in 4 weeks.
  9. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Member

    Sounds like the WF corp we can all learn to hate. I have been very satisfied with my 20 year old two speed WF, but:
    1) the dealer who did a great installation for me and had been installing WF systems for several years did a few years later leave WF and went to Climatemaster. Now will I consider the possible replacement of my old system, rather than piece-wise replacement, I find the dealer I respected so much is no longer in business... and his son was a partner can't be more than 50 yo, so it isn't a matter of the old man retiring and closing the business. He no longer advertises any heating sales or service.

    I have problems with WF when I the 17 year old (est) circulation fan stopped, I'll spare you the details but I can say I was unhappy enough to go through the regional rep to the factor rep to a VP (so called at least) at WF. They never accepted any factory responsibility for the poor performance and planning that I had to accept in the repair. This addes to my interest in replacing the system rather than do repairs as the part fails. The compressor can't be good much longer, I mean any year longer that it runs I consider a gift... my reward to risking failure by continuing to run it. Still working just fine, today.
  10. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Thanks, Greeby....
    I spoke with my dealer yesterday and he was none too happy when I told him about the firmware problem. Like your dealer, he was unaware.

    What were the symptoms of the malfunction in your thermostat? In my case, unless you are really paying attention to the day-to-day change in the numbers, you would have never detected the problem.
  11. WF_Inc

    WF_Inc Member

    We are aware of a software issue with this thermostat, and are working with our vendor towards a resolution. The power accumulation algorithm in the thermostat is the only feature affected. We want to assure you that this issue will not affect the heating and cooling operation of your WaterFurnace unit. Had this software issue affected the operation of the unit, please be assured we would have put a hold the part.

    Once we have a resolution, we will issue new software to address the issue, which will be able to be uploaded into the thermostat. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
  12. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Are they changing their business plan?

  13. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Let me get this straight: You are complaining about a lack of factory responsibility when a 17 year old product fails? Did you thank them that it did last 17 years?
  14. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    I am left scratching my head why your company would not have made both dealers and homeowners aware of this issue. From a customer relations standpoint, this would have created less ill will than the way you have handled it.
  15. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    My HVAC contractor said he will be loading the fix for the thermostat on Monday
  16. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Please let us know how it goes.
  17. greeby

    greeby New Member

    Fantastic. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

    I'll send my dealer a note :)
  18. josephparris

    josephparris Member

    My installer told me that they sent the fix, then sent an email saying there was a flaw in the fix and he had to send it back.

    Just beware!!!
  19. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    they must have outsourced the fix to some far eastern country
  20. greeby

    greeby New Member


    My dealer said 4 weeks....

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