Aquastats are used to maintain a desired water temperature in a heating system. When the water temperature falls below the aquastat’s set point, the aquastat will activate the heating system to heat the water back up to the desired temperature. If there is a problem with the heating system and it is unable to heat the water to the desired temperature, the aquastat will keep activating the heating system until it can. This can cause the heating system to run constantly and eventually.
However, sometimes aquastats can fail or become disconnected which can lead to your boiler overheating and becoming unsafe to operate. So if you’re interested in how you can bypass an aquastat on your own, we’ve got some great tips on how you can do it safely with limited risk to yourself and home.
Act as the boiler’s own temperature limiter
The first step to bypassing the functionality of an aquastat is to act as the boiler’s own temperature limiter. The easiest way to do this is to set the temperature of the boiler to a level lower than the water needs to be in order for the aquastat to kick in. By doing this, the boiler will never reach a temperature that would cause the aquastat to switch off. This is a very basic method to bypassing the functionality of an aquastat, but it’s a relatively safe and easy way to do it. The only real downside is that you will not be able to control the temperature of your water, so it’s not ideal if you like your water to be at a specific temperature.
Turn off the heating element
If your heating system is electric, the easiest way to bypass the functionality of an aquastat is to shut off the heating element. First, unplug the system from the mains, and then you can use a screwdriver to turn off the heating element, and it should turn off completely. This is an easy method, but it is also a very temporary one. Once your heating system is turned back on, the heating element will turn back on and you will have to do it again. So this is not an ideal solution, but it does give you a quick way to bypass an aquastat.
Use a thermal limiter
A thermal limiter is a device that clips onto the hot water pipe or the cold water pipe that feeds into the boiler. It is a thermostatic device that expands to stop the flow of water and to prevent the boiler from overheating. The main benefit of the thermal limiter is that it is easy to install and can be removed when it is necessary to test the boiler. However, it is not a device that can be set to a certain temperature, and so it needs to be used with care as it can stop the flow of water completely.
Use an electric heating coil with a timer
An electric heating coil with a timer is a device that is fitted onto the cold water feed pipe that goes into the boiler. The device has a dial on it with specific temperature settings. You set it to the temperature that you want your water to be at, and it will switch the heating element on and off automatically to maintain that temperature. An electric heating coil with a timer is a good option to bypassing an aquastat, but it does cost more than many other methods. However, it is a safe and effective way of doing so.
Bypass with a mechanical relay
A mechanical relay is a device that is fitted onto the cold water feed pipe that goes into the boiler. It uses a spring-loaded bar to switch the heating element on and off in response to a change in pressure. Mechanical relays are very effective in stopping the heating element from overheating the boiler, and they can be set to different temperatures so that you can control the temperature of your water. The main downside of a mechanical relay is that it can be tricky to install and maintain, and it is also more expensive than some of the other options on this list.
Bypass with a motorised valve
A motorised valve is a device that is installed onto the cold water feed pipe that goes into the boiler. It is a thermostatic valve that responds to a change in temperature by opening and closing the valve to control the flow of water into the boiler. A motorised valve is a good option to bypassing an aquastat, and it is easy to install but more expensive than some of the other options on this list.
Aquastats are an essential part of any domestic heating system as they prevent boilers from overheating. However, sometimes they can fail or become disconnected, leading to your boiler overheating and becoming unsafe to operate. There are a number of ways that you can bypass the functionality of an aquastat, and each of them can be done safely with limited risk to yourself and your home.